File spoon-archives/french-feminism.archive/french-feminism_2001/french-feminism.0111, message 14


Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2001 16:09:56 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Irigaray and Buddhism


Faure's The Red Thread should link some things to
various feminist writers. Faure states that the
spontaneous ecstacy of the plethora of images offered
by Buddhism appeals to women. Here one can co-read the
Freudian Alexander and the essay on Buddhism as
artificial catatonia. 

Here also can one link Joseph Needham's Science and
Civilization in China, for a history of
Buddhism(Huang-ching suppression, the de-frocking of
250,000 monks and nuns, hoarding of weapons,
accumulation of large estates, etc.), as well as
Buddhism entering China along with the use of the
hypodermic needle(an Arabic invention for cataracts),
and the implications of these things for indigenous
religious and political structures. A hybrid emerged:
Ch'an(Zen).

Nevertheless, it is a mistake to think that taoism did
not copy Buddhist texts as it saw itself increasingly
in competition with it and Confucianism. Isabelle
Robinet, having died June 2000 in Paris, was perhaps
one of only three women writers in the West who could
be said to have extensive knowledge of Taoism. Robinet
cautioned that to know taoism, though, one does not so
much pay attention to its pantheon, as to its
cosmology. For some of her books(well represented in
French), she had to rely on less effective, perhaps
more coercive circumstances in dealing with
publishers, so as to get this knowledge to the West:
regulations between universities and publishing
houses.

Hanna Seidel has said that taoism is a messianic
religion, and that this ends up being the emperor. A
rich and profound corpus, taoism even prefigures the
self-criticality theory of quantum mechanics,
currently in vogue at MIT. It is taoism that can be
said to be China's only indigenous religion. In
comparing European religions, indigenous = Druidic.

Following proto-taoist shamanism/mysticism, whose
literature only came into full blossom during the
T'ang, one can glimpse both the shape and the hear the
voice of the turtle; the subaltern Black Madonna of
the Chinese soil. 

The taoist body is a feminine body.
(Christopher Schipper, The Taoist Body)



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