virus: Enlightenment, ho hum...

Brad O'Neill (
Wed, 21 Feb 1996 19:50:17 -0500 (EST)

>Here is an excerpt from the Pathway to Enlightenment FAQ:
> What is enlightenment?
> Enlightenment defies simple definition. However, a rudimentary
> interpretation could be "the state of being in which things are
> seen as they truly are."
>It's interesting that there are so many hidden assumptions within
>this simple definition. What are "things"? Has the world already been
>implicitly broken down into objects? What does it mean to see things?
>Merely perceive things, or does it go beyond that to knowledge and
>understanding? And "as they truly are" implies that these things have
>a knowable existence beyond the enlightened observer. I don't necessarily
>disagree with any of these assumptions, I just think it is important
>to look for them.
>David McFadzean

David, interesting point about that Enlightenment(!?) FAQ's implicit
distinction between 'true' environment and the supposedly enlightened
individual. From the zen monks I have met with and researched in Japan,
truth is never a word they ('they' meaning supposedly enlightened monks)
associate with the state of no-mind. In fact, often I've found monks
intuitively(?) forego verbalization and its dichotomy-driven foundation in
favor of experiential metaphors with a bit more "fluidity" (a gesture, an
artwork, an activity, silence, etc), or the infamous 'logic-jamming' in the
form of laughter or rhetorical non-sequitors in response to the FAQ, "what
is enlightenment?" The 'ol put-the-ball-in-your-court type responses...

In so doing, they seem tobe encouraging one's own subjective conclusion to
the question you raised, "what does it mean to see(experience) things?"

I've never had the impression that the whole no-mind trip was about an
absolute reality. At least, not in the sense of how we (post-industrial
thinkers) are conceiving of it. It's just ego-hacking and tweaking experiences.

Sheesh David, ya always yank up the didactic angle on difficult topics. ;->