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Zen Experience

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Author: Thomas Hoover
Published: 1980
Language: English
Wordcount: 92,452 / 285 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 68.6
LoC Category: BQ
Downloads: 2,229
Added to site: 2010.08.21 28766
License: ©

Library Journal called it, "The best history of Zen ever written."

The truth of Zen has always resided in individual experience rather than in theoretical writings. To give the modern reader access to understanding of this truth, THE ZEN EXPERIENCE illumines Zen as it was created and shaped by the personalities, perceptions, and actions of its masters over the centuries.

Show Excerpt

huang Tzu also knew how quickly comedy could deflate, and he used it with consummate skill, again paving the way for the absurdist Zen masters. In fact, his dialogues often anticipate the Zen mondo, the exchanges between master and pupil that have comic/straight-man overtones.

In this regard, Chuang Tzu also sometimes anticipates twentieth-century writers for the Theater of the Absurd, such as Beckett or Ionesco. Significantly, the Columbia scholar Burton Watson suggests that the most fruitful path to Chuang Tzu "is not to attempt to subject his thoughts to rational and systematic analysis, but to read and reread his words until one has ceased to think of what he is saying and instead has developed an intuitive sense of the mind moving beyond the words, and of the world in which it moves."7 This is undoubtedly true. The effect of comic parody on logic is so telling that the only way to really understand the message is to stop trying to "understand" it.

Concerning the limitations of verbal transm



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