Dogen Sangha Blog

  by Gudo NISHIJIMA

Japanese / German

Saturday, February 16, 2008

3P1R Shobogenzo

Nishijima Roshi:

Please allow me to start by thanking you for saying something. I'm reading through Shobogenzo, with the intent of finishing it, rather than understanding it. The reading goes much faster that way, and I have a life time to study it. I've read your "Understanding Shobogenzo" and Brad
but I'm left with questions concerning it and your three philosophies/one reality teaching.

Is there a way to easily understand whether a sentence reflects idealism, materialism, buddhism, or reality? Or do you have to penetrate Shobogenzo first, before the nature of the sentence becomes readily apparent?


Dear Smoggyrob San,

Thank you very much for your question about three philosophies and one Reality. Because the theory of three philosophies and one Reality is the most important theory in Buddhism.

In the western philosophy there are two fundamental excellent philosophies, which pervade almost the whole world already today, that is, the one is idealism and the other is materialism, but those two kinds of fundamental philosophies existed even in the ancient India, when Gautama Buddha lived. And Gautama Buddha worried about the existence of the two so-called truth, that is, idealism and materialism. Therefore he made so enormous efforts to solve the existence of two kinds of false truth, and at last he was successful to solve the problem relying upon the theory, that is, the three philosophies and one Reality.

First Gautama Buddha noticed the existence of the two false philosophies, which were thought as if they were truth. But he could never be affirmative to the existence of the two kinds of Truth, because it was very comical for us to affirm the existence of the two truth in the Universe. And thinking such a problem, Gautama Buddha found that the reason, why we, human being, have to think the existence of the two kinds of truth, came from the fact that we, human beings, had considered the problem relying upon our intellectual consideration. And if we considered the problem of the Truth relying upon our intellectual consideration, it is possible for us to consider the existence of limitlessly many so-called truth logically. Because, whether it is happy, or not, our human consideration relying upon our brain can has perfect ability to consider everything freely. Therefore relying upon our intellectual consideration it is perfectly impossible for us to find the Truth limitlessly.

Gautama Buddha has found such a mystical but true situations of human consideration for the first time in human history. Therefore he noticed that if he wanted to consider the problem, he had to leave human consideration, and enter the philosophy of Action. And so he found the theory of three philosophies and one Reality. He found that if we wanted to know the Truth, we should throw away our intellectual consideration, and think the probem on the basis of philosophy of Action. And so he relied upon his fundamental basis of realistic consideration, that is the three philosopies and one Reality.

Therefore Gautama Buddha preached the theory of three kinds of philosophies and one Reality in his first lecture at Mrigadaava. This facts suggest that the theory of three philosophies and one Reality is the fundamental basis of the whole Buddhist philosophy, and so we can say that people, who understood the meaning of the four philosophies, can understand the true meaning of Gautama Buddha's teachings, but poeple haven't had understood the meaning of the four truth, can never understand the meaning of the Gautama Buddha's teachings at all.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

3 Comments:

Blogger Rich said...

Can you describe the meaning of the three philosphies and one reality simply and clearly?

1:19 AM, February 19, 2008  
Blogger Thomas Amundsen said...

Dear Master Nishijima,

This was a lovely post, very insightful. Thank you for your teaching!

But you haven't answered Rob's question about whether one can determine which of the four truths a particular passage in the Shobogenzo is concerned with. He wasn't sure if he has to fully 'master' the texts before being able to do so.

I am curious about this as well.

with Metta, Tom.

7:27 AM, February 21, 2008  
Blogger Rich said...

Dear Master Gudo,
This morning I remembered I had to do something and began and completed all the actions necessary to accomplish it. Was the idea/remembrance part of the action or part of the intellectual?
Regards
Richard

3:31 AM, February 23, 2008  

Post a Comment

<< Home