taoism, zen, and PCP

Lluis Botella Garcia del Cid (LluisBG@blanquerna.url.es)
Wed, 9 Sep 1998 12:10:54 +0100

The paralelisms between zen and PCP (and constructivism in general) are
certainly fascinating. Take for example the zen proverb that "the finger
pointing at the moon is not the moon"; doesn't it translate into "the
construct 'moon' is a socially and personally meaningful way to refer to
an experience that could potentially be construed differently and, thus,
our words (or constructs) do not exhaust the alternative meanings of
experience--i.e., everythig that exists can be reconstrued".

Of course, in this case, the proverb is more poetic and beautiful than
my constructivist translation, but that's another matter.

My only objection in terms of an important point of contrast between zen
and constructivism will be addressed to the zen notion that through
absorbed meditation practices one can ultimalely get in touch with a
direct and unmediated state of experiencing an indifferentiated reality
beyond words. Can we experience anything beyond our distinctions (be
them verbal or preverbal)? I don't know, but I keep on meditating to try
it for myself--of course without the goal of reaching anything, since
the very "desire" to reach it prevents you from reaching it.

Luis Botella, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Ramon Llull University
Cister 24-34
Phone: 34-93-253 30 00
Fax: 34-93-253 30 31
E-mail: LluisBG@blanquerna.url.es