Ed,

Austin’s description below is a pretty good one as far as written
explanation go – but it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you note that it is ONLY
A DESCRIPTION.  It’s the same difference as eating a delicious meal and just
looking at a menu or at the recipes.  This is not a criticism of Austin's
writing ability, it just highlights a fundamental problem of trying to use
words to describe this experience, and worse yet trying to understand it -
put it in a logical framework.

Because it is a description after-the-fact and a description using words and
concepts it is necessarily dualistic and logical.  In short, Austin is
trying to communicate an alogical experience using logical terms.

For example when he says that in the experience the  “entire view acquires
three qualities: Absolute Reality, Intrinsic Rightness, Ultimate Reflection”
he is speaking after-the-fact.  He is speaking using his rational mind, the
very thing that was absent when he had this experience he is now trying to
describe.  When this experience manifested there was no “Absolute Reality,
Intrinsic Rightness, Ultimate Reflection” , there was only ‘Mu’, only ‘The
Oak Tree in the Garden’, only ‘A dried Shit-stick’, only a single finger
being raised, or as I say ‘Just THIS!’.

Austin is absolutely wrong when he claims “that there is little conflict
between Zen Buddhism and scientific rigor."  An experience of this sort in
which the - discriminating mind disappears - and ‘scientific rigor’ - which
is completely based on logic and the rational mind - are as about as
complete opposites as there can be.

…Bill!


From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
Of ED
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 1:11 AM
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [Zen] Zen, Self, I, Me and Mine

  

Bill,
For instance, like this below?
--ED
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_H._Austin
"Enlightenment
Austin is also a practicing Zen Buddhist. After a number of years of Zen
meditation, Austin claims to have spontaneously experienced what Zen
practice calls "enlightenment" on a subway platform in London. 
The chief characteristic of his experience seems to be a loss of the sense
of "self" which is central to human identity, and a corresponding feeling of
union with the outer world. 
Austin speculates as to what might be going on in the brain when the "self"
module goes offline, and also discusses the seeing timelessness of the
experience in the context of the brain's internal clock mechanisms. In
Austin's own words,
It strikes unexpectedly at 9 am on the surface platform of the London subway
system. (Due to a mistake)...I wind up at a station where I have never been
before....The view is the dingy interior of the station, some grimy
buildings, a bit of open sky. 
 
Instantly the entire view acquires three qualities: Absolute Reality,
Intrinsic Rightness, Ultimate Reflection. 
 
With no transition, it is all complete....Yes, there is the paradox of this
extraordinary viewing. 
 
But there is no viewer. The scene is utterly empty, stripped of every last
extension of an I-Me-Mine (his name for ego-self). 
 
Vanished in one split second is the familiar sensation that this person is
viewing a city scene. The new viewing proceeds impersonally, not pausing to
register the paradox that there is no human subject "doing" it. Three
insights penetrate the experient, each conveying Total Understanding at
depths far beyond simple knowledge: This is the eternal state of affairs.
There is nothing more to do. There is nothing whatever to fear.
Austin claims that the experience represented "objective reality" in that
his subjective self did not exist to form biased interpretations. Austin
claims that there is little conflict between Zen Buddhism and scientific
rigor."
 
--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, <billsm...@...> wrote:
>
> Ed,
> 
> Your question: "What on earth is not an illusion?" is what zen is all
about!
> 
> All thoughts and concepts of the discriminating mind (the rational mind
that
> creates dualisms such as self/other, subject/object and makes judgments
such
> as good/bad, right/wrong) are illusions.
> 
> Only direct experience is not illusory. 'Direct' means before the
> experience goes through the discriminating mind and gets processed there
> (filtered, augmented, named, categorized, assigned a value, etc...). Zen
> Buddhism calls this 'Buddha Mind' or 'Buddha Nature'. Joshu called it 'Mu'
> and 'The Oak Tree in the Garden'. Ummon called it 'A Dried Shit-Stick'.
> Gutei just held up his index finger. I call it 'Just THIS!'.
> 
> ...Bill!




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