TO: Joe Dees - Mu-shin

Robert Owen (
Sun, 26 Sep 1999 00:45:54 -0400

J. The Zen Doctrine of No-Mind asserts that the belief that

one possesses a self is a delusion; that the self is, in reality, nothing.

B. Let me rephrase this for the sake of illustration: No-Mind

asserts that the dreamer is the dream, the dancer is the dance, the hearer is the sound, the perceiver is the perception.

There is nothing in the stream of consciousness except a fleeting succession of images and feelings; there is that which is seen, but no seeing of seeing, there is that which is felt, but no feeling of feeling.

Descartes' "Cogito ergo sum" means simply "there is the thought of thinking" then "the thought of a thinker" and finally the thought "if thought then thinker" and that is all.
"Believer" can be directly substituted for "thinker" and
"belief" for "thought". Thought if and only if thought.

J. However, if one does indeed possess a self, then there

is no delusion involved in believing that one does.

B.But the Zen position denies the substantiality of any

temporally self-identical entity within the stream of consciousness. There is no dreamer and the dream of a dreamer is a dream. What happens to the dreamer when awakening is precisely what happens to the lap when standing up.

J. On the other hand, if one does not possess a self, then no

delusion can occur, either, for delusion requires a self in order to have a subject to delude - a deludee, if you will.

B. But, once again, although there is no dreamer there is

still dreaming; dreaming that the dream-state is reality requires only the dream just as the dance requires only dancing.

J. There must be a believer for a belief to occur, and a

nonexistent belief cannot be deluded

B There must be a believer for a belief to occur to a believer,

is tautological, like "Snow is white if and only if snow is white."

J. In addition, delusion in the absence of one who is indeed

deluded makes no sense whatsoever, since such a concept cannot meet the sine qua non test.

B. Delusion is a property of consciousness that mistakes its

reflexivity for a subject-object duality. Delusion is then simply a state of the unawareness of consciousness of its own "true nature".

J. So, whether or not there is such an entity as a self in

existence, there can be no delusion, and there is no room between the twin horns of this dilemma, since the either-or alternatives encompass all the possible situational alternatives. Q.E.D.,

B. There is a disintegrated state of consciousness that can

be called "delusion" or "ignorance", but there is no one who is deluded or ignorant. The eye cannot see itself seeing because there is nothing to see.

J. The Zen Doctrine of No-Mind, which asserts that such a

belief is necessarily deluded, when in fact it cannot be, must be false. There is a way around this argument.

B. You can continue dualistically thinking that the doctrine

of No-Mind is false, as long as you continue to think dualistically.

J. Have fun, Joe

B. All fun is Zen, Joe, because it makes you laugh!

      One monk said to the other, "The fish has
      flopped out of the net! How will it live?"
      The other said, "When you have gotten
      out of the net, I'll tell you."

Lux et Veritas,


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