Saturday, July 04, 2009

Fever & zen buddhism

Small flu makes it feel immensly relevant to walk on kitchen floor's tiles without touching the tile borders. My sister's boyfriend recommended a book about zen buddhism before leaving, and it fits this mood exactly.

It started with an attack on language and conscious thought. Standard language-philosophical stuff in "the map is not the terrain" style about how all abstractions leak. What happens to a fist when you open your hand? It emphasized that conscious sentences are just small part of everything that goes on in our heads, and zen buddhism aims to work in intuition and thought without subjecting it to concepts.

The second part is about the history of buddhism. They tell that in Indian society there is a tradition for men who have served their role in society (raised kids out of the nest, etc.) to withdraw from life and caste and concentrate on meditation and elightenment. Sounds appealing, there are just a few practical tasks to complete before I'm ready to go, namely, learning to seduce women, marry one, pop out some kids, and raise them.

If some sane person recommends me some specific meditation course, I'm ready to try it out of curiosity with an open mind and without expecting anything, since I have a time gap to fill after stopping one hobby. Sane doesn't include Hare Krishna monks selling religious literature.

The book reads like a pale shadow of true Zen, so I'm not linking to its Amazon page.

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