NOW YOU’RE GETTING IT!  Welcome to zen.

I’m excited at your reactions so I’ve imbedded my responses in a copy of your 
posting below:


>If “ALL LOGIC AND SCIENCE is based on ILLUSIONS and BELIEFS” then your logic 
>is as well. It’s a bit >like saying, “This statement is false,” the statement 
>turns back on itself in a very confusing way.

I do indeed use logic, and I use it very, very well.  It is illusory, however; 
I know that.  I also use my imagination and I dream at night.  I know all these 
are illusory no matter how real they seem.  I’ll admit that sometimes I do get 
lost in the beauty and elegance of logic, but it is illusory.  I hope you are 
acquainted with the zen story (koan?) about a Buddhist scholar that visited a 
zen master to talk about zen.  

A Cup of Tea

Nan-in received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he could restrain himself no longer. 
"It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup", Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and 
speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

Most of my posts are just games in which I try to use words and logic to 
describe zen.  What I’m doing with you right now, and what I do in most all of 
my posts, is use logic and words to fill up your already overflowing cup.  I 
hope by doing so some of the tea will spill out and scald your hand and WAKE 

I hope this post of yours is at least you yelling ‘ouch’.


>Logic is a system of thought devised by people that rigidly defines the 
>relationship between >symbols. It is true by definition. It really tells you 
>nothing about the word (world?). It works >independently of content.

I assume in the paragraph above you’ve made a typo (God knows I make a lot of 
them myself) and when you typed ‘word’ you meant ‘world’.  This is an important 
paragraph so I’ll take it a phrase at a time:

Logic is indeed a system of thought devised by people, and it does define 
relationships between symbols, which were also devised by people.  So far all 
we’ve defined is a fantasy system (Logic) that operates in conjunction with 
associated fantasy objects (Symbols).  This is what I call illusory.  What 
would you call it?

I can’t really argue with your statement that “It is true by definition”, 
because whoever creates the illusion can set the rules of the illusion and make 
whatever definitions they want.  The quality ‘true’ in the definition above 
however has to be taken be taken in context.  ‘Logic is True’ only applies 
within the context of the illusory system - like ‘Go to Jail, Go Directly to 
Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200’ only applies in the fantasy world of 
Monopoly - and not anywhere else.  Logic can only be applied in a world of 
duality – which is an illusion.

As you said, Logic doesn’t really tell you anything about the WORLD, but it 
does tell you a lot about how people choose to interact with the world.  They 
mainly observe it as a subject/object duality (I’m Me and I’m Here, and 
Everything Else is Not Me and is Out There.)  Symbols need to be invented to 
stand-in for the illusory, dualistic objects, otherwise the Me/Not-Me duality 
just would not work.  Try doing Logic or Boolean transforms using only an A – 
All A is A.  Some A is not A.  A and A or A and not A is A (or not).  You just 
got to have duality for Logic.   It’s all part of the Monopoly rules and 


>If logic is an illusion what process could you use to discover the fact, 
>certainly not logic. ☺

that matters.

The Logical Answer is: zazen.  Zazen is the process that helped me realize that 
‘self’ and all other duality-based concepts are illusions.  Logic is what I am 
using now to try to express that realization.  It is not the only way to 
express that realization.  I do at times try to use other ways, but in this 
exclusively text-base medium Logic seems the most appropriate.

The Non-Logical Answer is:  Wash your bowls!    






From: [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of [EMAIL 

Sent: Monday, July 07, 2008 9:07 PM


Subject: RE: [Zen] Dear Bill



I assume you’re asking if Logic is dependent upon the belief in Cause & Effect. 
 This is a Good question, and one which addresses a possible overstatement in 
my post – even my revised post.  I haven’t thought about this aspect in depth 
yet enough to answer you.  I don’t have an opinion right now as to whether 
Logic comes before the belief in Cause & Effect or vice versa, but both of 
these definitely precede and are the basis for science.

If your question is asking if Logic is illusory, then the answer is definitely 
yes.  Logic is a product of Subject/Object Duality, which is the real culprit 
here.  It is the basis for the illusion of Self and everything else that 



From: [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Chuck 

Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2008 6:39 AM


Subject: RE: [Zen] Dear Bill




Does that include this logic?


From: [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of [EMAIL 

Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2008 8:33 PM


Subject: RE: [Zen] Dear Bill


*** After a Good Night’s Sleep I’ve Revised this Posting in Green Font and 
Re-sent ****

Al and Chuck,

subject/object (observation),  an ILLUSION of time (separate sequential actions 
(digital)), and a BELIEF in cause & effect (an illusory relationship between 
selected sets of separate sequential actions).   Without these illusions and 
beliefs there is no logic, and without logic there is no science.

The Buddhist doctrine of Dependent Origination is also an BELIEF based on the 
same a similar illusory relationship between separate sequential actions, but 
it is believed that there is only one Action (like the Big Bang) that is a 
continuous action (analog) and that the relationships are manifested in the 
changing form of the one of the one Action .  Karma is a more complex illusion 
which is based on the belief of Dependent Origination, and then adds the 
concepts that the relationships can propagate qualities (good/bad, or some kind 
of quality), and  these qualities can be associated with the actor (presumably 
the ‘self’ associated with the changes in the Action) and even accumulate.  One 
way to accommodate this would be if Dependent Origination allows for sets of 
actions (instead of just one Action), and each set might be associated with a 
‘self’, but this is just speculation on my part.

Have you had enough tea for today?  If so, wash your teacups!

Chuck said he’ll return to counting his breathes.  If so,  his teacup should be 
empty by now.

Al, cut up your Master Card!



From: [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Chuck 

Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2008 10:47 AM


Subject: RE: [Zen] Dear Bill




Again, I think you are right.


It is difficult for us not to wonder about these things, however, doing so 
serves no real purpose. 


Nothing is more futile than arguing matters of faith.


I’ll return to counting my breaths ☺




From: [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of mike 

Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2008 9:34 PM


Subject: Re: [Zen] Dear Bill



Both these kinds of issues cannot be determined and require a certain amount of 
faith and belief (less so in science). This is why Buddha remained silent when 
asked metaphysical questions of this kind. Answering them makes no difference 
to human suffering and Buddhism, after all, is only for the purpose of ending 
suffering - not deciding whether the universe was created etc. In India, when 
Buddhism became more interested in discussing these kinds of issues it died. 

----- Original Message ----



Sent: Sunday, 6 July, 2008 6:57:50 AM

Subject: Re: [Zen] Dear Bill

From: Chuck Gierhart When you ask this question about a blade of grass, the

Pacific Ocean or a rock, no answer is possible. You can describe how these

things interact with their environment or the benefit we derive from them

but thatâ?Ts not the same as a purpose. To ask what purpose these things

have is a loaded question. The question itself implies that a supreme being

create them for a purpose.>


So you think that Zen is Atheism? That everything is a product of blind luck

and evolution? That one single cell amoeba kept evolving over billions of

years into incredibly complex strands of DNA for millions of completely

unconnected creatures?


Isn't Evolution an act of faith? Isn't the belief in no intelligent higher

power also a religion?



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