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    The Dialectics of Nothingness
     
    [ 作者: Steven W. Laycock   来自:期刊原文   已阅:5802   时间:2007-1-9   录入:douyuebo


    ·期刊原文
    The Dialectics of Nothingness: A Reecamination of shen-hsiu and Hui-neng

    Steven W. Laycock
    Journal of Chinese Philosophy

    Vol.24 (1997)

    Pp 19-41

    Copyright @1997 by Dialogue Publishing

    Company,Honolulu,Hawili,U.S.A

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    .


    P.19

        I have long been intrigued by the facing gathas of Shen-hsiu(a)
    and Hui-neng(b),the one an apparently inverted"image"of  the other.As
    legend  has  it.Shen-hsiu  stole  into  the  quarters  of  the  aging
    master,Hung-jan(c)(c.601-  675),at night  and affixed  the  following
    poem to the wall:

            Body is the Bodhi tree,
            Mind is like a bright mirror-stand.
            Take care to wipe it continually,
            And allow no dust to cling.(1)

    The  next  night, Hui-neng, described  no  doubt  apocryphally  as  a
    barely-literate    rice    pounder    from    "the    South"(prerhaps
    Vietnam(2)),tacked the following  rejoinder  on the Fifth Patriarch's
    wall:
            There never was a Bodhi tree.
            Nor bright mirror-stand
            Orginally,not one thing exists
            So where is the dust to cling?(3)

    The two gathas  seem  to fit hand-in-glove,the one denying  precisely
    what  the other  affirms.And,indeed  ,my initial  impressiong  of the
    diptych went lottle farther than this.The  two verses merely stood in
    a relationship of logical contradiction.If one was true,the other was
    false.And  the point of the Hui-neng legend was simply to demonstrate
    the doctrinal

    P.20                    

    superiority  of Hui-neng's  position  over  that of Shen-hsiu.  Since
    Hui-neng  had clearly  won  the  mantle  and begging  bowl  of Master
    Hung-jan, Shenhsiu's  view was by the principle  of bivalence, flatly
    false.
        
        While  my earlier  interpretation  was, as it now appears  to me,
    gravely  naive, I am nonetheless  somewhat  comforted  to have  found
    myself  in the company  of no less illustrious  an exegete  as D.  T.
    Suzuki, according to whom the practice of "dust-wiping"  sponsored by
    Shen-hsiu lent itself to a dissociation  of the innately integral and
    inseparable conscious functions of dhyana (meditation) and prajna
    (wisdom):

        ..Dhyana became the exercise of killing life, of
        keeping the mind in a state of torpor and making
        the Yogins socially useless; while Prajna, left
        to itself, lost its profundity, for it was
        identified with intellectual subtleties which
        dealt in concepts and their analyses.(4)

    Thus separated, meditational ''dust-wiping" was seen to be a necessary
    prerequisite for wisdom.  Dhyana and prajna were sequentially ordered, the one
    required before the other could arise. Hui-neng's portrayal of this
    relationship appears to conflict with the stepwise attainment of wisdom
    which Shen-hsiu maintained. In Hui-neng's address:

        Good friends, how then are meditation and wisdom
        alike?  They are like the lamp and the light it
        gives forth.  If there is a lamp there is light,
        if there is no lamp there is no light.  The lamp
        is the substance of the light; the light is the
        function of the lamp. Thus, although they have two
        names, in substance they are not two.Meditation and
        wisdom are also like this.(5)

    Only by overcoming the conflictual  duality of meditational  practice
    and the profound "seeing"(which is "theory''(theoria) in a sense akin
    to that which this term held for the Greeks) could the transaction of
    ordinary

    P.21

    life(samsara) be rendered consistent  with the attainment  of supreme
    insight (nirvana).

        An important  aspect of the story which, at that time, escaped my
    notice and which Suzuki seems to have neglected as well, is that when
    the master awoke and discovered Shen-hsiu's  gatha, he is reported to
    have called his disciples  to him and to have burned  incense  before
    the verse, saying that anyone who put Shen-hsiu's words into practice
    would surely  attain enlightenment.  The difference  between  the two
    poems  was not, then, simply  that of straightforward  contradiction.
    Both, in  fact, were  accorded  the  master's  approval.  The  verses
    differed, rather, in "level" or "standpoint," and, as I then thought,
    were no more inconsistent than the "duck" and "rabbit" aspects of the
    celebrated Wittgensteinian duckrabbit.Shen-hsius  gatha is not simply
    the poetic articulation  of an egregious doctrinal error, a doctrinal
    falsehood in contrast with Hui-neng's  doctrinal truth,but expresses,
    rather, the standpoint  of practice.  Huineng' s gatha expresses  the
    standpoint of attainment. "Body,'' "mirror" and "dust" belong to 'the
    ontology  of the means.  The "ontology"  of the end is, in consonance
    with Nagarjuna's  profound insights, a non-ontology.  Originally, not
    one thing  exists.(6)Practice, like  Wittgenstein's  ladder, is of no
    use once  the  ascent  has  been  made, and, indeed, turns  out to be
    indistinguishable from the elevated vision itself.  Still, as it then
    appeared to me, one could entertian  only one perspect at a time, and
    the view articulated  in Hui-  neng's  poem, if not endowed  with  an
    elevated alethic status, was at least preferable precisely because it
    was given voice from the very standpoint of enlightenment.

        Recently, however, I have come to see the two gathas as standing,
    not  in a relationship  of frontal  contradiction, nor  simply  in an
    hierarchical relationship of doctrinal superiority, the "theoretical"
    vision  preferable  to the "practical"  postulation, but rather, in a
    relationship illustrated by the perennial paradox of the coincidentia
    oppositorum. Confronted by a static two-dimensional photograph of our
    planet,  one  might  readily  hypostatizen   "  East"  and  ''West, "
    identifying  them,  perhaps,  with  the  right  and  left  equatorial
    extremities, and assuming them to be determinate

    P.22                

    punctal  locations  in an absolute  space.  Yet the three-dimensional
    globe allows the familiar and unsurprising  recognition  that one can
    arrive  at  the  "East"   by  going  "West, ''  and  conversely.   In
    two-dimensional  space, a second point may be arrived at from a first
    only by approaching  it directly.  In global  space, any point on the
    globe  can be arrived  at from  a given  point  either  by proceeding
    directly  toward  it or directly  away from it.Taking  "'toward"  and
    "'away'' as representing, respectively, truth and falsehood  relative
    to some given  "point"  (proposition) as formulated  within  a local,
    two-dimensional  "logical space," we could not, on pain of forfeiting
    the  principles   of  bivalence   and  non-contradiction,  admit  the
    possibility  of arriving  at a given "point" circuitously.(7)For this
    would amount  to regarding  a given proposition  as at once both true
    and  false.  Understood  thus  "two-dimensionally  ,'' Shen-hsiu  and
    Hui-neng do quite flatly contradict one another.  Assuredly, if there
    never  was a Bodhi tree, the body could  bear no resemblance  to one.
    And if, from the first, "not  one thing  exists," then, surely, there
    could be neither  mirror nor dust.(8) Thus my initial interpretation,
    and that of Suzuki, is unobjecctionable insofar as its relativization
    to a L'natland"  logical topology  is clearly understood.Nonetheless,
    it seems to me that, in order  to comprehend  the relatedness  of the
    two insights, we must abaondon  the "flat" logic of analysis in favor
    of a certain dialectical logic which will enable us to see both their
    simultaneous contradiction  and reciprocal entailment.  I shall argue
    respectively  in the  following  two  sections  (1) that  Shen-hsiu's
    position entails that of Hui-neng;  and (2) that Hui-neng's  position
    likewise entails that of Shen-hsiu. But more than simply this, I wish
    to show that the dialectical interinvolvement  of the two contrasting
    insights  has  serious  ramifications   for  contemporary  occidental
    phenomenology.

                                I

        Let us confine  our attention  for  the most  part  to the second
    lines  of both  poems: "The mind is like a bright  mirror-stand," and
    "there never was.  .. a bright mirror-stand." And let us suppose that
    Shen-hsiu


    P.23


    is right. The mind, on this supposal, is, indeed, like a mirror.  But
    in eliciting  the tacit implications  of this view, we must carefully
    note that an ideally  flawless  mirror  is itself utterly  devoid  of
    visible properties. An ordinary mirror betrays itself as an object in
    virtue  of its imperfections.  A slight  discoloration  of the glass,
    light refracted from its surface, barely perceptible ripples and gaps
    in the silvering, make manifest the mirror itself as one object among
    others.  Yet it is precisely  such features as these, features  which
    lend objectivity  to the mirror, which are to be accounted  " flaws."
    And to the extent  that a mirror  is thus flawed, it is not, properly
    speaking, a mirror at all. Hence, an ideally flawless mirror is in no
    way manifest as an object.

        Moreover;  if a red apple  is set before  the mirror, the  mirror
    does  not itself  become  red, nor  is the reflection  in any literal
    sense itself red.  The mirror serves merely as an "occasion"  for the
    appearance of a reflection-of-red.(9) Generalizing, then, the mirror
    does not instantiate any of the visible properties of its object.(10)

        Suzuki offers the following  alternative  metaphor on Shen-hsiu's
    behalf:

        The mind... is like a crystal ball with no colour of its own.  It
        is pure  and perfect  as it is.  But as soon as it confronts  the
        outside   world   it  takes   on  all  colours   and   forms   of
        differentiation.  This differentiation  is in the outside  world,
        and the mind, left to itself  shows  no change  of any character.
        Now suppose  the ball to be placed against  something  altogether
        contrary  to itself and so become a dark-coloured  ball.  However
        pure it may have been before, it is now a dark-coloured ball, and
        this colour is seen as belonging  from the first to the nature of
        the ball.  When shown thus to ignorant  people  they will at once
        conclude  that the ball is foul, and will not be easily convinced
        of its essential purity.(11)

    Ignoring objectifying imperfections, an ideally transparent crystal
    ball


    P.24


        placed   against   a   red   surface    would   be   phenomenally
        indistinguishable  from  a crystal  ball  made of red glass.  And
        likewise, an ideally  flawless  mirror set against  a red surface
        would be phenomenally  indistinguishable  from a red surface.  It
        could, it  seems, be  no  part  of  a  strictly  phenomenological
        investigation to discriminate such cases. The task of discernment
        would belong to "metaphysics" of the sort deplored by serious and
        consistent practitioners of phenomenology.  Phenomenology aspires
        to "presuppositionless"  insight.  And  this  can only  mean  the
        assumption  of an absolute equipoise,the vigilant treading of the
        via media, the way of the valley, between  metaphysical  summits.
        Already, in what I take  to be the more consistent  phenomenology
        of Hui-neng, we find the admonition  to "separate yourselves from
        views."(12)

        These insights  achieve  fuller  articulation  and resonate  with
    greater  significance  when  the  "fallacy"  (if  I might  avoid  the
    opprobrium  of designating  by this term a position with which I wish
    to take issue) of assuming the visibility of the reflecting medium is
    located  within  the  setting  of occidental  phenomenology  and  the
    deleterious  consequences  of  this  "fallacy"  for  phenomenological
    philosophy clearly noted.  Accordingly, I wish to propose, as notable
    counterparts of the planar "Shen-hsiu" and "Hui-neng," the luminary
    Western phenomenologists, Husserl and Sartre.Both are culpable of the "
        fallacy" in question, and both, by committing this error, thereby
        abandon  at crucial points the very methodology  which would make
        their views genuinely "phenomenological.'' Western phenomenology,
        even  as  represented  by  the  patient,  rigorous  and  minutely
        painstaking  efforts  of Edmund Husserl, or by the less sober but
        perhaps  more  sobering, pronouncements  of  Sartre, lapses  into
        "metaphysics"  at just  this crucial  juncture.Intentionality, as
        Sokolowski  suggests, is the "dimension"  in which the world  and
        its  objects  present  themselves.(13)Yet  in  the  very  act  of
        intending  an object, it is impossible  to discriminate, in terms
        of  purely  phenomenal  and  descriptive  features,  between  the
        objectual  referent as it presently  presents itself and features
        of the "medium" of intentionality itself. To take up the one side
        of the issue is utterly  to "evacuate"  consciousness, to make of
        it a


    P.25


    "nothingness"  in the Sartrean  sense.  Consciousness, for Sartre, is
    "all  lighteness, all translucence."(14) But it is also to promulgate
    a view difficult  to distinguish  from a certain  "naive"  realism, a
    view according to which the manifold perspectival  "looks" of a thing
    are, in whatever  sense, " there"  awaiting  intentional  revelation.
    Consciousness   becomes  a  passive  "  openness"  to  the  attendant
    objectual  "views.''  To take up the opposite side of the issue is to
    adopt  the  contrasting  Husserlian  theory  of  "constitution."  The
    profiles  through  which  the intentional  object  are given  are not
    simply  "there''  independent  of the act.  The object's  alternative
    modes of giveness are accounted  for, in essential  part, in terms of
    certain phenomenologically  describable  features  of the act itself.
    Invoking the contrasting models suggested by Suzuki's remarks, Sartre
    presents intentional consciousness as a crystal ball placed against a
    colored surface, and Husserl sponsors a theory of constitution  which
    would tint the crystal.  Sartre plays two-dimensional ''Shen-hsiu" to
    Husserl's two- dimensional ''Hui-neng."

        Nothing  could  have  more  profound  consequences  for  the very
    project  of phenomenology  itself than a decision  in favor of either
    "Shenhsiu''  Or " Hui-neng," Sartrean quasi-  "realism" or Husserlian
    quasi"idealism.''   The  Sartrean  portrayal   of  consciousness   as
    "nothingness, "  pressed  to  the  extremities  of  its  implications
    (farther, in fact, than the early  Sartre  himself  had pressed  it),
    entirely   subverts   the   very   possibility   of  phenomenological
    reflection.   If  consciousness  is,  indeed,  "nothing, "  then,  in
    reflection, there is nothing  to see.  Reflection, itself  a specific
    mode of intentional consciousness, would have no "object."

        The story, of course, is somewhat more complicated. For Sartre,
    what  is  subjectivity  objectified  in  reflection  becomes, in  The
    Transcendence  of the Ego, "the psychic,'' a tertiary order of being,
    neither  subject  nor  object, "laminated," as  it  were, immediateiy
    against consciousness.  If the for-itself  is, as Sartre would depict
    it, a "bubble"  rising in the medium of worldly being, the psychic is
    the enveloping "boundary'' which belongs neither to its inner vacuity
    nor  to the  surrounding  plenary  integrity  of the in-itself.  "The
    psychic," Sartre says, "is the transcendent

    P.26                

    object of reflective consciousness."(15)The"third-realm"  ontology of
    the  psychic  possesses  the  advantage  of  offering  employment  to
    reflection.  Yet, while  reflective  and prereflective  consciousness
    differ, expectably, in " object,"' the "object"  of the former is not
    subjectivity itself, but the psychic. This, however, is simply a more
    sophisticated  (not  to  say  sophistical) way  of denying  the  very
    possibility  of reflection.  A philosophy  which proceeds  merely  in
    virtue of an investigation of the " outside"(16) of consciousness has
    not  advanced  beyond  the  "realism"  which  Sartre,  in  Being  and
    Nothingness, claimed to have overcome. "We have," he there maintains,
    "ruled out a realistic conception  of the relations of the phenomenon
    with   consciousness."(17)  Yet   this   is  belied   by  the   sheer
    phenomenological  impossibility of establishing a correlation between
    the  " inside"  and the "outside"  consciousness.Reflection  can only
    reveal consciousness  "from the outside" precisely because, "from the
    inside," there  is nothing  to  "see"  but  the  intentional  object.
    Consciousness    itself   is   invisible.And    there   can   be   no
    phenomenological  warrant  for positing  a relationship  between  the
    psychic  and that which, in principle, cannot  appear.  The assertion
    that  consciousness  and the psychic  are  related  as " inside"  and
    "outside" is thus "metaphysical."

        For Husserl, on the other hand, the noema is undeniably  manifest
    to the  reflecting  consciousness.Indeed, as one  must  say, only  if
    subjectivity  is constitutive  in the Husserlian  sense can there  be
    anything  "there" for a strictly reflective  consciousness  to "see."
    Consciousness  affects itself with different "tints," as it were, and
    it is the manifold  "hues"  of the "crystal"  which are presented  in
    reflection.  The epoche enforces silence with regard to the existence
    of the object.  But no such reserve  is in force with respect  to the
    object-as-it-  appears.  The noema  is inseparable  from constituting
    subjectivity. To be thoroughly consistent, Sartre would have to claim
    that  the  noema  is " discovered."  In Husserl's  view, it is, as it
    were, "created"-an assumption which spells phenomenological  disaster
    no less  than  Sartre's  regrettable  abrogation  of reflection.  For
    Husserl here maintains  a tacit and fateful presupposition.  Like the
    tinted   crystal   which  can  be  either  seen  or  seen-   through,
    consciousness functions either "opaquely"


    P.27


    (for  reflection) or "transparently"(in  its "natural"  posture) as a
    semidiaphanous  medium of revelation.  And Husserl assumes that, just
    as its coloration  continues to permeatre the crystal when the latter
    is  seenthrough,  so, also  consciousness  is  imbued  with  noematic
    "sense"   in  the   straightforward   prereflective   revelation   of
    intentional objects.What is " there" in reflection is equally "there"
    in   prereflective   consciousness.   This   is  "metaphysics, "  not
    phenomenology.  In the  natural  attitude, the noema  cannot  be thus
    "located" on one side or the other of the subjectl object divide.

        Sartre betrays phenomenology by rendering its fundamental method,
    that of reflective description, impreacticable.  Husserl, in his very
    effort to preserve  reflection, thereby  abandons  it.  The vital and
    profoundly  fruitful  method of phenomenological  reflection  is thus
    rendered  impossible  so long as the phenomenon  is thought to belong
    either to the realm of the subjective or the domain of the objective.
    Only a phenomenology which remains rigorously faithful to the "things
    themselves'"  precisely  as and  only  as they  appear  can  hope  to
    navigate  between  the  Scylla  of Husserlian  subjectivism  and  the
    Charybdis of Sartrean objectivism.

        The  intentional   act,  understood   as  a  relatively  concrete
    phenomenon    (   the   appearing-of-the-object,  for   Sartre,   the
    appearing-of-the-object-toan- egological-subject,for Husserl) is only
    one of the two highest-order  species of immanence  which, as Husserl
    would  have  it, together, comprise  the  "real"  (  reel) and  fully
    concrete flux of consciousness. The second, an abstract aspect of the
    act, is the sensation.  And here we find Husserl  moving, during  the
    course of his philosophical career, toward a position somewhat closer
    to  a view  which  Sartre  himself  might  find  felicitous.  In  the
    relatively   early   theory   represented    by   Husserl's   Logical
    Investigations, there  is "no  difference  between  the...  conscious
    content  and  the  experience  itself.What  is  sensed  is,  e.g., no
    different  from  the sensation."(18)This  does  not, of course, imply
    that  sensations  have  no content, but simply  that  they  are their
    content.  For the hyletic  Rotempfindung,redness  and the sensing  of
    redness  are identical.  The appropriateness  of the colored  crystal
    ball model is compelling. From the beginning,


    P.28


    Sartre himself expelled certain crucial phenomenal features of immanence
    from consciousness. He argues powerfully and cogently against Husserl's
    earlier theory of sensory hyle:

        The  hyle  in  fact  could  not  be  consciousness, for  it would
        disappear  in translucency  and could  not offer  that  resisting
        basis of impressions which must be surpassed toward the object...
        How can it preserve  at once the opaque resistance  of things and
        the subjectivity  of thought? Its esse  cannot  come to it from a
        percipi  since  it  is  not  even  perceived,  for  consciousness
        transcends  it toward  the objects.  But if the hyle derives  its
        being from itself alone, we meet once again the insoluble problem
        of the connection of consciousness  with existents independent of
        it....  In giving to the hyle both the characteristics of a thing
        and  the characteristics  of consciousness, Husserl...  succeeded
        only in creating  a hybrid being which consciousness  rejects and
        which can not be a part of the world.(19)

    Moreover, as one might ask, how could a red-sensation  differ  from a
    bluesensation? The relevant  difference  could  be found  only in the
    manner of the sensing-event.  The sensing  of the red-sensation  is a
    "redwise"  sensing.  And  the  sensing  of  the  blue-sensation  is a
    "bluewise" sensing. Husserl assuredly would not wish to maintain that
    the  "manner"  of  the  redsensation,  for  example, quite  literally
    instantiates  redness.  And it thus becomes exceedingly  difficult to
    account  for the "red-mannered"  demeanor  of a sensation  except  by
    recognizing  it as a sensation  of redness.  Redness must be expelled
    from  the  sensation.  The  "crystal  ball"  must  be placed  against
    something  "contrary  to itself,'' in Suiuki's  words.  And  this, in
    fact, is later acknowledged  by Husserl  himself  in the lectures  on
    timeconsciousness.   There  the  fusion  of  sensing  and  sensed  is
    relativized to a given framework of consideration:

        Sensation  here is nothing other than the inner consciousness  of
        the content  of sensation....  Thus  it is understood  why in the
        Logical  Investigations  I could  identify  the sensing  and  the
        content  of sensation.  Since I moved  inside  the frame of inner
        consciousness, there, naturally, we did  not  find  any  sensing,
        only what is sensed.(20)

    And accordingly, "sensation, if we understand  this  as consciousness
    (not  the  immanent, enduring  red...)...  is untemporal, viz.  it is
    nothing  in immanent  time."(21)The  "not"  in  this  latter  passage
    carries  the freight.  Here Husserl tacitly recognizes  a distinction
    between the sensing-  consciousness and "the immanent, enduring red,"
    i.e., the  redness  which  serves  as its content.  Sensing, far from
    being imbued  with the quale which serves  as its content, turns out,
    on a more  profound  analysis, to  be "empty."  The  expulsion, while
    distancing  Husserl  from one untenable  model  of sensation, serves,
    however, only to rivet his commitments to an equally "metaphysical" (
    and thus phenomenologically indemonstrable) position. Colored crystal
    and   crystal   transparent   to   color   are,  as  I  have   urged,
    phenomenologically indistinguishable.

        Returning, then, to Shen-hsiu: mind is like a mirror. And pulling
    solidly  at the inner  logic  of this simile, we can add that mind is
    like an ideally transparent  crystal  ball, the presence  of which is
    not betrayed even by minor refraction  or discoloration.  The ideally
    flawless  mirror,  the  perfectly  transparent  crystal  ball, cannot
    itself be seen. It is not a manifest "form" (rupa).  Visibility would
    be  a flaw.  Thus, if  Shen-hsiu's  insight  is to be  credited, then
    Hui-neng   must  also  be  right.   There  never  was  a  mindmirror.
    Phenomenologically  considered, there is simply  nothing-no  thing-to
    see.  Thus, far from representing  a denial of Hui-neng's standpoint,
    Shen-hsiu's gatha clearly entails its truth.

                           II.

        Is there a similar passage from Hui-neng to Shen-hsiu? If it is
    the


    P.30                    


    case that  "originally"  (ben  lai(d)) "not one thing  exists"  (wu i
    wu(e)),(22) Then this generality  must include the mind itself.  Does
    it follow that the mind is like a mirror? The facile response  is, of
    course, the negative. If the mind fails to exist, it certainly cannot
    be "like" anything. There is nothing "there" to bear the relationship
    of similarity.  But  this  response  misconstrues  the import  of the
    ostensibly "existential" denial.

         We must recall the path traversed from Shen-hsiu to Hui-neng. Why
    does the 'non-existence" of the mind follow from its mirror-likeness?
    Precisely because ideal reflectivity  entails the utter impossibility
    of  objectual  manifestation.To  say  that  the  mind  mirror-in  its
    "original," phenomenologically  clarified  manifestation, undistorted
    by conceptual  "presuppositions''-is  " not one thing"  (wu i wu), is
    simply  to say that the mind cannot  be given as a "thing."  Shen-hui
    contributes insightfully to the issue.

        A bright  mirror  is set  up on a high  stand;  its  illumination
        reaches  the ten-thousand  things, and they are all reflected  in
        it.The  masters  are  wont  to  consider  this  phenomenon   most
        wonderful.  But as far as my school is concerned  it is not to be
        considered  wonderful.   Why?  As  to  this  bright  mirror,  its
        illumination   reaches   the   ten-thousand   things,  and  these
        ten-thousand things are not reflected in it. This is what I would
        declare  to be most wonderful.  Why? The Tathagata  discriminates
        all things with non-discriminating Prajna (chih(f)).If he has any
        discriminating  mind, do  you  think  he could  discriminate  all
        things?(23)

    Fixing upon just one of the "ten-thousand  things," an object (wu(g))
    standing  before  a mirror  is reflected  within  it in virtue of the
    Gestalt  duality  of figure  and  ground.  A condition  of  "thingly"
    manifestation  is  the  discernible  difference  between  object  and
    non-objectual  context.  Both are reflected within the mirror.  Thus,
    the mirror "underlies" both, and is " indifferent"  to the duality of
    reflections. A "thing" is reflected


    P.31


    in our mirror only in virtue of the indifference of the mirror to the
    difference of thing and thing-complement, figure and ground.  Neither
    the tenthousand things, nor, indeed, even a single thing are, in this
    sense, reflected  in it.  To  say  that  "originally, not  one  thing
    exists' is not to say that the dualistic  condition  of manifestation
    is in no case  operative.  It is, rather, to say of the "origin," the
    primordial indifference of conscious "reflectivity,"'that the Gestalt
    duality  makes  no  difference  to it, and  that  it, itself, is  not
    manifested as things are.

        Once again, then, we must ask about the passage from Hui-neng  to
    Shen-  hsiu.This time the answer is patent.  If "originally" (ben(h))
    there is no bright mirror-stand," if, that is, the "origin" cannot be
    presented as figure upon ground, does it follow that the mind is like
    a mirror? Clearly, yes.The mirror is made "present"  precisely in its
    ineluctable "absence.''

        Hui-neng  is emphatic  that "When you sit quietly with an emptied
    mind, this is falling  into a blank emptiness,"(24) and characterizes
    as a " confused notion" the assumption that "the greatest achievement
    is to sit quietly with an emptied mind, where not a thought is to he
    conceived."(25)Thus, Hui-neng admonishes his followers:

        neither  to cling  to the notion  of a mind, nor to cling  to the
        notion of purity, nor to cherish the thought of immovability, for
        these are not our meditation."(26)

    Indeed ,

        Purity  has  no  form,  but,  nonetheless,  some  people  try  to
        postulate  the form of purity  and consider  this  to be Ch'an(i)
        practice.People  who hold this view obstruct  their  own original
        natures and end up by being bound to purity.(27)

    Hui-neng  did  not, of course, have  at his  disposal  the  technical
    phenomenological  concept of intentionality.Yet  there could scarcely
    be a more


    P.32

    decisive   proclamation   of  the   ineluctable   intentionality   of
    consciousness.  " Purity,"understood as the non-intentional, and thus
    "objectless," self-  luminosity  of consciousness, is described  as a
    mere "notion," in evident contrast  to a realizable  experience.  But
    the  point  of  Hui-neng's   vivid  declaration   is  not  simply  to
    demonstrate  that  an  adequate  understanding  of " self-nature"  is
    hindered by the supposition that the mind itself serves as a manifest
    "form" (rupa) The real "obstruction"  is our failure  to discriminate
    form  from  the  formless, our  failure, that  is, to  recognize  the
    difference   between  indifference   and  the  differents  which  are
    differentiated  out of it"( 28) (a failure  recognizably  akin to the
    obscuration   of   the   "ontological   difference"   in  Heidegger's
    phenomenology).  It is  precisely  the  function  of indifference  to
    permit the manifestation of difference.And  if indifference is always
    and inescapably  different  from  its differents, then, of necessity,
    the former requires the latter as much as the latter the former.The "
    nothingness," the radical non-thingliness  of original mind requires,
    as a condition of its very being, the "ten-thousand things." Mind is,
    then, ineluctably  intentional.The  very "essence" of mind, according
    to  Hui-neng,  is  "a  state  of  Absolute   Void, "(29)  an  insight
    inescapably  reminiscent  of the early Sartrean  characterization  of
    consciousness as "translucent."  Consciousness utterly and completely
    exhausts  itself in its abject without  remainder.  It is nothing but
    objectual     revelation.There     is     no     "purity"     without
    intentionality.Hui-neng's ostensibly ''ontic" denial (wu i wu) is, at
    bottom, a phenomenological  claim.Far  from importing the simple non-
    existence  of the mind, Huineng's  assertion, "There  never was...  a
    bright   mirror-stand,  ''   entails    the   being   of   the   very
    non-objectifiable  "  nothingness"  or  "emptiness"  (sunyata)  which
    stands as the ineluctable  condition  for thingly manifestation.  The
    voidness   of  consciousness   is  "the  voidness  of  non-void."(30)
    Considered ontologically, consciousness is "non- void." It is only as
    considered phenomenologically  that consciousness  is " void." To say
    that there  is nothing  to "see"  is not to say that there is nothing
    '"there." What is "there" is precisely the revelation  of the object.
    But to "see" consciousness  itself is to "see" nothing at all.  Shen-
    hsiu's ontological claim entails

    P.33

    Hui-neng's    phenomenological    claim.    And,    conversely,   the
    phenomenological claim entails the ontological.

         In the  familiar  strategic  transition  which  Sartre  effects,
    consciousness  is  no-thing,"  since  it  is-not  (nihilates) and, in
    principle,  cannot  be,  any  of  its  objects-even   those  immanent
    objectivities encountered in reflection.  Sartre's argument cuts even
    deeper then the expulsion  of hyletic content.  It is not simply that
    consciousness  is "nothing" inasmuch as it nihilates the entire realm
    of positional objectivity. Consciousness is subject to " the absolute
    law of consciousness  for which  no distinction  is possible  between
    appearance  and  being."(31)The for-itself  is-not  itself.  The very
    being of consciousness, its very non-positional  immanence, is itself
    nihilated.  There are, of course, no objects "in" consciousness.  But
    neither is there any " consciousness" in consciousness. Consciousness
    is  utterly  vacuous,  utterly  devoid  even  of  itself.   And  this
    realization  must inform any consistent  reading  of the doctrine  of
    nonpositional   (self-)  consciousness   articulated   in  Being  and
    Nothingness. Sartre affirms that

        if my consciousness were not consciousness of being consciousness
        of the table, it would then be consciousness of the table without
        consciousness  of  being  so.  In  other  words, it  would  be  a
        consciousness   ignorant  of  itself,  an  unconscious-which   is
        absurd.(32)

    Yet the very vacuity of consciousness  ensures  that reflectively  to
    look "at" consciousness  is thereby  to look "through"  it.  There is
    nothing  "in" consciousness  to see--not  even "consciousness  of the
    table." Thus, a nonpositional  consciousness  of "being consciousness
    of the table" must be phenomenologically  indistinguishable  from the
    positional  consciousness  of the table itself.  The very distinction
    between "positional"  and " nonpositional'  consciousness  thus turns
    out to be "metaphysical."  The transition  from The Transcendence  of
    the Ego to Being and Nothingness is marked by a shift in the sense of
    "being'' which consciousness enjoys.

    P.34                    

    In the earlier  work, consciousness  simply  is the appearing  of the
    object.   In   the   later,  consciousness   becomes   non-positional
    self-presence.  The dialectic  of Shenhsiu  and Hui-neng  dispels the
    later Sartrean error.  If there is an 'gbsolute law of consciousness"
    endorsed  by the two masters, it must not be understood  as the claim
    that  the  being  of  consciousness  is  indistinguishable  from  its
    appearing.

    III.


        If successful, our reflections  have shown that, while "Shenhsiu"
    and " Hui-neng" do, like cymbals, clash resoundingly when interpreted
    within   the  "  flat"  logic   of  metaphysics,  the  two  positions
    nonetheless reciprocally entail one another within the "global" logic
    of a consistent phenomenology.  Yet it cannot be denied that Hui-neng
    did inherit the Master's mantle. And we cannot not rest content until
    we have accounted for this fact. One path is blocked by the preceding
    considerations: the supersession enjoyed by Hui- neng is not alethic.
    Hui-neng's  view  is not to be preferred  because  it is " true"  (or
    "truer") in contrast  to the  purportedly  "false"  (or "less  true")
    assertions of Shen-hsiu.  Where, then, shall we look for the basis of
    preferability?

        Shen-hsiu's claim, "Mind is like a bright mirror-stand," leads to
    Huineng's  view only when the logic  of the "mirror"  is relentlessly
    pursued  to its  very  end.  It is doubtful, however, that  Shen-hsiu
    himself   pressed  these  imqlications   to  their  limit.   Mind  is
    represented  as  a "mirror-stand"  (ching  t'ail) And  the  ambiguous
    suggestions  which this expression  holds  may well have mislead  the
    scholarly and respected monk. Is mind to be conceived on the model of
    a stand (t'ai~), and thus as one "thing"  among many? Or is " mirror"
    (chin$) to receive  the emphasis, and "stand"  to recede from primary
    significance as a merely pleonastic complement? The latter, as I have
    assumed  throughout, represents  the best of Shenhsiu.  Yet Shen-hsiu
    seems also to have fallen  prey to the former.  Mind seems not simply
    to be "mirror-like, " but  also  "stand-like."  And possessing  ontic
    status, mind-pure mind~ould serve as a locus of attach-


    P.35


    ment, the practitioners of meditational "mirror-wiping"  thus earning
    Hui-  neng's epithet.  "purity-bound."  It is exactly  this supposal,
    that mind is " ontic," a "being"  among  others, and thus visible  to
    introspection,  which  would  effect  the  logical   collision   with
    Hui-neng.  Falling  prey  to the  " ontification"  of mind, Shen-hsiu
    thereby seems to have assumed  the very "two-  dimensional"  logic of
    contradiction in which his view could conflict with Hui-neng's. It is
    not  that  Shen-hsiu  failed  utterly  to recognize  the  passage  to
    Hui-neng. This recognition no doubt subsisted in semine. But at least
    one  important   sense  of  "confusion"   (and  the  "mirror"/"stand"
    ambivalence  is surely a case of such) involves the simultaneous, and
    perhaps unwitting, commitment to contradictory points of view.

        Hui-neng's pronouncement, "Originally, not one thing exists,'" is
    not, as I have claimed, an existential denial.  Indeed, consciousness
    is to rise "above existence  and non-existence."(33) "There never was
    ...   a  bright   mirror(-   stand) "  has   both   ontological   and
    phenomenological  implications: Mind, though not ontic," is assuredly
    not precluded from ontological status;  but the very being of mind is
    such that to "see'' it is to "see through"  it.  These insights  were
    merely implicit in Shen-hsiu's text, tacit in his understanding.  But
    they were entirely  explicit  to Hui-neng.  It was thus Hui-neng  who
    fully comprehended  the "global"  and dialectical  logic in which the
    two positions  circularly  entail one another.  To say, however, that
    "originally"  there is no "mirror" is to say that "originally"  there
    is no mind. "Mind'' is the fundamental deliverance of reflection. And
    the very sense of mind, lucidly and properly  understood, entails its
    (self-) effacement  before the object.  Once again, we must return to
    the  strictly   phenomenological   impossibility   of  discriminating
    "colored crystal" from "crystal transparent to color," mind-  as-seen
    from mind-as-seenthrough.  It is mind itself which underlies  the two
    "speculative"  views.  Or if I might  hazard  an interpretation  of a
    crucial operative concept of Buddhist phenomenology, it is "suchness"
    (tathata)  which  "grounds"  the  ostensibly   opposed  perspectives.
    Suchness  is the " ground"-indeed, the "globe"-which  makes  possible
    the global-logical passage from Shen-

    P.36                        

    hsiu to Hui-neng, and conversely. Without suchness,, we have lost the
    dimension   of  reconciliation,  the  dimension  of  depth.   Without
    suchness, we find ourselves with only a "flatland" logical geography.
    Phenomenology  becomes  metaphysics.  And it may be simply  this, the
    lucid experiential  realization of tathata, the very "ground" whereby
    reconciliation   with  Shen-hsiu  becomes  possible,  which  won  for
    Hui-neng the transmission from Hung-jan.

    THE UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO

                        NOTES

    1.In the Wade-Ciles transliteration:

             Shen shih p u t'i shu.
             Hsin ju ming ching t'ai.
             Shih shih ch'in fu shih,
             Mo shih jo ch 'en ai.(m)

    2. In an address delivered in Los Angeles on June
       12, 1985 , the Venerable Thich Man-Giac,
       President of the Congregation of Vietnamese
       Buddhists in the United States, remarked:

    In the books it's always related that the sixth
       patriarch, Hui Neng, was Chinese, but I know he was
       Vietnamese.... Before he became the sixth 
       patriarch, when he first came to the fifth
       patriarch to ask for the teachings, do you remember
       what the fifth patriarch said? He said,''You
       barbarian from the south, what do you know?'  The
       sixth patriarch replied, "Buddha nature is in
       everyone, so what's the difference if I live in the
       south?"

       "The Branch That Gleams in the Dark:  An
       Introduction to Vietnamese Buddhism' (Los Angeles:
       The First American-Vietnamese Buddhist Monastery,
       1985) pp. 10-11.  The word "Nam" appearing in 
       'Viet-Nam" meaning "south," the compound,
       'Yiet-Nam," bears the dual signification of
       "southland of the Viets" and "transcendence [vuot]
        toward the south."
                
    P.37

    3. Again, the transliteration:

          P'u t'i pen wu shu,
          Hsin ching i fei t 'ai.
          Ben lai wu i wu.

          He ch u jo ch 'en ai.(n)

    4. Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, The Zen Doctrine of Nc-Mind: The
       Significance  of the  Sutra  of Hui-Neng  (Wei-Lang) (York
       Beach: Samuel Weiser, 1981), pp.32-3.

    5. Philip B. Yampolsky, The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch
       (New York: Columbia University Press, 1967), p. 136.

    6. In Suzuki's view,

       What distinguishes Hui-neng most conspicuously and
       characteristically from his predecessors as well as from his
       contemporaries  is his doctrine  of....from  the first not a
       thing is'----this was the first proclamation made by Hui-neng.
       It is a bomb thrown into the camp of Shen-hsiu and his
       predecessors.

        Suzuki, op. cit., p. 22.

    7. The conditional with a true consequent holds under the supposition
       of either a true or a false anteceedent. Our altogether rudimentary
       model would, of course, require an additional "dimension" to
       accommodate both possibilities. We have here assumed a logical
       cartography locating "false' to the East and "true'' to the West
       of a given proposition, ignoring the implication of the true by
       the true. But an alternative map can be given, ignoring the
       implication of the true by the false, by stringing truths along
       the equator. For our simple purposes, the former option seems
       preferable.

    8. No discussion of mind as mirror could be complete without
       reference to Rorty's significant (if erroneous) claim that

       [w]ithout  the  notion  of  the  mind  as  mirror, the  notion  of
       knowledge   as  accuracy  of  representation   would  not  have
       suggested itself. Without this latter notion, the strategy common
       to Descartes  and Kant-gctting  more accurate  representations  by
       inspecting,  repairing,  and   polishing   the   mirror,  so   to
       speak-would  not have made sense.  Without this strategy in mind,
       recent  claims  that  philosophy  could  consist  of  "conceptual
       analysis"  or "phenomenological  analysis'  or "explication  of
       meanings" or examination of

    P.38

       the  "logic  of  our  language"   or  of  "the  structure  of  the
       constituting activity of consciousness' would not have made sense.

       Richard  Rorty  Philosophy  and the Mirror  of Nature  (Princetor:
       Princeton University Press, 1981), p.  12.  Phenomenology is quite
       certainly  not a form  of representationalism.  Intentionality, is
       not the  activity  of re-presenting, but rather, the  activity  of
       presenting.  To intend is to be immediately in the presence of the
       intended  object, not to dwell  upon some metalogical  stratum  of
       ghostly  simulacra.  More  than  this, however, it is, and  can in
       principle  be, no part  of the  task  of phenomenology  to compare
       appearance with reality.

    9. Reginald Allen's incisive comments are to the point
       here:

           The very being of a reflection is relational, wholly dependent
       upon what is other  than  itself: the original  and the reflecting
       medium....  The reflection  does not resemble the original rather,
       it  is  a  resemblance  of  the  original.   Reginald  E.   Allen,
       "Participation  and Predication  in Plato s Middle  Dialogues,' in
       Gregory Vlastos, ed., Plato= A Collection  of Critical  Essays, I=
       Metaphysics and Epistemology (New York: Doubleday, 1971), p. 174.

    10. I owe a certain  hesitation  regarding  this  claim  to Professor
        Sandra  Wawrytko.  In a previous  paper, "Sartre  and the Chinese
        Buddhist  Theory  of No-  Self," I had remarked  that ''vacuity..
        seems little  more than a three-dimensionalization  of mirroring.
       And  the  additional  dimension  is conceptually  otiose."  In her
       response  to the paper, Professor  Wawrytko  wisely  and helpfully
       pointed out that, whereas light travels through a crystal ball, it
       is remitted, turned back, by the mirror. Metaphors are notoriously
       limited  in their application, and it is best to specify  from the
       outset that the course of illumination  is a metaphysical ' issue.
       As I shall claim, both the perfect  mirror and the perfect crystal
       ball.   are   invisible,  and   thus,  in  this   trivial   sense,
       indistinguishable.  The usefulness  of either metaphor  extends no
       farther than its visibility.

    11. Suzuki, op cit., p. 17.
    12. Yampolsky, op. cit.,p.136

    13.For  Sokolowski, "meaning," in the phenomenologically significant
       sense  reflected  in the  German  "meinen, "is a "dimension'''  or
       "slant"  upon perceptible  objects, present  or absent, not by any
       means a fleshless  specter haunting  the equally spectral chambers
       of the mind. Robert Sokolowski, ''Exorcizing Concepts," The Review
       of Metaphysics 15 (1987) p. 458. Indeed,


    P.39


       One of the most  destructive  effects  of the tendency  we have to
       psychologize or mentalize meanings is the withdrawal of the formal
       possibilities  of presentation  from beings and the confinement of
       these  possibilities  to our mental  and psychological  makeup, as
       though our minds were something  else besides the presentation  of
       things.

       Ibid, p. 459.

    14.Jean-Paul Sartre, The Transcendence of the Ego: An Existentialist
       Theory of Consciousness, Forrest Williams  and Robert Kirkpatrick,
       trans. (New York:Farrar, Straus and Giroux), p. 42.

    15. Ibid, p. 71.

    16. Ibid, p. 84.

    17.Jean-Paul   Sartre,   Being   and   Nothingness.   An   Essay   in
       Phenomenological  Ontology, trans.  Hazel  E.  Barnes  (New  York:
       Washington Square, 1971), p.26.

    18.Edmund Husserl, Logical Investigations, J. N. Findlay, trans. (New
       York: Humanities Press, 1970), V.  section 3, p.  540. 19. Sartre,
       Being and Nothingness, op. cit., p. 20.

    20.Edmund Husserl, The Phenomenology  of Internal Time-Consciousness,
       Martin Heidegger, ed., James S. Churchill, trans. (Bloomington:
       Indians University Press, 1971), Appendix XII, 176-7.

    21.Edmund Husserl, Zu Phanomenologie des inneren  Zeitbewusstseins,
       Rudolf Boehm, ed.  (Husserliana X).  The Hague: Nijhoff, 1966, no.
       50, pp.  333- 34, n.  I, as cited in Robert Sokolowski, Husserlian
       Meditations:  How  Words  Present  Things  (Evanston: Northwestern
       University Press, 1974), p. 133. 22 While I view the philosophy of
       the  Platform  Sutra  in  a somewhat  different  light  since  its
       publication, I still  maintain, as I suggested  in ''Hui-neng  and
       the transcendental Standpoint," that

       The operator, "originally''  (pen lai) determines the way in which
       the statement "Not one things exists" is true." "Originally'' is a
       mode  of truth, but  riot, obviously, for  the  Ch an tradition, a
       mode  of  propositional  truth.  "Originally"  is more  faithfully
       understood  as  a mode  of  conscious  revelation, a way  of being
       conscious,  an  attitude  or  stance  of  mind.   Whatever  stance
       "originally" may refer to, it must be such that, for consciousness
       engaged in that mode of conscious life, "not one thing exists."


    P.40                          

    23.Suzuki, op. cit., p. 51.


    24.As quoted in Suzuki, op. cit., p. 26.

    25.Ibid., pp 26-7.

    26.Ibid., p. 27.

    27.Yampolsky, op. cit., pp. 139-40.

    28.In Prufer's tightly-worded characterization,

       [t]he differentiated  (those  which are different, the differents)
       are different from each other and from the undifferentiated  or
       indifferent  matrix  out of which  they are differentiated  and
       which  they  cover  over  and hide.  The matrix, however, is by
       anticipation  the matrix  of the  differents, but as matrix  it
       itself  is  different  from  them  by  its  indifference.   The
       differents,  as  differentiated,  are  still   indifferent   by
       recapitulation, by remaining  being different out of the matrix
       from which they were not different  and in which  they were not
       different from each other.

       Thomas   Prufer,  'Welt,  Ich  und  Zeit  in  der  Sprache,  "  in
       Philosophische Rundschau 20(1973) p. 226.

    29.A F. Price and Wong Mou-Lam, translators, The Sutra of Hui Neng
       (Boulder.Shambhala Publications, 1969),  p. 26.

    30.Price and Wong, op. cit., p. 26.

    31.Sartre, The Transcendence of the Ego, op. cit., p. 63.

    32.Sartre, Being and Nothingness, op. cit., p.11

    33.Price and Wong, op. cit., p. 27.

     


     

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