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You Proved Me Wrong !


One day a Zen master gave a lecture on philosophy. Hundreds of people listened to him for more than an hour. In the course of his lecture , somewhere he proposed a hypothesis saying something like A is same as B.

One of the listeners was listening intently. After the lecture, he hurried to the master and stopped him. The listener had brought lecture notes and diagrams with him. With much elaboration, he proved to the Zen master that the proposed hypothesis was wrong, and A was not same as B.

The Zen master smilingly nodded. Without a word of argument, he said “Very good. A is not same as B. Very true.” and turned to leave.

“Wait a minute.” The confused listener said. “You have studied all this for a lot longer time than me. I challenged you and disproved what you said and you have nothing to say?”

“My friend, you did not disprove what I said.” Replied the Zen master “You disproved what you heard.”

This is one of my favorite Zen stories. We always believe in purely objective interpretation of a information communicated. But almost always there is a difference between what I mean and what you understand. When I say the word “Computer”, the neural reaction that happens in your mind is different than that happens in my mind. That neural reaction is based on our individual experiences, moods, level of knowledge and many many things. Seems we can never escape the layer of subjectivity called individual mind.

Thus what you hear could be different from what I said.

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3 Responses

  1. Interesting!

    RE: “My friend, you did not disprove what I said.” Replied the Zen master “You disproved what you heard.”

    Stems from deep poise.

  2. First time I’ve commented here, but I’m a big fan of your blog. I was born Christian, but follow several Buddhist practices now. Your writing is a huge inspiration to me. Thank you.

    ~Just Another Writer

  3. Thanks Melvin,

    Thanks JustAnotherWriter.

    Your comments are highly appreciated.

    K

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