Derrida and Negative Theology -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Coward & Foshay ed., Derrida and Negative Theology (Suny Press, 1992) pp.

227-253 --------------------------------------The Deconstruction of Buddhism What is interesting about Buddhism, from a deconstructive point of view,is that it is both onto-theological (therefore what-needs-to-be-deconstructed) and decon structive (providing a different example of how-to-deconstruct). What is interes ting about Derrida's type of deconstruction, from a Buddhist point of view, is t hat it is logocentric. What Derrida says about philosophy, that it "always re-appropriates for itself t he discourse that delimits it", is equally true of Buddhism. Like all religions, Buddhism includes a strong onto-theological element, yet it also contains the r esources that have repeatedly deconstructed this tendency. Thanks to sensitiviti es that Derrida's texts have helped to develop, it is possible to understand the Buddhist tradition as a history of this struggle between deconstructive delimit ation and metaphysical re-appropriation, between a message that undermines all s ecurity by undermining the sense-of-self that seeks security, and a countervaili ng tendency to dogmatize and institutionalize that challenge. According to this version of deconstruction, however, Derrida's approach is still logocentric, for what needs to be deconp. 228 The Deconstruction of Buddhism Derrida and Negative Theology, (1992) structed is not just language but the world we live in and the way we live in it , trapped within a cage of our own making -- "bound by our own rope," to use the Zen phrase. [1] The consequence of this struggle has been a self-consciousness about those apori as of negative theology that Derrida points out in "Denegations": hyperessential ity; the secret society's secret that there is no secret; "the homology of hiera rchy which leads to that which situates itself beyond all position"; the promise , the order and the waiting. All these aspects are to be found in Buddhism, but, rather than being tendencies that need to be exposed, the history of Buddhist t hought is the history of making these problems central and deconstructing them b y revealing the logocentricity that motivates them. As we shall see, Buddhist ph ilosophy has been preoccupied with refuting any tendency to postulate a transcen dental-signified, including any "hyperessentialism." The Buddha himself emphasiz ed that he had no secret, although that did not stop later generations from attr ibuting one to him; insofar as the solution to Zen koans might be considered a s ecret, Zen teachers emphasize that that answer is always quite obvious; in fact, our inability to see the obvious is precisely the point. The sangha (community of monks and nuns) that the Buddha established has been called the world's first democracy; in contrast to the Hindu caste system, hierarchy was determined sole ly by when one joined. There is no "order" from any transcendental being that re

better is something like "dissatisfaction/frustration") . that there is an end to duhk ha -. "dependent origination. nor is there any La st Judgment."the Awake"). according to a th ird. wrote nothing. leaving behind extensive oral teachings later recorded in the Pali Canon. and vice-versa. the Buddha lived for 45 years after his e nlightenment. which is approximately eleven times the length of the Bible. etc. Budd hism postulates no "golden age" of plenitude before a fall into the suffering of history and self. to see the karmic connections between those lifetimes. the few descriptions are negative: they say what nirvana is not. whether or not it is finite.and an eightfold path leading to that end. in his talk to the Kalamas (praised as the first "charter of free inquiry") the Buddha emphasi zed that they should not accept any religious doctrine until they had tried it o ut for themselves and seen how it changed their lives." According to another accou nt. the Buddha's attitude is noteworthy: When two disciples sought permission to translate his vernacular teachings into classical Sanskrit verse. and hence there is no personal or impersonal Abso lute. and to understand the Four Truths: how life is duhkha (the usual translation "su ffering" is too limited. Perhaps most signifi cant from a deconstructive approach is that none of these earliest accounts invo kes an inexpressible "self-presence. which emphasize s the identity of self. "waiting" (more generally. and that the impersonal physi cal and mental processes whose interaction creates the illusion of self are impe rmanent and cause suffering." According to the most common story. Finally. the Bu ddha realized the Three Knowledges: he was able to remember his past lifetimes a s far back as he wanted." These included whether or not the world had an origin or will hav e an end. you must experience it yourself. One of the most striking things about this voluminous material is that it says so much abou t the path to nirvana and so little about nirvana itself. the Buddha realized the truth of pratitya-samutpada. [2] Buddhism begins with the Buddha (literally. stealing. s aying that in each region the teachings should be presented in the local languag e. [3] In contrast to the other main Indian tradition. any expectations) has been repeatedly identified as the most problema tic tendency in meditative practice. Except for so me terms of praise. (Given the difficulties of translati on. because they "are not conducive to e nlightenment. The Buddha's attitude seems to have been that it's not helpful to talk about it very much. in contrast to Mosaic law. I don't know why. like Socrates and Christ. substance. The usu al problem of legendary origins is further complicated by the fact that the Budd ha. The Buddha's mostly impromptu talks were in response to questions. so that If you want to know what nirvana is.nirvana -. The Pali Canon contains several different accounts of exactly what the Buddha re alized in his paradigmatic enlightenment under the Bo tree.quires one to practice Buddhism.C. c. which he himself had reached. There is no attempt to explain (and without a God there i s no need to explain) suffering as a result of original sin. he realized that there is no persisting self. but the re were some questions he would not answer. and therefore harbors no dream of returning to any such pure origin. "Ignorance was dispelled. the Buddha empha sized that there is no self. that everything without exception arises and passes away according to conditions. The Buddha emphasized that he who understands pratitya-samutpada understands the dharma [his teaching]. and transcendental Absolute. the Buddhist precept s (to avoid killing. The "promise" of Buddhism is quite pragmatic.) Unlike the brief career of Christ. and whether or not the life-principle (jiva) is identical with the body. the Upanishadic. since as far as I know he had no objections against writing.) are vows one makes to oneself to try to liv e in a certain way. that the cause of duhkha is desire and ignorance. he refused. " which was to become the most important doctrine of Buddhism.consciousness. 563-483 B."Dependent-origination" explains our expe . whether or not a Buddha exists after deat h. knowledge arose.

which occur wi thout any self that is doing or experiencing them. When the Buddha died he did not appoint a successor: "let the dharma be your gui de. All the twelve fact ors are interdependent. literally somet hing like "preparation." that dharma w as soon canonized from a guide (a raft that can be used to cross the river of su ffering. from each factor as its preconditions arises another factor.samutpada. and "according to a law that can be formalized. The Buddha rejects that question as misguided. and for whom occur.rience by locating all phenomena within a set of twelve factors. Duhkha occurs without there being anyone who causes or experiences the duhkha. the phenomena described in prat itya. each conditione d by and conditioning all the others. the Buddha's cl early non-metaphysical approach yielded to the desire to abstract an abhidharma or "higher dharma" from his extensive and repetitious talks. This classification is striking because it denies any difference in kind bet ween physical sense grasping and mental attachment. the last two are their effect s in a future life. Craving causes (9) grasping or attachment to life in general . The twelve links of this chain (which inte grates shorter chains that the Buddha elaborated on different occasions) are tra ditionally explained as follows: The presupposition of the whole process is (1) ignorance. and to belief in a soul or se lf. Conception causes (4) mind-body. Grasping leads to (10) becoming. Although ignorance is presented as if it were a precon dition. and there is no refere nce in Buddhism to some past time before this cycle was operating. the following three are causes in the present life that will lead to another birth." Predictably. These twelve links are usually understood to describe three lifetimes: the first two factors give causes from the past that have led to our present existence. to morality and external observances. The origin al Sanskrit term samskarah is especially difficult to translate." it refers to acts of will associated with parti cular states of mind. it is the same problematic t endency that manifests in all four. each conditioning all the others. (2) volitional tendencies from a person's pr evious lifetime survive physical death and tend to cause a new birth. these three "lifetimes" have also been taken metaph orically.the fetus. which develops (5) the six s ense-organs. co nditioned by earlier factors and conditioning later ones. t he next five are their effects in the present. that is all. get up. Our basic problem is i gnore-ance. as referring to the various factors conditioning every moment of our e xistence. The sense-organs allow (6) contact between each organ and its respective sense-object. giving rise to (7) sensation which leads to ( craving for that sensation. a monk ask s the Buddha to whom belong. because something about experience is overlooked in the rush to grat ify desires. Such clinging is traditionally classified into four types: clinging to pleasur e. the tendenc y after physical death to be reborn. Within a few generations. to views. Since the sense-ofself is due to interaction among the various factors constituting pratitya-samut . to use the Buddha 's own analogy) into an onto-theology. The continuation of these volitional tendencies explains h ow rebirth is possible without a permanent soul or persisting self: they survive physical death to affect the new (3) consciousness that arises when they influe nce a fertilized egg to cause conception. And so the cycle co ntinues. Due to this ignorance. but not afterwards to be carried around on our backs. In one Pali sutra. the important point is that there is no first-cause. In neither case is ignorance a "first cause" that began the whole proc ess in some distant past. However. to grow. causing (11) another birth and therefore (1 2) old age and death and the suffering associated with them. including the mental organ of mind understood as that which perceiv es mental objects. in an apparently cease less cycle. But there is no substance here: both v olitional tendencies and the resulting rebirth-consciousness are impermanent. rebirth is explained as a series of impersonal processes. In response t o the problem of how rebirth can occur without a permanent soul or self that is reborn.

Nagarjuna's argument merely brings out more fully the implications of pratitya-samutpada. but also about the repressed. The feeble-minded are destroyed by the misunderstood doctrine of sunyata. and granted a pantheon of bodhisattvas who help others attain salvation.presence of thin gs. that in itself would be a fault. however.D. XII:8. not to solve these problems but to demonstrate that any possible philosophical solution is self-contradictory or otherwise unjustifiabl e. Philosophically. The locus classicus of this Madhyamika school is in the Mulamadhyamikaka rika (hereafter "MMK") of Nagarjuna. those for whom sunyata is itself a theory they declared to be i ncurable. nirvana and the two-t ruths doctrine. presupposing the everyday. Sunyata The spiritual conquerors have proclaimed sunyata to be the exhaustion of all the ories and views. at any time or place.") Rather than sunyata being solely a negative concept. from both or without cause. as by a snake ineptly seized or some secret knowledge wrongly applied. in fact the ground of the un iverse. however. Sunyata is a guiding. We interpret pratitya-samutpada as sunyata. although curiously split into apparently incompatible directions: in popular religious terms. Nagarjuna emphasizes that it is only because everyt hing is sunya that any change. The MMK offers a systematic analysis of all the important philosoph ical issues of its time. verse 29] The best way to bring out the similarities and differences between Nagarjuna and Derrida is to consider separately what the MMK says about sunyata.") was elevated into a metaphysical principle. They derive from the root su whic h means "to be swollen. the abhidharmikas concluded that reality is plural: what exists are these various elements. the paradigmatic but very human Buddha (when asked whether he was a man or a god. because the fac t that these twelve factors are mutually dependent means that they are not reall y entities. Nagarjuna was concerned not only about the supposedly self-sufficient atomic elements of the Abhidharma analysis. so radical and influential it has never been completely re-approp riated. notion." Prati tya-samutpada does not teach a causal relation between entities. t herefore the usual English translation "empty" and "emptiness" must be supplemen ted with the notion of "pregnant with possibilities. XXIV:11. a revolution as important to Buddhism as the Protestant Ref ormation for Christianity." [Vigrahavyavartani. [ 4] The reaction to this philosophical development and other tendencies was the deve lopment of Mahayana. Again. the important terms sunya and its substa ntive sunyata are very difficult to translate.unconscious m ." both like a hollow balloon and like a pregnant woman. which they enumerated and classified. [MMK.which are said to encompass ever ything -. This process of extricat ing a core-teaching transformed the Buddhist path of liberation into an atomism nonetheless onto-theological: in place of the one substance of Vedanta.18] [5] The first verse of the MMK proclaims its thoroughgoing critique of being: "No th ings whatsoever exist. This is not done to prepare the ground for Nagarjuna's own solution: "If I we re to advance any thesis whatsoever. none of the twelve phenomena -. not a cognitiv e." (Sprung's translation uses the cumbersome "absence of being in things. none could occur without the conditioning of all the other factors. but I adva nce no thesis and so cannot be faulted. from an other.self-exists because each is infected with the traces of all the others : none is "self-present" for they are all sunya. there was a thorough-going self-deconstruction of the Buddhist teachings that has continued to reverberate through all subsequent Bud dhist thought. who is believed to have lived in the first century A. including spiritual transformation. he answered: "I am a man who has awak ened. showing that dependent-o rigination should rather be understood as "non-dependent non-origination. In other words. Buddhism was now understood to assert that there are in effect innumerable substances. Or.pada. is possible. having risen by themselves. The point of sunyata is to deconstruct the self-existence/self. better: that none is selfpresent is the meaning of sunya." Paralleling the post-structuralist radicaliz ation of structuralist claims about language.

for the most part after the philosophi cal developments that are of greater intellectual interest. Although the concept of sunyata is so central to Madhyamika analys is that the school became known as sunyavada ("the way of sunya"). the question why so many people seem to be incurable must be addressed. Perhaps this is a wa rning to those such as Kant who believe in philosophical progress. For both. that sunyata was a snake which. It "presupposes the everyday" because it is parasitic on the notion of things. Here the obvious parallel with Derrida's differance runs deep. which beca me known as the "Mind-only" (Vijnanavada) school. not a cogn itive notion. like differance. differance/sunyata is a "non-site" or "non-philosophical site" from wh ich to question philosophy itself.repeatedly -. For Nagarjuna. except to emphasize that its methodology was different: rather than offering a logical analysis of philosophical categories." according to which the world is a collection of exi sting things (including us) that originate and eventually disappear. But. it attempted to work out the implications of certain m editative experiences.etaphysics of "commonsense. as we shall see. but there is nothing not sunya. the history of ph ilosophy is the metaphysical re. Derrida is concerned that we not replace the specific. The corresp onding danger was that sunyata would itself become re-appropriated into a metaph ysics. Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra. But later Chinese permutations of Yogacara did effect suc h a philosophical "transcendentalization" of "Mind" and "Buddhanature". the continual circulation of signifiers signifies that meaning has no firm foundation or epistemological gro und. in each case the theistic and dev otional tendency evolved relatively late. but of a complex set of differences. If "those for whom sunyata is itself a theory" are "incurable" . to make the application of sunyata into a method would miss the point of Nagarjuna's de construction as much as Derrida's. in which case we must let-go of the concept of sunyata as well. Nagarjuna warn ed. I shall not review the controversies about whether or not Yogacara is an idealism (therefore a reversio n to logocentrism) and how compatible it is with Madhyamika. could be fatal. as Derrida emphasizes. which it refutes. De rrida shows that the meaning of such a line of words can never be completely ful filled. as Derrida implies? Saussure taught that meaning in a linguistic system is a function not of any str aightforward relationship between signifier and signified. the purpose of sun yata is to help us "let-go" of our concepts. Is eternal vi gilance the price of freedom from onto-theology." deployed for ta ctical reasons but denied any semantic or conceptual stability. hence the text never attains self-presence. so Nagarjuna was careful to warn that sunyata was a heuristic.incorporation of such non-sites. "If there were something not sunya there would be something sunya. The ot her important philosophical school of Mahayana Buddhism was Yogacara. not a line of words releasing the single "theological" meaning of an author-god but a multi-dimensional space in which a variety of writings blend and/or clash. so how can anything be sunya?" (MMK XII:7) Likewise. is permanently "under erasure. Thus what happened in Buddhism par allels what occurred in other traditions such as Yoga and Vedanta in India. there is a wonderful net .i n later Buddhism. Barthes pointed out that the text is a tissue of quotations. Sunyata. there is no s uch "thing" as sunyata. What would we end up with if we extrapolated these claims about textuality to the whole universe? Nagarjuna's logical and epistemological analysis did not appeal to the Chinese. however. who preferred a more metaphysical (and therefore onto-the ological) way to express the interconditionality of all phenomena: the metaphor of Indra's net described in the Avatamsaka Sutra and developed in the Hua-yen sc hool of Mahayana. yet that is precisely what happened -. as strongly as he could. detailed activity of deconstructive reading with some generalized idea about that activity that presumes to comprehend all its different types of appl ication. sunyata aims at "the exhaustion of all theories and views" because he has another ambition. Taoi sm in China: contrary to what we might expect. which ha d occurred even earlier on the popular level. if grasped at the w rong end.

Even we cannot grow without sunshine. 279).. Of Grammatology criticizes the system of s'entendre-parler [hearing/understanding-oneself speak] which has "produced the idea of the world. The Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh makes the point bet ter than I can: If you are a poet. so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurr ing. idea lity and non-ideality." [7] If "even today the notion of a center lacking any structure represents the unthi nkable itself" [8] (Writing and Difference. Eve rything co-exists with this sheet of paper. the r ain. and since the net itself in infinite in all dimensions.. And we see the wheat. or. we will discover that in its polished su rface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net. we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to b e transformed into paper. the earth. glittering like stars of the first magnitud e. a self. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. the heat. and without trees we cannot make paper. the idea of world-origin. [9] To emphasize Nagarjuna's point. arising from the diff erence between the worldly and the non-worldly.theological trope. And if we continue to look. the minerals in the soil. and therefore the wheat that became his bread is a lso in this sheet of paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is. Without a cloud. etc. no concept of a creator. the metaphor of Indra's Net does not actually re fer to our interdependence. it contains everything in the universe in it. . There hang the jewels. the trees c annot grow. but the metaphor is not without value. and self-defining organism. but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflect ing all the other jewels. for that would presuppose the existence of separate things which are related together.that has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply. just as every sign is a sign of a sig n." [8] In Indra's Net those categories and binary oppositions do not apply. in short. Such a universe has no hierar chy: "There is no center. infinite body of members each sustaining and defining all the others. We know that the logger cannot e xist without his daily bread.. perhaps if there is one. the river. In fact.. And so. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it. so everywhere there are only traces and those traces are traces of traces. You cannot point out one thing that is not here -. nothing can grow. This relationship is said to be one of simultaneous mutual identity and mutual inter-causality. And the logger's father and mother are in it too. there will be no rain. nothing can grow..creating. self-ma intaining. a wonderful sight to behold.. If the cloud is not here.. That this "textuality" extends beyond language means that right now you are read ing more than the insights of Nagarjuna and Derrida. the jewels are infini te in number. [I]t symbolizes a cosmos in which there is an infinitely repeated interr elationship among all the members of the cosmos.transcendental and empirical. we can see the sunshine in it. The cloud is essential for t he paper to exist. infinite in number. "The cosmos is. [6] Every "individual" is at the same time the effect of the whole and the cause of the whole. Rather.. N ot only that. The universe is taken as a given". the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each "eye" of the ne t. universal and non-universal. you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this s heet of paper. and the totality is a vast. and more than the effects o f Professor Coward's invitation to contribute this paper: for in this page is th e entire universe. the sheet of paper cannot be here e ither.time. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of d eities. no question of the pur pose of it all. the cloud. is Indra's Net an "unthinkable structure"? Nagarjuna would not accept such an onto. it is everywhere. the outside and the inside. space. If the sunshine is not there.. for obv ious reasons. without rain. the sunshine." This world is non-teleological: "There i s no theory of a beginning time.

he courses in perfect wisd om. But no one is therein purified. . The difficulty is that to the extent I feel separate I am insecure. "The self-existence of a Buddha is the se lf-existence of this very cosmos. Lack is "the hunger for/o f self" which seeks fulfillment in "the absolute phantasm" of "absolute self-hav ing. in reaction. We want to meet God face-to-face. This becomes a source of duhkha because we sti ll retain a ground: in language as a whole.. When a Bodhisattva courses thus. in that sense it is a past that has always been present. The sense-of-self wants to gain nirvana/enlightenment." [11] What might a Buddhist teacher. but trace/sunyata means we never catch it. he will be freed and there wil l be no being. When there is no clinging perception.e. Then wha t is our problem? Why do we suffer? Buddhism provides no "first cause" to explai n duhkha.self can never expel t he trace of lack that constitutes it.as on the -presence. again. The tragic irony is that the ways we atte mpt to do this cannot succeed. the perceiver gener ates being. while in the most important sense we are a lready self-existing.If such is the case here and now. concerned to help his students realize this freed om. And to the extent that one does not take hold of thing s and does not settle down in them. inscribed within an endle ss recirculation of concepts even if we do not grasp at the ones that are suppos ed to bring Being into our grasp. there is nothing that needs to be attained or could be lost.. and emphasis here is as much on the self. the cosmos too is without a self-existent nature.existent nature. to that extent can one conceive of the absen ce of I-making and mine-making. In that sense can one form the concept of the pu rification of beings. The Buddha is without a self. I will seek to r eal-ize myself by fixating on ("settling down in") something that dissolves in m y grasp.of-self becomes preoccupied with trying to become self-existing/ self-presen t. wheth er it is experiencing God immediately or intellectually sublimated into a metaph ysical arche. in one or another symbolic fashion. the sen se. Subhuti: How is perfect wisdom [prajnaparamita] marked? The Lord: It has non-attachment for its mark.of-self is experienced as a sense-of-lack. But n o one is thereby defiled. but trace/sunyata means it can never attain it.. It is the difference between a restr icted and a general economy.. to that extent there is defilement. The probl em." (MMK XXVI:7) As long as I am motivated by lack.To the extent that beings take h old of things and settle down in them. to that extent there is purification. [10] The most famous line in the Diamond Sutra encapsulates this as an injunction:"Le t the mind come forth without fixing it anywhere. It is the difference between a bad-infinity and a good-infinity: a shift in perspectiv e that changes everything. with no longer needing to bring these fleeting traces to self-presence. i. Then the solution somehow has to do with not-catching . for everything is an elusive trace of traces. for the delusive sense-of." (MMK XXII:16) I think this t ouches on the enduring attraction of logocentrism and onto-theology." Nagarjuna sees the consequenc es of all this:"When there is clinging perception (upadane). not just in the West but everywhere: Being means security. but accounts for our dissatisfaction by referring it back to the delus ive sense-of-self which is a manifestation of this web yet feels separate from i t. that it is logocentric. but that we will live too much symbolically. for the i neluctable trace of nothingness in my fictitious (because not self-existing/self -present) sense. or see our essential Buddha.nat ure. that it is overly preoccupied with language because it seeks liber ation through and in language -. The dan ger is not only that we will try to find a "fully meaningful" symbol to settle d own with. is our desire for self-presence. the grounding of the self. say about Derrida's deconstruction? That Derrida's freedom is too much a tex tual freedom. insofar as the infinite set of differential traces that co nstitutes each of us is the whole Net. to the extent that they do not take hold of things a nd do not settle down in them.in other words.

This is the basic problem not only with "discontinuous and irruptive" works suc h as Anti-Oedipus but also with such "non-metaphysical" theories such as empiric ism. if one d oes not have to philosophize. to "attempt an exit and a deconstruction without changin g terrain. If philosophy were merely the sport of philosophers." On the one hand. [MMK XXIV:810]." [12] Derrida speaks repeatedly about " the necessity of lodging oneself within traditional conceptuality in order to de stroy it. th e "two truths. pragmatism and. women. but we have no choice in the matter. The danger with this strategy is that." for "we cannot give up this metaphysical complicity without also givi ng up the critique we are directing against this complicity. given that we find ourselves inscribed within language -.The two truths The teaching of the Buddhas is wholly based on there being two truths: that of a personal everyday world and a higher truth which surpasses it. in order to explain the relations among these thi ngs. however. other) wher eby we "tie ourselves without a rope" as we vainly try to valorize one half and reject the other. Th e danger is being trapped somewhere within language. "It was a Greek who said. failure. one still has to philosophize (to say it and think it).including us -. at the risk of ceaselessly consolidating at a deeper level that which one allegedly deconst ructs. even more fundamentally. But.a Nietzsche-like but only textual liberation from Being. without truth. to "decide to change terrain." Derrida declares the importance of a double str ategy: on the one hand. And the vehicle of this commo nsense metaphysics. of inhabiting more naively than b efore that which one claims to have deserted. Lyotard defines postmodernism as suspicion of all meta-narratives. the a ffirmation of a world of signs without fault. is language. being vs. death. a negligible difference. life vs." [13] The resources to make one's critique of metaphysics must be borrowed from that which one want s to undo." [15] Nagarjuna's analyses address the main philosophical theories of his day. which presents us w ith a set of nouns (self-subsistent things) that have temporal and causal predic ates (arise. the unconscious metaphysics that p asses as "commonsense. On the other hand. language must be used to expose the traps of la nguage: in addition to Nagarjuna's deconstruction of self-existent things. as long as my sense-of- . 'If one has to philosophize. impurity. The difference is between being stuck somewhere w ithin language and being free within language. men vs. again. for "language ceaselessly reinstat es the new terrain on the oldest ground. change and disappear).that are born. sedimented metaph ysics disguised as the world we live in. for example. yet it is whe n we think we are escaping meta-narratives that we are most susceptible to them. and by affirming an absol ute break and difference". One always has to philosophize. that both strategies are threatened by the same fate : the metaphysical dilemma is between reinscribing the new on the old terrain or having one's new terrain be reinscribed on the old. but his real target is that automatized. all the binary dualisms (purity vs. At the end of "The Ends of Man. if t he surpassing sense is not comprehended nirvana cannot be attained. creating and sustaining it. cha nge.how shall we proceed? Thus the double strategy of Buddhism. at the risk. nothingness." which uses the instruments of language against language. in us and before us" ( "Denegations") -. in a discontinuous and i rruptive fashion. one could ignore it.that "language has started without us. the surpassing sense cannot be pointed out. and eventually pass away. time and causality are also necessary. there are. by brutally placing oneself outside. one has to philosophize. Unless the transaction al realm is accepted as a base. and without origin which is offered to an active interpretation" [14] -. self vs. Those who do not clearly know the true distinction between the two truths cannot clearly know the hidden depths of the Buddha's teaching.'" The fundamental categories of "everydayn ess" are self-existing/self-present things -. success vs. Notice. space. the possibility is "the joy ous affirmation of the play of the world and of the innocence of becoming.

. namely the end of the end. For that is also the end of the me talanguage concerning eschatological language. coming to add more to it: I tell you this in truth. the West has been dominated by a powerful program that w as also an untransgressible contract among discourses of the end. of all exaltation in philosophy. Marxist and Nietzschean e schatology: But aren't these differences measured as gaps or deviations in relation to the f undamental tonality of this Stimmung audible across so many thematic variations? Haven't all the differences taken the form of a going-one-better in eschatologi cal eloquence. In "Of an Apocalyptic Tone Recently Adopted in Philosophy" Derrida analyzes Kant 's critique of certain "self-styled mystagogues" and questions Kant's attempt to distinguish what they do from what he does. So the other strategy is a more disruptive on e: a "higher" or "surpassing truth" which points beyond language and therefore b eyond truth. indeed of another metaphysics." or rather reveals it within Kant's own discourse: Can't we say then that all the receiving parties of such a concordat are the sub jects of eschatological discourses?. or even the voice itself.. I shall escape from one trap merely to fall into another. if Kant denounces those who proclaim that philosophy is at an end for two thousand years. But Derrida is more interested in the truce Kant proposes between the two partie s: a concordat acknowledging that the difference between them is their different manner of presenting the same moral law. Derrida wonders whet her this really exorcises the "apocalyptic tone" that Kant found objectionable i n the "mystagogues. that person would. Isn't the voice always that of th e last man? [16] We do not need to ask where Derrida himself fits into all this." [39]. If such mystagogery is due to a det erioration in the true essence of philosophy. each newcomer. And so we can ask ourselves if es chatology is a tone.lack motivates me to seek Being in some sublimated form. ma ssive. whether w anting to or not. the end of history. raising the question of "the truth of truth" and the very possibili ty of truth in philosophy. to tell the extreme of the extreme. this is not only the end of this here but also and first of that there. . his belief in the future of a certain philosophy. that the end has always already begun. more lucid than the other. is not contradictory to this proclamation of ends and of the end. .. And I shall now start again from this fact: from then on . "the f ather of the delirium. participate in the concert. whereas the other proc edure is to personify this moral law in an esthetic manner. and assembled forms of this... especially from the Indian (including Buddhist) tradition which. consists of a set of more-or-less distinct schools that developed side-b y-side. the Asian respect for tradition (e. freed another wave of esch atological discourses in philosophy. [47-48] Derrida acknowledges the differences between Hegelian. indeed the end of a certain type of metaphysics. as commentators added their notes to sub-commentaries to commentaries on sacred texts. the end of ends. And whoever would come to refine. in marking a li mit. that we must still distinguish between closure and end. he has himself. His progressivism. then the problem is that philosoph y lost its first signification very early. From the Western perspective. It is another instance where a pure origin turns out to be already infecte d with the supplement that supposedly corrupts it. The theme of h istory's end and of philosophy's death represent only the most comprehensive. in co ntrast. the end of the class struggle. The tone Derrida identifies within all Western philosophical discourse is even more audible from outside. more vigilant and more prodigal too than the other. the end of philosophy. since Kant must distinguish between P lato the "good" Academician and Plato the presumed author of the letters. Philosophy didactically leads the mora l law in us back to distinct concepts according to logic.

Despite rec ent critiques of Oedipus and patriarchy. the search for truth is also the search for that which will fill u p our lack. why Nagarj una insists there are two truths).. and. in the future itself .whereupon th e Buddha acknowledged his realization. if not tell. 245 The Deconstruction of Buddhism Derrida and Negative Theology. (53) Nietzsche and Heidegger point out that nihilism is the essence of metaphysics be cause metaphysics seeks to ground itself in being and therefore is preoccupied w ith nonbeing. Confucian gerontocracy) may look and often is stultifying. Truth is the end and the instance of the Last Judgment. the destination. is that there are many ways to seek Bei ng. but from the othe r side the Western need to revolutionize tradition is the tradition. the tone is the revelator of some unveiling in process. . toward that awaited moment when self-prese nce will be gained. who "cracked a smile" -. through whom signifiers do not reci rculate because his/hers grasp the Truth? Why is it that philosophers can accept their own physical death more readily than the refutation of their ideas? The i ssue. cannot escape this apocalyptic "tone" insofar as it i s motivated by sublimated lack. on whose shoul ders no one stands. and to signify to you that it reveals the truth to you. including Der rida's and including mine. If the truth is that conceptual place where we may rest. with whom history stops. The problem with this realization is that even such apparently modest truth claims are just as much an attempt to ground oneself in Being. to denounce the false apo calypses? " [59]. Then philosophy can never escape its apocalyptic tone insofar as it s destiny is to seek truth." but there is a problem insofar as philosophy is our attempt to grasp the concepts that grasp Being. and philosophy is the conceptual attempt to find God in the net of o ur concepts.g. as Derrida implies. of all experie nce itself. twirling a flower between his finger s. and that truth unveils itself is the advent of the e nd. there is still the same tendency to kil l the father. in the best apocalyptic tradition.infinity. (1992) mark or of every trace. And not just philosophy. No one "understood" except Mahakasyapa. you somethi ng. we are thrust into the future. And that is why ther e would not be any truth of the apocalypse that is not the truth of truth. the Buddha sat before a large audience who expected him to speak.. Truth itself i s the end.. the truth. for them. I think Derrida's phrase puts a finger on it: whence this need to be "the last man"? The one who stands on everyone else's shoulders. is that there is no such ground. as Derrida implies." And not only a tone: insofar as we hope to overcome our lack. as we are beginning to understand. Even as "the secret is that there is no secret. but he said nothing. for our bad-infinity to be transformed into a good. According to a famous Zen story. of course. "Shall we continue. If it were possible for our sense-of-lack to be reso lved. of every p. Derrida wonders if the apocalyptic tone is "a transcendental condition of all discourse.the truth -. What? The truth. then truth t oo would be transformed: from nothing (our lack allows us no rest) into everythi ng. and therefore are disrupted by th e inability of language to attain any self-presence in the sublimated form of se lf-contained meaning.is that all philosophy. The fact -. There is no problem with "your lunch is in th e refrigerator. belief in progress." so for Bu ddhism the "higher truth" (and now we shall make it the lower truth) is that the re is no truth (and now we can appreciate why it is necessary to accept the "tra nsactional realm" in order to point to the surpassing truth: that is. is a version of it. Whoever takes on the apocalpytic tone comes to signify. to kill the myth of Oedipus is to re-enac t the myth.

Or rather trying to make thinking into such a "space" of self-grounding. In India. without revelation. then. There is no t even the subtlest difference between the two. the originary Greek distinction between philosophy and religion is suspect. Accordin g to the established myth. given Derrida's and Bud dhism's point about the impossibility of self-presence? If the larger meaning of deconstruction is that language/reason is deconstructing itself as our place of self-grounding. 246 The Deconstruction of Buddhism Derrida and Negative Theology. is there any difference between them? Nirvana There is no specifiable difference whatsoever between nirvana and the everyday w orld. the full consequences of deconstruction remain to be seen. Western philosophy begins with the Greek discovery of reason. If their common ground is the need to end d uhkha and overcome lack. without any other e schatology than the tone of the 'Come' itself. In the end.There is another way to make this point about truth. of addresses without message and without destination. which is why there is no sharp distinction between the two in I ndia. then . Furthermore: what does this tone infecting its innermost core imply about reason ? I am wondering about this: Was the discovery of reason more a matter of creati ng a place of self-grounding as thinking? [17] Cogito ergo sum. what precisely breaks-in in the 'Come'?" [67] Perhaps this is what we have always sou ght: not to become real but to realize that we don't need to become real. an d if there is something unnatural about their bifurcation. But this is also the ori gin of religion. The ontic range of nirvana is the ontic range of the everyday world. Nietzsche did. . in oneself). we shouldn't be surprised by a religious tone." A Buddhist apocalypse. "And what if this outside of the a pocalypse was within the apocalypse? What if it was the apocalypse itself. an end wi thout end. No wonder. which has implications for the future of the conversation between Western philosophy and Buddhism. wi thout sender or decidable addressee. there is no specifiable difference whatever between the everyday world and nirvana. an apocalypse without vision. an apoca lyptic urgency at the very heart of philosophy itself. since we don't want to "lose our reason" in the way that. but it can re alize that what it seeks it has never lacked. its very difference. we should expect to d etect "traces" of each in the other. an apocalyps e beyond good and evil. From the Indian perspective. however. congenial to any jewel in Indra' s Net that isn't trying to fixate itself. This puts us on delicate ground. the path to liberation encompasses both. Derrida concludes by announcing "an apocalypse without apocalypse. a closure without end." The sense-of-self can never fill up its sense-of-lack. that a s ecularized rationalism will have to keep revolutionizing itself. But Buddhism offers other ways to do so. its pli and its end. in an awakenin g that (according to Plato and Aristotle) observes the world with wonder and cur iosity. "Here the catastrophe would perhaps be of the apocalypse itself. without truth. for example. of dispatches (for the 'come ' is plural p. philosophy is said to begin with duhkha: the fact of our suffering motivates the search for a way to end it. killing its fat hers: only in that way can it avoid the fact that philosophy cannot grant what i s sought. (1992) in itself. without last judgement. with the emancipation of thought from myth and religion.

then th ere is nothing to originate and therefore no origination. [MM K. for if there is only causality. cease to exis t. The irony of Nagarjuna's approach to pratitya-samutpada is that its use o f causation refutes causation: having deconstructed the self-existence or being of things (including us) into their conditions and interdependence. This self-refutation has religious consequences: Cause-and-effect is essentia l to our project of attempting to secure ourselves "within" the world. if it is different. There is. declared to be nirvana. If things originate (change. It is because we see the world as a collection of discrete things that we superi mpose causal relationships. changing. 247 The Deconstruction of Buddhism --. which is the process of things being bor n. its evapo ration leaves behind it not chance (its dualistic opposite) but a sense of myste ry. nothing has been caused. the important thing about causality is that it is the equiva lent of textual differance in the world of things. since we are a manifesta tion of it. If the effect is the same as the cause. however. anywhere. Nagarjuna's version points to the contradiction neces - p. the lack of things to relate-together refutes causality. The everyday world. XXV:19. 248 The Deconstruction of Buddhism Derrida and Negative Theology. 24] The climactic chapter of the MMK addresses the nature of nirvana in order to pro ve that there is no transcendental-signified: since nothing is self-existent. the repose of named things. Therefore the victo ry of causality is Pyrrhic. The aporias of causality are well known. to "glue" these things together. etc. Ultimate serenity is the coming to rest of all ways of taking things. of being part of something that we can never grasp. causality is the differance of the "obje ctive" world. taken as causal or dependent. or rather a difference in the way they are "taken".). samsara. the world w ill not be experienced in terms of cause and effect. 20. no truth has been taught by a Buddha for anyone. ni rvana too is sunya.Derrida and Negative Theology. then any cause should be able to cause any effect. But Nagarjuna's second and reverse move is one that Derrida doesn't make: the a bsence of any self-existing objects refutes causality/differance. causality it self then disappears. there are no self-existing things. as we have seen. (1992) sary for a cause-and-effect relationship: the effect can be neither the same as the cause nor different from it. because without anything to cause/be effected. In Derridean terms. but if there are no things. [18] . is for that reason a world of suffering. there is no causalit y. Nagarjuna's use of interdependence to refute the self-existence of things is equivalent to what Derrida does for textual meaning. Once causality has been use d to refute the apparent self-existence of objective things. (1992) able difference between this world and nirvana. is. taken non-causally and beyond all dependence. Yet there is no specifip. When there is no need to defend a fragile sense-of-self. which has no t yet been brought out fully in our discussions of pratitya-samutpada and Indra' s Net.That which. If differance is the inelucta bility of textual causal relationships. is the process of being born and passi ng on. such myster y is not threatening and rather than attempt to banish it one is able to yield t o it. 9. and passing away. a difference of perspective.

But notice what is signifier and what is signified. 249 The Deconstruction of Buddhism Derrida and Negative Theology. or an imag inary city in the sky. obscuring the nature of things.version of it. the refutation of either does not imply the truth of the other." [20] Contrast this to Derrida's probl ematization of the difference between signifier and signified: "from the moment that one questions the possibility of such a transcendental signified. Nagarjuna is also sensitive to this issue. the non-functio ning. dan ce. the apparent one -a world whose actual nature has not been noticed because we have been so concern ed to transcend it. a bubble and a shadow. [19] For both Nietzsche and Buddhism. n o one has ever experienced matter. the Diamond Sutra.no more or less so than anything else -. and we discover a world scattered in pieces." It describes. As Berkeley pointed out. wh ich leaves. it is "commonsense" that is idealistic in postulating minds-inside-bodies. as Nagarjuna would emphasize. of perceptions as signs of all named things.) glosses this verse: "the very coming to rest." the being (or nonbein g -.Therefore pratitya-samutpada is not a doctrine of "dependent origination" but an account of "non." Derrida points to the "hyperessentiality.an p.. a world freed from the tie s of gravity (i. from relationship with a foundation). what is problematic is the relationship between name and concept.dependent non-origination. game. from the other side. The problem is n ot merely that language acts as a filter. This allows us to see more clearly how "everydayness" and "c ommonsense" are not alternatives to metaphysical speculation but a disguised -because automatized and unconscious -. not the interaction of realities. the r epose of named things (sarvopalambhopasamaprapanc. Origination." As soon as we abolish the "real" world. "appearance" becomes the only realit y." [21] Fo r Derrida. Like other negative theologies." (MMK VII:34) What is perhaps the most famous of all Maha yana scriptures. is itself nirvana. like dew and lightnin g. infecting them with a more subtle transcendental-signified. an illusion.or what cou ld be called appearances if there were some non-appearance to be contrasted with . the distinc tion between signified and signifier becomes problematical at its root. our way of trying to solve a problem turns out to be what maintains the problem. for Candrakirti: the non-f unctioning of perceptions as signs for named things is nirvana. Rather . Naga rjuna begins by dedicating the MMK to the Buddha. The serenity (or "beat itude": sivah) we seek is the coming-to-rest of all ways of taking things. a dream. but then he devotes the most i mportant chapter to proving that there can be no such thing as a Buddha. One such "appearance" -. named things are in repose. duration and cessation are "like an illusion. and that one realizes that every signified is in the position of a signifier. and the ceasing to function of discursive thought is ultimate serenity.. so it is not surprising that he concludes with an endless recirculation of concepts .. but the sequence and juxtaposition of "appearances" -.is what is cal led "a Buddha. covered with explosions. concludes with the statement that "all pheno mena are like a dream. We try to "peel away" the apparent world to ge t at the real one. When ver bal assertions cease. a world made of moving and light surfaces where the incessant shifting of masks is named laughter.opasamah). (1992) hypostatized sunyata can work as well) beyond Being whose trace lingers in most negative theologies. but that dualism between them is our problematic delusion. as the only remaining candidate for real world. His commentator Ca ndrakirti (7th C.e. just as there is no other self-present transcendental-signified.

you and me. trees. has been careful to confine to the Western tradition his conclusions about the continual attraction of onto-theology. what happens if we stop trying to arrest those elusive traces into a self-presence? If we do not take perceptions as signs of named things. feared and ridiculed because they challenge the only ground philosop hy knows? When we are not so quick to grasp at thoughts (truth as grasping the c oncepts that grasp Being). are growing old.Derrida and Negative Theology. suggests that we need to find ou t what they may contribute to these issues. since we subjects are the first to be ob-jectified.. irruptive one that does not constitute a different philosophical approach but a non-philosophical o ne because it lets-go of thoughts. (1992) Notes 1. The fact that other. incl uding oneself. 250 The Deconstruction of Buddhism -. Since that world is as differential. names are used to objectify perceptions into the "self-existing" things we per ceive as books.is conflated. which interact causally "in" space and time. 251 The Deconstruction of Buddhism Derrida and Negative Theology. but the case o . as the textual d iscourse Derrida works on. It is this metaphysics that most needs to be deconstructe d.on the other hand. irruptive one that does not constitute a discontinuous. [22] p. the "objective" world of material things. If there are only traces of traces. (1992) tant thing in Buddhism is that the coming-to-rest of our using names to take per ceptions as self-existing objects actually deconstructs the "objective" everyday world. including ourselves. not only in Buddhism but in many other non-Western and Western traditions. we know that we were born. ] The imporp. only an incessant shifting of masks. is metaphysica l through-and-through. the Buddhist response is to use those differences/def errals to deconstruct that objectified world. disguising itself as commonsense reality. w e feel that we are or should be self-existent. like Heidegger. non-conceptual forms of mental discipline and concentration have been so important. In order for this to occur. his methodology cannot settle the quest ion whether our relationship to language and the so-called objective world is su sceptible to a radical transformation. a more unmediated way of approaching that issue. Derrida. and plunge into the horizontality of moving and light surfaces where there a re no objects.especially insofar as I understand myself to be such a self-existing being "in" time that will nonetheless die. Are such practices the "other" of philosophy. as full of traces.that between my fragile sense of being and the no thingness that threatens it -. because everything that can be lost has been. insofar as it cannot escape its apocalyptic tone. and will die. I do not see h ow. there is the possibility of another praxis besides co nceptualization. of course. where there is no security a nd also no need for security. a self-sufficient self-consciousn ess. The other possibility is that what all ph ilosophy seeks. In other words. however. if we do not need to fixate ourselv es. to the various meditative practices that are so important in Buddhism. another strategy is necessary: a discontinu ous. the most fundamental and problematic dualism of all -. tables. we unfind ourselves "in" the dream-like world that the Diamond Sutra describ es. [O ur fundamental duhkha may be expressed as this contradiction: on the one hand. according to Buddhism. Derrida shows only that language cannot g rant access to any self-present meaning. I refer. which makes me suffer -. may be accessi ble in a different fashion. it can be proven or disproven that we remain inscribed with in the circulations of its signifiers. within language. because this is the metaphysics.

If the latter... In order to create the best p. According to the most common Mahayana account." When Ma-tsu heard these instructions.) 3. 1977). wh at should be done in such a case? His answers were along the lines of "let's do it like this. A similar and equally predictable formalization occurred with the rules that monks and nuns followed. To be attached to the sitting posture is to fail to comprehend the essential principle. 252 The Deconstruction of Buddhism Derrida and Negative Theology." 4. "In learning sitting-meditation. "Take the case of an ox-cart. and never abides in anything. Wu. these several hundred rules-of-thumb became canonized into the vinaya. Francis H. You must not therefore be attached to nor abandon any particular phase of it.6. The Golden Age of Zen [Taipei: United Publishing Center. however. what do you aspire to attain? " "To attain Buddhahood. Cook. do you aspire to learn the sitting-Ch'an. ibid. H. instead. CO: Prajna Press." was the answer. i f it wished. 7. As an example of the last problematic. the Buddha has no fixed postures. . numerous regulations evolved in this fashio n: some problem in daily life arose. the Buddha attained e nlightenment when he looked up from his meditations and saw the morning star. Ma-tsu said. (1992) environment for meditative practice. Candrakirti's cl assic commentary on the MMK." Amused. here is a famous story about Ma-tsu (7 09-788). the complicated "discipline" that came to constitute the main (for some monks and nuns. 1979). Then one of the most striking things abo ut Buddhism in its Indian context is how it both reflects and resists this bifur cation. "If the c art does not move.3) 5. 6. one of the most important Chinese Ch'an (Zen) masters: Abbot Huai-jang visited the young Ma-tsu in his cell and asked: "In practicing sitting-meditatio n. do you whip the cart or the ox? " Ma-tsu remained silent. yet Sanskrit and Pali are also Indo-European language s whose categories (in contrast with Chinese and Japanese) tend towards a strong transcendental-phenomenal distinction. P A: The Pennsylvania State University Press. he fe lt as though he were drinking the most exquisite nectar. 92. p. or do yo u aspire to imitate the seated Buddha? If the former. 1975]. "How can you hope to grind a piece of brick into a mirror?" Huai-jang replied. Huaijang took up a piece of brick and began to grind it against a rock." Shortly before his death the Buddha said that the sangha might. (from John C. the only) form of spiritual practice. The tranlation used in this paper is Mervyn Sprung's in his edition of Lucid Exposition of the Middle Way (Boulder. which made the disciples ask the Buddha." said Huai-jang. Cook. "Since a piece of brick cannot be ground into a mirror.g. Buddhism is a religious/philosophical tradition not originating in or overtaken by Greek prese nce (e. The B uddha-way goes on forever.f Buddhism suggests how they can and perhaps must be generalized. (Digha Nikaya 16. After some m oments Ma-tsu became curious and asked: "What are you grinding that for?" "I wan t to grind it into a mirror. 2. Hua-yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra (University Park. abolish the minor disciplinary rules (which constituted the vast ma jority). Plato's eidos). wh ereupon he exclaimed: "Now I realize that all beings have the Buddhanature. 2. how can you sit yourself into a Buddha?" "What must I do then?" Ma-tsu asked.. To sit yourself into a Bu ddha is to kill the Buddha. Ch'an does not consist in sitting or in lying down.

Allison.1964) pp. 135. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. April 1990. trans. H. A Reconstruction (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. an imaginary process onto which the responsibility for thinking is off-loaded. MMK X:19. in truth we are confronted by a continuum ou t of which we isolate a couple of pieces. Ch'an may be said to put into practice the approach of Nagarjuna. 51) 18. 262. 10. 151-174. as we do. 48-49. Philosophy East And We st 40 no. in t erms of an arbitrary division and dismemberment. 1973). An intellect t hat could see cause and effect as a continuum and a flux and not. trans. 90. p. 19. See Anton Hermann Chroust. 1988). 16. 20. Thich Nhat Hanh. Writing and Difference. 1977). p.. 20. Derrida. From one perspective. A k ey Mahayana term is apratisthita-nirvana. The relation between Nagarjuna's Madhyamika and Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism is a fa scinating one. 3-5. 9. in ot her words.: Parallax Press . Cf. Lovatt [Boston: Shambhala. usually understood as "not dwelling in nirvana": that is. 1988). tran s. Michel Haar. A. The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines and its Verse Summary. 281. The New Nietzsche: Contemporary Styles of Interpretation (New York: Delta. Alan Bass [Chicago:University of Chica go Press. 197 7). Aristotle: Prot repticus. But it may al so mean "non-dwelling nirvana" or "non-abiding cessation. 22. A. Ch'an practice is a deconstruction of Madhy . Anti-Oedipus. 19 81). 111. capital unveiling. Robert H urley. 7. Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2. Positions. would repudiate the concept of cause and effect and deny all conditionality. 1979]. In Sprung's Lucid Exposition. "Nietzsche and Metaphysical Language. From another. In"An Apocalyptic Tone" Derrida quotes his own Glas: "The apocalyptic. . Traditionally attributed to the Protre pticus of Aristotle.Writing and Difference. pp. trand. Derrida. pp. Derrida. 1982). A. The Margins of Philosophy. Calif. see "The Nond uality of Life and Death: A Buddhist View of Repression". "Reason. The Heart of Understanding [Berkeley. 13." in David B. the bodhisattva's compassion causes him/her to reject entry into final nirvana in order to help all suffering sentient beings. chapter six. Writing and Difference. pp. p. 279. and Mark Seem (New York: Viking Press. 15." (pp. in truth lays bare the hunger for/of self. 152. 112: "Cause and effect: su ch a duality probably never exists. n." (Rene Daumal." For more on this issue. Nietzsche. Bass (Chicago: University of Ch icago Press. just as we perceive motion only as iso lated points and then infer it without ever actually seeing it. Lane. 17. 12. ed. Edward Conze (Bolinas. 22.: Four Seasons Foundation.. Writing and Difference. pp. see Nondu ality (Yale University Press.but now disputed. trans. A Night of Serious Drinking. 14. p. R.Derrida. Calif. p." 11." "The a bsolute phantasm as absolute self-having in its most mournful glory. 292. 237-8. 21.8. David Coward and E.. no. 9 1) For more on the sense-of-lack as "shadow" of the sense-of-self. The Gay Science. 1978). trans.

" .amika theory. If the dualism betw een inside and outside is a construct." The Japanese Zen master Dogen (1200-1253) described his experience th us: "I came to realize clearly that my mind is nothing other than rivers and mou ntains and trees. the sun and the moon and the stars. whose anti-metaphysics is still philosophical. the result of an "invagination" of the ou tside (which is therefore not an outside). it raises the possibility of a "de-va gination.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful