Thursday, December 2, 2010

totality and viability

It need not be specially mentioned that the Unborn is brought into actuality by means of the instinctive or unconscious reaction to sense-stimuli and their psychological complications; but the main point is that all these conscious and unconscious activities on the part of each individual are gathered up by the basic notion of "I am" or "I exist."

Descartes' dictum, "I think, therefore I am," will be, according to Bankei, "I feel (or perceive), therefore I am," and when this "am" is apprehended in its deepest sense we have the Unborn.

Descartes' "am" is epistemological and therefore dualistic and has not yet touched the rock-bed of existence, the source of all things.

The "I am" must preserve its totality and viability if we are to come to the idea of the Unborn.

---D. T. Suzuki


  1. This is interesting. I had sometimes wondered if Decartes' saying would have been better as, "I am, therefore I think." But it is probably even more useful to consider as Bankei might have the "I am" as the Unborn rather than I simply exist.

  2. Yes, as Suzuki says, the "I am" must be "total and viable."