Contrasts Between Eastern vs. Western Philosophy
a conversational essay with Kiki-UMA
Felix
I noticed something interesting recently. In English, you say "I" and "you" a lot when you make a sentence. For example, the "you" in the previous sentence refers to a generalized individual, and not the specific reader. This happens when talking about many abstract subjects, and it's not confusing for native English speakers. But, it sounds very very strange to use "あなた" or other personal pronouns in every sentence when you speak Japanese.
Kiki
その点で私は異質な日本人だよ。私の話し方は、ネイティブで”too aggressive” に聞こえる。でも英語ではそれほどではない。
In this way I'm not a typical Japanese person. My speaking style sounds too aggressive for a native speaker, but in English, it's not really so rough at all.
Felix
Right, I understand this! I'm similar, but in the opposite way; for an English speaker, I can be too "indirect" or contextual when asking for things; it's hard to speak directly at times.
In this regard, I see the Japanese language as picking up on the environment, whereas English seems more based upon animacy. Both give me the sense of a focal point being moved around – in Japanese, this "focus" would be the idea of 気 (ki/chi), or knowing when to use は and が. The "focus" is different for each language, and because I'm a native speaker, I don't notice many aspects of English.... there may be other English "focal points" that I don't see as easily.
You can see this contrast mirrored in religion as well - Western gods (such as those in Abrahamic religions, or in Greek mythology) directly "create", whereas Japanese gods seem to develop their animacy more as a by-product. i.e paper lantern ghost/提灯お化け, kitsune.
I also see this as an interesting contrast between you and I; your characters have a strong "western god" sense to me.
Kiki
私の世界観は一神教の影響を強く受けているよ。というのも、日本の母体となる多神教のフレームは、実体を持ちにくい。だから私はルールとして一神教の哲学を使う。
My worldview has drawn a lot of influence from monotheism. So within the framework of Japan's native, polytheistic religion, substance itself is difficult to grasp, so I've used a lot of rules found within monotheistic philosophy.
ここに、西洋VS東洋の対立と一神教VS多神教の対立が重なる。西洋VS東洋は必ずしも一神教VS多神教とはならない。仏教は一神教だからね。
Within this, the conflict between the West and the East worldview and the conflict between monotheism and polytheism overlap – but that doesn't mean that the conflict between the West vs. the East is strictly one of monotheistism vs. polytheistism. Buddhism is a monotheistic religion, after all.
西洋/The West
mind base
東洋/The East
body base
一神教/monotheism
back to father of light
多神教/polytheism
back to mother of the earth
仏教はbody baseであるにも関わらず、光に満ちた父なる存在を信仰する。また、その行くところは解脱。解脱は、消滅を恐れるキリスト教からは、永遠の暗闇と区別がつかないので、受け入れられにくい。
Even though Buddhism has a "body base", there exists the concept of a father figure filled by light. Furthermore, movement is towards salvation. Within the framework of Christianity, however, which fears extinction, the idea of moksha (release) is difficult to accept, as its eternal darkness looks no different from the void of external annihilation.
仏教もキリスト教も一神教であるから、どちらも多神教(自然の世界)悪とする。しかし、西洋であるキリスト教が自然に属するbody(悪魔)を否定し理性で欲望を抑え込み、完全に否定をするのに対し、仏教は欲望(煩悩)を否定しない。逆に、動物も、悪魔も、多神教の神(インドの土着の神など)をも救おうとする。
Both Buddhism and Christianity, as monotheistic religions, consider polytheistic as belonging to the world of nature, and thus evil. Christianity, with its Western mind base, attempts to completely deny that the body is part of the natural world (and thus evil) through reason, and the suppression of desires. Buddhism, however, does not deny the existence of our carnal nature. Furthermore, it seeks salvation towards animals, demons, and polytheistic deities (such as India's indigenous gods).
Mind baseの多神教とbody baseの多神教は、まだ比較するほど知識がない。ヨーロッパの妖精とアジアの妖怪、西欧のハーブ医療と魔女学、そして東洋医療には驚くほど類似性がある。
As for how the differences between the mind and body base play out in polytheistic religions, I don't have enough understanding to speak about just yet. But there is a surprising degree of similarity between European faeries and witchcraft or herbal medicine, and Asian youkai or traditional medicine.
すべての多神教はbody baseから出発するが、私たちはbody baseのままで父神を発展させてしまったかもしれない。儒教とかさ。
All polytheistic religions develop out of the body base, but we may have developed the concept of a paternal God figure on top of the existing base – for example, Confucianism and its ancestor worship.
儒教は祖霊信仰だね。祖霊信仰はアメリカインディアンや卑弥呼の時代の日本など、人間以外の色々なものを祖先とする、母神主体の多神教のはずなんだけど、儒教は父系の宗教。父親側の人間の血統に霊が宿ると考える。不完全な一神教というところだろう。競走馬の血統システムに似てる。
An ancestral belief in veneration of the dead, and of the ancestors of various non-humans is also seen in American Indians and Himiko-era Japan – but, even though a polytheistic religion should be based around a Mother Goddess, Confucianism is a patrilineal religion. Spirits were viewed as being carried through the father's bloodline – this might be called an "incomplete monotheism". It's similar to the racehorse pedigree system.
メスはXX遺伝子を持ち、オスはXY遺伝子を持つ。父親の固有遺伝子を完全に受け継ぐのは男だけ。XXのつながりでは、自分固有遺伝子が残ったかどうかわからない。
Females carry the XX gene, and males carry the XY gene. Only a man inherits his father's unique gene completely, and continues the XY chain – it can't be known what parts of the XX chain are left over.
遺伝子の発見されていない古代中国や日本の天皇システムで、これが知られていたのはすごいことだね
It's amazing to see the similarity between this and the ancient Chinese and Japanese emperor systems, which existed before genes were even discovered.
Felix
I think this goes back to "structure" and "reflection", and how people, plants, water, tends to follow a "natural path" – it's another example of the kind of "picture in picture"/Droste repetition that comes up a lot.
Kiki
母型に戻るということがそれに相当する。ゲノム解析が進んだら、父系にこだわる必要がなくなる。昔は、肉体的に神性を証明する方法がそれしかなかったんだろうね。
That sort of "picture in picture" structure is similar to a return to the "mother base". As genome analysis progresses, we don't need to be so attached to patrilineality. In ancient times, that might have been the only way to physically prove divinity.
西洋のMind baseのまま一神教を解除し、母型に戻るとどうなるんだろう。今その想像ができない。私の想像
What would happen if you removed the monotheistic component of the West but retained its emphasis upon the mind, and allowed it to return to the "mother base"? Right now, I can't imagine that.
Felix
I feel like your view of the world is much more structured, even though we're seeing the same systems. You've put much more direct thought into things with research and specific choices, whereas I've felt very reactive – it feels as though much of my understanding was 'impressed' upon me by very intense experiences, or has emerged subconsciously, and my role has been to respond/react/make sense of what details are immediately in focus, whereas you seem to have a good picture of the whole frame at any given point.
Kiki
おそらく、価値のダイバーシティが変化する フェリックスは脳の奇形やドラッグによって思考の試行回数を確保している。その結果、カオスな断片をたくさん手に入れる。私にはそのような”刺激的な”あるいは”不条理な”脳のイベントは他人と関わる以外では起こらない。極めて安定して、思考実験の試行回数を増やすことができる。
It might be because your internal variables are constantly changing. Because of the continuous changes in perceptions caused by your brain malformation or through chemically altered states, you can contrast overlapping thought trials to one another, and infer the structure's consistency.
私の場合、概念をそのまま(私はこれをmetamaterialとでも呼ぶべきだろうか)扱っているので、アートの場合、形のあるものが生まれにくい。言葉にするとかなりの構造化がされていることがわかる。
As for me, such "intense" or "surreal" events do not occur spontaneously. Because the internal structure (maybe I should call this the "metamaterial"?) is always perceived as extremely stable, and treated as-is, it is only through outside interaction that the number of thought trials can be increased and compared with one another. In the case of art, this means that it is difficult to spontaneously create something from nothing. When it's put into the system of words, though, you can see that it is pretty structured.
私は自身をカオスな作家だと思っていたが、私がカオスなのはphysicalとmaterialで表そうとするから、そのように見えるのだということがわかった 人はコンセプトだけでは理解しない 形のある作品にしないと見てもらえないからね…でも私はアートそのものにはあまり興味ない
I used to view myself as a chaotic creator, but now I've realized that it's because my work reflects the chaos of the process and materials. By itself, the concepts aren't something that people can understand, and they can't be seen without putting into some kind of outside form. But I don't have much interest in art in and of itself.
これは、フェリックスの世界が断片ばかりであったことと共通する
One commonality is that they're both worlds made up of fragments.
つまり FK-脳の物質的変性による瞬時の断片の出力であるから、適切な構造化ができない
In summation: because your fragments are due to the constant changes within the brain itself, it doesn't conform to match an outside structure.
KIKI-形而上的世界の構造を一貫して扱うが故に、形而下の世界で出力した時に構造を失って断片化する
My internal perception of the metaphysical world, however, is handled consistently throughout, but becomes fragmented and loses a part of itself in the process of creation.
私もまだ、確実な事は言えないけど
In that regard, I can't say I know for sure what I'm looking at, either.
Felix
I see this is why the unicorn character would be appealing as a 'protector figure' - like walls that keep the wind from knocking over a tower of cards.
Kiki
そうだね 形而上と形而下の次元摩擦から感覚と作品を守らないといけない。これは静止した平面上ではただしく伝わらない と、いうような感じ
That's right. I have to protect this senses and my work from being ground down by the friction of the upper and lower dimensions. It feels like they can't be communicated across a still, flat plane...or something like that.
Felix
I also feel your structure is more "light" and mine is more "dark" - though beyond this, I'm not sure.
Kiki
そう思うよ 私は、アートをする人の殆どは黒側に属すると思う
For sure. I think most of the people who make art belong to the dark side.
私は白いクリーチャーばかり考える そして、自分のような性質の人は日本でも英語のインターネットアートコミュニティでもあまり見なかった 二人だけ知ってるけど本当に少ないね 多分小説や、そもそもアートをしない普通の人の方が多い アートってかなりフィジカルな事だからね
I only think about white creatures, which means that I don't find many people with qualities like mine in either the Japanese or English internet art communities. There are a couple, but that's not very many at all. There's probably a lot more people who don't even read novels, let alone make art. Art is pretty physical, after all.
それと反社会的なことでもある アートw
So, it's also antisocial, right?