Sunday, June 14, 2015

Self-Evident Truths

Self-Evident Truths
Whether you are a Zen practitioner of not, a number of basic Zen axioms can be verified as self-evident by utilizing your normal thinking capacity to give some focused attention to the following points in light of your own actual knowledge and experience:


·         It is impossible to experience an ‘object’ independent of a ‘subject’ – if it is experienced it is experienced by a subject, if it is not experienced it cannot be called an ‘object.’

·         Therefore, consciousness is an inherent quality of every object – no object has been, or could be encountered apart from consciousness.

·         The same applies to subjects; consciousness is an inherent quality of every subjective experience – no subject has been, or could be encountered apart from consciousness.

·         Every instance of consciousness consists of both objective and subjective elements – consciousness, by nature, is someone conscious of something.

·         Therefore, every assertion or belief that something ‘exists’ independent of ‘experience,’ is false.*

·         Finally, any claim or view that anything independent of experience could be verified to exist, or could have any influence on us whatsoever, is false.


The truth of these points are self-evident – these are obvious facts taken for granted in our everyday life, plain and simple truths that inform (if tacitly) our natural understanding (‘self-evidence’) of reality. In short this means that the nondual nature of reality, which is presupposed by these points, is already evident for anyone to verify – more, it is not only evident, but functional in the actual conduct of our daily lives.

*The fact that every assertion or belief in the ‘nonexistence’ of anything independent of ‘experience’ is also false does not deny the accuracy of this observation. Any concept or notion not grounded on experiential evidence is, by definition, hypothetical. A claim or belief that treats a hypothesis as a verified truth or fact is, by default, false.

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