CAPE Lecture by Prof. Michiko Yusa

2019年6月21日 @ 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

講演者: Prof. Michiko Yusa (Western Washington University)
日時: 2019年6月21日(金) 18:00-19:30
場所: 京都大学文学部校舎一階会議室

“Docta Ignorantia” and “Hishiryō”: The Inexpressible in Cusanus, Dōgen, and Nishida

Outline of my talk:
1. What is beyond readily knowable—something hidden—has always exercised a fascination over the human psyche. Our desire to know extends beyond what is patent—indicating that at depth we have the inkling of what is beyond the merely obvious.
2. Cusanus’s “docta ignorantia” (“learned ignorance”) and Dōgen’s “hishiryō” (“beyond knowing”) are two ways of talking about what is “beyond knowable,” and in this respect, their thinking moves in a similar orbit.
3. My interest in Cusanus was first awoken by my mentor Raimon Panikkar while I was pursuing my graduate work at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB); it was Panikkar who also encouraged me to take up Nishida for my dissertation research.
4. In this particular essay, I tried to go beyond a “sedentary” understanding of the insight into the universe, by adopting more of an active perspective; I also try to lift Cusanus up from the mistaken identity that his “docta ignorantia” is part of negative theology of the medieval Christian mystics.
5. Following a close reading of Cusanus’s De docta ignorantia (On the Learned Ignorance, 1440) and Dialogus de Deo abscondito (A Dialogue on Hidden God, 1444-45), I will read Dōgen’s “Zazenshin” (The Zen Pointer, 1242), which contains the reference to the notions of “shiryō,” “fushiryō,” and “hishiryō.” I will present three different interpretations of these terms, which represent different approaches to the “unknowable” or the “ineffable.”
6. I will conclude this presentation by turning to Nishida Kitarō, whose philosophical vision starts out with the bold recognition of the dark realm of consciousness that is beyond cognition.
7. It is the beauty of intercultural inquiry to discover an idea that resonates beyond a particular historical and cultural conditioning. We may find in Cusanus’s thought some insights may pass as Buddhist. Likewise in Dōgen we may find kindred spirituality that resonates with Christian. In this juxtaposition of Cusanus and Dōgen, we discover similar but different approaches to the “ineffable.” Does it indicate then that there is something universal in the intellect (in the Scholastic sense of this word) or in human spirituality (reisei)?