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Nothing is Logical, Everything is Zen

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.zen,alt.buddha.short.fat.guy,alt.magick.chaos
From: phoneem 
Subject: Nothing is Logical, Everything is Zen 
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 21:49:51 GMT

"Fr. A.o.C." :
>Anthony wrote:
>> This isn't a matter of infinity, however; it isn't even a matter of circular
>> logic, but of invalid logic.
>Never had any experiences with Zen koans, have you?

what context? I gather they're used for anything from amusement to mysticism.

>"Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted" is a completely invalid as a
> statement of formal logic, 

seems perfectly logical to me, however indefensible.

> just as "the sound of one hand clapping" is.

since clapping is usually done with two hands, the phrase is 
meaningless, or symbolic, rather than literal. it displays
greater illogic, literally, than "nothing is true, everything
is permitted" (inserting no specialized terms for caps).

> Taken at face value, it's an intentional logical paradox. Happy now?

usually you can follow a paradox around and around. if nothing
is true, then all statements must in some way be false. in what
way is "nothing is true, everything is permitted" false? perhaps
it is false because there are some things which are not permitted.
the logic stops there. the sentence is not paradoxical given tame
interpretations of its terms. a more paradoxical statement would
refer directly to itself and exclude obvious possible falsities:


this statement is paradoxical because it leads in logical loops.
if the statement is false, then it is true. but if it is true,
then it is false, etc.  philosophers of language and consciousness
have delved into these types of issues with delight. astounding
authors like Martin Gardner and Raymond Smullyan have collected 
logic problems of increasing depth, whereas philosophers like
Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel C. Dennett have approached paradoxic 
contemplation of consciousness-processes (e.g. "Mind's I") in 
very revelatory ways. their work follows on that of mystics like
Naranjo and Ornstein, whose compositions of essays by philosophers
and psychologists set the standard in some academic circles (with
anthropologists like Durkheim and transpersonal psychologists 
like Maslow given heavy emphasis).

> You're trying to evaluate a koan with the tools of logic. 

so what makes that a koan? does its form, or the context in which
it was derived? should it be taken to alt.magick.dojo? :>

> You may as well be trying to take apart a pocketwatch with 
> a hammer and saw, or build a birdhouse with jeweler's tweezers.

large wooden pocketwatches and miniature birdhouses.

>You're clearly antagonistic to the very idea of Chaos Magick 

its clear as an idea? I got the impression that part of the
beauty of it was that it can't be described with clarity.

> and you're doing your level best to dismantle it with 
> inappropriate tools, 

what qualifies a tool as appropriate? if it can't take the heat,
perhaps it should go back to the Spare room or something. ;>

> so as to "prove" something. 

how about if I prove that "nothing is true, everything is
permitted" may be easily understood and non-paradoxical,
pointing out actual paradox in contrast and requiring you
to amp up the meaning by capitalizing words and refining
your meaning into obfuscation? I don't think Chaos Magick
will be any better understood, but perhaps the context of
the dictum would assist us in understanding its meaning?


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