Dogen Sangha Blog


Japanese / German

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Reality (4) God and the Universe

At the end of my introductory Buddhism, I would like to think about the relation of God and Buddhism. Many Buddhist scholars think that Buddhism is atheism. But in my case it can never be so simple for me to solve the problem between God and Buddhism. Because looking at Christianity the problem of God is so important and there are so many theories to solve the problem. And so I think that I should be very careful in thinking about the problem of God.

At the same time when we think about the Universe, it is also not so easy to understand it. For example, when we think about the Solar System, I usually wonder why those big heavenly bodies can be maintained in space. Our scientific knowledge has developed so much, and we can know the facts that everything in the universe has gravity. But when we think about what is the reason, why there is such a miraculous fact of gravity, it is not so easy to find the cause of existent gravity. Therefore it is necessary for us to think that the world, where we are just living now, is some times very mystical and miraculous in spite of our expectation.

And at the same time it is necessary for us to accept that the world (or the universe, I use the words interchangably) is regulated by some kind of order. It is necessary for us to confirm that the world is just governed by the Rule of the Universe. It is also a kind of systematized world, which is governed by a kind of the Universal Rule.

But the world is an area, where some kind of blind energy is full,too. Therefore we have to think that the world might be a kind of blind and mysterious space, and so it is necessary for the world to be regulated by some criteria. For whom is it possible to regulate such a blind world? And when I think about such a problem, it is impossible for me to find anoher being other than human beings to regulate such a kind of blind energy, which does not have any ability to regulate itself. I think that if human beings are not extremely diligent to regulate the blind energy to the true direction, it might be difficult for us to maintain the world in even as good a condition as it is in today. In such situations I think that human beings are working rather well to maintain the international relations among many independent countries, and organizing rather good economical systems in almost all countries in the world.

But in such a situation I think that the most serious problem in the world, might be the contradictory situation between Idealism and Materialism. Religious people are yearning for something spiritual following their Idealistic philosophy, and they disdain the material value. But people, who are standing on the basis of Materialism and do not recognize spiritual value at all, are very diligent to get the economical value, and laugh at the Idealistic viewpoint so much. However, if there were so unfortunate facts that people, who are belonging to the same societies, have completely opposite opinions having enormously hostile attitudes, is it possible for them to harmonize in a common adequate attitudes to the same problems? I think that it might be impossible for human beings to maitain the peaceful situations between the Idealistic front and the Materialistic front at all.

Therefore in such a situations if we permit to maintain the coexistence of two completely opposite philosophies, that is, Idealism and Materialism, the World can never be identified or unified at all. I think that it is completely impossible for human beings to have only one identified peaceful world at all if these two philosophies continue to fight one another. And in such situations there is a serious problem, that is, the Problem of God. Everyone knows well how strong the religious people's love God. If there were no solution in maintenance of God, how would it be possible for religious people to leave the Idealistic thoughts. There is possibility that they never leave the belief in Idealism. But if we consider the Materialistic hate against God, the hate is strong so much in the case of Materialists, and so it might be completely impossible for Materialists to accept the belief in God. And in such situations, if we do not solve the so difficult problem of God, it might be almost impossible for human beings to realize the belief in Reality at all.

Then how shall we think about God? As far as the modern scientific knowledge teaches us, it is said that the Universe is always expanding at every moment. If we accept the idea that the Universe is always expanding endlessly, it is very difficult for us to suppose the existence of another Universe other than this Universe at all. And in such situations, we have to think that God might exist inside the Universe. But in that case we can never permit that God is a part of the Universe. Because we should think that God is all, God is everywhere, God is almighty, and God is the Absolute.

Thinking like that I am afraid that God has been thought of as something much smaller than the actual fact. And I think that we should consider the Revolutionary Recovery of God sincerely. In such situations I thing that we should accept the idea that "God is the Universe, the Universe is God." God can never be smaller than the Universe, but at the same time God can never be bigger than the Unuverse. Therefore "God is the Universe, the Universe is God." And then the Fusion between God and the Universe is called Reality.

And when we sitting in Zazen, we can sit in God, we can sit in the Universe, we can sit in act, and we can sit in Reality. Therefore we can sit in Reality.

Now I have finished my introductory explanations of Buddhist Philosophy, and so I would like to begin to write about Zazen itself in the next theem.
(The End of the Introductory Buddhism)

Monday, February 6, 2006

Reality (3) Act at the present moment and the Universe

In the former blogs I have explained Reality as Reason, which pervades throughout the Universe, and the External World, which exists in front of us as (1) and (2). But if I grasp Reality as much more practical and true meaning, the first interpretation that Reality is the Reason, which pervades throughout the Universe (1), is a kind of interpretation in intellectual consideration, and the second interpretation that Reality is the External World, which exists in front of us, is also a kind of interpretation in perceptible images, which have been grasped through our sense organs. Therefore in the absolutely realistic Buddhist Philosophy, we persue much more absolutely realistic viewpoint, that is, our Real Act at the present moment.
In Buddhism we understand our acts in the past as memories of acts, and we understand our acts in future as supposition of acts. And furthermore even recognitions of our acts at the present, if they are just recognitions in our mind at the present moment, it is also impossible for such recognitions to be Real Act at the present moment. Those truly Realistic Experiences of Buddhist Acts at the prsent moment, can be found in Mulamadhyamaka-karika by Mastor Nagarjna, and they are also the same realistic ideas in Shobogenzo by Master Dogen, especially in the Chapters, "GYOBUTSU-YUIGI, or The Dignified Behavior of Acting Buddha", or "SHINJIN-GAKUDO, or Learning the Truth with Body and Mind."
Such kinds of perfectly Real Acts can never exist in the past or the future. Because the memory of the past is a kind of image, or thoughts of the past, and the supposition in future is also a kind of image, or thoughts of the future.
Therefore we should clearly notice that only the Real Act at the present moment has its real entity just as a kind of substance. And we should think that this principle of the Real Act should be noticed by all Buddhists, because such a principle of the Real Act at the present moment is the fundamental criterion of the throughout Buddhism. If we do not experience of the Real Act at the present moment relying upon the practicing Zazen, and so forth, we can never grasp the Real Buddhism at all.
And in the 9th Verse of the 1st Chapter in Mulamadhyamaka-karika, it says as follows.
"When the rule of the universe has not yet manifested itself, our ability of self-regulation has not yet appeared.
When our ceaseless mental fuctions have not yet been regulated, the reliable facts are also very vague."
The verse suggests that before the Universe hasn't appeared really, our act, which is called self-regulation, does not appear at all, and before the mental conditions of ourselves are balanced, the Real Universe is not recognized clearly. And in the second line of the Verse, it is said that before our mental conditions haven't been regulated, the Universe is not so clear in front of us. In short it is said that without the appearance of the Universe, our act can never manifest itself, and when our mental situations are not regulated yet, the reliable facts, or Reality, is very vague.
And I interpret that this verse suggests the identity between the Universe and our act at the present moment. Buddhism insists that without the Universe, our act at the present moment can never exist, and without our act, the Universe does not appear clearly. And I think that this principle is very important in Buddhist Philosophical System. Because the identity between our act at the present moment and the Universe itself is the fundamental basis of Buddhist Realism.
When I read this Verse for the first time, it was impossible for me to understand the meaning of the Verse. But having read it many times again and again, I noticed that in Buddhism there is a fundamental principle that our Real Act at the present moment and the Real Universe as the stage of act, are just the face and the back of Reality itself. And, relying upon the princible, Buddhism can become a completely independent realistic philosophy in the area of philosophical area.
Therefore following the Buddhist philosophicl viewpoint, there is no valure at all even though we remember and yearn our gorgeous past, or there is no constractive substance even though we worry about our serious mistakes in the past again and again. At the same time it might not have any meaning even though we are much anxious about an serious conditions in future, or we have much time to dream so many fantastic happy dreams in future.
Gautama Buddha noticed that it was the most happy situations for all human beings to live and work sincerely in the balanced state just at the present moment. Such a teaching is just the most important principle, which Gautama Buddha taught us.
Our life is never only idea, or never sense stimuli, but our life is just to live and work sincerely for our favorite job in the balanced state.

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Reality (2) The External World

In Buddhist philosophy, Reality is also indicated as the Reason, which pervades through the Universe, but in the second phase, we have to discuss the External World, in which we are just living now, as Reality. When we think about the problem simply on the basis of intellectual philosophies like Idealism, if we think that Reality is just Reason, it is impossible for us to insist that Reality is the External World. But in the case of Buddhist Realism, following the Theory of the Four Philosophies, it is possible for us to grasp the Universe as the External World from the opposite side of Reason.
Thinking from the Buddhist viewpoint, Reality is the External World itself, which we are just looking at in front of us. The one of the heavenly bodies, called the Solar System, includes the planet, called the Eearth, and the human civilization, which has developed on the surface of the Eearth, is also a kind of Reality. And even though we, human beings, have developed the history of the civilization for more than thouzands of years at least, we are just living in the historical Reality in the 21st Century.
And in such Reality, what I feel so much grateful, is the fact that USA and USSR have become reconciled with each other without fighting the World War 3. in 1991. Before the reconciliation I could never expect such a so happy reconciliation of the two countries at all. At that time I thought that, if the World War 3. had occured, I had supposed that the tens % of the surface of the Eearth might be destroied easily. Because even in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the damage by Atomic Bombs in Hirishima and Nagasaki was enormously serious, that it was completely impossible for us to suppose the damage before it occured actualy at all. And furthermore more than 60 years have passed since the bombing Hirashima and Nagasaki, and so we have to think that the damage, which we have to suppose, might be so serious.
Therefore it was so grateful fact that because of the enormous efforts of USA and USSR the World War 3. has been stopped. We could become very joyful in such happy conditions wholeheartedly, we can enjoy so enormously that we, human beings, were not so stupid to destroy ourselves utilizing the Atomic Bombs, which we, human beings, had produced after so long and so eormous efforts.
I have a rather peculiar idea on human history, that the World History of human beings seems to be similar to a tornament game of some kinds of sports. In the Anciet History of human beings, there were many small tribes, and each tribe has their own undeveloped civilization. And when there were some kinds of competitive attitudes among them, in the ultimate phase they had wars, and they decided which tribe was superior to others relying upon fighting. Such competitive fights have been continued so manty times in the human history. And at last in 1991 USA and USSR want to fight the Final Game, but fortunately human beings had their excellent ability to stop their Final Game.
And thinking about the real situation of the world, we can think that the Final Game of the World Tornament has ended without fighting, already. And I guess that the Winner of the Final Game might be USA. Therefore in such a situation, USA has possibility to change her Army into the Police of the World, and All Countries in the World will have possibility to change their Armies into each Branch Offices of the World Police. In other words I think that we, Human Beings, are able to begun to have the possibility to establish the Government of the Whole World. Of course such a too much optimistic idea might be very difficult for human beings to think so seriously, but I think that our efforts to establish the peaceful plan to make the World situation better, might be much more desirable for us than to destroy our Valuable Civilization into Ashes by our very stupid attitude.
I have a supposition that it might not be so stupid for human beings to use the Nuclear Weapons on the Earth in future for destroying the so brilliant and valuable civilization, which we have now.