"In a fascinating aside typical of his book, Schodt muses on similarities between the Heart Sutra and the song "Imagine," which is now jointly credited to Lennon-Ono, in line with Lennon's recorded comments about Yoko's contribution to the lyrics.
Both contain a series of negations. "Imagine" pictures an existence stripped of certain mental constructs -- no countries, no religion, no possessions, etc. The Heart Sutra has a far more radical program -- "no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind" -- that erases the building blocks of reality itself.
Yet from this superficially nihilistic vision, the sutra mysteriously generates a sense of cleansing, stability and focus -- and has been doing so for 1,500 years. Whatever your religious convictions, in this era of political fracture, global pandemic, climate angst and general confusion, that is surely something to be treasured."
My Heart Sutra: A World in 260 Characters is out December 15th, 2020. Order your copy here.
Read the full Nikkei Asia review here.