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The Propagandist
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Thu May 17, 2012 6:24 pm

Ubu wrote:
The Propagandist wrote:


But be warned! I play the devil's advocate sometimes. Maybe I'm a true believer in the positions I defend, or maybe I just take the position because nobody else has. I have learned to think like a lawyer and can argue both sides of a question with equal fervor. scratch

LOL, that's what I have always liked about you. I have lurked around several forums and followed your posts. I always got the feeling your underlying "mission" was to make people stop and actually affraid think "about it"............

If they do actually "stop and think" for a while, laying aside what they think they "know" because that is what was taught to them and they accepted it as truth, they will sometimes see that their logic is full of holes. They can't see the holes because all the water hasn't drained out yet, or it keeps getting refilled.

If something lets people leave with more than they came with and a smile on their face, it is good.

If something causes people to leave with less than they came with, damaged and crying in its wake, it is bad.

A selfish person is one who sees his world shrinking and feels powerless to do anything about it. So he builds fences, both to keep in and to keep out.

The takers and the scrapers will always find an opponent with me.

The Golden Rule is my rule; the Good Samaritan an example to emulate.

In everything, always keep in mind that it could be you who is wrong. The other person with whom you contend was sent into your life for a reason. It is your job to find out what that reason is.

Zen masters use this kōan practice to teach students to examine their own thinking for absurdities.


Quote :
Q. What is the sound of one hand clapping?
A. According to the book The Sound of the One Hand: 281 Zen Koans With Answers, translated by Yoel Hoffman, the dialogue might go something like this:

Master: In clapping both hands a sound is heard: what is the sound of the one hand?
Student: The pupil faces his master, takes a correct posture, and without a word, thrusts one hand forward.

Master: If you've heard the sound of the one hand, prove it.
Student: Without a word, the pupil thrusts one hand forward.
(The pupil is not taken in by "prove it." He evades explanations by simply implying "that's it.")

Master: The before-birth-one hand, what is it like?
Student: Without a word, the pupil thrusts one hand forward.
(The pupil is not taken in by "life-death." The notion of "before life" is artificial and can be entertained only while alive.)

Master: Did you hear the sound of the one hand from the back or from the front?
Student: Extending one hand, the pupil repeatedly says, "Whether it's from the front or from the back, you can hear it as you please"

Master: Now that you've heard the sound of the one hand, what are you going to do?
Student: I'll pull weeds, scrub the floor, and if you're tired, give you a massage.
(The student answers according to his own situation.)

Master: If it's a convenient thing, let me hear it too!
Student: [The response is censored for non-initiates; students who have solved the puzzle know what the answer should be.]

This Koan was composed by a Master Hakuin in the 18th century. It is the first Koan that a student is given when he enters a temple.





Last edited by The Propagandist on Thu May 17, 2012 7:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Thu May 17, 2012 6:53 pm

Prop, I can think of a couple of forums around here whose members might benifit from your above post. Clap Clap Clap Clap

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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Thu May 17, 2012 7:32 pm

Bluetick wrote:
Prop, I can think of a couple of forums around here whose members might benifit from your above post. Clap Clap Clap Clap


I have found one of them. My voice echoes down the hallway leading to their empty rooms.
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Fri May 18, 2012 8:46 am

Prop, you're a philosophy professor, aren't you? Wink

Quote :
Master: If it's a convenient thing, let me hear it too!
Student:

I would answer "Master, what is the sound of one hand clapping?", etc. It's going to bug me now that I don't know the correct answer, if there is a correct answer.
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Fri May 18, 2012 9:31 am

I would snap my fingers...but I am odd. That is the sound of my one hand. But I see the point and you are so right. We tend to see things our way and have ANSWERS (said in big deep voice) we feel are the only way.

I remember Dr. Brown at UNA well. I had him for a few classes, and the one I remember the most was Comparative Anatomy. He held up a picture of a dog and asked, "What is this?" Most said, "A dog." He said, "No, this is a picture of a dog, and that is very different than it would be if we had a dog in this room and I asked you what I had here. Think, analyze, and see what is in front of you and not what you would like to see in front of you. That is what science is about." Clap
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Fri May 18, 2012 9:43 am

I think of snapping fingers, too, Sync, but I'm pretty sure in my case, that was the smart aleck coming out. Giggle

My answer means that the I cannot give what I know to be true to my teacher. The teacher must discover it for him or herself.
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Fri May 18, 2012 10:33 am

Joy wrote:
Prop, you're a philosophy professor, aren't you? Wink

Quote :
Master: If it's a convenient thing, let me hear it too!
Student:

I would answer "Master, what is the sound of one hand clapping?", etc. It's going to bug me now that I don't know the correct answer, if there is a correct answer.

With a Zen kōan there is no single "correct" answer. That is the reason there is so much disagreement in the world: The world is made up of mostly gray areas.

Avoid extremes. If it is black, you are blind because it is too dark with no light. If it is white, you are blind because the light is too bright. Truth is usually found in the shadows, which is gray.

You already know what the black and the white positions are, because they are largely self-evident, so most of our time in life is made up of trying to make sense of the gray areas.

But the answer you do come up with cannot be totally irrelevant like some of Michelle Bachmann's answers tend to be when she is asked a pointed question, but the answer that would be necessary to answer the question was not the point she wants to make.

See her here on Larry King Live:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWV-ZWJCrY8
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Fri May 18, 2012 1:28 pm

Prop Yes Yes
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Fri May 18, 2012 1:36 pm

Sez Props: "But the answer you do come up with cannot be totally irrelevant like some of Michelle Bachmann's answers tend to be when she is asked a pointed question, but the answer that would be necessary to answer the question was not the point she wants to make."

Sez Me: Crackingup Crackingup Crackingup Crackingup
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PostSubject: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Fri May 18, 2012 5:53 pm

I added that part about Michelle Bachmann, not only because it was relevant, but also because we can't stray too far from politics in this category, can we?

We may have to move this to another category, as it's not exactly politics. Ideas?
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Sat May 19, 2012 7:12 am

I agree, Prop. Split the posts and moved these here. I first put this subject in Spiritual Matters, but decided Health & Fitness could include a healthy mind as well. I feel that exploring subjects such as this promote a healthy mind. Smile

I'll comment further later...have to be at work shortly and don't want to comment without thinking it through.
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Sat May 19, 2012 9:59 am

We think alike. I was going to move it last night to spiritual as well but then thought it didn't fit. I think your solution was a good one. I found one story of the Koan 'one hand sound'.. Hope you all like it.
...............................................................................


The master of Kennin temple was Mokurai, Silent Thunder. He had a little protege named Toyo who was only twelve years old. Toyo saw the older disciples visit the master’s room each morning and evening to receive instruction in sanzen or personal guidance in which they were given koans to stop mind-wandering.

Toyo wished to do sanzen also.

“Wait a while,” said Mokurai. “You are too young.”

But the child insisted, so the teacher finally consented.

In the evening little Toyo went at the proper time to the threshold of Mokurai’s sanzen room. He struck the gong to announce his presence, bowed respectfully three times outside the door, and went to sit before the master in respectful silence.

“You can hear the sound of two hands when they clap together,” said Mokurai. “Now show me the sound of one hand.”

Toyo bowed and went to his room to consider this problem. From his window he could hear the music of the geishas. “Ah, I have it!” he proclaimed.

The next evening, when his teacher asked him to illustrate the sound of one hand, Toyo began to play the music of the geishas.

“No, no,” said Mokurai. “That will never do. That is not the sound of one hand. You’ve not got it at all.”

Thinking that such music might interrupt, Toyo moved his abode to a quiet place. He meditated again. “What can the sound of one hand be?” He happened to hear some water dripping. “I have it,” imagined Toyo.

When he next appeared before his teacher, Toyo imitated dripping water.

“What is that?” asked Mokurai. “That is the sound of dripping water, but not the sound of one hand. Try again.”

In vain Toyo meditated to hear the sound of one hand. He heard the sighing of the wind. But the sound was rejected.

He heard the cry of an owl. This also was refused.

The sound of one hand was not the locusts.

For more than ten times Toyo visited Mokurai with different sounds. All were wrong. For almost a year he pondered what the sound of one hand might be.

At last little Toyo entered true meditation and transcended all sounds. “I could collect no more,” he explained later, “so I reached the soundless sound.”

Toyo had realized the sound of one hand.
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Sun May 20, 2012 7:19 am

I like it, lmm. Kitty

The Propagandist wrote:
With a Zen kōan there is no single "correct" answer. That is the reason there is so much disagreement in the world: The world is made up of mostly gray areas.

Avoid extremes. If it is black, you are blind because it is too dark with no light. If it is white, you are blind because the light is too bright. Truth is usually found in the shadows, which is gray.

You already know what the black and the white positions are, because they are largely self-evident, so most of our time in life is made up of trying to make sense of the gray areas.

I would agree with them, but it's nearly impossible to show the truth you have found in the gray areas to another because they cannot see it. They have to find it for themselves to believe it.

It would be much easier to like/tolerate extremists if they could understand that, if they would attempt to understand moderates and those of opposite extremes. Not all, but unfortunately, many extremists tend to hold on to their truth to the point of harming others (with words, with physical violence, with laws, etc.) who do not believe as they do.

Some would argue that truth is different for each person. I am not convinced of that. I would say solutions vary depending on the circumstance and culture, but truth is truth. A + B = C People are just people the world over and share the same basic physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. JMHO
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Sun May 20, 2012 9:49 am

Joy wrote:

Some would argue that truth is different for each person. I am not convinced of that. I would say solutions vary depending on the circumstance and culture, but truth is truth. A + B = C People are just people the world over and share the same basic physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. JMHO

The problem with 'truth' is there can be a variety of factions within that truth. If it is a straightforward effect, such as your A+B=C, then all agree. But if it falls into that gray area, then truth is dependent on the person's on point of view. Let's say ALL mothers are great. Now if you had a great mother, than this is true. If you had a sorry mother, this is not true.

Politics are so violent and volatile because the same set of facts can lead to different conclusions. It goes back to the famous 'Lies Damn Lies and Statistics', which is a very true statement unfortunately.

Now each person needs food, clothing, and shelter. Those are the basics for life. But that is only the existence of life, not the fulfilling of life. Add a person who is loved, and that life expands and continues to blossom. Add a particular culture to that life and it expands more, BUT, the culture it assumes may be in contrast to the culture of someone else.

Let's say you are born into a culture of 'headhunters'. They kill other men and eat their flesh. It is actually necessary for their culture to exist and for each member of that culture to consider themselves a fulfilled member. Now, your culture considers that abhorrent and you wish to punish or change their culture. You feel your are morally right and they are morally wrong. But they feel THEY are morally right and YOU are morally wrong. Their truth does not match your truth.
So at the basics, people are the same the world over. Homo sapiens sapiens.
But once you get past the basics, they are all different.

(hmmm, I think I think too much, Giggle )
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am

You make good points, lmm. I think if A + B = C all the time with no gray areas life would be simpler, but humans wouldn't have done many things we have accomplished. I think there are some fairly clear areas, but there are many that are clear in one way to some and in another way to others. Two people grow up poor and both manage to scramble out of the ghetto into owning a business. One may become a Democrat and hold certain views about how he got there and what is "right", and one may become a Republican and have totally different views, or they may have similar views and only disagree on a point or two. We are shaped by our experiences, and I came to a totally different set of views in my life than others may have, but all are equally real to us and determine how we live. My hubs held very different political views when I met him than he does now, and he will say it is because he was taught that he should feel certain ways. Once he experienced more of the world his beliefs changed, and I think that happens fairly often.

I think in politics and religion it is funny how all of us here could looks at one set of facts and come away with as many interpretations as there are people reading them. I can look at our economy and see things one ways, while others would see things a completely different way. I might look at the idea of God one way and read the same Bible others do, but I come away just as sincerely and deeply convinced that my interpretation makes sense as every else's Giggle It's kind of funny and really sad how many wars have been fought and casualties piled up over who is right and who is wrong, often when all sides are based on interpretations of A + B = C. it raises the probability in my view that there isn't one set of right answers for many questions.

The interesting part to me is that while some might not kill someone, for example, because of their beliefs, I won't because of mine, but the end result is that a person didn't get killed whatever the reason. Since that is what counts if we all happen to believe that is the right thing to do, one might wonder if it matters how we all got to the point of not killing someone. Whether it is from what is written in the Bible, the Quran, Reiki precepts, simply not harming another person, or however, the other person is alive. Wink Of course the problem comes when one believes someone should die and another doesn't, and it's all based on our particular belief systems. Then humans tend to get a bit violent🇳🇴
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PostSubject: My Sunday reading and thoughts   Sun May 20, 2012 10:14 pm

Presented for your consideration.


Fences

Mark 10:17-31
American Standard Version (ASV)
17 And as he was going forth into the way, there ran one to him, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good save one, even God.
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor thy father and mother.
20 And he said unto him, Teacher, all these things have I observed from my youth.
21 And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
22 But his countenance fell at the saying, and he went away sorrowful: for he was one that had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

A + B = C ≠ C = A + B = AB → AB – A / C = < C

In other words, Jesus preached free will; you are free to accumulate riches, and you are free to give it away.


Quote :
A Quaker economy
Deborah Cadbury’s recent bookChocolate Wars, in which this descendant of the Quaker Cadbury cocoa magnates of England makes the case for a very different capitalism than that described so devastatingly by Karl Marx in his critique of the 19th century Industrial Revolution. Workers were provided health care, education, worship opportunities, planned communities in which to live, and safe working environments.
As these “enlightened entrepreneurs” read their Bible, they recognized that the prophets railed against those who “ground the poor under their heels” and “lay on beds of ivory while others suffered.” They recognized that Jesus spoke a great deal about money and wealth (”Mammon, how I love ya; how I love ya,” as one of my seminary professors once described it!), and that he was not all that keen on the accumulation of wealth at the expense of the good of the whole or of the state of ones soul!
Economics certainly are a religious concern. Just tune into any “Gospel of wealth” TV preacher these days - or any of their telethons; and, by the way, give some attention to whom they support politically! But somehow I don’t think that when Jesus spoke of how difficult it is for camels to struggle through a needle’s eye, and compared it with the impact of wealth on people’s spiritual lives, he meant “Send me your life’s savings, and my guess is that you’ll win the Lottery!” Rather, he seemed more interested in “seeking first the reign of G-d,” described vividly in the Sermon on the Mount, and not being “anxious” about amassing wealth. But if one did, by hard work or luck, they should share it with “the least of these” and “give when someone asks.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/post/a-quaker-economy/2011/09/28/gIQA6BHm5K_blog.html

But don't take one man's teachings, substituting those contrary views those for the teachings of Christ and then attempt to call it Christianity.

Calvinism teaches predestination; God has blessed you with material riches because you are good, and you must preserve and accumulate more to better exhibit His grace to you: “Godliness is being filthy rich and wanting to hold on to every penny.”


Quote :
Wealth as an outcome of faith
One line of Protestant thinking views the pursuit of wealth as not only acceptable but as a religious calling or duty.

This perspective is generally ascribed to Calvinist and Puritan theologies which view hard work and frugal lifestyles as spiritual acts in themselves. John Wesley was a strong proponent of wealth creation. However, to avoid wealth becoming an obstacle to faith, Wesley exhorted his audiences to "earn all they can, save all they can and give away all they can."[4] Included among those who view wealth as an outcome of faith are modern-day preachers and authors who propound prosperity theology, teaching that God promises wealth and abundance to those who will believe in him and follow his laws.

Prosperity theology (also known as the "health and wealth gospel") is a Christian religious belief whose proponents claim the Bible teaches that financial blessing is the will of God for Christians. Most teachers of prosperity theology maintain that a combination of faith, positive speech, and donations to Christian ministries will always cause an increase in material wealth for those who practice these actions. Prosperity theology is almost always taught in conjunction with continuationism.

Prosperity theology first came to prominence in the United States during the Healing Revivals in the 1950s. Some commentators have linked the genesis of prosperity theology with the influence of the New Thought movement. It later figured prominently in the Word of Faith movement and 1980s televangelism. In the 1990s and 2000s, it became accepted by many influential leaders in the charismatic movement and has been promoted by Christian missionaries throughout the world. It has been harshly criticized by leaders of mainstream evangelicalism as a non-scriptural doctrine or as an outright heresy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_views_on_poverty_and_wealth

Quote :
Views of Wealth – Epicurus, Greek philosopher from the 4th century B.C

Nothing is sufficient for the person to whom the sufficient is too little.

Great abundance is heaped up as a result of brutalizing labor, but a miserable life is the result.

A person is made unhappy either by fear or by endless and vain desire. The person who curbs these can attain for herself the blessed gift of reason.

Many people, fearing poverty, are driven, through their fear, to adopt practices that will bring on greater fear.

It is better for you to be free of fear and lying on a bed of straw than to own a couch of gold and an overflowing table and yet have no peace of mind.


http://theageofanxiety.wordpress.com/category/ancient-wisdom/

“Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist,” – Proverbs 23:4

See also:
The “Protestant/Calvinist Work Ethic"
http://carbon.ucdenver.edu/~bgoodric/The%20Calvinist%20Work%20Ethic%20and%20Consumerism.htm

Jesus: Conservative or Liberal?
http://james-dave.com/conservlib1.html
Part 2
http://www.james-dave.com/conservlib2.html
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Mon May 21, 2012 6:01 am

I think if two people are intellectually honest and they both commit to use reason, regardless of differing cultures, they will come to the same conclusions on a given subject. They may not use the same terminology, but the root conclusion is the same. The problem is that few are intellectually honest when it comes to anything that threatens long held beliefs. In short, their mind is closed, at least in certain areas. I completely understand that. It is difficult to let go of things you thought were true for a very long time. I've had to do that myself many times, but to live a lie? That is not enough for me. I want the truth, even if it goes against what I was taught by well-meaning people who I love and respect. Some of those people are religious and some call themselves intellectuals, some scientists, but if what they say is false, I need to know that and reject it.
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Mon May 21, 2012 6:29 am

...and btw, I don't need everyone in my life to feel as I do about this or any other subject. We are who we are and don't have to apologize for closing a door on some ideas if that's what we feel is best for us at the time. It could even be necessary for survival or sanity in some cases. As long as it doesn't result in stepping on another person's rights, our beliefs/non-beliefs/conclusions are and should be a personal choice and a personal right/freedom.
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Mon May 21, 2012 10:29 am

As long as it doesn't result in stepping on another person's rights, our beliefs/non-beliefs/conclusions are and should be a personal choice and a personal right/freedom.

I agree but the problem is that so many people all think they have the only 'right' idea, and then proceed to 'educate' others on what is wrong in their life and ideas that there will never be that intellectual honesty you are looking for.
If you are living a lie, as you put it, but don't know it's a lie, then are you really living in a bad way? If someone tells you it's a lie, are they forcing their view of things onto you? Doesn't that take away their personal choice?

To go back to Prop:

In other words, Jesus preached free will; you are free to accumulate riches, and you are free to give it away.
Notice it says YOU are free to GIVE them away, not forced too. I think the reason the 'rich' man doesn't get into heaven is not the wealth he accumulated but the worship he has for that wealth. Many rich people give to charities and help the world. Those rich people do not worship their wealth above their beliefs of what is right and wrong. Being rich is not a sin. Worshiping your wealth above your God, (whatever you chose that to be) is a sin.
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PostSubject: Private charity has its limits   Mon May 21, 2012 7:25 pm

This is not the result of private charity:



nor is this:



Private charity is commendable; everyone should give some to the extent that they are able. But private charity has its drawbacks.

1) It is not consistent. No giving, no charity to be offered.

2) The charity itself is limited. A free medical clinic doesn't send you away with a bag of needed food; a food bank can't help treat your diabetes.

3) Availability is limited. The person needing charitable help must
a. Know that charitable help is available.
b. Find the charity to ask for help.
c. The charity must have the means to help.

When government gets involved, all those drawbacks are mitigated because it is able to provide a full range of assistance programs at actually a lower cost per contributor than private charity.

However, government assistance has its drawbacks, also. Taxes paid to support public assistance aren't tax-deductible.
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Mon May 21, 2012 10:36 pm

lmm wrote:
As long as it doesn't result in stepping on another person's rights, our beliefs/non-beliefs/conclusions are and should be a personal choice and a personal right/freedom.

I agree but the problem is that so many people all think they have the only 'right' idea, and then proceed to 'educate' others on what is wrong in their life and ideas that there will never be that intellectual honesty you are looking for.
If you are living a lie, as you put it, but don't know it's a lie, then are you really living in a bad way? If someone tells you it's a lie, are they forcing their view of things onto you? Doesn't that take away their personal choice?

Oh, I have no doubt I won't find many who will be intellectually honest. I did say that few are on subjects that threaten long held beliefs, especially if they feel they've already got that one figured out and don't want to revisit it. Smile I have run across a few and greatly enjoy conversing with them. A dear friend I no longer get to chat with is an atheist and told me one time that I kept him honest. I thought of that later and decided he did the same for me. I really miss him.

Forcing anything would defeat the task before it started. I said two people who ARE intellectually honest and ARE committed to using reason to work out a conclusion together. They would have to choose to do this or it would be pointless.
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Mon May 21, 2012 11:00 pm

Prop, I guess it has it's drawbacks if a person expects charity, depends on charity, demands charity. I would argue that's a really bad plan for the reasons you gave, an unreliable form of income. You might want to plan for the worst case scenario if you'd like to not starve to death. I would say relying on the government for your livelihood is an even worse plan for the same reason.

However, for the person who has chosen to give money or time to a person in need, I can see no drawback for the person doing the giving.

The government interceding on their behalf is forced charity really because it ultimately comes out of our pockets. It really is a bizarre situation when you think about it. There are families on government assistance simply because they have more to live on than if they got jobs. You would think the greatest nation in the world could come up with a solution to that problem. By the same token, there are elderly people existing on just Social Security because they had so much faith that SS would still be there for them that they did not plan for the day they could no longer work. I don't have faith that will be the case when I am elderly, one of several reasons I am getting a degree now.
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Mon May 21, 2012 11:16 pm

i don't know that two people who are being intellectually honest will always come to the same conclusions, really. They may simply have different facts upon which they base their conclusions, or may interpret the facts differently based on their life experiences and education. I agree some things are obvious. If we are talking politics and there are graphs showing whether a policy has worked when it was used in the past we can see it follows a trend and that is fairly simple to analyze if we are being honest.

But sometimes one person's A or B really isn't the same as another person's, so they aren't going to have the same value for C as an answer. If I don't have all the information on a topic, but am still being honest about what I do know, then my variables will have different values than someone who does have more information. So yes, A +B=C may be a valid equation, but unless we all use identical variables, our C may not be the same, but we may all be stating the truth as we "know" it to be.

If I never heard of God or the concept of God I wouldn't be able to say Christianity was possible, and if I been sheltered enough to only have heard of God with no other options I wouldn't be atheist. Either way I would be intellectually honest, though. That is the problem...it's hard to accept that things we didn't believe could be possible are actually possible. It's why sometimes having a wholly uninformed person come try to solve a problem two engineers have been working on helps. The person doesn't have a bias, and it's hard to take bias totally out of the situation. I don't mean bias as in opinions, but in what we have been taught is fact or learned in our own experience to be apparently true.

We can have the same experience happen to us and one see it totally differently than the others. Unless we have video footage that hasn't been doctored it is all hearsay. I see a sunset and explain the pretty colors scientifically, but I see the beauty and and enjoy it. Others might see the same sunset and see God's work or a gift from another God, and the physically blind man won't see it except in his memory and might explain it as warmth on his face just before cold. Ironically in some ways the blind man sees it the most objectively in that case. Humans tend to complicate the concept of intellectual honesty by learning and inferring, associating and categorizing. For me I say you enjoy the sunset however you want and I will too, and if the blind man is happy with his experience that's cool too.

So after a whole lot of listening and trying to find solid answers for every single thing it hit me that for me I don't have to know every answer. I strive to keep learning, but I accept that your variables aren't always the same as mine, and I am not always right just as you aren't, so I would rather have peace and do my own thing while still respecting your thing than try to change anyone else's mind. If someone asks me something with an open mind for the answer I am happy to share, and I ask a lot of questions, but otherwise it's just in the perspective in my view and we can enjoy each other without the need to convince each other that someone is wrong. Just my view...ask if we want to know and otherwise live and let live.
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Mon May 21, 2012 11:37 pm

Joy wrote:
Prop, I guess it has it's drawbacks if a person expects charity, depends on charity, demands charity. I would argue that's a really bad plan for the reasons you gave, an unreliable form of income. You might want to plan for the worst case scenario if you'd like to not starve to death. I would say relying on the government for your livelihood is an even worse plan for the same reason.

However, for the person who has chosen to give money or time to a person in need, I can see no drawback for the person doing the giving.

The government interceding on their behalf is forced charity really because it ultimately comes out of our pockets. It really is a bizarre situation when you think about it. There are families on government assistance simply because they have more to live on than if they got jobs. You would think the greatest nation in the world could come up with a solution to that problem. By the same token, there are elderly people existing on just Social Security because they had so much faith that SS would still be there for them that they did not plan for the day they could no longer work. I don't have faith that will be the case when I am elderly, one of several reasons I am getting a degree now.

A great example of people drawing different conclusions from a set of facts. I have different life experiences and education, so therefore I draw different conclusions. In a perfect world we would all have large saving accounts, but life doesn't always allow that. There are families on assistance because they try their best and just plain need it, too. And many rely on SS because they didn't get to save much if any. They weren't buying big houses...they just didn't get to do it. I have education, but it doesn't promise that I will get to save. Many do the best they can and life happens. Children get sick and savings vanish, parents need help, a job is lost...things happen. I don't have a problem with some of my taxes going to help and I am happy to put into SS. I want all to pay a fair amount of tax and if my neighbor needs food I am fine with him getting food stamps if he qualifies and isn't cheating. I want cheating to be stopped and the system to do what it is designed to do, but I have no problem with helping others through my taxes if all are paying a fair percentage.

So yes, I see your points, but I have been so many places and lived so many ways that my conclusion is that although the system needs to be fixed in some ways, sometimes people need help, roads need repairing, and older people need help with basics. Stop the fraud and help those who really need it and help people get that education and the leg up so they don't need to depend on others. If Granny took care of a sick husband all her life I wouldn't expect her to have great savings...shit happens and life doesn't work out as we want sometimes. I wish I had a big savings account and stocks and bonds, but I don't. I haven't expected anyone to take care of me and have worked hard and gone to school...many people are like that, but we hear more about the cheaters and bums. I have a business now, but if we had some housing help when I was a kid maybe some horrible things wouldn't have happened to me and our whole family. A few food stamps would have made a big difference, too. The money is there in this country, but it is used for wars and politics and religion for things that aren't necessary while bridges rot and people go hungry. Sucks and doesn't have to be that way.

Anyway, I said all that basically because I think it is interesting how people come to different conclusions about things than others do, and it's good all views can be heard and considered. Smile


Last edited by Synchronicity on Tue May 22, 2012 9:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Zen masters use this kōan practice...   Tue May 22, 2012 9:21 am

Sync, you and I have not done what I proposed. Giving our opinions on a forum based on what we can individually bring to mind at this moment is not the same as two intellectually honest people using reason to form a conclusion on a given subject. It would take a lot of time for two people to accomplish that. They would share those life experiences they don't have in common, any knowledge they have on the subject, thoroughly research the subject, analyze it from every angle. It would not be done in a day I think. Sorry if I did not make myself clear. Smile

To clarify, I said the TERMINOLOGY may not be the same, but the ROOT conclusion would, IF the two were intellectually honest and using reason.
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