Ed, Austins 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. Its 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! __________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature database 5569 (20101027) __________ The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus. http://www.eset.com __________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature database 5569 (20101027) __________ The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus. http://www.eset.com ------------------------------------ Current Book Discussion: any Zen book that you recently have read or are reading! Talk about it today!Yahoo! 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