A kõan about why science is tricky


Kõan:

Shuzan held out his short staff and said: “If you call this a short staff, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a short staff, you ignore the fact. Now what do you wish to call this?”

Mumon’s Commentary:

If you call this a short staff, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a short staff, you ignore the fact. It cannot be expressed with words and it cannot be expressed without words. Now say quickly what it is.

Mumon’s Poem:

Holding out the short staff,
He gave an order of life or death
Positive and negative interwoven,
Even Buddha’s and patriarchs cannot escape this attack.


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