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The Mom and Momjit Paradigm

The Mom and Momjit Paradigm

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Published by Randolph Dible

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Published by: Randolph Dible on Oct 26, 2011
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11/29/2012

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The Mom and Momjit Paradigm: Perennial ParametersRandolph Thompson Dible IIMay 18, 2010Professor Sung Bae-Park
Professor Park informed us that his book “One Korean’s Approach to Buddhism: The Mom/
Momjit
Paradigm” was only half the original project! The unmanifest second part of the project was to
be another book about how the Mom/ Momjit paradigm is an expression of the Philosophia Perennis,the perennial philosophy, that is, the expression of the same ultimate truth found in all the greatreligious traditions. The purpose of this essay is to focus on how it may be viewed as such, which is tosay how it is universal and found in other traditions as well.First, a disclaimer. Much of the reasons for d
etermining whether one’s interpretation of a
doctrine is perennial depends upon the intentions, which are hard to read, and often the reader bringsin his or her own intentions. The degree to which an interpreter is a perennialist may conflict with thati
nterpreter’s attachments to a particular tradition, see
ing certain other traditions in a negative light, forinstance, making a caricature of the other tradition to highlight distinct features of the therebydistinguished tradition. But if that individual
’s explicit intention is to support perennial interpretationsof a tradition, we may viably ignore that individual’s inner conflicts, observe their adherence to this
noble intention, and interpret their own ideas perennially. This might occur, for instance, whenBuddhism is characterized by the doctrine of anatman (no-self,) or so by implication when UpanisadicCreationism or or Brahminism is characterized by the doctrine of Atman (Self,) as occurs in Buddhist
 
literature. This would be of course a simplification, at worst a gross characterization. For instance, inthe Samkhya Karika of Isvarakrsna there are statements in support of the Atman, Paramatman (in
Vedantic interpretations) which appear otherwise by the doctrine of Purusha Kaivalyam: “I am nothi
ng,
I posess nothing, there is no self.” This is interpreted by the Samkhya darshana as meaning that thearticulable, manifest, apparent, phenomenal self, which the Zen tradition call the “little mind” (Soto
school of Shunryu Suzuki
, from “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind,” pp. 35,
Mind Waves
,) and the Vedictradition calls the jiva (individual) or jivatman as distinguished from the Paramatman, or in the case of the Samkhya darshana, the Kaivalyam (soteriological equivalent of moksha, literally meaning isolation oraloneness) of Purusha (the person literally, but taken in a cosmic sense as the power of awareness orpure consciousness.) So such statements which seems to support the doctrine of anatman found inBuddhism (for instance, in Ibid. pp. 62,
No Trace
, “Bu
rn yourself completely without a trace in all you
do,”) but are in fact supporting what Professor Park has called The Only One (speaking of Upanisadic
Creationism) i.e. Atman, the Highest Self, or Purusha, Pure Subjectivity. Traditionally, such statementsseem to be at odds, and certainly orthopraxy has it as such, but Perennalism runs counter to this andsees the difference in attempts to frame the same ultimate truth as compatible from a heterodox
interpretation, possibly even a heretical one! We musn’t
ignore real boundaries where they exist inmetaphysical structures, but we also must reconcile the fact that there are dissentious but possiblycompatible opinions of practitioners, with the fact of the reality of the world we share as well as theUltimate Reality transcendentally shared as the metaphysical structure of the Real, the structure of theformless Eternal States or Eternal Verities, as best we can discern.Perhaps we can ascribe any caricatures we create of other traditions to our own ignorance and
exclusivity of practice of the Highest Common Factor (Aldous Huxley’s term from “The Perennial
 
Philosophy.”) Alternatively, we may make a distinction (another parameter indeed, but one which
functions to a higher end) between the exoteric interpretations of a religion (or practice or tradition)and the esoteric interpretation. In this case, we might say that Creationism, whether stemming fromthe devotees and followers of Jehovah or Krishna, is compatible even with dependent origination, forthe personal God may be a symbol for, and indication of, the Personal Other, who Herself (or Himself)depends upon an unstated (esoteric or unmanifest) witnessing consciousness (the mere sinner oraspirant,) of the limited person. Indeed, we may create higher levels of interpretation to bridgetraditions all we like, but it is not in greater complexity that the truth of perennialism is sought, but inutter simplicity and emptiness (of content.) So our task is to expose the all-pervasive truth underneaththe interpretations, to distinguish the finger from the moon. This is the distinction between distinctionand indication, or the difference between difference and reference. The interpretations are the contentof comparative religious studies, but their messages are themselves (taken as holistically as possible inany limited survey) indicative of some kind of reconciliation of a transcendental Ultimate Reality and aconditional Presently Given Reality. Indeed, some kind of reconciliation is necessary in whateverreligious truth we adhere to, for metaphysical or theoretical parameters.Simplicity demands there to be One Great Parameter which is Ever-Present, however diverse inits dynamic of ontogenesis or cosmogenesis, that is, in its functioning. But the method of deconstruction demands that any metaphysical structure be blown away before the Parameter is usedto serve its Highest Functioning. Therefore, the correct metaphysical structure is sought in abstractionof all limited forms from the Limitless, from the Ultimate Reality, in order to achieve a system of as littlecontent as possible, so that it is most conducive to the Higher Purpose (functioning) of metaphysics(including comparative theology,) which itself must coincide in the Highest Purpose (momjit) of religion

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