virus: zzzzzzzzen
Mon, 08 Jan 1996 08:46:30 -0700


In response to the zen portion of your recent post:

>Where I disagree with the proponents of Zen is I think
>the maps are the key to understanding, not the barrier. I claim that
>the very definition of understanding is the possession of a conceptual
>model that shares a homologous form with the object of understanding.

You're hitting on a critical point. However, from my experience, I don't
even think a zen monk would disagree with you on that notion...

I practiced zen and the tea ceremony for several conesecutive years in
Japan, and virtually all my sensei utilized an extremely systematic,
pedagogical approach in their attempts to destratify the ego. Ironically
(as it must be!) throughout the zen tradition, countless rational "maps"
play a key role... Common misconception: zen denies the validity of science
or rational thought. Not exactly....just a different goal, different
Where western thought sees these modes of thought as "maps", and
where we may even possess an awareness of the maps' inability to maintain
perfect corrspondence with a "reality", zen simply takes a different tack
by emphasizing and reflexively applying that very absence of
map-to-territory correspondence in an attempt to create that Batesonian
"double-bind" leading to the erasure of unwavering dualism....thus,
map/territory relationships become an issue of individual consciousness
rather than steadfast environment-understanding.

Aargh.. it's impossibly murky for me to express....experiential versus
empirical, intuitive versus logic...aargh.. I'm interested to see how the
next century provides more sytheses for these apparent differences.

On the other hand, everything I just said is wrong. Oranges and apples...
So don't think about it.