音をみる、光をきく。|Ears see, eyes hear.

「五感」というけれど、感覚がきっちり五つなどに分類されるはずもない。演奏の名手には音は「見」えているだろうし、写真の達人は光を「聞」き、影と「話」せるにちがいない。

正法眼蔵という不思議なテキストには、「禅」とか「仏教」などという分類枠を適用することが無意味に感じられる瞬間がある。たとえば「眼睛」巻に引用された、如浄によじよう

瞿曇打失眼睛時 |瞿曇くどん、眼睛を打失せる時
雪裡梅花只一枝 |雪裡せつり梅花ばいか只一枝なり
而今到処成荊棘 |而今いま、到る処に荊棘けいきよくを成し
却笑春風繚乱吹 |かえ って春風の繚乱りようらんとして吹くを笑ふ

瞿曇くどん(ブッダ)が「眼睛」を失うとは、二重の意味がある。一つは視力の衰え。ブッダは八十年の長寿を生きたと伝えられるから、晩年、白内障などにより視力が低下した可能性は高い。もう一つは、眼睛=覚りの眼で、それを失うとは、仏教全体にとっても重大な意味をもつ。無上の悟りを得たブッダがそれを失うということが、ありうるのか。全体が白く雪に覆われてしまったその視野に、梅花がただ一枝。荊のようにごつごつした樹影は、そのまま老瞿曇の姿に重なる。雪中、繚乱として吹く早春の風に、ブッダが笑う。

なんて下手くそな解説だ。。。

四行目の「却」が深い。眼は失ったが、かえって全身が眼になったということか。あるいは弓を用いずして射る名人伝説のように*1、不射之射、不見之見の域に達したのか。

 
Classifying is just a means for particular puropses and, if it stays fixed, will be useless or even be able to confine us within the grids of classification which we have created for ourselves. Perception, for example, is a general phenomenon that occurs across organs of our body and brain in a second although it is categorized into visual, acoustic, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, etc. A violin virtuoso will be able to “see” the sound and a master photographer can “hear” the light and shadows. What do you imagine Buddha “saw” when he lost his vision?

When Gautama Buddha lost his eyes,
There was just one branch of cherry blossoms in the snow,
Now covered with thorns along its entire length,
Yet laughing as the spring wind blows madly.

(Rujing’s verse quoted in Dogen’s “The Eye” / Shobogenzo)

The verse has double layers; in the first layer, Gautama could have physically lost his vision due to cataract or any other disfunction because he lived as long as the age of 80y. The only object he could have seen was a branch of cherry, pink in the snow, with its thorn-covered form. The spring wind blew wildly. Either Gautama or the cherry blossoms was laughing.

The other layer interprets the “eye” to be the buddha-eye or the awakened state of mind. Gautama Buddha, the supreme being among awakened ones, could have lost his ultimate eye. With just a branch of cherry in the snow, now developing thorns over its entire surface, he was yet laughing as the spring wind blew madly.

I have no exact idea to comment on it but suppose that Gautama’s entire self, both physically and mentally, might have become the “eye” instead of his lost eye. To put it in another way: in ancient China there was a legendary archer who, after long hard training in the mountains, finally reached the ultimate mastery in archery that requires no bow and no arrows. Shooting may not be about shooting something. Seeing may not be about seeing something.


*1 中島敦『名人伝』(Nakajima Atsushi, 1917. The Legend of the Greatest Master)

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