[Buddha-l] Nishida quote

Erik Hoogcarspel jehms at xs4all.nl
Tue Jun 14 15:02:44 MDT 2011

I agree, and Joanna gives a perfect example of a logical reaction.
There is a question behind all this which may be worth further 
reflection: is there really something like an enlightenment through a 
kind of anti- or metalogical breakthrough, or is this just poetry? Is 
this myth of crazy wisdom not merely a product of poor language skills?
In fact this whole koan business is an interesting social game meant to 
optimize communication. I do not think that it matters much which koan 
you're trying to solve. It is the game you play that works.


Op 14-06-11 19:25, JKirkpatrick schreef:
> " But who give's a rat's haunches what I say."
> We denizens do--otherwise we'd not stick around, eh wot?
> JK
> Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 8:17 AM
> Dear denizens,
> Last week I made reference to a quote from a letter of Nishida
> Kitarō that John Maraldo had read at this year's seminar in
> Buddhism at Bodhi Manda Zen Center in Jémez Springs, NM. Stuart
> Lachs asked about it. I asked John Maraldo if he could give me a
> reference. He cannot, because he cannot recall from where he
> literally cut the clipping (in the days before computers). He
> did, however, hand me the clipping. Here it is.
> A letter from Nishida to an unknown recipient (perhaps D.T.
> Suzuki) Forgive me for discussing such personal matters, but I
> think it is useless at present to visit Rōshi and am now
> concentrating solely on mu kōan. Perhaps if I concetrate enough
> in my everyday life, I shall reach some enlightenment. What good
> is it if Rōshi considers that I have passed a kōan, if I myself
> am dissatisfied? There are Zen scholars who pass one kōan after
> another, thereby achieving seniority status. I am not, however,
> impressed with their behavior or with what they say. What is your
> opinion?
> In another letter he mentions having an interview with Setsumon
> Rōshi, who was satisfied that he had passed the kōan mu, about
> which Nishida the says "It does not delight me at all."
> When asked about Nishida's dissatisfaction with passing the kōan
> and his disappointment that his kenshō was "not
> earth-shattering", D.T. Suziki wrote: "Yes, that can happen to a
> man like Nishida, who has an intellectual and logical mind."
> Thank heavens for intellectual and logical minds, say I! But who
> give's a rat's haunches what I say.
> Richard Hayes
> Department of Philosophy
> University of New Mexico
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