virus: Zen

Eric Boyd (
Fri, 30 May 1997 21:46:00 -0500

Dave Pape wrote:
> No. It's just that... I try these days to look at the space BETWEEN extreme
> sides of arguments. Usually you find that two people are forced into extreme
> positions, when it's very likely that the argument would be better resolved
> with a mix of the two positions, a compromise/average position between the
> two, or neither of the extremes.
> A lot of the time, I think that debate based on Good/Bad is actually less
> useful than saying, "Both/neither of these things exist (at different
> strengths at different times)."

> I think that a lot of debate gets MORE useful when you let go of arguing one
> pole of an argument (wish I could practise what I preach here...).
> ESPECIALLY when one pole is "X is Good" and the other is "X is Bad".

I think this a charateristic of agruments right to the core. In order
to argue, you have to adopt a reasonably, justifiable position and that
inevidably means one of the extremes. Is it possibly that this is a
product of the duality of /reason/ itself? (ie (A or NOT-A) A
propostion is either true or false)

> ...Which is where I was coming from. Anyway, I thought you LIKED the idea
> of Zen? :)

Zen is great, yes! I'm just saying that it's impossible to actually
/learn/ anything under Zen, because by definition learning is
categorizing into boxes, seperating the truth from the false, etc. etc.
All this is anti-thesis to Zen, which maintains that there /are/ no
dualities. If one wishes to learn something, it is /necessary/ to
maintain them.

> Robin wrote:
> >You're right in that I don't think any action is intrinsically
> >good or bad. But that doesn't mean the concepts aren't
> >useful. It's like, there's really no such thing as a meme
> >"out there", but the concept is amazingly useful.
> But not always THE MOST useful...

Now this I can agree with. We must use reason and categorization in
order to make /use/ of this world. But it implies an inherent
seperation of _subject_ and _object_ (ie this is me; that is the world)
It is this duality, more than any other, that Zen attempts to dissolve.


A sobering thought: what if, at this very moment, I am living up to my
full potential? -- Jane Wagner