by Kerry Thornley
Zenarchy - Chapter 7
The Care and Feeding of Zenarchy
Looking at reality is like trying to stare at both ends of a very long stick at the same time. Our minds function in such a way as to see first one side and then another of a concept. We see the black on the white background or the white on the black in the famous optical illusions used to illustrate Gestalt theories of perception, whereas it is virtually impossible to see both at once.
Zen Buddhists have sensed as much since ancient times. What they have also realized is that while the history of something may be necessary or at least helpful in coming to terms with it, that much alone is usually insufficient. Likewise, although abstracting the essential principles of a process can communicate a mechanistic sense of what it does and does not include, there are times at which that is a little like outlining a story plot and presenting it in place of a whole novel. Also, sometimes the more concisely a principle or an idea is stated the more it tends, even if memorized, to go "in one ear and out the other".
In the teaching of Zen, Taoism, Hasidic Judaism and Sufism the use of brief, often humorous anecdotes serve to transmit glimpses from a multitude of angles and for a profusion of varying minds. Great spiritual teachers like Jesus and Ramakrishna of course employed the similar technique of the parable and illustrative anecdotes are valued in all types of education. There is however, a flavor most known in connection with the Zen story - a hint of mindfucking absurdism approaching conceptual art of the surrealist school - which, when adopted by anarchism, transforms it into Zenarchy.
Zenarchy stories are probably just what is needed to establish and maintain a Zenarchist revolutionary tradition.
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Zenarchy: Table of Content
Copyright 1991, 1997 Kerry W. Thornley, IllumiNet Press and Impropaganda.