Thursday, September 14, 2006

Zen & Logic- My Points of View


One of our NLP classmates raised a discuusion in Zen and Logic.

I know quite nothing about Zen but exploration always yields some learning. Here is my exploration.

鈴木大拙 is absolutely right that Zen is not based on Logic and Zen practitioners can't 悟 using Logic. This is right if we are talking about Classical Logic, which originated from ancient India, China and Greece. But Zen and Logic can co-exist if we are considering Non-Classical Logic, which started in the 60's - 70's.

I guess that 鈴木大拙 was referring to the Classical Logic as he died in 1966.

As Zen is about "whole", the 二元模式 (eg. true or false) of the Classical Logic limits its usefulness in applying Zen. However, many schools of the Non Classical Logic do not insist the 二元模式.

From a systemic point of view on logic, the world (or universe) consists of multiple causes and effects. Many causes might lead to many effects. We can't see the "whole" because we limit ourselves to one single or only several causes and effects.

If you read really through 鈴木大拙's writings, his idea of 頓悟 is that understanding starts in Subconscious Mind and then gets into the Conscious Mind. When the understanding gets into the Conscious Mind, we get a sudden thorough understanding - 頓悟. Before that, we understand nothing because it is in the Subconscious. This is a great modern interpretation of Zen by 鈴木大拙!

頓悟 is possible because the Subconscious Mind can handle unlimited number of pieces of information (Multiple Causes and Effects). Classical Logic is a reasoning process using the Conscious Mind. So they are not compatible.

禪定 in Zen practice is the accessing of Subconscious!

The "whole" is all the causes and effects. So, Zen is also talking about Logic, but not the kind of single cause and effect logic.

Getting 頓悟 through Zen is too far away from normal people (how many people had already getting 頓悟?!) But it doesn't mean that Zen is useless. Zen practice gives normal people a clearer mind. A clearer mind can give normal people a good ground for improvement, development and breakthrough.

Zen also teach us not insisting on everything as everything is 虛妄. Many Zen masters teach us even not to study 公案 as 公案 is condition-based. 公案 is only useful under that single occasion. The condition of that occasion composes of many causes and we can't duplicate all those causes in the current occasion. This is another beautiful illustration of Multiple Causes & Effects nature of Zen. Quoting anything, including someone else's sayings (even though he/she is a guru) is not Zen.

Zen can only studied by oneself, and so no one can give you any advise on Zen, but yourself!

Even though we are not practising Zen, Zen can give us a great insight - there are many causes and effects. To understand something, don't limit ourselves to single cause and effect. Can't you see that this is also one of the NLP basic presupposition!

It is NOT NLP copying Zen. It is just because they are both studying the same thing - Thinking. Again, I am not talking about the Classical Logical Thinking here.

Some final words, both Conscious Thinking and Subsconscious Thinking are "Logical". Rational and Emotional Thinking are also "Logical". There are logics (i.e. causes & effects) in all our thinkings!

真理不是Linear(single cause and effect), 但是邏輯(Logical)的!