A Theology of Selflessness: Tarrying with the Negative to Reach the Positive

Photograph from Wikipedia take by Thomas Schoch.

“… the true view of reality and the only hope for the future is to be found (or at the very least strongly prefigured) is the Eastern heritage. … On the other hand, the current dynamics of history seem to lean rather in the direction of the West. It is there that nihilism appears as the fundamental direction for an entire culture.  Through the loss of God, its “absolute center,” this affirmative-oriented culture of being has fallen into an abyss of nihility. From there it can never save itself through a simple return to affirmation, but “the negative direction must be pursued to its very end … where the negative converges with, so to speak, with the positive. Still, the West must do this, as it were, by its own dynamism, through a return to the ground of its own traditions. Put crudely and in its bare essential, the question for Nishitani comes down to this: the West has nowhere to go but in the direction of the Eastern (Buddhist) ideal, but it cannot do so except from its own Western (Christian) premises. Such is Nishitani’s challenge to Western thought and to Western religion. The dilemmas of present-day culture are born out of Christianity and cannot be overcome without reference to Christianity.”

Jan Van Bragt in The translator’s introduction to Keiji Nishitani’s Religion and Nothingness p.xxxvii

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About kayaerbil

I am a Berkeley educated chemistry Ph.D. who is moving into the area of working on developing appropriate technology for communities that are subjected to socio-economic oppression. The goal is to use simple and effective designs to empower people to live better lives. Currently, I am working with Native Americans on Pine Ridge, the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. I am working with a Native owned and run solar energy company. We are currently working on building a compressed earth block (CEB) house that showcases many of the technologies that the company has developed. The CEB house is made of locally derived resources, earth from the reservation. The blocks are naturally thermally insulating, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Eventually, a solar air heater and photovoltaic panels will be installed into the house to power the home and keep it warm, while preserving the house off the grid. A side project while in Pine Ridge is a solar computer. I hope to learn about blockchain encryption software for building microgrids. In addition, it is an immediate interest of mine to involve local youth in technology education.
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