Swimming with the Razorfishes

Thursday, April 22, 2004

I'm reading a collection of essays by D. T. Suzuki. It is very interesting, but the book is presenting me with a problem.

I'm trying to understand the distinction between the Greek, Judeo-Christian, and Zen frame of mind. Suzuki is talking about the Greek and Hebrew philosophical underpinnings or ways of dividing up reality. He talks about how Hebrew thought divides the world on religious and moral grounds: God and man, spirit and flesh. He then looks at Greek thought, which divides reality based on the mind: intellect vs the senses.

This distinction, the Greek duality of intellect and sense, really made me think.

How pervasive is this frame of mind in my life? How does this duality affect the way I think and perceive the world? In reading these essays, I'm having one of those moments where I'm wondering how much of what I held as true is, in fact, not. As I read Suzuki, I'm thinking, "how could I have been so wrong?"

I want to read more of these essays, to understand this concept of intuition, to understand how confining my concept of "rational" can be.


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