There may be some confusion here. I believe we are using “purpose” in two ways.
There is purpose in the sense of “use” or the purpose we put something to. In
that sense, your example of the pygmy holds. For each of us the chair may serve
a different purpose or use.
On the other hand, there is purpose in the sense of an explanation of why this
thing was created. No matter who asks the question, the answer is simply a
matter of fact. The chair was created so a person could sit on it. The monk’s
bowl was created to hold rice. Its purpose is to hold rice.
The purpose a thing is put to varies. The purpose something was create to
serve, does not.
I agree with you. Meaning is in people heads not in objects themselves.
From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of mike
Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2008 9:23 PM
Subject: Re: [Zen] Dear Bill
True, but is the purpose of a chair inherent in object itself or is it given? A
chair to an Amazonian pygmy would have a different purpose than it would to you
or I. All objects/phenonema are empty of meaning. I think the `water pitcher`
koan demonstrates this well.
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