This is an issue that will be addressed in the next section. First, though, the inauthentic form of Being-towards-death needs to be brought into view. In everyday Being-towards-death, the self that figures in the for-the-sake-of-itself structure is not the authentic mine-self, but rather the inauthentic they-self. It is in this evasion in the face of death, interpreted as a further way in which Dasein covers up Being, that everyday Dasein's fallen-ness now manifests itself.
To be clear: evasion here does not necessarily mean that I refuse outright to acknowledge that I will someday die. However, the certainty of death achieved by idle talk of this kind is of the wrong sort. One might think of it as established by the conclusion of some sort of inductive inference from observations of many cases of death the deaths of many others.
The certainty brought into view by such an inference is a sort of empirical certainty, one which conceals the apodictic character of the inevitability with which my own death is authentically revealed to me Being and Time In addition, as we have seen, according to Heidegger, my own death can never be actual for me, so viewed from my perspective, any case of death, i. Thus it must be a death that belongs to someone else, or rather, to no one.
Inauthenticity in relation to death is also realized in thrownness, through fear , and in projection, through expectation. Fear, as a mode of disposedness, can disclose only particular oncoming events in the world. To fear my own death, then, is once again to treat my death as a case of death.
This contrasts with anxiety, the form of disposedness which, as we have seen, discloses my death via the awareness of the possibility of a world in which I am not. The projective analogue to the fear-anxiety distinction is expectation-anticipation. A mundane example might help to illustrate the generic idea. When I expect a beer to taste a certain way, I am waiting for an actual event—a case of that distinctive taste in my mouth—to occur. By contrast, when I anticipate the taste of that beer, one might say that, in a cognitive sense, I actively go out to meet the possibility of that taste.
In so doing, I make it mine. Expecting death is thus to wait for a case of death, whereas to anticipate death is to own it. In reinterpreting care in terms of Being-towards-death, Heidegger illuminates in a new way the taking-as structure that, as we have seen, he takes to be the essence of human existence.
Human beings, as Dasein, are essentially finite. And it is this finitude that explains why the phenomenon of taking-as is an essential characteristic of our existence. An infinite Being would understand things directly, without the need for interpretative intercession. We, however, are Dasein, and in our essential finitude we must understand things in a hermeneutically mediated, indirect way, that is, by taking-as Sheehan What are we to make of Heidegger's analysis of death? Sartre argues that death is the end of such possibilities.
A nihilation which itself is no longer a part of my possibilities. Thus death is not my possibility of no longer realizing a presence in the world but rather an always possible nihilation of my possibilities which is outside my possibilities. Sartre , If Sartre is right, there is a significant hole in Heidegger's project, since we would be left without a way of completing the phenomenological analysis of Dasein. For further debate over Heidegger's handling of death, see Edwards' , , unsympathetic broadsides alongside Hinman's robust response.
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Carel develops an analysis that productively connects Heidegger's and Freud's accounts of death, despite Heidegger's open antipathy towards Freud's theories in general. In some of the most difficult sections of Being and Time , Heidegger now begins to close in on the claim that temporality is the ontological meaning of Dasein's Being as care. The key notion here is that of anticipatory resoluteness, which Heidegger identifies as an or perhaps the authentic mode of care.
As we have seen, anticipation is the form of Being-towards in which one looks forward to a possible way to be. Bringing resoluteness into view requires further groundwork that begins with Heidegger's reinterpretation of the authentic self in terms of the phenomenon of conscience or Being-guilty. The authentic self is characterized by Being-guilty. This does not mean that authenticity requires actually feeling guilty. Rather, the authentic self is the one who is open to the call of conscience. The inauthentic self, by contrast, is closed to conscience and guilt.
It is tempting to think that this is where Heidegger does ethics. However, guilt as an existential structure is not to be understood as some psychological feeling that one gets when one transgresses some moral code. Having said that, however, it may be misleading to adopt an ethical register here. For Heidegger, conscience is fundamentally a disclosive rather than an ethical phenomenon. What is more important for the project of Being and Time , then, is the claim that the call of conscience interrupts Dasein's everyday fascination with entities by summoning Dasein back to its own finitude and thereby to authenticity.
To see how the call of conscience achieves this, we need to unpack Heidegger's reformulation of conscience in terms of anticipatory resoluteness. In the by-now familiar pattern, Heidegger argues that conscience Being-guilty has the structure of care. However, there's now a modification to the picture, presumably driven by a factor mentioned earlier, namely that authentic Dasein is not fallen. Since conscience is a mode of authentic Dasein, fallen-ness cannot be one of the dimensions of conscience. So the three elements of care are now identified as projection, thrownness and discourse.
What is discourse? It clearly has something to do with articulation, and it is tempting to make a connection with language, but in truth this aspect of Heidegger's view is somewhat murky. But this might mean that intelligibility is essentially a linguistic phenomenon; or it might mean that discourse is intelligibility as put into language. There is even room for the view that discourse is not necessarily a linguistic phenomenon at all, but rather any way in which the referential structure of significance is articulated, either by deeds e.
But however we settle that point of interpretation, there is something untidy about the status of discourse in relation to fallen-ness and authenticity. Elsewhere in Being and Time , the text strongly suggests that discourse has inauthentic modes, for instance when it is manifested as idle talk; and in yet other sections we find the claim that fallen-ness has an authentic manifestation called a moment-of-vision e. Regarding the general relations between discourse, fallen-ness and authenticity, then, the conceptual landscape is not entirely clear.
That is why the unitary structure of reticence-guilt-anxiety characterizes the Being of authentic Dasein. So now what of resoluteness? But why do we need a new term? There are two possible reasons for thinking that the relabelling exercise here adds value. Each of these indicates a connection between authenticity and freedom. Each corresponds to an authentic realization of one of two possible understandings of what Heidegger means by human existence see above.
The first take on resoluteness is emphasized by, for example, Gelven , Mulhall and Polt In ordinary parlance, to be resolved is to commit oneself to some project and thus, in a sense, to take ownership of one's life. Seen like this, resoluteness correlates with the idea that Dasein's existence is constituted by a series of events in which possible ways to be are chosen. At this point we would do well to hesitate. The emphasis on notions such as choice and commitment makes it all too easy to think that resoluteness essentially involves some sort of conscious decision-making.
This occurrence discloses Dasein's essential finitude. It is here that it is profitable to think in terms of anticipatory resoluteness. Heidegger's claim is that resoluteness and anticipation are internally related, such that they ultimately emerge together as the unitary phenomenon of anticipatory resoluteness. Thus, he argues, Being-guilty the projective aspect of resoluteness involves Dasein wanting to be open to the call of conscience for as long as Dasein exists, which requires an awareness of the possibility of death.
Since resoluteness is an authentic mode of Being, this awareness of the possibility of death must also be authentic. But the authentic awareness of the possibility of death just is anticipation see above. Via the internal connection with anticipation, then, the notion of resoluteness allows Heidegger to rethink the path to Dasein's essential finitude, a finitude that is hidden in fallen-ness, but which, as we have seen, is the condition of possibility for the taking-as structure that is a constitutive aspect of Dasein.
Seen this way, resoluteness correlates more neatly with the idea that human existence is essentially a standing out in an openness to, and in an opening of, Being. In a further hermeneutic spiral, Heidegger concludes that temporality is the a priori transcendental condition for there to be care sense-making, intelligibility, taking-as, Dasein's own distinctive mode of Being. Moreover, it is Dasein's openness to time that ultimately allows Dasein's potential authenticity to be actualized: in authenticity, the constraints and possibilities determined by Dasein's cultural-historical past are grasped by Dasein in the present so that it may project itself into the future in a fully authentic manner, i.
The ontological emphasis that Heidegger places on temporality might usefully be seen as an echo and development of Kant's claim that embeddedness in time is a precondition for things to appear to us the way they do. According to Kant, embeddedness in time is co-determinative of our experience, along with embeddedness in space. See above for Heidegger's problematic analysis of the relationship between spatiality and temporality. With the Kantian roots of Heidegger's treatment of time acknowledged, it must be registered immediately that, in Heidegger's hands, the notion of temporality receives a distinctive twist.
Heidegger is concerned not with clock-time an infinite series of self-contained nows laid out in an ordering of past, present and future or with time as some sort of relativistic phenomenon that would satisfy the physicist. Time thought of in either of these ways is a present-at-hand phenomenon, and that means that it cannot characterize the temporality that is an internal feature of Dasein's existential constitution, the existential temporality that structures intelligibility taking-as. To make sense of this temporalizing, Heidegger introduces the technical term ecstases.
Ecstases are phenomena that stand out from an underlying unity. He later reinterprets ecstases as horizons , in the sense of what limits, surrounds or encloses, and in so doing discloses or makes available. According to Heidegger, temporality is a unity against which past, present and future stand out as ecstases while remaining essentially interlocked. The importance of this idea is that it frees the phenomenologist from thinking of past, present and future as sequentially ordered groupings of distinct events.
The future is not later than having been, and having-been is not earlier than the Present. Temporality temporalizes itself as a future which makes present in a process of having been. What does this mean and why should we find it compelling? Perhaps the easiest way to grasp Heidegger's insight here is to follow him in explicitly reinterpreting the different elements of the structure of care in terms of the three phenomenologically intertwined dimensions of temporality.
Heidegger argues that for each of these phenomena, one particular dimension of temporality is primary. Thus projection is disclosed principally as the manner in which Dasein orients itself towards its future. Anticipation, as authentic projection, therefore becomes the predominantly futural aspect of what we can now call authentic temporalizing, whereas expectation, as inauthentic projection, occupies the same role for inauthentic temporalizing. However, since temporality is at root a unitary structure, thrownness, projection, falling and discourse must each have a multi-faceted temporality.
Anticipation, for example, requires that Dasein acknowledge the unavoidable way in which its past is constitutive of who it is, precisely because anticipation demands of Dasein that it project itself resolutely onto i. And anticipation has a present-related aspect too: in a process that Heidegger calls a moment of vision , Dasein, in anticipating its own death, pulls away from they-self-dominated distractions of the present.
Structurally similar analyses are given for the other elements of the care structure. Here is not the place to pursue the details but, at the most general level, thrownness is identified predominantly, although not exclusively, as the manner in which Dasein collects up its past finding itself in relation to the pre-structured field of intelligibility into which it has been enculturated , while fallen-ness and discourse are identified predominantly, although not exclusively, as present-oriented e.
A final feature of Heidegger's intricate analysis concerns the way in which authentic and inauthentic temporalizing are understood as prioritizing different dimensions of temporality. In a sense, then, each such event transcends goes beyond itself as a momentary episode of Being by, in the relevant sense, co-realizing a past and a future along with a present. In the sense that matters, then, Dasein is always a combination of the futural, the historical and the present. Some worries about Heidegger's analysis of time will be explored below. In the final major development of his analysis of temporality, Heidegger identifies a phenomenon that he calls Dasein's historicality , understood as the a priori condition on the basis of which past events and things may have significance for us.
The analysis begins with an observation that Being-towards-death is only one aspect of Dasein's finitude. Not only has Being-towards-the-beginning remained unnoticed; but so too, and above all, has the way in which Dasein stretches along between birth and death. Dasein's beginning is thus a moment at which a biological human being has become embedded within a pre-existing world, a culturally determined field of intelligibility into which it is thrown and onto which it projects itself. Such worlds are now to be reinterpreted historically as Dasein's heritage.
Echoing the way in which past, present and future were disclosed as intertwined in the analysis of temporality, Dasein's historicality has the effect of bringing the past its heritage alive in the present as a set of opportunities for future action. In the original German, Heidegger calls this phenomenon Wiederholung , which Macquarrie and Robinson translate as repetition.
The idea here is not that I can do nothing other than repeat the actions of my cultural ancestors, but rather that, in authentic mode, I may appropriate those past actions own them, make them mine as a set of general models or heroic templates onto which I may creatively project myself.
Thus, retrieving may be a more appropriate translation. Historizing is an a priori structure of Dasein's Being as care that constitutes a stretching along between Dasein's birth as the entity that takes-as and death as its end, between enculturation and finitude. It is debatable whether the idea of creative appropriation does enough to allay the suspicion that the concept of heritage introduces a threat to our individual freedom in an ordinary sense of freedom by way of some sort of social determinism.
For example, since historicality is an aspect of Dasein's existential constitution, it is arguable that Heidegger effectively rules out the possibility that I might reinvent myself in an entirely original way. Moreover, Polt draws our attention to a stinging passage from earlier in Being and Time which might be taken to suggest that any attempt to take on board elements of cultures other than one's own should be judged an inauthentic practice indicative of fallen-ness.
This sets the stage for Heidegger's own final elucidation of human freedom. According to Heidegger, I am genuinely free precisely when I recognize that I am a finite being with a heritage and when I achieve an authentic relationship with that heritage through the creative appropriation of it. As he explains:. Once one has grasped the finitude of one's existence, it snatches one back from the endless multiplicity of possibilities which offer themselves as closest to one—those of comfortableness, shirking and taking things lightly—and brings Dasein to the simplicity of its fate.
This phenomenon, a final reinterpretation of the notion of resoluteness, is what Heidegger calls primordial historizing or fate. And crucially, historizing is not merely a structure that is partly constitutive of individual authentic Dasein. Heidegger also points out the shared primordial historizing of a community , what he calls its destiny. When the contemporary reader of Being and Time encounters the concepts of heritage, fate and destiny, and places them not only in the context of the political climate of mid-to-late s Germany, but also alongside Heidegger's later membership of the Nazi party, it is hard not to hear dark undertones of cultural chauvinism and racial prejudice.
This worry becomes acute when one considers the way in which these concepts figure in passages such as the following, from the inaugural rectoral address that Heidegger gave at Freiburg University in The third bond [knowledge service, in addition to labour service and military service] is the one that binds the [German] students to the spiritual mission of the German Volk.
This Volk is playing an active role in shaping its own fate by placing its history into the openness of the overpowering might of all the world-shaping forces of human existence and by struggling anew to secure its spiritual world… The three bonds— through the Volk to the destiny of the state in its spiritual mission—are equally original aspects of the German essence. The Self-Assertion of the German University , 35—6. The issue of Heidegger's later relationship with Nazi politics and ideology will be discussed briefly below.
For the moment, however, it is worth saying that the temptation to offer extreme social determinist or Nazi reconstructions of Being and Time is far from irresistible. And that does not sound nearly so pernicious. One might think that an unpalatable relativism is entailed by any view which emphasizes that understanding is never preconception-free.
But that would be too quick. Of course, if authentic Dasein were individualized in the sense of being a self-sufficient Cartesian subject, then perhaps an extreme form of subjectivist relativism would indeed beckon. This reconnects us with our earlier remark that the philosophical framework advocated within Being and Time appears to mandate a kind of cultural relativism.
This seems right, but it is important to try to understand precisely what sort of cultural relativism is on offer. Here is one interpretation. Although worlds networks of involvements, what Heidegger sometimes calls Reality are culturally relative phenomena, Heidegger occasionally seems to suggest that nature, as it is in itself , is not. Under these circumstances, nature is revealed in certain culturally specific forms determined by our socially conditioned patterns of skilled practical activity.
On the other hand, when nature is discovered as present-at-hand, by say science, its intelligibility has an essentially cross-cultural character. Indeed, Heidegger often seems to hold the largely commonsense view that there are culture-independent causal properties of nature which explain why it is that you can make missiles out of rocks or branches, but not out of air or water. Science can tell us both what those causal properties are, and how the underlying causal processes work. If the picture just sketched is a productive way to understand Heidegger, then, perhaps surprisingly, his position might best be thought of as a mild kind of scientific realism.
For, on this interpretation, one of Dasein's cultural practices, the practice of science, has the special quality of revealing natural entities as they are in themselves, that is, independently of Dasein's culturally conditioned uses and articulations of them. Indeed, Being concerns sense-making intelligibility , and the different ways in which entities make sense to us, including as present-at-hand , are dependent on the fact that we are Dasein, creatures with a particular mode of Being.
Understood properly, then, the following two claims that Heidegger makes are entirely consistent with each other. Both quotations from Being and Time , How does all this relate to Heidegger's account of truth? Answering this question adds a new dimension to the pivotal phenomenon of revealing. Heidegger points out that the philosophical tradition standardly conceives of truth as attaching to propositions, and as involving some sort of correspondence between propositions and states of affairs.
But whereas for the tradition as Heidegger characterizes it , propositional truth as correspondence exhausts the phenomenon of truth, for Heidegger, it is merely the particular manifestation of truth that is operative in those domains, such as science, that concern themselves with the Real. Unconcealing is the Dasein-involving process that establishes this prior field of intelligibility.
This is the domain of original truth—what we might call truth as revealing or truth as unconcealing. Original truth cannot be reduced to propositional truth as correspondence, because the former is an a priori, transcendental condition for the latter. Of course, since Dasein is the source of intelligibility, truth as unconcealing is possible only because there is Dasein, which means that without Dasein there would be no truth—including propositional truth as correspondence. But it is reasonable to hear this seemingly relativistic consequence as a further modulation of the point see above that entities require Dasein in order to be intelligible at all, including, now, as entities that are capable of entering into states of affairs that may correspond to propositions.
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Heidegger's analysis of truth also countenances a third manifestation of the phenomenon, one that is perhaps best characterized as being located between original truth and propositional truth. This intermediate phenomenon is what might be called Heidegger's instrumental notion of truth Dahlstrom , Overgaard As we saw earlier, for Heidegger, the referential structure of significance may be articulated not only by words but by skilled practical activity e. By Heidegger's lights, such equipmental activity counts as a manifestation of unconcealing and thus as the realization of a species of truth.
This fact further threatens the idea that truth attaches only to propositions, although some uses of language may themselves be analysed as realizing the instrumental form of truth e. Being and Time — It is at this point that an ongoing dispute in Heidegger scholarship comes to the fore. It has been argued e. Because of this shared tendency, such readings are often grouped together as advocating a pragmatist interpretation of Heidegger.
According to its critics, the inadequacy of the pragmatist interpretation is exposed once it is applied to Heidegger's account of truth. For although the pragmatist interpretation correctly recognizes that, for Heidegger, propositional correspondence is not the most fundamental phenomenon of truth, it takes the fundamental variety to be exhausted by Dasein's sense-making skilled practical activity. But the critic points out this is to ignore the fact that even though instrumental truth is more basic than traditional propositional truth, nevertheless it too depends on a prior field of significance one that determines the correct and incorrect uses of equipment and thus on the phenomenon of original truth.
Put another way, the pragmatist interpretation falls short because it fails to distinguish original truth from instrumental truth. It is worth commenting here that not every so-called pragmatist reading is on a par with respect to this issue.
For example, Dreyfus separates out what he calls background coping Dasein's familiarity with, and knowledge of how to navigate the meaningful structures of, its world from what he calls skilled or absorbed coping Dasein's skilled practical activity , and argues that, for Heidegger, the former is ontologically more basic than the latter. If original truth is manifested in background coping, and instrumental truth in skilled coping, this disrupts the thought that the two notions of truth are being run together for discussion, see Overgaard 85—6, note How should one respond to Heidegger's analysis of truth?
One objection is that original truth ultimately fails to qualify as a form of truth at all. As Tugendhat observes, it is a plausible condition on the acceptability of any proposed account of truth that it accommodate a distinction between what is asserted or intended and how things are in themselves. It is clear that propositional truth as correspondence satisfies this condition, and notice that if we squint a little so too does instrumental truth, since despite my intentions, I can fail, in my actions, to use the hammer in ways that successfully articulate its place in the relevant equipmental network.
However, as Tugendhat argues, it is genuinely hard to see how original truth as unconcealing could possibly support a distinction between what is asserted or intended and how things are in themselves. After all, unconcealing is, in part, the process through which entities are made intelligible to Dasein in such a way that the distinction in question can apply.
Thus, Tugendhat concludes, although unconcealing may be a genuine phenomenon that constitutes a transcendental condition for there to be truth, it is not itself a species of truth. For discussions of Tugendhat's critique, see Dahlstrom , Overgaard Whether or not unconcealing ought to count as a species of truth, it is arguable that the place which it along with its partner structure, Reality occupies in the Heideggerian framework must ultimately threaten even the mild kind of scientific realism that we have been attributing, somewhat tentatively, to Heidegger. The tension comes into view just at the point where unconcealing is reinterpreted in terms of Dasein's essential historicality.
Because intelligibility, and thus unconcealing, has an essentially historical character, it is difficult to resist the thought that the propositional and instrumental truths generated out of some specific field of intelligibility will be relativistically tied to a particular culture in a particular time period. Moreover, at one point, Heidegger suggests that even truth as revealed by science is itself subject to this kind of relativistic constraint.
The implication is that, for Heidegger, one cannot straightforwardly subject the truth of one age to the standards of another, which means, for example, that contemporary chemistry and alchemical chemistry might both be true cf. Dreyfus , —2. But even if this more radical position is ultimately Heidegger's, there remains space here for some form of realism.
Given the transcendental relation that, according to Heidegger, obtains between fields of intelligibility and science, the view on offer might still support a historically conditioned form of Kantian empirical realism with respect to science. Nevertheless it must, it seems, reject the full-on scientific realist commitment to the idea that the history of science is regulated by progress towards some final and unassailable set of scientifically established truths about nature, by a journey towards, as it were, God's science Haugeland The realist waters in which our preliminary interpretation has been swimming are muddied even further by another aspect of Dasein's essential historicality.
Officially, it is seemingly not supposed to be a consequence of that historicality that we cannot discover universal features of ourselves. The evidence for this is that there are many conclusions reached in Being and Time that putatively apply to all Dasein, for example that Dasein's everyday experience is characterized by the structural domains of readiness-to-hand, un-readiness-to-hand and presence-at-hand for additional evidence, see Polt 92—4. Moreover, Heidegger isn't saying that any route to understanding is as good as any other. For example, he prioritizes authenticity as the road to an answer to the question of the meaning of Being.
Still, if this priority claim and the features shared by all Dasein really are supposed to be ahistorical, universal conditions applicable everywhere throughout history , we are seemingly owed an account of just how such conditions are even possible, given Dasein's essential historicality. If temporality is the a priori condition for us to encounter entities as equipment, and if, in the relevant sense, the unfolding of time coincides with the unfolding of Dasein Dasein, as temporality, temporalizes; see above , then equipmental entities will be intelligible to us only in what we might call Dasein-time, the time that we ourselves are.
Now, we have seen previously that nature is often encountered as equipment, which means that natural equipment will be intelligible to us only in Dasein-time. But what about nature in a non-equipmental form—nature as one might surely be tempted to say as it is in itself? One might try to argue that those encounters with nature that reveal nature as it is in itself are precisely those encounters that reveal nature as present-at-hand, and that to reveal nature as present-at-hand is, in part, to reveal nature within present-at-hand time e.
Unfortunately there's a snag with this story and thus for the attempt to see Heidegger as a realist. Heidegger claims that presence-at-hand as revealed by theoretical reflection is subject to the same Dasein-dependent temporality as readiness-to-hand:. Being and Time , my emphasis. But now if theoretical investigations reveal nature in present-at-hand time, and if in the switching over from the practical use of equipment to the theoretical investigation of objects, time remains the same Dasein-time, then present-at-hand time is Dasein-dependent too.
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Given this, it seems that the only way we can give any sense to the idea of nature as it is in itself is to conceive of such nature as being outside of time. Interestingly, in the History of the Concept of Time a text based on Heidegger's notes for a lecture course and often thought of as a draft of Being and Time , Heidegger seems to embrace this very option, arguing that nature is within time only when it is encountered in Dasein's world, and concluding that nature as it is in itself is entirely atemporal.
It is worth noting the somewhat Kantian implication of this conclusion: if all understanding is grounded in temporality, then the atemporality of nature as it is in itself would mean that, for Heidegger, we cannot understand natural things as they really are in themselves cf. Dostal In a piece, in which Heidegger distances his views from Sartre's existentialism, he links the turn to his own failure to produce the missing divisions of Being and Time.
The division in question was held back because everything failed in the adequate saying of this turning and did not succeed with the help of the language of metaphysics… This turning is not a change of standpoint from Being and Time , but in it the thinking that was sought first arrives at the location of that dimension out of which Being and Time is experienced, that is to say, experienced from the fundamental experience of the oblivion of Being. Letter on Humanism , pp. Concerning the central purport [of the Larger Sutra ]: Sakyamuni discarded the supreme Pure Land and appeared in this defiled world; this was to expound the teaching of the Pure land and, by encouraging sentient beings, to bring them to birth in the Pure Land.
Amida Tathagata discarded this defiled world and emerged in the Pure Land; this was to guide sentient beings of this defiled world and bring them to birth in the Pure Land. This is none other than the fundamental intent with which all buddhas go out to the Pure Land and emerge in the defiled world. Without Sakyamuni, Amida would remain unknown to beings in this world and his work of leading all to his buddha-field would go unapprehended; without Amida, Sakyamuni would have no effective means of liberating beings and his teaching mission would be futile.
In place of a linear chronology, we have a motif of movement between the timeless and mundane time, by which the temporality of karmic causation and discriminative thinking is broken. For Shinran, it is the motive-force of wisdom-compassion that underlies the historical existence of Sakyamuni—that in fact made him buddha—and this wisdom-compassion is itself the life of Amida Buddha. Shinran focuses on the pattern in the sutras by which, prior to expounding dharma, the Buddha enters a profound samadhi and delves to the nondiscriminative wisdom that transcends words and concepts.
On emerging from the samadhi, he reemerges into the realm of words and responds to questions from his disciples. While his words are those of ordinary human discourse, they give expression to the samadhi he attained. Sakyamuni proceeds to deliver the teaching of Amida Buddha. From the perspective of this sutra, were it not for Amida, whose Buddhahood lies at the heart of the samadhi of great tranquility, Sakyamuni himself would not be Buddha.
At the same time, were it not for Sakyamuni, the teaching of Amida would not be disclosed to the world. Thus, the relationship between Amida and Sakyamuni is not that between two distinct figures, or between the religious symbol taught and the teacher. It may be said that while meditative traditions in Buddhism tend to emphasize the elimination of delusional thinking and the apprehension of formless reality free of the imposition of egocentric discrimination, the Pure Land tradition is attentive to the compassionate working of reality to awaken beings incapable of eradicating conceptual thought.
It does so by manifesting itself in forms and approaching beings. Since beings cannot attain such wisdom, reality as such cannot be grasped. Because the Pure Land path is not based on such praxis, the use of such terms is unnecessary. There are two aspects. One is to believe deeply and decidedly that you are a foolish being of karmic evil caught in birth-and-death, ever sinking and ever wandering in transmigration from innumerable kalpas in the past, with never a condition that would lead to emancipation.
Second [of the three minds] is deep mind, which is true and real shinjin. One truly knows oneself to be a foolish being full of blind passions, with scant roots of good, transmigrating in the three realms and unable to emerge from this burning house. Three points may be noted here.
First, the self-awareness of the practitioner indicated by Shan-tao is that of a human being wholly incapable of fulfilling Buddhist practices. In other words, the self-reflection implied in deep mind is, in its opposite aspect, at the same time deep trust in the salvific power of Amida. The third point is that while human being and Buddha stand thus as thoroughgoing opposites—the being filled with afflicting passions and lacking any goodness that might lead toward enlightenment, on the one hand, and the Buddha freely exerting the power of wisdom-compassion, on the other—deep mind arises as a unitary awareness out of the interaction of being and Buddha.
Self-reflection and trust arise simultaneously. Without the approach of Amida, not only trust, but also genuine self-awareness is unattainable. Although Buddhism is vast, in essence it is composed of no more than the three learnings [of precepts, meditation, and wisdom. In meditation, I have not attained even one. In wisdom, I have not attained the right wisdom of cutting off discriminative thinking and realizing the fruit…. Shinran, for example, distinguishes various types of bodhi-mind and identifies that of the true Pure Land path with his conception of shinjin.
If they have the ability to give rise to trust, can they not perform other practices also? That which is real suchness, thusness, nondual reality, buddha-nature, etc. The question of the nature of the relation leads to the problem of hermeneutics. Issues of hermeneutics are central to the Japanese Pure Land tradition because of the discontinuity it asserts between the ordinary awareness of beings and the enlightened wisdom-compassion of the Buddha, which is the source and ultimate content of the teaching.
The narrative settings of the Pure Land teachings in the sutras were regarded as particularly significant in this regard. From her cell, Vaidehi beseeches the Buddha to teach her a way to be born in a world free of such treachery and turmoil. Shinran emphasizes the distance between this world and the realm of enlightenment by asserting that at the point in history when conditions were ripe for teaching and reception of the Pure Land path, the entire drama of regicide and betrayal was played out by incarnated bodhisattvas precisely to allow for the introduction of the Pure Land teaching.
It is, therefore, the condition of self-reflection and repentance that allows for the reception of the Pure Land teaching. In the latter view, the various contemplative exercises and the disciplines and study taught by the sutra are meant to reveal the wisdom-compassion of the vow, which grasps all beings without discrimination, whatever their capacity.
In other words, the sutra teachings are not to be taken literally, but as means to awaken beings so that they entrust themselves to the vow. In Shinran, the activity of the vow is more direct, for he asserts that shinjin in beings is itself the mind of Amida and that Amida gives his mind to beings.
This oneness manifests itself as the nembutsu. Precisely how it was given remained an issue. The effects of the oneness are manifested not only in the occurrence of birth in the Pure Land at death, but also in various ways in present life. One should not pursue such benefits for their own sake, but they naturally come about for the person of the nembutsu whose birth in the Pure Land is settled.
He speaks, for example, of the elimination of the effects of past evil acts through repentance zange metsuzai. As seen here, ethical behavior is not prescribed and undertaken as another form of praxis, but Other Power may function of itself in the life of the nembutsu practitioner to suppress evil and manifest compassion action. Shinran CWS I: The people who are trying to obstruct the nembutsu are the manor lords, bailiffs, and landowners in the local areas ….
Shinran CWS I: — The ethical ideal of genuinely compassionate action—action that leads others to liberation from ignorance—exists in the present for the nembutsu practitioner as a goal one looks forward to in the future, beyond all falsification by self-attachments. It is the teleological fulfillment of human existence that unfolds only by Other Power.
At the same time, that goal, as the content of birth in the Pure Land that is already settled in the present, pervades present existence, interfused with the karmic burden of the samsaric past. The term modernity commonly indicates the cultural principles stemming from the European Enlightenment that became dominant globally in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including such ideals as reason, empirical science, individualism, freedom, and so on. Political stability, including religious institutions, had continued without significant threat or conflict for nearly two and a half centuries, during which a relatively peaceful, prosperous, and culturally active citizenry flourished.
After being forcibly opened to foreign commerce in , Japanese leaders emerged who were fearful of the efforts by Western powers to exert control over the country through utilizing internal conflict. They sought fundamental political change without large-scale civil warfare and successfully effected a shift in power from the shogunate nominally to the emperor in Further, they entered upon a deliberate program of importing and adopting Western learning, technology, and sociopolitical institutions.
Christianity was perceived as woven into the fabric of modern civilization and as providing the moral foundation for Western advances. Hence, some Japanese believed the successful assimilation of Western technology and social institution would require the adoption of Christianity. Buddhist reform movements were beginning to arise, but on the whole it was a period for regrouping, apologetics, and new organizational rather than intellectual development. The observations and criticisms by Christian missionaries regarding Japanese Buddhism during this period reveal the challenges to which Buddhists sought to respond.
An example is a lecture delivered by M. As Japanese Buddhists pointed out in their first encounters with Christianity, the notion of divine incarnation fits easily into a broad Japanese Buddhist paradigm of the emergence of form from formless reality. Incarnations are frequent. For Gordon, God as creator serves as the linchpin for the other two key doctrines, sin and salvation.
The Japanese Buddhist response to modernity from the beginning of the twentieth century tended to be dominated by two interrelated trends: the attempt to reinterpret the nature of the Buddhist and Christian traditions and the relationship between them, and the attempt to modernize Buddhist teachings by adopting modes of understanding religious life discerned in Western thought and Christian conceptual motifs. In terms of actual content, therefore, it was at first closely associated with Christianity.
For Buddhists, philosophy and religion became a means not only to position Buddhism in relation to Christianity, but also to distance it from Christianity to its own advantage, particularly in relation to modern scientific knowledge.
He employed both categories in characterizing the aims and approach of Buddhism, seeking to demonstrate its superiority to Christianity. In Buddhism, this is namely the overturning of delusional thought and the awakening of enlightenment. On the other hand, when the superstitious practices that have attached themselves to Buddhist life are stripped away, its fundamental mode of thought, rooted in reason and causality, is seen to resemble scientific and philosophical thought. In this, it is distinct from Christianity, which Inoue believes is grounded in revelation and divine creation.
This language was seen to resonate with the Buddhist tradition, providing it with broad categories by which Japanese Buddhists were able to situate their traditions in modern, philosophically recognizable frameworks. The aforementioned M. That conversion experience, he maintained, lends Christianity a power lacking in Japanese Buddhism, which he saw as moribund and widely discredited in modern times.
Admittedly, the Christian concepts of sin and forgiveness are absent from Pure Land Buddhism. Like Inoue, he speaks of the finite and infinite or absolute as mediated by reason in philosophy and by faith in religion. Kiyozawa is distinctive, though, in his decidedly practical orientation, exploring the encounter with the absolute in religious life. In his late twenties, he undertook an ascetic discipline of daily life and diet that ended after several years when he contracted tuberculosis.
In the last five years of his life, he was strongly attracted to the introspective spiritual cultivation of equanimity and indifference to contingencies that he found in the early scriptures of Buddhism and especially in the Stoic philosopher Epictetus. Although Kiyozawa makes little mention of Christianity in his writings beyond, for example, reflections on the doctrines of creation or monotheism from a comparative philosophical perspective, we find in his journal in , amid passages from Epictetus and other classical texts, references to biblical passages in standard English notation.
The references suggest a close familiarity with the Bible, probably from his youth. Instead of seeking, like his teacher, to build on the legitimacy of philosophy and science, carving out a place for Buddhism beyond the limitations of a rational philosophical analysis of life experience, Soga stood within Shin Buddhist teachings and sought to show their vital significance.
He did so by drawing on broader Mahayana Buddhist concepts, comparing them at times with Christian modes of thought. While temple institutions had pursued the study of Christian theology for polemical purposes, it appears that by the turn of the twentieth century, some Buddhist philosophers had gained a new confidence of their own, allowing themselves to be stimulated by Christian theological ideas. Soga not only counters criticisms that Amida is merely mythical and that Pure Land Buddhism lacks historical foundations, but also strongly affirms in doctrinal terms the immediacy of personal religious experience in Shin.
There is also the matter of the temporal dimension in this relationship. Previously the Japanese Pure Land tradition had articulated the Mahayana logic of the nonduality of the temporal and the uncreated or transtemporal. As Soga explains:. Christianity challenged Japanese Buddhists by teaching a personal religiosity and a stringent individual moral responsibility.
Kiyozawa offers a prominent example of the attempt to engage those issues.
Regarding the narrative of the origin of Amida Buddha and the Pure Land, which Gordon and other Christian missionaries regarded as obvious fictions created late in the Buddhist tradition, Soga may have found resources for resolution in the very Christian sources behind the criticisms. The Japanese Mahayana tradition had already developed it own concepts of the compassionate emergence out of emptiness or formless reality as well as the nonduality of the karmically conditioned and unconditioned.
Those ideas provided an openness to and point of entry into certain areas of Christian and Western philosophical thought. Suzuki — has noted, The Japanese may not have offered very many original ideas to world thought or world culture, but in Shin we find a major contribution the Japanese can make to the outside world and to all other Buddhist schools. Introduction 1. Contours of Pure Land Buddhist Thought 2. Japanese Pure Land Buddhist Thought 3.
Introduction Before proceeding to a consideration of Japanese Pure Land Buddhist thought, it may be useful to note two intertwined difficulties that it presents for modern Western readers in particular: an extensive scriptural and commentarial tradition, and apparent resemblances to familiar forms of Christian thought. Contours of Pure Land Buddhist Thought Two fundamental elements of early Mahayana practice contributed significantly to the development of the Pure Land path.
This thinking characterized by the discriminative perception of the world of beings rooted in the nondiscriminative apprehension of reality may be seen in relation to the question of the real existence of beings born in the Pure Land in the following passage from the sixth century Chinese Pure Land thinker Tanluan — : Question: In the Mahayana sutras and treatises it is frequently taught that sentient beings are in the final analysis unborn, like empty space. Question: In what sense do you speak of birth in the Pure Land?
The same is true of preceding thought and succeeding thought. The reason is that if they were one and the same, then there would be no causality; if they were different, there would be no continuity. This principle is the gate of contemplating sameness and difference; it is discussed in detail in the treatises.
Shinran CWS, 1: 27—28 We see that from very early in the East Asian tradition, as well known in Japan, Pure Land thinkers applied the Mahayana logic of the nonduality and interpenetration of discriminative and nondiscriminative realms to Pure Land concepts.
He states: Concerning the central purport [of the Larger Sutra ]: Sakyamuni discarded the supreme Pure Land and appeared in this defiled world; this was to expound the teaching of the Pure land and, by encouraging sentient beings, to bring them to birth in the Pure Land. Shinran CWS I: In the face of the persecution of the nembutsu by local authorities, he advises his disciples: The people who are trying to obstruct the nembutsu are the manor lords, bailiffs, and landowners in the local areas ….
As Soga explains: People are apt to consider this as an old tale that has nothing to do with their present selves. In fact, however, the one-moment wherein Dharmakara Bodhisattva evoked the faith of sincere entrusting is an absolute moment that embraces innumerable eons. And equally the first moment wherein we are made to experience faith is an absolute moment that covers innumerable eons ….
The present of faith is the great present of immeasurable life. Blum and Rhodes , p. Bibliography Primary Literature Genshin, Andrews, Tokyo: Sophia University. Partial translation and outline of the seminal work of the Tendai Pure Land master. Major scriptures of the Pure Land tradition, including discussions and charts reflecting hermeneutical practices of Japanese masters. Hirota, Dennis, trans. Anonymous philosophically oriented medieval tract. Ippen, No Abode: The Record of Ippen , trans.
Shinran, Volume 2 includes major essays by Suzuki on Shin Buddhism. Dennis Hirota, Kyoto: Ryukoku University. Phrase-by-phrase translation with romanization and original text. Volume 2: introductions, glossaries, and reading aids. Secondary Literature Barth, K. Clark, Bloom, Alfred ed. Suzuki, Takeuchi Yoshinori, Ueda Yoshifumi and others. Blum, Mark L. Rhodes eds. Gordon, M. Meiklejohn and Company. Hirota, Dennis,