Hi Mayka (again!),

Ah, interdependant co-origination! If you can understand this then you 
understand Buddhism (in a 'not knowing' kinda way!). And here we have the crux 
of the problem (as I see it) between Bill! and Edgar. Edgar, I imagine, would 
argue that we can follow the 'rules' of causality and change our karma by 
identifying actions or behaviours now that have a certain (let's say negative) 
effect further into the future. By identifying this action/behaviour now we can 
predict their future consequences (using the rules of causality) and so change 
them accordingly. Bill!, perhaps, will argue that there are is no causality, 
therefore no rules of causality and only when you act from JUST THIS! is 
'karma' (a useful, but ultimately an illusionary idea) extinguished. My 
apologises if I've misrepresented anyone's argument. 


----- Original Message ----
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, 15 October, 2008 15:19:42
Subject: Re: [Zen] Causality

Hi Mike again;

You go beyond "rules" through the energy of mindfulness  which will 
lead you to the realization of interbeing. Anchoring the mind in the 
present moment is the key.


--- In [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com, mike brown <uerusuboyo@ ...> wrote:
> Hi Edgar,
> Simple question: if there are rules - how do we go beyond them?
> Mike.
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Edgar Owen <[EMAIL PROTECTED] ..>
> To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com
> Sent: Wednesday, 15 October, 2008 8:03:44
> Subject: Re: [Zen] Causality
> Bill,
> Maybe you say they are illusory, but you still follow and live 
according to the rules of causality 24/7 and have been all your life, 
except perhaps when sitting in zazen. Why is that if they aren't 
valid rules?
> You need to be careful in maintaining illusions aren't 'real'. 
Illusion is part and parcel of reality but should be recognized as 
illusion. Even when seen as illusion, it still doesn't disappear, 
only its seeming realness disappears.
> BTW, I'm a Goh player, not a chess man. Goh, to me, seems much more 
directly in tune with Tao, i.e., with the rules of fundamental 
causality. But I do have to ask you, if there is no causality how do 
you propose to checkmate my queen?
> Edgar
> But
> On Oct 14, 2008, at 5:15 PM, <[EMAIL PROTECTED] org> 
<[EMAIL PROTECTED] org> wrote:
> Edgar,
> You stated causality exists, and you confirmed that the 
relationship that
> causality defines is between events. This is a rational assertion. 
> questions were to show you that there is no rational defense of the 
> of events, and in the absence of asynchronous events, and following 
> definition, there can be no causality. As far as I'm concerned this 
case is
> closed unless you can come up with a stronger rational definition of
> causality.
> You can of course, if you choose, quickly discard your lab coat of
> rationality and don your robes of zen. Presto change-o. An act of 
> alchemy. That works. Or of course you can just opt out of the 
> After all, who can compete with such powerful arguments 
as 'illusions aren't
> real but rules governing illusions (causality) are', or speculating 
> the other party is a 'successful businessman who has never been hit 
by a
> bus'. What more is there to say?
> For no reason...Bill!
> From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com[mailto: Zen_Forum@ yahoogrou ps.com] 
On Behalf
> Of Edgar Owen
> Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 7:42 PM
> Subject: Re: [Zen] Causality
> Hi Bill,
> Funny, I'm looking around me and don't seem to be snared in any 
> semantic traps. All there is is the morning light on the Autumn 
> I think it's you who are snared in your own elaborate semantic net 
here but
> out of Bodhisattva compassion I'll descend reluctantly to the realm 
> illusion to help untangle you! :-)
> All the many questions you ask are answered simply by science and 
> sense which describe causality in the realm of material things, 
i.e. the
> rules that govern the manifestations of illusion. Who can say why 
> exist, all we know is that they do, and they govern the world of 
> That just needs to be accepted. When we deal with that world we 
must follow
> its rules. Just because it is illusion doesn't mean it doesn't obey 
> As a successful businessman and a man who has gotten out of the way 
> oncoming buses for half a century, you have been living by those 
rules all
> your life and know them well. Impossible to deny them now. Zen 
accepts life
> in the realm of illusion. Though some minor illusions may vanish 
> enlightenment, the basic illusions of existence remain. The method 
of Zen in
> daily life is not to make all illusions vanish but to see and 
> them as illusion and deal with them in accord with the causal rules 
> govern them but with the source of our action rooted directly in 
the Tao
> rather than in particular illusion forms such as desires or 
> suffering.
> That is Zen in daily life. Deeper Zen with fewer illusions manifest 
> deepest meditation when all that remains is pure consciousness 
itself devoid
> of content in the eternally present moment. And finally there is 
> vanishing of all illusion at death, the Nirvana of nonbeing, when 
> consciousness and the present moment vanish.
> Edgar
> On Oct 14, 2008, at 7:00 AM, <[EMAIL PROTECTED] org> wrote:
> Edgar,
> Thanks. I was expecting (hoping) your answer would be 'events'. So 
> that you've fallen into my trap I'll proceed knocking off all your 
> knights, castles, bishops, and finally your queen before I move on 
> checkmate.
> Please define 'event' for me, such as:
> Are there multiple events or only one?
> If there is only one event, how is any relationship possible?
> If there are multiple events, are these events synchronous, 
asynchronous or
> perhaps there are instances of each?
> Do events have duration?
> If not, then I assume all events are synchronous - all are 
happening at once
> - NOW! If so, how can there be any causality?
> If you claim events have no duration but are asynchronous, what 
> them?
> If they do have duration and are asynchronous. ..
> Do all events have the same duration, or are some events longer 
than others?
> How can you determine when an event starts and ends?
> How do you know when one event ends and different event starts?
> If, as you claim, that some events are in a causal relationship with
> others...
> Are only some events in causal relationships, or do all events have 
> relationships?
> If some events do not have causal relationships, how did they come 
> being if they were not an effect of a proceeding event?
> If all events have a causal relationship. ...
> Do they have causal relationships with only some other events, or 
all other
> events?
> If all events have a causal relationship with only some other 
> Can they have a multiple causal relationship threads with multiple 
> or only a single causal relationship thread with a single event?
> How do you determine if there is a causal relationship between 
> (This is a BIG question.) Is there a causal relationship just 
because you
> notice it, or is it a real relationship that exists independent of 
you, the
> observer, and your self-interests, prejudices and predilections?
> If all events have a causal relationship with all other events 
(like Indra's
> Web, or the chaos theory 'a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil 
it part
> of the cause of a thunderstorm in China', or your references 
to 'ripples in
> the Tao'), how can you assign any particular event to have been the 
cause of
> any other event. In this case designating any preceding event as a 
cause is
> as good as another.
> In your example of the hitting-the- big-toe event causes the 
> event, you left out a lot of intermediate events. Hitting the big 
> crushes nerve endings, that causes an electrical impulse to go out 
over the
> nerve fibers, up to the nearest ganglia, then to the spinal cord, 
then to
> the brain itself which has to then translate the impulse into a 
feeling of
> pain. And even this doesn't include all the countless events 
involved in
> each and every electron changing polarity all the way up the 
nervous system
> to provide the electrical impulse at the brain. Are all of these 
events a
> chain of causal events? And if so can't you keep going down farther 
> farther until you VIRTUALLY have an infinite number of events in 
this casual
> chain? (...assuming as you do that the universe and reality is made 
up of
> quanta) And if you do why can't you just view these as REALLY an 
> number events which means they are not a chain of events at all, 
but one
> single eternal 'event'. (...assuming as I do that the universe and 
> is actually analog). 
> Okay, those are my moves. By my calculations you still have your 
> left, but it's seriously on the run. It's your turn now...Bill! 
> From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com [mailto:Zen_ [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
ps.com] On Behalf
> Of Edgar Owen
> Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 8:32 AM
> Subject: Re: [Zen] Causality
> Bill,
> I'm in general agreement close enough to continue. I agree with you 
that in
> some sense both the hammer smashing your toe and the pain in your 
toe are
> illusions, but my point is that they are consistently related. One 
> inevitably upon the other in all normal circumstances. That's 
> It's the rules that govern the realm of illusion, the realm of 
> Because something is ultimately illusory doesn't mean it follows no 
> and is totally random and arbitrary. Quite obviously the daily 
world of
> illusion follows the rules of common sense and science as they 
> particular causes and effects (though not scientist's views of 
> reality of course where Zen is correct).
> The 'things' that stand in causal relationships are particular form 
> abstracted or discriminated from the whole flow of process or Tao. 
It is
> particular form patterns which do in fact tend to occur in 
repeating causal
> sequences and that facilitate effective volition in the world of 
forms. (By
> that I mean that organisms discriminate forms whose causal patterns 
they can
> understand so as to be able to function successfully in the world 
of forms.
> E.g. If a hammer hits my toe I feel pain, therefore I don't hit my 
toe with
> a hammer.) Those 'things' are normally referred to as 'events' of 
> Edgar
> On Oct 13, 2008, at 8:28 PM, <[EMAIL PROTECTED] org> wrote:
> Edgar,
> Thanks for your response, although it's far from satisfying for me. 
I could
> go on with this discussion from the exchanges below, but I think 
> started in the middle and both have a lot of assumptions that we 
may not
> fully share. If we're going to have a discussion on causality, and 
I hope
> we are, I'd like to get a clarification from you before we start:
> Causality to me is a term for the concept of cause and effect. I 
> cause and effect is illusory and you are stating that it is not. 
You say
> the our concept of cause and effect is a reflection of a mechanism 
of cause
> and effect that exists in what you've referred to as the real 
> world. Causality presumably describes a specific type of 
relationship. A
> relationship implies that there are at least two 'things' to relate.
> - Do you agree with the above three sentences? If not, how would 
you define
> causality?
> - If you do agree, or agree close enough to continue, what would 
you call
> these 'things' that allegedly have a cause and effect relationship?
> ...Bill!
> From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com[mailto: Zen_Forum@ yahoogrou ps.com] 
On Behalf
> Of Edgar Owen
> Sent: Monday, October 13, 2008 7:25 PM
> To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com
> Subject: Re: [Zen] consciousness
> Hi Bill,
> Great questions.
> Take a hammer and whack your toe. I guarantee it will hurt like 
> Causality is proven. QED. Doesn't matter whether you have satori or 
> The point is that the world of forms, of illusion, does obey 
> rules, causality among them. Just because the physical world is 
illusion in
> an ultimate sense and merely empty forms doesn't mean that it 
> operate according to consistent rules. The fact that the hammer 
hurts both
> my and your toe means that the rules are shared to some extent, 
that we have
> similar, but certainly not identical, cognitive constructs of the 
> world. Therefore we can assume that the physical world may in fact 
> independent of both of our existences though we can never 
experience that
> directly.
> Yes, the cognitive constructs of consciousness are what illusion 
is, just
> another name for the same thing from a different perspective.
> Yes, our concept of causality is a construct of our consciousness, 
but it is
> our consciousness' approximation of actual physical laws of the 
> universe, at least that is where the consistency of the cognitively
> constructed world in my mind leads me. When I drop that I just 
> without the causal thought net overlay. That is Zen.
> Confusing and contradictory certainly and thus the Zen adage that,
> 'Illusion, when seen as illusion, is reality.'
> EDgar
> On Oct 12, 2008, at 10:07 PM, <[EMAIL PROTECTED] org>
> <[EMAIL PROTECTED] org> wrote:
> Edgar,
> In your post below you stated:
> >Causality though does exist and provides the rules which make
> >our conscious perspectives and material world view cognitive
> >constructs consistent. Thus causality does govern what happens
> >in the world of forms.
> Why are you so certain that causality does exist and operates 
according to
> some kind of rules? What kind of rules could those be? Universal 
> You stated our concept of the material world, the world of forms, is
> observer dependent and 'simply a cognitive construct of our 
consciousness' .
> What is the difference between 'cognitive construct of our 
> and illusion?
> In either case, if our concept of the material world is a construct 
of our
> consciousness, why wouldn't you believe our concept of causality is 
> only construct of our consciousness; and the supposed rules which 
in fact
> are the defining factors of causality (along with the concept of 
time) are,
> if not completely observer dependent, at best species and perhaps 
> socially/culturally dependent, and ultimately illusory? 
> This is closer to what I believe...Bill!
> From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com[mailto: Zen_Forum@ yahoogrou ps.com] 
On Behalf
> Of Edgar Owen
> Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2008 8:53 PM
> Subject: Re: [Zen] consciousness
> Anthony,
> Not quite. What I'm saying is that consciousness and the material 
world are
> identical. Consciousness is observer dependent perspectives on the 
> world from the POV of particular observers and events. Each of these
> consciousnesses is all that exists for the particular observer (all 
> consciousness only). Our concept of a material world is simply a 
> construct of our consciousness, however that construct seems 
consistent and
> sharable thus we may assume it has an independent existence beyond 
> particular consciousness though we of course can never actually 
confirm that
> because we can never step outside of consciousness.
> Not easy to explain or perhaps understand.
> To address your questions: Replace Karma with causality. Karma has 
> implications that are unsubstantiated. Causality though does exist 
> provides the rules which make our conscious perspectives and 
material world
> view cognitive constructs consistent. Thus causality does govern 
> happens in the world of forms.
> As to when we die, the answer is that when you die your 
consciousness stops
> and your body decays (my perspective) . On the other hand I can 
> experience death since death is the end of experience.
> Hope that helps,
> Edgar
> On Oct 11, 2008, at 11:00 PM, Anthony Wu wrote:
> Edgar,
> Thank you.
> You seem to say that the world is nothing but universal 
> Material objects and all kinds of living beings are just 
> (contents) of the universal consciousness. Maybe I am wrong, but 
that is an
> interesting philosophical discussion.
> Whether or not it is relevant to zen, I would like to know the 
> aspects of your theory:
> -   Does karma work in the universal consciousness, or whatever you 
call it?
> -   When we die, do we just merge into the universe and lose our 
> entities?
> Regards,
> Anthony
> --- On Sun, 12/10/08, Edgar Owen <[EMAIL PROTECTED] net> wrote:
> From: Edgar Owen <[EMAIL PROTECTED] net>
> Subject: Re: [Zen] consciousness
> To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com
> Date: Sunday, 12 October, 2008, 7:46 AM
> Anthony,
> Well not quite. Personal consciousness is associated with material 
> and disappears with the dissolution of the material form. However 
if you
> read my paper http://EdgarLOwen. com/HardProblem. pdf you will see 
that my
> view is that everything, that is the entire material world, is in 
fact the
> same experiential 'stuff' of consciousness that is the same 'stuff' 
of human
> consciousness just in a different form particular to the material 
it is
> associated with. I.e. a human has human type contents in this 
> stuff and a molecule has molecule type contents of it. That's 
probably not
> very clearly stated but the idea is that the interaction of all 
matter with
> other matter amounts to matter's experience of matter which is what 
> causal process of reality that continually flows through the 
present moment
> with clock time is. That same flow is experienced as human 
consciousness by
> humans, and mouse consciousness by mice as the details, the 
contents of
> consciousness, depend on the different biological and cognitive 
> of mice and men while the phenomenon of consciousness itself as 
opposed to
> its details is common to both mice and men, and in fact everything 
in the
> universe.
> So the contents of consciousness will be different for each being 
and the
> contents are the forms that arise in consciousness itself which are
> illusion. Whereas consciousness itself, that in which the contents 
> consciousness arise is the same for everything in the universe. It 
is simply
> the physical reality of the present moment. So tuning into the pure
> consciousness itself, devoid of its contents, is Zen, or satori 
since the
> content forms which are the veils of illusion are no longer present 
and do
> not distract from consciousness itself.
> But of course the contents do persist in the material world and so 
the trick
> is to continually recognize these contents for what they are, 
contents of
> pure consciousness, ripples or disturbances in the field of 
> itself, so that one doesn't get entangled in the individual forms 
but always
> sees them as contents of the underlying pure consciousness itself. 
The forms
> themselves have no real substance since they are just ripples or
> disturbances in what would be the perfect stillness of 
consciousness itself
> devoid of any forms or ripples.
> Hope that makes it a little clearer.
> As to the OBE, I really haven't felt I had to explain it. It was 
> something that happened. In my view it is a fundamental mistake to 
> consciousness is located or centered in the physical body, since 
> we see and experience is actually happening in our own head and the 
idea of
> an individual 'self' is just a cognitive construct, so that 
> construct can subjectively locate its concept of observer anywhere 
it wants,
> at least temporarily. In that view 'our' consciousness continually 
> everything that we experience to its furtherest boundaries. Since 
all that
> is experienced is consciousness, consciousness must then be 
antecedent to
> the division between self and not self.
> Remember the furtherest boundaries of the horizon are simply our 
> inside our eyes, and the whole world exists in the nigredo of our 
> (the black obsidian crystal ball which we wish to turn into a 
> clear crystal ball brain - unconsciousness into consciousness) , 
but of
> course that means our eyes are the sky and our consciousness in our 
> pervades the entire universe.
> Thus the Zen adage: "Awaken the mind, while dwelling nowhere." 
Which means
> wake up and recognize that consciousness is not centered anywhere 
> everywhere and transcends the distinction between self and world.
> Edgar
> On Oct 11, 2008, at 5:58 PM, Anthony Wu wrote:
> Hi Edgar,
> I keep an open mind. In your view, does consciousness just 
disappear, when
> we die?
> You seemed to say you had an OBE in Japan. How do you explain that 
based on
> science.
> Regards,
> Anthony
> --- On Sun, 12/10/08, Edgar Owen <edgarowen@ att. net> wrote:
> From: Edgar Owen <[EMAIL PROTECTED] net>
> Subject: Re: [Zen] consciousness
> To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com
> Date: Sunday, 12 October, 2008, 3:23 AM
> Thanks Margie,
> Your comments or questions would be welcome.
> Much appreciated,
> Edgar
> On Oct 11, 2008, at 9:55 AM, roloro1557 wrote:
> Hi Edgar-
> I am still reading HardProblem - I'm on page 10. So far it is
> wonderful! :-)
> Margie (roloro1557)
> ------------ --------- --------- --------- ---------
> FROM: Over the hills and far away... . .
> Don't be an observer of life. Be life. T'ao Shan
> OldWomansZenChronic les.blogspot. com
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