Grief, Dōgen, and the Ethical Responsibilty to the Other Now Gone
When a living other transforms into a recently-gone other, how does the relationship between two people change? After the sudden and unexpected loss of a lifelong friend, my grief not only focused on the physical loss and the loss of future opportunities together, but also raised questions about what this meant for the state of our relationship and for my own self-understanding. 13th century Japanese philosopher and Sōtō Zen founder Dōgen teaches that death is one with life and experienced every moment as life-and-death. For him, life is a series of ever-changing moments, and it is in this impermanence that one finds learning. Drawing on Gadamerian hermeneutics, I explore what it could mean to ethically relate to a beloved deceased other and how Dōgen’s teachings could help deepen understanding of grief as part of a continually evolving self-in-relation-with-other.
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).