Notes on Zen

The mistake in zen is to ontologize the experience of integration. It is typically the listener at the feet of the adept – not the master – who ontologizes. The suggestion that the self is an illusion is no less an unsupportable assertion than that the self opens out into the Oversoul.

The opposite of “alienation” is “integration”.  Yet integration has little positive meaning; it is experienced as a cessation of fragmentation, an oblivion.   Everyone notices the self seems less fragmented when attentive to something.  Sitting zen might seem like attentiveness to nothing, and might be described as such by some practitioners, but this is dubious.

By “Adept” we mean a master of almost any human activity.  Zen is a cluster of reports from the adepts about their own perceptions.

To be aware of the self is to be anxious about it. The more we focus the self as object, the more it fragments in the field of perception.  To be aware of the possibility of alienation is to be already fragmented, already anxious about the psyche, and so already self-absorbed.

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