Tuesday, September 5, 2017

D.T. Suzuki on Knowing & Seeing

D.T. Suzuki & the cat: knowing & seeing

“We generally think that philosophy is a matter of pure intellect, and, therefore, that the best philosophy comes out of a mind most richly endowed with intellectual acumen and dialectical subtleties. But this is not the case. It is true that those who are poorly equipped with intellectual powers cannot be good philosophers. Intellect, however, is not the whole thing. There must be a deep power of imagination, there must be a strong, inflexible will-power, there must be a keen insight into the nature of man, and finally there must be an actual seeing of the truth as synthesised in the whole being of the man himself.


I wish to emphasise this idea of ‘seeing’. It is not enough to ‘know’ as the term is ordinarily understood. Knowledge unless it is accompanied by a personal experience is superficial and no kind of philosophy can be built upon such a shaky foundation. There are, however, I suppose many systems of thought not backed by real experiences, but such are never inspiring. They may be fine to look at but their power to move the readers is nil. Whatever knowledge the philosopher may have, it must come out of his experience, and this experience is seeing. Buddha has always emphasised this. He couples knowing (nyana, jnana) with seeing (passa, pasya), for without seeing, knowing has no depths, cannot understand the realities of life. Therefore, the first item of the Eightfold Noble Path is samma dassana, right seeing, and samma sankappa, right knowing, comes next. Seeing is experiencing, seeing things in their state of suchness (tathata) or is-ness. Buddha’s whole philosophy comes from this ‘seeing,’ this experiencing.”
(D.T. Suzuki, Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist)

2 comments:

Susmita said...

Samma Sankappa is commonly translated as right resolution or intention

samir sardana said...

As per Hindooism - Boodhism was a lie introduced by the Hindoo Gods to distract Atheists , idolators and animal sacrifices ! dindooohindoo

But they lost control of the plot ! If the Buddhists knew ......

Sample 1 - Lord Shiva is "explicitly ordered by Lord Vishnu",to promote the philosophy(i.e. Advaita Vedanta) to "fool and beguile", the Dindoo Hindoo Bindoo

svāgamaiḥ kalpitais tvaḿ ca
janān mad-vimukhān kuru
māḿ ca gopaya yena syāt
sṛṣṭir eṣottarottarā

 [Addressing Lord Siva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead said:] Please make the "general populace averse to Me" by imagining your own interpretation of the Vedas.
 Also, cover Me in such a way that people will take more interest in "advancing material civilization", just to "propagate a population bereft of spiritual knowledge". ’Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda (62.31).

Sample 2 - Lord Vishnu instructs Siva,in the "Varaha Purana",by saying:

esa moham srjamy asu yo janan mohayisyati
tvam ca rudra maha-baho moha-sastrani karaya

 O mighty-armed Siva, please "write books filled with lies", and thus bewilder the people.

atathyani vitathyani darsayasva maha-bhuja
prakasam kuru catmanam aprakasam ca mam kuru

 O mighty-armed one, please "preach a collection of lies". Place yourself in the forefront,and conceal Me.

Sample 3 - Shiva tells his "wife Parvati",as under

mayavadam asac-chastram pracchannah baudham ucyate
mayaiva kalpitam devi kalau brahmana-rupina

 O Goddess, in the age of Kali I shall "descend in the form of a brahmana" to spread this "Mayavada philosophy", which is actually "covered Buddhism". (Padma Purana)