What is this?

This is a site was created by me, Don Kim, to think and philosophize without boundaries.  The site’s name is inspired by a meditative-philosophical method known as “Hwadu”, that is practiced by Korean Buddhist Seon (a.k.a. “Zen”) monks.  Since Seon (as well as Zen) Buddhism originated from Chan Buddhism, it has as one of its central tenants the goal of achieving a “middle-way” perspective to free itself from the one-sidedness of an extreme view.

Conversely, my goal is to find the middle-way of Eastern and Western philosophy.  Western philosophy is chiefly obsessed with the question of “what is the truth?”, whereas Eastern philosophy is more concerned with the question of “what is the way?”  My obsession is to ask, “am I being true to the way?”  Hwadu is a perfect method and metaphor to prevent oneself from being caught in the net of conventional or extreme positions.

The world is converging with the shift of power and influence is tilting towards the East, after thousands of years of power and influence dominated by the West.  But the world is not as it was in the past, where one continent or ethnic group could dominate the world and is much more integrated and interconnected than ever before.  A major impetus for this is the incredible pace of information technology development, including robotics, artificial intelligence and the “internet of things”, as well as other scientific and engineering endeavors.

While this has created a diffusion of plurality with respect to ideas, movements and philosophies with the admonition that we are now liberated to think and live for ourselves, it has come with a heavy burden.  This burden is that we now face an incessant paradox of choice.  Everyone, including myself, has the means to choose a multiplicity of options with respect to what we chose for our career, mates, political position, ideological stance and even physiological circumstances such as gender, which can now be augmented or modified completely.  At some point in the future, this may be altered before we are even born by the decoding of our genetics.

As Nietzsche infamously stated, “God is dead!”, which is a really a metaphor for the death of a belief system that held society and culture together that is currently, happening with more frequency and with increased velocity.  For every edifice we destroy, it is in our nature to erect another.  For those who hold on to old edifices, they cling even harder to them and are even willing to die and kill others who threaten or even question their beliefs.  It becomes an endless and vicious cycle.

What I desire to do with this site and all the media attached to it (through mediums such as words (articles/books), speech (recordings) and gestures (video)) is to address the above using the philosophical approach outlined earlier and to address all areas of human knowledge and endeavor including but not limited to culture, art, science, social studies and pretty much everything that I think is important and interesting.  We need more deeper philosophical thinking, not less so that we may acquire true value in life, not vapid quick fixes.

It is an arrogant assertion on my part to assume I have anything interesting to say, but after decades of studying, observing, and thinking about the world and my place in it, I feel compelled to articulate it and hope that others share in my views and benefit from them.

It is a site for all and none.