In this article I examine views of groundlessness that appear in three very different philosophical traditions: bardo teachings in Tibetan Buddhism, Michel Foucault’s heterotopia, and Gloria Anzaldúa’s nepantla. While each of these concepts is formulated in response to specific psychological, philosophical, and political questions, I argue that they each describe—in intimate, first-personal terms—experiences of rupture or dissolution of one’s own selfhood and/or thought. Using this formulation of groundlessness as a lens for reading these three concepts alongside one another, I offer a descriptive analysis of each of them, drawing out the moral-psychological ramifications of the nonfoundationalist claim that there is no fundamental “ground” to subjectivity or thought. I argue that bardos, heterotopias, and nepantla each exemplify how the rupture of groundless experience can become a vehicle for moral-psychological transformation by serving as an opportunity to recognize the pliability and spaciousness of a dynamic and unfixed selfhood.


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pp. 113-140
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