12
   

What is the sound of one hand clapping

 
 
egs
 
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 03:53 am
I've heard this expression being used. What does it mean?
 
Ragman
 
  5  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 07:12 am
@egs,
The quote is what is known as a kōan (a traditional zen concept): a story, dialogue, question, or statement, which is used in Zen-practice to provoke the "great doubt", and test a student's progress in Zen practice.

Victor Hori comments:

"...in the beginning a monk first thinks a kōan is an inert object upon which to focus attention; after a long period of consecutive repetition, one realizes that the kōan is also a dynamic activity, the very activity of seeking an answer to the kōan. The kōan is both the object being sought and the relentless seeking itself. In a kōan, the self sees the self not directly but under the guise of the kōan... When one realizes ("makes real") this identity, then two hands have become one. The practitioner becomes the kōan that he or she is trying to understand. That is the sound of one hand."

"It is meant to be pondered from within the routine of daily life until the answer opens the true heart of the question. All koans must be answered from within the realm of one's own personal experience, and thus be encountered in the journey of living rather than in the rationalizations of logical thought.

Accordingly, each koan has many answers, answers that will vary both in words and in the stirring of one's mind and emotions.

Even the wisest Zen teacher cannot tell you your own answer. You must find it for yourself, and not in your mind, and not in the comfort of a rational response. Once experienced, the answer is often a life changing experience, and needs no confirmation from anyone else."


0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 07:33 am
@egs,
I forgot to add:
Welcome to A2K. Thoughtful new members are always welcome here.

I didn't know exactly what it meant so I had to look it up. I now have a better idea than I did before. How about you?
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 08:43 am
@egs,
I reason one hand clapping is half the sound of two hands clapping...or is the koan referring to waving instead of clapping after all... Wink
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 08:50 am
It's like reaching out to clap and nothing is there, no resistance. Your mind - no resistance.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 08:54 am
@edgarblythe,
yes I know what they mean...I was just trying to explain there's a difference between will to clap and clapping...half clapping is not clapping, very much like half H2O without the H or the O is not water...
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 09:01 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Smile
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 09:15 am
What is the sound of one hand clapping

Trite . . . boring . . . predictable pseudo-wise religious babble . . .
Enzo
 
  3  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 09:21 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
I too first thought the question of the the sound of one hand clapping as some simple application of physics and not connected to some mystical Eastern philosophy.

One would think that the sound of clap of one hand is a some sort of *whoosh* sound as that hand displaces air in a given contained area, and the sound of two hands clapping results in a pop sound as the impact of two hands colliding together rapidly to create disturbance in the medium (air) that is propagated by the short-lived single pulse disturbance of the air molecules.
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 09:31 am
@Enzo,
Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 09:35 am
@Setanta,
Personally, I try not to judge 'em - I just try my best to answer 'em. I didn't detect an approval (tacit or otherwise) by the OP - just a curiosity.

Many philosophical concepts or constructs can be found predictable, pretentious or trite by someone or even many someones.

"For example, "If a tree falls in the forest, will a tree-hugger catch it before it falls to the ground? ...", etc.

Q:
Quote:
What is the sound of one hand clapping


A: It is the sound made by me after almost any Adam Sandler movie.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 09:57 am
@Ragman,
You gave a good answer, after which i figured all bets were off, and it was play time.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 10:33 am
@Setanta,
Setanta ...and I thought you were mellowing a little ! Smile

Note that "illogical sentences" do not necessarily point to "religious themes" but can be taken to indicate philosophically interesting aspects of semantics.

Noam Chomsky, for example, made a good living on the fallout from his sentence "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously"and Quine (the logician) came to the conclusion that the meaning of a sentence depended on the context of its usage, not its constituent parts. In general it can be argued that "logic" is a sub-aspect of semantics and religions or "transcendent movements" tend to cash in on this. This is why it is futile to engage proponents of those ideas using specifically logical terms such as "truth" and "proof", despite the fact that less intelligent religionists attempt just that.

A cursory glance at the "Standard Model" in physics with such bizarre concepts as "particles in two places at once" indicates that there may be more to epistemology than we can account for with language. And that is valid irrespective of Zen Koan traditions.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 10:40 am
@fresco,
Note that Zen is a particular flavor of Buddhist bullshit--and therefore, without the least regard for or interest in the word games you seem incapable of resisting, i will continue to consider it to be an example of pseudo-wise religious bullshit.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 10:44 am
As Keye Luke (Playing blind master Po, opposite David Carradine in the televison series Kung Fu) might have more honestly said:

"Snatch the residuals royalty check from my fingers, Grasshopper."
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 10:52 am
@Setanta,
Resistance is futile !

I remain content in the knowledge that Wittgenstein's genius was epitomized by his focus on "language games".
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 10:58 am
@fresco,
Well, you two have a good time together, and play nice!
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 11:34 am
The reason why language is used and useful is precisely in its attempt to objectify what someone means so that communication and coordinate action can be done, the opposite of what language games try to attain which is a subversion of language's primary purpose...maybe Fresco want to say something about that to...
Fil Albuquerque
 
  2  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 11:49 am
What is the sound of a parked car ?
Can a bird fly in one wing ? ...and the legless walk ?
Should we all be amazed with pseudo creativity ?
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 12:27 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
I agree that language can and does co-ordinate action, but such "action" can be linguistic behavior itself. The concept of "objectification" misses that point whereas the idea of "language games" exposes it.
0 Replies
 
 

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