RE: virus: Yoda

Wright, James 7929 (
Fri, 11 Apr 97 09:58:00 EDT

Corey wrote:
>Whenever someone askes me a question that I really don't want to answer,
>I respond: "Do you want an explanation, or the Truth?"
I sometimes share the same reaction: it is usually a sign that I have
become too attached to a position or view, that I don't wish to give up.
I have found that these are precisely the positions or views that I need
to examine most closely.
>Belief, in my opinion, is the ability to _totally_ ignore data, past
>models, and opposing reasoning. The purpose of belief is (for the
>beyond me.<
As you define it, I have no use for it either.
> But you seem to be saying that you utilize belief, for much
>the same reasons that I do.<
I use /intent/, which allows present action, but not /belief/, which
ignores opposition. I try to examine all opposition closely.
> I don't study Zen, but my alter ego is a Zenarch. One of the steps he
takes on >his way to illumination is to start with a popular or
appropriate slogan or saying. >He may, on a whim, reverse this saying.
He then _believes_ that that saying has >merit, and meditates on it
until an understanding is reached. This is sometimes >called 'studying a
koan', and can have some interesting results.<
Zen students studying koans are trying to rid themselves of delusive
thinking and dualistic thought-patterns, as well as looking for insights
into their own nature and that of the universe.
>For example: the Assassins of the Crusades had as one of their
>"Nothing is true. Everything is permissible." This may have been
>one of the ideas that allowed them to carry out their dirty work. My
>Zenarch inverted that teaching, and began to study: "Everything is true.
>Nothing is permissible." I was able to use the concepts that arose
>from that session to disarm are particularly messy situation that
>occured a few weeks later.<
Quite interesting! Could you elaborate, without discomfort?
>Without belief, we would begin to _doubt_ that Zen or Zenarchy have
>Our _doubt_ would hinder us from studying our beliefs, and we couldn't
>as many benefits that come from doing so.<
I do not seem to have this problem: without belief, I tend to leave
propositions as unexamined, neither doubting nor believing them until I
have taken the time to examine them. I know myself to be thoroughly
ignorant of, say geology, so to say that I either believe or disbelieve,
say the plate tectonics theories, is absurd; I don't know enough about
them to believe or doubt. They occupy a vast desert of items I am
ignorant about, and may someday find worthwhile to examine and learn
about, at which time I will either understand them or find them false.
Either way, I still do not use belief as I understand you to do.
In this case, I use Zen techniques because I understand them to be
useful, and have used them usefully in the past. I do not consider it
/belief/ when I can show their utility, even if language prevents me from
explaining exactly how they work or why they work.
>Belief is harmful when it becomes eternal. If you _always_ believe
>you will quickly find yourself in a situation where you must either
>abandon your beliefs, or cling to them, even if you're wrong.<
Your "Zenarch" alter ego sounds like a helpful fellow. I have tried to
integrate as many Zen practices as I can into my daily life. I am far
from successful in every instance, and can readily see many areas where I
can do better; but I find my life to be somewhat more peaceful and
progressive now than before I started using them.