RE: Zen

O'Regan, Emlyn (
Tue, 21 Sep 1999 20:37:47 +1000

> I found it interesting when I read _The Journey to the West_ that the
> Monkey King was referred to as a Zen master (beside already being a
> Taoist master, king and just about everything else; if he had been a
> character in a roleplaying game I would have said that his player was
> a power-gamer :-). He is almost the epitome of ambition and often acts
> impulsively, hardly the conventional image of the Zen master. But at
> the same time he is always breaking out of old limitations like being
> just a monkey, mortality, inability to change form and not being part
> of the pantheon - instead he does everything he can to become
> enlightened, immortal, divine and powerful, never stopping for long in
> his ambitions. The only time he really stopped before a limit was when
> he made the bet with Buddha about jumping to the end of the world -
> and that was his undoing.
He urinates on Buddha's fingers (the pillars at the end of the world?), as far as I remember. That's style!

> Had he really gone *beyond* the apparent
> limit he would have suceeded.
> As I have said before, I really like that character and consider him a
> kind of transhumanist saint.
This is the book that the television show "Monkey Magic" is based on, is it not? A transhumanist saint? Absolutely!

(I always wanted to be Monkey when I was a kid, so perhaps the transhumanist in me is not newly arrived after all...)

Great sage, equal of heaven