Posted by: HAT | October 27, 2014

Un-Impairment ?

image of a Japanese tea house

A place for drinking tea and/or seeking emptiness

Hi, Gang!

The idea of the “loss of all things” feels related to Adorno’s observation “The chances are that every citizen of the wrong world would find the right one unbearable; he would be too impaired for it.” [1]

Dorothee Soelle presents the “purgatio” of the western via mystica as a kind of un-doing of the conditioning that in Adorno’s view impaired the citizens of the wrong world.

The asceticism of purgatio calms the restlessness of many desires; in this sense, it may be understood also as a manner of becoming empty (ledig) or free. It is said of a Zen master that one day he received a visit from a professor who wanted to learn something about Zen. The master poured his guests a cup of tea and kept on pouring when the cup was already overflowing. The professor saw it and finally could no longer keep quiet. “The cup is overflowing; you can’t pour anymore into it!” The master replied, “Like this cup, you are brimming over with your own ideas and speculations. How am I to teach you Zen when you don’t even empty your cup?” [2]

[1] Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialectics, trans. E.B. Ashton (New York: Continuum, 1995), 352.
[2] Dorothee Soelle, The Silent Cry, trans. Barbara and Martin Rumscheidt (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001) 100 – Nook edition

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