春はあけぼの | At blossoms we meet spring

春は花にいり、人ははるにあふ。

(正法眼蔵第四十三・諸法実相)

人は春に直接逢うことはない。「花で」春に逢うわけだ。「風で」逢い、「色で」逢い、「言葉で」逢う。逢いかたによって少しずつちがった春になるかもしれないが、それでも春に変わりない。同じように、花で風で色で言葉で、「秋」に逢い、「冬」に逢い、「時」に逢い、「時の移り行き」に逢い、「地形」に逢い、「地形の移り行き」に逢い、その他さまざまの「 」に逢う。

一般化すれば、人はXを経由してYに逢う。ただしXは具体的・物質的なもので、Yはなんといえばいいだろう、様子とでもいおうか、Xよりも抽象的・普遍的なものだ。道元はそれを「実相」とよび、具体的な花や風は「諸法」と呼ばれる(仏教用語でいう「法」は意味が広く、事物という意味もある)。諸法と実相の関係。ここにもしかして、いろいろな秘密が密集しているんじゃないだろうか。

 

Dogen says,

Spring enters blossoms and one encounters spring.

––– ‘All Things and Their Modalities’ in Shobogenzo

Spring is a kind of entity that never be directly encountered; we only experience it at blossoms, as well as at wind, at colors of the sky, at words of conversation, etc. Thousands of springs at thousands of blossoms and colors and perfumes are, nonetheless, what we encounter as ‘spring’. Likewise, at something tangible we encounter autumn, winter, time, transition of time, space, transition of space, and so on.

Schematically, at X we encounter Y, where X is a material being that is tangible and Y, in contrast, signifies a more abstract and universal entity which is what Dogen calls ‘real modality’. In his view, the world is a complex of real modalities overlaying the tangibile. So the question is how one ‘overlay’ the other.

 

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