The world worlds...
Confronted with the thought of Keiji Nishitani, I could not write anything from myself. So I decided to put here some remarkable quotes from his book "Religion and Nothingness", which contrary to the title is not about religion as we used to understand it, rather it is about our universe and being...
« Since olden times, the cognitive power of reason has been called a "natural light." But the real "natural light" is not the light of reason. It is rather, if I may so designate it, the light of each and every thing. What we call the knowing of non-knowing is, as it were, the gathering together and concentration on a single point of the light of all things. Or better still, it is a reverting to the point where things themselves are all gathered into one. All of this goes contrary to our ordinary way of thinking, and, as such, must sound strange. . »
« To say that a thing is not itself means that, while continuing to be itself, it is in the home-ground of everything else. Figuratively speaking, its roots reach across into the ground of all other things and helps to hold them up and keep them standing. »
« To imply that when a thing is on its own home-ground, it must at the same time be on the home-ground of all other things sounds absurd; but in fact it constitutes the "essence" of the existence of things.The being of things in themselves is essentially circuminsessional. This is what we mean by speaking of beings as "being that is in unison with emptiness," and "being on the field of emptiness." For this circuminsessional system is only possible on the field of emptiness of or sunyata. As I have already noted, if the field of sunyata be excluded, for a thing to be on its own home-ground and to be "itself" would be for it not to be in the home-ground of all other things; and, conversely, for it to be on the home-ground of other things would be for it not to be itself. In that case, there would in truth be no way for us to explain the fact that all things "are" in the "world." Only on the field of sunyata, where being is seen as being-sive-nothingness, nothingness-sive-being, is it possible for each to be itself with every other, and so, too, for each not to be itself with every other. »
« Now the circuminsessional system itself, whereby each thing in its being enters into the home-ground of every other thing, is not itself and yet precisely as such (namely, as located on the field of sunyata) never ceases to be itself, is nothing other than the force that links all things together into one. It is the very force that makes the world and lets it be a world. The field of sunyata is a field oj force. The force of the world makes itself manifest in the force of each and every thing in the world. »
« Even the very tiniest thing, to the extent that it "is," displays in its act of being the whole web of circuminsessional interpenetration that links all things together. In its being, we might say, the world "worlds." »
« For us, this field of emptiness is something we are aware of as an absolute near side. It opens up more to the near side than we, in our ordinary consciousness, take our own self to be. It opens up, so to speak, still closer to us than what we ordinarily think of as ourselves . In other words, by turning from what we ordinarily call "self" to the field of sunyata, we become truly ourselves.»
«All consciousness as such is empty at its very roots: it can only become manifest on the field of emptiness. Consciousness is originally emptiness.»
« The self is not a small, self-centered circle. Together with emptiness it is free of all outer limits . It is, so to speak, something with no circumference whatsoever. This is elemental self-awareness. As a being in unison with emptiness, then, the self is one absolute center, and, to that extent, all things are in the home-ground of the self.»
« We do not simply live in time: we live time. From one moment in time to the next we are making time to be time, we are bringing time to the "fullness of time." That is the sense of what we referred to earlier as "being bottomlessly in time." »
«The identity of "being" and "knowing" is more primal than traditional metaphysics has taken it to be. »
«To say that each thing is an absolute center means that wherever a thing is, the world worlds. And this, in turn, means that each thing, by being in its own home-ground is in the home-ground of all beings; and, conversely, that in being on the home-ground of all , each is in its own home-ground. »
« Our self in itself is most elementally "middle." It resists all explanation because it is a being in unison with emptiness; because it is a being united with emptiness in a self-awareness according to which emptiness is self; and because, by virtue of that self-awareness, which is nearer to the elemental than anything else, it precedes the world and all things.»Let me repeat it in an another way: OUR SELF (...) RESISTS ALL EXPLANATION BECAUSE IT IS A BEING IN UNISON WITH EMPTINESS.
More to come on "Religion and Nothingness"...