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Kyoto Journal Issue 25

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Sacred Space in Japanese Religion
The Marathon Monks of Mt. Hiei
The Source of the Personification of Shiva
The Huangshan Photographs of Wang Wu-Sheng
Sacred Man-Made Mountains

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SACRED MOUNTAINS OF ASIA

Is nothing sacred? In an age when traditional sacred grounds are mined, bombed, paved or ignored all over the planet, when technologies of destruction and creation are used to alter the very fabric of life, some say the sacred has well nigh disappeared. Perhaps it has only shifted its locus, from the communal to the personal, from the integral to the separate. What’s sacred now, in “advanced” societies, is my fun and my money. This is probably the root cause of the cancer epidemics, but not to worry, nature takes many forms and doesn’t need us to survive. The bottom line is, what you hold sacred sets the quality of your life and death.

To consecrate is human. Until the genetic hackers switch our being over to passive mode, we’re going to hold stuff sacred. In doing so, whether we know it or not, we’re going to control our destiny. That’s the thing about being able to be conscious. What’s it going to be?

Obvious and arduous, the mountain seizes our attention. It stands above, it stands for everything, it endures. If it’s in east or south Asia, in a place where people over fifty walk around, you might see a sign of awe or respect — shrine, cairn, monument, grave. And you might not. Like almost every mountain in other parts of the world, most mountains in Asia are mundane, or profaned. The sacred difference? More in the mind than in the mountain. Even in the grand Asian tradition, the publicly sacred mountain of myth and pilgrimage, temple and hermitage, is not so much magical ground as it is a spur to awareness. And so it is in the private encounter with a mountain anywhere, actual or symbolic, that inspires a sense of mysterious, crucial reverence. It makes you feel better, it helps you see, it keeps us together. — Stephen Suloway, Tanuki Valley, Kyoto, 1993

Contents:

SUBLIME PEAKS
The Source of the Personification of Shiva – John Brandi
Journey to the Center of the Earth – Ralph Johnstone
The Marchmount System: Chinese Geologics – James Robson
Mountains of the Moon – Bill Porter
Literary Diversions on Mount Jiuhua: Cults, Communities & Culture
– William Powell
Falling Flowers Rising to the Threshold of the Eye – Takeda Yoshifumi
Pillars of the Sky – Stephan Kohler
Flying Mountains & Walkers of Emptiness: Sacred Space in Japanese Religions– Allan G. Grapard
Himalaya – Photographs by Linda Connor
Huang-Shan – Photographs by Wang Wu-Sheng
Huang-Shan: The Cult of Site (Sight) & Representation – James Robson

 

MOUNTAIN RITUAL
The Spiritual Athlete: The Marathon Monks of Mt. Hiei – John Stevens
Mountains & Waters: Sutra – Dogen, trans. Arnold Kotler & Kazuaki Tanahashi
Searching for Shashin – Lauren W. Deutsch
I Ching: Keeping Still – Richard Wilhelm, trans. Cary Baynes
Mountains and Mythology – Arne Naess
Kyoto: Spiritual Wonderland– Umagami Kiyohiko
The Sacred and the Profane – Beth Lischeron

 

SACRED MAN-MADE MOUNTAINS
Borobuder: An Architectural Mandala of the Pilgrims Path – Heinrich Zimmer with photographs by Ohki Akira
Building the Sacred Mountain: Tsukuriyama In Shinto Tradition– Gunter Nitschke
Dragon-Caves and Water-Flames: In Praise of Chinese Pagodas – Marilyn Gridley
Polymorphous Space: The Contested Space of Mt. Nanyue – James Robson
Magic Kingdoms: Towards a Post-Modern Ethnography of Sacred Space – Bruce C. Caron

 

TRAIL LORE
Musical Chairs for Mountain Gods – Stephan Kohler
Mountain Feet – Photographs by Stephan Kohler
First Step on the Path – Tony Henderson
Those Famous Twin Peaks of Fuji-san – F. J. Logan
The Empowerment of Mountains – Richard Evanoff
Mountains of the Mind – Robert Brady


Cover Image by Takeda Yoshifumi
154pp (bookzine)
published December 24, 1993

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