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Koan
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Koan

Koan, problem with no logical solution assigned to students of internal linkZen Buddhism as a subject for meditation. Koans are internal linkintended to break through the limitations of ego and intellect and lead to an intuitive flash of enlightenment. A famous koan is "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

koan

koan (ko´än´) noun
A riddle in the form of a paradox used in Zen Buddhism as an aid to meditation and a means of gaining intuitive knowledge.

[Japanese : ko, public + an, matter.]

Buddhism

To meditate on a koan is to engage in an active internal linkprocess, like that we engage in when we try to solve a mathematical problem. As in mathematics, the solution is supposed to come suddenly.
Ben-Ami Scharfstein Israeli philosopher. The Sound of the One Hand, introduction, Basic Books (1975).



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internal linkTimothy Leary maintained that there were multiple circuits accessible within the human brain, but only a few were active. Most academic scientists have not progressed beyond the emotional-territorial phase: most of their arguments are based on the internal linkperceived need (like alpha male primates) to stake out and defend intellectual "turf" and maintain that in various "turf wars." Few have activated the circuits beyond the dextero-symbolic, which views the world in terms of internal linkpuzzle-solving and piece-assembling. Anyone who has read Martin Gardner's mathematical recreations column in _Scientific American_ has witnessed the academic way of reducing the world to a mathematical problem to be solved. But those who may have engaged their hedonic or transegoic circuits begin to realize that it may be best to treat the world as a Zen riddle or koan , and appreciate the qualities of subtlety, irony, ambiguity, and unexpectedness that make the universe so precious. Those who have made it to this stage know the inappropriateness of belief (such as Charles Fort: "I accept no facts, concepts, or theories, as I have no truck with something so slippery as the products of minds") and the necessity of communicating this understanding to others.

Steve Mizrach, aka Seeker1



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