Friday, October 14, 2005

Saw a great lecture at the Theosophical Society by Theodore Kisiel about Heidegger. I feel like a major hole in my education has been remedied to some extent.

Kisiel described the "metaphysics of permanent presence and eternal verties", which Heidegger maintains has characterized, or infected, both Eastern and Western thought since Parmenides. Heidegger contrasts this conception (which can be called "Brahman") with his own, which is an emphasis that what matters is your own, concrete, Earthly, lived, finite, temporal existence, and that authenticity is a matter of fully facing up to death -- the cessation of existence.

Then Kisiel asked: "Can anyone tell me what religious tradition combines both of these seemingly irreconcilable approaches?"

"Zen", I asnswered.

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