"In the proposition that Mahavairocana is in a state of eternal harmony, the word "harmony is a translation of yuga, which in turn is a transliteration of yoga. The word yuga in Kukai's writings is interchangeable with dhyana (zen), samadhi (jo), or dhyana-samadhi (zenjo). That the universe is in a state of eternal harmony is the fundamental premise of Kukai's Esoteric Buddhist thought and practice. To the degree he appreciated this basic intuition far more than he did intellectual devices can be seen in the following:
What kind of intellectual determinations can be made of the eternal Order that is naturally so (honi no dori)? Such terms as creating and the created are symbolic expressions fo Exoteric Buddhism, and we should not indulge in senseless speculation while clinging to the ordinary and superficial meanings of these words. The Existence consisting of the Six Great Elements, the essence of the World of Dharma, is free without any obstacle and is in a state of eternal harmony.
Since the macrocosmos is in a state of eternal harmony, it follows that any microcosmos homogeneous in its elements with the macrocosmos -men as well as all beings- is not outside of the harmony of the macrocosmos. The problem on the part of the microcosmos is how to become aware of that eternal harmony and to attune itself to it. To practice samadhi is to imitate the macrocosmic samadhi. the principle of Kukai's Esoteric Buddhist meditation comes ultimately from this basic intuition that the universe is in a state of eternal harmony."
(In the end I always find myself asking, "So what!?! Am I manifesting the qualities of an enlightened being now? Is my life a reflection of the principles of harmony, compassion, loving kindness and reconciliation that I so value?" And the answer invariably is, "Not so much." It seems there is always more work to do . . . Oh well, everyone needs a hobby!
Do you have the Japanese text of Hakeda's Kukai quote?
The problem that struck me, when I was reading Hakeda and Yamasaki in preparation for this column, was: Why, if we are in a state of eternal harmony anyway, we need to become aware of this and "attune" ourselves to it. Why is it not possible to accept our eternal harmonious state and get on with our lives? After all, it was a "basic intuition" of Kukai. It seems that Kukai is taking back with one hand what he is giving with the other. If we do not "attune" ourselves with our eternal harmonious state, then the state itself seems to have no value. As far as you are aware, did Kukai deal acknowledge this problem, or deal with it?
With Ignatius of Loyola (with whose teachings I have a very direct acquaintance), the issue does not arise, since he starts off from the basic premise that the harmony has been broken and has to be restored.
Finally, what was the title and theme of your masters thesis, that you able to include a picture of Christ in Morihei Ueshiba's dojo? Can we be sure that you are not secretly writing a major novel as a follow-up?