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Thread: Heidegger: The World and the Self

  1. #1

    Heidegger: The World and the Self

    Interesting lecture detailing Heidegger's view of the relationship between the self and the world.

    I haven't gone through all of the video yet, but I've always heard that Heidegger's philosophy was very similar to Zen philosophy. So far, one thing I noted is that primarily, human beings are not 'knowing' beings, but 'engaging' beings.

    I'm currently taking a class in philosophy of the human person and the bent of the school of thought in my school is towards phenomenology. I've met numerous western philosophers whose ideas are incredibly similar to Dogen's Zen. Chief of them so far is Gabriel Marcel, a Christian existentialist (a label which he rejected), who says that the self is essentially a mystery not to be grasped in an abstract manner (etymologically speaking, it means to pull out) as a problem separate from 'me', but a metaproblematic. A metaproblem is essentially something that concerns me, something that I cannot separate from myself, something that is inevitably tied to my very nature. Sounds familiar?

    Anyway, I just wanted to share this. ) Sorry if it's too cranial.

  2. #2
    Look upon the world as a bubble,
    regard it as a mirage;
    who thus perceives the world,
    him Mara, the king of death, does not see.


    Sat Today

  3. #3
    Thank you !

    There are a lot of western philosophers who say stuff that is similar to zen. Spinoza, for example, or even Hume and Bergson. Will be happy to follow your thoughts about the links between Heidegger and zen.

  4. #4

    Thank you for the link.

    Also interesting: Martin Heidegger's Thinking and Japanese Philosophy

    "We stand before a blooming tree and the tree stands before us." - Heidegger

    "The donkey looks into the well and the well looks into the donkey. The bird looks at the flower and the flower looks at the bird." - Zen

    Both knocking representational thinking to the ground. Good fun.

    Last edited by Myosha; 09-20-2014 at 04:42 PM.
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  5. #5
    Found that a bit of Hume's philosophy focuses on dependent origination. He takes it to a different arena of course, but he pretty much covers how the five skandhas are empty in a high brow wordy way. Don't contemplate much of it these days.


    Gassho, John

  6. #6
    Oh, there are various Western philosophers who say this or that which rings of Zen or Buddhism. This is true. But one cannot just think one's way through Zen, but must Put Into Practice, experience, pierce and live. Such is what Zazen and all our Practice is for.

    Otherwise, it is rather like the difference between reading about riding a bike or analyzing riding a bike theoretically ... and actually experiencing and practicing riding a bike! (Or, more precisely for Zennies ... being the bike, the bike riding you and all only riding riding riding on a great Buddha Bike Path ever forward yet always right here!)

    Anyway, I digress.

    I sometimes describe aspects of Zen Practice as existentialism ... living life as it comes ... lives being lived by life ... life living life as it comes ... yet with a rather Positive twist for all that (none of that bleak nihilism of Sartre, but more a kind of Big "P" Positive that somehow holds all the dandy positive and ugly negatives that this life and world can come up with.) It is a Wholeness that Spinoza would surely appreciate, yet fully holding all the sharp and round broken and shattered pieces of this world.

    Gassho, J

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Priest / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Virginia, USA
    I have not watched the video above yet, but I just wanted to say that there is actually a book looking at Dogen's concept of "time being" (Uji) and Heidegger's philosophy of time. I recently picked up a used copy, but am not planning to start it until after Ango (trying to limit my "free time" reading to things explicitly from our tradition and put more focus on practice for the next few months).

    Anyhow, for anyone else out there who enjoys books with "ontological" in the title, the book is: "Existential and Ontological Dimensions of Time in Heidegger and Dogen".

    Sekishi | 石志 | He/him | Better with a grain of salt, but best ignored entirely.

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