Friday, August 17, 2012

Dogen, William Blake, and Hee-Jin Kim - 9 Full Bows


9 Full Bows to Dogen, William Blake, and Hee-Jin Kim...

Indeed, Dogen seems to embody the qualification of the ideal teacher that Confucious had in mind when he said: “He who by reanimating the Old can gain knowledge of the New is fit to be a teacher.”
Hee-Jin Kim, Dogen on Meditation and Thinking: A Reflection on His View of Zen, p.xi

The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged & numerous senses could percieve.
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

I am not hoping to present a system by which to study Dogen—there is none.
Hee-Jin Kim, Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist, p.11

Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of & enslav'd the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the mental deities from their objects: thus began Priesthood;
Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales.
...
Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast.
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Dogen “reanimated” the archaic tradition of meditation. It was a hermeneutic imperative for him to live on the boundary where ancients and moderns met and engage them in dialogue. He now challenges us to do the same in a task that has no end. Perhaps that is the only way we can move beyond the ancients (including Dogen himself), and ultimately move beyond ourselves the moderns (and postmoderns).

In view of this, throughout the present work, I situate myself methodologically and hermeneutically at the intersection of Dogen’s Zen and our contemporary crisis, in an attempt to facilitate mutual communication and understanding as emphatically and critically as possible.
Hee-Jin Kim, Dogen on Meditation and Thinking: A Reflection on His View of Zen, p.xi

Thank you William Blake, Eihei Dogen, and Hee-Jin Kim for the wisdom to see the mythical, experiential, ever-advancing reality beyond the literal, speculative, and fixed forms and codes. Thank you even more for your courage to point out that the emperor was indeed a bit underdressed.

9 Full Bows

Ted

2 comments:

Steven Blondeau said...

Thank you for bringing Blake into this milieu.

Ted Biringer said...

Hello Steven,

You are welcome. Thank you for bringing Steven in.

Of the many great western sages, Blake, in my view, is the closest match to Dogen; not perhaps in his style and methodology, but in the details, comprehensiveness, and profundity of his vision. Blake's "Mental Fight" and Dogen's "Self-Fullfilling Samadhi" are two perspectives of one and the same realm: The Homeland of the Self.

Thanks again.

Be alert - starvation, disease, exploitation, murder, and dishonesty abound!

Ted