ICAS video: Affirmation via Negation: Zen, Philosophy of Life, Sexual Desire, and Infinite Love

Public lecture video by Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS). This lecture was held on December 19, 2016. Speaker was Michiko Yusa, Professor of Japanese Thought and Intercultural Philosophy at Western Washington University in Bellingham, in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and the Center for East Asian Studies.

Event Description

Contrary to an ambiguous picture of Zen Buddhism to “deny” life, D. T. Suzuki, Hiratsuka Raichō, and Nishida Kitarō–all of whom practiced (Rinzai) Zen and attained “kenshō”–talked about life in the most affirmative way, but their discourse is mediated by the moment of the negation of what comes with the ego. Their discussion on sexual desire is illuminating in terms of their philosophy of life.


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