--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, <billsm...@...> wrote:
>
Mike,

You bring up some important points to which I want to respond:



[Mike] Well, I can't speak for others, but this zen practioner finds
such articles both interesting and helpful.

[Bill!] I can understand that, but interesting and helpful for what?
Certainly not for your zen practice.

[ED] Prior to kensho, for some minds, expending much time and effort on
zazen, based on an act of faith is not an option.



[Mike] Science helps us get down to the 'nuts and bolts' of how and why
things are what they are.

[Bill!] Science is just another worldview, and it's viewpoint is no more
valid than any other worldview.

[ED] That's one POV.



[Bill] It does help you create concepts of WHY and WHAT things are, but
all these are illusions.

[ED] That's your assertion, belief, POV or experience, but not
everybody's.



[Bill] The 'nuts and bolts' are fantasy (concepts) but very important
for science because science focuses on
deconstruction. It is based on believing nothing exists as a whole in
and of itself, but everything is just a compilation of other things.

[ED] That appears to be similar to or identical with the Buddhist
'Emptiness' conception.



[Mike] I'm not completely *all* for the jettisoning of the more
traditional/arcane side of Zen and meditation (I also like the gongs and
incense etc), but an understanding of what physically/mentally happens
to us as a result
of meditation weakens the grip of the supernatural/esoteric aspects
sometimes afforded to Zen/zen.

[Bill!] I am for jettisoning ALL the traditional/arcane side of zen, and
all the other unnecessary layering that serve only to further obscure
Buddha Nature. These unnecessary layers include supernatural/esoteric
layers, AND scientific explanations. There is no difference. Layers are
layers. Some are just more fashionable at certain times and in certain
circles than others.

[ED] I am for demystifying zen, so that practitioners (prior to kensho)
possess an understanding of what zen is about and why they expend so
much time and effort sitting on a zafu, sometimes in much pain.



[Mike] If we think, and appreciate, that science has helped us debunk
most religious dogma and superstition, then I find it hypocritical to
not turn the light of science on zen.


[Bill!] Science has merely replaced religious dogma and superstition.
You seem to have the idea that science shows us ultimate 'truth' rather
than just being another perspective on truth (reality) based on what we
perceive to be probabilities. Logic is not truth. Rationality is not
truth. Buddha Nature is truth because it is pure experience.

[ED]  Regardles of what science, truth and rationality are or are not,
if they assist the practitioner, prior to kensho, to persist in his/her
practice, that's all that matters.



[Mike] Or perhaps we'd secretly like to keep zen "cool and
mysterious"... ; )


[Bill!] Zen might be thought of as 'cool', but it's certainly not at all
mysterious - and you know that as well as I do.

[ED] Zen may not be mysterious to some, but can be as mysterious to most
as are the monotheistic religions!



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