Question

Hello, I would like to know your, as a zen-buddhist, point of view on the essens of man. I have heard different theories of what mankind is made of.
The behaviorist claimes that we are like robots. We were born without a soul, tabula rasa=empty painting. We are formed by our surroundings, by the environment. Everything we are, can be explained by chemical reaktions in our brain and so on, for example love. This kind of thinking is also represented in the theory of knowledge. The only way that we can recieve knowledge is through our senses and through experiens. This is also the only true knowledge. The sentens "god exists" can be thrown in the garbage-can, for you can½t proove that he does in any other way than by logical thinking.
Logical thinking is the other theory. Through logical thinking we can discover whole other parts than the one behaviorists do. An example of this is Descartes proof that god exists: Something as imperfekt as mankind cannot discover the thought of such a perfect thought as god.
My question to you is: What do you think knowledge is and where does it come from? What is your explanation of the essens of man, are we born totally empty or do we bring something? Is satori a state of mind when both of the above theories are vanished( our senses are ignored and our logical thinking is oblitterated)
I hope that you have the time to answer some of my questions, it would be very nice of you! Thank you very much: Peter O from Sweden.


Answer from Master Kosen

Everything always depends on the point of view ( aspect) from which you see things
and on the language you decide to use. Many theories can be right, although
they are different.
The behaviorists are right. If you carry on with their theory until the end, it is right
up to 99%, but the 1% left is still very important.
Thanks to the fact that buddhism frees us from opinions, we can understand all the
aspects and also understand the non-aspect of things.
People stick to express their opinion, saying : " God exists " or " God does not exist ",
but if they know nothing about god, what are they talking about ?
Descartes' words are old-fashioned, for if he intuitively seized what the thought of god can be,
he neglected to deepen his study on the possibilities of human thought and mind.
Now, it is difficult to express a generality on the subject " Where does knowledge come from ?",
for there are numerous levels of knowledge. Which one are you speaking about ?
Concerning the question on the essence of man, this is what I think about it :
god is nothing else than human mind. If some people declare that god does not
exist, it is because they do not have any.
The world will change in a radical way when each man takes his responsability
as god. The inavoidable destiny of each human being is to take in charge the
fact that he is god and that he is responsible for the whole universe.




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