I am currently working on a writing project with the tentative title "The Great Matter," which is a Zen expression referring to life and death, the ultimate concern of anyone who begins to probe beneath the surface of things in one way or another. I am comparing and commenting on the ways the following writers ask us to probe: Sin-leqi-unninni, the compiler of the Akkadian Gilgamesh epic; the apostle Paul; the Japanese Zen teacher Dogen; and Thomas Aquinas. The list of chapters I have in mind at this point is:
2. Starting With Prehistory
3. The Search for Immortality in Ancient Mesopotamia
4. The Beginnings of Scientific Research
5. Life and Death as Paul Saw Them
6. Life or Death? Why Won't Dogen Give a Straight Answer?
7. St. Anselm: Why Did God Become Human?
7. Conclusion (of a Sort)
(Possible Appendix: Why Not Out-of the Body Experiences and "Evidence" for Survival?)
Here is a first draft of the first chapter.