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Jun 26

Taoism versus Blogging

Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 in Philosophy, Poems and things, Something to think about

Bear with me for a minute.

Blogging is a form of expressing the mind, right?  Taoists would argue that point.  They might tell you that you are trying to express your inner experience with a medium that is far too limited to mirror the exact emotions and complex spirit of our mind.  There are simply just not enough words.

Thom Yorke of Radiohead fame put it quite simply in Street Spirit:

“This machine will, will not communicate These thoughts and the strain I am under…”

To conquer this gap in understanding, Taoists invented these clever little allegories and verses named ‘Koans‘.  The purpose of the Koan is to bamboozle a person into thinking far outside normal rational thought, possibly to make you forget the difficult question you just asked, or to confuse you into a state of awareness.

For instance, “Without anxious thought, doing comes from being.”

EH?!?! You might ask… well see, this means that when one’s mind is full of complicated irrelevant thought, one tends to take a long time assessing the actual situation and coming to a conclusion as to how to solve a problem.  There is the risk that too many detailed steps will be taken in order to make that problem go away.  If one meditates and is able to clear the mind, it is easier to find the right path, clear as day.

AHHH!  You might say… well see, this is called Enlightenment.  The ‘ping’ noise that a penny makes when it drops.

Or perhaps in more familiar terms, I might berate the Accidental Terrorist over being too irate with a playstation game.

“Why aren’t you enjoying the game?” I might ask.

“I’m trying to master it but it’s too fucking hard!” He would say.

“There exists a state in which you will not attempt to master the game, and the game will not attempt to master you.”

“What is this state?!”  He might ask.

“Give me the game and I will show you.” 

At which point I would jump up and down repeatedly on the playstation until it is smashed to bits, and the Accidental Terrorist becomes enlightened.

See? You get the gist.  I’ll leave you with one more itty bitty thought:

Two monks were arguing about a flag. One said: `The flag is moving.’The other said: `The wind is moving.’

The sixth patriach happened to be passing by. He told them: `Not the wind, not the flag; mind is moving.’

 

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Bring on the comments

  1. Grandad says:

    You have stopped taking the tablets again. Haven’t you?

  2. SID says:

    Excellent mind freak there K8!

    During a drinking binge while on psychiatric training no less, a mate once quoted to me the old adage “I think therefore I am” They then said…”well if that is so…who am I?”

    I simply replied “Who wants to know?”

    He bought me a pint for that one.

  3. DC says:

    Thank you, you’ve made me want to don orange robes and head over to Bhutan for a year.

  4. DC says:

    And what’s up with the moderation?

  5. K8 says:

    This is just me with a head-cold. I usually get that bit more floaty when I’m ick.

    SID: The one I never got was the one about one hand clapping. One hand clapping DOES make a noise.

    You’re clapping with one hand now, aren’t you? Busted.

  6. K8 says:

    DC! Dude, I’m not.. like.. glued to my computer? You’re like a ghost, floating around with your life after blogging thing goin on. It’s freakin me out. I’d go to India if I woz u. Bring your blog with you and tell us mad stories. Enlightenment Dome.

  7. DC says:

    I know you’re not glued to your computer … unless of course you had the Loctite incident like I did …

    I was just wondering what the deal-io was on the whole ‘comment moderation’ thing. Somebody been leaving insidious comments?

    Or was it just me??

  8. Brianf says:

    I have to disagree with your entire premise. I know that China restricts both the internet as well as writers. They are one of the most opressive regimes on this planet. There is no way you can tell me that Maoism has any thing to do with freedom of thought. His entire philosophy was to remove independent thought in favor of the propoganda of the masses. Maoism brought forth some of the worst decimation of the intellegencia along with Stalin and Hitler.
    Huh? Whaaa? Who? What do you mean Taoism? Oh!
    Nevermind. As you were.

  9. b3n says:

    Very philosophical k8. I work in a solution driven environment and have found many times that the solutions to many problems are found by not looking for them. Years ago I travelled with a Ukrainian mathematician. We were going from Moscow to Kathmandu, him to study non-equilibrium systems high in the Himalaya, me to get stoned. He, in his best english and with the frantic use of his Russian/English dictionary, was explaining that he was at the forefront of new Russian thinking in which they were incorporating many buddhist philosophies in to their mathematics and coming up with amazing results. I could only understand about half of what he was talking about but it was really interesting. But the question I have to ask now is:

    If a really fat person falls over in the forest, does anybody laugh?

  10. K8 says:

    DC: Whenever a new handle pops up in the comments, WordPress asks me to approve it. Anyway I rarely dissaprove of insidious comments.

    Brian: You lookin for a fight? Wanna take it outside?

    b3n: How do you study non-equilibrium systems in the Himalayas WITHOUT getting stoned?! I got the inspiration for this post from that book ‘The Tao of Physics’ wot I robbed off me da, which is all about incorporating buddhist philosophies into mathematics! How mad is that?

    Let’s kidnap Harney and find out!

  11. b3n says:

    heh heh heh. Wow when was that book published? I met that guy in 1994 when I was but an impressionable wee lad on a journey of self discovery in Nepal, with the aid of Nepalese temple ball of course. Anther funny story is, while I was there I made a couple of good friends and as a parting gift they gave me a painted wooden mask that hung in their house. It was a representation of Shiva.
    Gorf and Giblets had a right ole laugh,’Oh yeah’, they said,’Bertie went to Nepal to find God… And he found him alright and brought him home in a plastic bag!!’.

  12. K8 says:

    Dis book was written by Fritjof Capra, first pubbed in 1975 ‘parently. It’s one of those books that needs the sentences read at least 15 times each.
    Having a wooden Shiva in your gaff HAS to be good juju.

  13. Grandad says:

    If I shove a wooden Gaff up my Shiva, does that make a sound?

  14. b3n says:

    Only on the way out!

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