Tag Archives: philosophy

The fifth element, wuji

I must start by admitting that I know little about Japanese philosophy.

With that said I recently encountered a principle in Japanese philosophy that defines one more essential element of life that isn’t so neatly addressed in ‘Western philosophy,’ wuji or the void which is loosely defined as the infinite, limitless, eternal. The void represents an interesting perspective on the visual world we inhabit because it recognizes that there are things beyond our grasp, things that just are because they are not. It’s Rumsfeld’s unknown unknowns – for which he was made out to be a fool or a PR baffoon but with which I think he was on to something.

It seems necessary to consider why almost all philosophical traditions address the indiscernible and also to consider why the indiscernible is categorically distinct and not an overlapping element of everything. I suspect that if we consider the notion of wuji which I have yet to fully appreciate, it is a part of everything just as are the other elements.