Irreversibility and Reciprocity in the Divine-Human Relationship

Yutaka Tanaka

I. Irreversibility in Takizawa's conception of God-with-us

Let me begin my paper by making a distinction between the primordial and the consequent senses in which we talk about the divine-human relationship. I owe this distinction to the late Prof. Takizawa who elaborated his philosophy of religion as an anthropo-theology on the basis of humanity irrespective of the cultural and historical differences between Christianity and Buddhism. Takizawa expressed the primordial divine-human relationship as Emanuel ( God-with-us) in the primary sense, and the consequent divine-human relationship as Emanuel in the secondary sense.1 Borrowing this evangelical terminology from Karl Barth, Takizawa used it quite differently from Barth, to whom Emanuel (Gott mit uns) primarily means Jesus Christ, the mediator between God and man, and secondarily signifies the consequent historical community of believers in Jesus Christ. 2 Though Takizawa was an admirer of Barth, he did not follow Barth in this point, and insisted that God-with-us should hold in every human being, both within and without the Christendom, irrespective of his or her religious creed, even in the case of an atheist. So far as the primordial divine-human relationship is concerned, we are on the same level whether we are aware of this fact or not. The different aspects of religious belief appear on the level of the consequent divine-human relationship which depends on our own personal decision and response to the primordial fact. So the task of anthropo-theology is, according to Takizawa, to clarify and describe the distinction between these two kinds of divine-human relationship.

It has been often pointed out that Takizawa's distinction is an analogue of that between the primordial Enlightenment and the inceptive enlightenment in the traditional Mahayana Buddhism, as we find, for example, in the Awakening of Faith in Mahayana attributed to Ashvagosha. Takizawa himself admitted this similarity, and made it one of the common bases on which the dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism becomes possible.3 It should be noted that some western scholars of Mahayana Buddhism shared the same problematic independently of Takizawa. For example, the Rev. Timothy Richard, translator of the Awakening of Faith wrote:4

If it be, as it is more and more believed, that the Mahayana Faith is not Buddhism, properly so called, but an Asiatic form of the same Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in Buddhist nomenclature, differing from the old Buddhism just as the New Testament differs from the Old, then it commands a world-wide interest, for in it we find an adaptation of Christianity to ancient thought in Asia, and the deepest bond of union between the different races of the East and the West, viz., the bond of a common religion.

As the religious thought of the Awakening of Faith has exerted a great influence on Japanese spirituality, it might be suspected that Takizawa applied it to the central doctrine of Christianity just in the same way in which Mahayana Buddhists claimed that all sentient beings could get salvation through the primordial Enlightenment.

It should be noted, however, that Takizawa kept his mind, not on the medieval vestiges of Buddhism and Christianity, but on the coming age of the post-modern world characterized with an atheistic tendency. The exterior authority of medieval religiosity has collapsed under the impact of modern man's claim for human autonomy. The traditional forms of religion can not sustain themselves without reflecting the ultimate structure of human existence and the origin of the so-called human autonomy. Takizawa's main motive was not the comparison of peripheral phenomena between Christianity and Buddhism, but the primordial fact which decrees the constitution of each religion This f t . ac reveals itself in the depth of our own personal existence as the "miraculous Emanuel", i. e. the fact that God is with us absolutely antecedent to our own subjectivity, before all our thoughts, words, acts, and even negligence. We, human beings, can not b~ separated from God, however independent and autonomous we may think of ourselves. Awakening to this primordial relationship, a finite human being can begin to participate as an authentic self in the process of realizing the primordial relationship. The historical process of realization, i. e. the consequent divine human relationship, was called by Takizawa "Emanuel in the secondary sense." Though the similarity between Takizawa's Emanuel and the Mahayana Buddhist treatment of Awakening is conspicuous, a subtle but very important difference appears when we analyze more carefully both the structure of God-with-us in the original context of Christianity and that of awakening in the Mahayana context. Whereas the primordial fact of Christianity signified by Emanuel was ultimately characterized as God's self-revelation through Jesus Christ, Buddhists did not presuppose such an transcendent deity when they emphasized the Enlightenment or Awakening to the dependent-coorigination (pratitya samutpada) and nothingness (sunyata) .

How was it possible that Takizawa discussed God's self-revelation and human's self-awakening at the same time? Takizawa's answer to this type of question was so radical to Christianity and to Buddhism that his impact on both religions has not been accepted without being diluted. He has been ignored for a long time both by Christian and Buddhist specialists because he seemed, on the one hand, to deny the unique and absolute role of God's only Son in Christian theology, and seemed, on the other hand, to discuss the experience of Awakening without practicing Zen meditation and Koan exercise under an authoritative Zen master. Even though we admit that these objections may have some reasons, we can not but say in the same breath that Takizawa was consistent in his criticism of the traditional forms of Christianity and Zen Buddhism in so far as the primordial divine-human relation, as he insisted, should not be localized only within the Christen-dom, nor only within the Zen monastery because it lies, as the undeniable fact, in the constitutional principle of humanity irrespective of religious creed.

Takizawa's standpoint may be considered as a generalization of Christology to anthropo-theology, for the non-dual but non-identical relation which Christian theology recognizes between God and Jesus Christ should also hold, as Takizawa insisted, in the case of every human being. Every man is in a position of realizing the primordial non-dual but non-identical relation in which God's self-revelation and human's self-awakening simultaneously take place.

It would be our misunderstanding if we brand Takizawa's view as a variant of idealistic philosophy or as a "gnostic herecy". Although adopting the non-dualistic approach to the central problems of Christianity, he also put special emphasis on the non-identical aspect of the divine-human relation so that Christianity might not degenerate into the metaphysical monism in which the distinction between God and the World would be overlooked.

Takizawa was a disciple of Nishida, one of the most influential philosophers of modern Japan. When he got a scholarship to study philosophy in Germany, he was advised by Nishida to take a theological course under Karl Barth. So Takizawa had an opportunity of discussing such theological problems as the unity of divinity and humanity in the person of Jesus Christ.

In this inter-religious encounter between the Japanese philosopher with a Buddhistic background and the representative Protestant theologian, Takizawa repeatedly asked Barth concerning the nature of identity when Barth asserted that Jesus Christ is God, a very man and very God. This question did not come from the non-Christian philosopher's intellectual curiosity. It was a necessary one from the problematic of Nishida's philosophy, for the crux of this philosophy was concerning the paradoxical unity of our human nature with Godhead.

Takizawa regarded Nishida's work as "a philosophy of metanoia which bears testimony to the true God in the language of this specific country in this specific age"5 and tried to persuade Barth to believe that the triune God can reveal himself outside the "wall" of Christendom, indeed at every time and everywhere in so far as the primordial divine-human relationship can not be localized to a particular age and country.6

Though Barth flatly denied such a possibility of God's revelation outside the Bible, Takizawa insisted that the historical event of Jesus, his life and death, was a Biblical testimony to the primordial fact (Urfactum) , implicitly going beyond Barth's Christ-centrism where the Jesus event was neither a testimony to nor a sign (Zeichen) of the Fact (Sache) but the primordial fact itself. According to Takizawa, the danger of pharisaims always hovers about us if we are blind to the Fact which has decreed the life and death of Jesus even when we worship him as the Savior, saying that there is no salvation without Jesus Christ. He often cited those lines of the Gospel which recorded that Jesus himself was not pleased to be an object of idol-worship (Matt. 19-17) though he proclaimed his divinity before the high priest (Matt. 26-64). Jesus was not an exception but a chief exemplification of the paradoxical unity of God-human nature.

The difference between Jesus and his followers consists in the modes of awakening to this Fact. While Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God as a witness of the Truth (John 18-37) , his disciples worshipped him as the Savior. So the consequent divine-human relations were different between them. This difference reflects that of modes of awakening to the primordial fact. Whereas Jesus awakened to it through a unique and original awareness of his own historical role as Messiah in the New Testament age of Judaism, his disciples awakened to the same Fact through believing in the paradoxical event of Christ's death and resurrection. In recognizing the fundamental identity behind the apparent differences between the founder and the followers of Christianity, we may say that Takizawa discovered an anthropo-theology of Awakening on the basis of the primordial f act.

Takizawa's anthropo-theology was developed through his confrontation with the so-called FAS Zen Buddhism of Shin'ichi Hisamatsu, another disciple of Nishida and one of the most radical Buddhist thinkers in the modern Japan. Hisamatsu insisted that we should not seek for Buddha as an exterior authority, nor as the Other Power, because Buddha is nothing but the "Formless Self" who awakens in our innermost subjectivity. The Formless Self should not be localized to a particular person, but He should be universalized to All mankind as the authentic subject of forming history from the Supra-historical standpoint.7

Takizawa's christology had a remarkable similarity with Hisamatsu's conception of the Formless Self. Takizawa admitted that Hisamatsu was radically consistent in rejecting both the Other Power of the Pure Land Buddhism and the unilaterally transcendent God of Christianity as legacies of pre-modern religiocity, and was even sympathetic with Hesamatsu's atheology in so far as it swept away any vestige of idol-worship in Christianity and Buddhism. Takizawa, however, objected that there should be an irreversible order in the primordial divine-human relation, and insisted that a personal experience of enlightenment, however deep it may be, should not claim finality in the primordial sense.

The experience of enlightenment, in so far as it takes place at some time and somewhere, should be considered as an inceptive event on the level of the consequent divine-human relation rather than as the unconditional unity with the Absolute. Every Buddha, i. e. every awakened one, is primordially on the same level as an ordinary human being, and the apparent monistic attitude of an atheistic Buddhist has, according to him, a tendency of self-delusion due to the lack of in-sight to the subtle structure of the divine-human relation.

The life of Buddha, as well as the earthly life of Jesus, was considered by Takizawa as an "exemplary complete reflection" of the primordial fact on the level of the consequent divine-human relation. We can not say that Takizawa's standpoint was pantheistic, because he recognized the irreversible order between God and Man, and denied apotheosis of a finite self in any experience of awakening. We need not transcend the limit of humanity because such a trial would be a misplaced one from the beginning. Takizawa's polemic against Hisamatsu was concerning the subtle distinction between a finite self and the Formless Self. Hisamatsu did not talk much about the "practice after awakening" because his emphasis was on the primordial Enlightenment which transcends the limit of space and time.

So the problem of Hisamatsu Zen, if any, was that the status of a finite self had not been explicated enough in the actual historical situation. It would be far from the truth to say that a finite self becomes the Formless Self through awakening, because the self-identity between before and after an experience of awakening should be strictly distinguished from the paradoxical unity of a finite self with the Formless Self in the primordial Enlightenment. The essential finitude of human existence cannot be ignored even in the case of an awakened one. Neither would it be persuasive to deny the reality of a finite self, pace the theory of non-self in the traditional Buddhism, once we enter the realm of social and ethical practice where it is not the Formless Self but always a finite self that has to take the moral responsibility of its own decision among other finite selves.

Takizawa's emphasis on irreversibility in the divine-human relation caused debates among Zen Buddhists and Christians.8 Though the concept of irreversibility is familiar to Christianity, most Zen Buddhists have felt uneasy about it especially when applied to the structure of primordial Enlightenment. Abe, for example, objected against Takizawa that the ultimate religious relation should be absolutely reversible and said "the standpoint m which an element of irreversibility remains is not a thoroughgoing one " from Zen Buddhism.9 On the other hand, Takizawa's concept of God-with-us seemed unsatisfactory, at least to some Christians in that the aspect of reciprocity between God and man was totally ignored, and the mystery of Christ's passion and death on the Cross cannot be explained away on the standpoint of Awakening to the primordial fact. We need something more than Awakening if we are to grasp not only the words of Jesus but also his life and death in the Gospel.

In the original context of the New Testament, God-with-us means the retrieve of the lost bond between God and man in the history of salvation, and does not signify a non-historical universal relation. Takizawa considered historical aspects of the divine-human relation as consequent on the primordial fact, and stressed the irreversible order between the non-historical and historical relations though they are inseparable. If historical elements are essential to Christianity, then it is insufficient to the understanding of such elements to assert unilaterally the irreversible order between the primordial and consequent relations. The God whom we encounter in the consequent divine-human relation is no less important than God-with-us in the primordial relation, and the concept of irreversibility seems insufficient if it is applied to the eternal and historical aspects of the divine-human relation.

The controversies which Takizawa aroused in his later years showed that we must further his project of anthropo-theology in more satisfactory fashions though we owe to him a great insight into the universal non-historical character of the divine-human relation which has made it possible for Christians to enter into dialogue with Buddhists.

The second section of my paper is concerning the philosophical foundation of anthropo-theology. As both Takizawa and Hisamatsu are Nishida's disciples, the latest stage of Nishida's philosophy, especially "the Logic of Topos and Religious World-View" will first be discussed, and then my own standpoint which is called hayathology (the theory of Becoming) will be propounded as a project of the syn-thesis between ontology (the theory of Being) and sunyatology (the theory of Nothingness) .

II. Retrieving Reciprocity from the Standpoint of Hayathology

The purpose of Nishida's latest philosophy was, as he wrote to Daisetsu Suzuki in 1945, to explicate the paradoxical structure of human personality from the standpoint of Wisdom Sutras (prajnya paramita) , and to integrate it with the actual historical world on the basis of the logic of Topos. As Suzuki explicated in "the Fundamental Thoughts in Lin Chi" , "the true person with no title" played a central role in Lin Chi Zen, and the inter-personal relation between a Zen master and his disciples was undoubtedly essential to the understanding of a Zen dialogue. The structure of the "true person" was described by Suzuki as "the self-transcending individual " who is on account of not being himself. This structure of self-transcendence was expressed in terms of the non-dual but non-identical relation which was called "soku hi " In Wisdom Sutras. Nishida was keenly aware of the fact that the logic of "soku hi" could not easily be conceptualized within the stock of philosophical terminology then available to him .

Western philosophy had a long tradition of ontology which asked the meaning of Being in the ultimate sense, but its conceptual framework was insufficient to the understanding of the philosophical core of Mahayana Buddhism where nothingness rather than Being was emphasized. The development of Nishida's philosophy can be considered as the "documents of great struggle" with the fundamental problems of Nothingness. He aimed at constructing the truly universal philosophy beyond the contrasted differences between East and West rather than characterizing a provincial concept of "Oriental Nothingness". The origin of Western metaphysics, especially the problematic of Plato and Aristotle, attracted his attention because it suggested to him how the priority of Being (Form) to Nothingness (the Formless)was established in Western philosophy. In Plato's Timaeus, he discovered a key concept of Topos (chora) as the missing link which might be helpful to the understanding of Nothingness. The paradoxical unity between a being (rupa) and emptiness (sunyata) in Wisdom Sutras can be expressed by the complementarity between an entity and its topos. The relativity of being and nothingness, however, signifies the absolute field of totality which includes every kind of opposition. This absolute field of totality was called by Nishida "the Topos of Absolute Nothingness." In his work, "From the Actor to the Seer", three kinds of Topos were discussed, i. e. the topos of relative being (physical topos as the space-time continuum) , the topos of relative nothingness (the field of consciousness) , and the Topos of Absolute Nothingness.11

These three kinds of topos are known consecutively through trans-descendence.12 One finds oneself first in the topos of relative being, interacting with other entities in one's environment. Next one knows oneself as the experiencing subject which can not be an object in the topos of relative being. In order to know oneself as the transcendental subject, one has to trans-descend the depth of the first topos.

The transcendental subject, in the Kantian sense, can not reach the core of religious experience. One has to trans-descend again the depth of the second topos through radically abolishing the dichotomy of subject and object. In Nishida's logic of Topos, the metaphysical ultimate was Absolute Nothingness, which is indirectly characterized as the universal which is always a predicate, and never a subject. We may compare Nishida with Aristotle concerning the metaphysical problems. In the Aristotelian tradition, metaphysics was closely related with ontology, i. e. the study of being which, though said in many ways, has the central focal meaning in the concept of substance (ousia) . Asking the relation of the Platonic Forms to the fluent world, Aristotle ended his metaphysics by finding the unmoved mover, the substance as Absolute Being.

Nishida's approach to metaphysics may be characterized as sunyatology, i. e. the study of nothingness which, no less equivocal than being, has the central focal meaning in the concept of topos. Asking the non-dual but non-identical relation between an entity and its topos, Nishida continued his metaphysical inquiry through the procedure of trans-descending until he found the total process of inquiry had been grounded in the topos of Absolute Nothingness. As the explicans of religious experience in Zen Buddhism, Nishida's approach to metaphysics was successful and illuminating. Nishida, however, wanted to have his philosophy of Topos accepted not only as applicable to a special religious experience but also as available to the explicans of the general structure of reality.

Neither was he satisfied with the standpoint of "contemplation" of the Absolute, as his disciple Tanabe misunderstood him, because contemplation and practice are inseparable m his concept of "action intuition". The problem of practice in the historical world gradually became a center of Nishida's concern. How is it possible to deduce the historical world and human practice from the standpoint of Absolute Nothingness?

This problem was a leitmotif in the later development of Nishida's philosophy.

Hisamatsu also tackled this problem, and furthered Nishida's philosophy toward a more existential and historical direction. Hisamatsu grasped nothingness as subjectivity as well as topos. The negative receptivity of nothingness as topos was complemented by creative activity of nothingness as subjectivity. 13

As Takizawa contrasted what Hisamatsu called Formless Self as Absolute Subjectivity with God in the primordial Fact in his anthropo-theology, his polemic against Hisamatsu showed a tension between Christianity and Buddhism concerning the ultimate reality. The dialogue between them was succeeded by many scholars in Japan, and it was the problematic of irreversibility that they have mainly discussed. In the first section of this paper I asked a question concerning the compatibility between a Christian's concept of God and a Buddhistic awakening to pratitya samutpada and Nothingness. The problem of irreversibility must be considered in this broader perspective. The standpoint which I adopt may be called hayathology I e the theology of Becommg. 14 "Haya" is the Hebrew word which means becoming.

My purpose in using such a rather unfamiliar terminology is that I want to over-come the opposition between ontology and sunyatology from the standpoint of a Biblical theology. In so far as we adhere to the concept of God as Absolute Being in Christian theology, we can not enter into a fruitful dialogical relation to Buddhists because the very denial of such an absolute being lies in the core of Buddhist teachings of pratitya sumutpada and sunyata. If the concept of God as Absolute Being was, as I believe, imposed upon Christianity by the Greek philosophy and essentially alien to the Biblical understanding of God and the world, then it become possible to appreciate the essence of Buddhist teachings from a Christian perspective. Moreover, hayathology, sharing with Buddhism a non-dualistic approach, can bear Christian witness to the significance of practice in the historical world. If we grasp the metaphysical ultimate only as Absolute Being, or only as Absolute Nothingness, then we can not but ignore the historical aspect of deity which is essential to Christianity. We would fall into another kind of dualism, between eternity and temporality, absoluteness and relativity. The adjective "absolute" in Absolute Nothingness would become a misleading one, because there is no such thing as the absolute in all aspects. The ultimate beyond the opposition between being and nothingness should be called Becoming rather than Absolute Nothingness, pace the Kyoto School. The weak points of this school lies in the fact that there was not given a mediating link between the philosophy of Nothingness and the domain of social and ethical practices in history. Many representatives of this school took ambiguous attitudes toward militarism and political totalitarianism in Japan during the second world war, and they did not discuss the responsibility of war crimes Japan had committed in the name of Holy War. One great exception was Tanabe Hajime, who wrote "Philosophy as Metanoetics" after the defeat of Japan.15

Though Tanabe's criticism of Nishida's philosophy was not fair in many respects, his own conception of absolute mediation is worth noticing. The relation of an individual to the universal was not conceived by him as unilaterally deterministic, but as reciprocal through the mediating link of species (the local community with its own environmental and historical restrictions) in the ever-going process of the world history. Each of the triad of an individual, the species, and the genus plays a role of mediator between the other two, and does not make a hierarchic order. Especially important is the concept of an individual who takes the role of mediation between his own limited standpoint of species and the truly universal one through "metanoia (repentance) ". As metanoia was an essential element of the message of the historical Jesus, Tanabe's philosophy as metanoetics pointed to a possibility of revising the philosophy of Absolute Nothingness in such a way that Christians as well as Buddhists who take seriously a crisis of the historical world can find an adequate conceptual apparatus in this philosophy.

Returning to the problem of irreversibility, I agree with Takizawa that the divine-human relation is an irreversible one if irreversibility means asymmetry of the relation. To accept the reality of an asymmetrical relation is a necessary condition in order to prevent a fallacy of metaphysical monism where the individual has to be totally swallowed up in the Absolute. So the non-identity of any relation implies its asymmetrical character. On the other hand, I consider Takizawa's thesis of irreversibility as one-sided and inadequate, if irreversibility means the denial of reciprocity between God and man. Takizawa's concept of God in the primordial relation was absolute in the sense that God is absolutely independent of any human decision, though we are unilaterally dependent on God. This conception of God is necessary to .such aspects of religious life as conversion, but not an adequate one if we consider the whole spectrum of the divine-human relation. The God who is absolutely antecedent to our own subjectivity should also be absolutely posterior to it. The consequent divine-human encounter in the historical process is not, as Takizawa insisted, to be considered as a mere reflection of the primordial relation. Far from being a derivative reflection, the consequent divine-human relation should be considered as the actualization of the primordial one. The complementary concept of Becoming God in the world history is also necessary if we are to retrieve the reciprocity of the divine-human relation. The doctrine of universal relativity which some Buddhist scholars, especially Stcherbatsky, identified with that of sunyata16, is, when applied to the divine-human relation, not acceptable to Christianity until it is reinterpreted and revised 90 on the basis of the Biblical concept of God as Becoming. The personalistic "I-thou" character of the divine-human encounter should be stressed more explicitly than Buddhism because God's self-revelation, as it was recorded in the Bible, occurred simultaneously with a human's self-awakening in their inter-personal en-counter in history. This encounter is more suitably characterized as a sympathetic communion rather than as a mystic union with Godhead.

The prophetic tradition of Judaism seems to preserve the element of mutuality between God and man more explicitly than Christian theology. Martin Buber captured this tradition in these words: "you know always in your heart that you need God more than everything; but do you not know too that God needs you - in the fullness if His eternity needs you.17 "

The concept of God as Becoming requires the reversal of the Aristotelian thesis concerning the metaphysical status of becoming. Whereas being is the act of becoming in ontology, becoming is the act of being in hayathology. There is no such thing as an independent substance which needs nothing more in order to exist. The very eternity of Godhead requires God's Becoming in history. This is one of fundamental theses of hayathology.

The concept of God-with-us contains an element of mutual transcendence as well as mutual immanence. The dynamism of the divine-human encounter in the Biblical tradition can not be understood enough without the concept of divine exile from humanity.

"The will of God is to be here, manifest and near; but when the doors of this world are slammed on Him, His truth betrayed, His will defied, He withdraws, leaving man to himself. God did not depart of His own volition; He was expelled, " 18 writes Heshel. Such aspects of deity can not suitably be grasped within the traditional conceptual scheme of Christian theology where God as Absolute Being is unilaterally transcendent from the world.

Neither can they be easily understood by traditional categories of Buddhism where the element of transcendence in the historical world was underestimated, and the doctrine of mutual immanence without hindrance was one-sidedly emphasized. The doctrine of dependent co-origination and emptiness is not sufficient to the Biblical understanding of the divine-human relation in so far as it lacks an element of transcendence in the historical world. ,"'

Then how should we incorporate a Buddhistic insight into pratitya samutpada and sunyata in the more universal framework of hayathology?

In the recently published book "Beyond Dialogue", John Cobb discussed a possibility that a Christian may accept the concept of sunyata as the ultimate reality, and at the same time worship God as the ultimate actuality." His distinction of actuality from reality is derived from Whitehead's metaphysics where God as an actual entity is a manifestation of the metaphysical ultimate which is called Creativity. Though I appreciate Cobb's thesis of complementarity between Christianity and Buddhism, I do not consider sunyata nor creativity as the ultimate reality. The alternative thesis which I propose here as a heuristic principle is that sunyata and creativity are complementary transcendentals in terms of which we can conceive the God-world relationship. I mean by "transcendentals", as medieval Christian philosophers such as Duns Scotus did, those abstract yet very real concepts which escape classification in the Aristotelian categories by reason of their greater extension and universality of application.20 As they are predicable both of God and of the world, they can provide a necessary framework to philosophical theology. Whereas the medieval theory of transcendentals discussed mainly "being" and "one" under the overwhelming influence of the Aristotelian ontology, hayathology regards being as being/nothingness, and one as one/many in their inseparability, and creativity and sunyata as complementary transcendentals. Both God and the world are sunyata (empty) as well as creative.

Emptiness signifies the infinite openness of the topos of the non-temporal primordial divine-human relation which waits for actualization. Creativity signifies the infinite openness of the process of the consequent divine-human relations in history.

As hayathology intends to synthesize the eternal and the temporal dimensions in the concept of God as Becoming, it needs the two complementary transcendental concepts to express the topos and the process of the divine-human relation respectively.

The importance of such transcendentals lies in the fact that they liberate Christian theology from the yoke of the Aristotelian categories. Although I consider Whitehead as a precursor of hayathology.20 I do not think that he was completely freed from the Aristotelian logic and ontology. In Whitehead's metaphysics actual entity constitutes the highest genus that includes both God and worldly occasions, and such a trans-categorial concept as creativity was classified among the category of the ultimate. The thesis that God and other actual entities belong to the same genus is a fallacious one, and contradictory even in Whitehead's own metaphysics, for there is no element of perpetual perishing in God's Becoming. l The dipolar God in process theology should be re-interpreted as the God who reveals Himself in the primordial and the consequent relations rather than as the , non-temporal actual entity with two natures.

The denial of the Aristotelian categories was characteristic of the Christian doctrine of trinity. Hayathology furthers this mode of thinking in such a way that the non-dual but non-identical relations among three persons should be universalized to the God-world relation without being restricted to divinity. This universality, however, should not be confused with the universality of genus. Just as being does not constitute a genus, so the meaning of entity in Whitehead's metaphysics can not be univocal between God and the world. In the traditional theory of transcendentals the eminent meaning of being was attributed to God, and the creature's being is derivative from it. The problem situation is not so simple in hayathology. On account of the asymmetrical relation of God to the world, it is true to say that God's being is eminently real, but on account of the inverse relationality of the world to God, it is equally true to say that the world is eminently real. The mutuality between God and the world is based, not on the third ultimate . reality, whose manifestations are God and the world, but on the inverse relationality which the asymmetrical relation of God to the world necessarily involves.

Returning again to Takizawa's anthropo-theology, I evaluate his emphasis on irreversibility as a deep insight into the asymmetry of the divine-human relation.

It was a valid protest against a monistic fallacy of trying to grasp God and the world in the same categorial scheme. What Takizawa's theory lacks is the retrieving of reciprocity between God and the world in his conception of God-with-us through the inverse relationality which an asymmetrical relation necessarily involves. The consequent divine-human relation is neither a reflection of, nor derivative from the primordial one, but the inverse relation of the primordial one. The God who shows Himself at every time and everywhere as absolutely antecedent to a human's subjectivity is, in one sense, an abstraction which should be actualized as the God who shows Himself as absolutely posterior to a human's historical decision. The absoluteness which appears in the above formulation always means a one-sided absoluteness. God is absolutely independent of the world whereas the world is relatively dependent on God in the primordial divine-world relationship.

In the inverse relationality of the world to God, i. e. the consequent divine-world relation, the world is absolutely independent of God whereas God is relatively dependent on the world is noteworthy to point out a similar problem situation when we encounter in discussing the irreversibility of time. The past contains an element of independence of its future in the sense that what is done can not be undone whereas the future is dependent on its past in the sense that any real possibility presupposes the past.

It is reasonable to say that the past is closed and determinate whereas the future is open and indeterminate. We cannot assert the symmetry between the past and the future at the concrete level of experience. But the asymmetrical relation of the past to the future involves the inverse relation of the future to the past. The past is, in one sense, open and indeterminate because the future will change the form (Gestalt ) of the past in the organic structure of time. The doctrine of mutual interpenetration which we find in some Buddhistic texts, notably in Hua Yen, is a fallacious one if it is interpreted in such a way that temporal order is reversible.12 We can not give any empirical meaning to the reversed temporal order because every possible experience presupposes the asymmetry of time. On the other hand, it is equally inadequate to assert the irreversibility of time as something like a metaphysical axiom, unless the so-called irreversibility is complemented with its inverse relationality in the organic whole.

Lastly, I add some comments on the complementarity between temporality and spatiality, because we have discussed the process and the topos of the God-world relation.

The openness of future is mediated with the determinateness of the past through a self-decision of the present. It is one-sided to regard time only as fleeting away. Temporality is always and necessarily connected with the non-temporal topos which may be, after St. Augustine, called "Eternal Now". Memory and anticipation are impossible without the communion of moments of time in the Eternal Now. It is true to say that we can not go back to our past, but the very possibility of asserting the impossibility of going back to the past shows that our past is directly present to us in the Eternal Now. For if you say that the past is only indirectly present through some present images of the past, you would be able to tell what objects of the past these present images refer, which is impossible if all you have are present images and the past itself is not directly pre-sent to us.

The Eternal Now is not a fabrication of metaphysical speculation, but signifies the basic structure of our temporal experience. The direct presence of our past and future in the Eternal Now is a necessary condition of the possibility of memory and anticipation. The point which I underscore is that the communion of moments of time is not only compatible with the asymmetrical structure of time, but also provides a necessary condition to the possibility of a linear temporal experience. On the other hand, the linear temporal experience supplements the elements of concreteness for the topos of Eternal Now, for the concrete always involves finiteness against the background of infinite possibility.

Notes and Bibliography

l ) Katsumi Takizawa, Fundamental Problems of Buddhism and Christianity. (Houzoukan) 86 1973, pp. 251 362

2 ) Karl Barth, Die Kirchlische Dogmatik, Studienausgabe Band 2 1 Die Lehre von der Versohnung S 57pp. 1 -21

3 ) The Mahayana Zen Buddhism (ed. by Ryomin Akizuki No. 7111983p. 12.

4 ) Timothy Richard, The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana Doctrine, 1907p. vi

5 ) Katsumi Takizawa, Fundamental Problems of Nishida 's Philosophy (Houzoukan) 19 72 p. 191

6 ) Katsumi Takizawa, The Study of Karl Barth (Houzoukan) especially his open letter to Karl Barth pp. 467 - 493

7 ) Shin'ichi Hisamatsu "Ultimate Crisis and Resurrection" contained in The Eastern Buddhist 1975, Vol. viii No. l, pp. 12 -3(), No. 2, pp. 37-66 also contained in The Collected Works of Shin 'ichi Hisamatsu (Risousha ) Vol. 2

8 ) Buddhism and Christianity (ed. by Masao Abe and Seiichi Yagi) (Houzoukan 19 81 ) contains the debate concerning the irreversibility thesis. It should be noted that Zen Master Ryomin Akizuki accepted Takizawa s formula of "inseparable, non-identical, and irreversible at the same time" as antidote against the self-complacence of the vulgar Zen.

9 ) Masao Abe, "The problem of irreversibility in religion ) in Buddhism and Christianity.

10) Nishida's last writings are translated into English with an introduction by D. A. Dilworth, under the title of Nothingness and the Religious World View (University of Hawaii Press 1987) The Complete Works of Daisetsu Suzuki (Iwanami Shoten) Vol.3pp. 352 - 365 Nishida's letter to Suzuki, (dated May 11 in 1945), is contained in The Complete Works of Nishida Kitarou (CWNK) (Iwanami Shoten) Vol. 19 , p. 399

11) CWNK vol. 4. pp. 208-28q.

12) Trans-descendence means going down through the depth of the relative topos rather than going beyond the phenomenal world.

13) Schin'ichi Hisamatsu "The Way of Absolute Subjectivity" ( Risousha:) 1972

14) The first scholar that used the term, "hayathology" was Tetsutarou Ariga. Cf. Tetsutarou Ariga, The problematic of ontology in Christian Thought (Soubunsha l 981 )

15) Hajime Tanabe, Philosophy as Metanoetics translated by Yoshinori Takeuchl (Universi-ty of California Press 1986)

16) Th. Stcherbatski, The Conception of Buddhist Nirvana (Leningrad 1927) Chap. 14

17) Martin Buber, I and Thou (Macmillan 1958) p. 82.

18) A. J. Heshel, Man is Not Alone, A Philosophy of Religion (New York 19 51 ) p. 153

19) John Cobb Jr., Beyond Dialogue, Toward a Mutual Transformation of Christianity and Buddhism

20) Concerning the significance of transcendentals in a Christian Philosophy, see Allan B. Wolter, The Transcendentals and Their Function in the Metaphysics of Duns Scotus, (Franciscan Institute 1946) pp. 4 - 13 Concerning the logical analysis of transcendentals and emptiness, see Yutaka Tanaka "Anstotelian Ontology and Modal Syllogistic Reconstructed" in Historia Scientiarum No 24 (1983) pp. 87-109.

21) Yutaka Tanaka, "Hayathology and Whitehead's Process Thought" in Process Thought vol. l. (1985) pp. 19-32

22) Concerning a Whiteheadian criticism of Hua-yen, see Steve Odin, Process metaphysics and Hua-yen Buddhism (SUNY I 982) Part II

This paper was delivered at The International Conference on "Buddhism & Christianity: Toward the Human Future" Berkeley, California August 10-15, 1987