virus: Virus Symptoms Lesson #1 (W2: Part 1 of 2)

Wright, James 7929 (
Tue, 04 Mar 97 23:51:00 EST

David Rosdeitcher[] wrote:

>James--that response of "that doesn't deserve an answer" was like a
>of thought contagion and a "take-off" joke about how Tad said "stop
asking silly
>questions"--I went a bit too far and didn't really mean it.

Very well, let us continue.

>And true, there is a
>common objectivist behavior, which I don't necessarily agree with, of
>away from questions that appear nonsensical.

Perhaps beneath the apparent non-sensical questions is an underlying
insight, like the orderly equations that give rise to fractal surfaces.
Unfortunately, and here you have every right to be skeptical, there is no
guarantee of insight beneath nonsensical questions.

>I have a couple of questions for you. You mentioned the book, The 3
Pillars of
>Zen by Kapleau. I once was in a bookstore and glanced through that book,
>bits and pieces and remembered there was a relevant comment about a
state of
>mind that has no "point of view".

If you wish to gain understanding of Zen, I can recommend the book. I
wish I had it with me to find that comment in context for you now.

>If that is a possibility, who is there to hold or experience that "point
of view" or "state of mind"?

This will be long-winded by necessity.
Buddhism and particularly Zen maintain that there is no "Self" or Soul,
defined as an existence that persists beyond death, and that "self" and
"I" particularly, are mental constructs that prevent accurate perception
of reality.
IF you can abandon your ideas of Self and I, then you will be forced into
a state of doubt or confusion. Resorting to metaphor, one person said "It
was like being in an ice cave with walls hundreds of miles thick."
Persistence is usuall rewarded with an understanding that resolves the
doubt, allowing better perception of the universe and the possibility of
still greater improvement. Short-sightedly, some persons stop here; those
that persist still more find more understanding that deepens, matures and
continues to expand. Those who reach this stage usually develop a
need/desire/ability to go back to the world, carry on the traditions and
try to persuade others to undergo the pain/torment/doubt in order to
reach enlightenment.
CAVEAT #1: This is all my understanding gained through words in books
trying to describe the undescribeable.
CAVEAT #2: I have not personally experienced enlightenment; however, I
haven't walked on the moon either, yet I understand that other humans
have done so.
CAVEAT #3: If you understood the above digression, you now recognize that
your original question, "Who is there ..." is meaningless within the Zen
context, since Zen denies Self and "I" . HOWEVER, your question is very
similar to a number of Zen "Koans", stories whose purpose is to create
doubt in the student and break them from modes of dualistic thinking. You
may choose to pursue this question as your own koan, and see if it leads
you to enlightenment. WARNING: There are, according to the books,
numerous states which vaguely resemble enlightenment, and are frequently
mistaken for such by the beginner. The supervision of a competent teacher
("roshi", certainly not myself) is suggested for verification that
whatever state you attain actually is enlightenment, not just a stop
along the way.