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The Middle Way: The Reality of the Unreal - Tucker N. Callaway.pdf

The Middle Way: The Reality of the Unreal - Tucker N. Callaway.pdf

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The Middle Way: The Reality of the Unreal - Tucker N. Callaway
The Middle Way: The Reality of the Unreal - Tucker N. Callaway

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12/28/2013

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Nanzan University
The Middle Way: The Reality of the UnrealAuthor(s): Tucker N. CallawaySource:
Contemporary Religions in Japan,
Vol. 4, No. 3 (Sep., 1963), pp. 203-211Published by:
Stable URL:
Accessed: 03/06/2013 17:34
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This content downloaded from 196.21.233.64 on Mon, 3 Jun 2013 17:34:38 PMAll use subject toJSTOR Terms and Conditions
 
THEMIDDLEAY:THEEALITYFTHENREAL
TuckerN.Callaway,Th.D.
TheparadoxofcontemporaryBuddhismnJapanisitsradicalworld affirmationgainstaphilosophicalackgroundfradicalworld denial.Thekeytothisparadoxsthedialecticof the MiddleWay',thatis,theMiddleWaybetweenas-sertingthatthingsare andasserting hingsarenot.Theuni-verse neitherexists,nor does not exist.Thoughthisdoctrinewasfirst formulatedyNagarjunandhisMadhyamikachool(MiddleWayDoctrineSchool)inIndiaback inthe first orsecondcenturyA.D.,itisasup-to-datenpracticalapplicationasthismorning'snewspaper.ModernBuddhist2houghtandpracticearesimplyarunningcommentaryn thisworldview.The MiddleWaycanonlybeunderstoodnexperience,neverthroughhe rationalapproach.As a Zenpriesttoldmerecentlyduringan interviewnKyoto,"thephilosophyfthe MiddleWayismerelyanattemptto describe heLifeof(Enlightenment)Eatori1f."3TheLife,theexistential ex-perience,comesirst,stherealityconcerned;onceptualormu-lations such as the MiddleWayarenothingmorethanattemptsto verbalizewhatisactuallyhappening,nothingmorethanfingerspointingat themoon,nothingmorethanrabbit-tracksin thesnow.Togainaninklingoftheinnercontentof theMiddleWaywe must turn our attentionromthefingerto
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This content downloaded from 196.21.233.64 on Mon, 3 Jun 2013 17:34:38 PMAll use subject toJSTOR Terms and Conditions
 
THEMIDDLE WAY:THE REALITYOF THEUNREAL
themoon;we mustfollow the tracks untilwe catchtherabbit;wemust movebeyondwordsto theWayitself. Wemustseek ananswer to thequestion:Whatdoes it meantolive asiftheworldneitherexistsnor does not exist?Inemotional contentit isdeliciousliberation;it is todwellinaluminousrealm ofcrystal claritywherenothingtarnishes,nothingdulls, nothingcorruptsor smears orclings.Hereallthingsarepure- how shallIsay-fluid-freeike acataractofmercury,like aslowmovinglava-flow ofmercury,like apoolofmercuryinmomentarypauseshimmeringon thebrinkofflow.Thequalityof theexperienceof the MiddleWayiscapturedin these lines ofpoetry:The bamboo-shadowsmove overthestonestepsasiftosweepthem,But nodustisstirred.4Oneofthe bestmodels of the Life of theMiddleWaywhichIhavethusfar encounteredisin,ofallunlikelyplaces,DisneyLand's DellTelephoneCompanyexhibit. This is notCinerama,butCyclorama.You standcompletelysurroundedbyacircularmoviescreenaboutseventyfeetindiameterandtwentyfeetinheight.Asyoumove downastreetinWashington,D.C.,thecityis all aboutyou.You can lookinanydirection andsee whatyoumightseeifyouwereactuallythere.All thesensationsof motionthroughspaceareexperiencedthoughonedoes notmoveastep.Indeed,inanairflightsequenceI camenearlosing mydinner.Someonewithnoknowledgeofcy-cloramicprojection,-forinstance,asavagefromanAfricanjungle,-would takeitallforreal.Inhisignorancethe
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This content downloaded from 196.21.233.64 on Mon, 3 Jun 2013 17:34:38 PMAll use subject toJSTOR Terms and Conditions

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