Destructuring the communicative event
Genuine awakening is not awakening; genuine emptiness is not empty.161
Linji is said to describe emptiness as a requirement of the excess and fullness of all things and as oneness without the one.162 Given that emptiness is one, and the one emptiness is itself empty, instead of being a monistic and mystical selfabsorption in the one, emptiness is the one suchness (yiru —$Д) and the means to liberation from fear and attachment for the sake of realizing the ethical condition of unlimited generosity and compassion, which ought to be interpreted as an elemental responsiveness that is non-dual without presupposing a static monistic identity or unity: a one that already entails many. The strategies of destructuring indicated in Chan sources are themselves to be destructured, since one cannot cling to emptiness, non-clinging, and the paradoxical and poetic use of language. Skeptical dissolution is not the end or goal of such discourses. This non-skepticism is not due to there being an essence or reified something that doubt cannot touch, but because it is itself fundamentally empty such that one can neither grasp it nor reject it and throw away.163 Neither existence nor nonexistence can be grasped, and even its “ungraspability itself cannot be grasped"164 The paradox, the question, the self-dismantling qualities of language are themselves empty and are in need of being performatively and existentially shaken up and uprooted so that they do not become fixated objects of attachment.165 Only in such ways might the path not become an obstacle to wandering the path.166
As evident from the “skeptical” destructuring and self-questioning strategies of Chan, Buddhism can involve challenging ordinary beliefs, habits, and practices. It can enact through the strategy of emptiness a “de-structuring” of reified structures or the built up nests that make us miss “this matter,” which is a question of our own existence.167 Chan strategies and tactics do not aim at producing a state of doubt or negatively defined “nothingness” but via the illuminating clarity of emptiness that grants an exposure to and encounter with the phenomena themselves (faru in the midst of phenomena (fazhong
ЙА) and among human beings (renzhong AA) to occur.
The enowning/disowning—or “appropriating”/“dispropriating”—non-ontic happening of the event (Ereignis), which Heidegger (problematically from a Buddhist perspective given the reality of dependent arising) describes as being irreducible to ontic occurrences or the causal nexus, of the self-manifestation of things is powerfully formulated in Chinese Chan and Japanese Zen. For example, as discussed in Chapter 7, Dogen addressed the self-blossoming of the world as it is and in its suchness, and the liberation and non-abiding of things as an abiding in their own phenomenal expression without, however, abandoning the dependent arising and interdependence of the world.168 The resonance and tension between Chan self-blossoming and Heidegger’s language of physis (фиац) as upsurge and holding sway are revealing. Heidegger and Hongzhou/ Linji Chan Buddhism consequently suggest two divergent yet partially and incompletely akin ways of immanently encountering and addressing the world from out of itself through moments of nothingness and emptiness that are less and more than negative and derivative logical fictions.
In conclusion, it should be noted how Krzysztof Ziarek proposes ways in which Heidegger’s own language performatively distinguishes words (Worte) and dictionary terms or word-signs (Worter) in his work Language After
Heidegger, that is between the “word of being” and “language signs.”169 Heidegger differentiated between hint (Wink) and trace (Spur) in The History of Being (Die Geschichte des Seyns) and in Besinnung.170 Being (Sein) is traceless (spurloss) because nothingness pulses in and through it. Heidegger explicitly distanced his approach to language, being, and the nothing from any kind of theology and mysticism in a number of works at different points in his intellectual sojourn.171 This elucidation of language helps elucidate the sense of Chan’s destructuring words and word play in perfomatively enacting “wordless words.”