“微分” された真実|Reality differentiated (3/3)



正法眼蔵』は迷/悟、修/証といったストラクチャーに代え、鏡・水・竹・蔦… など、テクスチャーに関する表象をいたるところに嵌め込んだ。テクスチャーは「このことを説く」ということをしない。なぜ説かないのか。あるいは、こう問おう。仏法をテクスチャーで考えることは、それが織り込まれた社会に何をもたらすだろうか。






What all buddhas and ancestors have maintained and transmitted, person to person, is an old mirror. This is one seeing, one face; one image, one casting [of the bronze mirror]; one practice and one realization. When an alien comes, an alien appears across a hundred and eight thousand miles. When a native comes, a native appears at any moment in myriad years.
|”Old Mirror” in Shōbōgenzō, quoted from Kazuaki Tanahashi’s translation with minor modification.

In his Shōbōgenzō, Dogen replaces categories such as delusion/realization and practice/enlightenment, which are considered to be structural to traditional Buddhism, with symbolic elements like a mirror, water, ivy, and bamboo inserted in the lines and passages to be woven into a unique texture of Buddhism. His focus on texture rather than structure seems to place his standpoint away from stating what the absolute “Truths” of Buddhism are, toward revealing how things could be rearranged in the True Buddhist Eye.

Then, what the action of texture-focused Buddhism on the society could be? Now I would extend the notion of texture to the society; a society’s texture is defined as the entirety of people’s behaviours––”behaviour” in its broad sense, including bodily performances, languages, businesses, art works, architecture, music, literature, science and more as far as they refer to tangible activities of people rather than abstract systems or institutions. This will lead us to recognize that a religion and a society could meet in texture, not in structure. People do not behave by knowing credo or dharma of their religion but by touching the texture of what they believe.

This explains the reason why religion can affect cultural creativity. We know the cases in Zen Buddhism which exerts its influence across number of cultural areas such as ways of writing (calligraphy), arranging flowers, designing gardens, meeting other people (tea ceremony), as well as the cases in Islam where we find so many places (mosques) of prayers graced with amazingly beautiful walls and floors whose design are not precisely written down in the sacred text. Crossover phenomena like these could only be produced by the religion’s texture traveling across its structures.

But texture is not always easy to see, easy to feel, in huge structures; you need to “differentiate” it at every point, along every curve, over every surface of structured volumes. I think Dogen was one of the unparalleled human beings who had an eye to realize it.

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