Dogen Sangha Blog


Japanese / German

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Dear Master Nishijima,

You have said, that there is a physical and an mental ego,

Dear Markus San,

Thank you very much for your questions, and my answers are as follows.

Q1.) Can you describe the physical ego a bit deeper. How does it come into existence, can you give examples? What is the difference to the mental ego?

A1.) I think that there may be two kinds of ego, and the one occurs when the sympathetic nervous system is stronger, and at that time people are prone to be spiritual, a little arrogant, very diligent to work, criticizing to others, being a little hypocritical, and so forth.
But in the case of a little stronger parasympathetic nervous system, people are prone to be materialistic, being a little lazy, a little week to the physical attraction, like to sleep, like to eat, and so forth.
Therefore I think that the case of mental ego is the former expression of the a little stronger sympathetic nervous system.

Q2.) Is for example the concentrating on the breath helping to create the physical ego, or the mental ego, and therfore is it better not to concentrate on the breath?

A2.) I think that the concentrating on the breath does not have any meaning in Buddhism at all. I think that the concentrating on the breath is also as a kind of consideration, and so the concentrating on the breath also disturb Zazen.

Q3.) Do the 5 Skhandas help to describe the physical ego?

A3.) The 5 Skhandas includes both physical side and mental side, and so the 5 Skhandas are the total description of both mind and body.

Q4.) Is the theory of the 5 Skhandas similar to the Twelvefold Chain of Codependent origination?

A4.) The meaning of words "Codependent origination" are difficult for me to understand, but if it means that the origination has been codependent, Buddhism does not have such an idea at all, and so I can never agree such a strange idea at all.
Therefore I think that the theory of the 5 Skhandas does never have such a strange interpretation at all.

Q5.) Do you prefer one theory of the above more as the other?

A5.) The Truth is just only one, and so to find such an only one Truth is just the human duty.

Thank you very much!

Best wishes,

Thank you very much for your so precise questions.

Best wishes
Gudo Wafu Nishijima


Blogger element said...

Thank you for your answers!

2:02 AM, August 06, 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home