Tuesday, November 16, 2010

PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM and NISHIJIMA ARTICLES

Here I am at the Philadelphia International Airport with an hour to go before my re-rescheduled flight back to Montreal. I had an extra day in Los Angeles after the first flight I booked got delayed such that my connecting flight wouldn't happen. Now my connecting flight to Montreal today was canceled so I was put on a different one. This is why I need to cut back on travel!

I've been looking at some of the comments, and I'd like to point everyone to a website that's been linked on this blog for ages, but which some of the people who comment on this website seem unaware of:

Lectures and Articles by Nishijima Roshi

One of the comments under the last piece referred obliquely to Nishijima's "very personal and particular interpretation of Dogen." I have to assume he means Nishijima's ideas about the fourfold logical structure of Shobogenzo. This way of reading Dogen isn't simply a personal bias, but the result of decades of working with the text.

Nishijima has written a very detailed explanation of this way of reading Shobogenzo, which is available as a free download at:

Understanding Shobogenzo

Another comment says something about Nishjima being "the ANS/four views crank." Nishijima's ideas about the ANS (autonomic nervous system) are covered in this piece:

Buddhism and the Autonomic Nervous System

I do not find these ideas "cranky" at all. He is trying to use the language of science rather than the language of mysticism to explain the effects of zazen practice. He doesn't claim to be a neurologist or even an expert in the workings of the ANS. This he makes quite explicit in the first paragraph of the piece. But he does find this means of expressing how zazen works far more useful than the older, more mystical sounding language.

It's very easy to condense someone's body of work into a few choice words and thereby dismiss it entirely. D.T. Suzuki did that when he wrote about Dogen. So it happens to the best of us and is often initiated by people with impressive credentials.

I just wanted to give anyone who was interested a chance to check out Nishijima's own words for themselves. Most of the articles on the page linked above are short and easy to read.

176 comments:

Anonymous said...

ONE

Mysterion said...

DRAT, foiled again!

john e mumbles said...

Three is thrice as nice...

Harry said...

I'm a ho ho ho-er for four.

H.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brad, thought you and other readers might get a kick from this picture
http://squee.icanhascheezburger.com/2010/11/09/cute-baby-animals-meditation-chipmunk/

Thanks for writing your books, keep doing you thing

Logan

Anonymous said...

Here is a good site for a list of "Controversial Buddhist Teachers"

http://viewonbuddhism.org/controversy-controversial-teacher-group-center-questionable.html

Seagal Rinpoche said...

Do not think you will necessarily be aware of your own enlightenment.

slothman said...

James H. Austin is a neurologist who has practiced Zen, and wrote a tome reflecting on Zen practice in light of his professional expertise, titled Zen and the Brain. Quite interesting, though a challenging read with all the in-depth neuroscience.

Mysterion said...

FOILED AGAIN FOILED AGAIN FOILED AGAIN FOILED AGAIN FOILED AGAIN FOILED AGAIN FOILED AGAIN FOILED AGAIN FOILED AGAIN FOILED AGAIN FOILED AGAIN

anon #108 said...

"...Nishijima's ideas about the fourfold logical structure of Shobogenzo. This way of reading Dogen isn't simply a personal bias, but the result of decades of working with the text.

Nishijima has written a very detailed explanation of this way of reading Shobogenzo..."


Well that's the thing, Brad. It may be a way of reading the Shobogenzo arrived at "as the result of decades of working with the text." But others who've also spent decades working with the text don't share Gudo's views on the structure of the SBGZ, or regard analysis of a particular four-fold structure at all levels of the work as essential to gaining a true understanding of it. Are they wrong? Is Gudo's discovery an incontrovertible fact? Are those who don't agree missing Dogen's meaning? They don't think so.

So Dogen scholars and readers for whom Gudo's approach doesn't resonate are perfectly entitled, as apparently many do, to see his interpretation as "very personal and particular".

As for me - I find the four-fold SOAR* structure analysis of the SBGZ an interesting, but not essential tool. IF the SOAR structure is implicit throughout the work, I don't need to identify and label it as such as I go (and I don't); the seemingly conflicting perspectives are clear and inherent; they emerge, are revealed and can be recognised, (even) at an intuitive level. Specific SOAR analysis of the SBGZ can be fascinating and rewarding, but not essential for the work to be meaningful, inspirational and useful to Buddhists. Is it?

(I do believe the more general application of Gudo's four views to human experience and action to be an deeply insightful, useful thing).


*SOAR = Subjective view/Objective view/Actual view/Reality itself

anon #108 said...

@you know who you are -

DO stop fucking about...reposting Stephanie as mysterion (6.51pm, folks), playing silly buggers with the copy/paste. We get it. It's not big or clever. And I doubt Chas gives a toss.


Ah fuck it...knock yourselves out.

anon #108 said...

You're a real fucking twat.

Anonymous said...

Annonymous multi-word crazy Dude:

Think about it for a minute.. You are acting even crazier than mysterion. He looks almost normal to me all of a sudden. You, on the other hand look totally whacked.

shice

anon said...

Barry Graham has been involved in at least eight encounters with the judicial system in Maricopa County alone since 1997. He has had five cases brought by three landlords, all involving rent payment. He has received a traffic citation and failed to appear resulting in a fine and loss of driving privileges. He has also been brought into Family Court by two women (names, ID and case numbers of the family court cases have been redacted here as a courtesy to the women involved). Here are the public records:

January 21, 1997 - Landlord

April 14, 1997 - Landlord

September 25, 1998 - Family Court

November 13, 2002 - Landlord

June 13, 2007 - Landlord

October 5, 2007 - Landlord

November 20, 2007 - Traffic Citation / Failure to Appear

May 29, 2009 - Family Court

Capt. Pissgums said...

Even this shall pass

Anonymous said...

It'll pass more quickly if Mysterion voluntarily leaves until 2011.

Otherwise, it won't pass too quickly.

Anonymous said...

OMG.. It's a blog terrorist ultimatum! If mysterion leaves, the terrorists win! Stay Mysterion! Stay! I mean leave. No, wait, stay.. Shit!

Anonymous said...

http://www.thegrahamscam.com/members/

Brad Warner said...

I just spent more time than I wanted deleting a lot of nonsensical comments from this blog.

KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF!

Brad Warner said...

108, I don't think people who analyze Shobogenzo in other ways are wrong. But I do think Nishijima is right. By that I mean he presents a very good case and I've found his structural analysis useful. But I often forget about it.

Just because he's right doesn't mean everybody else is wrong. There are lots of levels to Shobogenzo.

Oddly enough, Okumura hints at something similar to the structure Nishijima identified in his book Understanding Genjo Koan. I'll need to finish the book before I comment further, though.

Mysterion said...

June 24, 2007 comments

Please read:"Zen and the Brain."
http://www.csp.org/chrestomathy/zen_and.html

Sweeping Zen said...

April 1998 Book of the Month Club pick: from MIT Press

Sea Gull said...

Sea Gull Rim Shot found

Dogen Quotes

Mysterion said...

Translating Dōgen: Thoughts on the Soto Zen Text Project

Carl Bielefeldt

Paper delivered to the conference
"The Many Faces of Dogen"
Mt. Tremper, July 8-11, 2004

Recommended without comment.

'night

Shonin said...

There is a big difference between using the "language of science" and actually using science. Science is based on testing of hypotheses and peer-review. Dressing up an untested theory in scientific-sounding language is called 'pseudo-science' and is something that Homeopaths do.

Shonin said...

As for the 4-fold interpretation there may be validity in that scheme - whatever helps. However, I don't think there's a lot of evidence that Dogen intended such a scheme. And Nishijima seems to see it pop up all over the place when it surely has little value or validity.

Dogen's writing makes constant reference to his predecessors. And I think there is more clarity to be gained from understanding him in terms of the concepts of his day - the relationship between phenomena and Sunyata, Madhyamika and Yogacara approaches for example - than by imposing what are essentially Western philosophical concepts: Idealism, Materialism, Existentialism onto Dogen. The first step as far as I'm concerned in understanding a historical figure is placing him or her in context. With Dogen that means understanding Buddhist thought as it existed at that time: preferably starting with the Nikayas, but at least taking in Bodhidharma, Nagarjuna, Hui-Neng, Sudden vs Gradual enlightenment etc.

Shonin said...

*CORRECTION: I should have said "...something that SOME homeopaths do"

There is some really robust scientific research going on around meditation eh here:

http://www.sfzc.org/zc/display.asp?catid=1,10&pageid=2409

Uku said...

Thanks for lifting Nishijima Roshi's articles up! They're wonderful and I agree with your opinios about them.

Nishijima Roshi's teachings have helped me a lot during these years and especially his clear and realistic approach to Buddhism. Fairytales and belief systems are not essential and I think it's important for us 21st century people to hear it. We're living in a modern era and believing in fairytales and romantic stories is not necessary.

I have also loved Nishijima Roshi's approach to study Master Dogen's teachings. Too often scholars are saying that Shobogenzo is too complex for "ordinary" people but Nishijima Roshi is urging us just to read it, not making things too complicated. The regular practice of zazen will help us to reveal the secrets of Shobogenzo. At the same time we should just read the book and if we like, to use tools like Roshi's Four views. Like Zen master Nike said: "Just do it."

The theory of ANS has also helped me a lot and I find it to be very realistic and accurate. For example one Finnish budo magazine had an article about the relationship with kicking people's asses and the ANS. So ANS theory is not just Nishijima Roshi's ideas.

Harry said...

Hi,

Dogen repeatedly states that our very own zazen is the standard of Buddhism, of realising buddha (our own practice of it is realising buddha from the start), of its transmission (that we are in the very same state as a Buddhist ancestors everywhere when we do it). These are presented as vivid, real, tangible, practical considerations, not redundant philosophical arguments.

Dogen is remarkable for putting that horse before the cart of philosophy, which, in Dogen's Japan, had become ossified for want of direct practice-realisation according to his own accounts. If we want to understand what he was at then maybe we should engage in practicing that very real standard for ourselves, but, yes, it would do no harm at all to be familiar with some of the Buddhist philosophical ideas that he criticises, contextualises and in places refutes where necessary always from the point of view of directly practicing the 'pivotal matter'.

Regards,

Harry.

anon #108 said...

Hi Shonin,

You wrote: "And I think there is more clarity to be gained from understanding him (Dogen) in terms of the concepts of his day...than by imposing what are essentially Western philosophical concepts: Idealism, Materialism, Existentialism onto Dogen."

I absolutely agree that having a grasp of the philosophical/historical/cultural context of Dogen's zen as Dogen may have understood it is a great help to understanding him - arguably essential.

By using modern philosophical terms I don't believe Gudo is trying to place Dogen in the context of the modern philosophical tradition or superimpose/substitute modern philosophical concepts for those with which Dogen himself would have been familiar; he's merely using (modern) terms that describe well particular views or perspectives, views that are surely universal and timeless. These perspectives have always been experienced, even if not so named, by self-aware sentient beings - 'Idealism' wasn't invented by the Idealists; neither 'Materialism', a 'Philosophy of Action', nor 'Reality'.

Gudo is not suggesting that we interpret Dogen in light of Hegel, Marx, or Husserl (although he does elsewhere comment on the development of Western philosophy as it relates to human thought, activity, and Buddhism), but sees these modern philosophical terms as convenient, useful labels for the ways all human beings have parsed the world, regardless of particular cultural determinants.

anon #108 said...

...That's how I hear it.

Al said...

Brad said: "Oddly enough, Okumura hints at something similar to the structure Nishijima identified in his book Understanding Genjo Koan. I'll need to finish the book before I comment further, though."

You are absolutely right Brad! This was the first thing I noticed while reading Okumura's book. Next to Nishijima, I don't think anyone has logged as many hours studying Dogen as Nishijima has.

Nishijima's manner of explaining zazen on the basis of the ANS is remarkable IMHO. A few of my physical therapy friends have asked me about zazen after reading a Nishijima article I left on my desk. If his approach were more common I think zazen would reach a broader audience.

Al

anon #108 said...

Isn't Okumara's book called Realizing Genjokoan" ?


- - “A clear and concise commentary on one of Dogen's most difficult pieces.”—Brad Warner, author or Hardcore Zen.

- - "I'll need to finish the book before I comment further, though." - Brad Warner, HCZ blog.

I understand, Brad. I do.

OsamaVanHalen said...

What's the difference between a "nonsensical comment" and a koan? Three pounds of flax.

anon #108 said...

BTW Brad,

When I wrote: "[There are] others who've also spent decades working with the text don't share Gudo's views on the structure of the SBGZ, or regard analysis of a particular four-fold structure at all levels of the work as essential to gaining a true understanding of it. Are they wrong?"

- I was (hopefully) asking a rhetorical question. Perhaps the more interesting question was: " Are those who don't agree missing Dogen's meaning?"

My point wasn't to argue the merits of Gudo's reading of the SBGZ, but to comment on Harry's and your criticism of Jundo's passing remark: "(Gudo's)...very personal and particular interpretation of Dogen."

That's why I wrote:

"So Dogen scholars and readers for whom Gudo's approach doesn't resonate are perfectly entitled, as apparently many [other than Jundo] do, to see his interpretation as "very personal and particular".

I thought the the reaction to Jundo's passing remark was a tad...unfair.

Captcha = flammisa

Harry said...

"My point wasn't to argue the merits of Gudo's reading of the SBGZ, but to comment on Harry's and your criticism of Jundo's passing remark: "(Gudo's)...very personal and particular interpretation of Dogen."

Malc,

I was responding to Jundo's selective and rather narrow comment on the Nish./Cross footnotes because I think the footnotes are a great help, not to what you quote Jundo as saying above.

Everybody's understanding of Dogen will necessarily be 'personal and particular', that is quite unavoidable if we care to reflect on the point, although I don't think Jundo was appreciating the finer point of this when he made the statement from his own 'personal and particular' perspective: As Homeless Kodo said 'We can't exchange so much as a single fart'.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

"One of the comments under the last piece referred obliquely to Nishijima's "very personal and particular interpretation of Dogen." I have to assume he means Nishijima's ideas about the fourfold logical structure of Shobogenzo."

Actually Nishijima isn't the originator of this idea (nor Dogen zenji). He is articulating it in his own unique wording, a very gook wording once you grasp the point, though.
"Four Views" or "Three Philosophies & One Reality."
Is beautifully put!!!


It's a very old Buddhist philosphical concept.

Catuṣkoṭi (Sanskrit; Devanagari: चतुष्कोटि, Tibetan: མུ་བཞི; Wylie: mu bzhi) is a logical argument(s) of a 'suite of four discrete functions' or 'an indivisible quaternity' that has multiple applications and has been important in the Dharmic traditions of Indian logic and the Buddhadharma logico-epistemological traditions, particularly those of the Madhyamaka school.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catuskoti



It is also in Greek philosophy as the "Tetralemma" (Pyrrhonism and Madhyamika: An extraordinary similarity, that has long been noticed, between Pyrrhonism and Mādhyamika is the formula known in connection with Buddhism as the fourfold negation (catuṣkoṭi) and which in Pyrrhonic form might be called the fourfold indeterminacy)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetralemma



In Soto Zen Buddhism it is also articulated as The Five Ranks, by Chinese Soto (Caodong) master Tozan (Tung-shan), are fundamental to Sōtō and Rinzai Zen teaching

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_ranks





gassho

Harry said...

hee hee, nice one, Anon.

H.

anon #108 said...

Fair enough, H.

For the record, then - the complete paragraph, which was Jundo's response to this from Shonin:

"I'm intrigued. I like work that Tanahashi has done in the past. And I'm not that keen on the Nishijima translation."

(Jundo): "As a student of Nishijima Roshi, I will say this. I have been told by several of the well known "Dogen Scholars" out there (after telling them to not be polite) that the "Nishijima-Cross" Shobogenzo is perhaps the most technically precise and accurate ... although not necessarily the most smoothly readable ... of the "complete" translations out there (there are many partial translations of sections of Shobogenzo). Frankly, there are some aspects of phrasing here and there that are based on my teacher's very personal and particular interpretation of Dogen (in the footnotes particularly), but (I was told) that is easily overlooked. I also find it rather "clunky" sounding sometimes in its faithfulness to the literal word."

To me, as an attempt to reach out to Gudo-sceptic that sounded, at least, honest. But I hear you.

Anonymous said...

Some comments above seem to object to Nishijima's articulation of the Shobogenzo solely because Nishijima translates/articulates Dogen zenji's ideas into the appropriate English words/equivalents.

Secondly there seems to be the implication that some how "Eastern" philosophy is some how different or unconnected to "Western" philosophy.
This is a mistaken assumption/conception:

The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies
By Thomas McEvilley
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4553155406381622401&hl=en#

Greek Buddhism Pt. 1 thru 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAURSqQ8-Yc

Burke Lecture: Buddhism in a Global Age of Technology
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX2f6QHkU-I

Greco-Buddhism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhism

Greco-Buddhist art
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhist_Art

Buddhism and Christianity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_Christianity

much respect

anon #108 said...

Hi Anon @ 5.42am,

Please explain to me the correspondence between the tetralemma and Gudo's four views...and the Five ranks. The four pratyayas (see forthcoming MMK by Nishijima/Warner) are much closer to G's four views...arguably. But each of these addresses a different aspect of philosophy, practice - or, in the case of the tetralemma, logic.

Four/five-fold philosophical packagings abound throughout the history of ideas. That doesn't mean they're all saying the same thing at all. It's a nice idea...but they're not. Why should they?

Harry said...

Hi 108,

Be proactive here, man: Explain how they are not saying the same thing... and, as an experiment, try doing it without asserting your/our own values about what constitutes 'logic' etc.

If we looked at Shunyata or the MMK as it is often represented (as just a negative/negating philosophy) then it would be just another philosophy of negation among many, but of course that is not what Buddhism is about at all and, in the same way, Greek and Indian philosophers were not confined to the confines of idealism as they are often portrayed. I seriously doubt that all those geniuses were so naive or, well, stupid.

Regards,

Harry.

anon #108 said...

A more straightforward question, Anon @ 5.42am:

"Actually Nishijima isn't the originator of this idea"...

"It's a very old Buddhist philosphical concept"...

"It is also in Greek philosophy as the "Tetralemma""...

"In Soto Zen Buddhism it is also articulated as The Five Ranks""...

Just what is it, anon?


(Is that you @ 5.57am, qaplatlhinganmaH? Have you been introduced to Mysterion yet?)

Harry said...

Why did Socrates come from the East?

"As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." (Socrates)

Regards,

Harry.

proulx michel said...

Anonymous said...

"One of the comments under the last piece referred obliquely to Nishijima's (...) fourfold logical structure of Shobogenzo."

Actually Nishijima isn't the originator of this idea (...)
It's a very old Buddhist philosphical concept.(...)
It is also in Greek philosophy as the "Tetralemma" (...)


I was quite interested to discover in a forum that Dante Alighieri had also these four views and that he considered that they were standard in European philosophical thought of his times.

If I add that what Pirsig proposes in his "Metaphysics of Quality" is also fourfold and covers much in exactly the same way, I tend to think that Gudo's intuition cannot be necessarily dismissed just because it doesn't correspond to conventional teaching.

I think that the historical data that Gudo mentions must not be overlooked, that Japan, with the Meiji restoration got to think that Japanese ways were outdated even in teaching and adopted indiscriminately everythink European without further ado (even to the point of adopting the English word "wine" when everyone knows that Anglosaxons have seldom understood what it is truly...). Therefore, that Gudo mentions that other Buddhist teachers of the pre-Meiji era should have operated through those four phases is not to be neglected either.

anon #108 said...

Do your own proactive thing, Harry. It's all out there. I'm wicked and I'm lazy.

But sure, everything is everything.

Brad Warner said...

108 sais:

- - “A clear and concise commentary on one of Dogen's most difficult pieces.”—Brad Warner, author or Hardcore Zen.

- - "I'll need to finish the book before I comment further, though." - Brad Warner, HCZ blog.

I understand, Brad. I do.


They sent me the book for review as a PDF file. I find it annoying to read stuff on computer screens. So I read enough of it to get a sense of what the book was and then provided a blurb. I knew it was a good book even without finishing it. You've never known a book was good before you read every word of it before?

Anonymous said...

#1
Actually the pratyayas are a part of the Catuṣkoṭi, Nagarjuna devotes his first section, "Examination of Conditions (pratyayas)," to the subject of causation.
There are only four conditions ( pratyayas), namely,
primary condition,
objectively supporting condition,
immediately contiguous condition,
and dominant condition."
FOOTNOTE: karika, I.2
I would suggest reading The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies
By Thomas McEvilley for a detailed/in depth discussion of the connections "East/West".
quoting Nishijima:
"Gautama Buddha noticed this conflict, as it arose in his own searchings, and was greatly concerned to find a solution. After a long and sincere search he found one day that he was living in reality, not in the area of human intelligence which is the home of both materialism and idealism. In the intellectual area there are two viewpoints only; idealism, based on a subjective view of reality, and materialism which is based on an objective view. Subject and object can be differentiated absolutely in our minds. This is in fact what Master Dogen is saying in the first paragraph of Genjo Koan. Both idealism and materialism have equal claims to be the right description of reality; we can never decide which is the better of the two.
Gautama Buddha found that the solution to the conflict between the two fundamental philosophical systems was to view things from a third area, which he called nirodha satya, or the philosophy of denial. By denial, we mean denial of both intellectual thinking and of sense perception. At the same time, this denial suggests a backdrop of action—which does not belong to the area of the mind or the senses. But does life include areas which are out of the area of our intellect and senses? It seems as strange insistence.

Anonymous said...

#2
My answer is yes. For example, concepts and names of objects are intellectual tags, but the entities themselves are nameless; they exist as they are—nameless—in an area with no name. This is a very important fact, but one which is prone to be overlooked in this world of ingrained intellectual habit in which we live. We tend to think that real things and phenomena surrounding us are identical to the concepts we have of them, and therefore we do not distinguish between things as we see them with the intellect or senses and things in nameless reality. This is the delusion which Gautama Buddha uncovered in the human condition.
To recap, then, there have been three basic streams of philosophical thought in history; idealism,materialism, and philosophical systems which are a mixture of the two. These mirror the two basic modes of thinking; thought based on the mind and thought based on perception. Besides these three streams, we can find no other philosophical systems which will stand up to scrutiny. Recently, however, particularly in the area of Buddhist philosophy, we have seen the emergence of a “philosophy” which is based on the concept of sunyata or emptiness.
Buddhist dialectic, however, differs in important ways from Hegelian or Marxist dialectic in that Buddhist dialectic has four phases—thesis, antithesis, synthesis and reality. The Buddhist dialectic says that there
are three kinds of ways to view reality, but in the end the object of our explanations does not exist in our intelligence; it exists as it is in nameless reality. So in this sense, Buddhist philosophy serves as a bridge between philosophy and reality. This is why Buddhist theory seems so difficult to grasp.
Finally, reality cannot be put into words. Buddhists use the simile of a finger pointing at the moon. The moon is a symbol for reality and the finger is symbolic of philosophical explanation. Ironically, the Hegelian and Marxist dialectics remain trapped by the excellence of their intellectual explanations. But Buddhism points to the real world in an essentially practical way.
It is a sad and yet amusing fact that we human beings have for thousands of years mistaken the picture of the world that we have constructed with our excellent intellectual abilities for the real world in which we exist. We have failed to recognize the existence of reality. Even though we are living in reality, we are largely unable to recognize the fact.

But Gautama Buddha recognized that fact after his practical efforts in pursuing the truth, and I feel that the world is now entering a new phase—a phase in which we are finding out the nature of the reality in which we live; not a world only of the mind, nor a world of material substance alone, but a real world. This, I believe, is the reason why many people are now showing an interest in Buddhist belief.
But the real world is ineffable, beyond description. and this is the reason that both Gautama Buddha and
Master Dogen urged us to practice Zazen. Zazen teaches us the true nature of reality.

Idealism = dualism = subjective view of reality
Materialism = reductionist/nihilist=objective view
Middle Way = pratitya samutpada = causality/conditionality = Reality

These philosophical tools/pointers are just pointers, the reality/truth is to what they point
I would suggest reading Nishijima's UNDERSTANDING
THE SHOBOGENZO
gassho

anon #108 said...

Brad wrote: "You've never known a book was good before you read every word of it before?"

Yes I have, Brad That's why I wrote "I understand, Brad I do." Coz I do! No sarcasm was intended. I understand. It seemed worth a mild tease at the time. That's all.

Pm wrote: "Dante Alighieri had also these four views..."

Let's not forget Giambattista Vico also had four views (See La Scienza Nuova, 1725). They provide the structure for Joyce's Finnegans Wake - at word, sentence, paragraph, chapter and whole shooting match level. Fancy!

Same it? Why not?

Anonymous said...

More Dogen mongering. The writings attributed to the Buddha are often belittled or ignored here, the writings of the greeat chinese chan patriarchs are ignored or pronounced inferior to Dogen. Anyone quoting the Buddha or patriarchs is usually taken to task for using other's words. But Dogen? So many of you feel free to quote Dogen and Shobogenzo freely and speak of Shobo as if you are analysing some holy bible. I guess this is why it's called Dogen Sangha. The Nichiren folks do the same thing with the Lotus Sutra and especially the writings of Nichiren. They hold his every utterance as if it were the final authority and truth. This isn't zen as I understand and practice it. It bears more resemblance to the SGI and Nichiren cults or to a fundamentalist christian group.

Anonymous said...

@108
WOW!!! You are good ! qaplatlhinganmaH is my youtube username!!

As to what Dante Alighieri would have thought, as a Christian he would have held to the "ideailistic"/dualistic view.

In "European" thought look to the Cynics/Epicureans/Stoics/Skeptics/Pyrrhonists.
This Greco-Buddhist thought revival was the foundation for the renaissance and the "Enlightenment", and for modern philosophical schools of pragmatism/phenomenology/etc....
and Humanism.


much respect

Harry said...

Hi Anon,

Yeah, aren't people funny like that. Get used to it... or buy a gun!

Personally I find Dogen very interesting and engaging and creative, and an awful lot of the Sutras (including the Mahayana) to be pretty boring and repetitive.

C'mon 108, you're making an otherwise interesting and reasonable conversation a bit stroppy: we're clearly talking about the realm of philosophies that seek to address the nature of reality, not the nature of Irish literature.

Regards,

H.

anon #108 said...

anon @ 6.37:

Idealism = dualism = subjective view of reality
Materialism = reductionist/nihilist=objective view
Middle Way = pratitya samutpada = causality/conditionality = Reality


Not quite.


6.45am - you're talking bollocks.
Next.

@108
WOW!!! You are good ! qaplatlhinganmaH is my youtube username!!


Well, yeah. I am good. I'm also a sad old sod with too much time on my hands ;)

Anonymous said...

@108
actually I would have to disagree

idealism is the view that ideas, in your head are real things, reifying concepts,Platonic "Forms",Cartesian dualism/subjectivism

materialism is a reductionist view/ nhihlism

and the Middle Way of the Buddha is pratitya samutpada = causality/conditionality =Reality
which is the Middle Way between the two views

much respect

anon #108 said...

C'mon 108, you're making an otherwise interesting and reasonable conversation a bit stroppy...

I know!!! :)

I'm on a roll, H. I might get back to you when my ANS is a little more balanced. For the nonce, you only have to read the wiki entries linked by anon to reach you own conclusions about what these various four/5-fold systems attempt to clarify, and whether they all deal with the same it.

I think the onus is on those saying they are all saying the same thing to argue the case, not merely stick the links up.

merciless said...

"I knew it was a good book even without finishing it." - Brad

108 has to destroy Brad in order to save him..

anon #108 said...

And H - Joyce was very much attempting to deal with the nature of all human experience in the Wake (and in Ulysees). You may find the book in under 'literature' in the library, but you could happily file it elsewhere - 'philosophy' would be a very appropriate place.

Hey Brad - there's a book I've only read the first hundred pages of (using the Reader's Guide), but I'm damn certain it's one of the greatest products of the human mind.

- Yes, merciless - and did I get any thanks? I did not.

Anonymous said...

A general formulation of this concept of pratityasamutpada, found in over a dozen canonical discourses, is

When this is, that is.
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn't, that isn't.
From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.

cause and effect
Causality / Causation

Dependent Origination is the "Middle Way"
"Conditioned Arising is ... a 'Middle Way' which avoids the extremes of 'eternalism' and 'annihilationism or nihilism."

"'Everything exists': That is one extreme.
'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme.
Avoiding these two extremes,
the Tathagata teaches the Dharma by the middle...."

idealism/dualism/eternalism

nihilism/annihilationism/reductive materialism/scientism

The Middle Way = pratitya samutpada

dependent arising (pratityasamutpada)
Nagarjuna explains:
Whatever is dependently co-arisen(pratityasamutpada).
That is explained to be emptiness(shunyata)
That,being a dependent designation
Is itself the middle way(madhyamika).
Something that is not dependently arisen(atman),
Such a thing does not exist
Therefore a non-empty thing
Does not exit(anatman).

The Zen Teachings of Nagarjuna
http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Nagarjuna/zenteachingsofnagarjuna.pdf

Anonymous said...

Just discovered this great blog: http://www.zenbastard.blogspot.com/

Recent blog post: "Fuck Buddhism!"

Pretty good stuff I must say!

Morris

Shonin said...

idealism is the view that ideas, in your head are real things, reifying concepts,Platonic "Forms",Cartesian dualism/subjectivism

No.
Idealism is the view that ONLY mental things are real things.
Dualism is the view that there are two sorts of real things: Mental things and physical things.
Subjectivism is an ethical philosophy - the view that the individual is the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong.
(Not the same)

materialism is a reductionist view/ nhihlism

No.
Materialism is the view that only physical things are real ultimately.
Reductionism is a process by which one thing is shown to be explainable in terms of other things
Nihilism is the view that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated.
(Not the same)

This is what happens when you over-simplify and mush ideas together. This guy is talking about 4 things, this guy is talking about about 4 things, this guy is talking about 5 things and this guy is talking about 2 things, therefore...... they are all basically saying the same thing.

This is intellectual laziness. If you guys want to show that the 4-fold views of Nishijima is the same as the 5 ranks, the Madhyamaka tetralemma etc are all the same thing then the onus is on you to demonstrate this.

proulx michel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
proulx michel said...

Here is more exactly what writes Dante Alighieri
(CFDA, epistola XIII and Il Convivio, II/1)

The literal, or historial sense, which tells and teaches facts.
The allegorical sense, which tells what one ought to believe.
The moral sense, which tells what one ought to do.
The anagogical sense which tells towards what one ought to tend.

Harry said...

108,

I mostly have read Joyce on the toilet, and I can't read more than a few pages at a time... I don't know what that says about me and Joyce and/or the human condition. One thing's for sure, I'll keep going to the toilet while matters more-or-less persist as they are.

I know philosophers have tripped over trying to claim Joyce on occasion (but then they do that with people like Charles Manson and Lady Gaga too!) I will continue to enjoy him in the state of dropping off on the porcelain dharma seat regardless.

Regards,

H.

Anonymous said...

@ Shonin
you have a point, but also miss that these terms/words have different meanings/uses.
And you miss the point that I was trying to explain Nishijima's uses of these therms and why he's chosen these terms. And how these philosophical tools are part of a larger historical system of thought.

Idealism is the philosophical theory which maintains that experience is ultimately based on mental activity. In the philosophy of perception, idealism is contrasted with realism, in which the external world is said to have an apparent absolute existence. Epistemological idealists (such as Kant) claim that the only things which can be directly known for certain are just ideas (abstraction). In literature, idealism means the thoughts or the ideas of the writer.

In the philosophy of mind, idealism is the opposite of materialism, in which the ultimate nature of reality is based on physical substances. Idealism and materialism are both theories of monism as opposed to dualism and pluralism. Idealism sometimes refers to a tradition in thought that represents things of a perfect form, as in the fields of ethics, morality, aesthetics, and value. In this way, it represents a human perfect being or circumstance.

Idealism is a philosophical movement in Western thought, and names a number of philosophical positions with sometimes quite different tendencies and implications in politics and ethics; for instance, at least in popular culture, philosophical idealism is associated with Plato and the school of platonism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idealism

Materialism typically contrasts with dualism, phenomenalism, idealism, vitalism and dual-aspect monism. Its materiality can, in some ways, be linked to the concept of Determinism, as espoused by Enlightenment thinkers. It has been criticised as a spiritually empty philosophy.

In sociology, Marxism extends the concept of materialism to refer to a "materialist conception of history", which goes beyond metaphysics, centered on the roughly empirical world of human activity (practice, including labor) and the institutions created, reproduced, or destroyed by that activity (see materialist conception of history). In psychology, a similar view is called Behaviorism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism

"This is what happens when you over-simplify..."

anon #108 said...

H - The bulk of my Sanskrit and Buddhist studies take place on the bog. Wassat all about?

Harry said...

You do it in bulk? High fibre diet?

H.

Anonymous said...

@108
Wassat all about?

These philosophical tools/pointers are to negate/let go of certain views. The Five Ranks,tetralemma, and Indo-Buddhist Catuṣkoṭi are tools to articulate different views/different ways of viewing the wolrd/reality, and then to explicate the Buddhist view. Of course over time and in different cultures/languages these tools have taken on different forms/wordings. Which is to be expected.
Nishijima is explaining/articulating how/why Dogen also uses this kind of Fourfold view/thought experiment, and he chose to use English terms that point to these views in English speaking cultures/traditions. Since the words are so loaded with baggage/variety of meanings it is understandable that we get caught up on the words, instead of letting the words point us to what is trying to be articulated.

Nishijima's "Three philosophies", and "One Reality"

pratitya samutpada = "dependent arising", "conditioned genesis", "dependent co-arising", and "interdependent arising"

The Sandokai is a great explication of the Middle Way
http://home.pon.net/wildrose/agreevar.htm


which is also beautifully explicated in these talks by professor Coffeen of the Intertwining/the chiasm
check out:
The Seer is Seen
Still
Grande finale
Joyful Seeing and Bergson
http://danielcoffeen.podomatic.com/profile?p=2

Mumon said...

Brad:
I find the ANS thing a bit cranky insofar as Nishijima seems to make claims rather definitively that probably are testable scientific hypotheses, for which, to my knowledge, there isn't such evidence.

Or, to put it another way, if he says shikan taza is "balancing" the ANS, if we inquire what that might mean and pursue the question enough, you will get to a falsifiable hypothesis.

We engineers and scientists, the ethical ones, at any rate, don't try to make such statements of hypotheses as fact unless we've done the work, and even then the experimental results either support or falsify the hypothesis only tentatively, pending more experiments.

Mumon said...

Not that it's not mentally and physically good to do zazen; there does seem to be empirical evidence that supports that.

But that's another set of statements apart from "dropping body and mind = balancing the ANS."

Anonymous said...

Autonomic nervous system
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomic_nervous_system

Dan Rather Reports - Mind Science (Part 1 thru 6)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkXtz72hjDI

Dr. Daniel Siegel explores the neural mechanisms beneath social and emotional intelligence
and how these can be cultivated through reflective practices that focus on the inner nature
of the mind.

Daniel is a child psychiatrist, educator, and author of Mindsight, The Mindful Brain,
Parenting from the Inside Out, and The Developing Mind. He is the Founding Editor of
the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology, co-director of the UCLA
Mindful Awareness Research Center, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute.
TEDxBlue - Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. - 10/18/09
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu7wEr8AnHw&feature=related

"Founded in 2003 by award winning actress, director and producer Goldie Hawn, The Hawn Foundation is dedicated to supporting children by advancing mindfulness training in educational and community-based settings." In this interview, Dan Siegel describes the fundamentals behind mirror neurons, mindfulness and how we can begin to shape behavior through mindful practice.
Hawn Foundation Video with Dr. Dan Siegel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dFrOTgAIzY

Google Personal Growth Series: The New Science of Mindsight:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr4Od7kqDT8&feature=related

In Episode 44 of the Brain Science Podcast talk with Daniel Siegel, MD about meditation and the brain. Dr. Siegel is the author of several books including The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being.
http://docartemis.com/brainsciencepodcast/2008/08/44-siegel/

Wolfgang said...

re Zen and the Brain. I read most of it and then sold it.
I know the Dalai Lama has a thing for trying to encourage various scientists to somehow legitimize Buddhist practices.
Zen and the Brain does not out and out try to validate Zen by giving it some materialistic basis. But that is implicit in the approach.
If I can somehow reduce what happens when I sit to some sort of neural events then somehow that makes what I do more legitimate.
oh well
I think the approach of trying to legitimize meditation processes by reducing them to physical substrates is indicative to an inferiority complex that does not trust the thing in itself as being sufficiently legitimate. There is an inherently superior stance in trying to explain somebody else's experience in your own terms. You are saying, yes you simple thing, I understand what you are about and I can explain you and what happens to you in my superior reductionistic terms.
Your meditation is nothing more than a neural activation pattern.
So what, your explanation of my meditation is nothing more than a neural activation pattern as well.
Shall we reduce everything to brain scan images and say we're done, don't need to meditate any more, don't need to read any more.
In the end, Zen and the Brain does not explain anything other than in a broad way stating that yes, when we sit zazen something different happens in the brain than when we watch television.

Mumon said...

Wolfgang:

I think the approach of trying to legitimize meditation processes by reducing them to physical substrates is indicative to an inferiority complex that does not trust the thing in itself as being sufficiently legitimate.

Not only that, but it reminds me of a critique someone once made about Masters and Johnson's extensive studies in sexual activity: It misses the point.

The same applies to such attempts to "study" practice: It misses the point.

proulx michel said...

Mumon wrote:

We engineers and scientists, the ethical ones...

I must be dreaming. Those who have created hormone loaded meats, the atom bomb, GMOs and the like...?

Anonymous Bob said...

Michel, Mumon did qualify his statement. You have no reason to think that scientists are any less ethical than your average Zoe.

gniz said...

I loved Mumon's point about the ANS. Maybe what Gudo's found about the ANS and Zazen is provable, or true. But he's certainly shown no objective evidence of it being the case, that I am aware of.

It seems as though he has read a bit on the subject and "recognizes" a balancing of the ANS as a very likely description of what happens to him when zazening (TM).

And perhaps it is so, but his insistence on always bringing every single question back to that answer, kind of like a 6 degrees of separation (or 6 degrees of kevin bacon as the case may be) is a bit odd.

People like Brad who have a real fondness for Gudo give him a pass on the way he pontificates ad nauseum about the ANS and his theories about idealism, materialism, and realism.

But those who have no such allegiances find it much harder to simply believe something because Gudo said it and he's such a smart guy that studied Dogen forever and ever amen.

gniz said...

"When someone becomes famous not for being artistic, but for being "spiritual" there's a greater danger. This is why I'd be far happier for people to buy my book because they think it's entertaining or funny than to buy it because they think it contains The Answer. It doesn't. No book does. I'm a bit distressed that when I check Amazon under the "People who bought this book also bought" category all the books associated with mine are dodgy "spiritual" books. I'd rather see MAD magazine reprints or books about great flying saucer movies of the Fifties there. At any rate, I know there are a Hell of a lot more laughs in my book than there are in any of the Dalai Lama's.

Spiritual fame is an extraordinarily dangerous thing. There's really no limit to the things people will do if they think they're taking orders from someone with connections to God. Buddhist authorities, and here I include myself, are no more immune to this than any other religious authorities. Most folks' understanding of Buddhism is so unclear that the word "Buddha" is just another name for the Supreme Authority Figure in the Sky Whose Will Must Be Obeyed. This doesn't only apply to Westerners. Popular Buddhism throughout Asia is even worse than popular Buddhism in the West. People who make use of this fact, no matter what ends they're pursuing, are doing a terrible disservice to those who follow them.

Belief in power is a way of deferring responsibility for your own life. You give your chosen authority figure total control and allow him to choose for you what's right and what's wrong. You must never allow anyone else to choose for you what's right and what's wrong or you're lost forever.

Me, I pray to God I never become a spiritual celebrity."

-Brad Warner, WHACK THE DALAI LAMA

Anonymous said...

"Be careful not to impale yourself on your point of view"

~Tim Leary

Jinzang's Ghost said...

What's interesting is that drawing the distinction between what's essential and inessential in Buddhism mirrors a major issue in Mahayana Buddhist philosophy: how to distinguish between scriptures of interperable meaning and those of definitive meaning. In modern philosophical terms, both are hermeneutical questions, that is, questions on the proper interpretation of a text or set of texts. And there is no one interpretation to be placed on a text, the interpretation reflects the values and experiences that a reader brings to it. In other words, the clamor for a modern and purified form of Buddhism reflects the values of the person asking for it.

Anonymous said...

"There are three side effects of acid: enhanced long-term memory, decreased short-term memory, and I forget the third.”

^Tim Leary

anon said...

Gudo has come up with a reason why he thinks zazen is beneficial. And when you really need a reason his seems as good of one as any..

anon #108 said...

CRANKS

"…many cranks:

seriously misunderstand the mainstream opinion to which they believe that they are objecting,

stress that they have been working out their ideas for many decades, and claim that this fact alone entails that their belief cannot be dismissed as resting upon some simple error...

appear to regard themselves as persons of unique historical importance.

Cranks who contradict some mainstream opinion in some highly technical field, such as mathematics or physics, almost always:

exhibit a marked lack of technical ability,

misunderstand or fail to use standard notation and terminology,

ignore fine distinctions which are essential to correctly understand mainstream belief.

That is, cranks tend to ignore any previous insights which have been proven by experience to facilitate discussion and analysis of the topic of their cranky claims; indeed, they often assert that these innovations obscure rather than clarify the situation.
"

- from Hodges, Wilfrid (1998). "An Editor Recalls Some Hopeless Papers". The Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 4 (1): 1–16. A paper describing several attempts at disproving Cantor's diagonal argument, looking at the flaws in their arguments and reasoning. - Via Wiki


I believe there is a cranky aspect to Gudo Nishijima. But great men of original insight have often exhibited cranky characteristics. Not a problem: "I think that everyone has his or her perfect freedom to select his or her own way." - Gudo Nishijima.

Rich said...

Its always been a question of balance. ANS just describes it in a way you can use it. Long live Gudo.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"So many of you feel free to quote Dogen and Shobogenzo freely and speak of Shobo as if you are analysing some holy bible."

1) remember, this is a DSI related site?

2) some holy bible is what it is - perception.

3) I don't quote Zipes. Yet I see him as far more credible than the KJV. Both are collections of folklore. The latter less scholarly.

Anonymous said...

So... I'm just a troll but now I'm getting curious.

Question for the residents here: what in your opinion are the three most significant things you've read in the writings of Dogen?

Mysterion said...

Dogen is known for only two major works. The first Shobogenzo, (Treasury of the True Dharma Eye), and the second, the Eihei Koroku.

HERE is a clue to the third.

Sambyakusoku Shobogenzo is the foundation of all of Dogen’s other teachings.

Eihei Koroku is a collection of his short discourses, longer informal talks, and koans.

Mysterion said...

In isolation, only "Principles of Zazen" stands alone.

The universe is not the same without all of the galaxies, or, as Sea Gull Rim Shot would say: "Relish your hot dog unless you can no longer cut the mustard."

Squatter (non-resident) said...

"So many of you feel free to quote Dogen and Shobogenzo freely and speak of Shobo as if you are analysing some holy bible."

SO MANY of us? Nope.
QUOTE Dogen? Nope.
As if ANALYSING some HOLY BIBLE? Nope.

VERY OCCASIONALLY SOMEONE might QUOTE or ANALYSE Dogen. He's an intriguing Zen writer of genius. This is the blog of a well-known DOGEN Sangha guy.

The three most significant things I've read in the writings of Dogen?

What's your point?
Don't like Dogen? Fine.
Think Dogen's over-rated? Fine.
Think Dogen's incomprehensible? Fine.
Think Dogen's not a proper Buddhist? Fine.
Maybe you think we should ALL be QUOTING someone else...as if ANALYSING some HOLY BIBLE?

Genuinely interested? Go read some. I'm not playing.

Kona Deluxe said...

Haven't read any Dogen, but here are the three most significant things I've learned from reading Theravadan Buddhist Suttas:

1. Anicca
All 'things' are actually processes in motion, coming into and out of being.
2. Anatta
Any 'thing' you take to be 'you', i.e. your body, is actually a process that has begun, is happening, and will end.
3. Dukkha
For some odd reason we humans have a tendency to want transient processes to be everlasting, which just doesn't happen. Thus we are often disappointed, painfully so, to discover this truth.

Anonymous said...

Genuinely interested? Go read some. I'm not playing.

Go read some? I started reading Dogen in 1978. Some of his stuff is ok but I do think he's a bit overated in Soto zen circles. I think some of you should be 'reading' someone else besides Dogen. Harry finds him more entertaining than the Buddha. By that standard the christian bible should far outstrip both the Buddha's sutras and Dogen's writings. Don't get yer panties in a wad, I know this is Dogen sangha territory. Sad to realize zen can be just like any other cultic religion relying upon written authority and personality worship. If this were my first taste of zen, I'd have dropped it before I even started sitting.

Brad Warner said...

Gniz said:
People like Brad who have a real fondness for Gudo give him a pass on the way he pontificates ad nauseum about the ANS and his theories about idealism, materialism, and realism.

But those who have no such allegiances find it much harder to simply believe something because Gudo said it and he's such a smart guy that studied Dogen forever and ever amen.


I like Nishijima's theories because they make sense to me.

Brad Warner said...

Anonymous said:
Go read some? I started reading Dogen in 1978. Some of his stuff is ok but I do think he's a bit overated in Soto zen circles. I think some of you should be 'reading' someone else besides Dogen. Harry finds him more entertaining than the Buddha. By that standard the christian bible should far outstrip both the Buddha's sutras and Dogen's writings. Don't get yer panties in a wad, I know this is Dogen sangha territory. Sad to realize zen can be just like any other cultic religion relying upon written authority and personality worship. If this were my first taste of zen, I'd have dropped it before I even started sitting.

I like Dogen because what he wrote makes sense to me.

Anonymous said...

So Brad, what's one of the things he wrote that makes sense to you? (not messin with ya, just looking for an easy take to see if I want to bite more.) maybe you can link me to something you've already written?
thanx.

Anonymous said...

oh geez. Dogen @ Wikipedia. What was I thinking. Lazy me! Still interested to hear what the sangha finds most useful to them though...

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Squatter said...

"I think some of you should be 'reading' someone else besides Dogen."

How do you know what SOME OF US read?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 8:13:
Brad wrote a whole book about Dogen's writings called "Sit Down and Shut Up."

Anonymous said...

Anyone quoting the Buddha or patriarchs is usually taken to task for using other's words.

What happens when Dogen quotes the Buddha or patriarchs?

Anonymous said...

Anyone quoting the Buddha or patriarchs is usually taken to task for using other's words.
Oh, and straw man, too.

Airy said...

100!

There is something about the mind that tends to simplify things in order to make them more solid. In this way ideas which are not fully understood are transformed into simple rules and everyone can be happy knowing that they're doing it 'right' and that they can sneer at others who are doing it 'wrong'. This pattern can be observed in nearly all human endeavors.

john e mumbles said...

Fortunately, a long long time ago, I was taught: "First, reject dualism." -M @ 10:07

Duality arises from unity, but do not be attached to this unity. -Seng-Ts'an

This is the old "First there is a mountain..."

&

"Jesus...er, Dogen is just alright with me." -The Doobie Mumbles

Anonymous said...

"Still interested to hear what the sangha finds most useful to them though..."

This blog, nor the commenters herein are "the sangha", silly. Now stop it.

Harry said...

"Harry finds him [Dogen] more entertaining than the Buddha. By that standard the christian bible should far outstrip both the Buddha's sutras and Dogen's writings."

If you interpret the Sutras as 'creatively' as you interpreted what I said then I'm sure they're never boring for you! And I'm not at all convinced that the Sutras represent the word of the historical person they called 'Buddha' (certainly it is very likely the Mahayana ones don't, and pretty likely much of the earlier ones don't either).

Re the Bible vs Dogen, Sutras, whatever else... that would be a matter of people's diverse and relative tastes I think.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

hardcore zen comments, INSTANT SHIT SHOW

Anonymous said...

Burke Lecture: Buddhism in a Global Age of Technology

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX2f6QHkU-I

Shonon said...

Shonin today on the Brad Warner thread at ZFI

Much of the time I find his behaviour self-obsessed, emotionally immature and dogmatically closed-minded. I was influenced by him in the early days (I was following his writing online before he published anything and I enjoyed Hardcore Zen tremendously at the time). He can be funny, and he often writes well. Hopefully he helps introduce Zen to some people in an accessible way. (Hopefully most of those people out-grow him). Sometimes frankly I do experience him as behaving like an adolescent. Sometimes he is self-contradictory. Sometimes closed-minded. Sometimes arrogant. Sometimes he makes points which appear to make no sense or to be based on no evidence but simply exist to reinforce his interpretation of his teacher's reformist/sectarian theories. I don't really look up to him as a teacher. More of a often-controversial/sometimes-amusing sideshow. I don't repect people simply because they wear fancy robes or have fancy certificates. I respect people for their wisdom, their humanity, their even-handedness etc. Having said that I still like Brad - most of the time at least.

http://www.zenforuminternational.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=5673&start=40

Mumon said...

Brad wrote:

I like Dogen because what he wrote makes sense to me.

That's all well and good; like most Zen texts, though, his texts are self-referential.

I'd still maintain that Dogen wouldn't want to be thought of as a celebrity.

Especially nowadays.

Anonymous said...

"But he does find this means of expressing how zazen works far more useful than the older, more mystical sounding language."

While it may be more useful to some than the older mystical sounding language, unless it is actually backed up by neurophysiology it is equally mysticism. Perhaps even more so, if it's mysticism using sciency language; which I would say is actually worse than using plain old mystical language, because it pretends to be something it is not.

Many a pseudoscientific quack do that, and the world is not better off for people confusing science with mysticism.

gniz said...

Hey Brad, in response to one of my comments about "giving Gudo a pass," you said, "I like Nishijima's theories because they make sense to me."

But you don't find it a little tiresome that he answers literally every question posed to him with a "balancing of the ANS" or "that is idealism/materialism, but Buddhism is strictly about realism."

I don't consider repeating those things over and over again to be skillful, interesting teaching. Not to say they don't have some merit, but let's be honest. Broken record is an apt comparison here...

FAME (what's your name) said...

Wow, better give Gniz some attention, Brad, he's reverting back to the old critical, snarky Gniz, not "Brad's my butt buddy now" Gniz.

gniz said...

FAME, or better yet another name, uses the term "butt buddies" so often...has the same tone I've heard a million times before...you got some stake in the game? Just an impartial observer?

Nothin' wrong with snarky. Brad knows I luvs him.

Brad Warner said...

OK Gniz, I admit it. I sometimes wish Gudo would find another answer than "balance the ANS." But he likes that answer.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gniz, Either you are slipping into your old habits or you're not paying very close attention. Gudo is an old man who doesn't speak English very well. Why don't you explain to us your theories on relaxation therapy in Japanese and then we'll all judge your verbal skills.

gniz said...

:)

So now we can be "butt buddies" again!

Jundo--I mean FAME--loves that term, don't he?

gniz said...

Anon said "Either you are slipping into your old habits or you're not paying very close attention."

You're right on both counts. I am slipping a little today into troll mode.

Bows. My apologies. I will refrain from further shenanigans.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be some misunderstanding or disagreement with Nishijima roshi's usage of the terms autonomic nervous system (ANS or visceral nervous system)perhaps it could be worded/explained differently, but some of the disagreement maybe missing his point:
Dan Siegel: The mind can be defined as a process. So it's a verb, not a noun, as a first starting point.
Then "that regulates," and regulates means that it has to monitor something and then influence that thing, so it's regulating it- monitoring what's happening with the thing, change how that thing is going.
So it regulates. "Regulates the flow." So the flow means something is dynamic and changing over time.
Flow of what? "The flow of energy and information."
When in fact you could see, that the mind is the process that regulates energy and information flow is both embodied- it's in the body, for sure, not just in the skull but distributed throughout the whole nervous system in the body- and it's relational like is happening between me and you. Because energy
and information flow is not just in the nervous system- what we call the big brain, meaning this
nervous system distributor throughout the whole body- but it happens also between people, among
people. And that's why we can have the mind both relational and embodied.
http://www.brainsciencepodcast.com/bsp/2008/8/22/meditation-and-the-brain-with-daniel-siegel-bsp-44.html

Anonymous said...

There seems to be some misunderstandings or disagreements with Dogen zenji.
This seems to come from a kind of misunderstanding of Buddhism. I say this respectfully, I mean no offense to anyone, but most should watch this video, a kind of 101 of basic Buddhist history/basic Buddhism. Which should put into perspective different perspectives/traditions/lineages of Buddhism.
Burke Lecture: Buddhism in a Global Age of Technology
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX2f6QHkU-I


much respect
gassho

FAME OR FAMINE said...

Way to go Brad! See how fast Gniz crawls back up the old poop chute?

Anonymous said...

Go away Jundo..

Anonymous said...

"OK Gniz, I admit it. I sometimes wish Gudo would find another answer than "balance the ANS." But he likes that answer."

I actually think that he keeps repeating the same answer because it is the RIGHT answer.
Is it his fault that people keep repeating the same question over, and over, and over.
Thats it! Thats the answer!
Just sit! Stop askin the same Fing question over and over!

Some times I think that when science will actually prove, that sitting does balance the ANS (and it will) That a lot of practicing people will not like that finding. They want soo much for there to be something more, some magical, mystical, spiritual, thing that goes beyond all of this.

THERE IS NOT.

JUST SIT DOWN, SHUT UP, AND PAY ATTENTION.

AND BALANCE YOUR ANS.

anon #108 said...

I watched (nearly every minute of) the talk by Lewis Lancaster that you linked, anon @ 8.55am. I really did. I enjoyed and understood it. Thanks.

While there are many ideas shared by most schools of Buddhist philosophy, many of the ideas and beliefs LL attributes to "The Buddhists" are merely the propositions of particular schools, constantly debated and dissented from by other schools. It's arguable whether there has ever been a "Buddhism".

Regardless, I still don't have a clue what you mean by "There seems to be some misunderstandings or disagreements with Dogen zenji. This seems to come from a kind of misunderstanding of Buddhism."

Who are you addressing and what exactly are you saying?

(I did, however, take notice of these opening remarks by LL [at around 3 mins]:

"Buddhism is multi-faceted"

"Buddhism is not owned by anybody."),

LL Bean said...

Multi-faceted? The Diamond Sutra? &
"Buddhism" like "Zen" are perfume trademarks owned by Ralph Lauren.

Captcha: mocke

LL Bean said...

Multi-faceted? The Diamond Sutra? &
"Buddhism" like "Zen" are perfume trademarks owned by Ralph Lauren.

Captcha: mocke

LL Bean said...

Multi-faceted? The Diamond Sutra? &
"Buddhism" like "Zen" are perfume trademarks owned by Ralph Lauren.

Captcha: mocke

Anonymous said...

LL Bean said...
Multi-faceted? The Diamond Sutra? &
"Buddhism" like "Zen" are perfume trademarks owned by Ralph Lauren.

Captcha: mocke

A said...

Anonymous said...
LL Bean said...
Multi-faceted? The Diamond Sutra? &
"Buddhism" like "Zen" are perfume trademarks owned by Ralph Lauren.

Captcha: mates

Anonymous said...

Exactly!!!
"Buddhism is multi-faceted"

"Buddhism is not owned by anybody"

Is there a Buddhist "Bible"? No. Buddhism has a vast number of scriptures, but no one text is accepted as authentic and authoritative by every school of Buddhism. Instead, each school of Buddhism has its own ideas about which scriptures are important.

There is one other reason that there is no Buddhist Bible. Many religions consider their scriptures to be the revealed word of God or gods. In Buddhism, however, it is understood that the scriptures are teachings of the historical Buddha -- a human being -- or other enlightened masters.

The teachings in Buddhist scriptures are directions for practice, or how to realize enlightenment for oneself. What's important is to understand and practice what the texts are teaching, not just "believe in" them.


“Do not follow the ideas of others, but learn to listen to the voice within yourself. Your body and mind will become clear and you will realize the unity of all things.” Dogen

"IF YOU CANNOT FIND THE TRUTH RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE, WHERE DO YOU EXPECT TO FIND IT"? Dogen

john e mumbles said...

Here's A BUDDHIST BIBLE by Dwight Goddard:

http://www.moksha-gita.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/dwight_goddard_buddhist_bible.pdf

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

As for the "Tripitaka", there isn't one version of it, nor is the Pali version the oldest:

Theravāda - The complete Tripiṭaka of the Theravāda school, written and preserved in Pali

Sārvāstivāda - The complete or near-complete Tripiṭaka of the Sārvāstivāda school, written in Sanskrit and preserved in Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan


Dharmaguptaka - Portions of the Dharmaguptaka Tripiṭaka, written in Gāndhārī and preserved in Gāndhārī and Chinese translation

Mahāsaṅghika - Portions of the Mahāsaṅghika Tripiṭaka survive in Chinese translation

Mahīśāsaka - Portions of the Mahīśāsaka Tripiṭaka survive in Chinese translation

Mūlasārvāstivāda - Portions of the Mūlasārvāstivāda Tripiṭaka survive in Tibetan translation and Nepalese manuscripts

Kāśyapīya - Small portions of the Tipiṭaka of the Kāśyapīya school survive in Chinese translation

The Gandhāran Buddhist Texts are the oldest Buddhist manuscripts yet discovered, dating from about the first century CE. They are written in Gāndhārī, and are possibly the oldest extant Indic texts altogether.

Moreover, the Dhammapada written in the Gandhārī Prakrit was discovered near Khotan in Xinjiang, western China, is older than the Pali Dhammapada.

anon #108 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon #108 said...

Anon 2.14pm - are you the same anon that gave the Lewis Lancaster link? It's not so easy to tell. Couldn't you find some way of providing a clue? It would make having a conversation easier.

Assuming you are the same anon, I still don't see your point...

Are you trying to explain something to those readers of Dogen who regard the Shobogenzo as the last word, the authoritative word on all things Buddhist?..To point out that's not what Dogen (or the Buddha) would have wanted - that's not what 'Buddhism' is about? If so, what convinces you that there are such people...here?

There are surely a very small number (of 'Buddhists') who find Dogen stimulating, insightful and inspirational - that's not at all the same thing as investing his writing with the authority of Holy Writ. You've attacked a straw man. Perhaps your energies would be more usefully directed at those who berate zennies with the Pali canon, accusing them of not being 'Buddhist' at all? Perhaps.

I don't mean to sound snarky; I feel the same way about "belief in the Buddhist faith" as you do. I just don't think there are many, if any Dogenite religious zealots about anywhere - certainly I'm aware of none who post here.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"As for the "Tripitaka", there isn't one version of it, nor is the Pali version the oldest."

That wasn't the point.

As a Canon, the Pali Tripitaka is the 'generally accepted version' among many Buddhist Cults.

Just as the KJV is neither the oldest nor the only version of the Holy Bible, is the 'generally accepted version' among many Xtian cults.

Just saying...

My bible is HERE

"The greatest book ever written on the most ubiquitous element of discourse amongst featherless bipeds."

Sits Like A MTN said...

Autonomic Nervous System: what a pain in the ANS!

Anonymous said...

"On Bullshit"

We will eat the past and make future with shit !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

@anon108
You are not being "snarky" and you make good points.
I apologize, I will have to "copy & paste" a portion of the persons comment to which I'm referring in the future to avoid such ambiguities.
There are so many comments and the "topic" fluctuates, to come and just post a comment without explaining more does no good. Because obviously people don't know what point(s) I'm making/referring to.
Point well taken !

Thank you !

proulx michel said...

"IF YOU CANNOT FIND THE TRUTH RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE, WHERE DO YOU EXPECT TO FIND IT"? Dogen

"What are you looking for?"
"I lost my keys".

(Helps search for the keys)

"Are you sure you lost them here?"
"No, I lost them by the car over there, but there's light here..."

john e mumbles said...

P.M. THAT is an old Sufi tale,

Lately, from the tales of Nasruddin, I believe, via Idris Shah.

[the spell is working, Ran, and btw, I DO love you, ...Sufis love everybody]

Anonymous said...

some one above posted a link to "The Zen Teachings of Nagarjuna".
The link didn't work but I found the article, pretty good, it does show how Nagarjuna is using a fourfold view/four basic propositions:

http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Nagarjuna/zenteachingsofnagarjuna.pdf

found at:

http://www.thezensite.com/MainPages/nagarjuna.html

Anonymous said...

I think the ability to post anonymously on this blog drags any coherency and focus from the conversations and promotes an atmosphere akin to a cesspool of ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Complaining about anonymous postings anonymously is ridiculous.

OsamaVanHalen said...

Why did Bodhidharma come from the East? To balance the Autonomic Nervous System. What did he use? Three pounds of flax.
http://www.flax.com/

Anonymous said...

Why did Bodhidharma come from the East?

To complain about anonymous posters anonymously.

Anonymous said...

Sengzhao (Seng-Chao) was a Buddhist monk who lived during China’s “Period of Disunity” between the stability of the Han and Tang dynasties. His Zhaolun (Treatises of [Seng]zhao) is perhaps the most significant text for the study of early Mādhyamika (“middle-ist”) or Sanlun (“Three-Treatise”) Buddhism in China.

In his writing, Sengzhao routinely employs the standard tools of Mdhyamika discourse. Thus, we find Sengzhao engaging in dialectical arguments in which he resorts to the tetralemma (four-cornered negation) as a “solution.”
http://www.iep.utm.edu/sengzhao/

The Roots of Zen Buddhism
http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Nagarjuna/roots_of_zen.htm

Nagarjuna's fundamental doctrine of Pratityasamutpada
http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Nagarjuna/Chinn.htm

A Chinese Madhymaka Theory of the Truth: The case of Chi-tsang
http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Nagarjuna/ChineseMadhyamaka.htm

Time and Emptiness in the Chao-Lun (Chao-Lun by Seng-chao/Sengzhao)
http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Nagarjuna/TimeandEmptiness_in_the_Chao-Lun.htm

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

@ Mysterion

very good article:
Han-Shan Te-Ch'ing:
A Buddhist Interpretation of Taoism
By Sung-Peng Hsu
Journal of Chinese Philosophy

and a wonderful point/analogy "turning" water into wine!!!


Chao Lun (Book of Chao) was written in the early fifth century, c.e., by the Buddho-Taoist monk Seng-chao/Sengzhao(more at earlier links). The book itself contains four essays, the most purely philosophical one is entitled "On Time." This paper will focus on this essay in order to explain Seng-chao's conception of time and its relation to Buddhist emptiness. Before this critical analysis can begin, it will be necessary to explain some of the structural aspects of the Chao Lun. Seng-chao often quotes directly from the ancient classics, the Tao-te-ching and the Chuang Tzu.

The Chan/Zen tradition also attributes another treatise to the hand of Sengzhao, the Baozang lun (Treasure Store Treatise) (Taishô XLV, No. 1857: 143b-150a)
Two of his treatises (Prajna Is Without Dichotomizing Knowledge and Nirvna Is Without Conceptualization) follow the debate-like format of Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakrik (Verses on the Fundamentals of the Middle Way). In addition, Seng-chao/Sengzhao became famous for his artful use of paradox, often reminiscent of the Daoist classic, Zhuangzi. This stylistic trait made him a favorite of the later Chan/Zen school, which regarded Seng-chao/Sengzhao as one of its unofficial patriarchs.


gassho

anon #108 said...

HERE is an alternative assessment of Genpo's Big Mind™ than the one your likely to encounter in these columns: second post, by AlasdairGF.

I make no further comment.

Willie said...

Big Mind (BM)

It's like the judge asking Mickey: "You're divorcing Minnie Mouse because she is crezy?"

Mickey: "I didn't say she was crazy, I said she was f*¢king Goofey!"

Anonymous said...

All of you cowards posting anonymously are a bunch of chickenshits.

Anonymous said...

And I do mean myself as well. - Knew you'd ask.

cowards posting anonymously said...

we didn't

Anonymous said...

and now for something completely different, a bit of trivia:

Russia's republic of Kalmykia is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is the dominant religion


Europe`s only Buddhist land
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKR6PvEA2Eg


Russias Buddhist republic comes alive
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMuft8hOWOo

Ran K. said...

Pm’s @ 1:44 is a very well known joke I must have heard quite a few times since being a child.

Another one - not as famous - I came across somewhere: - A father sends off his son to count his sheeps. - The son returns and reports 99. - That’s impossible - says the father, - there has to be one hundred. - One was running around all the time and I couldn't count it, - says the son.

The funny thing is - some look in dark while the truth dwells in the light. - Because it is more convenient or because this is what they’ve been taught.

This is not really an example - but take it as for death: - Most believe they will perish at it. That is - their mind, - or whatever they take themselves to be.

- However - the whole of the external world is reflected in the mind.* - we merely conceive the world by means of our mind. This is somewhat like viewing the world, - or whatever, - say a certain room for example - through some mirror; - and imagining when the room disappears the mirror will disappear as well. We all encounter our mind prior to anything perceived by the external senses. Assuming our mind will perish on the extinguishment of the physical body does not follow the lines of logic.

It is true that without our eyes we will not be able to see. Without our ears we will not be able to hear. - Etc. Also without the physical body we may be unable to manifest our will in the physical world. This might correspond a lot to the state many experience after death. But there is no reasonable basis for the assumption of the ceasing of the existence of the “mind” when the body is no longer there.

“Natural choice” does not function within humanity for thousands of years. Though its evolution is still evident. Assuming the same beings continually reincarnate would explain, - or might – why the inner possessions of men still do increase. Though still ever so slowly.** But I will not into every point here. - Obviously.

Of course relevant facts are not to be searched for within the physical world. But then, … - “science” has its rules. The actual rule should be that whatever can promote or bring forth the actual “knowledge” is to be utilized. But then those who get into the establishment are not really wise men. I noted this before but apparently they might even hardly be acquainted with what wisdom is. - See the last one as just “btw”.

And I’d say the herd has its rules as well.

Same as it ever was.

Ran K. said...

The mumbles spell is off.

And I don't believe he loves me either.


Two notes:

* (And the body as perceived by the senses is here to be seen as part of the external world too)

** But still a lot quicker than what the NC would call for.

john e mumbles said...

Ran, I was just saving you from yourself, I won't any more, its unfair and you've obviously got alot to say.

...and now you're linking old Talking Heads? What's not to love?


(Note to Malcolm at 4:18 PM: Yes you will...)


Captcah: blaccula

anon #108 said...

Hey Ran,

Thanks for that clear post. Finally I have an idea of what you believe to be true.

(Well yeah, John. Didn't think that one through, did I?)

john e mumbles said...

Wow. There's nothing like a good morning's sit.

Maybe Dogen said something like (I'm no translator:) The practice is the enlightenment; and/or, there is no enlightenment outside of practice.

I don't know what to call it, but when you just sit and everything goes away, well, there it is.

I hope everyone here has a really great day. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

We do not only designate things with them [words and concepts], we think originally that through them we grasp the true in things. Through words and concepts we are still continually misled into imagining things as being simpler than they are, separate from one another, indivisible, each existing in and for itself. A philosophical mythology lies concealed in language which breaks out again every moment, however careful one may be otherwise. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Language against its own mystifications: Deconstruction in Nagarjuna and Dogen

http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/DogenStudies/LanguageAgainst.htm

Ran K. said...

Cheers too, - mumbles.

And I'm glad you're getting a clearer idea of the way I see things, 108.

Also lots of facts Dogen only relates to philosophically or morally only are grounded in occult facts, - and I believe today is the time to include these explanations which would enable man today to come to a somewhat more grounded understanding of the Buddha Dharma and its relation to real science - not that for which that word is used today.

I don’t think it should be as emphasized as it is in Anthroposophy but some knowledge would be useful and would also stabilize people lives.

Gudo used to be in the habit of denying the existence of occult altogether, probably still is, - though he might have been happy just not to have to relate to it at all. Ramana Maharshi used to ask his disciples, or devotees, - why are they interested in all sorts of occult facts, - rather than in what he referred to as “this great truth”.

Ramana Maharshi’s teaching could well do without it, - it seems, and I guess Advaita in general, - but as for the teaching we are acquainted with, it does seem lacking, - partly with regard to human advancement since the time of Dogen, I suppose, - and also with regard to the fact that we lack in harmony and in faith.

At the time Dogen lived - of course, - with regard to many things – there was no question. The atmosphere was different and mind was different, - I am referring to the distance in time and the difference in place and mentality.

Of course all true “Zen” teachers in every school are aware of the facts I am relating to - but they choose not to bring them up, - for reasons that may be obvious. (Some following comments might demonstrate, they sometime do.)

Ran K. said...

I followed 108's @ 4:18 pm. That which he relates to might be quite like some ideas I might have had. But then there are the links supplied on the post above that he is referring to.

It seems Genpo Roshi is careful not to explicitly state that he is supplying enlightenment, (- “Satori” - as the word Dogen didn’t seem to like the very frequent use of) but he is getting as close to that as possible. Which might mean he should distribute the certificate of succession in mass quantities. Papers to the people. Papers to people right on.

[- ;) !!!]

- Then I came across that. - Beyond my comprehension, - it seemed.

I still hold what I said as for the possibility a Buddha would prove to rape every single woman on Earth, or - alternatively - which I don’t suppose is actually (just) as bad, - sit face to face with Andrew Cohen giving him legitimacy on a public talk. But the actual fact of such a thing happening is something I never suspected would.

I don’t know when this talk is from, but it sure make things look a lot more like what Brad is saying.

anon #108 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon #108 said...

"I followed 108's @ 4:18 pm [a link I gave to someone's comments about Big Mind]. That which he relates to might be quite like some ideas I might have had."

I'm not sure what you mean by that, Ran.

You'd be mistaken if you took my link as a sign that I agreed with the comment made. I'm always interested in 'the other side' of an argument; intrigued that there are contrary opinions in arguments - held by intelligent, honest people. That's all.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R said...

I said “relates to”. I didn’t necessarily think it was your opinion.

Though I did somewhat get that impression.

- And - as you are likely to know - being honest [as you seem to mean it] and intelligent isn’t always enough.

anon #108 said...

Hi Ran,

...being honest [as you seem to mean it] and intelligent isn’t always enough.

Not if you want to be right, no. For people rarely agree on what's right.

Perhaps you'd prefer to say, 'honesty and intelligence do not guarantee wisdom', or something similar? But I have a suspicion that your idea of 'wisdom' is a pretty narrow thing, requiring agreement with certain propositions you believe to be true (right); like the proposition that "Assuming our mind will perish on the extinguishment of the physical body does not follow the lines of logic"; or like the proposition that a Buddha is something very different from an ordinary sentient being, to whom the usual standards of acceptable behaviour do not apply. Intelligent, honest people, even people regarded by some as 'wise' will disagree with those propositions. Are they all foolish...and wrong?


[And to help you with your ever-improving English, Ran: as well as meaning "To narrate or tell", relate can mean: "To react in response, especially favourably; to form a sympathetic relationship (with other people, things, etc.)].

anon #108 said...

I just read your lengthy reply to my last comment, Ran. But it's now disappeared without trace! Clearly JEM's spell persists. Perhaps it's for the best - it seems neither of us has a clue what the other is saying, after all.

Please accept this foolish old man's apologies for interfering with your housework :)

R said...

Anyway I suppose Dogen's quote will hold.

Actually it’s A quote Dogen quotes from some other book:



King Bunnō asks Minister Taikō, “Why is it that though a lord endeavors to employ sages, he does not reap the benefit, but social disorder gets more and more extreme, putting [the nation] in peril?”

Taikō says, “He employs sages but does not use them. So although he employs wise advisers in name, he does not get the real effect of their wisdom.”

Bunnō says, “Where does the fault lie?”

Taikō says, “The fault is in [the lord’s] fondness for using those who are praised by the world, instead of obtaining for himself true sages.”

Bunnō says, “What does it mean to like to use those who are praised by the world?”

Taikō says, “To like to listen to those who are praised by the world is to think the unwise wise, to think the unintelligent intelligent, to think the disloyal loyal, and to think the untrustworthy trustworthy. If the lord sees those who are praised by the world as wise and intelligent, and sees those who are reviled by the world as unworthy, people who have many accomplices will advance, and people who have few accomplices will recede. Thus, when the false band together and block out the wise, loyal retainers die having committed no crime, and false retainers use empty reputations to seek court rank. For these reasons social disorder becomes more and more extreme, and so the nation cannot escape peril.”

anon #108 said...

Thanks for taking the trouble to post that quote, Ran. (Still no sign of your previous reply).

I notice the words "intelligent" and "wise" are used..."loyal" and "trustworthy" too. Hmm...

Anonymous said...

Internet First Amendment saved by Oregon Senator Wyden.

“It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth … For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.”
-- Patrick Henry

Anonymous said...

@Brad Warner

"Oddly enough, Okumura hints at something similar to the structure Nishijima identified in his book Understanding Genjo Koan"

I have not read that book, but Hakuun Yasutani also points to a fourfold structure in his "Flowers Fall" (Commentary on Zen Master Dogen's Genjokoan)book.
In it he relates the structure of Genjo Koan to the Relative(Difference) and the Absolute(Sameness)of the Sandokai,
to Tozan's Five Ranks and
to Lin-chi's I-hsuan
(Rinzai's Four Views)


gassho

Awakened Yeti said...

An immense, singular field of elixir

Alchemist said...

A tiny, multiple yield of tincture

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