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Imladil
05-17-2000, 08:19 AM
In Zen Buddhist tradition, there is a kind of riddle known as a koan. Unlike our western riddles, which have a humorous climax or a point of some kind, the zen koan is an open-ended riddle with no right or wrong answer. The riddle should be paradoxical in nature, ideally pointing in some way to the inifinite. The zen student would meditate long on a koan, and by doing so he would (hopefully) discover his true nature and become enlightened. A good zen koan can keep one wondering for days, until you finally come up with your own answer.

Creating a zen koan can be interesting and fun! I invite everyone to contribute (they don't have to be strict, by the letter zen koans). If they have to do with Star Wars, great...but since the Jedi are a lot like the Samurai, this is fairly close to being on topic anyway. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

I'll start.

"What is the color of nothing?"

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif?

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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

Shootist
05-17-2000, 10:40 AM
What color is imagination? Also see signature.

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Boldly Going Nowhere

Shootist
05-17-2000, 10:50 AM
...Where does a Nauga Hide?


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Boldly Going Nowhere

Lt Cracken
05-17-2000, 10:41 PM
the color of nothing is nothing.

Imladil
05-18-2000, 05:32 AM
Fascinating. I think that a nauga hides in nothing. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif Which is why we have so many couches covered with naugahyde and so few naugas!

For today, let's see. Oh, I know:

"Where does the sky begin?" http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

And, the signature I'm using these days could also be considered a koan.

<font size=1>Note concerning yesterday's koan: I read that in Buddhist philosophy, only a Buddha could envision nothingness. Hmm.</font>

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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

Shootist
05-18-2000, 10:42 PM
I have my Butter Pecan...where's my koan?
Koan:Why is the crack in your hiney verticle? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

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Boldly Going Nowhere

Chillin
05-18-2000, 10:57 PM
The sky begins where the ground ends....which is where?

Imladil
05-19-2000, 04:41 AM
Food for thought here. I'd say Shootist's koan is answered by: gravity. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif Saying the ground is where the sky begins is too simplistic, though...what if you're in a cave underground?

My koan tonight will be a zen knock-knock riddle.

"Knock-knock!"
"Who's there?"
"No one."
(Eternal silence)

Another possibility for the third line would be, "You are," but then the koan becomes decidedly Vulcan in character...

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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

GUNNER
05-19-2000, 08:17 AM
Holy crap, I must be in the wrong thread.......

Shootist
05-19-2000, 11:51 AM
Nah IM. the crack in yer hiney is vertical so that when you slide down a sliding board you don't go bib-a-lib-bib-a-lib bib-a-lib like when you pucker up, make a noise and strum your lips like a guitar. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif
Today's koan: How much does sound weigh?

The Master
05-19-2000, 04:10 PM
Sound weighs, hmmmmmm. Nothing?

Lt Cracken
05-19-2000, 11:32 PM
sound weight as much as the amount of pressure it puts on your eardrum.

Imladil
05-20-2000, 03:32 AM
That's a good one. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif I'll go climb a mountain and think about it for a year or so...

Right off the bat it strikes me that sound is vibration...or even more simply, it is the effect energy has on air molecules. Now, Einstein tells us that energy and matter are interchangeable--which means that if converted to matter, energy would correspondingly exhibit mass. It would indeed weigh something. Aaa-aah! Headache! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

Shootist
05-20-2000, 12:32 PM
Actually, sound is the INTERPRETATION of waves in the audio range by the brain. My guess is that this interpretation weighs nothing, but as you folks say, the sound WAVES may have some force that can be interpreted as weight. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

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Boldly Going Nowhere

The Master
05-20-2000, 12:39 PM
So explain to how much this message is weighed if you said it out loud?

Shootist
05-21-2000, 03:03 AM
If I don't say it out loud will a tree still fall in the forest? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

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Boldly Going Nowhere

Imladil
05-21-2000, 04:19 AM
'Is the glass half empty, or is it half full?'

"Give me your glass!' http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

If a tree falls on the only person in the forest who could have heard it...will that person be reincarnated with an unreasonable fear of silent trees? These are deep questions... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Okay, a serious koan: "How does a drop of water exist?"

--And no, the point isn't surface tension. We're actually talking about the singular nature of one drop of water versus, say, a river...is there only one drop of water, or are there countless drops? What is a 'drop' except just a temporary illusion of form anyway? Hmm...

Best answer gets a dream date with Hillary Rodham Clinton. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

[This message has been edited by Imladil (edited May 21, 2000).]

Chillin
05-21-2000, 03:44 PM
Ok serious, I'll try http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif Well I'd say a river is just countless drops of water. A river starts out as one drop of water anyway. Rivers always start in mountains, and when some snow starts to melt and it just drips one drop at a time, and eventually it makes a puddle, then a pond, then a lake, then all the water in the lake flows down the mountainside as a river.


I don't know if anyone here is a student, but school sucks, thank our god IMLADIL that it's over soon. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

The Master
05-21-2000, 08:46 PM
Yes. Ii must agree Chillin. I get out June 6. Then during the summer Ii will start my plan of taking over the universe! Hahahahaha... of coarse with Imladils permission.

[This message has been edited by The Master (edited May 21, 2000).]

Chillin
05-22-2000, 01:03 AM
To get back on topic here's a koan: If we are not "this crude matter" than what are we?
(Quoting Yoda)

Imladil
05-22-2000, 01:12 AM
Permission to enjoy happiness denied! Instead of having a nice summer vacation, you both will have to attend summer education. Oh, it's not that bad. I have five classes selected that you can take (choose two.)

1: Tapestry weaving in ancient Rome. Learn how to make wall hangings the old fashioned way! Evening classes conducted by firelight.

2: Spanish for farmers. Learn the all-important linguistic skills needed by the modern industrial farmer (so you can talk with your workers, pendejo.)

3: Mystical symbolism of Buddhist Tibet. Ever stare at a sand painting for eighteen hours? Here's your chance!

4: Practical math for quantum physicists. Ever deal with numerical equations that essentially describe how a thing can be both everything and nothing? Aspirin provided with course materials.

5: Training badgers at home for blood sport. (My personal favorite.) Get a foothold in the nightlife while experiencing the beauty and brutality of mother nature firsthand. Course not offered in any state with a criminal justice system.

It'll be fun--you'll see. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

Imladil
05-22-2000, 01:18 AM
Chillin: you posted your koan while I was working on that last post. I will have to compose my answer carefully...probably tonight, after I've had a chance to think on it.

Essentially, you're wandering into the philosophical void of soul existance. Dicey stuff.

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

Imladil
05-22-2000, 05:27 AM
All rightey, then. Here we go. My purpose here is to provide a possible explanation for the mystery discussed, but not necessarily the only one (a nod to In Search Of, there.) I'm one of those whackos that think that all the religions are talking about pretty much the same thing, and this explanation is going to wander a bit from worldview to worldview in stark refusal of recognizing those cultural boundaries. It is not my intention to offend or alienate anyone who believes differently...but in order to address Chillin's koan, I will have to discuss my own beliefs a bit. Think of it as philosophy instead of religion, if that helps. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Anyway. In the second Star Wars movie, Yoda takes up the enormous task of teaching Luke about the true nature of the Force and the universe in general. When he speaks of being 'luminous beings, not this crude stuff,' Yoda seems to be indicating that our bodies and our selves are of different natures. Without using the word soul, by talking of that quality which transcends the physical he is nevertheless speaking of the same thing.

Okay, smart guy. What is a soul? And how is it different from our physical bodies?

In ancient wisdom we find mention of four elements...and a fifth, often called 'aether.' Not to be confused with element elements (which we now chart extensively on the periodic table), these four can best be described as the four vibrational states of matter. Heat is vibration, and the amount of heat applied to a substance makes it take one of four forms: solid, liquid, gaseous or plasma (a candle flame is a plasma). The fifth state, 'aether,' is best equated with our conventional understanding of energy. Since good old Einstein has already demonstrated quite well that energy and matter are interchangeable, we can see how energy is the fifth state of being that this 'stuff' takes.

But a soul is something else altogether. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

We discuss this matter quite a bit at www.jediknight.net*. (http://www.jediknight.net*.) I tend to represent the new age mystic on the forum, so the question was directed to me once why the new-agers tended to think that their souls were comprised of energy. After some discussion, we decided that 'energy' is a thing that can be measured--and a soul clearly cannot be measured...but I did argue successfully that the soul would have to be able to manifest energy from time to time so that it could interact with the physical body. One cannot deny that the soul interacts with the physical self, and that interaction implies an energy/matter relationship of some sort. But it is more than mere energy; when we die, we go somewhere outside the physical universe, and no matter which form you think that afterlife takes...it no longer takes place in the form of physical existance.

The best description I've been able to come up with for what it is that makes a soul real, is that it is the soul's own point of view which makes it real. Basically, if you're here and you're perceiving yourself to be here...you have a soul. One could almost say, 'I think; therefore, I am,' but that would be getting Descartes before des horse. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Okay. Nice use of new age pseudo-religious Star Trek-science bull**** there, Imladil, but you still haven't given us a good explanation of what is a soul made of? Well, no I haven't. We don't know the answer to that question, but I can tell you that it is more or less the conclusion of mystics throughout history that the soul ultimately resides not in the body at all...but as a part of the greater glory of God. We are each, it would seem to this humble mystic, a smaller spark of a greater flame. And that flame is the only true reality, with this whole physical existance thing a play of light and shadows--not real at all, but an illusion.

So, if my soul is real, and the entire physical universe is an illusion of less substantiality...can I get out of paying taxes? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif I mean, why bother?

*<font size=1>I go by the handle Zoom Rabbit, in the 'Cantina' forum--stop in and visit me there, too! </font> http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

[This message has been edited by Imladil (edited May 22, 2000).]

The Master
05-22-2000, 12:06 PM
So if we as humans have souls, what about animals?

Imladil
05-22-2000, 11:31 PM
Well, this is just my own take on the matter...but every living thing that is created, experiences existance, then dies would naturally have a soul. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif All the way down to the amoeba.

Okay, here is a new koan for today:

"How real is the image in a mirror?" As usual, the immediate answer misses the point. Obviously, the reflection is just that--light bouncing back the other way. More to the point, how can we be sure which is the original image and which is the reflection?

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

Chillin
05-23-2000, 01:32 AM
I didn't think anyone would take this so seriously, I'm IMLADIL either your some sort of genius and pull this stuff from the top of your head or you really did some research.
Good God some of this stuff is deep!

Imladil
05-23-2000, 05:43 AM
Thanks, Chillin. Mysticism and the greater nature of reality in general are a subject of much thought for me. I do a lot of research into the matter, but a lot of it comes from within as well. Normally, I don't talk about this stuff at this forum because the subject branches so readily into religion...and not everyone here wants to open up a debate on religion! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

On the other hand, we can certainly discuss these questions from the philosophical point of view. The zen koan is an instrument of philosophy as well as spiritual enlightenment, so they can be safely discussed in a secular setting. Besides, they exercise the 'brain muscles.'

...And y'all thought you were here just to talk about video games! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

Shootist
05-23-2000, 10:42 AM
As for the 'drop of water' matter. How big IS a drop? Rain drops even come in different sizes. As far as I can see, no drop of water is capable of doing much by itself. One drop doesn't halt a drought, slake a thirst, make a good shower, or even last very long alone. About the only thing a single drop can do is short out my electric curlers. Nothing great. When united they are perhaps the strongest force on Earth. Perhaps a metaphor for the frailty of the human condition?

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VERY FUNNY SCOTTY, now please beam down my PANTS!!!

Chillin
05-23-2000, 11:32 AM
IMLADIL, about the reflection in the mirror, well I think you have a point. How do we now we're not looking on into some other dimension where we aren't real in the physical state.

Or mabey the reflection is our soul and It's taking a look at us, mabey it is our soul and it creates an illusion in our brain to make us believe we are seeing ourselves. If it is just an illusion made by the soul than how do we know what we really look like, our faces could be hideous and we would never know.

Mabey our souls can even project this image to other people so we look the same to everyone.

Back on that other dimension thing how do we know that we are not the reflection? Just because we can feel and touch things? You all saw the Matrix right? Well they said our senses are just electrical impulses to the brain, it doesn't deside which of those impulses is real it just makes us think they're real. I think that kindof comes close to what your asking. So basicaly we may never know if the image in the mirror is real. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/confused.gif This stuff is going to keep me up all night!

Imladil
05-23-2000, 07:16 PM
Yow! Disengage mental drive for awhile there, buddy, let things cool down a bit. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif You're gonna look awful silly if your hair catches on fire...

When stuck in a repeating logic loop of the type Chillin describes with the mirror, it can be helpful to smash the mirror. Reality reasserts itself almost immediately.

How big can a drop of water be, Shootist? I dunno, how big are the world's oceans, anyway? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif When I consider the drop of water koan, I find it to be an exploration of form. A drop of water is only a separate drop so long as it remains apart from the 'great drop'...then it ceases to exist as an individual drop when it rejoins the ocean--and yet, that drop of water is not destroyed at all. By considering the relationship between drops and 'great drop' I see reflected a good model of how our physical universe is constantly doing the same thing (albeit on a different scale.) But that's just what I get from it...it should reveal different truths to each individual who considers it deeply enough.

Zen elephant joke:

Q: "What has a trunk, four legs and floppy ears?"
A: "It is not an elephant."

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif


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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

Chillin
05-23-2000, 09:30 PM
I did all that in the morning before school, I don't know mabey that time when I'm awake, but not quite, is the time when I really think.

The Master
05-23-2000, 09:55 PM
Well, Imladil, could it be an, ummmmmmm, Elephant?

Chillin
05-23-2000, 10:04 PM
I guess I'm slow or something but I didn't get IMLADIL's joke. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/confused.gif

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I have graced this topic with my artistic writing, you should all be forever thankful.

Shootist
05-24-2000, 12:09 AM
REFLECTION of an elephant!!!

Chillin
05-24-2000, 12:29 AM
Alright I got it, I got it. Take it easy. Yikes.

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I have graced this topic with my artistic writing, you should all be forever thankful.

Imladil
05-24-2000, 05:23 PM
One possible answer to the elephant riddle: it could be a rabbit on vacation.

Okay, so that wasn't really a koan. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif I just wanted to keep things loose...

For today, I have a real one (Well, as real as my pink little brain comes up with, anyway.) "Does a rainbow have a middle?"

<font size=1>Curious note: the half awake or hypnagogic state that Chillin describes is the same state of mind sought by meditation.</font>

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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

Chillin
05-24-2000, 08:50 PM
Well IMLADIL a rainbow is just light reflecting off of water droplets, and light doesn't have mass(I think) so I'd say a rainbow doesn't have a middle. But if you mean something like can you cut a rainbow in half in the middle then, yes.
Here's a practical koan...

Why do ion lasers(in rogue squadron) blow up everything instead of disabling it, except for that train. I understand that the TIEs would just fall to the ground like usual, but why don't Turbolasers or AT-STs just stop and be disabled?

The Master
05-24-2000, 09:12 PM
Well the game programers probably didn't have time to program all that extra stuff, like being able to disable smaller insignificant enemys. And it would confuse the computer anyways, because you would hit the enemy a certain amount of times and that would be the amount of regular fire power you have to shot it regularly. Just my ideas. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Shootist
05-24-2000, 10:24 PM
That and the fact that BOOMs and FLAMES sell better. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

Imladil
05-25-2000, 03:42 AM
Hmmm...I think that the ion cannon disables just fine; it's just in the AT-ST's nature to blow up, that's all.

Q: "Why did the chicken walker cross the road?"
A: "Because I was CHASING IT--! C'mere, you little **** dog! I'm a-gonna BLAST ya!"

The rainbow koan makes more sense if you've ever tried to find the rainbow's end. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif How can a thing with no end have a middle? Actually, I tried this one on somebody at work, and they pointed out that if you see a rainbow while you're in the air, it's actually circular...and in that case the rainbow's middle would have to be in the center of the circle--not on the rainbow at all.

Interesting thing, the circle. Ever try to draw a perfect circle, freehand? It's almost impossible, but doing so was a mental exercise that was another facet of zen meditation. The artist believed that the condition of his circle was a reflection of his state of mind...and that he could only draw a perfect circle if he was perfectly enlightened. Try it...you may be surprised how hard it is to do!

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif




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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

Evil Spock
05-25-2000, 06:55 AM
Well, my circle looks like a squashed puppy.

What went wrong?

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"Beware the bearded one."

Imladil
05-25-2000, 06:58 AM
Nothing went wrong. Since you are an evil Vulcan space pirate from an alternate universe, the squashed puppy state of mind is probably an accurate potrayal of your psyche.

My circle doesn't look like a circle at all, but a sphere. Someone explain that to me... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
05-25-2000, 03:38 PM
And who might that be?

Chillin
05-25-2000, 07:34 PM
Mine looks pretty close except that it looks slightly more like an oval.

Shootist
05-25-2000, 11:59 PM
Mine looks like a hairy egg...with a machette buried in it.

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VERY FUNNY SCOTTY, now please beam down my PANTS!!!

Chillin
05-26-2000, 12:51 PM
SHOOTIST, how many times have you been to an insane asylum?

The Master
05-26-2000, 05:25 PM
My circle looked like Kason's head exploding.

Shootist
05-26-2000, 11:44 PM
Just this once...I promise. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

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VERY FUNNY SCOTTY, now please beam down my PANTS!!!

[This message has been edited by Shootist (edited May 28, 2000).]

Chillin
05-28-2000, 07:58 PM
Another question about wierd things on the game that has the same answer as the one about the ion lasers...Why do stormtroopers blow up and how would you be able hear them scream way up in the air?

The Master
05-28-2000, 09:43 PM
Well, I have a theory of why they blow up. They look like they have some kind of pack on that would explod when shot.

Imladil
05-28-2000, 09:45 PM
Howdy, folx! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Today's koan: "How can Imladil surf the web if his roommate doesn't pay his ISP bill?"

Answer: I should be back wednesday or so. (Today I'm using my mom's computer while I make curried chicken.)

About the ion cannon bit. I've been playing a lot of XvT lately, and I just installed the additional Balance of Power campaigns which have included a B-wing fighter. Now, I still like the A-wing...but I did have to try out the new ship. It has an ion cannon that disables nicely.

To test fly the B-wing, I selected the custom dogfight scenario, then picked a fight with TIE fighters. Just for kicks, I disabled all of the TIEs, then went back around and blew them up at my leisure.

I just hope the Imperial pilots had a sense of humor. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif


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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

Shootist
05-29-2000, 01:47 PM
What's the big deal about icon cannons all of a sudden? Why waste time throwing all those cute little pictures at spacecraft? ....Icon cannons indeed... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

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VERY FUNNY SCOTTY, now please beam down my PANTS!!!

Red 12
05-29-2000, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by Imladil:
In Zen Buddhist tradition, there is a kind of riddle known as a koan. Unlike our western riddles, which have a humorous climax or a point of some kind, the zen koan is an open-ended riddle with no right or wrong answer. The riddle should be paradoxical in nature, ideally pointing in some way to the inifinite. The zen student would meditate long on a koan, and by doing so he would (hopefully) discover his true nature and become enlightened. A good zen koan can keep one wondering for days, until you finally come up with your own answer.

Creating a zen koan can be interesting and fun! I invite everyone to contribute (they don't have to be strict, by the letter zen koans). If they have to do with Star Wars, great...but since the Jedi are a lot like the Samurai, this is fairly close to being on topic anyway. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

I'll start.

"What is the color of nothing?"

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif?



How far is up?

The Master
05-29-2000, 08:00 PM
I'll tell you how far up is! As far as you can go up!

Shootist
05-29-2000, 10:31 PM
Is water soluble?

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VERY FUNNY SCOTTY, now please beam down my PANTS!!!

The Master
05-30-2000, 05:28 PM
I think so.

Imladil
05-31-2000, 05:58 PM
Hmm. Good ones, there. Water is definitely soluble in water...but not in oil. I find that koan to be an exploration of how some things blend and others don't, which actually is profound when you apply it against the greater backdrop of things.

"How far is up?" http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif I'm still working on that one...

I have a serious koan and a silly one today. The serious one is: "What is the difference between nothingness and infinity?" The silly one is about lollipops.

Q: "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsieroll pop?"

A: "Why didn't I get candy?"

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"Is the state of being realized as important as realizing the state of being?"
--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
05-31-2000, 07:11 PM
I took the candy.

Shootist
06-01-2000, 12:25 AM
Just a quick guess IMLADIL...Nothingness is the absence of anything, whereas:Infinity is having so much of anything there is no end to it. ? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

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VERY FUNNY SCOTTY, now please beam down my PANTS!!!

Imladil
06-01-2000, 06:09 AM
'How far is up?' Well, go find it, and tell me when you get there. Here's one for ya--the center of the Earth is always straight down, no matter where you are. What's up wit' dat? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Hmm. The nothingness and infinity koan was a bit too vague, I think. I'll come up with a better way of attacking the notion, but it may take awhile. Instead, let's focus on just infinity. What is it? Well, an infinite number is a number without end...and as strange as it may seem, such values can and do exist in our universe. Allow me to demonstrate.

*(Imladil produces a yardstick and a machete, lays them on the table...then grins broadly.)*

There are an infinite number of points along this yardstick. A point, for definition's sake, is a location only...it has no width, no height, etc. I can prove it by showing how you can divide the yardstick in half an infinite number of times without destroying it.

*WHACK!*

Okay, now we have a foot and a half...exactly half of the three feet we began with. Nevermind the table--it isn't real. I'll divide it in half again.

*WHACK*

Three-quarters of a foot. *WHACK!* Three eighths. I could do this again and again, just to prove the point, but you can already see that no matter how small the piece of yardstick becomes, you can divide it in half...an infinite number of times. And no--we aren't focusing on how small an atom is here, because I'm actually discussing points in the geometrical sense rather than the physical yardstick itself. Assuming that we can always scale ourselves down to divide that length in half, this becomes an example of what is called infinite regression.

So...if there is infinity implied in the existance of this mere yardstick, I wonder just how big forever really is. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

The nothingness is altogether different (or is it? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif)--bear in mind that true nothingness cannot be conceived of because any observer present to witness it would be something. Don't worry about comparing these two concepts...I'll come up with a koan to do just that later. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

I'll close with a new zen-type signature:

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality and discovered instead the real nature of truth."
--Thrustweasel of Earth

[This message has been edited by Imladil (edited June 01, 2000).]

The Master
06-01-2000, 06:33 PM
Nicly explained Imladil!

Imladil
06-01-2000, 07:18 PM
You just liked the machete part.

The Master
06-01-2000, 07:20 PM
I know!

Chillin
06-03-2000, 07:50 PM
Here's a koan:
"How much wood would a Wood Chuck chuck if a Wood Chuck could chuck wood." http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

------------------
"Life is fair." It has now been written.

Innror
06-03-2000, 07:52 PM
probably a lot... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

The Master
06-03-2000, 09:32 PM
More than you could.

Imladil
06-04-2000, 05:38 AM
Well, in thinking on my nothingess and infinity koan, it occured to me that it's already been done...and it's a philosophical argument I'd never really delved into enough to understand:

"How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"

Rather than being an illustration of useless debate, as this phrase is sometimes used, it gets to the ideas I'm focusing on. I've already discussed infinity (yes, and machetes), so next I'll go into the concept of nothingess.

When you close your eyes and try to envision nothingness...what you conceive is not true nothingess at all, but emptiness. After all--you're there, witnessing the emptiness, so it is not truly nothing at all. As long as there is a perceiving witness or relative object of some kind, there is...there is 'existance,' which is more than nothing. In fact, even if you conceive of the nothingness and call it such--by doing so, you have made it something. Nothingess...cannot exist in our universe.

Yet all that is came out from nothingess with the creation of the universe. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif Before there was 'existance,' there had to be a beginning point of nonexistance. In essence, if you meditate long and deeply enough on this matter, you may come to find that if the seeds of all existance (in which there is implied infinity) come from nothingess, then nothingess can itself be seen as a greater concept than even infinity.

Great. So everything is nothing...and in nothing is everything. Just wonderful, Imladil. What the heck are we supposed to do with that?

Simple: tell me how many angels there are on that pinhead. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

Chillin
06-04-2000, 03:03 PM
I believe that the Angle koan is a matter of ones own perspective. For instance in your own minds eye do you see angles as big as normal people or do you see them as tiny little things that sit on your shoulder and argue with the demon on your other shoulder?
Or you might see them as beings that can change their shape and form, they decide on how they look to you and what form they come in whether an invisible specter, or in the form of a person.

I belive they are "shape shifters" so I'd say all the angles in heaven could stand on the pinhead if they wanted.

About the nothingness and infinity koan...well I think I'll stay out of that one.

------------------
"Life is fair." It has now been written.

The Master
06-04-2000, 06:43 PM
That's nice. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

Chillin
06-04-2000, 10:55 PM
Isn't it? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Imladil
06-05-2000, 09:20 AM
Chillin: staying away from infinity/nothingness is probably a good idea for you, given what happened with the mirror. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Interesting discussion there on the nature of angels. Curiously enough, that was one part of the koan I let go of, just taking as a given that an angel would need only one dimensional point in order to exist. Of course, an angel is much more than a single point in space...being self aware (aware of its own existance) means that it exists in at least three dimensions.

Hmm. That reasoning was a bit tenuous. Allow me to explain: any being that is aware of itself manifests its existance by recognizing itself. Self recognition implies that there are at least two--the perceiver and the perceived--and it then follows that there must be a third element as a division between them (as space, no matter how small, must cross something.)* This complexity of nature precludes existance as a single point in space.

So, our angels must have some space in which to exist after all. Now the argument becomes: can they scale themselves down infinitely in order to fit more of them on the pinhead, and is there a limit?

Meanwhile, I have a new koan for this evening (actually, it's 3:30 am here). "Why does it not rain?" Enjoy. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

<font size=1>*This existance-requiring-three bit is an example of trinity, a metaphysical concept which seems to be reflected in most of our world's religions, BTW.</font>

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
06-05-2000, 02:56 PM
Does it have any thing to do with me?

Lt Cracken
06-05-2000, 11:32 PM
'Cuse your in a desert during the summer season.

------------------
Even if you dodge this, Kakarotto,
THIS PLANET'S GOING UP IN SMOKE!!
Vegeta, DragonBall Z

Imladil
06-06-2000, 05:36 AM
Ah, but even in the hottest, driest desert on our world, there is some water in the air, precipitating into miscroscopic droplets that fall when the air cools at night. Can this be considered rain?

What about at the bottom of the ocean? Can it be said to be raining all the time? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

In outer space, there is a certain amount of frozen water contained in small comets and icy asteroids. As these objects enter our gravity well and plummet to Earth, can they be considered rain?

On the other hand...

When we speak of rain, we usually mean the atmospheric phenomenon where water vapor precipitates around dust particles and then falls to Earth as raindrops. From our perspective, 'it is raining' is a clear judgement call to make--simply hold out your hand and see if it gets wet! When viewed in this way, one can answer the koan easily: "Because it can't rain all the time."

As usual, the koan had absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand. It was an illustration of how resolving one's point of view is an important first step to resolving a question. In real life, well meaning people can discuss a matter, and because they have failed to take the other's point of view into account, they may wind up completely misunderstanding each other.

Unless you get something else out of it. This is zen, after all... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

Imladil
06-06-2000, 05:39 AM
Oh, yeah...a new koan. A silly one, this time: "How did the chicken become the road?"

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Innror
06-06-2000, 06:43 AM
That's an easy one. It fell into the asphalt machine..... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Chillin
06-06-2000, 07:24 PM
So basically the rain koan was a trick question?

Imladil
06-06-2000, 08:28 PM
Yup. Actually, all zen riddles are trick questions of one kind or another. The point to a trick question is not the question itself but a direct pointing at the process of analysis...and this is entirely what zen is about.

HO! *Smack!*

Another zen tradition: the master would, at the appropriate time, shout or smack the student with a stick. This was another approach, ment to startle the student into suddenly realizing the true nature of reality by removing him from his own train of thought.

Personally, I think the zen masters were a little crazy... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

Shootist
06-07-2000, 01:07 AM
Smack? With a Stick? Ain't no Zen Brother...that's my ex-WIFE!!! She was so mean Leona Helmsley used to come over for lessons!!!

------------------
VERY FUNNY SCOTTY, now please beam down my PANTS!!!

Imladil
06-07-2000, 05:05 AM
Ah, yes. Pink Dragon Lady...very powerful samurai. We still honor her in a number of shrines. She is always depicted with the frying pan and rolling pin, her weapons of choice.

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Evil Spock
06-07-2000, 05:18 AM
Evil Spock here. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif I think another interesting bit of Japanese culture that we can explore here and have fun with would be the practice of seppuku.

Did I say seppuku? I meant haiku, a form of poetry. The idea is to express a pure or tranquil moment in precisely sixteen syllables. For example:

'Gently I put the sun out; nice birds come no longer toward me.'

Or:

'Once I liked this bar. It is too bad these bullets aren't hollow-point.'

Hah? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif Next?

------------------
"Beware the bearded one."

The Master
06-07-2000, 07:10 PM
....But Zens are Zens.....

Chillin
06-07-2000, 07:15 PM
Hows this?

"The elite, they are sleek, swift, and deadly. They are the X-Wing fighters."

Pretty good huh?

------------------
"Tis easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

Imladil
06-08-2000, 08:03 AM
'Crash goes the X-wing. It flies straight into the mountain's side at dawn.' http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

More zen riddles for The Master? Okay, how about this one: "How does one go north from the North Pole?"

Meanwhile, I have a haiku that I know Shootist will like. 'Help me please from the ladies' shower; this black eye does not see well.' http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

[This message has been edited by Imladil (edited June 08, 2000).]

The Master
06-08-2000, 01:23 PM
I know this one! You go UP the pole at the north pole. There for you go north! Ha ha! I am brilliant!

Chillin
06-08-2000, 01:43 PM
MASTER, if you went up the pole at the North Pole you would actually be going up in altitude, completely different from going North.

Well if there was a center to this galaxy, and it was considered North then you could go north by going into space and flying towards it. On this planet you would not be able to go any farther North because you are at North. From the North Pole then inly direction you can go is South, assuming you do not skip dimensions or go into space.

------------------
"Tis easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

The Master
06-08-2000, 04:39 PM
DON'T ARGUE WITH ME!

Imladil
06-08-2000, 07:43 PM
So, is north an absolute (as Chillin seems to be saying), or is north relative? Is north merely 'not south,' or do we come to places where there simply is no more north?

I, of course, would find more north by shrinking my perspective; after all, when you go down in size to an inch or so, suddenly the pole is over that way again! Unless you were balanced so perfectly on the pole that it coincided with your bodily meridian. Then it becomes a question of whether perfection truly exists in this universe, because once we start regressing the scale on such a balance, the slightest flaw would upset it completely.

HO! *Smack!*

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

Imladil
06-08-2000, 07:50 PM
It occurs to me that the 'shout-and-stick' tradition (known as katsui) could be vastly misinterpreted if overheard in a rough neighborhood.

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Lt Cracken
06-08-2000, 11:58 PM
G/p, Imladil. Kids, don't try to teach bhuddist Zen to children in the ghetto, or other rough neighborhoods. you WILL get shot. a public service announcement.

------------------
Even if you dodge this, Kakarotto,
THIS PLANET'S GOING UP IN SMOKE!!
Vegeta, DragonBall Z

Shootist
06-09-2000, 12:52 AM
IMLADIL, how considerate to think of my lobido. However..."Help me please back into the ladies' shower, I have one more good eye!"

------------------
VERY FUNNY SCOTTY, now please beam down my PANTS!!!

Chillin
06-09-2000, 02:11 AM
Alright guys here's a new koan:

"How far is far?"

Another question: (not a koan)
How do you make your words bold?

------------------
"Tis easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

Imladil
06-09-2000, 09:30 AM
I make my words bold with whiskey and youthful arrogance. Plus I wear a sword. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif Seriously...put a b in in front of what you want boldfaced, and behind it the same thing only backslashed (like this: /b, inside the brackets.) If you're still confused, click on the edit button for this post and you can see how it's done.

'Shoo--away with temple monkeys! I have no matches to give them.' (Today's haiku.)

Intriguing koan, [b]Chillin. Far is a relative matter. Since I was looking for my remote control today, while the teevee was just ten feet away (but still 'too far' to just change the channel manually,) I'd have to say that for me, far is just under ten feet. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif A serious look at it would be to relate myself to what I understand of the size of the universe...this would be a conceptual exploration, so it would have to be visualized in a meditational context. I get as far as understanding how big I am compared to the world before I lose my sense of perspective, but you can (in theory, anyway) conceive of that scale when applied to the solar system, galaxy, galactic cluster, etc. This is harder than it sounds: you have to relate your scale to your house, then your city...maybe your county or province, whichever, truly understanding how big you are in comparison...taking that understanding into larger and larger perspectives. It is awesome, though, when you get a glimpse of understanding just how big things really are.

Or how far. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
06-09-2000, 02:08 PM
It is kind of like the question "How far is up" It is as far as you want it to be. I did a little research. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Chillin
06-09-2000, 06:48 PM
What IMLADIL is saying about comparing your self to the Universe and such, don't do it. I thought about it, it makes you fell so insignificant and depressed.

------------------
"Tis easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

Chillin
06-09-2000, 07:13 PM
A word of advice... don't actually start comparing yourself to the Universe, I did, it makes you feel insignificant and depressed.

Thank youImladil!

------------------
"Tis easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

Imladil
06-09-2000, 08:47 PM
Depressed? Oh, no, my friend...that means you haven't followed that line of reasoning through all the way. You see, one of the greatest wonders about the nature of our existance is that despite how insignificant one individual is in comparison to all the rest of the universe, that individual is A: unique, B: aware of its own existance, and C: has qualities that transcend the material plane. What do I mean by that last part? Essentially that everything else in the universe (non-living) can be completely known if analyzed...if you bust a rock and thoroughly analyze the rubble, you can know everything there is to know about that rock--how much of what element, mass, etc. No more mystery (assuming you have perfect science.)

But a living being is different. The nature of consciousness is such that it is constantly generating new ideas, putting new observations together to form new theories. If you know everything there is to know about that being one moment, then by the next it has created new elements to its psyche. And, there are times when our minds clearly think way, way outside the box (which is entirely what zen is about) that give us reason to recognize that we are truly special...small, but hardly insignificant! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

So, taking our own special nature into consideration, let us look again at us compared to that vast universe. There is a part of ourselves (the ego) that wants to believe that we are great...this is because sometimes that big universe can seem scary, and it tries to protect itself by 'puffing itself up' like some puffer fish making a threat display. The universe, of course, is ambivalent to such 'ego-puffing,' but it does make us feel better about ourselves...it is a useful part of our psyche in this sense, but it can lead to distortion in our worldview if it gets out of control! I'm sure we've all met people of this category (I tend to be one. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif) When we take the time to compare our egos to reality, we can get ourselves closer to the truth. The trick is to face that subconscious fear of being small by remembering what it is about oneself that is special. Then we can honestly rejoice about how wonderfully complex the universe is and how important our place in it is. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

So, Chillin, I hope you can use this to fix the depression! If not, I'll have to act silly and 'sneak in the back door' so to speak...

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

Chillin
06-10-2000, 12:19 AM
Imladil, are you a phychiatrist? If not you sure do think about alot of stuff. I just tend to not really worry about much and don't really look into the deeper jist of things, if I did I would probably be able to realize stuff like that and be a lot smarter for it. I will try to change.

I not sure would that qualify as an epiphany?


------------------
"Tis easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

Shootist
06-10-2000, 12:45 AM
Sorry for missin'out fer a while...long hours saving capitalism this week...tired.

You can actually go to the North Pole and still go North. There are two North Poles. Really! There is the geographic NP and then there's the magnetic NP, one has to do with maps, the other has to do with the mass of the Earth and where the magnetic poles around the earth converge in the northern hemisphere. That's the one your compass points to. So, if you're standing at one NP, simply rephrase your goal. You'll be a few miles away from the other pole. When you get THERE. change your quest again and go back to the first pole. Theoretically you could go from ONE North Pole, change your mind and go to the OTHER pole forever...or 'til you froze yer tuckus off. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

------------------
VERY FUNNY SCOTTY, now please beam down my PANTS!!!

Imladil
06-10-2000, 06:24 AM
No, Chillin, I'm afraid that I'm just a cook. You want fries with that? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Epiphany: regardless of that ridiculous commercial with Avery Brooks (which gets the concept of epiphany totally wrong), an epiphany is a profound realization that goes beyond words. When one receives an epiphany, one suddenly understands a complex situation or relationship on a level that goes beyond our own reasoning...this is due largely in part to the realization coming from God Himself. A good example would be an astronaut (I forget which one, but this did happen) seeing the world from space for the first time...and just from that, coming to a profound understanding about his own place in all of it. In the far east, this process of learning 'from God' as it were is called enlightenment (not to be confused with illumination, where you 'see the light') and is the actual intended result of the practice of zen. Zen is basically intended to prepare the mind for receiving enlightenment...or epiphany, as it were.

But, learning directly from God isn't something people just decide to do! Most aspirants in the east study their arts and meditate all their lives without receiving the truth, while there are some rare folk who have and understand the all of it from day one (I call this 'the path of Bubba.') There are a number of factors involved in preparing the mind, body and soul for enlightenment, and the requirements vary from person to person. Most religions deal with these requirements directly, with Buddhism taking the most straightforward approach (although I, personally, am Christian.)

My advice for any who wish to pursue such a path would be to take up a religion and a system of meditation both. I believe you mentioned a church group, Chillin, so it would seem that you have that part covered. While I personally enjoy zen and its indirect approach to realization, I must give Kabbalah the vote for being more useful to the earnest westerner who wishes to simply learn the truth. There are a number of good introductory books on the subject, with my pick being The Elements of the Qabalah by Will Parfitt.

I give Shootist extra points for the north pole observation. It would seem that north is relative and not absolute. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

It was busy at work and my brain is too fried to do a good koan for tonight. I'll do a nice haiku instead:

'Strange noises from my refrigerator...I think it wants me dead.'

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif



------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

Imladil
06-10-2000, 08:28 AM
Okay, I guess there was a new koan in that muddle after all: "Where does a circle end?"

Discussion tomorrow. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Shootist
06-10-2000, 01:31 PM
When your pencil runs out of lead.

The Master
06-10-2000, 01:59 PM
Good point SHOOTIST.

Chillin
06-10-2000, 02:36 PM
I'm gonna miss the discussion, it sounds like a good one too. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

------------------
"Tis easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

The Master
06-10-2000, 07:42 PM
We will try to up date you the best we can when you get back.

Imladil
06-10-2000, 07:42 PM
Some would say that a circle doesn't have an end...but I say that's circular reasoning which gets us nowhere. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Let's look at the whole circle, not just the path in space it describes. In the course of its existance, is there any time when it does have an end?

Aspirin suggested with this koan. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
06-11-2000, 11:27 PM
Life is like a circle. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Imladil
06-12-2000, 06:55 AM
I thought that life was like a dream. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif Just kidding. You got it, buddy...if you substitute life for existance. Life is linear in nature, but existance is circular. We'll see what I mean by that shortly.

Okay, here's my interpretation of the circle koan. When we look at a circle, we're seeing a design drawn on a sheet of paper (at least, that's what I've been visualizing here.) Obviously, there is no end in the design; it is a whole, closed structure without any difference between one point on it and the next. A line has an end; a circle does not.

My trick is to think of the circle as it exists throughout its lifetime. I then come up with two possible answers.

The first answer: the circle is drawn onto the paper, so it will end when the paper ends. Essentially, the circle's existance is dependant on the paper...so when that paper is destroyed, so too is the circle. This means that the circle has a linear nature after all--it was created when I drew it, it existed awhile as an endless design, then it ended when the paper was finally burned, shredded or whatever fate it eventually suffered. One could argue that graphite residue on what remains of the paper still exists, so the circle doesn't truly end, but I would simply say that it is no longer a circle. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

The second answer: (my favorite) the circle did indeed have an end as I was drawing it. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif When I put the pencil to the paper and began drawing, that point could be considered the 'end' of the line before the circle closed. The 'end' in this case is also the beginning, and exists not in space but in time...precisely at the time of the circle's creation. End becomes beginning, and the circle can be seen to have a cicular nature.

This is a model of the nature of existance. Yes, I am using circular logic, but that's kind of the point. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

Imladil
06-14-2000, 01:17 AM
Greetings. This post is the 108th...and 108 is a holy number in Hindu ideology. I've heard several explanations, but they went over my head. Something to do with the relationship between the human heartbeat and cosmological rhythms. Well, whatever it means, it should bring us good fortune.

Today's koan: "Does fire have a living nature?"

Or, put another way, can one prove in entirely objective terms that fire is not alive? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

And a haiku: 'I light the flares on my roof--perhaps tonight the saucers will land.' http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

If I get a running start at that sucker, can I distract it with my sword?

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

Chillin
06-18-2000, 05:45 PM
Hey! I like this topic don't stop posting here!

------------------
"Tis easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

HiddenTalon
06-19-2000, 01:13 AM
<marquee>Fire is a zen element, therefore it can't be alive (unless water, stone, air etc are too)</marquee>

------------------
Name: HiddenTalon
Email: HiddenTalon@mail.com
Occupation: Crashing virtual X-Wings
Webpage: www.scabmaps.cjb.net (http://www.scabmaps.cjb.net)

[This message has been edited by HiddenTalon (edited June 19, 2000).]

Imladil
06-19-2000, 09:51 AM
Ahhh. (Inscrutable oriental-type aaah.) There is another samurai at the table...now we're getting somewhere! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

By going back to the elemental view, you have successfully gotten to the root of the matter. Now...by elements, I'm not talking about the periodic table of elements, but rather the older description of vibrational matter states I talked about on page one of this thread. Fire is what we call a plasma, and it is just another form that matter can take if raised to the proper temperature. Once we've determined that it is this vibrational state which is responsible for the behavior it exhibits (consuming oxygen, growing, consuming fuel, etc.), we can see that this is not life but a simple chemical reaction.

Although life is itself a chemical process! When we consider this, we immediately see what it is about our chemical process that distinguishes it from the simpler ones of nature: the accompanying consciousness. Once we've figured that out, though, it is interesting to note that the objective reasoning process has taken on a note of subjectivity--one must make a subjective decision as to whether the living being is experiencing consciousness instead of merely generating responses from a chemically-driven thought process. My point: consciousness cannot be determined from objective (or left-brained) reasoning alone--one must use the other side of the brain to make that call. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

More on the five elements. When reading Musashi's Book of Five Rings, I noticed that he'd arranged his work in five 'scrolls,' being earth, water, fire, air and nothingess. Curiously enough, in the Kabbalist tradition--from the other side of the world altogether--the five elements are related to the five 'sephirot' on the central pillar on the Tree of Life. Those five sephirot are in the same order, and lead the meditator from the lowest level, that of the phenomenal reality (earth) up to the Great Mystery itself* (nothingness.) Essentially, this codgey old samurai was laying a path for spiritual realization into his book...and his means are identical to those in Jewish mystical practice that he almost certainly knew nothing about!

Kinda makes ya wonder. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Chillin, I'm glad you're back! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif Yes, the discussion was kind of dying away. I had a feeling it would spark up when you got back, though. How was Florida? Did the house make it up okay?

No koans or haiku for tonight. I'm off tomorrow, so I'll post some then...

<font size=1>*This very same sequence, earth to nothingness, was the path followed in my thread 'A very nice story that has nothing to do with Star Wars.' It should be a few days down the forum topics list, if anyone's curious.</font>



------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
06-19-2000, 02:51 PM
You meen I didn't help keep ths up while he was gone. I was the one who gave all the dinky little explanations. You gotta give me credit for that!

Chillin
06-19-2000, 04:03 PM
Imladil, you say something must be conscious for it to be alive? Well a plant is alive but not conscious, explain that!

------------------
"Tis easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

The Master
06-19-2000, 07:34 PM
Ii have something to say about that! Imladil dosn't know every thing. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Imladil
06-19-2000, 09:36 PM
Okay smart guy...what is consciousness? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/tongue.gif

A plant exhibits signs of consciousness on a very limited level...but it is certainly enough to distinguish the nature of its existance from that of simple chemical reactions. The plant reacts to changes in its environment, and fire does not; when you monitor a plant with the necessary equipment, one finds that the plant exhibits subtle changes in its physiology in direct response to environmental factors. Also, a plant produces an electromagnetic field just like other, more clearly conscious life forms.

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

Is a plant ever going to say hi? No, of course not. But it will eat a bug (if it's a carnivorous plant,) and it will turn to follow the sun. And if you yell at it, it's 'nervous system' will freak out. This is consciousness of a very primitive variety...it isn't aware of itself, and imagination is clearly out of the question. But it does perceive the universe, which means it has a point of view...which means that it is conscious.

Think outside the box, man! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Today's koan: "Does a computer die when you turn it off?"

Now we'll just drag this discussion into the deeper water, and compare artificial intelligence to consciousness. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

HiddenTalon
06-19-2000, 11:22 PM
No. If a computer is truly alive, then its hard drive is its memory. When you die, you lose your memories. When you boot up a computer, it still has its hard drive data (at least in should http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif)

------------------
Name: HiddenTalon
Email: HiddenTalon@mail.com
Occupation: Crashing virtual X-Wings
Webpage: www.scabmaps.cjb.net (http://www.scabmaps.cjb.net)
=) (http://www.fungrams.com/haha.html)
Don't click on Mr. Smiley!

Lt Cracken
06-20-2000, 03:00 AM
Good point HiddenTalon, but what about AFTER we die? eh? Some believe that our Consciousness(aka:memories) our transfered to a spiritual form (ghost) and we go either to Hell, bad, or Heaven, good. so therefore, theoretically, we could retain all memories after death.

In theory of course.

------------------
Even if you dodge this, Kakarotto,
THIS PLANET'S GOING UP IN SMOKE!!
Vegeta, DragonBall Z

HiddenTalon
06-20-2000, 03:04 AM
Ahh, but if a computer dies when it is turned off, then it is reincarnated when it is turned on. I've never heard anyone say that you retain memories after reincarnation...

------------------
Name: HiddenTalon
Email: HiddenTalon@mail.com
Occupation: Crashing virtual X-Wings
Webpage: www.scabmaps.cjb.net (http://www.scabmaps.cjb.net)
=) (http://www.fungrams.com/haha.html)
Don't click on Mr. Smiley!

Chillin
06-20-2000, 03:09 AM
I disagree Cracken, I've always believed that when you die you lose all your memories, even in the spiritual sense. So all the people you new that died all your loved ones you will not recognize. Also in heaven you'll be too transfixed on God's magnificence that you wouldn't even notice anyone. However I don't like that because because you won't get to see the people you knew ever again so now I agree with you Craken about the memories thing. You're very persuasive. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

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"Tis easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

Imladil
06-20-2000, 05:53 AM
Well, an open mind is a good thing...but that was an awful quick turnaround! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif I do agree with Cracken on this, for a couple of reasons.

Reason one: the near-death experience. You can argue all you want that the NDE is a pre-death oxygen deprivation fantasy, but I'm firmly of the belief that it is a genuine experience. The mystic experience has many features in common with the NDE (and believe me, you aren't suffocating when you're meditating!) which lead me to believe so. Once you've taken this experience as genuine, though, you can see that it does indicate the existance of memory after death. Otherwise, how would we recognize the loved ones who come to greet us, or how could we remember the experience after we've returned?

Reason two: reincarnative memories. I'm one of those who do have memories of past lives (although they're very faint memories), so it's quite easy for me to believe in reincarnation. There are case histories of people who recall their past incarnations to such detail that they can give names, dates and locations. While this body of evidence is highly subjective, the sheer weight of it is highly compelling. It's kind of like UFOs--not all of those people were hallucinating! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

So why don't we have 'hard drive' memories of past lives, just waiting to come online when we 're-start' the computer? Because in the case of human beings, the computer isn't just turned off...it is physically destroyed altogether. The only memories which survive are what data was transmitted out through the modem before it died ( http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif), which are then downloaded into the next computer.

So where are these memories? Well, what do you think it is the subconscious mind is 'hiding' from us in the first place? We can, with (unfortunately) limited reliability, retrieve some of these memories to our conscious mind...but the suggestive nature of the subconscious mind makes a lot of 'random noise' intrude into the recollective process. This is how we wind up with kooks thinking they were all famous people in past lives, or knew the same people they know now back then. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

Of course, if we take reincarnation as given, then somebody had to be Napoleon...Vive la France!

I still haven't addressed the computer koan proper. I believe I'll let the debate rage another day before I do so. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
06-20-2000, 04:01 PM
But a computer dosn't have a spirit so it can't go to Heaven or Hell, it also was created by man and it isn't alive to begin with. I beleive that man can't create life, they might be able to revive it but can't create it (with the exception of mutation. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif) So there is no way the computer dies when it is shut off. It was a interesting question but sadly my answer is that it dosn't die when it is shut off.

Chillin
06-20-2000, 04:13 PM
I would say the computer doesn't die, when you turn it off it's more like sleeping. When we go to sleep we are just on a mental shutdown. When we sleep our bodys stop doing anything unnesasary to our survival. The body also takes this time to heal any injuries. The nightmares and dreams we have is just our brain doing a virus check on our memories. And the dreams and nightmares come from our own hopes and fears. And since the computer is just sleeping that is why it retains it's memories, it even checks it's memory.

------------------
"Tis easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

The Master
06-20-2000, 07:59 PM
Another good point! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Shootist
06-20-2000, 11:28 PM
Yeeesh! Another "God" thread? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Chillin
06-21-2000, 01:50 AM
Master, actually man is coming pretty close to being able to create another human being. They can clone them, make out of other peoples organs, whatever. I hope they never actually clone a human. I think that is one of my greatest fears, having clones running around everywhere. What I'm seeing is all the clones have some genetic malfunction, and the clones clone some super warrior guys and make an army of them and rebel and destroy us all. But thats just the pizza and too many movies talking. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

------------------
"Tis easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

Imladil
06-21-2000, 09:09 AM
Well, actually I've been trying to stay away from religion in this thread, but it does seem that we can't thoroughly discuss these matters without mentioning God. It's okay...as long as we bring two things to the table: an agreement to disagree, and a sense of humor. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

The computer koan--I have decided not to voice my own take on this koan. There were times when Siddartha Gautama (an ancient mystic teacher otherwise known as the Buddha) would refuse to answer a question because any answer he might give would interfere with the student's own finding of the truth. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

Have some haiku instead:

'Such noisy children. It is good we have monsters in the basement.'

'Get out, mister pilot--I will fly this plane into the ocean!'

'Silent weasels at dawn, hunting for gnomes to fall upon and eat.'

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/rolleyes.gif

The Master
06-21-2000, 07:52 PM
I spit in hatered from the person who dares crash that plane in the ocean.:P

Imladil
06-21-2000, 08:02 PM
...It's a lower-case p, like this: http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/tongue.gif

Chillin
06-21-2000, 09:50 PM
I knew that, I guess I just never told the dumbos who didn't know. j/k

------------------
"Tis easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

Lt Cracken
06-22-2000, 02:06 AM
Clone wars, like in Star Wars. wierd, we are on the brink of that, as a race. *shudder* My fav sci-fi the idea of a evil idea! SAY IT AIN'T SO!?!!!!!!!!!

------------------
Even if you dodge this, Kakarotto,
THIS PLANET'S GOING UP IN SMOKE!!
Vegeta, DragonBall Z

Imladil
06-22-2000, 08:58 AM
It ain't so. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Okay, new koan. This time I'll pick a real zen koan, the classic "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" I've never worked on this one myself, so it'll be a fresh one.

Remember: run straight at the enemy, yelling 'BANZAI!' at the top of your lungs, and cut his head off before the startled look has left his face. It's the only approach that works. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

Chillin
06-22-2000, 06:56 PM
Yeah, then the startled look is locked on his face forever!

The logical anwser for your koan Imladil would be silence, but I guess we never really use logic here sooo...

You would hear the sound of the air moving from the waving action made by your hand. Or you could be clapping against a wall or your leg.
---------------------------------------------
Also I wanted to bring this up for a while.
I don't know what it is but sometimes I have dreams, and then the dreams come true. Nothing major just kindof normal everyday happenings. The problem is I don't know the dream is something thats going to happen until the thing in the dream comes true. And I can never remember any details just that I remember the same thing happening in a dream. If it is that I'm psycic it would be useless cause like I said before I don't know I'm seeing something thats going to happen until something happens. Or it could be that I actually never had a dream, and that my imagination makes me think I saw this same thing happen to a dream. You all following me ? Well I'm done I just wanted to put that up for you guys to bop around.

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"The pen is mightier than the sword. Thats the biggestload of s**t!"

The Master
06-22-2000, 06:57 PM
One hand can't clap.

The End

------------------
"What is thy bidding thy Master"- Darth Vader.
Go into the pantry and steal a cookie!"- me.

HiddenTalon
06-23-2000, 02:34 AM
Actually I know someone who is double jointed and can clap with one hand... it sounds like just anyone claping.

------------------
Name: HiddenTalon
Email: HiddenTalon@mail.com
Occupation: Crashing virtual X-Wings
Webpage: www.scabmaps.cjb.net (http://www.scabmaps.cjb.net)
=) (http://www.fungrams.com/haha.html)
Don't click on Mr. Smiley!

Imladil
06-23-2000, 06:42 AM
The sound of one hand clapping...would be silence. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif But that's not really the point that I get from the koan. To me, what's important is the realization that it takes two hands clapping together to produce the noise; one hand can only wave, but two strike against one another and clap. It is as if each hand resolves the other, works against its opposite to produce the desired effect. Likewise, in real life, nothing does anything by itself...every action affects surrounding factors, and produces results by interacting with something else. If I have a thought, that thought is connected to the life experiences that caused me to have it; if I jump into the air, I do so by pushing away from the ground. Even the sheer act of existance is countered by the possibility of nonexistance...without nonexistance, there could be no 'being.' Ah, but I babble.

This is a tough cookie indeed. It illustrates a fundamental principle in the nature of our existance, but it doesn't quite come down to words. This is where most mystics wind up sounding crazy... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

I am intrigued by your dream question, Chillin. I've had them, too, and believe it or not, I do have an explanation for you. Unfortunately, it draws on a lot of really bizarre mystic hypnobabble that I'll have to think over most carefully before putting to words here. I'll have to work on it, I'm afraid, with the post tomorrow. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Meanwhile, has anyone else had prophetic dreams?

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
06-23-2000, 02:55 PM
Yep, of Armagedon. <font size=1>j/k

Lt Cracken
06-23-2000, 04:43 PM
I do.

It's wierd, I dream it, forget it, then, in real life (if there is such a thing http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif) it happens, triggers something in my brain, and BOOM! deja vu. and I KNOW I drempt it! it's wierd, and then sometimes, i do remember teh dream, and BOOM! it happens! cna you explain Imladil?

I mean, CLEARLY!!? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif (j/k)

------------------
Even if you dodge this, Kakarotto,
THIS PLANET'S GOING UP IN SMOKE!!
Vegeta, DragonBall Z

Imladil
06-23-2000, 05:27 PM
I'll try, but as I said before...this is gonna get weird. This is mainly due to my drawing on different sciences, religions and philosophies to put together a clear explanation. There simply isn't one entire worldview that has enough of the facts to explain this. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

First off, I think you might be talking about the deja vu sensation proper...which has been explained by western science. It seems that when you see something, another part of the brain receives and processes that information before your neocortex (or 'thinking self') does...so it triggers a strong feeling of recognition. My question would be, did you remember these dreams after having them but before witnessing the event? If not, you may be experiencing deja vu proper.

But a dream that flat comes true is another matter altogether.

What is a dream? Well, when we're dreaming, we are essentially experiencing another state of consciousness...one in which the subconscious mind has come to the forefront and is using the visualization abilities that the sleeping consciousness is not. These visual abilities are what are refered to in the east as 'the third eye,' and are simply that imaginary screen on which we see things in our minds. Essentially, when we're awake, we're constantly using this third eye...we each have a stream of accompanying images, symbols, etc. that run through our minds as we're living our daily lives. When we turn off the thoughts, such as when we're asleep or in deep meditation, the subconscious comes forward to fill the void, to fill in the blank screen. This is the only chance our subconscious mind has to communicate with us, and usually that is just what it does; it projects images and stories that reflect the inner workings of how you think and feel. Occasionally, however, the subconscious mind uses the third eye to penetrate the veil of mystery, and that's when things get weird.

Whoa, there! Weird indeed. Veil of mystery? What the heck are you babbling about now, Imladil? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Here it is as plain as I can make it: there is an energy center floating over the top of everyone's heads. This energy center is depicted in many paintings as the halo...when depicted on a living person, it suggests sanctity. This is because that energy center is the lens through which God projects our soul into our bodies, and the holy have reopened that door, so to speak, in their own quest to find Him. Now...the halo is present in everybody, just veiled from our perception by the subconscious mind. If one meditates and lives correctly, the subconscious can be made 'clear,' and one can then perceive the great veil directly...or, the subconscious mind can relay that information to you. Either accidentally or because it has something imoportant to tell you, the dreaming subconscious can turn upwards and look into the halo...and see through that lens into what I like to call the Great Mystery.

Through the halo, one can see everything and nothing. Past and future both coexist there, and time itself is an immutable constance. For the religious, there is paradise and God; for the scientific there is understanding. I'm sorry if I've stopped making sense at this point, but no other mystic has ever been able to adequately describe the Great Mystery. What's important for my explanation is that past and future thing; this is where our vision of the future comes from.

To recap. When we are dreaming, the subconscious mind takes over the third eye. When that third eye looks up into the halo, it can catch glimpses of the future.

Okay. Maybe that wasn't so weird after all... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

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"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
06-23-2000, 07:08 PM
So, what's today's Zen?

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"What is thy bidding thy Master"- Darth Vader.
Go into the pantry and steal a cookie!"- me.

Chillin
06-23-2000, 10:29 PM
I remember the dreams at least right when I wake up, then as the day progresses all thats happening makes me completely forget the dream.

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"The pen is mightier than the sword. Thats the biggestload of s**t!"

Imladil
06-24-2000, 12:35 AM
Chillin, you're describing a normal dream, not deja vu. The experience is authentic.

New koan? Let's see. "Why did the eskimo starve in the jungle?"

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Shootist
06-24-2000, 04:07 AM
Because the elephant ate all his frozen peanuts! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Commander 5-98
06-24-2000, 04:16 AM
Wrong he got to hot!!!!!!

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I rule this ocean with an iron fist,an iron tail, and for that matter an iron everything-Metalseadramon

The Master
06-24-2000, 05:23 PM
Because he couldn't ice fish. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Imladil
06-25-2000, 05:09 AM
Well, The Master seems to be onto something. Care to take it further, and find 'the moral to the story,' so to speak?

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif?

The Master
06-25-2000, 10:38 PM
Well he didn't know how to scavenge for food in a differn't area, so he had no knid of food source. Ice fishing (as far as I know) is one of their main food sources up north (in the cold region.) Plus there are animals in the jungle that they don't know how to avoid- but back to the moral. Don't make a major move to an area that you have never been before. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif Or something like that.

Chillin
06-25-2000, 10:44 PM
Master they also spear up seals and the like.

Imladil
06-26-2000, 04:18 AM
I think the eskimo starved because there was no food around...at least, none that he recognized. He didn't see a polar bear, or a seal, or a patch of iced-over water to fish on. There were no walruses or even whales! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

To me, this koan is an exploration of the nature of truth. The eskimo wasn't stupid for not recognizing what other food was around him...it's just that he was relying on what information was already in his brain to plan for the future. This is how our minds are wired, and it works for us just fine...until we get to areas where we have no previous knowledge. The answers could be right there at hand, but if we're constantly checking the old database for comparisons, we might miss it altogether. This is what I mean by 'thinking outside the box.'

Where's Q? We could really use an omnipotent being's input right about now... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Truth. This is a very tricky concept, and I've identified it as one we should explore here. Most people spend their entire lives searching for 'The Truth,' thinking that when they have arrived at it...they will have the right answers, but those who have different answers are wrong. Since this is a basic major flaw in the reasoning of most people, and one which prevents the integration of greater concepts, we should reflect on comparing two things: the complexity of the human brain, and the complexity of the living universe. Obviously, the one doesn't have enough complexity to fully reflect the other.

Another way of looking at truth: truth is essentially a set of ideas that can be contained within our brain in chemical form. When compared against the world around us, we see that these ideas either 'fit' or don't. When they do not fit, we then review our 'model of truth' so that they can. This is human learning...but it does have one shortcoming--it can only know that with which it has come into contact.

Now, we can think of a brain as a computer, which understands only MS-DOS when it is built, but which can have software installed that allows it to interact with the world around it. This software can be compared to the religions, sciences and philosophies we integrate over the course of our lifetime. Once we've installed it, we can go online and do our thing with ease.

To take the analogy further, and perhaps demonstrate why we have so many different worldviews among our species, we can think of this software as, say, Windows 95. We can use Windows 95 to hook up on the web and get around most computer applications...but when compared to Macintosh or Linux, it seems completely different. Windows 95 programs won't work on Macs, and vice-versa. Both computers, from their own point of view, are 'right,' while the other spouts gibberish and is clearly 'wrong.'

Yet both operating systems are about running computers. And both can get you on the internet. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

Today's daily zen is an oldie but a goodie, and it concerns the nature of truth. The most correct answer wins a dream date with Hillary Rodham Clinton. (...!)

"If a tree falls in a forest and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?"

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

George the Armadillo
06-26-2000, 04:47 AM
I am very, very confused now, yes...

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I've never done a stupid thing in my entire life, with the exception of all that stuff I did

Imladil
06-26-2000, 06:59 AM
I'm sorry. Which part confuses you?

Q
06-26-2000, 03:56 PM
*all the sudden there was a sudden flash*

You called Mon Capitain. If you are wondering about my answer is because you can't misplace a living thing in to a different area with different climate so imediatly. It's like putting your gold fish in 50 degree water after haveing it for awile in 65 degree water. Now wasn't that obviose? I guess it is to comlicated for you little mortals.

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I am the supreme.

Chillin
06-26-2000, 04:05 PM
Yes,the tree makes a noise. Even though we don't hear it we know it made a noise because we know from our past experiences that when a tree falls it makes a noise. But I have a forest in the back of my house, and if I never see the fallen tree I will never even know the tree existed at one point unless I can recall every single tree in that forest and I check on them everyday.

Chillin
06-26-2000, 04:11 PM
Also here is a new koan...

Can a simulated character that somehow gains consiousness live outside of the simulation?

I would say yes, because to quote someone or another "I think, therefore I am."

(I got the idea from a Star Trek, the next generation show.) So I guess I just copied off of something to get the koan, but it's still a good one. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

George the Armadillo
06-26-2000, 04:30 PM
I am just testing your infantile species. My confusion is just a front...

yes, about the simulated thingy. I am that right now.

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I've never done a stupid thing in my entire life, with the exception of all that stuff I did

The Master
06-27-2000, 01:39 AM
You got that question from the episode *Elementary Dear Data*, am I not wrong. Did you see the sequel to that one that came later in the series called *Ship in a Bottle*? Good old Moriarty is wreaking havok in both.

Imladil
06-27-2000, 03:06 AM
Q: ah, but you don't give us mortals enough credit! One of the amazing things about our kind is that despite the limitations of our physical construction, we have the ability to transcend those limitations. Example:

There was study done concerning the energy effectiveness of different animals and their own modes of locomotion. On the basis of distance traveled for calories burned, the natural scale of effectiveness culminates with the buzzard, whose wide wings allow him a maximum of travel for a minimum of effort...mankind, who walks, is quite far down the list. The scientist conducting the study had a flash of insight--he decided to test the energy effectiveness of a human on a bicycle. On a bicycle, still using his own energy, but adapting its use with a contraption of his own design, the human far outperformed even the buzzard.

As for thinking, I will agree that most people do not think 'outside the box.' Most people have boundaries drawn into their worldview--like Luke, unable to levitate his X-wing because it was 'too big.' However...if we can learn to push those boundaries out further, we have the ability to expand our own consciousness and think in areas completely new to our kind.

And that's what's got you scared...isn't it, Q? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

<font size=1>I must reflect on the holographic consciousness question before answering. More later...</font>

Imladil
06-27-2000, 05:33 AM
Well, it looks like Chillin will be chillin' with the first lady. Congrats, and don't worry about the Secret Service--they see this sort of thing all the time. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

The tree would make a noise. Duh. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif A lot of folk would argue that it is impossible to prove that the tree made a noise, because that noise was not perceived by a human being. I say that this reflects a worldview which is based entirely on what one can perceive...and such a mind is, unfortunately, thinking within boxes.

HO! *Smack!*

The tree fell, and we can say with reasonable certainty that this action is always accompanied by a great deal of vibration. If there was air in that forest--and I think this likely--then those vibrations took the form of a great deal of noise. One could argue that the vibrations were not true noise, having no eardrums to fall upon...at which point I would accuse the debater of being a secret Vulcan and have him studied by medical science. We could learn much from dissecting a Vulcan, yes... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

What we see, and hear, and know of is not all that there is. It is just the beginning.

I'm still working on your hologram koan, Chillin. A good one, that.

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
06-27-2000, 05:10 PM
And where is Q when we need his input on this after all it did come of the series that he ORIGINATED from. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Imladil
06-28-2000, 07:49 AM
Okay. Here is my take on the 'holodeck koan.' http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

If a holodeck creation gained true consciousness the way Moriarty (and the Doctor from Voyager) did in Star Trek, it would be restricted to a holographic environment. Just as we cannot exist at the center of the sun, a holographic being cannot exist in an environment harmful to its own nature. In the real world, the lack of a hologrid would be fatal to any being which neeeded one to exist! Now...that hologram would be a conscious being, with a soul and rights and existance just like you or me. But would it be able to spontaneously change the nature of its being and simply exist without a hologrid? No, it couldn't do so any more than I can grow gills and live in the river.

There is a possibility, however, opened up by the data-based nature of its consciousness; that consciousness could be downloaded, just like any other computer program, into another computer's memory. The Doctor on Voyager does this with his mobile emitter, which carries around a memory bank and hologrid just for his use. A holographic consciousness could also be loaded into a robot or android...which would essentially give it the solid body it's been lacking all along.

Another possibility, and a creepier one, that occurs to me is that if the technology to integrate biological and technological nervous systems is ever developed, a data-based consciousness could be downloaded into a living body. Ooooh, now there's a comforting thought... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Tired Imladil tonight. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/frown.gif It's, oh say, The Master's turn to come up with a koan. Well?

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

The Master
06-28-2000, 03:59 PM
Okay here is a quick one. Is it possible to never have a beginning but still exist?

Now explain.... Well?

Shootist
06-29-2000, 12:40 AM
IMLADIL, I see you remembered my comment about sound being the translation of sound waves by the brain...but you Weren't s'possed ta tell anybody I'm a Vulcan. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

------------------
VERY FUNNY SCOTTY, now please beam down my PANTS!!!

Imladil
06-29-2000, 05:25 AM
Vul-can...? Dissect, yes! Hooray for science!

The Master, you have just asked a very intriguing question! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif My first reaction is a 'no,' with a 'what if?' on the end. I must think on this matter more...

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
06-29-2000, 05:21 PM
So... start the explaining.... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Chillin
06-30-2000, 12:29 AM
I haven't posted here for a while (2 days), but thats long for me. Well I will have to get back to ya on a few of these. Actually I might have to get back to you guys on Monday, I'm going up to Chicago to see my grandma, she is sick and might not even make it through the rest of the year. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/frown.gif

Shootist
06-30-2000, 01:16 AM
My family and I wish you a good trip and please take a prayer from us to your grandmother.

Imladil
06-30-2000, 06:51 AM
10-4 on that, from the rest of the squadron... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

Chillin, I've found that offering comfort on this matter invariably doesn't come out the right way. You have, of course, my prayers...and the comforting words must simply go unsaid. I'm sure that you understand them anyway. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

Imladil
06-30-2000, 07:16 AM
Existance without beginning. After much thought, I have come up with two possible answers...neither of which can be proven over the other with science. It depends on whether the universe is finite (began with the Big Bang and will expand until entropy has claimed it) or repeating (has enough mass that it collapses back in on itself and begins again--in an endlessly repeating cycle.) Whether it's A or B depends on how much matter there is in the universe...and right now, the evidence seems to suggest that there is less matter, although none of our models take into account the existance of heaven or hell (which, if real, must exist somewhere...and more dimensions imply more possible matter.)

Possibility A, the finite universe. In this case, the existance of a thing without beginning is impossible. At the beginning of the entire universe, the creative act took place with the bringing of being from nothingness...and nothing is just that, no thing. If you chase the logic far enough, you will find that in order for existance to come into being, there first had to be a state of nothingness--no observer or object, no nuttin'. If our hypothetical thing had been present when the universe was created, then its beginning occured with the universe's...otherwise, it wouldn't have had a universe in which to exist. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Possibility B, the repeating universe. In this case, everything that is has been in existance forever, without a definitive beginning. It coalesces with the rest of the universe down to one point in the 'Big Crunch,' then expands outward again with the Big Bang. During the lifetime of the universe, nothing is either created or destroyed...it merely changes form. Matter becomes energy, then changes back in nuclear reaction...that matter changes form over the millenia, being changed into denser and denser elements by generations of stellar fusion. When the universe comes to the end of its life, all of our matter/energy begins the cycle over again.

So...which is it? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif Go measure all of the matter in the entire universe, heaven and hell included, then come back to me with the figures. Then maybe we can settle this koan definitively.

Where did Q get to, anyway...? We'll need him for the measurement process.

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
06-30-2000, 06:51 PM
I think he is scared of us and ran away back to his precious Continuum. And Chillin, prayers from The Master to. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Imladil
07-01-2000, 05:43 AM
Yes, saddening, that. I was looking forward to having an actual ominscient being in the conversation... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Okay, I have a new koan for y'all to chew on: "What is the river running from?"

And a haiku, too. I like 'em, anyway. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif 'Softly come the bombs, breaking concrete...so the grass can grow again.'

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
07-01-2000, 03:29 PM
The river (which ever one that maybe) starts from a little stream which eventually more streams join it and then the water source gets bigger and <font size=3>bigger and <font size=4>bigger and <font size=5>bigger <font size=2>until it becomes officailly a river. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif(I could of kept going)

[This message has been edited by The Master (edited July 01, 2000).]

Imladil
07-01-2000, 06:51 PM
I see. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

So you're saying that the river is running from its own smallness?

The Master
07-02-2000, 12:00 AM
Yep! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Commander 5-98
07-02-2000, 01:25 AM
actually it starts at a large underground water source(a large spring)and when it starts it is no more than a trickle and then over thousands of years of higher water levels and flowing it may create a canyon(depending on soil and water speed and this has nothing to do with the question but...)and anyway the water for some reason flows southward(every river eventully does that)and as it flows it flows into little creek bootoms and low plaves off to the side causing other rivers.Also it runs into other tributaries and keeps this up until it hits the ocean.

Any questions?

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I rule this ocean with an iron fist,an iron tail, and for that matter an iron everything-Metalseadramon

George the Armadillo
07-02-2000, 03:09 AM
Deep inside the earth, there are very large potatos with arms and legs and the rivers are running from them

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I've never done a stupid thing in my entire life, with the exception of all that stuff I did

Imladil
07-02-2000, 04:34 AM
George, that has got to be the funniest s**t I've seen here in some time. Thank you.

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

The Master
07-02-2000, 09:47 PM
Hehe, I must agree. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

George the Armadillo
07-03-2000, 03:07 AM
I try to please

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I've never done a stupid thing in my entire life, with the exception of all that stuff I did

Imladil
07-03-2000, 06:03 AM
Ah, me. *(Wiping the tears from his eyes)*

I have several different interpretations of the river koan, and I will be discussing each of them. Tonight I will be dealing with the answer "the past."

One way of looking at the movement of the river is to focus on the nature of water itself. Unlike solid matter, liquid matter behaves quite differently; it will always have movement, so long as it is unevenly distributed and has the space to move into. Even when still, the slightest variation in temperature is enough to cause internal conductive movement. It can be argued that it simply is in water's nature to move.

Anyone about to make an argument based on ice, forget it. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif Ice is water's solid form, and no longer obeys liquid dynamics.

So...if water is always moving (or at least always willing to move), then what is it running from? Well, since water is basically fearless, it probably isn't running from hell-potatoes (although I certainly would!), but it is 'running' in a very fundamental sense that is tied directly to its flowing nature--it is running the course of time. If one could freeze time, water would become non-moving, and if one could reverse time, a river would also flow backward. Since our river can be seen to run 'with' time, then it is following it; and time, by definition, is always moving from the past.

So our river is running from the past. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif Something about tax fraud and an underage secretary...

Tomorrow I'll talk about my next answer, "Santa Claus." http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
07-04-2000, 06:30 PM
Oooooooooooooo........ Santa Claus!

Imladil
07-05-2000, 08:07 PM
Okay, maybe not actually Santa Claus, per se, but rather the north pole. To be even more precise, both poles.

As the good commander earlier pointed out, rivers in the northern hemisphere tend to run toward the south. The same occurs in the southern hemisphere, only reversed; in general, rivers tend to flow toward the equator. Why is this? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/confused.gif

Well...try this. Dip a basketball in water, then twirl it on your finger like a globetrotter. What happens? The water collects around the equator of the ball and sprays out in a fan. Probably got your face wet, too. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif This is centrifugal force in action, and it's also the force responsible for the Earth being shaped in such a way that rivers flow the way they do.

I have more to say on the river koan, but I sense that the rest of you are probably done with it. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif So: "Do penguins like the water?"

Meanwhile, I'll talk about my third answer to the river koan, "Radiation," tonight. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

HiddenTalon
07-05-2000, 11:14 PM
No! Penguins HATE the water! Take a penguin near the water, and it will cry out in pain!

------------------
Name: HiddenTalon
Email: HiddenTalon@mail.com
Occupation: Crashing virtual X-Wings
Webpage: www.scabmaps.cjb.net (http://www.scabmaps.cjb.net)
=) (http://www.fungrams.com/haha.html)
Don't click on Mr. Smiley!

Lt Cracken
07-06-2000, 02:00 AM
depends if you could get the penguine to talk, which is unlikely.

I think penguines DESPISE water, but use it for a tool, a survival thing.

Imladil
07-06-2000, 08:20 AM
Soldier #1: All right, penguin...out with it!

Penguin: *Waaak! Waaak!*

Soldier #2: I think he wants some water.

Penguin: *Waa-aaak!*

Soldier #1: Oh, you want this glass of ice water, do you?

Soldier #2: He seems scared of it.

Penguin: *Waaak! Waaak! Waaak!*

Soldier #1: Of course he's scared, idiot...of us! He wants the water, trust me. Talk, penguin!

Officer: Nevermind. This is getting nowhere.

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

The Master
07-06-2000, 02:58 PM
Good peice of humor Imladil! I appreciate, especailly since it goes along with what we are argueing about. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Imladil
07-06-2000, 08:55 PM
So...why is the river running from radiation of all things? Well, I would. Radiation is scary.

Seriously? This answer is based on looking at the driving force behind the water's motion. Why doesn't the water flow to the ocean and just stay there? Because that water is evaporated, forms clouds, which flow back over the land to cause rain. Because of the evaporation process, the water is constantly being funneled back up into the sky, so it can renew the flow process we all see in the running river.

The evaporation is being caused by the sun, whose electromagnetic radiation (or sunshine if you will) raise the temperature of the ocean's surface. The radiation impacting the water molecules and raising their temperature to the point where they change form and become gaseous is the whole energizing point in the cycle; every other action the water takes is a reaction to that initial change in nature. Therefore, the river is running from the radiation. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

So, to sum up, in my opinion the river is running from the past, the Earth's pole and the sun's radiation consecutively. No wonder the river seems to be in a hurry...

Curious fact: the Rogue River is about five miles from my house. It is aptly named, and is in much of a hurry. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

My take on the penguin koan? They seem to. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

Lt Cracken
07-07-2000, 02:10 AM
they seem to what?

Imladil
07-07-2000, 07:55 AM
Penguins...seem to...like the water. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/rolleyes.gif Of course, it's possible that they're just cheerful animals to begin with.

Okay, nevermind the penguin koan. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif I have a new one, an all-time Q-stumper that I think I got from an episode of Dexter's Laboratory (I'm not sure of the precise wording used). Best answer gets tickets on the next spaceshuttle flight.

"What is the purpose of meaning?"

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

HiddenTalon
07-07-2000, 12:26 PM
Here goes-
The purpose of meaning is to define. A meaning shows you what the object/word you have the meaning of actually IS. A meaning tells you how to use the object. It tells you WHAT the object is. A meaning is to put limits of what an object may be used for (AKA no shooting Penguins with an A-Wing).

------------------
Name: HiddenTalon
Email: HiddenTalon@mail.com
Occupation: Crashing virtual X-Wings
Webpage: www.scabmaps.cjb.net (http://www.scabmaps.cjb.net)
=) (http://www.fungrams.com/haha.html)
Don't click on Mr. Smiley!

Chillin
07-07-2000, 02:10 PM
Do noy fear Chillin is here!! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif It's good to be back!

The Master
07-07-2000, 05:27 PM
And it's good to have you back! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Imladil
07-07-2000, 07:05 PM
Yippee skippy flippy hippy! Welcome back, hu-man. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Lt Cracken
07-07-2000, 10:00 PM
The purpose of meaning is to be mean! (get it? meaning, mean..... oh forget you. at least I'm ORIGINAL) http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

------------------
Even if you dodge this, Kakarotto,
THIS PLANET'S GOING UP IN SMOKE!!
Vegeta, DragonBall Z

The Master
07-07-2000, 10:36 PM
Hear that! The commander is origianal! Ya!!!!!!! Finally some one in here is origainal. Wait a moment, I am getting worked up over nothin'.

Shootist
07-08-2000, 02:53 AM
IMLADIL...in your discourse between the soldiers and the penguin, I suggest you change the two soldiers and the officer. Make it two officers and the penguin with the enlisted person telling them "nevermind". Ya see in the real world officers would expect the penguin to speak...the enlistee would KNOW better. Officers in general don't usually know which end of a penguin talks and which end poops. True confessions. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

------------------
VERY FUNNY SCOTTY, now please beam down my PANTS!!!

Imladil
07-08-2000, 08:11 AM
Actually, the penguin would be the better qualified of all of them for officer school. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Okay, I will now attack the purpose of meaning. *(Imladil draws a samurai sword, yells 'BANZAI!' and runs into the jungle.)* http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Meaning is the sentient consciousness' way of connecting itself to the universe around it. When the mind in question perceives a object, that mind does not think exactly how big it is, what color, what it is made of, etc.; what does register upon the mind is that object's meaning.

This is a key insight to understanding the nature of consciousness. We don't see a thing as it really is and then take that information directly into our thoughts. We see the thing, and the mind gives meaning to the image, interpreting what, why and how it is before passing it on to our train of thought. When one looks at a pencil, for example, one thinks 'yellow,' maybe a brief memory of using them in school, how it feels to draw with the soft graphite tip, maybe even how the wood tastes if one nibbles on it when lost in thought...one doesn't simply take in the length of wood and rubber exactly as it is.

Say you stumble, quite by accident, upon a space alien in your kitchen. For a split-second, when you first see the alien, you do not react...you wait until the mind has supplied the proper meaning, in this case 'Earth is being invaded,' and then you panic.

Here is a simple meditational exercise y'all can try at home, which deals with this very matter. You take an object, preferably one with which you have no personal connection, and set it on the table before you. As you are looking at it, notice the thoughts flowing through your mind. Close down any thoughts about the object as you continue to gaze upon it. When you are seeing the object but generating no thoughts about it, you may experience what some easterners call 'being one' with the object.

If one develops the ability to perceive without assigning meaning, one can experience the universe on a direct, personal level. Suddenly, all those little details one passes by can be seen as they truly are...and one can get to the truth of a thing's nature much more quickly without having to cut through one's own preconceptions first. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

So am I saying we should render all things meaningless so we could understand them better? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif You bet.

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

Imladil
07-09-2000, 08:36 AM
HiddenTalon, you can pick up your tickets at the shuttle gantry. Fare is roundtrip, and you do understand there are no accommodations...

New koan: "How does the wind find its way?"

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/confused.gif

I read a neat story that I'd like to share with you about a taoist master and a shaman in ancient China. The taoists were an order in China who contributed much philosophy to Buddhism, and Zen in particular.

The taoist master had a pupil, who learned of a skilled shaman in the village. Impressed by the shaman's ability to read people spiritually, the pupil decided to follow the shaman instead...and told his master so.

'Bring the shaman to me. I wish to meet him,' said the master.

The pupil brought the shaman to meet the master. After a brief talk, the shaman whispered to the pupil that the master was dying, and had only days to live. When the shaman had left, the pupil cried, 'O master, I fear that I must tell you now the most horrible news!'

The master smiled. 'I am not dying. I had shut down all of my power, and he saw my weakness. Bring him again tomorrow.'

The next day, the pupil brought the shaman, who when he saw the master next exclaimed that he had been miraculously healed, and should be glad that his visit the day before had done so. When the shaman had left, the master told his now puzzled student, 'This time I brought all of my powers to their fullness. I wish to see this man again.'

The next time the shaman came to visit, he found the master calm but intent, very evenly tempered. He could find nothing to proclaim. After he'd left, the pupil said, 'He does not know what to make of you.'

'This time I blended forces within myself to a state of balance,' said the master. 'He must have seen the source of my power.' Sadly shaking his head, he said, 'I must see this man again, for I have nine such states to show him, and he has seen but three.'

The shaman did not visit the master again. The next time they met was by accident, as the master and his pupil were walking in the village. They met and exchanged greetings...and the shaman ran away, screaming in terror.

'What frightened him so?' wondered the pupil.

'This time,' smiled the master, 'I became emptiness, and he was talking to the wind and the sky. Let this be a lesson on the power of the shaman versus the power of the tao.'

------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
07-09-2000, 03:15 PM
Nice http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Commander 5-98
07-09-2000, 03:46 PM
My idea of how the wind finds its way:Its doesn't!!!!!!!!!It justs gets pushed everywhere(except through water and through solid objects)and thats how it gets around.WAIT A SECOND!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm wrong the wind is generated by the turning of the earth.I think??????

Somebody help me out!!!!

------------------
I rule this ocean with an iron fist,an iron tail, and for that matter an iron everything-Metalseadramon

Chillin
07-10-2000, 10:50 PM
The wind goes to wherever humans are booming out too fast, and it wreaks it's havoc and knocks over a few buildings and posibly takes a few lives.

Wing-the anti-overpopulation

HiddenTalon
07-11-2000, 03:00 AM
Wind always goes AWAY from its starting
point for 180.[put a LOT of zeros here] 1 degrees around the Earth, the heads straight TOWARDS where it started.

[Happy?]
------------------
Name: HiddenTalon
Email: HiddenTalon@mail.com
Occupation: Crashing virtual X-Wings
Webpage: www.scabmaps.cjb.net (http://www.scabmaps.cjb.net)
=) (http://www.fungrams.com/haha.html)
Don't click on Mr. Smiley!



[This message has been edited by HiddenTalon (edited July 13, 2000).]

Imladil
07-11-2000, 08:31 AM
Umm, HiddenTalon, could you abbreviate that so we don't have to scroll sideways? Thanks, hu-man. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

"The wind goes where it is wanted."

At least, that's the scientific view. Wind is nothing more than air moving to balance low pressure with high. This interplay of pressure in our atmosphere is generated by the sun's heat warming (and expanding) different areas as the Earth turns. Underlying landscape mean temperature gradients and seasonal temperature fluctuations play their part...but essentially, the wind is just getting 'sucked' into low pressure cells.

This notion of attacking koans scientifically is totally un-zen, BTW. I just thought I'd point that out before someone else does. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/rolleyes.gif It is, however, our approach, and I think it a valid effort.

Anyone else have a different take on the wind koan? It could be so many different things, depending on what the wind stands for... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif



------------------
"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
07-11-2000, 02:38 PM
Not until I DON'T have to scroll over to read every thing. Abreviate it HIDDEN TALON! Now!

Chillin
07-12-2000, 06:47 PM
Wind and air is what makes airplanes fly. Yep. Wind's sole purpose is to make air planes fly. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

Imladil
07-13-2000, 08:33 AM
One thing is for certain; the wind is not there to be broken...!

Okay. Totally new approach. Instead of working on modern, westernized koans, let's try out some real, Japanese ones. I've recently read The Gateless Gate, a classic collection of zen koans, and there were a few there that I thought might bring this topic back to life.

In the more authentic zen tradition, these koans will point directly at a subject which cannot be described with words. Rather than finding the answer to the riddle (if it's even phrased as one), the point is to walk up to, and around, that indescribable zen something, exploring with words as far as we can. If anyone asks me what zen is, I will smack them in the head with a stick. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

I am paraphrasing these koans, but this is not my work.

The Wheel:

Keichu the wheelmaker was teaching his apprentice one day. He held up one of his finished wheels, one with fifty spokes. He said, "Suppose that I removed the nave uniting the spokes. What would become of the wheel? And if I did this, could I be called the master wheelmaker?"

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Chillin
07-14-2000, 02:49 AM
If the wheel-maker removes the nave then it would no longer be considered a wheel because every bit of that wheel is what makes up that wheel. If one piece is removed or broken then it is no longer a wheel but something else. I suppose you could call it a bunch of spokes and a rim, or a broken wheel, but even a broken wheel is not a wheel. Example, if a planet was destroyed then in wouldn't be a planet anymore, it would only be so much space junk.
So what the koan is trying to teach us is that we should work together and unite for the greater good. If one person does not pull his weight for the wheel(society) then he/she begins to slow down the rest of the wagon, then that part must be either replaced or the rest of the wheel must work harder to make up for the other parts imperfection.
And as for the wheel-maker(the government) if he does not shape the wheel right and keep it well oiled and taken care of then the wheel will colapse. And so the wheel-maker(government) would no longer be considered a wheel-maker because there would be no more wheels to make, or rather no more country to govern.

Oh and I went painballing today, it was fun, I have many bruises, but it was worth it, just reporting back as ordered.

------------------
Uhh, any suggestions?

Imladil
07-14-2000, 06:19 AM
Just one...instead of looking at the wheel, try thinking like one. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

A wheel, in this case (Buddhist symbology) representing the universe's cyclical nature, is taken to have a circular nature. No beginning, no end...but supported by the nave (or hub if you will) and its spokes. The phenomenal plane can be compared to the wheel in this case, and the spokes to what the easterners call the gunas (a guna is supposed to be one of the primal forces physically sustaining the universe.)

When looked at in this way, what does the nave become? And what of the wheelmaker who could build a wheel without one? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Okay. Here is another authentic koan, and simply another approach from another angle at this 'zen' thing. Call it this:

Moving or not?

Two monks were arguing about a flag that was flapping on a pole nearby, when their master came upon them.

'The flag is moving,' insisted one.

'No, it is the wind which is moving,' said the other.

'The flag is not moving,' said the master, 'nor is the wind; mind is moving.'

At this, the two monks were suddenly enlightened, and all three could see that he, too, was wrong.

(From a 4000 year old Sanskrit text called 'Centering') "Look upon some object. Then, slowly withdraw your sight from it...then, slowly withdraw your thought from it. Then."

Fine. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/mad.gif We still don't know what is moving--!

Imladil
07-14-2000, 08:27 AM
(This one is an original.)

Zen for cats

My kitty Bebee (pronounced 'Bay-bay') enjoys the benefits of motherhood, which in my house include both dry and 'yummy' food for her nutritional needs.

When she has weaned the kittens, Bebee must return to the dry food diet. She doesn't use words like us, so I cannot tell her why this is so. The truth I must impart to her is beyond her ability to communicate...so I must use zen on her. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

I will give her a small bowl of dry food which she must eat in order to receive the yummy food. Each day, this amount of dry food will grow larger, until she has no more appetite for the yummy food when it it presented to her.

Hopefully then she will need no more yummy food from me.

http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

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"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

Commander 5-98
07-14-2000, 09:56 PM
I tried that on my pet Raptor.(it was grass)
And he bit my hand off!
And ripped out a rib http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

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I rule this ocean with an iron fist,an iron tail, and for that matter an iron everything-Metalseadramon

Shootist
07-14-2000, 11:26 PM
I used to have a cat. He would skrit in the 'center' of his sand. Does that mean my cat had the Zen thing down? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

Imladil
07-15-2000, 09:10 AM
Actually, it sounds like the raptor has a better grasp of zen. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Evil Spock
07-15-2000, 09:28 AM
The evil Vulcans from my universe have their own kind of 'dark zen.' The following is a koan from my own native tradition. Prostrate thee in humble awe of my beneficiance, little humans.

Too many masters

The very hottest part of Vulcan, called 'The Forge,' is also the location of the Kolinahr monastery. One day, three great masters of Kolinahr were gathered at a cliffside meditation shrine, observing the desert far below.

'Behold the sky,' said the first master. 'It is not the world. This is truth.'

'You have the rind,' commented the eldest master.

The first master looked pleased, but the second had this to say: 'Behold the sky. It is the other side of my self. This is truth.'

'You have the melon,' said the old master.

The first master thought long on this, and then pushed the old master off of the cliff face. The old Vulcan fell screaming to his death on jagged rocks below as the two others quietly watched from their perch.

'I wish it would rain,' said the second Kolinahr master.

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"Beware the bearded one."

Chillin
07-15-2000, 10:16 PM
Right, Vulcan zen is very conmfusing indeed.

Imladil
07-18-2000, 08:03 AM
http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif A brief zen treatise: Anahata shabda (the unstruck sound)

Sound is not physical,
nor is it of the mind.

It does not perish,
but conjoins onto other forms.

In this lies its power.
Listen:

Commander 5-98
07-18-2000, 06:55 PM
This may not have anything to do with the other post but i'll say it anyway.

Every sound has a form...

<font size=15>AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
!!!!!!!!!!</font>
<font size=20>BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!</font>
There went the strategy section... http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

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Mission Accepted...<font size=-2>

[This message has been edited by Lujayne (edited July 31, 2000).]

The Master
07-18-2000, 07:37 PM
The stratagy section? <font size=9>Nooooooooo!!!!!!!!!
<font size=2>How could you?!!

<font size=1>scrolling.
Management

[This message has been edited by Lt Cracken (edited July 19, 2000).]

Imladil
07-18-2000, 08:52 PM
Commander 598, you have almost made an enlightened statemement. Let us look at what you said, and see if we can winnow down to the kernel of truth. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif

"Every sound has a form."

Well, not every sound can be said to have form...remember, being simple monkeys we don't have the ability to know all sound. We just know those sounds which fall within our range of hearing.

...And those we happen to perceive. Do I hear a tree crashing somewhere? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif

The concept of anahata shabda is an ancient (as evidenced by the Sanskrit language used) notion in Tantric teachings, which influenced Hindu beliefs, which influenced Buddhism, which evolved the practice of zen. What is it? Simply stick your fingers in your ears and you will hear it...and it is a sound without form.*

However, most sounds do have form, and this is a key insight, Commander. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif When we hear a sound, our conscious thoughts register the sound's interpreted meaning as well as the actual vibrations involved; it is in this interpretation that distortion can occur. By being aware of the form of a sound, we can get to its true nature and sidestep our own second-guessing. In this case, that form would be created by the strategy section blowing up.

That's okay. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif I hardly ever go there, anyway...

*<font size=1>When you do this, rather than hearing nothing, you should hear a faint, barely-perceptible tone just on the edge of hearing. This sound can be manipulated with practice, and is frequently heard by meditators as 'the music of the spheres.'</font>

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"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

Evil Spock
07-18-2000, 08:56 PM
Bad little side-scrolling humans! To the dust mines!

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"Beware the bearded one."

Commander 5-98
07-19-2000, 12:31 AM
Nobody asked you!!!!! http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif
Oh and every sound does have a form http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/tongue.gif
I heard it in a movie(Dune)
I saw it to.
And the same time the Strategy section blew up a At-At outside my base blew up.

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Mission Accepted...

Imladil
07-19-2000, 08:53 AM
You do realize just how absolute a term 'every' is, don't you? Defend yourself! (Philosophically. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif)

I know what I mean when I say that a sound has a form, and it's the same thing Frank Herbert was talking about in Dune. When you close your eyes and concentrate just on one sound, deliberately shutting down thoughts about it and experiencing it directly, that sound takes on a mental 'shape' that is distinctive. A bongo drum, for example, sounds round...while the crack of a baseball bat is clearly a sharp sliver of a sound. Unfortunately, Frank Herbert was writing a science fiction novel rather than trying to establish useful and factual mystic doctrine, and he would not take the additional time to think through a statement such as 'every sound has a form.'

So. Who do you believe on this? Me or Frank Herbert? http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/wink.gif Try for yourself to hear anahata shabda (earplugs help) and come to your own conclusions. Does that sound have form, or does it change tone and timbre dependent upon the listener's perception? You may find yourself chasing that sound's form into the sky itself...

HO! *Smack!* http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Feel free to argue with me on this. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/smile.gif Philosophical debate can be fun.

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"I sought the true nature of reality but discovered instead the real nature of truth."

--Thrustweasel of Earth

The Master
07-19-2000, 03:45 PM
I would rather agree with you since I know you better than Frank Herbert. I have known you for about 4 months and Frank Herbert- hardly even know the guy so I guess it is settled with me. I agree with myself. http://www.roguesquadron.net/forums/biggrin.gif

Chillin
07-31-2000, 01:48 PM
I believe I've saved this topic before. This is a cool topic though.

I think every sound is original at one time, then it mixes with other sounds and gets twisted and distorted. We as humans cannot pick out certain sounds and we lack the words to describe many sounds. I think it is possible that some powerful being created these crude bodys as a prison to block us from learning the truth and becoming enlightened.

I would also like to state that I can't stand people that believe themselves to be the greatest things on this earth, for they are fools and most likely the lowest ones here. Especially since on this sound subject dogs are more enlightened than we are.

The Master
07-31-2000, 05:07 PM
I just had a sad thought....... Now that Imladil is gone, who gonna make the Zens?

Chillin
08-02-2000, 02:23 AM
I feal so lost and empty without our zen master.

The Master
08-02-2000, 04:06 AM
Me too, I think we should devote a minute to him. The man who we knew ever since entering the forum.

Shootist
08-03-2000, 02:14 AM
Perhaps it is time for the students to become the masters.

The Master
08-03-2000, 03:37 PM
Yes...... It is sad. He was like a father to us all here at the forum. No one can ever replace him. He shall be missed.....

Shootist
08-03-2000, 10:57 PM
I hope he's over in the corner watchin' us talk about him....laughin' his A%^#* off!!!

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VERY FUNNY SCOTTY, now please beam down my PANTS!!!

Chillin
08-04-2000, 05:53 PM
Right then, I will start up the old zen koans with this one.....

What is the meaning of life?

The Master
08-04-2000, 06:21 PM
First, if he is laughing. That would just be a cruel joke to all of us......

Shootist
08-04-2000, 11:59 PM
True. I haven't formed a concrete opinion on whether I would care if he was laughing or not. I know you folks will probably Bar-B-Que me, but if he had a strong difference of opinion with one of us I wish he'd come on out and at least SPAM the skunk....Just doesn't sound like our pal Imladil to skulk off into the digital dark. Which leads me to wonder if he's physically alright.

The Master
08-05-2000, 01:08 PM
We must have a meeting about this in the chat room some time.