Tuesday, December 23, 2008

隻手 音声 (せきしゅ おんじょう )

Might be rendered 隻手恩情, but for the commentaries by Hakuin entreating one to listen to 隻手 音声 (which has no sound anyway). The latter would be the "sound of the single hand," the title of Hakuin's famous koan (clapping actually doesn't enter into the sound of the single hand, but I digress). The former would be one hand affection or compassion...

Oh, forget I even wrote anything. Do not read this post, it'll corrupt your mind. I just wanted to use this as a placeholder for the kanji anyway as I googled through to see if there were any commentaries on The Sound of the Single Hand...which would corrupt my mind...

Seriously, all the commentaries in the world, Hakuin's included, are not 隻手 音声. However, I should note that Hakuin's commentaries are a most excellent riff on the Lotus Sutra. If you've ever wondered what you could do with Mahayana texts if you mashed 'em up and played with their style, and morphed 'em into Edojidai paradigms with knowledge and a delicate use of Japanese far beyond your mere mortal capabilities, well, Hakuin's the man. (I've only read him in English, but this maddening complexity comes through: both translators I've read have cited difficulties in translating Hakuin.)

There's 2 or 3 commentaries in English on 隻手 音声 as well, and they ain't it either, and that doesn't mean to cast any negative aspersions on the teacher.

And this writing here? It ain't it either.

The only reason people write stuff like that is to tell other people what orange juice tastes like and how to drink it anyway, because some folks want to find out what others say about the taste of orange juice and how to drink it.

And frankly, it might, just might encourage 2 or 3 people to actually drink the stuff for themselves, and then use the knowledge of that taste to help people.

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