Re: Zen

Robert Owen (
Sun, 19 Sep 1999 23:45:28 -0400

Joe E Dees wrote:

> > >> > One of the basic tenets of Zen Buddhism is that there is no

> way to characterize what Zen is. No matter what verbal space you

> try to enclose Zen in, it resists, and spills over. It might seem, then,

> that all efforts to explain Zen are complete wastes of time. But that

> is not the attitude of Zen masters and students.

The problem is the Occidental declarative sentence. Every definition is a statement of the identity of subject and predicate. But we are then trapped into saying:

                           T H I S     I S    T H A T

Therefore the correct answer to all declaratives transformed into the interrogative mode is: Wu = Mu = Neti-Neti. That is, [neither this nor that nor (neither this nor that)].

What is Zen? Mu. What is not-Zen? Mu.

Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA