Koan. by  Defined by Merriam-Webster as ” A paradox to be meditated upon that is used to train Zen Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason and to force them gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment.”

Abandon reason?

Really?

Doesn’t everyone logic things out?  Isn’t rationalization my middle name?

Though the concept of koan has been around for years, I only recently read about it.  As someone who tried to make sense out of everything (most recently the whole iHop/iHob fiasco- marketing gimmick?  I think not.  That was a capital F failure…) the concept of a question that is strictly meant to enlighten is mind boggling.  Why should we be trying to become more intuitive? Doesn’t logic explain everything?

Except when it doesn’t.  What about those times that you “just know”?  Have you ever said that -“I just knew.”? I admit I have uttered those three words.  Very little catches me off guard- I tend to “sense” things before they happen. Most recently I just knew my friends biopsy would reveal cancer before she knew or told me.  I just knew.

So why am I so reluctant to consider this a valid thought process? Obviously, I believe in intuition.  I’ve experienced it.  Isn’t my thought process a sort of koan training ground- a question that has no logical answer?

Why? Because I believe that intuition is just highly formed logic.  I believe that my sense of “just knowing” comes from my attention to what is there, and what is different. My ability to see patterns, and  knowing when something is off.  Maybe I make an assumption or two, but these assumptions are based on facts- they are more hypothesis than assumption.

Right now you’re all thinking- boy- she can rationalize anything. And yes, I can.

But for arguments sake, let’s think about the most illogical thing we experience every day: Love.  Love is not logical. I can’t explain why I am in love with one person and not another.  Can anyone?  Can anyone give me concrete reasons why something is love and not like?

Does koan help us understand love?  Is love the ultimate paradox?

I like when something can be named: when there is a concrete word for a feeling or action. Conversely, I don’t like when things are wishy washy or up in the air.  In loud discussions I often say “Logic it out.  Does what you’re saying make sense?” But love doesn’t make sense; it isn’t logical.  I sort of like knowing that it’s OK to meditate on the things that don’t make sense- that there is actually an ancient practice devoted to it. And maybe thinking about it will help me make sense out of all the things that just don’t add up. Maybe, if I keep thinking about things, I will be enlightened.

What is enlightenment?  Well, that’s a whole other blog post.  I’m going to have to think about it.

 

 

 

30 thoughts on “Koan I Do it? Should I?

  1. Aren’t we the product of past experiences? I too believe in intuition, and ‘gut feelings’.

    The older we get the wiser we might become, but that depends on if we’re smart/ intelligent/intuitive enough to recognize it.

    I’m not sure how to interpret this post, but food for thought. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s funny, cause when I had this idea, and even first started writing, I had a different conclusion in mind. Originally I was thinking more about thinking about something and not necessarily trying to have an answer, and if that would be a good personality exercise. Then I thought about the whole soulmate thing I wrote on Monday…and it morphed into love. So totally logical why you don’t know how to interpret it…

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      1. Lol
        Writing is a funny thing….we have this subject in our head but the brain churns out stuff you didn’t even process yet and if you’re like me, the fingers type and type….sometimes without connection to the brain…
        Well keep typing!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly! My brain was sending messages to my fingers faster than I could process…some blog posts are just like that…you have to go with it…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun question. If one is meditating long enough and hard enough on some topic or thing what then is the difference between “reasoning something out” and logic, in the sense that if you contemplate something long enough your reasoning ability will eventually lead you to an answer. I believe that is where you are leading with your own queries in this post, and it makes sense to me so did those monks just settle on a fancy word for logical reasoning to get those novice monks to believe they had reached a higher awareness?
    Geez, sometimes I really miss philosophical/existential/unanswerable questions like this? I just flashed back to college!!

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  3. I think even love can be explained. Have you read Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell? He’s terribly wishy-washy at a solid conclusion; but all of his stories helped me conclude what you said about “highly formed logic” being the base of “intuition.” To be fair, Gladwell also gives a grudging nod to experience and logic helping a first response to be more accurate.
    Even in terms of spirituality, to me that’s still a sort of communication. It’s like a wavelength out of our range of conscious sensation, but still being broadcast.

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    1. I’ve never read it, but I think I need to check it out…I like your thoughts on spirituality…that’s a really great way to look at it…spiritually as a form of communication. Cool.

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  4. We women have better devolped brains.The thing that connects both brain halves looks equivelent to a dirt roadin men ,wqhile in women it looks like a super highway. Both our brain halves work well together while men compartmentalized. Intuition is fun to play with. Seems the more you use it the better it gets. Down right spooky is my no nonsense mother having a dream about me crying telling her my roommate was gone. The next day I call her and tell her the samething!She is very wired into her kids.
    All in all-women:we’re the new ,improved model. Faster,lighter, takes up less space😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, what we refer to as intuition does get stronger with age and experience, because we see the patterns of our pastand how they relate to the future…like the road analogy…

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  5. Intuition gets stronger as we get older or at least we learn to recognize it. Sometimes in our younger days, I wonder how I ever got out of some things alive without something happening to me. My Irish mom used to say, “God takes care of the innocent and the stupid.” That’s a great line for a character in a book!

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  6. I can remember phoning my parents from Cyprus as the ferry docked ,age 21, telling them, “yes, I finished the au pair job in Greece and decided to hop a ferry with some people I met to work on a kibbutz in Israel near the Gilboa Mountains. My mom was running our custard store at the time and put up a bulletin board outside discussing my travels! She was proud of the adventures but I caused them some worry.We emerge from these experiences stronger. I am so happy to have worked and stayed in Israel for almost two months.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We appreciate and welcome all points ay view here at waking headquarters…especially on questions where there is no right or wrong answer…just thoughts ideas and opinions…

      Liked by 1 person

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