Suzuki on the Prajna-Eye

May 7th, 2007

Cover art from D. T. Suzuki‘s Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist, 1957 (Collier Books edition). We see the eight-spoked Buddhist Dharma wheel, the Christian crucifixion cross, and, before both symbols, an eye: Eckhart‘s eye, a prajna-eye, the eye of wisdom.


“It is not enough to ‘know’ as the term is ordinarily understood… Whatever knowledge the philosopher may have, it must come out of his experience, and this experience is seeing. Buddha has always emphasized this. He couples knowing (nana, jnana) with seeing (passa, pasya) for without seeing, knowing has no depths, cannot understand the realities of life. Therefore, the first item of the Eightfold Noble Path is sammadassana, right seeing, and sammasankappa, right knowing, comes next. Seeing is experiencing, seeing things in their state of suchness (tathata) or is-ness” (p34).

“Seeing is not just an ordinary seeing by means of relative knowledge; it is the seeing by means of a prajna-eye which is a special kind of intuition enabling us to penetrate right into the bedrock of Reality itself” (p35).

“…which is no other than Eckhart’s eye: ‘The eye wherein I see God is the same eye wherein God sees me: my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one vision, one knowing, one love'” (p43).

One Response to “Suzuki on the Prajna-Eye”

  1. Cusanus’s Paradigmatic Diagram « Unurthed Says:

    […] “You must notice that light’s descending is nothing other than darkness’s ascending. And God’s being in the world is nothing other than the world’s being in God. And for actuality to proceed into potentiality is nothing other than for potentiality to arrive at actuality. And a point’s ascending into corporeality is nothing other than corporeality’s descending into a point. And for darkness to elevate itself into light is nothing other than for light to descend into darkness. Likewise, for the potentiality of matter to proceed into the actuality-of-form is nothing other than for form’s actuality to descend into matter’s potentiality. Therefore, with intellectual acumen conjoin the ascent and the descent, in order that you may surmise more truly” (p217, c.f. Meister Eckhart’s words on coinherence and God’s eye). […]

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