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February 08, 2021


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Zen_coyote: my guess is Mind and Spirit (Geist) have become interchangeable due to the influence of Hegel's works that have been translated into English. For Zen, all forms of mentation whether they are thoughts or concepts suggest a congealing of spirit and not spirit itself. I hasten to add this is Zen's divine world of no-thought  無念 which is totally unthinkable.

In a materialistic age such as ours mind only goes as far as congealed spirit which is thought. The idea of pure spirit is alien to us. Physics seems to suggest this with the wave and a particle phenomenon. But ultimately it falls back into thought or congealed spirit.

For me, I see Zen as almost dead having fallen into the cult of just sitting. Sitting for its own sake betokens a form of materialism — call it religious materialism. Huineng, on the other hand, was very adamant that spirit is the substance of thoughts; thoughts are the manifesting of spirit.

But as a Zennist your job is to catch a glimpse of pure spirit before it is congealed into thought. It ain't easy. :)

P.S. Good question!

This is what has been very confusing for me for a long time: the use of the word “Mind” to describe what you say is spirit, while “Mind” in the West usually refers to thinking or cognition.

Out of all the words to use to describe Mind, why use “Mind?”

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