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Monday, February 25, 2008

The Nature of Things

Dear Nishijima,

I am hoping you might be able to give me your thoughts on a certain passage in "The Nature of Things" chapter of the Shobogenzo. When Dogen states that Shakyamuni Buddha says "Such characteristics, such nature." What is he telling me? Is the nature of something revealed by the characteristics it presents? From my interpretation of what he states later about "thought fallen out according to pattern" is that the nature of something exists in how we think of it, and somehow also outside of any notional space?



Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Tom San,

Thank you very much for your questions, but unfortunately I do not remember the chapter called "The Nature of Things" in my translation of Shobogenzo, and so I would like to ask you what kind of translation of Shobogenzo you have used for your questions.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

8:26 PM, February 25, 2008  
Blogger Tom said...

Dear Nishijima,
I'm sorry, I have the Thomas Cleary Translation. I still haven't gotten a hold of your translation with Cross. I believe the chapter is called Hossô. In it, at least from the Cleary translation, Dogen talks about daily activities not being separate from the nature of things, then about appearances, then the 'thinking of thinking of the nature of things is such an appearance.' I know my question may be a little bit vague, but it is in part of my general lack of apprehension concerning this passage.


12:55 AM, February 26, 2008  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Tom San.

Thank you very much for your information, but as you know Shobogenzo is a very precisely exact philosophical Buddhist book, and so if we do not identify the basis of our discussion into one precisely, it might be completely impossible for us to discuss it on the basis of philosophy. Therefore if you like to discuss the meaning of Shobogenzo exactly, I would like to ask you to use the translation of Shobogenzo by me and Mike Cross, and it can be easily bought through Amazon now.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

4:10 PM, February 26, 2008  

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