On Dogen Zenji's 'Genjokoan'

May 30th, 2018 · 1 hr 11 mins

About this Episode

JF and Phil tackle Genjokoan, a profound and puzzling work of philosophy by Dogen Zenji. In it, the 13th-century Zen master ponders the question, "If everything is already enlightened, why practice Zen?" As a lapsed Zen practitioner ("a shit buddhist") with many hours of meditation under his belt, Phil draws on personal experience to dig into Dogen's strange and startling answers, while JF speaks from his perspective as a "decadent hedonist." "When one side is illumined," says Dogen, "the other is dark." For proof of this utterance, you could do worse than listen to this episode of Weird Studies.

REFERENCES

Dogen Zenji, Genjokoan
Shohaku Okumura and the Sanshin Zen Community in Bloomington, Indiana
Peter Sloterdijk, You Must Change Your Life
Weird Studies, Episode 8: "On Graham Harman's 'The Third Table'"
Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 1: The Movement Image
Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory
Søren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling
Joris-Karl Huysmans, À Rebours (Against Nature)
Chogyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism