Salvation By Paradox: On Zen And Zen-like Thought [*]
By Scharfstein, Ben-Ami

Journal of Chinese Philosophy
V. 3 (1976)
pp. 209-234

Copyright 1976 by D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland

san.gif (3539 bytes)



p. 209


I and you, so I imagine, are fond of words. I imagine that it is not simple necessity that makes people use so many of them. The same nature that has given us our wits, our speech, and our sociability has given us pleasure in the simultaneous exercise of all three. For reasons we need not go into, this pleasure is obviously intensified in certain kinds of people, such as orators, teachers, storytellers, poets, theologians, and philosophers. In them the pleasure can rise to the intensity of a passion. Soren Kierkegaard is an example that comes easily to my mind. It is no wonder that he, the orator-teacher-storyteller-poet- theologian-philosopher, grew fascinated by the power of words and the effect of their order. Implausible as it may seem to most of us, he fell in love with Latin and, especially, Greek grammar. When he learned the rules for the indicative and conjunctive, he said, an extraordinary change took place in his consciousness. For the first time he sensed the fact that everything depended upon how a thing was thought. [1] Grammatical form, he said, was the invisible soul by which a thought was given life and reality form. One day, when he was musing, he told himself that the life of mankind might very well be conceived as a speech in which different men represented the various parts of speech. The few important men would be the substantives; and persons would act toward one another in the form of the irregular verbs of the different languages. [2] To keep his own written words alive, he tried to catch the rhythm of true speech -- before he wrote anything down, he repeated it aloud to himself perhaps a dozen times. [2] The structure of his sentences recalled a world of memories to him, and he lived in them as they came into being and discovered their form. Their words were different, he said, from merely literary ones, which were a mere game to be played for its own sake, whereas he was playing for higher stakes, reduplicating his words in his life and his life in his words, both taking on substance, sincerity, and reality from one another. [3]



p. 210

    As I have said, I am fond of words, and I am struck by the ability they confer upon us to think more widely and exactly and to understand one another more intimately. I believe that the intellectual and other difficulties we run into are, on the whole, inherent in the situation or in ourselves, and not particularly in words as such. But, as we know, people come to blame and even denounce words. Perhaps the severest of the denouncers are the disappointed or ambivalent lovers of language. Such an ambivalence has already presented itself to us in Kierkegaard, in the distinction he made between literary and true language. To him, words could be as painfully unreal as they could be painfully real, the medium for untruth and non-existence no less than for truth and existence. The false sublimities of language, he said, seduce man into appearing more noble then he is. There should be a special police to strip rhetoricians, teachers, and professors down to their linguistic skins, to take off their linguistic disguises, and to say them, "Hold your tongue! and see what your speechless life can say for you!" [4] Lacking the medium for misrepresentation, man would at least have to be sincere. [5] For to arrive at the truth, or even aspire to it, it is necessary to get rid of thoughts, ideas, and egoism. [6]

    The suspicion of words, which Kierkegaard, like the Zen masters, expresses so graphically, is old, deeply rooted, and endemic among poets and mystically inclined philosophers. The suspicion is expressed early in India in the Upanishads, in China in Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu, and in Greece in Plato. Closer to Zen Buddhism, the Lankavatara Sutra says that true learning requires familiarity with meaning and not with words.

    Some of the reasons for the antagonism to words may be quite simple. In Zen, as in other religions, scriptures were (and are) often recited without understanding. This is particularly likely to occur when the language of the scriptures has become archaic. Reacting to this situation, the Zen master, Hui-hai, forbade people to recite sutras, explaining,

Such people are like parrots mimicking human speech without understanding its meaning ... To comprehend meaning we should go beyond unsteady words; we should leap beyond writings ... That is why those seeking enlightenment forget all about wording after having arrived at the meaning.

Then, alluding to some apt words in Chuang-tzu, the master said,

Awakening to reality, they throw away the doctrine just as a fisherman, having caught his fish, pays no more attention to his nets. [7]



p. 211

    It appears to have been only a short step from an attack on the uncomprehending use of words and on the distance created between words and 'meaning' to an attack on words as such, and therefore to a rejection of scriptures because they were composed of words. I doubt that this rejection was ever consistent and unequivocal, but some Zen masters, speaking with their customary earthy directness, heaped scorn on Zen scriptures, masters, and images. One of them said, starkly, that the Buddha was a barbarian turd and sainthood an empty name. Lin-chi, using the same stark terminology, said, "Do not take the Buddha for the Ultimate. As I look at him, he is still like the hole in the privy". [8] And Hakuin, echoing Lin-chi, said, "All the scriptures are only paper good for wiping off shit". In an excess of enthusiasm, which, if taken seriously, would have ended his career, he said as well, "Studying Zen under a teacher is an empty delusion". [9]

    This attack on words, by means, of course, of words, may seem to you to be arbitrary. It is no doubt theatrical, by which I mean, consciously designed to shock. It may not have been difficult to enlist the latent resentment of monks against the scriptures they had so often parroted; but we, I assume, are not party to their resentment. What are we to think of the attack? I have said and repeated that I myself like words and have no general fault to find with them. But they can be used without a sense of their nature and limitations. Philosophers, for example, and theologians, may easily press them to fruitless extremes, and almost anyone may sometimes be tempted to confuse a word or set of words with something it is not. There is, then, a possible truth in the Zen attack on words, at least in their more philosophical and coercively abstract uses, and I should like to put this truth to you in my own way.

    I have written these words, on the inadequacy of words, on a previous occasion and I am reconsidering them as I write them down again. I am fully conscious of the at least apparent absurdity of using words to proclaim their own inadequacy. The success of such an attack could only demonstrate its own failure: it would have been words that had persuaded the reader that words could never really arrive at the truth. There is also the difficulty, which Aristotle tried, with relative success, to solve with his theory of forms or essences, that the particular circumstances under which I am thinking and writing have an implacable generality, which is all that I can hope to convey to you, just as my meaning has its implacable



p. 212

generality contained, so to speak, within this absolutely individual moment of my life.

    The quality of absolute individuality is one that philosophers have, of course, considered and even invented names for. It is the inseparable 'thisness', the haecceitas, of every object, according to the medieval European philosopher. Duns Scotus. The Indian philosophers known as the Vaisheshika call it vishesha. Buddhist philosophers express that which is unique, with no tinge of otherness, with the concept of sva-lakshana. But although suitable names have been invented for absolute individuality, no one, not even a philosopher, can live in a world all made up of unique particulars. If everything were completely different from everything else, it would be impossible to learn from experience. Strictly speaking, such a world, consisting of nothing but unique particulars, cannot even be thought, because thinking, whatever else it may be, is also a generalizing and a relating. Is it a sophism, or is it the lack of a theory of levels of language that tempts us to say that absolute individuals have their individuality in common, as is demonstrated by the use for all of the same name, whether haecceitas, vishesha, or sva-lakshana? Does not every argument in their favor have to generalize about them and therefore imply that they are not merely individual particulars?

    I think I know where the trouble lies, though I have no ambition to analyze it exactly. Concepts, that is, abstractions, are useful because they are isolating. They function as do our senses in identifying what is, for practical purposes, the same, though the same at different times and in different places and circumstances. They isolate, identify, and contrast for us somewhat as we isolate, identify, and contrast in our scientific laboratories, where things are ruthlessly isolated or cut out from their natural nexus, that is, from the subtle, unique, indefinitely extended network of events in which they naturally occur. For although we use words, in the sense of proper names, to name natural beings that are more or less complete in themselves, we use words, in the sense of abstractions, to stand for characteristics that have no independent existence. The number system is a simple, persuasive example. We could hardly get along without numbers. Even animals need an ability equivalent to counting -- some birds are said to be able to distinguish up to seven objects or occurrences. We need and believe in numbers firmly enough to feel uncomfortable when someone suggests that their reality may be qualified. It is no acci-



p. 213

dent, speaking either psychologically or metaphysically, that the notable Platonists of modern times have often been mathematicians. Yet, whatever in the end we care to think of numbers, it is true that nothing we perceive with our senses, not even the symbol for number, is simply 'one' in itself, or 'two'. It is always one thing of some particular kind, or two things, and so on.

    All this is part of the ABC of philosophy, though all our sophistication, I am afraid, never rids us of the problem involved. The problem becomes acute, as we have so often learned in the history of philosophy, when abstractions come to be regarded as if they were things or parts of things, or when it is supposed that reality is made up wholly of 'abstractions', or that reality must conform exactly to abstractions, be cut, so to speak, to exactly their pattern. Sometimes I think that the tendency to see reality in this light is only the philosopher's obsession with neatness, as if he could not bear to live in a world he had not swept clean, straightened up, and protected with antimacassars wherever an oily head or sweaty arm might lean. We know well enough that even the most useful abstractions cannot fit experience perfectly or exhaustively. The strict 'either-or' of the logician is not always more adequate to experience than the paradoxial-sounding union of opposites of the mystic, or the mystic's frequent refusal to commit himself to any clear final statement. I do not think that this is true because of any radical defect in the principle of contradiction, but because of the inadequate ways in which we prefer or are impelled to use it. We often use it crudely in a world that remains beyond even our subtlest analyses.

    What I am saying suggests the unease felt by many philosophers at the uncomprehending use of abstractions. As we know, Wittgenstein was particularly uneasy at the use of abstractions of the philosophical kind, which brought on, he thought, a special kind of philosopher's disease. Speaking in his name, his disciple, Renford Bambrough, insists that the normal 'yes-no' or 'either-or' standard of reasoning may not work well in philosophy. That is, it may happen that a certain statement or proposition, p, and its contradictory, not-p, may both be misleading. We may then try to say what we need without either making the crucial-seeming statement or contradicting it.

Wittgenstein preaches this method and he often practices it. When he 'assembles reminders for a particular purpose', when he adjures explanations and allows what used



p. 214

to be called 'aseptic' description to take its place, he is doing his best to escape from the standard philosophical forms of words precisely because he has noticed that they are incurably misleading, that to deny what is expressed by one of them is as misleading as to assert what is expressed by it. [10]

    Chuang-tzu makes much the same point, though more radically. He knows, as we do, that analytic thought must, by its very nature, apply definite names, concepts, and values to our experience. All these are necessarily subjective, because applied from particular and limited points of view, and all are necessarily too definite, because inadequate to the fluidity, to the ebb and flow of nature. All these are therefore necessarily distorting. They lead us, he says, to become entangled in contradictions. We should learn to relax our conceptual definiteness and our incessant distinguishing between one thing and another. Things merge no less than they separate, and if this is hard to express in words, so much the worse for the words. Consider, for example, fixity and change, or, in words with a more human connotation, living and dying. Everything that exists is changing and so vanishing, and so to live is in a sense to die; and dying is a process that, as such, takes place, that is, exists, and so to die is in a sense to persist or live. Opposites are in a sense the same, "the admissible is simultaneously the inadmissible", and every different thing, every 'it', as the translator puts Chuang-tzu's word, is also the same as that which is other than itself. "What is 'it'," says Chuang-tzu, "is also 'other', what is 'other' is also 'it'... Are there really It and Other! Or really no It and Other?" [11]

    The question can have no answer, Chuang-tzu thinks. "Therefore", he says, "the glitter of glib debate is despised by the sage. The contrived 'that's it' he does not use, but finds things in their places as usual. It is this that I call 'throwing things open to the light.'" [12]

    Chuang-tzu does his best to stretch the medium of words to what he thinks it cannot or cannot quite express. He appears to agree that unambiguously unique or particular things are impossible, and that words, which signify that things are unambiguously definite, are always problematic. He uses words and recognizes their use; he sees their imperfections; he asks about them but gives no dogmatic answer. He takes the middle, indefinite path. He says,

Words are not just wind. Words have something to say. But if what they have to say is not fixed, then do they really say something? Or do they say nothing? People suppose



p. 215

that words are different from the peeps of baby birds, but is there any difference or isn't there? [13]

    Can such a view be put without Chuang-tzu's impish paradoxicality? Perhaps. Perhaps it is put more clearly by the Indian philosophers of the Jain sect, when they insist that all ordinary descriptions of reality, because they must be made from a limited standpoint, should be prefixed, 'in a sense' or 'somehow'. It is a mistake, they say, to describe the whole of reality by means of a single predicate, such as 'unchanging' or 'changing'. Reality is neither the Vedantist's permanence nor the Buddhist's impermanence, but change in permanence and permanence in change. To drive this argument home, they tell the now famous parable, of the blind men trying to describe an elephant. One of the blind men said that an elephant was ear-shaped, another that it was trunk-shaped, a third that it was tail-shaped, and so on. But reality has ears, a trunk, a tail, and very much else, and it is no one of them and maybe not even exactly all of them either separately or together.

    The Taoists and the Jains are both saying that abstractions, like mass-produced clothing, cannot fit all natures perfectly, and certainly not nature as such, in the absolute. Like many Indian philosophers and like the Neo-Platonists, they try to get below the surface of things and find reality there. But the reality they find must be inexpressible, either in the sense of a unique whole or that of a whole made of unique parts. It must be inexpressible because uniqueness evades the generality of abstract words. Both radical monists and radical pluralists ought to be silent. Silence, however, like speech, has shortcomings. As a Zen master said, "Both speech and silence transgress". [14]

    The disciple of Wittgenstein I have quoted ascribes to his teacher an approximation of this last, Zen moral. He says, plausibly enough, that Wittgenstein maintains that there is something impossible about words in their philosophical use:

A characteristically philosophical form of words is always capable both of expressing something true and of expressing something false, and when such a form of words is used the speaker may mean by it only what is true or only what is false or both what is true and what is false in what the expression is naturally capable of expressing. Correspondingly, someone who denies an assertion made with such an expression may intend to deny the false content of the assertion, or the true content, or both. (This paragraph is itself a most misleading philosophical remark.) [15]



p. 216

Chuang-tzu, who takes a similar position, says:

Treat as 'it' even what is not, treat as 'so' even what is not... Therefore behind dividing there is something undivided, behind disputation there is something not argued out. 'What?' you ask. The sage keeps it in his breast. [16]

    I know that these words on the inadequacy of words are unclear. Let me try, then, to explain, because I have no ambition to rival Zen or other riddles with any of my own making.

    If what I am saying makes no sense to you, I am not really speaking, so you must think, and certainly not speaking to you. But suppose the contrary. Here we are, you and I. We are invisible to one another. We are at different times. We do not know one another at all. Each of us comes from a different place and is going somewhere else, every day and all his life, and has different thoughts and fantasies filling his mind. And yet, as I am writing and you are reading these words, they enter the consciousness of each of us, and as long as they remain at the center of my consciousness and yours, I and you are thinking the same thoughts. In this sense, which I admit is limited, we are internally one.

    I will be more radical. I am not simply writing to you, and you are not simply reading me. I am you and you are I because we are simultaneously having the same thoughts -- simultaneously, not at the same clock time, but at the intended simultaneity of writer and reader. I could go further still and say that at the moment that we share the same thoughts I am not speaking to you, because, if I am the same as you, I cannot speak to you -- speaking to someone else implies that he is different from me. If you answer that we speak to ourselves (I am speaking to myself now in mimicry of our possible conversation), my response is that the oneness I am speaking of is the moment we both share the same consciousness, that is, the same conscious thought, even if the two in question are located in myself.

    Because I am talking about difference and sameness, let me suggest an impossible experiment in counting. If we could now take off our hands, feet, and bodies, how many consciousnesses would there be left? If, all containing the same thoughts, they would all be the same, why not say 'one'? Or if 'one' seems too definite and arithmetical a number for a situation so hard to count, why not say, with the Taoists and Zen Buddhists, "neither one nor many"? Listen to Chuang-tzu again as he states such a paradox, in a necessarily interpretive translation:



p. 217

The universe and I exist together, and all things and I are one. Since all things are one what room is there for speech? But since I have already said that all things are one, how can speech not exist?

    Difference and sameness, manyness and unity, illusion and reality. Do these really constitute a problem or are they, paired or single, merely the nature of the world, which we should accept as it obviously is, without surprise? Niels Bohr, the philosophical physicist who held that nature could be understood only by means of 'complementary' concepts, used to repeat that truth is of two kinds, trivialities, the opposites of which were obviously absurd, and profound truths, to be recognized by the fact that their opposites were also profound truths. [17] John Wisdom, the English philosopher, sometimes spoke like Bohr, like Chuang-tzu, and, of course, like Wittgenstein, and insisted, "I have said that philosophers' questions and theories are really verbal. But if you like we will not say this or we will also say the contradictory." [18]

    It is also possible to confine the attack on words to moments of especial insight, and to say, with that mystical genius, the mathematician, Luitzen Brouwer,

The language of introspective wisdom appears disorderly, illogical, because it can never proceed by systems of entities which have been imprinted on life, but can only accompany their rupture and in this way perhaps aid the unfolding that causes the rupture. [19]

    Though I do not share Bohr's preference for complementarity, Wisdom's linguistic ideals, or Brouwer's mysticism, I find that in their uneasiness or protest they see, as do poets, that it is difficult and sometimes perhaps dangerous to try to translate all human experience, and therefore all truth, into words. In such translations, abstractions can tyrannize over particularity and emotion; or the opposite can happen, and emotion can tyrannize over reason. Words, particularly when specialized, tend to split their users into rational selves and emotional selves. The split, if profound, expresses a profound danger to human integrity, a fact as well known to the Zen masters as to contemporary psychologists.

    Some of the more sensitive Western philosophers have tried to mitigate the philosopher's specialization and splitting. Looking back, years later, at his Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche regretted its form and said, "It should have sung, this 'new soul' -- and not spoken! What I had to say then -- too bad that I did not dare to say it as a poet: perhaps I had the ability" [20]



p. 218

Quite as much in character was Nietzsche's comment, "Compared with music all communication by words is shameless; words dilute and brutalize; words depersonalize; words make the uncommon common". [21]

    Wittgenstein, who loved music perhaps no less than Nietzsche did, found that loud words, like whistling aloud, could drown out what only the inward ear could hear. [22] Unwilling to lose any of the particularity of a sentence, Wittgenstein heard it musically. He said:

"Understanding a sentence is much more akin to understanding a theme in music than one may think. What I mean is that understanding a sentence lies nearer to what is ordinarily called understanding a musical theme. Why is just this the pattern of variation in loudness and tempo? ..."
"We speak of understanding a sentence in the sense in which it can be replaced by another which says the same; but also in the sense in which it cannot be replaced by any other. (Any more than one musical theme can be replaced by another.)"
"In the one case the thought in the sentence is something common to different sentences; in the other, something that is expressed only by these words in these positions. (Understanding a poem.)"
"There is a strongly musical element in verbal language. (A sigh, the intonation of voice in a question, in an announcement, in longing; all the innumerable gestures made with the voice.)"
"In philosophy it is significant that such-and-such a sentence makes no sense; but also that it sounds funny."
"One who philosophises often makes the wrong, inappropriate gesture for a verbal expression." [23]



The old Zen masters were resourceful educators, and they must have vied with one another in the invention of verbal and physical techniques to arouse their students to the elusive truth. It was inevitable that the words of the revered old masters, the 'old cases', should be collected, systematized to a degree, and provided with answers (to be revealed to future masters), with clarifications, and with atmospherically fitting verses. Zen tradition came to see the koans as exemplifications of the transcendent principle, received silently from the Buddha himself, and, as such, beyond logic, beyond transmission in writing, and beyond measure by reason. To use one of the grander expressions of Zen rhetoric, the koan is "a divine mirror that reflects the original face of both the sacred and the secular". [24]

    It has been said, with what degree of truth I do not know, that the early Zen masters of China put things more simply, less enigmatically, and that



p. 219

some of them were even prepared to accept philosophically logical answers. On the whole, however, the koans were designed to break down ordinary rationality. Rationality or intellectuality was regarded as a defence against the truth. Intellectually plausible answers were therefore taken to be 'dead words', and only non-rational, apparently irrelevant ones to be 'living words'. The disciple, given a koan, so to speak, to see through, was encouraged to put his whole strength into the single-minded search for its solution, to be "like a thirsty rat seeking for water, like a child thinking of its mother". [25] The disciple was to carry the problem with him everywhere, until suddenly, if he were successful, the solution came, or, as the Zen phrase went, "the ball of doubt was shattered". This vivid expression had been lifted out of an old Zen poem, whose author had written:

Everywhere I went I met with words,
But I couldn't understand them.
The ball of doubt within my heart
Was as big as a wicker basket.

    However, as the poem recounts, the doubt was shattered by an opportune blow delivered by the Zen master:

The Master, from his mat of felt,
Rose up like a dragon,
And, baring his right arm,
Struck my chest a single blow.
My ball of doubt, fright-shattered,
Fell to the ground with a crash! [26]

    Hakuin, the great seventeenth-century Japanese reformer of Zen, always emphasized that the koan could lead to enlightenment only through such enormous effort that the Great Doubt, as he called it, would be aroused. The shattering of the Great Doubt was enlightenment and the welling up of a flood of exaltation. "If you take up one koan", he said,

and investigate it unceasingly, your mind will die and your will will be destroyed. It is as though a vast, empty abyss lay before you, with no place to set your hands and feet. You face death and your bosom feels as though it were fire. Then suddenly you are one with the koan, and body and mind are cast off... This is known as seeking into one's nature. You must push forward relentlessly and with the help of this complete concentration you will penetrate without fail to the basic source of your own strength. [27]



p. 220

As the poem on the shattering of the ball of doubt intimates, Zen masters used what might be called, somewhat pretentiously, psychophysical methods. Lin-chi, with a dialectical verve that belies his anti-intellectualism, carried on the practice of therapeutic hitting that he had learned from his teacher. He administered his blows selectively. "Many students", he said,

are not free from the entanglement of objective things. I treat them right on the spot. If their trouble comes from their mouths, it is there I strike. So far I have not found anyone who can be set free by himself. That is because they have all been entangled in the useless mechanics of their old masters. As for me, I do not have a single method to give to everyone, but what I can do is relieve the troubled and set them free. [28]

    Lin-chi was famous, not only for his hitting, but also for his effective shouting of Ho!, which, like the precisely timed interpretation of a psychoanalyst, was meant to catalyze insight. Ho!, like blows, was used discriminatingly by Lin-chi, who has therefore been said to have constituted a semantic system of the cry. It is only one of a group of now conventionalized cries used to respond to koans. The Zen cries, and, sometimes, Zen blows, may be used in a kind of dialectical duel, in which each contestant tries to transfix his partner on the sword of enlightenment. [29]

    Other techniques were resorted to, as ingenuity or experience suggested. These techniques included the giving of an irrelevant response, the repetition of the question as the answer to the same question, and the use of a disconcerting negation or series of negations. Nose-twisting, we learn, was also available to the enterprising master.

    Like any educational technique, that of koan Zen has sometimes, in its own terms, succeeded and sometimes failed. At its extreme, Zen technique suggests a strain of masochism or sadism. The first is suggested by the story of Bodhidharma's would-be disciple, who proved his sincerity and earned his discipleship by cutting off his arm. The second, sadism, is more than hinted at by the famous koan in which the master, Nansen, makes his point by cutting a cat into halves, a deed that would have horrified the many generations of Buddhists who believed in the utmost mercy for every living thing.

    The use of such psychophysical methods has never, to my knowledge, been advocated by Western philosophers; though I should have to qualify this statement if I were to refer to Christian monks, the Jesuits, for



p. 221

example, or to some of the famous Western mystics. But the point I want to make is that the psychophysical factors, though not emphasized by Western philosophers, have nevertheless exerted their effects on them. Non-verbal communication takes place in philosophy just as it does elsewhere among human beings. It takes place most obviously when people are in intimate contact, and its most obvious effects in the history of philosophy are on those intimate, faithful disciples who may do so much to propagate a philosopher's ideas (and sometimes, too, his physical mannerisms).

    Non-verbal communication includes the effect of the stance and motion of one's body, the changing size of the pupils of one's eyes, the quality, pitch, and loudness of one's voice, the rhythms of one's speech, and much else, including everything that is included in the concept of style. [30]

    I do not want to contend that the way a philosopher uses his body must influence his disciples significantly. But there are cases in which it may well do so. The philosopher-sociologist, Georg Simmel (1858-1918), who was an extraordinarily effective lecturer, expressed himself, not only by means of his words, but by means of his bodily intensity as he spoke. As a contemporary described it:

When Simmel wanted to convey to the audience the core of an idea, he not only formulated it, he so-to-speak picked it up with his hands, his fingers opening and closing; his whole body turned and vibrated under the raised hand. His intensity of speech indicated a supreme tension of thought; he talked abstractly, but this abstract thought sprang from live concern, so that it came to life in the listener.

    Simmel's joining of ideas became visible:

He 'thinks aloud', somebody said of him. One could add: He thinks visibly, one imagines seeing how a thought occurs to him.... One can see how his brain operates, how he joins ideas like a carpenter joins wood.... One is led to participate in the construction. One doesn't listen, one participates in the thought process. [31]

    Wittgenstein, too, exhibited great psychophysical tension, which obviously affected his disciples.

When he started to formulate his view on some specific philosophical problem, we often felt the internal struggle that occurred to him that very moment, a struggle by which he tried to penetrate from darkness to light under an intense and powerful strain, which was even visible on his most expressive face. When, finally, sometimes after a prolonged arduous effort, his answer came forth, the statement stood before us like a newly created piece of art or a divine revelation. [32]



p. 222

    To Wittgenstein, teaching was the same kind of struggle, in which the participants were midwives, to help him give birth to the ideas that might save him. He sat struggling visibly in his chair. He often felt and said he was confused or a fool. He was silent, tense, active, concentrated, his hands moving, his expression stern. His auditors, if captured by him, were fascinated and afraid. Not only was the struggle itself arresting, an obvious participation of his body in his mind, but he could be impatient (as he could be kind) to the discussants, fierce, dominating, domineering, and sometimes insulting. Some of his students supposed he came formally unprepared and thought out problems on the spot. But some, considering the drama to be calculated, supposed he was in fact prepared, and had in any case thought about these problems often. [33]

    Though he was outside of any obvious tradition, there was something in Wittgenstein of a Zen master's overwhelming presence, in which body and mind had equal effect. Not, I think, accidentally, his questioning and his raising of tension, and his cutting sharpness alternating with solicitude were related to the Zen-like view that

all that we can say can a priori be only meaningless. Besides we run against the limits of language. This answer Kierkegaard saw too and characterized it as running against the paradox... It is a priori certain: Whatever definition of the good one may give -- it is always a misunderstanding. [34]

    Before I change the angle from which I am viewing koan training, I should like to recall its sometimes unfavorable effects. Zen monasteries, like all such places of refuge from the world, have always had their share of the outcast, the unfortunate, and the unstable. It is natural that psychotic breakdowns occur among them. But the method itself of koan meditation is said to be capable of inducing depressions arid hallucinations, that is, a specific 'Zen Sickness'. Hakuin recalls predecessors attacked by it and gives a moving description of his own suffering and his recovery made with the help of an old monk. [35]

    The victims or apparent victims of Zen training also appear in a careful account of the lives of twentieth century Zen monks in China:

One hears of monks who found it impossible to make any mental breakthrough either because they were 'stupid' or because they could not stop thinking about their parents, wife, children, and the other things they had left behind. At first they would be unable to keep their minds on anything. Then they would begin to have hallucinations and 'talk nonsense'. At this point they were usually locked in a room and a Chinese doctor called to examine them. Some recovered; some died. According to one informant,



p. 223

fatalities were most common during meditation weeks and the bodies were not buried immediately. It was felt that their death must be retribution for sins committed in former lives, so they were wrapped in quilts and left to be disposed of when the meditation weeks were over. [36]



The technique of the Zen koan is, obviously, to tempt the learner into logic, into the giving, that is, of a rational response. He must be taught to resist the temptation. His response must reflect reality unqualified, unanalyzed, unrationalized. The Zen response is therefore often by act rather than word. Consider three examples, all of which give the response regarded as correct in the Lin-chi-Hakuin tradition. [37]

    The first example is the following dialogue:

"Monk: 'Where is the reality in appearance?'
"Master: 'Wherever there is appearance, there is reality'.
"Monk: 'How does it manifest itself?'
"The master lifted his saucer."

    The second example is a koan that ends in typical Zen hyperbole:

"Whenever Master Gutei was asked a question, he would simply raise one finger.
"Answer: The pupil raises one finger.
"Master: 'What if I cut this finger off?'
"Answer: 'Even if you cut it, it cannot be cut. From the top of the thirty-third heaven down to the deepest layer of earth, it is the one finger'".

    The third, last example is from the koan on the sound of the one hand, invented by Hakuin, and felt by him to be of the greatest value in first raising the Great Doubt:

"Master: In clapping both hands a sound is heard. What is the sound of the one hand?'
"Answer: The pupil faces the master, takes a correct posture, and, without a word, thrusts one hand forward."

    This demonstrative, wordless form of argument is not totally foreign to Western thought. When Boswell told Samuel Johnson that the philosopher, Berkeley, had argued that matter did not exist, Johnson gave a famous response. In Boswell's words:

After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley's ingenious sophistry to prove the non-existence of matter, and that everything in the universe is merely ideal. I observed that though we are satisfied that his



p. 224

doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I shall never forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it, 'I refute it thus!'

    Boswell adds, "To me it is inconceivable how Berkeley can be answered by pure reasoning". [38] But this is precisely why, by Zen standards, Johnson is right. To answer Berkeley's reasoning with reasoning would be a mistake, a trap, Zen would say. Johnson is not engaged in the philosopher's usual epistemological analysis, and, indeed, most philosophers regard his response as irrelevant. After all, you can't kick an argument. But by Zen and Johnsonian standards, the kick, though technically irrelevant, is relevant in fact. That is to say, Berkeley has not only an abstract argument, but a practical goal. He wants to get rid of the belief in matter and, by doing so, to cause a change in attitude toward the world. Johnson commonsensically denies Berkeley's right to tamper with his natural reaction to objects or, for that matter, with his religious views. In Johnson's world, stones are not, as Berkeley would have them, immaterial messages being spoken immaterially to an immaterial Johnson by an immaterial God. Berkeley, or the stone that represented him, had the kick coming to him, or to it.

    Not only philosophically unsophisticated men, such as Johnson, have come upon this kind of demonstrative argument. It was used, not very many years ago, by the English philosopher, G. E. Moore. This is the G. E. Moore who, Bertrand Russell once said, owed his prestige to his vehemence, to his famous exclamation, "O-o-o", which expressed "astonishment that any friend should be capable of holding so outrageously false an opinion". [39] This English kind of 'Ho!' aside, Moore used the argument to which I am referring to refute Kant's claim that the only possible proof for the existence of external things was the one that he, Kant, had given. Moore's response was:

"I can now give a large number of different proofs, each of which is a perfectly rigorous proof.... I can prove now, for instance, that two human hands exist. How? By holding up my two hands, and saying, as I make a certain gesture with the right hand, 'Here is one hand', and by adding, as I make a certain gesture with the left, 'and here is another'. And if, by doing this, I have proved ipso facto the existence of external things, you will see that I can also do it now in a number of other ways: there is no need to multiply examples.
    "But did I prove just now that two human hands were then in existence? I want to insist that I did; that the proof I gave was a perfectly rigorous one; and that it is perhaps impossible to give a better or more rigorous proof of anything whatever." [40]



p. 225

    Contemporary philosophers may or may not be satisfied with Moore's argument. Zen Buddhists would surely approve it, though they might sadly note that the tradition of English philosophizing made it necessary for Moore to accompany the motion of his hands with explanatory words. Even the few he used would be too many for the pure Zen taste.



If we look at the koans historically, it is not difficult to see how they were evolved and how they came into vogue as a training method. But I should like to try to understand, independently of the Zen tradition, what their usefulness might have been, and, in doing so, to think for a moment why it is that so many philosophers have been so preoccupied with paradoxes. "One should not think slightingly", said Kierkegaard,

of the paradoxical; for the paradox is the source of the thinker's passion, and the thinker without a paradox is like a lover without feeling: a paltry mediocrity. But the highest pitch of every passion is always to will its own downfall; and so it is also that the supreme passion of the Reason is to seek a collision, though this collision must in one way or another prove its undoing. The supreme paradox of all thought is the attempt to discover something that thought cannot think. This passion is at bottom present in all thinking, even in the thinking of the individual, in so far as in thinking he participates in something transcending himself. [41]

    But suppose we begin more simply and ask what riddles and enigmas are good for, apart from amusement. They have been created everywhere, I suppose, and seem to be a natural accompaniment of the pleasure humans take in exercising their intelligence. Black Africa, for example, abounds in them. Riddles have been used there as an instrument of traditional education and as a challenge to verbal contests. African riddles, like Zen koans and Wittgensteinian texts, may have symbolic meanings known only to initiates. [42] My rather offhand explanation of the interest in riddles in Africa and elsewhere is this: riddles pose difficulties that, when solved, give much of the satisfaction of having solved real, that is, really disturbing difficulties of which the riddles are the invented simulacra. When solved, they also give the feeling of an ability to solve mysteries and penetrate secret intentions. To solve a riddle is to gain or regain confidence in oneself.

    If, however, we choose Africa for the comparison, we find that Zen koans resemble African riddles less than they do African dilemma tales,



p. 226

tales that end with difficult alternative conclusions. Some tales are provided with a 'correct' answer, but, in any case, they provoke lively discussion.

    Let me give an example of an African dilemma tale, The Leftover Eye, It begins with the situation of four blind persons, a man, his wife, his mother, and his wife's mother, all living together on an impossibly poor farm. To improve their lot, they leave the farm. On the road, the man stumbles over something. This something turns out to be seven eyes. He immediately gives two eyes to his wife and two to himself. Of the remaining three eyes, he gives one to his mother and one to his wife's mother. He now has a single eye left in his hand. To whom should he give it, to his mother or his wife's mother? "If", says the tale,

he gives the eye to his mother he will forever be ashamed before his wife and her mother. If he gives it to his wife's mother, he will fear the angry and disappointed heart of his own mother. A mother, know you, is not something to be played with.

    The dilemma is rubbed in a bit more, and then the narrator ends with the question, "If this thing would come to you, which would you choose?" [43]

    The African attitude shown in this tale resembles that of Zen in that both seize on imaginative dilemmas in order to force apparently impossible solutions.

    Before I comment further on dilemmas, I should like to contrast a pair, one of them African, the other Zen.

    According to the African dilemma tale,

A man's helpless mother was fed by his wife. One day she bit the wife's hand and would not let go. Not knowing what to do, the man asked the judge, and the judge asked the people. The young people said, 'Break the old lady's jaw'. The old people said, 'Cut off the young woman's hand'. The judge was unable to decide. What would you do? [44]

    This is the Zen dilemma:

Let us suppose that a man climbs up a tree. He grips the branches with his teeth, his hands do not hold onto the tree, and his feet do not touch the ground. A monk below asks him about the meaning of our founder's coming from the West [i.e., about the essential meaning of Buddhism]. If he does not answer, he will be avoiding the monk's question [and demonstrating cruelty, which is forbidden to a Buddhist]. But if he opens his mouth and utters a word, he will fall to death. Under such circumstances, what should the man do? [45]

    How do the two dilemmas compare? They have at least their drastic alternatives and their black humor in common, and they are equally



p. 227

difficult to give a persuasive answer to. An African will normally weigh alternatives and choose the one that seems best to him, or he will think of a clever stratagem to solve the dilemma. The Zen monk, in contrast, will try to cut through the difficulty, as if it were the proverbial Gordian knot. Both African and Japanese dilemmas provoke an attempt to apply traditional rules or modes of vision to particular perplexing cases. The dilemma is, then, an exercise in the maintenance of a traditional set of values, and, further, an exercise in self-revelation, for the individual who attempts to solve a dilemma must decide how he would interpret these values. The dilemma also shows all those who join in the attempt to solve it what they have in common.

    To speak of the Zen koan alone, it does appear to have both an individual and a social usefulness. This becomes clear if the context of a monastic life is recalled. Riddle-solving, under the personal direction of a teacher, is an important degree of autonomy given within a highly regulated life; for every monk knows that the effort is engaged in for his own sake, at his own pace, and must, if it is to be successfully concluded, end in an internal victory achieved by himself.

    If we remember, too, that many of the monks are orphans or others cast adrift or troubled by life, we see that the koan training, if sincerely practiced, represents their attempt to fulfill themselves by means of a viable integration of mind and body, or intellect and emotion. The monks have a vague but sufficiently orienting background of explicit philosophy, they have available a truth for the simple-minded and another, higher one for the more demanding or insightful, and they learn that they must always preserve an intimate communion between thought and action. Briefly, koan training is a formal method of giving the monk his personal value and satisfaction, and it is, no less, the method of linking him tightly to master and monastery, the master guiding and the monastery disciplining him, and together making his personal accomplishment possible.

    This said, it should also be remembered that Zen Buddhism was a training ground for poets, artists, and warriors. I cannot think of anything much better than koan meditation to drive home the lesson, so well learned in traditional China and Japan, that the aim of the poet, artist, or warrior is creative intuition, which is achieved by the attentive fusing of discipline, intelligence, and emotion.

    This granted, the possible usefulness of koan meditation to the in-



p. 228

dividual can be stated. As I have said, it unites the externally imposed discipline of the monastic community with his self-interest. His meditation is conducted under the rule of the master, who acts the role of a super-parent. The strain of meditation may trigger a psychosis, but, generally speaking, meditation makes use of the monk's inward sense of omnipotence and his mystical tendencies in order to stimulate him to feel an essential identity between himself, his community, and the universe. His meditation merges solitariness and sociability, limitation and infinity.

    The very strain, it seems to me, of koan meditation is not unlike the self-imposed strain of a creative mathematician, writer, or artist. Such a person deliberately sets himself difficult problems, and deliberately renews them, once they have been solved, in order, so to speak, to compose or harmonize or solve himself by his internalization of the difficulty that he is composing, harmonizing or solving. He is using his effort, ostensibly directed at something external, so that, by ordering the external object, he can order himself internally. The result of such a self-conquest can be an access of pleasure, optimism, and self-confidence. It can bring on the ecstatic states of which Hakuin speaks with great emotion. The process by which one rises from doubt or ambivalence to pleasure or more suggests what psychotherapists have often said, that, to be healed, one must first bring to the surface difficulties that have been suppressed and, just therefore, have brought on neurotic suffering. One must, they have said, summon up trouble in order to get rid of it. Zen meditation is at least a form of psychotherapy and, as such, its most obvious aim is psychophysical wholeness.

    Having said this, I am left with the wider problem of the interest of so many philosophers in paradoxes and the strenuous efforts they make to solve or, sometimes, to embrace them. Here my answer must be too brief, but I shall do my best to make it clear.

    Even if our intelligence is no more than a biological instrument developed in the course of evolution, it has a relative independence, which is to say, it takes its own pleasure in the sharpness of its functioning and its own displeasure in what psychologists have called 'cognitive dissonance'. But our intelligence works under the shadow of anxiety. The basic reason is that we use our intelligence in order to learn to control our lives better, so that learning, with its constant aim to circumscribe the unpredictable, is driven on by anxiety. It is true that the knowledge we gain is meant to



p. 229

overcome this anxiety, but it may not do so, for the very process by which it lessens our ignorance exposes the ignorance the more sharply.

    Knowledge is most succinct when summed up in abstractions, and abstractions therefore become the particular concern of the sort of persons, intellectually stubborn and ambitious, who become scientists and philosophers. By means of a nature situated somewhere between playfulness and obsession, such persons create our scientific theories and philosophies. If gifted, however, with artistry or Zen, they may try to merge the playfulness with the obsessiveness, as if, in different terms, nirvana and samsara were the same.

    There are also more extreme, sombre possibilities. Beginning in early childhood, a person may be subjected to intolerably conflicting demands, which constitute a living paradox for him. This happens when a vital, intense relationship, at first, as a rule, with one or both of his parents, requires him to respond in contradictory ways. He is, for example, required to show love but blamed for showing that his love is forced, that is, not spontaneous. What escape can there be when all its avenues seem closed to him? Perhaps, if he acts as though life were a metaphor, or as if its meanings, always concealed, could be discovered only by prolonged searching, he may escape somewhat. He may also discover indirect forms of resistance or pretend or even achieve indifference. To put it in another way, the response may be mystical, deeply skeptical, intensely philosophical or religious, or psychotic. The response can also be exhibited, as fits the need of such people for self-expression, in love or hatred for words and in an exacerbated concern with intellectual problems of a paradoxical nature, which are the abstract counterparts of lives under paradoxical stress. [46]

    These considerations may help us to understand why philosophers take to paradoxes and why they keep trying, often helplessly and not even really willingly, to solve them or rise above them. It is easy to give examples. To recall only modern philosophers, Kant balances antinomies in order to double the world and suggest that the other, unknown but free and, I am sure, painless world, is the real one. Hegel, on the other hand, like Neo-Platonists and some Buddhist philosophers, formalizes the clash of opposites as a hierarchically self-transcending process. Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, having a different nature, glorify and exploit the paradox itself, to experience it the more fully, as if, unable to beat it, they had



p. 230

decided to join it. Bohr, influenced, by Kierkegaard, Hoffding, and William James, found an analogous resolution in the context of physics. Bohr always looked for and fastened with the greatest energy on a contradiction, heating it, we are told, to the utmost in order to crystallize something useful out of the dispute. The fact that he admired Kierkegaard for turning misfortune and suffering into something good implies, I think, the background of his own paradox-love.

    If the relationship I have suggested between anxiety and intellectuality and between paradoxical lives and a philosophical interest in paradoxes holds true, then Zen Buddhism has made an intelligent adaptation to this relationship. In exploiting psychological mechanisms on which psychosis may be based, Zen may unintentionally provoke it; but its conclusion that samsara is identical with nirvana, that commonsense reality cannot be denied because it is identical with superlative reality, is clearly healthy. For all we can do then, and all that enlightenment can teach us, is the paradox of the enlightened acceptance of the world as it is. Tempted by transcendence or sensuality, by a sometimes unendurable suppression of some part of ourselves, we are willed, beaten, riddled, and charmed by Zen into being ordinary. We learn, as Englishmen may have always intuitively known, that all questions can be answered with an invitation to a cup of tea -- I do not know if the Russian glass of tea is any less effective. Reasoning, we learn, is only a tempest in a teapot, and the disease is somehow identical with its cure.

    Now, though I have identified Zen, after its own manner, with a cup of tea, and though I might well have ended here, I am tempted to assert my irreducibly philosophical, not particularly Zen nature with a brief word on the logicality of Zen. My reflections on this point are inspired by Chung-ying Cheng's 'On Zen (Ch'an) Language and Zen Paradoxes.' [47] I will not continue, however, in Cheng's vein, that of logic and linguistic analysis, but transpose into my own concerns his distinctly original and, to my mind, successful attempt to explain Zen to contemporary philosophers.

    Zen masters accept the metaphysical view that samsara and nirvana, that is, apparent or ordinary and metaphysical reality are identical. In accepting this view, they clearly imply that the world is (also) just what it seems to be, and that they have no intention of abandoning it or denying its facts or its logic. They in no way want to assert that the world is dif-



p. 231

ferent from what it shows itself to be. Their dialogues and paradoxes do not therefore relate directly to the scientist's question, 'Will future observations confirm (or not disconfirm) my theory?' but to his possible questions, 'Why am I, the scientist, dissatisfied? What is it that I really crave to discover?'

    The answers given by contemporary psychologists to the latter questions are, to be sure, verbal and theoretical, but the psychologists know that 'correct' answers do not in themselves supply the satisfaction or mitigate the craving. Zen believes that the dissatisfaction, born of the insatiable craving, results from a mistaken ontic commitment. It therefore deliberately violates the usual logical norms in order to reduce the burden, one might say, of the usual, painful commitment. As Cheng points out, this is a reasonable use of illogicality, designed, as it is, to ease us out of logic alone into a more comfortable, metalogical state. This easing is achieved by making locally, that is, contextually relevant attempts to decontextualize as much as possible, including logic, that is, to show the relativity of practically everything. The relativity of everything is taken to be equivalent to its 'emptiness' and its emptiness, to its innocuousness. The message is. It's all the same: don't be anxious'.

    If, as I have argued, our intelligence is an anxiety-arousing instrument designed to rid us of anxiety, then Zen is anti-intellectual in the sense of attempting to rid us of anxiety in general (over everything except, perhaps, the attempt to get rid of anxiety). Zen makes its attempt by, among other things, lowering the demands of our intelligence as such. One of the signs that we have in fact arrived at the Zen goal is the ability to suspend our normal logic and play freely with concepts. This play is not supposed to be the Surrealistic exposure of the unconscious, but the ontic equality of all separate and distinct things and ideas. Our pleasure in this all-things-are-equal game, as we may call it, is supposed to come from the simultaneous consciousness that they are and are not different, are and are not real, and that these distinctions, which we enjoy as we make them, are a matter of profound indifference and therefore, samsarically or nirvanically, of innocent pleasure.

    Though Zen is, in a sense, anti-logical, it is also, in a very real sense, logical. Its attraction to paradoxes and its gibes at rational explanation do not mean that its teachings have no inner consistency. This inner consistency is in principle explicable and can be understood, as Cheng has



p. 232

shown, in the context of modern logic. Zen masters prize illogic because like us, they know the value of logic and can therefore use it to break through to the insight they consider essential. The lesson they teach is not a bad one for philosophers, who too often, I think, have an exaggerated faith in the omnipotence of concepts, especially their own.

University of Tel Aviv



* This essay is drawn in part from my introduction to The Sound of the One Hand, translated from the Chinese and Japanese and commented on by Yoel Hoffmann. The Sound of the One Hand has recently been published by Basic Books.
I have also drawn upon a book, The Human Nature of Philosophers, that I am now engaged on in writing.

1. The Journals of Soren Kierkegaard, trans. by A. Dru, London, Oxford University Press, 1938, Section 155 (Sept. 4, 1837).

2. Ibid., Section 42 (March, 1836).

3. Ibid., Section 651 (1847).

4. S. Kierkegaard, Journal 1854-1855, trans. by K. Ferlov and J.-J. Gateau, Paris, Gallimard, pp. 244-46 (XIii A 128).

5. Ibid., pp. 287-88 (XIii A 222).

6. Ibid., p. 289 (XIii A 227).

7. The Zen Teaching of Hui Hai, trans. by J. Blofield, London, Rider & Co., 1962, pp. 122-23.

8. M. C. Hyers, Zen and the Comic Spirit, London, Rider, 1974, p. 105; quoted from Hu Shih, 'Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism in China', Philosophy East and West III (April, 1953), p. 22; and from John C. H. Wu, The Golden Age of Zen, Taipei, National War College, 1967, p. 211.

9. The Zen Master Hakuin: Selected Writings, trans. by P. B. Yampolsky. New York/London, Columbia University Press, 1971, pp. 114-15.

10. R. Bambrough, 'How to Read Wittgenstein', in Understanding Wittgenstein, Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, Vol. VII, 1972-1973, London MacMillan, 1974, p. 123.

11. A. C. Graham, 'Chuang-tzu's Essay on Seeing Things as Equal', History of Religions, Vol. IX, Nos. 2-3, Nov. & Feb. 1969-70, pp. 152-53.

12. Ibid., p. 154.

13. The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu, trans. by B. Watson, New York/London, Columbia University Press, 1968, p. 39.

14. R. H. Blyth, 'Zen and Zen Classics', Vol. IV: Mumonkan, The Hokuseido Press, 1966, p. 175.

15. R. Bambrough, op. cit., p. 124.

16. A. C. Graham, op. cit., p. 156.

17. R. Holton, Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought: Kepler to Einstein, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1973, pp. 148-49.

18. J. Wisdom, Philosophy and Psycho-Analysis, Oxford, Blackwell, 1953, p. 37.

19. L. E. J. Brouwer, 'Collected Works', Vol. I: Philosophy and Foundations of Mathematics, ed. by A. Heyting, Amsterdam/Oxford, North-Holland Publishing Co., 1975, p. 108.



p. 233

20. F. Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, in Basic Writings of Nietzsche, trans. by W. Kaufmann, New York, Random House, 1968, p. 20.

21. F. Nietzsche, The Will to Power, trans. by W. Kaufmann, London, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1968, p. 428.

22. L. Wittgenstein, Zettel, trans. by G. E. M. Anscombe, Oxford, Blackwell, 1967, Section 453.

23. L. Wittgenstein, Logical Investigations, trans. by Anscombe, Oxford, Blackwell, 2nd ed., 1958, Sections 527, 531; Zettel, Sections 161, 328,450.

24. I. Miura and R. F. Sasaki, Zen Dust, New York, Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966, p. 7.

25. D. T. Suzuki, Essays in Zen Buddhism, Second Series, London, Rider, 1953, p. 104.

26. Miura and Sasaki, op. cit., p. 247.

27. The Zen Master Hakuin, trans. by Yampolsky, pp. 135-36.

28. Chang Chung-yuan, Original Teachings of Buddhism, New York, Pantheon Books, 1969, pp. 93-94.

29. Entretiens de Lin-tsi, trans. by P. Demieville, Paris, Fayard, 1972.

30. In general, see R. A. Hinde (ed.), Non-Verbal Communication, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1972. For changing pupil-size, see E. H. Hess, 'Attitude and Pupil Size', Scientific American, April, 1965.

31. L. A. Coser, Masters of Sociological Thought, New York, Harcourt Brace, 1971, p. 211.

32. R. Carnap, 'Autobiography' in K. T. Fann (ed.), Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Man and His Philosophy, New York, Dell, 1967, pp. 43-45.

33. N. Malcolm, Ludwig Wittgenstein, London Oxford University Press, 1958, p. 26.

34. Ludwig Wittgenstein und der Wiener Kreis, recorded by F. Waismann, ed. by B. F. McCuiness, Oxford, Blackwell, 1967, pp. 68-69.

35. H. Dumoulin, A History of Zen Buddhism, London, Faber & Faber, 1963, pp. 247-253. Hakuin Zenji, The Embossed Tea Kettle, trans. by R. D. M. Shaw, London, Allen & Unwin, 1963, pp. 25-51.

36. H. Welch, The Practice of Chinese Buddhism, 1900-1950, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1967, p. 87.

37. The three examples are taken from The Sound of the One Hand, trans. and comm. by Y. Hoffmann, New York, Basic Books, 1975.

38. Boswell, Life of Johnson, London, Oxford University Press, 1953, p. 333.

39. R. Crayshaw-Williams, Russell Remembered, London, Oxford, 1970, p. 155.

40. G. E. Moore, Philosophical Papers, London, Allen & Unwin, 1959, pp. 145-46.

41. S. Kierkegaard, Philosophical Fragments, trans. by D. F. Swenson, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1946, p. 29.

42. Ramsey, who visited Wittgenstein in 1923 to get instruction in the meaning of the Tractatus, reported, "Some of his sentences are intentionally ambiguous having an ordinary meaning and a more difficult meaning which he also believes". (L. Wittgenstein, Letters to C. K. Ogden, Oxford/London, Blackwell/Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973, p. 77.)

43. W. Bascom, 'African Dilemma Tales: An Introduction', in R. A. Dorson (ed.), African Folklore, New York, Doubleday & Co., 1972. See also, P. Alexandre, 'Riddles', in G. Balandier and J. Maquet, Dictionary of Black African Civilization, New York, Leon Amiel, 1974. The story is from S. Feldman, African Myths and Tales, New York, Dell, 1963, pp. 201-202.

44. Bascom, op. cit., p. 150.



p. 234

45. The Sound of the One Hand.

46. What I am saying here obviously reflects the 'double-bind' theory of schizophrenia, formulated by Bateson, Jackson, Haley, and Weakland, in 'Towards a Theory of Schizophrenia', republished in G. Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Paladin, 1973. Like the other current theories of schizophrenia, the 'double-bind' theory has proved ambiguous and not very tractable in research. I have not thought it useful to use the term, but find the conception intuitively persuasive and have no desire to conceal my debt to it.

47. Chung-ying Cheng, 'On Zen (Ch'an) language and Zen Paradoxes', Journal of Chinese Philosophy 1 (1973), 77-102.