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What is the sound of one hand clapping?

 
 
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 10:04 pm
self explanatory really.

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Id like to hear what other people think the answer is to this zen koan.
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 10:09 pm
@Ogitoc groe sum,
It is the sound of Niels Bohr's voice when he said...
Quote:
There are trivial truths and the great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true.

0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 12:49 am
@Ogitoc groe sum,
Clap with one hand, and listen.

Now, clap with two hands, and listen. What does this tell you?
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 01:37 am
@roger,
The "sound of one hand clapping" is a non-concept, a phrase without meaning, since a clap is performed by two hands. Zen Buddhists adore these "koans" because trying to think about them leads to a state of mind which is either a kind of confused headache, or "enlightenment", depending on your point of view.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 02:30 am
@contrex,
I'll go with 'confused headache'.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 03:05 am
@roger,
Of course I was being frivolous, and (I am not an expert on Buddhism) I suppose that the purpose of contemplating paradoxical notions such as the "sound of one hand clapping" is as a mental exercise, to empty the mind, to somehow become aware of or focus upon the nature of "meaning" (by contrasting it with "non-meaning"). Or to somehow become intoxicated mentally by infinite regress. It reminds me of those questions like "What happens when an irresistible cannonball strikes an immovable post?" or Russell's famous piece of paper which says, on both sides: "The statement on the other side of this piece of paper is false". It also reminds me of mediaeval monks locking themselves up in cells and meditating upon the ineffable nature of the Holy Ghost. (Or at least that's what they told everyone they were doing). I suppose that it is clear from these remarks of mine that I cannot really see the point of doing this, and that I dislike mysticism, and I fully expect to be told that I am misunderstanding something profound, but there it is.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 03:08 am
@contrex,
On the other hand, everything that is obscure in not always profound.
Francis
 
  3  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 03:32 am
@roger,
Roger, astoundingly profound, wrote:
On the other hand, everything that is obscure in not always profound.


You mean, the one which is not clapping at the moment?
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 03:37 am
@Francis,
Bravo !
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  4  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 06:10 am
@Ogitoc groe sum,
Ogitoc groe sum wrote:
What is the sound of one hand clapping?

It's the sound philosophers make when they have run out of original ideas.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 06:16 am
clapping is simply the striking of two flat objects together

so the sound of one hand clapping could sound like one hand striking a table top, a thigh, a wall etc, nothing mentioned about one hand and no other object
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 06:41 am
@djjd62,
In ordinary English, "hands clapping" means "two hands striking each other". That is the whole point of the koan, which you appear to have missed. In any case, one hand striking another object or part of the body is normally referred to as "slapping". Therefore, your post is mistaken.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 06:51 am
@contrex,
just going by the general definition of clap

didn't miss a thing, i get the metaphysical masturbation of the statement, i just find it pointless


clapâ‹…ping, noun

"verb (used with object)
1. to strike the palms of (one's hands) against one another resoundingly, and usually repeatedly, esp. to express approval: She clapped her hands in appreciation.
2. to strike (someone) amicably with a light, open-handed slap, as in greeting, encouragement, or the like: He clapped his friend on the back.
3. to strike (an object) against something quickly and forcefully, producing an abrupt, sharp sound, or a series of such sounds: to clap a book on the table.
4. to bring together forcefully (facing surfaces of the same object): She clapped the book shut.
5. to applaud (a performance, speech, speaker, etc.) by clapping the hands: The audience clapped the actors at the end of the act.
6. to put or place quickly or forcefully: to clap a lid on a jar; She clapped her hand over his mouth. They clapped him in jail.
7. to make or arrange hastily (often fol. by up or together).
"verb (used without object)
8. to clap the hands, as to express approval; applaud: After the audience stopped clapping, the tenor sang two encores.
9. to make an abrupt, sharp sound, as of flat surfaces striking against one another: The shutters clapped in the wind.
10. to move or strike with such a sound: She clapped across the room in her slippers.

so under the definition of clapping, it could be one hand striking another object

stick that in your mantra and smoke it

contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 06:54 am
@djjd62,
Oh well, have it your way. There's always gotta be a wise guy! (Mutters: dick!)
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 06:57 am
I'm still waiting for an explanation of the Holy Trinity.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 07:01 am
@contrex,
you could say dick out loud, it matters not to me

if a question can be answered it should be, philosophy be damned

contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 07:02 am
@dyslexia,
I think you might wait a long time. Belief in God as a Trinity is considered essential by Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and orthodox Protestantism. However, Christian faith does not ask for comprehension: it must be understood that God is a Trinity, for the sake of knowing who God is, and for understanding the salvation he has accomplished. Beyond such practical issues, speculation regarding a theory of the divine being is not necessarily encouraged. The believer does not need to know how it is that God is a Trinity.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 07:03 am
@djjd62,
Quote:
you could say dick out loud, it matters not to me


I did, actually, and I also said "Vain prating coxcomb!"
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 07:06 am
@dyslexia,
the great ron bennington, posed this question as it relates to music, comedy, writing, etc, it provoked an entertaining response from the listeners to the radio show

in music one suggestion was that robert johnson was the father, the beatles were the son and elvis was the holy ghost
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 07:06 am
@dyslexia,
I knew there was a Holly Madison:

http://www.maldiveschronicle.com/celebswatch/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/holly-madison.jpg

And a Holly Valance:

http://imstars.aufeminin.com/stars/fan/holly-valance/holly-valance-20050625-49548.jpg



But I knew nothing about Holly Trinity...
 

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