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Questions of Zen: Is there any scientific proof or evidence for Zen? Also was is the difference betw

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posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 03:34 PM
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First of all I want to say the problem with most of the comments on Zen is most of you are interpreting Zen to mean nothing and really I don't think it's an accurate translation, and from the books I have read on Zen a more accurate translation or description would not be "nothing", but "empty" and it's a big difference.

In fact in many of the books I have read on Buddhism, they talk a great deal about the "true nature of mind" or the "true mind" and they describe that state as being empty, clear unblemished by thought, void of thought, but in all the descriptions though the true mind may be empty, but it still exists; it isn't nothing.

As, far as scientifically proving the ideas of a system of philosophy, no offense but it's kind of silly and irrelevant. They are systems of philosophy not physics, they deal with concepts, thoughts and emotions, not dirt and rocks, and even if you prove that the physical universe doesn't exactly correspond with ideas from any philosophy it doesn't render the philosophy false or meaningless, so what is really the point.

An, example is Aesop's fables, they are stories filled with lessons on morals and ethics and even if you prove that animals can't talk in the real world, the over all value of the book remains the same, ie teaching morals and lessons. And even if you prove that nature and the universe aren't "Empty" it still does not devalue the use of the idea of "emptiness" to teach others a philosophical truth or lesson.




edit on 25-2-2012 by prisoneronashipoffools because: typos




posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 04:32 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
I'm under the opinion that Zen—like every other synthetic judgements and systems of life—is also created in the human mind, and thus cannot be true. If zen is merely another interpretation of truth, and man is merely his own measure of all things, we'll find that zen and other doctrines are merely one man's dogmatic attempt at interpreting life for others. The only time I ever feel nihilistic is when I study these interpretations knowing that whoever first conceived of the idea, wrote it down and preached it to others, was doing so for vain and valueless reasons.


Ironically, this is the most "Zen" post in the thread. Good job


 


Arp, it is difficult to quantify what you are speaking of. You already know this, but I thought I would reiterate. We can draw some correlations from what science says though, and I personally find it very interesting.

I am not going to go too far into detail, since the post will get lost and I do not intend to use that gating mechanism on this post. Ill do my best at least
Its become a habit of sorts after 800 some odd posts.

In our physical universe, things are dualistic. This can be correlated to a wave. Most physical things have a wave structure at some scale, and propagate through "X." Most beings who are wrapped up in dualism will either call it an illusion, or not even have it as part of their awareness. A semi-consistant marker is whether one refers to it as dualism, or harmony. Same wave, either way, but a strong indicator of where the perspective is coming from.

We could see this as the wave structure of a great many things in our physical universe. Most of these waves need a medium for propagation, others dont. What "Zen" speaks of is not exclusive to one person speaking of it, it is a concept for something deeper that simply can not be "easily" quantified, as it contains the minds which would do the quantification. Just like the equation e=mc^2. So, it points to realizing, but more importantly, experiencing the medium through which the waves/cycles of our mind and physical being propagate. This "overall" medium, or boundary, has not necessarily been quantified by science, though it may be fairly understood as space-time. Generally, science could be looked upon as solely a quantitative view of the universe, completely foregoing the qualitative experience of the quantitative data as irrelevant. "Zen" could be looked at as the very opposite, or the dualistic balance, or harmony.

As always, I only speak for myself. I made this as brief as possible, let me know if you are curious about anything and Ill gladly go in more depth.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 09:17 PM
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The scientific evidence is right here.

Zen is proven by the being unproven.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 10:40 PM
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reply to post by ImaFungi
 


I could listen to Allan Watts talk about nothing all day long



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 04:41 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 


You are a bit confused. in Zen you don't just believe in nothingness, but that "form is emptiness, and emptiness is form". It's like the duality of the wave/particle found in electrons. Both exist at the same time, in order for one to exist the other has to exist as well.

Zen emphasizes in attaining "self-realization". There are many different schools that teach how to reach this "self-realization" differently than other schools. But even without the help of any official Zen school you can also attain such state, learn from it and become enlightened.



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 04:52 AM
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Until you find the no 'thing', you will be lost in 'things'. All that you will know is 'things', you 'think' you are a 'thing' and you 'think' you see 'things'. When you are a 'thing' living in a world full of 'things' you will know suffering, and life will be miserable.
You have to find out that you are 'not' a thing.
When the the word 'nothing' is used people don't want to be 'nothing', they resist the truth. So be a 'thing' and hurt.
If you can recognize that you are 'not' a thing, not a concept, life transforms into peace and joy.
Self realization is the realization that you are 'not' a thing, you are nothing.

edit on 26-2-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 04:56 AM
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Anyone unsure of what Zen is should read the Tao De Ching, here is the first chapter;

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 06:23 AM
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I've had a bit of a read through and a grin to myself at some of the replies. As always ways when talking about 'reality' its impossible to explain but sometimes fun to try. As for the OP's question, what is the difference between Nihilism and Zen... Consider the Nihilism of Nietzsche, the (clichéd) statement, "I think, therefor, I am." It is hard to express, but this is the opposite of Zen as I understand it. Consider a nihilistic kind of concept, 'nothing exists'... If you said this to an old Zen master, you would probably be whacked by a stick and he would say, 'then what is this!' As some have already pointed out, the 'nothingness' or 'nothing' or 'no-thing' Śūnyatā concept of buddhism is better expressed in english as emptiness. Its interesting to watch as some people with probably very similar views debate the exact understanding of emptiness XD I've watched it many times on ATS, if anyone is interested I might have ago myself. Let me know anyway



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 06:47 AM
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Once you comprehend that, you will have your answer.



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 07:19 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


For some reason, when translating this people change words and add in words based on their own religion or interpretation. Here is a literal translation:

道 可 道 ,非 常 道 。
The way able to be paved, is the inconstant way.

名 可 名 , 非 常 名 。
The name able to be named, is the inconstant name.

無 名 天 地 之 始 ﹔ 有 名 萬 物 之 母 。
Nameless it is the beginning of Heaven and Earth; With a name, it is the mother of all things.

故 常 無 , 欲 以 觀 其 妙 ﹔ 常 有 , 欲 以 觀 其 徼。
So ever without it, is the desire to watch its wonder; ever with it, is the desire to watch its boundary.

此 兩 者 , 同 出 而 異 名 , 同 謂 之 玄 。
These two sides, arise together with different names, with the mystery of meaning

玄 之 又 玄, 眾 妙 之 門 。
The mystery of another mystery, the gateway of many wonders.

This is not talking about having desire or not, nor is it talking about nothingness. It is talking about the two ways of looking at things, with a name or without a name.



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 07:27 AM
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Originally posted by Tasmanaut
I've had a bit of a read through and a grin to myself at some of the replies. As always ways when talking about 'reality' its impossible to explain but sometimes fun to try. As for the OP's question, what is the difference between Nihilism and Zen... Consider the Nihilism of Nietzsche, the (clichéd) statement, "I think, therefor, I am." It is hard to express, but this is the opposite of Zen as I understand it.


I am not talking about Nietzsche's philosophy. I'm talking about Nihilism believing that everything is ultimately meaningless.


Originally posted by Tasmanaut
Consider a nihilistic kind of concept, 'nothing exists'... If you said this to an old Zen master, you would probably be whacked by a stick and he would say, 'then what is this!'


I think you are confusing nihilism with solipsism here.



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 07:51 AM
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Nihlism is not Zen. Zen believes that all that can happen and will happen HAS happened. There is nothing to struggle against, nothing to fight about. The only form is formless. Nihlism is the ultimate pity party reducing the universe to a lifeless void, while Zen is a method of finding peace by realizing that the turmoil of the world is but an illusion. The goal of Zen is oneness, the goal of Nihlism is depression. Kind of a large difference.



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 


Fair call there. As for everything being ultimately meaningless... Such a statement implies a negative connotation and that is where it differs from Zen as i understand it. Try this Koan from the Gateless Gate;

Joshu's Dog
A monk asked Joshu, a Chinese Zen master: `Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?'
Joshu answered: `Mu.' [Mu is the negative symbol in Chinese, meaning `No-thing' or `Nay'.]

Mumon's comment:s To realize Zen one has to pass through the barrier of the patriachs. Enlightenment always comes after the road of thinking is blocked. If you do not pass the barrier of the patriachs or if your thinking road is not blocked, whatever you think, whatever you do, is like a tangling ghost. You may ask: What is a barrier of a patriach? This one word, Mu, is it.

This is the barrier of Zen. If you pass through it you will see Joshu face to face. Then you can work hand in hand with the whole line of patriachs. Is this not a pleasant thing to do?

If you want to pass this barrier, you must work through every bone in your body, through ever pore in your skin, filled with this question: What is Mu? and carry it day and night. Do not believe it is the common negative symbol meaning nothing. It is not nothingness, the opposite of existence. If you really want to pass this barrier, you should feel like drinking a hot iron ball that you can neither swallor nor spit out.

Then your previous lesser knowledge disappears. As a fruit ripening in season, your subjectivity and objectivity naturally become one. It is like a dumb man who has had a dream. He knows about it but cannot tell it.

When he enters this condition his ego-shell is crushed and he can shake the heaven and move the earth. He is like a great warrior with a sharp sword. If a Buddha stands in his way, he will cut him down; if a patriach offers him any obstacle, he will kill him; and he will be free in this way of birth and death. He can enter any world as if it were his own playground. I will tell you how to do this with this koan:

Just concentrate your whole energy into this Mu, and do not allow any discontinuation. When you enter this Mu and there is no discontinuation, your attainment will be as a candle burning and illuminating the whole universe.


Has a dog Buddha-nature?
This is the most serious question of all.
If you say yes or no,
You lose your own Buddha-nature.

l>

edit on 26-2-2012 by Tasmanaut because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 10:00 AM
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Originally posted by Tasmanaut
reply to post by arpgme
 


Far call there. As for everything being ultimately meaningless... Such a statement implies a negative connotation and that is where it differs from Zen as i understand it. Try this Koan from the Gateless Gate;


It does not imply a negative connotation, it is straight to the point without any emotion either positive or negative, unless it is the PERSON who believes that everything being ultimately meaningless is somehow a "bad" thing...


Originally posted by jimnuggits
Nihlism is not Zen. Zen believes that all that can happen and will happen HAS happened.


Really? I thought it was about staying empty minded and living in the now. Not discussing past or future or claiming all things happened.


Originally posted by jimnuggits
The only form is formless. Nihlism is the ultimate pity party reducing the universe to a lifeless void.


What's the difference between saying the only form is the formless, and believing that the universe is ultimately a void (formless)? There is no difference, and why is it a "pity party"?


Originally posted by jimnuggits
he goal of Zen is oneness


Really? I thought this was the goal of those new age beliefs, not of Zen. Isn't Zen about realizing the nothingness and not having desire like all forms of Buddhism? Where does this "oneness" fit in?


Originally posted by jimnuggits
the goal of Nihlism is depression.


Why do you say that? Nihilism has no goal. It is just a perspective, just seeing the world as ultimately having no meaning, it doesn't take into account any emotions, it's a simply philosophy, so its "goal" cannot be depression.



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 10:42 AM
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edit on 26-2-2012 by Tasmanaut because: (no reason given)

You seem to be very switched on indeed. Perhaps you could say that both philosophies approach each other - at least at the highest levels. Different names and different terms attempting to describe the same 'reality'. This whole thread is infact much like a Koan. I think the answer you're going to get in the end will be something like, there is neither Nihilism nor Zen existing as seperate philosophies.... If that makes any sense
edit on 26-2-2012 by Tasmanaut because: dont even know what i did there



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 01:55 PM
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Originally posted by arpgme


Is there any scientific proof that most things contain emptiness?

Is there any scientific proof that nothingness creates somethingness?

Is there any scientific proof that consciousness is only in the brain?

If Zen is true, then there is no spirit or god or prophet, they are just things created from the human mind.

no

What is the difference between Zen and Nihilism for example?
Zen believes that we are nothingness and that everything comes from nothingness and that nothingness surrounds and is inside all that is. We can find the nothingness inside us by realizing that we are not our thoughts or emotions and by meditating and becoming aware that our thoughts and emotions are things just passing through.


Zen does not gain beliefs . Zen expressions are usually epigrammatic and poetic.synaptics



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 02:13 PM
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Originally posted by ImaFungi

Originally posted by Starchild23

Originally posted by ImaFungi
reply to post by Starchild23
 


you believe zen to be an inaccurate description and concept? are you familiar with the concepts of zen?


I know that meditation is far older than zen. Also, zen is man-made. Are you implying our concept of zen, considering it is man-made, is not flawed?

We discover several ways of doing the same thing, and they all become different things, when in reality they are all one and the same. What makes them different things? Our perception.

Our flawed view of reality.

This is why I call it inaccurate. It is a less than perfect impression of a concept that man has difficulty truly describing or understanding, because man's understanding of this world and what lies beyond and around it is less than perfect.

Are you familiar with the concept of infant race?


about infant race maybe i can imagine what that implies........ the world doesnt ask that much of man.... if a man, works for food, to live, and spends his free time relaxing in meditation or philosophizing,, i dont see much flaw in that....... do you think a dolphin or rabbit as a flawed view of reality? or are they fulfilling themselves perfectly?


Man does not spend his free time philosophizing. He spends his free time figuring out who has what, then deciding what is the best way to take it.

History proves this.



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by Starchild23

Originally posted by ImaFungi

Originally posted by Starchild23

Originally posted by ImaFungi
reply to post by Starchild23
 


you believe zen to be an inaccurate description and concept? are you familiar with the concepts of zen?


I know that meditation is far older than zen. Also, zen is man-made. Are you implying our concept of zen, considering it is man-made, is not flawed?

We discover several ways of doing the same thing, and they all become different things, when in reality they are all one and the same. What makes them different things? Our perception.

Our flawed view of reality.

This is why I call it inaccurate. It is a less than perfect impression of a concept that man has difficulty truly describing or understanding, because man's understanding of this world and what lies beyond and around it is less than perfect.

Are you familiar with the concept of infant race?


about infant race maybe i can imagine what that implies........ the world doesnt ask that much of man.... if a man, works for food, to live, and spends his free time relaxing in meditation or philosophizing,, i dont see much flaw in that....... do you think a dolphin or rabbit as a flawed view of reality? or are they fulfilling themselves perfectly?


Man does not spend his free time philosophizing. He spends his free time figuring out who has what, then deciding what is the best way to take it.

History proves this.


Some men maybe , not me though, I don't care what other people have or have any desire to take it and much rather spend my free time reading or thinking about ideas greater then me; philosophy. In fact I wouldn't even say most men are like that, if you look at most of the members of ATS and they aren't like that either, they seem to rather spend their free time debating philosophy too or why would they be on ATS, debating ideas and opinions. In fact I would say even you are proof against your statement, since you too are on ATS, posting and creating threads; sharing and debating your, ideals, beliefs and opinions, I mean if your statement were an absolute truth then why are you not out examining other peoples goods and figuring out how to take them?

Not busting your chops just saying you protest to much and your view of man has been tainted by actually the minority of humans who have held power through the ages and yes those who hold power and shape or destiny are a minority and not really like most of the rest of us.
edit on 26-2-2012 by prisoneronashipoffools because: typo

edit on 26-2-2012 by prisoneronashipoffools because: typo



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 03:35 PM
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reply to post by prisoneronashipoffools
 


Truth is subjective. I concede this argument.

Consider yourself honored...this is the first time I have admitted defeat at the hands of an ATSer.
edit on CSundaypm414135f35America/Chicago26 by Starchild23 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by Starchild23
 


i also was speaking of the way of the zen man in my example..




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