Thursday, 8 May 2008

Not The Matter of Buddha Ascending Beyond

I woke up this morning not feeling happy about "ascending beyond" as a translation of KOJO. I tried "reaching up" instead. I wanted to reflect this sense that there is in what Masters Tozan and Dogen are describing, as in the work of FM Alexnder and Alfred Tomatis, a condition of being, of sitting or of listening, which is spontaneous, automatic, effortless -- a plane to be reached.

So I went through the chapter changing "ascending beyond" to "reaching up"... and then I went through changing everything back again.

But then this afternoon, fortified by a midday nap (following the inspirational example of Master Koboku Hojo), I realized without doubt that "ascending beyond" didn't fit in Tozan's pithy exchange with Ungo Doyo. I asked for something more colloquial, and what came out was "going on up."

Yes: The Matter of Buddha Going On Up.

That is the translation that hits the target. It fits.

Some will say that it is a translation "based on AT theory." But to tell the truth, it is a translation arising out of 25 years of me straining ineffectually just to hear the voice of the Buddha.

No comments: