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April 25, 2007 at 7:56 pm #138404JacenParticipant
*This was originally posted in an area set aside for more advanced training but I decided to bring it out for everyone to enjoy – Jax *
I encourage everyone to read the koan/story/saying and post your reaction BEFORE reading everyone else’s reaction. Your initial thoughts should be uncolored by the thoughts of others.
“The nature of God is a circle of which the center is everywhere, and the circumference is nowhere.” –EmpedoclesApril 25, 2007 at 8:05 pm #143858JaxKeymaster
So everything is the center, which is what you’re left with when there is no circumference. Is that really a circle then? Visually I’d see this more as a sphere. But even then, as I think about this, my mind does hilarious things. I see a sphere, and go to the center. Then I imagine no circumference, which just makes my center expand. Which then gives it a circumference, right? lolApril 25, 2007 at 8:12 pm #143859JacenParticipant
I had a similar reaction to this quoteApril 25, 2007 at 8:14 pm #143860JaxKeymaster
It’s quite a mental workout. Perhaps I should do it more, to work on overcoming my logic mind, so my intuitive mind can balance it more?April 25, 2007 at 8:16 pm #143861JacenParticipant
Exactly, Jax. Zen is all about that. Though a Zen master might say that at first Zen is a mental workout, until enlightenment, and then Zen is easy.April 25, 2007 at 8:26 pm #143862Jedi NitroParticipant
Ah, that definately makes you think. Everywhere is the center, but the there is no circumference. The more you think of the everywhere being the center the larger the circle becomes, yet it’s not really a circle.April 26, 2007 at 4:24 am #143864Kai-AnParticipant
This circle is neverending and all encompassing- no boundaries, no center- everywhere at once. Perfect.May 19, 2007 at 3:48 am #144074inariParticipant
If a circle has no circumference, how do we know it is a circle?June 28, 2007 at 2:56 pm #144536Jedi_PhoenixModerator
Hm, I felt like looking at these zen quotes, and I just had to pick this one(sarcasm). At first, how is it a circle if it has no circumfrence? My math skills kind of rebel against that idea. But then i thought about this from a more spiritual stand point.
What if they mean God is at the center of everything: us, trees, bacteria, energy, what have you. But the more we search for God, the more elusive he becomes till we are endlessly searching, or in some cases, going on a wild goose chase, cause there is no end.
:yodaMarch 19, 2009 at 12:44 am #150544Kol DrakeModerator
What was once lost (or deleted from some server) is again found… so I’ll stick it back in here.
We must not be distracted by the paradox of the circle without circumference.
The koan is actually speaking to “the Nature of God”.
What is the Nature of God?
Infinite Love, Infinite ‘Being’, Infinite Diversity, All-That-Is.
What is a circle of no circumference? Can we define it as a circle with an infinite radius — which also gives us an infinite circumference?
Consider. If we are all part of All-That-Is then we are all a God Center. For, if we have a circle of infinite radius, then…. you can pick ANY point as it’s center and still have the infinite radii. Me, you, that tree, this stone, the X-wing in the swamp. All are ‘center’s of the All-That-Is.
But wait! This circle with infinite radii is too hard to work with!!!
Humans have a hard time with gigantic numbers. Hundreds and thousands, we can handle. Millions — while dreamed of is getting pretty ‘large’. Go beyond that, into the billions and trillions and larger… the mind tends to just say “pretty darn big”.
So, our mind tends to want to ‘un-big’ the concept. We pull back from Infinity. We have now created an artificial ‘limit’.. which is a definite radii and we no longer have ‘no circumference.
We do the same with God. So we can better ‘handle’ the Infinite nature of God, we give it human traits to make (S/He/It) more understandable to our minds. We make the Infinite limited.
We wish to make the Infinite less messy since it is ‘too big’ to work with. Let us pull back from the Infinite to our Galaxy. Naw… still billions of planets and stars and stuff. Our own solar system? All those planets with moons and asteroids and comets and…. Let’s go smaller. Earth. Life in it’s infinite diversity. Darn. Let’s make this real simple. Us. ‘Me’ and everything else. Now, zone out and take away the ‘everything else’ part. Zoning is nice but we still have thoughts, body growling, muscles, bones, sight, sound, smell… it’s too complicated still. So, let us meditate.
We meditate and look inward to that quiet, ‘simple’, still center. The ‘One Point’ of Enlightenment. We approach the null radius circle — one of no radii and therefore no circumference. One-ness. We are ‘back’ to the Nature of God! By going inward, we meet the One Point of God-ness.
So, the koan, in it’s simplest ‘answer’ may be —
“We are God Nature”
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