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Koans for Cohens

walking the dogma
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Not specifically relating to Judaism, but a suggested reaction for any religion/philosophy to the multicultural society. The idea is that religions take advantage of social/religous cross-fertilisation by adopting particularly pleasant forms (not content!) from other religions. Hence the wisdom of the Torah presented in the aesthetically pleasing form of the Koan.
key-aero, Jul 30 2001

Haikus for Jews: For You, a Little Wisdom http://www.amazon.c...103-4752557-8141453
Can't believe nobody else is familiar with this book. "No fins, no flippers/ the gefilte fish swims with/ some difficulty." [Uncle Nutsy, Jul 30 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

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       Do you not find the Torah aesthetically pleasing?
LoriZ, Jul 30 2001
  

       You see! I spend all that time typing in disclaimers that this isn't meant to apply to any particular religion but is meant to encourage openness to the ideas and cultures of other groups, and what's the first comment it gets?
key-aero, Jul 30 2001
  

       Have you anything for "Levines"?
The Military, Jul 30 2001
  

       If a bush is burning on a mountaintop, but Moses is not there to witness it, is it still a miracle?
mwburden, Jul 30 2001
  

       (hides matches)
thumbwax, Jul 31 2001
  

       What is the sound of an atheist disbelieving?
If Neitzche speaks in a forest and no-one hears him, is God dead?
Two solipsists walk into a bar... no, that'll never work.
sirrobin, Jul 31 2001
  

       The Great Zen Master Iawi Erohimi was walking in his garden one day, when his two students came to him.
"How shall we achieve wisdom? How should we know right from wrong?" they asked him.
"You do not understand the Way of Things. Go and make some babies." said the Master. So the two students went off and had a lot of fun trying, but did not feel "wise" at all, so again they came to him.
"How shall we achieve wisdom?" they asked him. "How shall we know right from wrong?"
"You do not understand the Way of Things." he said. "Tame animals. Are you not smarter than them all." So the two students went off and did as he said, but it did not make them feel any "wiser" at all. So again they came to him.
"How shall we achieve wisdom?" they asked him. "How shall we know right from wrong?"
"You do not understand the Way of Things." said the Master, "Eat plenty of fruit. But no apples. The apples are mine."
But the two students both thought the apples looked rather tasty and ate them anyway. They became ashamed of themselves. As they snuck off to hide in the bushes, the Zen Master leapt out and surprised them.
"You ate my apples." he said.
"We are very sorry" they said.
"Too bad." he said. "Now get out of my garden."
"That's not very fair." they said.
"Ah." said the Master. "Now you understand."
Guy Fox, Jul 31 2001
  

       I think key-aero's idea is a good one, but in many respects it is baked. I'm not so sure if it's the case for other religions, but Christianity has repeatedly adapted the Christian message to forms generated by other philosophies/religions. Examples are Christmas, Easter, The Lord's Supper or Communion (adapted from the Jewish Passover meal), and many, many retellings in forms of popular culture (which is a competing philosophy/religion), such as Godspell, the Narnia books, and Contemporary Christian music.   

       I think Guy Fox's example hints at some of the beauty possible in key-aero's idea, though it violates the idea as stated by varying the content (i.e., the message in his conclusion is not the message of the original Genesis story).
beauxeault, Jul 31 2001
  

       I've always thought some of Christ's parables would make good koans:   

       A man said to Jesu, "Who is my neighbor?" Jesu said, "A man was walking, and was waylaid by robbers. Two men passed by and did not help him. Then a Samaritan came by and helped him. Now who is your neighbor?"   

       Unlike Guy Fox's example, this does not distort the meaning of the original text (although some of the nuances are lost). Because of this, however, it fails to be a koan.
baf, Jul 31 2001
  

       The more I think of this, the more I think my relative preference for the style of the koans could come merely from having read them in english and their being more recently translated. Although some people will doubtless rage on about the beauty and lyricism of the KJV I think something like this might help appeal to a younger generation. I have heard that followers of Islam consider the language and style of the Quran to be the most perfect usage of arabic. Does this lead to greater stability of arabic style and grammar in relation to other languages?
key-aero, Jul 31 2001, last modified Aug 02 2001
  

       As long as grammar (of all the words in the English language... ) is spelled correctly
thumbwax, Jul 31 2001
  

       The disciples gathered 12 baskets full of the pieces that were left; thereupon, the Lord said, "Behold that birds are like my Father's children: Fed by his grace, and clever at weaving baskets."
reensure, Jul 31 2001
  

       Guy Fox: Nice Zeneration of the Garden. Not quite kosher perhaps but wotthehell.   

       Next let's do third-person-plural-conditional haiku parables.
Dog Ed, Aug 01 2001
  

       If Arabic is the language used in heaven, as muslims believe, why does it have so many irregular verbs?
fwfranklin, Aug 01 2001
  

       I'm all for a good irregular verb! They keep the language interesting and the linguists off the streets.
key-aero, Aug 01 2001
  

       UB: I think you mean "fruit" rather than "apples." The Bible says "fruit" and does not specify the apple, but primarily it solves the problem of your eight-syllable line.
beauxeault, Aug 01 2001
  

       [PeterSealy] A koan is a riddle that doesn't necessarily have an answer (i.e., "If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?" or "What is the sound of one hand clapping?")
The purpose is not to find an answer, but to break the mind out of set thinking patterns.
mwburden, Aug 02 2001
  

       There's a story about a zen master who set his house on fire and told his students that he wouldn't come out until someone said the right thing. The students tried everything they could think of, but no matter what they said, he wouldn't come out. Then a student who had been absent throughout this showed up. When they explained to him that the master was inside the house and wouldn't come out, he gasped in shock. The master heard this, and came out.   

       The master in this story was giving his students a rather extreme form of koan.
baf, Aug 02 2001
  

       UnaBubba: Sterling example! Frankly, I didn't think it could be done with any sort of grace, but you achieved it.
Dog Ed, Aug 02 2001
  

       Isn't the problem with this that the different forms of the scriptures of each religion reflect and possibly determine the religion's content?   

       Zen Buddhism holds that the world is an illusion, and there is no chance of arriving at truth through logic or reason or indeed anything of this world. Therefore, it makes sense to have paradoxical teachings. In contrast, a religion which requires people to submit to the will of god requires a rational scripture which privileges the ability of language to communicate meaning and instructions.   

       The New Testament contains firstly the life stories of various teachers, principally of course Jesus, and then a number of letters setting out doctrinal points of the church. This reflects the establishment of the Christian church in the century following Christ's crucifixion, and perhaps is connected with the highly structured nature of the Christian church up to the Reformation. It also uses plain language (e.g. parables) as a means to communicate moral messages about good behaviour; koans teach a very different form of behaviour.   

       However, the Torah/Old Testament, the basis of Judaism, is largely a historical document, concerned with the trials of the Jewish race. This reflects the constitution of Judaism as a closed, non-evangelical religion with a strong historical content (as in Zionism). Apologies if I've misrepresented Judaism (or any other faith), but I'm just trying to flesh out a theory.   

       I don't know any other religions well enough even to guess at a commentary. But some of you must.
pottedstu, Oct 18 2001
  

       I always thought that religions were like a spiritual operating systems. Therefore this idea is kind of like an emulator between two sets of religions. It could be said that Judaism is like the MacOS that has a relatively small, but devout number of users and Christianity is like Windows in that it borrows heavily from the MacOS and is used by an enormous amount of people. Both sets are compatible with a lot of work, but mostly they agree to disagree. One could debate that Islam is either Monotheism 3.0 or more like Linux where it's open to everyone, but not as user-friendly compared to the other two. Buddhism is like PalmOS in that its compatible with most systems and can run concurrently. I hope that I didn't offend too many people here, it's just the way I operate.
marc1919, Oct 18 2001
  

       I'd liken Linux more closely with Ba'haism or Hinduism, and Islam with DOS 2.3.   

       Did you hear the one about the solipsist? Wait. Who are you?   

       Did you hear the one about the schizophrentic solipsist? He completely ignored his other half, whom the world revolved around.
RayfordSteele, Apr 05 2002
  

       From "Sweet Charity"   

       Daddy started out in San Francisco, Tootin' on his trumpet loud and mean, Suddenly a voice said, "Go forth Daddy, Spread the picture on a wider screen." And the voice said, "Brother, there's a million pigeons Ready to be hooked on new religions. Hit the road, Daddy, leave your common-law wife. Spread the religion of The Rhythm Of Life."   

       and on and on   

       The koan of core s is:   

       Brother, there's a million pigeons Ready to be hooked on new religions.
popbottle, Sep 21 2013
  

       Oy vey sharia.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 22 2013
  

       "These aren't the Druids you're looking for …"
8th of 7, Sep 22 2013
  

       //"These aren't the Druids you're looking for …"// {+}
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 22 2013
  
      
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