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Old 08-03-2015, 07:42 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I am not about to be corrected by you since I am 70 years old and the product of a hidden esoteric school .. read that wisdom. I am correct. You must be able to understand things in highly abstract terms to understand what I said. I have degrees in law, philosophy & psychology. btw
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:00 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HUANG PO
Those who speak the truth by means of intellect and learning only get further and further away from it. Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.
Woosah, nigga.


Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna

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Old 08-03-2015, 01:53 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:16 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Even more inspiring than Alan Watts

"You're not wrong . . . I've got an IQ of 40 million." - Niall Horan
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Old 08-13-2015, 03:40 AM   #30 (permalink)
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For you see when we lack pleasure and we grieve, we have need of pleasure, because pleasure is not present. But so long as we do not grieve, life affords us no lack of pleasure.
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Old 08-13-2015, 06:11 PM   #31 (permalink)
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good!

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:11 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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Old 11-27-2015, 04:56 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Never before published photos from Psychedelic Conference II in Santa Barbara, 1983 / Boing Boing

Albert Hofmann, Humphry Osmond, Ralph Metzner, Alexander Shulgin, Walter Houston Clark, Terence McKenna, Andrew Weil, Carl Ruck and Jonathan Ott.

Timothy Leary, Joan Halifax and Kathleen Harrison (McKenna) were in attendance but did not give formal talks.

Other notables visible in photos: Peter Stafford, Rick Doblin, Deborah Harlow, Robert Forte, John Palmer, Jeremy Tarcher and Shari Lewis.
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Old 12-26-2015, 05:50 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Shaman Claus: The Shamanic Origins of Christmas - Reality Sandwich
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Old 01-04-2016, 04:56 PM   #35 (permalink)
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lol, one of my favorites in the "fringe topics I think are actually plausible but can almost never talk about until I've vetted my potential audience for weirdness receptivity" category

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna

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Old 01-08-2016, 09:16 PM   #36 (permalink)
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SPEECH AND SILENCE IN THE MUMONKAN:

AN EXAMINATION OF USE OF LANGUAGE IN LIGHT
OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF GILLES DELEUZE
By Philip Goodchild
Philosophy East and West
Volume 43, Number 1
January 1993
P.1-18
(C) by University of Hawaii Press



P.1


Goso said, "When you meet a man of the Way on the
path, do not meet with words or silence. Tell me,
how will you meet him?"
Mumonkan, Case 36(1)

One of the most widespread problems found in the
academic study of Buddhism is that of the
explication of its fundamental insights or essence.
While there are well-established methods for the
study of the more objective aspects of the religion,
such as its history, texts, practices, and
doctrines, these point beyond themselves, by means
of words such as nirvaana, `suunyataa, or satori, to
some indefinable area of experience which is itself
resistant to articulation. The language used in
relation to these terms is predominantly apophatic;
one is more concerned to define that to which the
terms do not refer than to provide a positive
direction along which understanding can proceed.
Nevertheless, it is possible to distinguish betweeen
the actual language used, which is
characteristically negative and demonstrates an
awareness of its limitations, and the usage made of
such negative language, which has a positive role.
Buddhism as a whole makes considerable use of its
canonical and authoritative texts in order to
communicate the dharma. A careful reading of such
texts does seem to produce a form of insight. In
spite of the apophatic language used in relation to
the fundamental insights of Buddhism, some kind of
sense is still communicated. It is this sense which
allows the possibility of an intellectual study of
Buddhism. In this article, we wish to examine
pragmatically some of the 'speech-acts' or
'order-words' incorporated within Buddhist language
in the hope that it is through this dynamic role,
rather than in the static content expressed in
propositions, that language comes closer to
revealing the insights which have produced it.

This problem of the inefficaciousness of
language finds an acute form in the school of Rinzai
Zen. While one can see how other Mahaayaana
doctrines have been incorporated into the body of
Zen thought, it is difficult to isolate the specific
ideas which have a correlative relation to Zen
practice and define Zen as such. The paradoxical and
problematic form of the koan seems to defy any
possibility of intellectual study. The koans
demonstrate an anti-intellectual stance by their
characteristic rejection of rational answers to the
profoundest questions of Zen. Nevertheless, koans
are conserved and transmitted in a linguistic form.
They are presented for use in meditation, and koan
practice is productive of

P.2


states of enlightenment. It would seem, therefore,
that even the koans are able to communicate some
form of sense.

One of the most famous and widely used
collections of koans is the Mumonkan, and this text
frequently returns to the problem of the usage of
language. The use of language made in the Mumonkan
itself is quite exceptional, and cannot be
considered according to established rules of
linguistic, semantic, and semiotic analyses. The
characteristic motif of the koan is to break such
socially established rules in an astonishing manner.
Yet while traditional hermeneutical methods are
inapplicable, it is no easier to consider the
Mumonkan for itself, without any external
interpretative presuppositions. The text does not
lend itself to the construction of an immanent
philosophical system or hermeneutical method;
rather, it tends to defeat and such attempt.
Constructing a Zen philosophy is remarkably
problematic. Properly, one must approach the text in
the context of the tradition which has produced
it.(2) Certain continuities can be established
between the doctrines of earlier Mahaayaana schools
and presuppositions evident in the Mumonkan. This
does not explain, however, the unique form of the
koan insofar as it differs from the textual form of
earlier writings.

Some of the unique characteristics of the
Mumonkan can be brought to light by the
juxtaposition of a heterogeneous body of thought.
The selection of a useful body of thought will
initially appear to be arbitrary, although its
effectiveness can be assessed later according to the
characteristics of the Mumonkan which we are able to
identify. In this study we shall select the works of
the contemporary French philosopher, Gilles Deleuze,
whose 'pragmatism' may provide a philosophical and
interpretative framework from which to examine the
Mumonkan.(3) In The Logic of Sense, Deleuze attempts
to construct an image of philosophy that is
"one-third Zen."(4) While his reference to Zen takes
the nature of an allusion as opposed to a full
study, this work has interesting applications to Zen
thought.

Our study will not be comparative. A comparative
study would presuppose that we have already been
able to extract a Zen philosophy in order to compare
it with a Western philosophy. Instead, we shall
extract interpretative methods and concepts from
Deleuze's work in order to make use of them in
observing exactly how language is used in the
Mumonkan. We shall also avoid providing an
expository overview of Deleuze's thought, since, in
the space allowed, this would be both too complex
for an unfamiliar readership, and too simple to do
the material justice.(5) We shall attempt to develop
and manifest concepts out of the problems presented
in the Mumonkan. These concepts are used by Deleuze,
and we shall follow a similar process of textual
analysis as that followed by Deleuze in The Logic of
Sense in his treatment of the nonsense works of
Lewis Carroll. Only those concepts which we are
unable

P.3

to define directly in term of the problems
identified in the Mumonkan will receive separate
attention.

The study will take the form of a presentation
of and a commentary upon some of the various koans
presented in the Mumonkan. The commentary will
merely attempt to draw out some of the possible
relations which exist between the uses of language
in various koans. It is through the manner in which
the koans both relate to and differ from one another
that we are able to construct a view of their use of
language as a whole. This whole cannot be described
directly for itself, but can only be made manifest
by drawing attention to certain relations that exist
between the koans. We shall attempt to draw
attention to a certain kind of sense which exceeds
the normal powers of propositional statement, but
which is included in the dynamic effect of language
as a series of speech-acts.(6) This sense cannot be
directly stated, therefore, and so our argument may
seem obscure and complex. The commentary is merely
designed, however, to draw attention to a certain
sense of the koans which can be inferred indirectly;
it is the koans themselves which are able to present
directly to the reader the sense that the commentary
is only able to infer indirectly.

The Negative and the Problem
The text of the Mumonkan begins with "Joshuu's
mu," Case 1:

A monk asked Joshuu, "Has a dog the
Buddha-nature?" Joshuu answered, "Mu."

This koan illustrates the most characteristic
motif of Zen language: negation. It is an apparent
denial of the doctrine of the universality of the
Buddha-nature, and implicitly points toward denial
of the power of any doctrine to articulate the
truth. The 'mu' is often taken as a koan in itself
and meditated upon alone. The realization of
emptiness produced by meditation upon such a koan is
often taken to be a psychological or ontological
breakthrough which has no relation to language or
thought.(7) The negation is used reflexively to
delimit the domain of the operation of language, and
it is a realization of this limitation which allows
the break-through to an alternative mode of
experience to occur. Yet Joshuu's mu is not simply a
statement concerning the impotence of language: it
is posed as a problem which requires a solution.
This status as a problem is generated by the
institutional and social concert in which the koan
is placed, or its enunciative modality. The incident
recounted is invested with the authority of an
enlightened Zen master who has been revered by Zen
practitioners throughout the centuries. Furthermore,
it is presented with an implicit demand for a
response, both by Mumon in his stated purpose of the
text, and by the master who gives the koan to a
disciple to meditate upon. On the level of language
itself, the reflexivity

P.4

of the negation is also problematic: in pointing to
an area outside of its operation, language surpasses
its area of operation and hints at something
unsayable, which has nevertheless allowed language
to speak of it.

Another koan phrases the problem of negation
more directly. Case 4:

Wakuan said, "Why has the Western barbarian no
beard?"

The Western barbarian is Bodhidharma, the first
Zen patriarch, who is traditionally depicted as
having a beard. Wakuan's negation of this is
presented directly as a problem by means of its
interrogative form. One is pressed to find a
response. The model of a problem which is most
commonly accepted is that of a pedagogical master
who has predetermined answers to predetermined
questions. Once the solution or set of solutions has
been found, the problem itself vanishes.(8) In the
case of the koan, however, there are no set answers.
Quite frequently, the responses found to questions
in the Mumonkan are just as problematic as the
original question. For example, Case 18:

A monk asked Tozan, "What is Buddha?" Tozan
replied, "Masagin! [Three pounds of flax!]"

In response to the initial problem, "What is
Buddha?" Tozan poses a new problem, "What is the
relation of Buddha to masagin?" The pedagogical
model of the problem would assume that the solution
to this latter problem is in the form of a doctrine,
such as one concerning the interpenetration of the
Buddha with all things. A new approach to the
problem would understand this relation as being
newly created by Tozan in the act of speaking. The
doctrine may be deduced as one possible solution to
the problem, but the problem itself transcends its
solution and remains available to other possible
solutions.

The matter is complicated further when the same
response to a question receives a different
evaluation. This is so in Case 11:

Joshuu went to a hermit's cottage and asked, "Is
the master in? Is the master in?" The hermit
raised his fist. Joshuu said, "The water is too
shallow to anchor here," and he went away.

Coming to another hermit's cottage, he asked
again, "Is the master in? Is the master in?"
This hermit, too, raised his fist. Joshuu said,
"Free to give, free to take, free to kill, free
to save," and he made a deep bow.

If there are hidden differences between the two
hermits which are not manifest in this koan, then it
is possible that Joshuu chooses between them on the
basis of a direct perception of levels of insight
and attainment. Mumon's comment rejects any such
hidden distinction, however. This koan presents us
with a problem, therefore, which cannot be solved by
any hidden solution. It is not sufficient to invoke
the freedom of the master in order to justify the
difference of evaluation made by Joshuu.

P.5

While it is always possible to invent a further
doctrinal axiom in order to justify actions of the
strangest kind, such an approach misses the point
made by these koans. The problematic response does
not imply that some hidden knowledge is necessary to
decode the strange action; such a hidden knowledge
could be stated directly. Instead, the problematic
response demonstrates a power of the problem to
surpass its solutions, and to retain an insoluble
excess which cannot be put into language.

Any axiomatic solution is capable of being
negated. This happens in Case 39, where a fine
statement is regarded as being a mistake since it is
repeated:

A monk said to Ummon, "The brilliance of the
Buddha silently illuminates the whole
universe...." But before he could finish the
verse, Ummon said,''Aren't those the words of
Chosetsu the Cenius?" "Yes, they are," answered
the monk. "You have slipped up in your
speaking," Ummon said.

A problem, however, remains prior to affirmation
and negation. The paradoxical response cannot be
either right or wrong. The koans draw our attention
to an area of thought in which problems surpass
their solutions. It is the use of the negative, in
order to reject any possible solution, which makes
the problem stand out for itself apart from its
solutions. The problem is not an empty linguistic
form, however, since it is capable of both bearing
its own meaning and giving meaning to possible
solutions. The use of the negative differentiates
between problems and solutions, and marks an excess
of sense present in the indeterminacy of the problem
as opposed to the determinacy of the solution. The
use of the negative is therefore merely the shadow
side of this difference in nature between problems
and solutions. Silence, or apophatic language, gives
way to a paradoxical form of speech which can still
be studied, even if it cannot be reduced to a set of
doctrinal axioms. The study of problems forms an
essential part of Deleuze's philosophy.(9)

The Logic of Sense

Speech is found to be inadequate in the Mumonkan
insofar as it expresses a proposition which
functions as a logical response to a problem. The
responses which do take the form of propositions are
unexpected in such a way as to draw attention to a
further problem. Similarly, silence is also
inadequate since it is unable to capture the
positive aspect of the problem. A single exception
to this is the Buddha's silence in Case 32:

A non-Buddhist philosopher said to the Buddha,
"I do not ask for words; I do not ask for
non-words." The Buddha just sat there. The
philosopher said admiringly, "The World-honored
One, with his great mercy, has blown away the
clouds of my illusion and enabled me to enter
the Way." And after making bows, he took his
leave.

P.6

Then Ananda asked the Buddha, "What did he
realize, to admire you so much? " The
World-honored One replied, "A fine horse runs
even at the shadow of the whip."

Here the Buddha's silence is compared to the
"shadow of the whip, " which implies that the
negation expressed by silence is merely the shadow
of the dharma. The element of language which finds
its meaning in problems, whether these are expressed
in speech or silence, is the element we must
consider when examining the use of language in the
koans. It is at this point that Deleuze's study, The
logic of Sense, becomes uniquely valuable.

Deleuze isolates an elusive dimension of a
proposition, which he calls its 'sense'.(10)
Traditionally, a proposition is considered to relate
to the world outside of language in three different
ways. Denotation is the relation of a proposition to
external and identifiable objects. Manifestation is
the relation of the proposition to the speaking
subject insofar as it expresses beliefs, desires,
and intentions. Signification is the relation of a
word in the proposition to universal and general
concepts, and of syntactic connections to the
implications of the concept. Deleuze's fourth
relation of the proposition, sense, is difficult to
locate, since it cannot be said to exist either in
things or in the mind. Furthermore, it has no direct
utility which would make it empirically evident, in
the manner of the other three relations, but only
"an inefficatious, impassive, and sterile
splendour." Deleuze uses a de jure argument to infer
it directly, and a de facto argument to infer it
indirectly. Briefly, these run as follows: Deleuze
shows that the other three dimensions of the
proposition exist in a relation of mutual
presupposition. This results from a complex argument
which considers whether one of these dimensions can
serve as the ground for the elaboration of the other
two. First, one cannot express a belief or desire
without referring to a concept or object; hence
manifestation presupposes denotation or
signification. But in addition, one cannot indicate
an object without also anticipating that its
existence will be produced by an external causality.
This fact of anticipation introduces the domain of
the personal into denotation, and so denotation also
presupposes manifestation. The last possibility is
that signification may serve as a ground for
denotation. This would appear to be the case when a
state of affairs is denoted on the basis of a
logical deduction from certain premises, since these
denotative premises can be forgotten once the
deduction is made. One is left purely with the
domain of signification. But signification involves
its own infinite regress: if we affirm that
proposition Z is true on the basis of premises A and
B, then this involves a further proposition, C,
which states the implication itself. C says 'Z is
true if A and B are true'. Then one requires a
further proposition, D: 'Z is true if A, B, and C
are true'. The infinite regress within signification
shows that it

P.7


cannot be separated completely from its own
premises, and hence not from a presupposed
denotation.

It follows from this circular logic that
denotation, manifestation, and signification are in
state of mutual presupposition. In order for us to
construct a model of the proposition which shows the
source from which it is generated, therefore, one
must introduce a fourth dimension so that the model
can function a priori from within. Thus, de jure,
there is a hidden fourth dimension of 'sense'. At
this stage, sense cannot be said to exist, but is
merely necessary for us to think about the
possibility of a proposition. But the introduction
of the dimension of sense is also de facto. The
problem remains of how names are related to objects,
and how proper names and pronouns are related to
persons. Something indicates that a word denotes or
manifests a particular object or person. This would
appear to be its signification, but by the principle
of infinite regression, signification presupposes a
previous denotation. In order for a proposition to
relate to a state of affairs, it is necessary that
something unconditioned by the other dimensions of
the proposition is introduced which is capable of
assuring a real genesis of these other
dimensions.(11)

Deleuze studies the logic of this dimension of
sense by examining a number of paradoxes. Sense is
found to be expressed by a proposition, and yet it
does not exist outside of its expression. It is of a
different nature to the mode of its expression, the
proposition, since it is an attribute of a state of
affairs. It exists as a metaphysical surface between
language and reality. The state of affairs it
relates to primarily, however, is neither an object,
which would be denoted, nor an action or passion of
a person, which would be manifested. The state of
affairs is an impersonal event, expressed as an
infinitive verb.(12) Sense, insofar as it differs
from the denotation, manifestation, and
signification which it grounds, is neutral in
relation to objects, persons, and abstract logical
relations. It is therefore indifferent to truth and
falsehood, grammatical voice or mood, and
affirmation or negation.

The neutrality of sense in relation to negation
makes it of particular relevance in studying
problems apart from the negation of their possible
solutions. It is therefore of interest in the study
of the Mumonkan. Moreover, many of the same
paradoxes of sense which Deleuze considers are
implicitly present and revealed in the Mumonkan. It
is therefore necessary for us to draw attention to
these paradoxes in the text in order to understand
the use made of the logic of sense.

Paradoxes of Sense

The problem of speech and silence is clearly
expressed in the Mumonkan in Case 24:

A monk asked Fuketsu, "Both speech and silence
are faulty in being ri or bi. How can we escape
these faults?" Fuketsu said,

P.8

"I always remember the spring in Konan,
Where the partridges sing;
How fragrant the countless flowers!"

Ri and bi refer to the inward and outward
actions of the mind, respectively. If these actions
were to be expressed in a proposition it would be
through the relations of manifestation and
denotation. Both actions invoke the activity of the
mind, either in relation to itself, or to external
reality. This action necessitates the division
between subject and object, or intentionality and
phenomenon. To avoid this fault one must rest at the
surface between inner and outer. Fuketsu's response
appears not to relate to the problem posed: it
introduces its own denotations, manifestations, and
significations which are not connected in any way
with those of the problem. Instead, the haiku
demonstrates a somewhat Proustian experience of
reminiscence, in which a rich memory surges out of
the past with a splendor that could never have been
evident when the original experience was lived.
Nevertheless, it would appear that the present
problem functions as a trigger which allows such a
memory to return. The essential point is that the
memory is triggered passively in the mind, instead
of being thought up actively according to certain
inward or outward processes. The sense of Fuketsu's
response, if it has one at all, must arise out of a
transcendental ground which expresses itself on the
surface between inner and outer. The activity of the
mind can only be developed on the basis of this
surface between thought and external reality. The
surface itself, however, is passive.

The difference in nature between the problem
posed and Fuketsu's response still remains as a
problem. Something is communicated tween the two
interlocutors, but the subjects of their
conversation bear no resemblance to one another. The
direct triggering of a passive mind so that it
thinks its own thoughts seems to be the key process
at work here, and it is this which we shall explore
further. The necessity of relinquishing the mind's
activity in the enlightened state is clearly shown
in Case 41:

Bodhidharma sat facing the wall. The Second
Patriarch stood in the snow. He cut off his arm
and presented it to Bodhidharma, crying, "My
mind has no peace as yet! I beg you, master,
please pacify my mind!" "Bring your mind here
and I will pacify it for you, " replied
Bodhidharma. "I have searched for my mind, and I
cannot take hold of it, " said the Second
Patriarch. "Now your mind is pacified," said
Bodhidharma.

When the mind gives up its activity of trying to
take hold of itself or speak of itself, it returns
to the prior transcendental ground which is
peaceful. Nevertheless, a certain shock is often
necessary to enable the mind to return to this
pacified state. In this Case the physical shock is
self-administered by the Second Patriarch. In Case
3, the shock is admin-

P.9

istered by the master, Gutei, who cuts off a boy's
finger. The astonishing or paradoxical response is
another form of shock which is found more
frequently. A characteristic form of the shock
administered in the Mumonkan is a 'deflation' of the
questioner's beliefs. For example, Case 7:

A monk said to Joshuu, "I have just entered this
monastery. Please teach me." "Have you eaten
your rice porridge?" asked Joshuu. "Yes, I
have," replied the monk. "Then you had better
wash your bowl," said Joshuu. With this the monk
gained insight.

Similarly, Case 21:

A monk asked Ummon, "What is Buddha?" Ummon
replied, "Kanshiketsu! [A dry shit-stick!]"

In Case 33, all belief is negated:

A monk asked Base, "What is the Buddha?" Base
answered, "No mind, no Buddha."

The inflated ideal is the product of an active
mind. The questions posed to the masters show
language operating as a manifestation of the beliefs
and desires of the questioner. These beliefs
correlate with concepts which are not fully formed,
and hence questions arise concerning these concepts.
The active mind of the questioner remains upon the
level of subjective desires and abstract concepts,
whereas the response relinquishes such matters and
returns to the surface of everyday life. Buddhahood
can be conceived of neither as a belief nor as a
concept. Norcan it be considered as a goal, and this
is shown in Case 9:

A monk asked Koyo Seijo, "Daitsuu Chisho Buddha
sat in zazen for ten kalpas and could not attain
Buddhahood. He did not become a Buddha. How
could this be?" Seijo said, "Your question is
quite self-explanatory," The monk asked, "He
meditated so long; why could he not attain
Buddhahood?" Seijo said, "Because he did not
become a Buddha."

Buddhahood can only be found where the mind is
passive, and this is the surface of everyday life
once extraneous desires and beliefs have been
eliminated. The most profound state of mind also
exists on the most superficial level.

To what extent can this surface be considered
the surface of sense, which interacts between
language and reality? Initially, one would be
inclined to reject this assumption. Certain
paradoxical responses in the koans directly denote
the material world, outside of thought. Hence Case
37:

A monk asked Joshuu, "What is the meaning of
Bodhidharma's coming to China?" Joshuu said,
"The oak tree in the garden."

P.10

This denotation of the material world turns our
attention away from thoughts which are made possible
by means of language, and focuses it upon the
sensible and material world. One is left
contemplating the oak tree in silence. Nevertheless,
here we meet a familiar problem: how is it that
language can speak of its own negation? How can we
proceed from the predication of existence, implicit
in denotation, to existence itself? One must assume
the transcendent element of sense which passes from
language to the thought of material reality. This
thought of the existence of material reality is
itself correlative to language, since it invokes the
concept of existence. Nevertheless, the truth of Zen
experience must be sought beyond propositions of
existence, just as much as it must be sought beyond
negations. This is stated in Case 25:

In a dream Kyozan Osho went to Maitreya's place
and was led to sit in the third seat. A senior
monk struck with a gavel and said, "Today the
one in the third seat will speak." Kyozan rose
and, striking with the gavel, said, "The truth
of the Mahaayaana is beyond the four
propositions and transcends the hundred
negations. Taicho! Taicho! [Hear the truth!]"

The four propositions concern existence,
nonexistence, both existence and nonexistence, and
neither existence nor nonexistence. The essence of
Zen speech is beyond predication just as much as it
is beyond negation. The paradoxical answer of
Joshuu, therefore, draws attention not so much to
the material object itself, but to the transcendent
boundary between words and reality which allows the
two areas to communicate.

Some koans involve a response that is not merely
denotative, but one that is a physical action or
gesture. Hence Case 3:

Whenever Gutei Osho was asked about Zen, he
simply raised his finger....

Also Case 40:

Then he took a water bottle and stood it on the
floor, and said, "You may not call it a water
bottle. What do you call it" The head monk
said,"It cannot be called a stump."

Hyakujo asked Isan his opinion. Isan tipped
over the water bottle with his feet and went
out. Hyakujo laughed and said, "The head monk
loses."

Both of these koans take us out of the domain of
conceptual thought by responding with an action.
They avoid the linguistic operations of denotation,
manifestation, and signification; furthermore, the
gesture does not repeat any of these operations by
means of a sign language. The response does not
arise from the activity of discursive thought, but
simply from a passive mind: it therefore bears no
logical relation to the question. The response is a
pure event, devoid of the intentionality of a
personal action. Deleuze shows that it is such
events which form the material correlate of sense.
Sense and event become indistinguishable: one is

P.11

attributed to bodies, the other is the attribute of
bodies. Each forms a side of the metaphysical
surface which passes between language and reality.
The response of an enacted event, when a linguistic
operation grounded in sense is expected, draws
attention to this transcendental field which passes
between thought and reality.

The paradoxes of sense are explored further. One
of the paradoxes is that sense can never be directly
said. It subsists, rather, in the disjunction which
divides words and reality. There is a difference of
nature between language and reality which prevents a
structural correspondence from occurring between the
two. This is stated in Case 43:

Shuzan Osho held up a shippei [staff of office]
before his disciples and said, "You monks! If
you call this a shippei, you oppose reality. If
you do not call it a shippei, you ignore the
fact. Tell me, you monks, what will you call
it?"

In the substitution of word for object a
displacement is introduced. The signifier,
`shippei', requires a signified, `staff of office',
to express its meaning. This, in turn, requires a
further definition to express its meaning. The
infinite regression which this leads to means that
the sense of shippei can never be said directly.
Sense appears as an excess in the signifier which
occurs in an infinite series of signification. On
the other hand, this sense is entirely lacking in
the reality of the object. By introducing this
sense, one opposes reality. Nevertheless, not only
is sense absent from the object, but it also appears
to be a lack or deficit in relation to language.
Hence Case 44 follows from Case 43:

Basho Osho said to his disciples, "If you have a
staff, I will give you a staff. If you have no
staff, I will take it from you."

While speech has an excess of sense, silence
lacks a sense altogether. This excess and lack
always go together. The interpretation of a gesture
or sign always involves an excess of sense being
added, and a sense being lost. This happens in Case
26:

When the monks assembled before the midday meal
to listen to his lecture, the great Hogen of
Seiryo pointed at the bamboo blinds. Two monks
simultaneously went and rolled them up. Hogen
said, "One gain, one loss."

There is invariably a displacement between
language and reality which prevents a proper
correspondence. This displacement seems small in the
cases above of naming an object or obeying a
gesture. In the koans that we examined earlier,
however, the displacement introduced in order to
draw attention to the field of sense is large. It
would appear that the response is nonsense, rather
than an introduction of sense. The sense of a sign
or response always remains hidden, or seems to be
replaced entirely by nonsense. Nevertheless,
Deleuze has isolated a certain kind of nonsense
which bears a special relation to sense, and it is
this nonsense

P.12

which we can identify at the heart of the Mumonkan.
Let us examine Case 14:

Nansen Osho saw the monks of the Eastern and
Western halls quarreling over a cat. He held up
the cat and said, "If you can give an answer,
you will save the cat. If not, I will kill it."
No one could answer, and Nansen cut the cat in
two.

That evening, Joshuu returned, and Nansen told
him of the incident. Joshuu took off his sandal,
placed it on his head, and walked out. "If you had
been there, you would have saved the cat," Nansen
remarked.

In this case, Nansen does not even specify the
question he is asking. The monks have an entirely
free range of response. Joshuu's response has
nothing to do with the cat or the quarrel, and
therefore seems to be nonsense. He responds with an
unusual gesture, which is an event having an
indeterminate sense. Since the sense of this gesture
does not relate to its context, there is no
displacement between the gesture and its sense. This
nonsensical gesture exhibits a strange form of the
univocity of being: its being and its meaning become
indistinguishable It is what it says, and it says
what it is. Operating in the disjunction between
language and reality is a figure of univocal
nonsense, such as this gesture, which is not so much
opposed to sense as it enacts a donation of sense.
The disjunetion between language and reality is no
longer exclusive, as in Case 43, but becomes
inclusive, so that language and reality are
expressed in a single, free gesture.

This univocal nonsense creates the displacement
between language and reality. At times it appears as
language; at times as a reality. It circulates
between the two, manifesting itself either as an
excess of meaning which can never be said, or as a
lack of meaning which needs to be said. It is with
such nonsense that thought attains its own freedom,
and language is made possible. This nonsense causes
the displacement in the chains of signification
which makes language possible. In itself, however,
it escapes language. It brings about a vicious
circle between signifier and signified, in which
each refers to each other. It is the difference
between signifier and signified, and yet it relates
the two together.

To speak of a metaphysical surface between
language and reality, or a point outside of language
which makes language possible, as we have done so
far, is a little misleading. We do not wish to
allude to some transcendent 'secret' which is only
available to those with a privileged degree of
insight. Univocal nonsense or the vicious circle,
cannot be said to exist. Rather, they subsist or
insist within language. They have a real structural
and genetic role. Johuu's gesture does not yet have
a determinate sense. It is a problem without a
solution. Nevertheless, since its sense is the event
itself, it establishes the communication between
sense and event. At the basis of the relation
between language and reality one finds

P.13


such an arbitrary or 'aleatory' point. Such a point
circulates between language and reality, generating
the structural relations and the displacement
between the two. The sense or solution to the
problem does not preexist, but must be generated.

Nevertheless, Joshuu's gesture, when considered
alone, does not yet effect a donation of sense. The
paradoxical element sets up a structure by being
repeated. Each time it is repeated, however, it will
appear under a different form. The paradoxical
element is a displacement between language and
reality, but is also displaced in relation to
itself. It is a pure difference which is repeated
throughout the text of the Mumonkan as different
forms of displacement. It is this pure form of
difference and repetition which comprises the
subject of another of Deleuze's major works,
Difference et Repetition.(13) This subject is also
present in the Mumonkan.

Difference and Repetition

We can distinguish between two different kinds
of difference in the Mumonkan. The ordinary kind of
difference is established between two previously
defined objects. This is obvious in Case 35:

Goso said to his monks, "Seijo's soul separated
from her being. Which was the real Seijo?"

Here there is an obvious difference between two
aspects of the same person. The question, however,
raises the problem of how these two aspects are
defined. If they are defined co-relatively, then it
is this relation, or a pure difference, which is
ontologically prior to the two terms. Expressed
within the ordinary kind of difference there is a
pure difference. This pure difference can also be
manifested in the negation of an ordinary form of
difference, as in Case 30:

Daibai asked Base, "What is Buddha? " Base
answered, "This very mind is the Buddha."

Mind and Buddha appear to be a single
individuality in this case. Yet a simple equation of
the two reduces the Buddha to a status of banality.
Implicit here is an 'internal' or 'intensive' kind
of difference, in which something differentiates
itself from itself. Light, for example, should not
be distinguished from darkness as its opposite or
its negation; instead, light differentiates itself
from itself, so that darkness is merely
undifferentiated light.(14) In the Case above, mind
is a determination of the prior indeterminate ground
of the Buddha from which it differentiates itself.
Nevertheless, the ground rises so as to be present
in the determination. This determination is the pure
form of difference.(15) An intensive difference is
indifferent to quality and quantity, and so it
remains imperceptible. It can be expressed as an
ordinary difference, however, as in Case 28:

P.14

Tokusan asked Ryuutan about Zen far into the
night. At last Ryuutan said,"The night is late.
Why don't you retire?" Tokusan made his bows and
lifted the blinds to withdraw, but he was met by
darkness. Turning back to Ryuutan, he said, "It
is dark outside." Ryuutan lit a paper candle and
handed it to him. Tokusan was about to take it
when Ryuutan blew it out. At this, all of a
sudden, Tokusan went through a deep experience
and made bows.

The ordinary difference between the lit and the
bolown-out candle expresses the intensive difference
between two states of mind. A similar intensive
difference is expressed in Case 10:

Seizei said to Sozan, "Seizei is utterly
destitute. Will you give him support?" Sozan
called out, "Seizei!" Seizei responded, "Yes
sir!" Sozan said, "You have finished three cups
of the finest wine in China, and still you say
you have not yet moistened your lips!"

In this example Sozan draws attention to a
difference present between possible states of mind
of Seizei. Nevertheless, the imperceptibility of
intensive difference does not imply the universality
of its presence or realization. It can only be
detected insofar as it makes a difference. The
Buddha's gesture in Case 6 makes a difference to
Mahakashyapa alone:

When Shakyamuni Buddha was at Mount Grdhrakuta,
he held out a flower to his listeners. Everyone
was silent. Only Mahakashyapa broke into a broad
smile....

The problem for the Zen practitioner is, then,
that of how one makes a difference to oneself. This
problem of progress is exemplified in Case 46:

Sekiso Soho asked, "How can you proceed on
further from the top of a hundred-foot pole?"...

This constitutes a problem which has no possible
solutions. Instead of progress being possible
upwards, in a perceptible dimension, one can only
make a journey 'in intensity', remaining in the same
place. Nevertheless, a repetition of the problem may
produce a displacement or change in its conditions.
No final solution can ever be approached to such a
problem, and so the question may be repeated
indefinitely, so long as it is able to make a
difference. It is the repetition of such a
problematic expression of difference which makes a
difference.

Repetition is another prominent feature of the
Mumonkan. Frequently, repetition is taken as an
expression of awareness and attentiveness, as in
Case 17:

The National Teacher called his attendant three
times, and three times the attendant responded.
The National Teacher said, "I long feared that I
was betraying you, but really it was you who
were betraying me."

Both the compiler, Mumon, and the contemporary
translator, Sekida, understand 'betray' in the sense
of rebelling against and surpassing the

P.15

teacher's test. The repetition is an expression of
concentration. Nevertheless, there are other
examples in which repetition is regarded as an
error. The monk's repetition of the words of
Chosetsu the Genius in Case 39, and the boy's
repetition of Gutei's gesture of the raising of a
finger in Case 3 are imitations. It is possible to
distinguish between a material repetition, in which
the imitated object, gesture, or phrase is already
defined, and a different kind of repetition. Gutei
obtained his one-finger Zen from Tenryuu, and
repeated it all his life without exhausting it. The
difference between the two kinds of repetition is
initially imperceptible.The problem of
distinguishing which repetition is in operation is
the problem of Case 31:

A monk asked an old woman, "What is the way to
Taisan?" The old woman said, "Go straight on."
When the monk had proceeded a few steps, she
said, "A good, respectable monk, but he too goes
that way."

Afterward someone told Joshuu about this.
Joshuu said, " Wait a bit, I will go and
investigate the old woman for you." The next day
he went and asked the same question, and the old
woman gave the same answer. On returning, Joshuu
said to his disciples, "I have investigated the
old woman of Taisan for you."

This case shows that it is not the response
which must be repeated, but the Zen understanding.
This can result sometimes in the repetition of the
response. We are not told the result of Joshuu's
investigation, and the problem still remains. The
pure repetition of a Zen understanding is manifested
in Case 12:

Zuigan Gen Osho called to himself every day,
"Master!" and answered, "Yes sir!" Then he would
say, "Be wide awake!" and answer, "Yes, sir!"
"Henceforward, never be deceived by others!"
"No, I won't!"

Zuigan manifests both a form of internal
difference, in his dialogue with himself, and a form
of pure repetition. Zuigan's message is that
deception comes from without. Repetition must
therefore be of that which comes from within, as
opposed to an imitation. The original self which
must be repeated, however, is imperceptible. It
remains as a problem. Hence the first and second of
Tosotsu's three barriers in Case 47 are as follows:

1. You leave no stone unturned to explore
profundity, simply to see into your true nature.
Now, I want to ask you, just at this moment,
where is your true nature?

2. If you realize your true nature, you are free
from life and death. Tell me, when your eyesight
deserts you at the last moment, how can you be
free from life and death?

What is repeated in the Zen experience is the
awareness of this imperceptible true nature which
has the form of an intensive difference.

P.16


On the level of language, this has an equivalent in
the paradoxical element or aleatory point. This
point produces a displacement in the conditions of
the problems presented in the Mumonkan. Upon each
reading, new possible solutions will appear as the
new senses of the koans. Reading the different koans
in the light of the senses produced by others places
them in relation. These relations are determined by
the aleatory point, which is an unsayable figure of
speech manifested in the paradoxes and insoluble
problems. This unsayable figure of speech forms the
heart of the usage of language in the Mumonkan. When
the individual cases are read and reread in various
combinations and sequential orders, one almost gains
a glimpse of this transcendent and imperceptible
form which generates ideal relations between the
cases. This paradoxical element can never be fully
expressed in any of the cases individually, however.
It manifests itself only as nonsense, or an excess
of sense which subverts all prior understanding. It
can never be defined or spoken of in any other
terms, but only expressed in its own paradoxical
terms. Beyond speech and silence, the paradoxical
element may reveal itself in a flash of insight
which is triggered by the problems of the text.

Conclusion

When juxtaposed with methods and insights from
Deleuze's philosophy, the Mumonkan takes on a new
sense. The question of comparison of Zen and Deleuze
has not been addressed. Matters of identity,
resemblance, analogy, and opposition are less
significant here than the question of difference
itself. While it is possible to say, with a little
freedom of expression, that the whole of Deleuze's
work is imbued with a Zen spirit, it would be more
precise to use Deleuze's own terminology. The
juxtaposition of the Mumonkan and Deleuze's
philosophy places both in a relation of mutual
becoming. While the language of the Mumonkan appears
to embody elements of contemporary French linguistic
philosophy from this perspective, Deleuze's own
philosophy finds a clarity of expression by adopting
the Mumonkan to illustrate its various
transcendental and problematic concepts. Finally, we
must say that there is no such thing as a single,
objective, ideal philosophy belonging to Deleuze,
but only our interpretations and perspectives upon
it from different contexts. This is why I have been
able to assume my own interpretation of Deleuze
without presenting or supporting it, and to adapt
its methods implicitly into this work without
presenting them.

The difference between the essence of Zen and
the essence of Deleuze enters a zone of
indiscernibility in the points discussed above, so
that one is unable to distinguish between them. It
is this pure, imperceptible difference which has
formed the source and object of this study. While
this difference remains ultimately beyond the power
of language to express, it may sometimes be
communicated in a flash of insight arising from the
trigger of a paradoxical text. The whole of this
study may

P.17

therefore be considered to possess a resemblance to
a koan, not with respect to brevity, religious
context, and negation of conventionally conceived
meaning, but insofar as it attempts to point to the
dynamic and transcendent sense of language which can
not be formulated prepositionally. We conclude that
this dynamic use of language exists, and is relevant
in expressing the profound insights which make
Buddhism what it is; while these insights can
express themselves in certain Deleuzean concepts of
sense, difference, and repetition, it is only
possible to illustrate the meaning of such concepts,
and not state them directly.

The intellectual study of Buddhism is hampered
by the limitations of speech and silence.
Nevertheless, there is a use of language which
transcends these limitations. While it is impossible
to define and conceptualize the fundamental insights
of Buddhism, it is possible to construct problems,
senses, paradoxes, and repeated differences which
function as triggers so that such fundamental
insights can occur. Then, instead of attempting to
incarnate such insights as the expressed content of
language, to which they are fundamentally
heterogeneous, we may allow language to point beyond
itself towards the source of its meaning. Perhaps
this may form a valuable component in the future in
the intellectual study of philosophy and religion.

NOTES

1 - K. Sekida, Two Zen Classics (New York: John
Weatherhill, 1977), p. 108. We have adopted
Sekida's translation for all the quotations from
the Mumonkan, and hence have followed Sekida in
using the Japanese names of the Zen masters.

2 - This approach is followed in a useful study by
Toshihiko Isutzu, Towards a Philosophy of Zen
Buddhism (Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of
Philosophy, 1977).

3 - The specific works chosen to provide a source
for this study are G. Deleuze, Difference et
Repetition (Paris: Presses Universitaires de
France, 1968), and G. Deleuze, Logique du Sens
(Paris: Minuit, 1969). The latter has a recent
English translation, The Logic of Sense, trans.
Mark Lester (London: Athlone, 1990).

4 - Deleuze, The Logic of Sense, p. 248.

5 - A brief, accurate, and difficult summary of
these two works of Deleuze is given by Michel
Foucault, "Theatrum Philosophicum," in Language,
Counter-Memory, Practice (Oxford: Blackwell,
1977). Other useful works include R. Bogue,
Deleuze and Guattari (London: Routledge, 1989),
and J. J. LeCercle, Philosophy Through the
Looking

P.18

Glass: Language, Nonsense and Desire (London:
Hutchinson, 1986). These latter tend to simplify
Deleuze; other, more critical references to
Deleuze in works on contemporary French
philosophy often misunderstand the nature of his
philosophical project.

6 - For Deleuze, the elementary unit of language is
the 'mot d'ordre', the order-word or slogan.
"Language is made not to be believed, but to be
obeyed, and to compel obedience" (Deleuze and
Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus [London: Athlone,
1988], p. 76).

7 - See D. T. Suzuki, Essays in Zen Buddhism, second
series (London: Rider, 1950).

8 - An archetypal example of this approach to the
problem is found in Plate's Meno 80d-85, in
which Socrates teaches a slave boy certain
principles of geometry. Once the solution to the
problem set has been discovered, Socrates
assumes that the piece of knowledge gained has
been 'recollected' by the slave boy. The method
of deduction followed by Socrates is put aside.

9 - In particular, see Deleuze, The Logic of Sense,
pp. 52-57, and Difference et Repetition, pp.
198-212.

10 - Deleuze, The Logic of Sense, pp. 12-22. The
following argument is taken directly from this
chapter, in which it appears with greater
detail and clarity.

11 - Deleuze's original should be referred to for a
more thorough clarification of this argument.

12 - It is interesting to note that Deleuze
attributes a Chinese and Japanese origin to the
concept of the 'event', and specifically
mentions Dogen in this connection. This occurs
in a footnote in a recent work: Gilles Deleuze,
Le Pli (Paris: Minuit, 1988), p. 141.

13 - The whole of this work may be considered as a
profound meditation upon the Nietzschean themes
of the will to power and the eternal return,
considered now as difference and repetition.

14 - This point is philosophical and independent of
the precise determinetions of physics.

15 - See Deleuze, Difference et Repetition, p. 43.

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:11 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:57 PM   #40 (permalink)
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"What history is, is a 25,000 year transition zone. Before you enter the zone, you're an animal. After you leave the zone, you're a "god""
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:20 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Aw shit seeing Mckenna up in here. I have very easily listened to hundreds of hours of dis crazy nigga.



In my mind one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century, or at least the most brilliant ethnobotanist of the 20th century.

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:39 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Not sure where to post
Vajrayana Buddhism: Preparation for the Posthuman?
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:06 AM   #43 (permalink)
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The paradoxical psychological effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). - PubMed - NCBI

JUNKIE EXCUSES
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:31 PM   #44 (permalink)
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seen and raised ( ͡ ͜ʖ ͡)


Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:49 AM   #45 (permalink)
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One of the best documentaries on Zen for Westerners:


Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:57 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:35 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Reggie Watts, a true Master.

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/commen...gie_watts_ama/

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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Old 04-09-2016, 05:57 AM   #48 (permalink)
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"Everyone would get loaded around the campfire and hump in an enormous rioting heap."
Did Psychedelic Mushrooms and Group Sex Play a Role in Human Evolution? | Big Think
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