RE: taoism, zen, and PCP

Lluis Botella Garcia del Cid (
Thu, 10 Sep 1998 19:50:51 +0100

Bob wrote

"What would it be like to be in a non-construing state? Would
there be
> perception of any kind without at least implicit distinctions? I'm
> not
> sure either! But I know there is such a thing as at least relative
> mental
> silence."
Thanks Bob, I think you have contributed a new koan to the zen
literature. I am reminded of the one on "what was your original face
before your mother and father were born?" Speaking from my own
experience, what helps me to meditate is the radical constructivist
assertion (Maturana) that life is a purposeless drift. While it may be
intellectually arguable, the image it evokes in my mind is one of
profound peace and abandonement. After all, why should one draw
distinctions if life is purposeless?

I am also reminded of the zen notion that "enlightment"
(whatever this may be) is equivalent to going to a beach to watch the
sunset and becoming so absorved that you forget the beach, the sunset,
and even your self. There probably is an implicit distinction even in
this state of oneness (i.e. oneness vs. distinction), but I doubt that
we can get rid of that one. Even the Bible, and I guess that many other
religions, equate the genesis to the shift from oneness to distinction.

The psychological relevance of all that, at least in my opinion,
is high. After all, aren't so called "neurotics" incapable of seeing
life as purposeless and enjoying the present moment? Sometimes in
therapy I wish I could help people see how they are ignoring the many
blessings of the here-and-now because of their rigid, unatainable, and
limitating self-impossed long term goals. But of course, I am well aware
that one needs to see things for oneself.

> Luis Botella, Ph.D.
> Department of Psychology
> Ramon Llull University
> Cister 24-34
> 08022-Barcelona
> Phone: 34-93-253 30 00
> Fax: 34-93-253 30 31
> E-mail: