Saturday, October 27, 2007

If enlightenment is “ineffable” …

Per a claim of Zen Buddhism, how can anybody claim that someone else is not enlightened? The obvious answer is, “They can’t.”

How can anyone claim that someone else’s use of certain words (or physical actions, drawings, music or whatever) to talk about enlightenment shows in and of itself that the person talking isn’t enlightened? The obvious answer is, “They can’t.”

For that matter, how can a person who claims he or she is enlightened actually defend that claim to any other person? The obvious answer is, “They can’t.”

The observations above are NOT about the “paradox” of a religion like Zen Buddhism that bases itself on satori is some other enlightenment that is claimed to be ineffable. No paradox is at issue here.

Rather, what IS at issue is failure in logical thinking skills. Of course, defenders of Zen will claim that this itself is part of Zen: its anti-logical stance.

OK, I’ll accept that for the sake of argument.

But, that goes right back to my point. If Zen Buddhism is anti-logical, or anti-linguistic, for that matter, you cannot defend it. Arguably, any attempt to defend it, in fact shows that the person making the attempt is unenlightened, no matter how much they claim to be enlightened.

4 comments:

Addle Allone said...

I'll prove ineffability, if you like.

You are a smart guy, right? This should be no problem.

Without saying the frequency 480-405 THZ,

or using anything like an apple or a stop sign,

or saying "heat, or hot", since neither an apple or stop sign is,

Describe the color red to a blind man in a way that he understands at the same level as someone who has seen it.

And I said you were enlightened.

Gadfly does not listen!

Addle Allone said...

I extend the challenge to all of Gadfly's readers.

I hope .001% will try.

Gadfly said...

MU to your first post. There, you got a Zen answer.

Addle Allone said...

Well I went to several bookstores, and it looks like we are both correct.

Books A Million had Zen in the philosophy section,

Borders had Zen in the same rack as General Metaphysics!

I guess you cannot argue with capitalism.

And I was pretty amazed at how much dribble there was, so...

Maybe it is time for Contra Buddhism III.

Keep up the critism.

Namaste