Saturday, June 24, 2006

Zen 101

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

That is a classic Zen koan, to which there is no right answer and no wrong answer. Its sole purpose is to stimulate thinking.

As is this one:

"If things were different, they would be different."

Think about it. That one sentence opens up an entire universe of complex, deeply layered, analytical thought.

Much like the universe itself, truth can expand and compress infinitely. Can't it? Or do we believe there is an absolute, immutable truth? Great food for thought, no?

I occasionally like to ponder the Zen of this statement:

"Honor is a way of behaving. Sanctimony is congratulating yourself for that way of behaving."

"Honor" is a standard of behavior; we all know it when we see it. It's so ingrained that the honorable person behaves honorably without even thinking about it. When, on the other hand, a person performs some act of kindness and subsequently is compelled to bring it to the attention of others, to brag about it, it devolves into crassness. The honorable person isn't thinking about reward when he/she behaves correctly; he/she is only doing what comes pretty much naturally. When the doer of the good deed finds it necessary to draw attention to the deed for purposes of gaining admiration, then the act itself becomes sanctimonious. I think.

Finally, I've reached the end of the alphabet. I don't have to talk about PublishAmerica any more. Unless, of course, I have an aneurysm or something and just particularly feel like it. And what is the Zen of PA? Zero. Zilch.

PA! huh, good God,
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!


The Rentable Writer said...

We've reached the end.... PA has been officially (and most alphabetically) defamed! YAY!

Serena Joy said...

And I'm sure everyone is very glad that the alphabet has now been exhausted. Now I'll have to think of something normal to talk about.:)