Buddhist Existential Psychoanalysis: Gautama with Sartre


Buddhist Existential Psychoanalysis: Gautama with Sartre

The correct way to understand the Buddhist Psychoanalysis is that it is the border articulation between metapsychology and metaphilosophy inherent in the mental transformation generated by the contemplative analytical act. Thus the Maitriyana has the Purpose (Dharma) to renew the conditions and language of Spirituality through the Analytical Existential Libertarian Discourse (Buddha-Dharma-Sangha) and its project of evolution of consciousness and emancipation of the possibilities of the subject. The Buddhist Psychoanalysis is therefore a discipline related to the singular thought opened by Siddharta Gautama and Jean Paul Sartre, this being a cultural perspective that has psychological, philosophical and political large scale consequences. Both Gautama and Sartre developed a thought that did not emerged in the university field, but it was present in the social field, even coming to share the fact that stages of ostracism initially passed, because whilst one was immersed in ascetic practices the other was in a concentration camp. Therefore, the Maitriyana confirms that the Gautama-Sartre articulation transcends the mere foundation of a psychological or philosophical school for building a true lifestyle, which is indeed a spiritual decisionism as practice and theory of Choice.

The analytical meditation transforms the mind through captable consent of the unfathomable decision of Self, by positioning a new human being with the intervention of Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva). In this way, the lesson of the spiritual master is that the only way to achieve the Cure (Nirvana) from neurosis, psychosis and perversion is with the advent of a new subjective structure: Sublimation or Awakening (Bodhi). This is because no psychic identification is permanent, perfect and substantial, being rather an operational sign of the decision of Being. These analytical existential formulations show that in the ethics of the Middle Way there is interdependence between structure and choice at the moment of theorizing subjectivity, simultaneously preparing the conditions for a genuine dialectical synthesis of Existentialism with Structuralism. Thus the Buddhist Psychoanalysis is a co-arising with the teaching of the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva), transcending the opposite poles of debauchery and the over determination. This means that when the apprentice is immersed in the contemplative analytical experience he discovers that the only thing that can capture him and determine him it is not the outside world but his own decision or unconscious desire. Thus, in the Maitriyana, through the Gautama-Sartre articulation, the idea of liberation and Cure (Nirvana) is combined with the idea of structure and determination. Therefore, practicing Buddhist Psychoanalysis is becoming aware of the dark Purpose (Dharma) of Being, by understanding that the psychic causality or repetition (karma) of suffering is something that the subject can abandon or be detached through the analytical meditation that provides the apprentice a Sense of Responsibility for the own life. The Maitriyana is then the antidote to the sickly and alienating metaphysical belief in a Fate which is not chosen.

The Buddhist Psychoanalysis is an existential analysis belonging to the humanistic field, so that it is released from quietism through the contemplative analytical practice, realizing that the only determination of the laws of history are the paths of Liberty. The artistic work, precisely, helps the subject to learn the art of sublimation (Nirodh) of all the overflowing and gripping situations, converting the suffering through the compassionate wisdom (karuna-prajna). Thus, the intervention of the spiritual master is a resistance reading before the alienating power of both the external and internal world. Therefore, the Analytical-Existential-Libertarian Discourse (Buddha-Dharma-Sangha) of Maitriyana has the great possibility of renewing the panorama of psychology, philosophy and politics. This shows to a large extent the spiritual courage of the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva), holding a revolutionary and transformative position of thought by producing the human decentering. Although it is taught the ethics of self-knowledge, the Buddhist Psychoanalysis abandons the Ego as the center and master of consciousness, by producing a subversion and decentering of the apprentice. After the deconstruction of subjectivity, the Maitriyana liberates the mind from the illusory belief in a Transcendental Other (Atman). The consequences of this emptying are not only the agnosticism before the existence of God but also the experience that the only guarantee regarding what happens is the own Liberty. In this sense, Buddhist Psychoanalysis is agnostic and does not seek metaphysical guarantees for the free and enlightened existence of the Self. However, this absence or Emptiness of the Other (Anatman) does not lead to the mere nihilism, because it is replaced by the laws of mystical reason and by the perennial conditions of the compassionate wisdom (karuna-prajna) of a subject who has reconciled with himself. From the Gautama-Sartre articulation, the central thesis of the analytical existential manifesto of Maitriyana is that a True Spirituality is when it happens the practice of Responsibility in life scene.[1]

The Buddhist Psychoanalysis formulates that there is no essence which precedes existence, but only choices and actions. This implies that the Maitriyana is a mystical science that abandons the metaphysical and materialistic ideologies to produce the derepression in the apprentice. In this sense, the spiritual master liberates the human being from any sense of destiny and substance, making him understand he is empty of essence and, therefore, free in order to build his own life. Thus, the analytical meditation always leads to the subject’s Existential Responsibility for his Path in the world.

Consistent with Lacan, the Gautama-Sartre articulation shows that the contemplative act is related to a pass from the anguishing certainty to the spontaneous action, which implies that the apprentice consciously or unconsciously chooses always himself, even in every hapless circumstance of life. Therefore, Buddhist Psychoanalysis radically affirms that the laws of history are determined by the ineradicable Liberty of Being. However, the Ego seems to give in and deliver to the world the intrinsic Liberty of the Self, reason why for the Maitriyana the ego is a structure in bad faith which establishes a deterministic system of excuses or defence mechanisms that repress self-realization or Awakening (Bodhi) inherent of Being. The Gautama-Sartre articulation of the Buddhist Psychoanalysis does not deny there are psychic determinations, but rather it clarifies that they are assumed or chosen by the subject inasmuch he makes himself in the world. In this way, according to the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) the Responsibility of the situation itself is always from the apprentice before every choice taken, the excuse or justification being a bad faith process of Ego. Thus, the Cure (Nirvana) from the disease of bad faith is the anguish of Emptiness, which is the experience from the lack-in-Being or absence of essence. Therefore, in the Maitriyana there are no elections coming beforehand, differing from the belief in the soul or in past lives. Thus, in Buddhist Psychoanalysis the repetition (karma) is a causality or psychic determinism that is born with an unconscious identification or original choice, not being in any way the mere reiteration of inherited elements. However, the spiritual master clarifies that this choice is not consciously performed by the subject, but rather it is unconscious, because the choice is what constitutes and structures the mind. Understanding this intrinsic Liberation is an experience that the Gautama-Sartre articulation calls anguish of Nothingness. Thus, the Maitriyana cannot be reproached for being pessimistic or nihilistic, because rather it is a deeply optimistic movement advocating that whatever the mundane situation, the human being can always choose.[2] Obviously, this encounter with oneself, with the Real of Being as an empty field of instinctive determinations but full of existential Liberty, is something that produces anguish in the apprentice for being brought to his fundamental choice or Purpose (Dharma). Thus, the Gautama-Sartre articulation of Buddhist Psychoanalysis captures this existential angst through the analytical meditation practice, by extending the responsibility of the subject because he is detached from the bad faith of the Ego.[3] Indeed, the idea of transpersonalisation of the apprentice is the scene of all the practice and theory of decisionism in the Gautama-Sartre articulation by showing that derepression of the subject of the unconscious is an ethical transformation that sublimates the pulsion of life and death and it is linked to the opening and closing of Being. To the extent that the human being is condemned to be free by his emptiness of essence, the decision is forced in the original constitution of mind. But after the operation alienation-separation, the Sublimation (Nirodh) appears as a new instance of non-forced choice which is the know-how there with the symptom.[4] This type of existential decision is the Being as Event which positions the apprentice on a beyond the Ego, by responding to the Purpose (Dharma) or to the Will with a supra-conscious and authentic fidelity. This leads to the heroic dimension of Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) as someone who takes the reins of his destiny. Of course, this Liberation requires a pass through the experience of Awakening (Bodhi), leaving the bad faith or fantasy (maya) of the Ego in order to reach the anguishing transformation of Cure (Nirvana). Therefore, the Gautama-Sartre articulation claims that existential choice is something completely different from wanting, yearning or the egoic decision, being rather a non-voluntarist, unconscious and intersubjective act.[5] Therefore, this is fully understandood by the spiritual master who states that in every choice there is a choice for all humanity.

Consistent with Sartre, Buddhist Existential Psychoanalysis has a great respect for Freud and Lacan, considering that what is really important in contemplative analytical practice is the lack of Being along with the factual experience of the being for the death as finitude, choice and responsibility.[6] However, the difference between the Gautama-Sartre articulation and Sigmund Freud is that it focuses on the Desire (Kama) and not on each of the yearnings or inclinations of the subject, the Maitriyana thus being much closer to Jacques Lacan. Therefore, the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) founds the Buddhist Psychoanalysis with detachment from mundane greed, simultaneously considering that most authentic feature of experience of thinking occurs in the dialectical and transferential relationship with another. From this analytical meditation the Maitriyana leads the apprentice to understand his original and unconscious Choice, so the subject reaches Awakening (Bodhi) when he is emptied from egoic justifications and he accepts his Responsibility before the existence. The Buddhist Psychoanalysis is precisely the way how the apprentice retroactively decrypts and interprets his Lack of Being,[7] which is an empty and anguishing soil of mind, considering that the choice is not the result of the conscious reflection. Thereby, the non-reflective choice proposed by the Maitriyana is consistent with Freud, Heidegger, Sartre and Lacan. Indeed, the Buddhist Psychoanalysis of the Gautama-Sartre articulation is the Path that leads each subject facing his original choice, which in turn disidentifies the apprentice from symptom of dysfunction and disturbance in order to reconcile him with the meaning enjoyed of the symptom of the everydayness and frustration (dukkha). Under the teaching of the spiritual master, unsatisfactoriness, impermanence and insubstantiality are the backbone of the very existence, being the way how the human life is contained. Therefore, when Freud says that where That was the subject must come, the Maitriyana establishes that in the Real of dissatisfaction (dukkha) the Self should be sustained.[8] Thus, the sublimatory structure of the Cure (Nirvana) is the existential analytical transformation of the apprentice who contemplatively is built in the know how there with the symptom as Reconciliation (Maitri) with frustration (dukkha) of life. Only thus it is understood the reason why the Buddhist Psychoanalysis of Siddhartha Gautama is a Sartrean-Lacanian itinerary that leads to the evanescence of pathological and masochistic dimension of Jouissance, by purifying the mind until the malaise is reduced to the presence of the word that sustains the existence. Therefore, the ethics of Maitriyana for reconciliation (Maitri) with the symptom is tied to the definition of Spiritual Love, not only as loving the presence of the Seed of Awakening (Bodhi) on the other, but rather as loving the marks of emptiness or lack of completeness that there are on the other, which is nothing less than loving the fellow being because it suffers and is incomplete in the same way that one. Thus, the new kind of respect that is in the last teaching of Lacan,[9] according to the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva), is nothing but the compassionate wisdom (karuna-prajna) towards the Real or Empty Dynamic Ground of the existence of all beings.


The existence is imperfect, impermanent and insubstantial, so that every human being is unique, unrepeatable and singular.[10] However, the language field precedes the existence of the subject, by capturing him and imposing him an anomalous way of satisfaction and without utility. The theory of the unconscious incompleteness is precisely a way of conceiving the human being’s Emptiness by the capture of language, so it results impossible to establish the satisfaction of Desire as completeness. Thus the Buddhist Psychoanalysis reveals that the unconscious is incomplete, linguistically by connecting the field of Sense with that of the jouissance into a relationship of union and separation. Therefore, the ethical acceptability of the repressed is to have the courage to accept the existential fracture or Emptiness-of-Being.

The three determinations of the existence, which are imperfection, impermanence and insubstantiality, impose the impossibility of completeness, this fracture of subjectivity being an incurable inaugural scission that transpersonalises existence by not allowing it to be only with itself. This implies that human life is relational or that the unconscious is structured as a language. But faced with the impossibility of achieving a complete identity, the spiritual master teaches that the conscious reflection or dominion of Ego is nothing more than an illusory process of self control which represses the Being as an absence. This exile from all substantiality leaves a transhistoric imprint on the mind from which it convokes the words that seek suturing the failure or incurable emptiness of existence. Faced with this impossibility of establishing a perfect, permanent and substantial relationship with life, the apprentice can only find a certain degree of peace in the experience of reconciliation (Maitri) with emptiness as True Self. This relationship of Liberty is postulated with the universal formula of interexistence of all beings. However, this Totality-in-Nothingness does not imply the illusion of the absolute jouissance and without failures. Therefore, the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva), beyond pleasure there is no more than an attempt to capture it all and to return to a lost unity and a phantasmatic completeness. But this attempt to colonize the emptiness of existence is doomed to failure, because the Nothing-in-Being cannot be erased since it is the only perennial feature in the human being. Nonetheless, the event of the Self is repressed by the repetition (karma) of pulsion in its fruitless search for completeness through multiple supplementary objects that provide a fragile and unstable sense of personal identity.

The Spiritual Love, by its part, is a healthy social bond that establishes a new elementary kinship structure, emptying the subject of identifications with the past through ethical-disciplinary devices that constitute various modalities of responsibility or taking over the irreducible Emptiness.[11] The lifestyle of Analytical Spirituality is the Cure (Nirvana) from mortifying aspect of repetition (karma), the ethics of self-care being the reconciliation (Maitri) with the Duty or Purpose (Dharma) of Desire, whose objects never are able to satisfy or fill the hole or void of Being. Thus, the Sublimation (Nirodh) of Desire conjugates a know-how in the absence of meaning and completeness in the inner and outer world, by giving ontological consistency to the awaken identity of the spiritual master as a non-symptomatic response to the Duty or Purpose (Dharma) of Desire. Therefore, the Awakening (Bodhi) leads the individual to a kind of harmonic and ethical satisfaction, because it ceases to be associated with the masochistic and symptomatic jouissance of the ordinary individual. This is the Cure (Nirvana) from the symptom or suffering (dukkha) which is characteristic of the ordinary identity built on the repression of the Real as an imperfect, impermanent and insubstantial existence.


In a neurotic world that imposes a materialistic daily life in order to try to eliminate the trace of Being, the Maitriyana performs the question for the own Self or existence through the anguishing experience of Emptiness as originating Liberty or lack-of-foundation. The experience of analytical meditation of anguish, referred to the presence of Being Nothing (Sunyata), refers inexorably to choosing the style of how to live and die. Therefore, the anguish understood as something distinct from the mere fear is truly an opportunity for change and renewal of the existential Purpose (Dharma), because it makes reference to emptiness or essential abandonment of the apprentice’s life whose structure is inexcusable.

Around the Gautama-Sartre articulation the subject is deconstructed, by capturing the constitutive crossroads of mind woven by the link language. The analytical contemplation opens to an experience where existence is revealed as unsatisfactory, impermanent and insubstantial, where the apprentice who reaches the singularity of Awakening (Bodhi) is never with himself substantially, firmly and without fissures. This abandonment or structural emptiness is the reason why the anguish or borderline situation shows how the existence-in-the-world is a network of choice.

In accordance with Freud, the Buddhist Psychoanalysis does not seek the mere strengthening of Ego or repairing its failures, but rather the self-realization of Being Nothing. This evaporates the identificatory attachment, the elusive aversion and the phantasmatic unconsciousness by means of the opportunity of angst crises, whose ontological surprise is beyond the negative by overflowing the defensive mechanisms of Ego. This sublimatory impact of anguish is used by the analytical meditation when confronts the Truth of existence itself, which is the Openness of Being (Sunyata) as peak knowledge (Satori) of the Self and knowing-not-known by the Ego.

According to the Maitriyana, the anguish refers to the subject to his possibility of being more singular, which is a Purpose (Dharma) that can not be appropriated by the Ego. Indeed, the anguish shows the apprentice his existence as it is, always empty but also always chosen. Therefore, the anguish operates on the unconscious, by referring to the ontological castration or structural failure which is the Lack of Being or Empty Dynamic Ground. This implies that there is no possible relationship of completeness between subject and object. Thus, the Gautama-Sartre articulation of Buddhist Psychoanalysis reveals that the structural matrix of the subjective constitution is a probabilistic field of Liberty.

Although materialism conceives a substantial Universe, the mystical science demonstrates that both the internal and external world are an empty or split existence, so that the individual and the object are both constituted over an abysmal and irreducible hole which braids and binds all things with each other. In this way, the topology of Maitriyana has as its point of origin to the Emptiness and Openness (Sunyata) that anguish expresses facing the new and hidden of Being.

In the Gautama-Sartre articulation of Buddhist Psychoanalysis it is conceived the anguish as impossible subjective completeness which plays a determining role in how existence is chosen in the absence of instincts. In this sense, the Ego is a veil or shed (samsara) trying to plug the topological opening of the Real that is called Vacuity (Sunyata) and that it is incurable. In effect, no apprentice can be cured from Purpose (Dharma) or unfathomable Desire that the existence chooses in the world, only being able to reach the Cure (Nirvana) from the vain in the election himself. But this self-realization or self-invention must deal at all times with the absence or lack of static foundation (anatman) underlying the generational transmission from malaise in culture.




[1] J. P. Sartre, El Existencialismo es un humanismo.

[2] Jorge Alemán, Notas antifilosóficas.

[3] J. P. Sartre, El Existencialismo es un Humanismo.

[4] Jorge Alemán, Notas antifilosóficas.

[5] Jorge Alemán, Notas antifilosóficas.

[6] J. P. Sartre, El Ser y la Nada.

[7] Jorge Alemán, Notas antifilosóficas.

[8] Jorge Alemán, Notas antifilosóficas.

[9] Jorge Alemán, Notas antifilosóficas.

[10] Jorge Alemán, Notas antifilosóficas.

[11] Jorge Alemán, Notas antifilosóficas.

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