Essays In Zen Buddhism Ebook

All the struggles that we see around us come from this ignorance… we see for the first time into the nature of our own being.

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By making us drink right from the fountain of life, it liberates us from all the yokes under which we finite beings are usually suffering in this world.

[…] This body of ours is something like an electric battery in which a mysterious power latently lies.

The teenage years, he argues, are when we begin “deeply delving into the mysteries of life” and when we are “asked to choose between the ‘Everlasting No’ and the ‘Everlasting Yea’” — a notion young Nietzsche intuited half a century earlier when he resolved, Much of that blindness, he admonishes, comes from our attachment to the ego.

Paradoxical as it may sound to any parent or teacher of a teenager, Suzuki suggests that adolescence is the time most fruitful for the dissolution of the ego: We are too ego-centered.

When the ego-shell is broken and the ‘other’ is taken into its own body, we can say that the ego has denied itself or that the ego has taken its first steps towards the infinite.

Zen proposes its solution by directly appealing to facts of personal experience and not to book-knowledge.We seem to have forgotten how to acquire what Bertrand Russell called, just a year before Suzuki’s essays were published, “a high degree of intellectual culture without emotional atrophy” in his magnificent meditation on why construction is more difficult yet more rewarding than destruction.Similarly, Suzuki’s point is that the intellect is best at pointing out what doesn’t work, and as such can be a force of destruction, but when it comes to what does work, to the art of moral construction, we must rely on a wholly different faculty of the human spirit.Alan Watts may be credited with popularizing Eastern philosophy in the West, but he owes the entire trajectory of his life and legacy to a single encounter with the Zen Buddhist sage D. Suzuki (October 18, 1870–July 12, 1966) — one of humanity’s greatest and most influential stewards of Zen philosophy.At the age of twenty-one, Watts attended a lecture by Suzuki in London, which so enthralled the young man that he spent the remainder of his life studying, propagating, and building upon Suzuki’s teachings.The nature of one’s own being where apparently rages the struggle between the finite and the infinite is to be grasped by a higher faculty than the intellect…For the intellect has a peculiarly disquieting quality in it.But by 1940, all of his books had gone out of print in war-torn England, and all remaining copies in Japan were destroyed in the great fire of 1945, which consumed three quarters of Tokyo.In 1946, Christmas Humphreys, president of London’s Buddhist Society, set out to undo the damage and traveled to Tokyo, where he began working with Suzuki on translating his new manuscripts and reprinting what remained of the old.Because it points out ignorance, it is often considered illuminating, whereas the fact is that it disturbs, not necessarily always bringing light on its path.How poignant the latter remark is in the context of contemporary intellectual life.


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