d. t. suzuki on poetryPosted: April 12, 2010
Reading last night, I found this scribbled note fragment by D. T. Suzuki reprinted in The Eastern Buddhist, Vol. 33, No 2, 2001. I don’t think it’s found in any of his many books:
Poetry is more real than what is generally regarded as reality.
Religion is poetry.
The Infinite is absolutely real.
What is called reality is finite and not at all real. Impermanent, transient, subject to mutability.
I want to parse this a bit: it seems to fly in the face of Zen’s granting “suchness” or “isness” the dominant role in understanding “reality.” Also, the not relying on “words and letters.” In other words, the perception of the object rather than the perception of the subjective. That’s pretty standard Zen metaphysics.
This is the sort of thing that used to play with my mind, but now I couldn’t agree with Emerson more: “Consistency is for people with small minds,” a rough paraphrase. The fragment passes my feeling test.