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  Natural Kōans


"The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Unfortunately, understanding and managing the temporal aperture surround can be an intellectual exercise - no free passes. Any detailed study of consciousness requires the broadest knowledge background one can collect together.  For example, there is a large collection of papers and discussion here having to do with Western philosophy topics.  Those papers substantially depend on complex verbal forms, precise definition, and accurate deductive syllogisms.  Years of academic study are required to fully appreciate much of that discussion.

However, it is proposed that intense attachment to verbal means comprises an awareness jail and filter, whatever it's strong precision and rigor. For purposes here, we'd like to manage a mix of logic and art qualitatively with the help of intuition and imagination, especially since there are transcendent potentials where verbal description is inadequate.

Consciousness and awareness expansion inevitably will generate many questions that cannot be answered with words or everyday logic.  These may be natural kōans ("ko-ahnz"). One doesn't necessarily need to go to a Zen monastery to practice with kōans. Here are short kōan definitions from Internet resources:

"A puzzling, often paradoxical statement or story, used in Zen Buddhism as an aid to meditation and a means of gaining spiritual awakening."

"A paradoxical anecdote or a riddle that has no solution; used in Zen Buddhism to show the inadequacy of logical reasoning."

"A Zen teaching riddle. Classically, kōans are attractive paradoxes to be meditated on; their purpose is to help one to enlightenment by temporarily jamming normal cognitive processing so that something more interesting can happen (this practice is associated with Rinzei Zen Buddhism). Hackers are very fond of the koan form and compose their own kōans for humorous and/or enlightening effect."

See the Wikipedia for a longer kōan article with examples. You can do a search for kōan in any search engine, physical library, or book store.

Kōan exercises strive to reduce your attachment to logical reasoning, which with its dependence on words and concepts is a filter. For a larger temporal aperture, one needs to soft pedal this dependence and recognize it as merely one tool among many for knowing and learning. To have a larger temporal aperture, one must shed every filter that you can possibly define, manage, and stand to do without.

The classic familiar kōan, "Two hands clap and there is a sound. What is the sound of one hand?" is functionally similar to the conundrums you face in contemplating yourself as having an extraordinary temporal aperture. For instance, if one's temporal aperture were comprehensive enough to include exact knowledge of the future 20 minutes from now, how would one integrate that knowledge within the present moment? Could one continuously keep that knowledge a secret? The answer to this question must be non-verbal and circumnavigate ordinary logic. This may be a kōan.

Much temporal aperture expansion naturally takes place as one learns and gain experience every day.  However, a 3-dimensional conceptual framework is ultimately a limiting filter despite all the powers it appears to render.

Knowledge beyond ordinary knowledge boundaries is called esoteric knowledge. If a person had an extraordinary temporal aperture, they will embrace esoteric knowledge that is typically hidden from everyone else.

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Page 6 - Your comments are welcome.

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    Email   August 24, 2007
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