A Postmodernist's Talk by Dr. Shin'ichi Hisamatsu (H)
Questioned and Listened to by Dr. Ryoji Watanabe (W) 1

on March 26, 1976 ( Translated by Gishin Tokiwa)

1. A Transcendental Conclusion

W: You mean what precedes or lies at the bottom of the law of causality is an inductive method, and that this is also preceded by something else.

H: Yes. By that I mean a deductive method. A deductive method tends to be subjective, something like intuition, which lacks inductive, experiential grounds. What begins with a conclusion and goes on thinking from the conclusion is deduction. The fault of the ordinary deductive method is that conclusions tend to be subjective and groundless.

For me having a conclusion from the beginning, a conclusion that precedes experiences, a "transzendental" -- according to Immanuel Kant -- conclusion, is important. Ordinary conclusions are reached after experiences. In modern times mostly that kind of method has been used. People who take that kind of method for their position seldom think of what precedes experiences. When they do, they are likely to think it will be groundless and subjective. They are justified in that since they think in deduction conclusions abruptly come into being.(Laughter) But there is the kind of conclusion that is not reached as the result of any experiences, that is, that which precedes experiences.

W: It is too difficult for me to understand well.

H: In my term it is "transzendentaler Schluss," the kind of conclusion that does not depend on experiences, that which is pre-experiential. The natures of conclusion between experiential and pre-experiential are very different. And there are cases when pre-experiential conclusions constitute the source for interpreting experiences. And this is very important.

Let me take up a familiar example. When Isaac Newton (1642-1727) 2 found out the law of universal gravitation, it was not that he came to the law as a conclusion after examining various cases experientially. He had a very limited experience. He reached the conclusion only when he noticed an apple to fall to the ground. In terms of his experiences he reached the conclusion through very scarce resources that an apple fell to the ground. One might say, that was quite groundless. But things were different. His realization, which came like an inspiration, that the earth had a pulling force, was not just subjective. He interpreted various phenomena or experiences through his apparently subjective conclusion, that is, the law of universal gravitation, and his interpretation has been accepted with justification.

In this single example of great discovery we can see how intuition, like inspiration, works.

W: Yes, I think it works.

H: It works, and a casual thought can become the source of experiential laws which are to be gained through experience after experience. Such original laws can be discovered on such an occasion. That cannot be mixed with ordinary casual thoughts. Ordinary ideas can never become such a transcendental conclusion. They are below experiential laws. But Newton's discovery of gravity cannot be subjective; it must be before experiential laws, something pre-experiential, my so-called "transzendental."

2. The Method to Know Transcendental Conclusions

And I would say, that also becomes a method. A method to know transcendental conclusions is usually neglected. Especially in the ages -- which Modern Age is -- when experiences are made much of, this tends to be neglected. Things like intuition are rejected as unreliable, according to the experiential viewpoints. But, considering that such a method actually exists, I would rather say that neglecting this is rather non-scientific.

It may be very difficult to think of such a method consciously; it may not be possible for everyone. Then one must admit that there are some among human beings who are equipped with such a transzendentale Methode. For if no one admits that, no such conclusions will come out whereas actually they exist. People gifted for discovery are equipped with such a method, and they in turn go on interpreting or understanding what is experiential according to the law. This is a very precious matter. Experiential laws are important, but experience-surpassing or experience-preceding intuition is extremely precious, so that I think we must make much of it.

Besides, when one creates something, one must necessarily start with a conclusion. One cannot, without a conclusion, go on creating anything new or interpreting things anew.

3. Creation of the Postmodernist Age

W: You mean something like a Hypothese is necessary?

H: Yes, but a mere Hypothese would not become what I mean by "transzendental." The kind of Hypothese that is transzendental -- that is very important in connection with creating the Postmodernist Age, which is the central concern of mine today. The reason is, creating the Postmodernist Age is quite a new thing, for it is creating a new world not by following things we have had hitherto but by turning them over. Such creation cannot be a mere casual idea; there must be objectivity. Only by having an objective law, which cannot be known through experiences we have hitherto had, can new things be created. It becomes the basis for the creation of new things. True creation, you know, means creating what has not existed. Creation with the use of what has existed is far from true creation, a half-way, relative creation. Creating a new world by turning over things that have existed, means creating what goes beyond interpretation by former laws.

4. The Experience-Centered Modern Age

I consider Modern Age has already come to its end. Modern Age has completed a world different from that of the Middle Ages in six hundred years. They achieved what had been impossible to in the Middle Ages; central to those achievements has been the inductive method, or experiential laws. Science, based on experiential laws, is among them. Social systems and learnings are also among them. Such experiential sciences have been the main streams of Modern Age. The source from which Modern Age has been built was a new conclusion that was beyond thought in the Middle Ages. It was the experiential method or experiential conclusion. That has brought Modern Age into being.

5. Modern Age in Disunity

But Modern Age has come to develop endlessly to be "mannigfaltig" or to "differenzieren," towards various directions. This has been the case with politics, economy, and philosophy as well. It has been so even with religion, for which unity should be what matters most. Every thing has come to the direction of disunity. Going in the direction of disunity has been the objective, or direction, of Modern Age. That has been an important direction that has built up Modern Age. But it has gone to the extreme.

That is why science has lost unity. Fields of science have lost sight of mutual, horizontal relations; they have been split up into different directions. I don't think science can rightly remain like that. At the bottom of science there should be unity, oneness, ultimately speaking. Its having lost oneness is the fault of the present-day science, a terrible fault.

6. Science and Ethics

Further, science has developed by itself, and has separated itself, for instance from ethics. It has become completely unrelated to the latter. Now that it has become unrelated, science has come to go on all by itself, neglecting ethics. This has led to the problems we encounter now, such as the use of atomic energy. A great discovery as it was, atomic energy, when used for wars, homicide, and other crimes, would lead to a runaway science. Human beings cannot live only with science; ethics plays a very important part in human life, as you know. When science works, it must work ethically. That is a serious matter for human beings. As far as science is concerned, it can develop without any relation to ethics; it can keep going on, neglecting the latter. But, speaking from human beings at large, progress of science, if it becomes harmful for human beings, will go against ethics, which is so important for human life. It will lose horizontal connections with ethics, or unity. This relationship between ethics and science has come to be a serious problem.

W: Very serious, yes.

H: That being the case, now scientists also have come to be aware of the problem. Only aware of the problem, they don't seem to have any drastic method. They seem to have been engaged in various conferences on peace problems. But they don't seem to have come to any conclusion from their discussion. However often they meet and discuss, there is no conclusion. The reason is that they go on with that kind of standpoint of scientists, which has no basic connections with ethics.

7. The Necessity for Unity

W: No, no connections science, as it is, has with ethics.

H: But human beings, as we originally are, cannot well remain split up in that way. Ultimately there must be unity for human beings in every field of our activities: in science, in ethics -- more than that -- in art, in religion, in politics, in economy, and so on. They cannot remain separated from each other.

8. Splitting of Nations

Politics of a nation, for example, will be impossible if it is broken up. A precious final unity alone enables a nation to materialize itself and have itself managed. Nowadays nations tend to become broken up more and more. New nations come into being yearly. From the modern point of view this may be justified: more nations should become independent. As a result, the world goes on being split into many nations. This has been a modern tendency.

This means that there is no end to wars or skirmishes between nations; this tendency has rather been growing. Every nation has her sovereignty. All independent nations have their own absolute sovereignty. That is how a nation-state is. And wars occur incessantly since they insist on their egos. There always is an air of anxiety about incessant wars in the world. As is seen in the mode of being of nation-states, the mode of being of Modern Age has already been at a deadlock.

9. SALT and the UN

The United Nations and other conferences have been attempting to effect a reconciliation in this situation but have kept on failing. More than ten years ago when Strategic Arms Limitation Talks were first held I thought no such talks would lead to any ultimate conclusion. At that time I wrote such a criticism. It will be the same, no matter how often they may hold such talks. Conflicts tend to escalate. That is quite inevitable; it is never accidental. The reason is that at the bottom of this situation there is the fact that nations are broken up. Nations' egoism is an unavoidable, inevitable matter so long as nation-states exist. That is the fate of nation-states. Because of this fate the SALT is also considered in a desperate situation.

Besides, the UN, to tell the truth, is desperate. The UN means nation-states' attempt to become united internationally. But that is an attempt for something impossible. The reason for saying this is, Modern Age has been moving towards disruption, and the more nation-states become the more disrupted the ages become, for that is the mode of being of Modern Age. To tell the truth, what is important for everything is their becoming one even as they increase more and more.

10. Disruption of Human Beings

Then, nation-states. Even a single nation-state shows disruption in herself. And human beings, too. Take up a single human being. In no time was a human being split more than in this age. No oneness or unity is seen in an individual. No wonder there is taking place split personality; this is only a phenomenal matter. Actually, human beings have been disrupted in various aspects and have no unity in themselves. Without unity one cannot but be uneasy, for one cannot understand relations among each aspect. For example, no unity between science and ethics exists in individuals. What is lacking in the world is also lacking in individuals. Human beings having become disrupted and dissociated is the mode of being of modern human beings.

11. Disruption of Religions

The presence of unity means the presence of religion in the true sense of the term. But insofar as religions are concerned, they are also broken up. "Freedom of religion" has been insisted. That is an insistence peculiar to Modern Age. With the insistence of Modern Age religions have claimed what suited their own conveniences, and they show disruption. In Buddhism and Christianity, among different sects of Buddhism, or between Protestantism and Catholicism, and among denominations of both Protestantism and Catholicism, there is division, and each has its own way.

12. Medieval Religions

Medieval, not fully developed, religions have not shown disruption as yet. For example, the Muslim religion is not so much split as Buddhism or Christianity, for it is more of medieval type, and not yet steeped in Modern Age. It lags that much behind. It has unity, but has no plurality.

Because it lacks plurality, it can be care-free. But when it is exposed to Modern Age, it cannot be the same. In time it will die out, as religions in the Middle Ages did, for they lacked plurality. That is why they perished. Actually, religions of that kind have ceased to exist. Any medieval religions would fall easy victims, if they are exposed to Modern Age.

Things of the medieval world have gradually had Modern Age enter into themselves and been developed. Being undeveloped means remaining medieval, in terms of civilization. Through gradual development science enters, and this naturally invites their baptism by science. Such is an inevitability for human progress. That is why I say medieval types of religion will soon perish.

Then modern people begin to insist they should become modern-age-like. But, considered from the perspective of the whole world, Modern Age has already been finished. In that sense I would insist, rather than becoming modern-age-like, they had better leap into the Postmodern Age, for that will provide them with a true mode of being. Becoming modern-age-like when Modern Age has been finished would leave them out of date.

13. Dialectics

Modern-age contradictions are also very serious. Contradictions already mean disruptions. Philosophies of such contradictions have become Marxism and the like. Dialectics are of such nature. They insist that two opposed points get resolved into one through aufheben. But that is the endlessness of vicious circle. There will be no conclusion from that, (Laughter) since opposition constitutes its basis. At one stage of unification there takes place another opposition. Repetition of this process is a dialectic method. Conclusions, true and absolute conclusions, cannot come out of that, since it is a Modern-age philosophy.

Does this mean there is no unity with them? There is -- there is unity as something aimed at. At the final stage there exists the so-called "an und fûr sich" as the ultimate conclusion. But what is "an und fûr sich" lies beyond eternal future; that always remains something "ideal" instead of "real." Even such something "ideal" has been sought after more and more today because that is the kind of unification that disruptions demand from within -- the unity required internally.

14. The Postmodernist Manifesto

Aiming at oneness while being split, intending for unity in the midst of disruption, makes its appearance today in the world in various fields. International conferences also seek for "unity." But the "unity" won't become "real," for it is still sought after on the extension of Modern Age. Unless one cuts off the line of Modern Age and build up the world on a new standpoint, there will be no emancipation from the ruin of Modern Age.

The method for this emancipation should be, instead of the modern-age-like one, my so-called "transzendentaler Schluss." What I present as the "Schluss" or conclusion is the "Postmodernist Manifesto." 3 This is not anything that derives from experiences. To be sure, it was presented by me, but it goes beyond me as an individual; it is the kind of conclusion which is not personal, that which precedes experiences or which is beyond experiences.

Then the thing to do is to create the next generation, the Postmodern age, on the basis of that conclusion. This does not mean having creation as an objective, but creating in reality, in the manner that is "real." Here, not the inductive but the deductive method is used. In other words, the world is put in order according to the method; the method precedes putting the world in order.

Then, science, religion, philosophy, ethics, politics, economy, and all others are unified according to this method, and a new system is to be created. A new world system is being created. Hitherto, politically seen, we have had a state system. The so-called international system is, after all, a state system. What we are to have anew is a world system, instead of a state system or an international system, a system in which the whole world is one.

15. Creation from Conclusions

That the present world should be united is being insisted upon by those who are at a deadlock, too. Insisted as it is, there has been no method presented for that. Because there has been no conclusion, no method can be established. While it is said that something must be done, no idea comes out on what to do.

That no idea on what to do has been derived from any ultimate conclusion means that people have old-fashioned ideas. Modern ideas are already out of date. That is why I insist that one should change one's way of thinking from Modern Age to that according to which "unity" comes first, where a conclusion precedes, and from that conclusion creation is made. Creation is impossible without a conclusion; it is only half way.

In this case the conclusion is never anything relative, but "unity," creative "unity," of the whole world. Besides, what is creative that is modern-age-like is not truly or ultimately creative. What is important now is, our being based on the conclusion, and actually going forward to make creation and practice -- going out into practice instead of giving way to discussion. Without this, Modern Age continues with disruption, and this means leading to a deadlock.

16. The Time for Revolution

Now I want to say, the time for discussion about what to do has gone; it is the time for changing our old way of thinking and revolutionizing the world according to the Postmodernist method; it is just the time for revolution from Modern Age.

Six years ago I presented to the world the "Postmodernist Manifesto." For my new year card this time I put the date as "Postmodernist Declaration the Sixth Year," (Laughter) instead of either Showa the Fifty-First Year or AD 1976.

Decisively standing up and going on revolutionizing, instead of changing, the world according to the law of the Postmodernist age, is, I would say, the best way to save Modern Age from ruin. Creating a new age leads to saving humankind from the ruin of Modern times. The savior in this case is a true religion, which, different from ordinary ones, has come out of the inner demand of human beings. Philosophy, politics, ethics, and culture should become of that kind. In other words, a system of the new age should come into being. That might sound somewhat queer and fanciful, but what matters here is intuition, you know (Laughter).

17. Leading Spirits -- Persons of Ideals and Integrity of the Meiji Reformation Period in Japan

The certainty of intuition, that of transzendentaler Schlu, the certainty of something before experiences, exists there. Inevitably things will become like that. Here is an anticipation. It is not like a divination by an ordinary fortune-teller. Ordinary divinations do not reach science. Unlike that, there is a foretelling that precedes science. Anticipation or prediction by leading spirits is true prediction.

People who act according to that kind of prediction, those who work and practise together with leading spirits are the so-called persons of ideals and integrity. Such leading spirits who are persons of ideals and integrity create an age. That is how the Meiji Reformation was actually realized.

W: In the last analysis that is how it went, though there occurred many other things.

H: With the Meiji Reformation, history had a time of turning over. Far-sighted in those days were the so-called leading spirits of the Meiji Reformation such as Yoshida Shoin (1830-59) and Sakuma Zozan (1811-64), who had a prediction of the future. Following it everyone worked together in perfect accord, and this brought about the Meiji Reformation.

18. Historical Necessity

Things like that are possible in Modern Age, too; there ought to be such a thing in Modern times that show signs of an impending downfall. That is something historically inevitable, a historical necessity, far from being my personal view. No matter who might say what, history now has no other way but go in that direction.

W: You mean going otherwise won't do?

H: Keep looking, please. In not so distant a future this historical necessity will materialize itself, because it is a historical inevitability (Laughter).

19. A Postmodernist Life

It will inevitably materialize itself. It has nothing to do with my being alive or dying. I am saying this just as a human being living in history. My life lies within history, and I am now eighty-seven years old (as of 1976). But eighty-seven is not my true age. The closest of my age is a Postmodernist life. That is my true life. It has no connection with when I die. Even if I die now, my Postmodernist life is alive. It is beyond the physiological and conscious life. That is my true life, so that I won't regret my instant death. I won't think my life is gone. The concept of life is different here.

Usually people will find their lives to be worth living as long as they think they have a future, even if they don't know what will be true. Youth means still having a future; still having a future means being young (Laughter). People who don't have a future, even if they live up to one hundred years or one hundred and fifty years old, they cannot be said to be young; they are old. I have been saying that, speaking from the Postmodernist life, I am still six years old (Laughter). Having a future in that sense means my youthfulness. That is different from physiological and conscious youth. That is one of my life-views.

20. Postmodernist Philosophy

A Postmodernist philosophy is also what I have been thinking about. It is a philosophy that is one with and inseparable from religion, at once religion and philosophy, philosophy and religion. It is the kind of philosophy which contains manyness in oneness, and have manyness based on oneness. In the Middle Ages there was oneness, but it was not the true oneness, for there was no manyness there. Meanwhile in Modern Age there is manyness alone, and there is no oneness. That is the cause for the downfall of Modern Age, the root cause for that. According to Postmodernist philosophy, on the other hand, oneness contains manyness in it, and manyness has oneness as its basis. That is the kind of philosophy which did not exist either in the Middle Ages or in Modern times.

In the Postmodernist age, for that reason, first comes oneness, the transzendental oneness. This oneness contains manyness, and manyness is the functioning of oneness. Besides, manyness is not only manyness; it has oneness at its basis. That is how the Postmodernist age differs from both the Middle Ages and Modern Age. It covers the defect of both ages. That is what the Postmodernist age is. Hence its inevitability to come about.

21. The Downfall of Modern Age

W: To be sure, I share your feeling that there must be a change, that things being as they are won't do. But, as to how things should be changed, ...

H: That is a serious problem now facing us.

W: On one side there are so many fields which have not assumed modern forms, and they may change, accompanied by terrible confusion...

H: But, considering the world at large, it has already gone through Modern Age, though only partially things are delayed. Even the delayed part should leap into the Postmodernist age. Now the world is in such an age. Modernization is out of date.

W: Yes, already we have been in Modern times.

H: People of even a little advanced views all think in that way. We already know an expression like "the downfall of Modern Age." But about how to get out of the crisis, almost no idea has been presented. The reason for that is, people are still on the line of Modern Age, and have not got free from them. Because there has not been a Postmodernist Schluss released from Modern Age, people don't know what to do; they are just lost.

I pity them for this. Young people, and not only young ones but shrewd modern people in Japan as well as in the west, have felt it in their bones, though not clearly realizing it. That is why they are at a loss about what to do. And that is why I believe some concrete idea must be presented that may clear away their bewilderment. None having been presented is the present situation of the world.

22. World Masses

W: You mean, in that sense we need a very political individual of genius who may appeal to the masses?

H: I mean, we need something whole, rather than some individual as it was considered hitherto, something like the power of the masses. By the masses I mean world masses, instead of national masses. I believe conclusions embraced by such masses will become what matters most of all hereafter.

W: "Conclusions embraced by world masses"? But, Dr. Hisamatsu, they won't get conscious of things like that. It will be only particular people, those who have transcendental capabilities, who can be aware of them.

H: No, that will not be the case. When such conclusions are presented, the masses will surely become aware of them since these are genuine. Modern Age has been the case. Some insist that Kepler lay the foundation of Modern Age, others say it was Descartes (Rene, 1596-1650) among philosophers. But it was neither Descartes nor Kepler who built up Modern Age; the whole of modern beings have come to be that way. The whole has built up Modern Age, hasn't it?

That is why I say, the whole will move that way, necessarily, with historical inevitability. The world becoming that way is historical necessity. That is an utterance not of a particular person but what history insists, an historical utterance. What I insist is not an utterance by an individual Hisamatsu, but what historical necessity is uttering, you see.

23. Physical Time and Historical Time

In connection with this, I have been thinking of the problem of time. In Modern Age people think of time in terms of clock time, i.e., physical time. People think of physical time as authentic time. They think time is what a clock ticks away, and count time by that ticking.

But there is time of quite different nature, historical time. Historical time has no place in the world of physical time. The reason for this is that historical time destroys physical time. For example, a hundred years of physical time can pass in one year of historical time. Far from matching physical time, historical time goes beyond physical time and destroys it.

You may think of the Meiji Reformation. Towards the end of the Edo period hose who remained in the Tokugawa government may have thought of time in physical time. Even when leaders of spirits in those days told them that the Tokugawa government would collapse and a new era would come, they would never have believed that kind of thing. But from the view of those leaders of spirits, the Tokugawa reign would never continue any longer; with that belief they promoted their plan of the Meiji Reformation. The Reformation came into being with such a speed as unbelievable for those who were thinking in physical time. The Meiji Reformation was established so early in a short period between 1865 and 1877 (for the three years of Keio and the first ten years of Meiji). The Tokugawa reign of nearly three hundred years perished in a moment to usher in a new era.

Revolutions are like that. They come so unbelievably early. Think of Ethiopia, a country whose history was far older than Japan, easily perished in a moment. The time of her perishing was historical time, not physical time.

24. Time of Labour Pains for a New Era

That is why I think a revolution in which the Postmodernist world is established will come unexpectedly early whereas modern-age people may be wondering when it would be.

W: Yes, since there are voices that things must change, they will do so on some occasion.

H: It will break out, since internally it has been moving. I mean historical time is moving; it may need some cue. Given some cue, it will blast and give birth to a new period. There is a period of labour pains, and that is now, indeed. Breaking the time of labour pains, a new era will leap out.

25. Historical Time and Postmodernist Revolution

Historical time is very important. It exists only for humans, but not for anything else. Even if it does, only slightly. Historical time for individuals is seen in cases like this: An evil person repents. A person who has done nothing but evil deeds ever since youth but who reforms oneself, will, by getting rid of everything past, revive to a new person of virtue. From the viewpoint of ordinary physical time, it will be unthinkable that a person who has lived doing evils for twenty or thirty years should change into a person of virtue in a moment. But the person who reforms oneself, being a human being, has got historical time. Hence the momentary transformation of an evil person for the past twenty to thirty years into a person of virtue. That is what reformation or repentance means. Without that, a human being newly being transformed would be unthinkable.

Considered from physical time, never will things of the past perish. In that sense, from the viewpoint of Postmodernist Revolution, I would like people to think of historical time. I would like people to change their way of thinking that wonders when it should happen (Laughter). If they want, they can do so in an instant. That is historical time, creative time.

That is also what I have been thinking these days. It is never a delusion or illusion. Thinking in physical time as is usually done is rather inaccurate. Those who wish to transform the world should embrace the way of thinking that is historical time. They should quit the idea that physical time is the only time. Human beings have areas in which physical time is made full use of. But the kind of thinking that the human world is regulated by physical time, should rather be realized as superstitious.

26. A Leap from a Polygon to a Circle

H: In connection with the transzendentaler Schluss, I can give an example, which I often use: How can polygonal sides be transformed into a circle?

W: Yes, yes, that is a problem. Polygonal sides, however increased, won't become a circle.

H: Never, just like what I call the experiential method. By infinitely increasing the sides of a polygon people insist that they will finally have a circle. In this case one could say a polygon aims at becoming a circle. The circle as the goal of the polygon is oneness. Manyness aims at oneness. The polygon, as it were, believes that it can reach the circle by infinitely increasing its own sides. The oneness as its objective, in this case, is nothing but an ideal oneness. It is far from anything real. From that way of thinking there will arise no action to go beyond the polygon. Seeking after oneness endlessly, without realization of oneness, also means the impossibility of arriving at a conclusion. Then there will be no possibility of acting from a conclusion. There will be no acting from the circle.

Meanwhile, human beings have a method different from that. That is, leaping out of it, leaping out the polygon and going to the circle. Even when one insists on aiming at a circle by increasing the polygonal sides, after all, at the final stage where the sides are infinite, there will be no other way to reach the circle than to leap out. Otherwise the circle would never become real. Unless one leaps out, the circle would forever remain an ideal; it would never become real. The method of increasing the polygonal sides has such a destiny. Leaping out, on the other hand, is a method different from that, or rather a contrary method. A triangle, the simplest form of a polygon, is enough as an example. By leaping out from any of the sides of a triangle one finds oneself to be a circle. A leap, a flying jump it is, but not a subjective jump. It is a radical criticism of the method of increasing the sides. By a different method one reaches a circle. That is the transzendentale Methode.

W: I see. Then the problem is what the method is, isn't it?

H: Yes, and the method is really important. Let me say, those who want to reach a circle by increasing sides are modernists, whereas those who leap out of them are Postmodernists. Instead of a triangle, a centigonal form also will do. One should leap out of it, no matter from which side of it. Leaping out of it and reaching a circle means attaining the true objective.

After the objective is attained, the circle can function. The circle can have itself function either as a triangle or as a square -- i.e., in infinite forms. That means oneness can contain manyness in itself.

27. Simultaneous Attainment and Gradual Attainments

The "Simultaneous Attainment of Awakening" (Chinese, dun; Japanese, ton) as Zen practice means that kind of thing. In the present-day Zen monasteries they insist that they finish practice, by spending a long time in counting the one thousand seven hundred cases of koan case after case. To tell the truth, the number of koan is not just one thousand seven hundred that Zen practitioners have hitherto taken up. There are tens of thousands of koan. Experientially speaking, thinking that one attains satori only after examining the tens of thousands of koan is a modernist way of thinking. That is what is called gradual practice in Zen. Contrary to the Sixth Founding Master's in China, that is how Shenxiu practised Chan. Huineng, the Sixth Founding Master, advocated "Attaining Awakening Simultaneously" (Ch., dunwu; J., tongo). " Dun" is Postmodernistic, indeed.

28. What Historical Necessity Requires

We must realize a World Revolution. Nowadays perhaps there are none who think as I do. Perhaps there are few people as individuals who think as I do, but the present-day history inevitably requires that kind of thing. Not only does it require that, that is also real, I should say. I am neither a realist as it is commonly understood nor an idealist. Idealism has truly been an element of modern philosophy, but now it is no longer a period of idealism. It is rather a period of realism, that transcends idealism.

29. Yielding from Within Rather than Absorbing from Without

These days I have trouble with one eye, while the other eye has become weak-sighted, so that I have difficulty in writing. Even in reading a newspaper I have trouble. Naturally at this age of mine these days I would prefer yielding something from within rather than abstracting anything from without (Laughter). I don't mean I have taken in much from without, but I think I have absorbed what is enough for presenting a conclusion. I think it suits me best to think of how to create from that conclusion this time.

It's far easier for me to have you listen to me than to write for myself. These days many visitors bring a tape-recorder with them. I would appreciate it very much if you put the present recording into letters and show them to me later. You may have them published as they are, for I would never tell a lie (Laughter).

30. Body and Mind Cast Off; the Cast-Off Body and Mind -- A Postmodernist Being

W: I don't think the way of thinking you have been talking about as yours would negate our prevailing method of natural science.

H: Never will it. Even when the Postmodernist age comes, the method of natural science may well develop. That it goes on by itself poses a problem; the human beings who do so are the problem.

W: You mean what human beings do tends to...?

H: Human beings still keep doing so, but the concept of human beings comes to differ.

W: When we say "Human beings do," we usually mean "We do."

H: I see your point. A human being in a usual sense has body and mind in the usual sense -- a mixture of them, which lacks unity (Laughter), a department store, as it were (Laughter). When the modern-age disruption is taken into consideration, that no human beings have oneness is the modernists' characteristic and fault. Zen speaks of the casting off of body and mind. Body and mind, which refer to ordinary humans, are cast off. This does not mean there ceases to be a human being that is no longer of body and mind. There is, indeed. A human being whose body and mind are cast off exists, as a true human being, a human being that has transcended body and mind.

W: That does differ from what we usually call a human being, I think.

H: I say a human being that has transcended body and mind. But it is likely that being transcendent of body and mind becomes a mere ideal. Body and mind cast off being real is what a Zen person like Dogen (1200-53) means, a human being of body and mind cast off.

But having body and mind cast off alone does not mean a true human being. It would leave the being without any functioning. Then there is a change of expression from "body and mind cast off" to "the cast-off body and mind." The latter means that the cast-off human being works with body and mind. The resuscitated human being is the true human being, the Postmodernist being.

31. Humanism

W: That is your....

H: Yes, my humanism. To some extent I am a humanist. Because I do not objectively perceive a god or a buddha. The very human being is the god, or the buddha. That is my new interpretation of the god and the buddha. In that sense my view is humanism. Although humanism, it is different from the modern humanism and from the medieval theism. Here we have a new Postmodernist human image.

32. Postmodernist Politics -- Communalism

Politics also should become something like Postmodernist politics. When politics become like that, there will be no need for nations to be at odds with each other; instead, each other's wants will be supplied throughout the world. Each other's needs may freely be filled, for that is economy. Being mutually complementary is economy, isn't it? Nowadays this is not the case. Such cannot be the case. When this is to be enforced, there occurs warfare, which is a conflict of attempts to autocratically fill one's own needs with force.

Insofar as nations-states are separated from one another, there takes place something unjust and unfair that there are ample resources in some places whereas in other places there are none at all. It is the inevitability of nation-states.

Soviet Russia, from my viewpoint, is far from a country of communism. Even if domestically so, she has nothing to do with communism, seen from the world viewpoint. They keep the excessive possession of that vast land to themselves. Not only that, they monopolize all the massive resources contained in the land. Again not only that, they make technology and all others their exclusive property. And they call their principle communism. How ridiculous it is! (Laughter)

I use the term "communalism." A true communism should be communalism. It means communalization of not only matter but spirit as well. Humankind of the world communalizes spirit and matter. Common properties include what is material and spiritual. That is what I call communalism. If people fill each other's needs on the standpoint of communalism, there will never take place problems like the present oil crisis.

Then narrow countries such as Japan don't need to contain overflowing population. Since there are many places that are spacious in the world, people can go there to live. People can develop lands not yet developed, so that they can help developing resources. Their presence will also be helpful for joint ownership and fair distribution of resources. This will be so not only economically but also culturally.

33. World-Humankindship

A politicians' ideal hitherto was English people's so-called statesmanship. But today it is already out-dated. Hereafter it should be world-humankindship. Ethics also should be world-ethics. Nowadays ethics means ethics either of a nation-state or of individuals, i.e., individual ethics. Hereafter it should be world-ethics. 34. The United Nations and the World Federation of Nations

W: You mean people should all see to the whole from the standpoint like that of the secretary general of the United Nations?

H: The United Nations won't do.

W: The present-day UN may not do well.

H: Right. The present UN is a collection of nations. It is nothing but different nations gathering up. After all, it is a gathering of national egoisms. What is required is not that kind of joint meeting but World-politic Society.

W: That will be what is required of an authentic UN.

H: Yes. But it cannot become reality. You know the World Federation of Nations, promoted by Dr. Yukawa (Hideki) and others. I don't think the World Federation of Nations will do. No mere combination of nations of the world will do. Nations ought to be dissolved to return to oneness.

35. Abolishing States and Establishing Continents

W: As a matter of fact there is difference as regards races and ways of thinking, so that there can be both oneness and manyness at the same time. There may be difference as regards the manyness, which sometimes may be nation-states and at other times counties instead of nation-states....

H: For that matter I have presented my own idea -- about what kind of system the world should take. As you know, in the Meiji Reformation all the clans were abolished to establish prefectures. My idea is to abolish nation-states and establish continents -- six in all: the continents of Europe, Asia, India, Africa, South America, and North America, for various reasons.

36.Postmodernist World

W: You mean there must be a centre over them?

H: No, a source -- the world as the source of the abolished nation-states.

W: Do you mean, after all, representatives from the six continents deal with things?

H: Well, in any system oneness must be the source. The world is oneness, and the six continents exist for the world to function. The six continents are limbs of the world as oneness. But that is not the case with the present UN or World Federation of Nations.

Such will be the new world, Postmodernist World. It will have a centre, the location of which may be decided in its relation to the six continents. Switzerland may be appropriate, as I think now. There will be various ideas about this.

37. How to Divide the Six Continents

There will be various ways of dividing six continents, or deciding the extent of each continent. About Australia, for example, now I think she may be included in the continent of India, for she lies separated and connected by the Indian Ocean with India. India, the Middle and the Near East, and Turkey will be included in the continent of India. In the continent of Asia, Far Eastern regions, the Chinese Continent, the Korean Peninsula, Japan, South-East Asia, Vietnam, the Philippine Islands, and others will be included. While the part of the Soviet Russia which belongs to Europe is included in the continent of Europe, her eastern part like Siberia may better be included in the continent of Asia. That is how I think now.

In terms of history and races, Australia has been a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations as India was. Besides, most of the population are whites, and English is the official language, so that she may well be in the continent of India.

Recently I talked with Mr. Takase (Kunio, another member of the Kyoto University Shincha-kai) this year on various matters, including the present subject. He is a person who can take a broad view of things. In the field of economy, especially in that of land development, he is an old-timer. For seven years until recently he stayed in Manila, sparing no efforts in actual surveys and other things. A graduate from the department of agriculture, he has his own idea about farmland development.

W: Yes, long stays abroad may have brought him big ideas.

H: Mr. Takase, hearing my idea, told me that Australia these days has come very close to Japan. So I wonder if this might not mean that Australia had better be included in the continent of Asia. But this is too particular a matter, which needs a more detailed study hereafter.

W: Indeed, the EC in Europe and the ASEAN in Asia represent a move like the one you suggest.

H: Yes, there are various ways to move towards collecting nations, but this move seems to be inevitable. Anyway, that is part of my idea of the Postmodernist world.

38. We Must Be in a Hurry

My hope is that the F.A.S. Society 4 will, from the already explained transzedentaler Schluss, have to stand on that point and think of how to do with the future world. But its actual direction is towards increasing sides of a polygon. I really feel impatient at this.

W: That kind of thing requires people to become that sort of persons first of all. That is why people have been gathering, wanting to become like that. It might be as well for senior members of the Society to switch from that direction to activities such as you suggest now, but their having difficulty in doing so is....

H: Yes, it is the present situation. That makes me feel impatient (Laughter). But I don't like the feeling that it can't be helped to feel impatient. This is something we must be in a hurry with, to tell the truth, though I don't welcome making undue haste. We need to be composed and be hasty at once. Since everything is in a downfall, and the world is at a deadlock to the extent that without improving this situation there is no way out. I think young people are more impatient. The more impatient they get, the more varieties of things they do; they are so annoyed as sometimes to run in the direction opposite to the right one.

That is what is meant by the line, "discerning suffering both individual and social, and its sources," in the "Vow of Humankind." As a matter of fact, discerning the sources has not been done as yet.

39. Genuine Philosophy and Religion

Speaking of philosophy, I don't see true philosophy nowadays. What I see is only histories of philosophy. Studying various philosophies, such as Plato's of ancient days, Kant's or Hegel's of modern times, has become philosophy. Philosophy, to tell the truth, is not anything like that. Philosophy must be one thing and nothing else -- realizing the original mode of being of human beings. In that respect it is connected with religion; it is identical with religion. Religion is philosophy, and philosophy is religion. Religion without philosophy is a dogma; it can never truly be religion. Philosophy without religion is also never truly philosophy; it is nothing but an idealism.

W: But each of the great philosophers since ancient times thought for themselves and established their own philosophies. After their death one might say only their shells or skeletons have remained, but each of them was their own philosophy.

H: That is why today there must be today's philosophy. That kind of thing is lacking, in Japan as well.

W: Yes, I must agree, to my regret.

H: The same is true of religion. There is no such religion today. Religions like Christianity and Buddhism are nothing but histories; they are nothing of the kind that will newly renovate the world. Far from that, among Buddhist sects, such as Pure land Shin-sect and Zen-sects, there is antagonism alone.

In annual academic meetings such as Buddhist studies and studies of religions, no such creative studies are seen. I try seeing lists of the speakers' subjects in those academic meetings, but I see nothing of that kind. Mostly they are on so-and-so's religion.... That always disappoints me.

Translator's notes

1 An MD, then head of the first internal department of Wakayama Red Cross Hospital , and a senior member of the Kyoto UniversityShincha-kai, an association of Zen-based practice for tea-appreciation, founded by Dr. Hisamatsu in 1941.
The present talk was conducted at Dr. Hisamatsu's residence in Gifu on March 26, 1976, recorded and then written down by Dr. Watanabe. It was first made public through the F.A.S Society magazineBuddhist Nos. 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17, through 1982 and 1983. Now the talk in included in the ninth volume of the "Revised Version of A Collection of Shin'ichi Hisamatsu's Writings," in Japanese, newly published by Hozokan, Kyoto, 1996.

In his postscript to the whole text of the present talk, Dr. Watanabe explains how the talk began with reference to the deductive method. Before this, Dr. Watanabe paid a visit to Dr. Hisamatsu when the latter still lived in Kyoto -- Dr. Hisamatsu left Kyoto to live in Gifu in May 1974 -- to ask the latter's view on medical science and natural science at large. Dr. Watanabe reflected upon his own medical work and made a remark that discovery of a new fact tended to be made when one obtained an unexpectedly gratifying results. Responding to this, Dr. Hisamatsu spoke about causality, the inductive method, and the deductive method concerning natural science in general. In addition, Dr. Hisamatsu made a prediction that in the future ethical restrictions would be imposed on natural science, medical science, and others. Dr. Watanabe wanted to hear more in detail from Dr. Hisamatsu about what the latter meant on that matter, so that he brought a tape-recorder with him to Dr. Hisamatsu's residence in Gifu.

Before completing the present translation, the translator was favoured with Dr. Watanabe's kindly consideration to listen to the recorded talk and hear Dr. Hisamatsu's voices vividly twenty years later. Tokiwa cannot express gratitude to Dr. Watanabe enough for this.

2 According to Prof. Dr. Masaya Yamaguchi, Newton based his discovery of the law of universal gravitation on a foregoing scholar -- Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), German astronomer --'s intuitive discovery of the law of gravity working between the sun and other planets. Newton's achievements is seen in his crystallization of all experiences into discovery of the universal application of the law to apples, stones, and other things, according to Prof. Yamaguchi.

3 [The text of the Postmodernist Manifesto is included in Hisamatsu: "The Downfall of Modern Age and the Idea of Postmodernist World" -- site maintainer]
[The English version of the manifesto was] originally translated by Dr. Masao Abe in collaboration with Mr. Robert Grous as part of a message entitled, "The Downfall of Modern Age and the Idea of Postmodernist World," written by Dr. Hisamatsu for the F.A.S Newsletter Vol. I, No. 1, in July 1976, and now slightly corrected by Gishin Tokiwa, May 1996.)

4 Originally called the Kyoto Daigaku Gakudo-dojo (literally, the seat of Awakening for Practising the Way), an association for Zen-based practice and study of religion, established in 1944 by Dr. Hisamatsu upon the request of a few students of Kyoto University; in 1948 it was called just Gakudo-dojo and opened to general participants. In the fall term of 1957 Dr. Hisamatsu was invited to give lectures at the Divinity School, Harvard University, U.S.A. In 1960, the name Gakudo-dojo was changed into the present "F.A.S. Society."

October11, 1996