Zen Talk: Removing the Concept of the Absolute

“Natural and super-natural, temporal and eternal – continuums, not absolutes.”
– Albert Schweitzer (paraphrased)

My mind found this quote incredibly jarring. It seems to me that Albert has picked things that are quite opposite and quite distinct from one another. There does not seem to be, in my mind at least, but I’d venture in the minds of others either, anything in between these extremes.

Yet it is the very notion of extremes which these words attempt to shatter.

Rather than be extremes with nothing in between, we are being told that these notions have vast continuum of possibilities between them. Though I cannot imagine what particulars those might be I do find it to be a mental exercise even to attempt to imagine such a continuum. It’s literally the creation of space and ideas within my mental schema. And it’s those mental schema that Zen wants me to break in order to understand what else the universe has to offer.

Hmm, quite an exercise.

Can you help us better understand the middle ground between the so-called absolutes? What other absolutes are not really so but have a continuum? All of them? Specifics please!

Enjoy more Zen Talk.


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4 Responses

  1. he’s close, but still far.
    you ask for specifics for very broad and vague concepts that are only limited in explanation, I’ll answer you vaguely.

    Absolutes only occur if you reach a limit, upper or lower.
    Continuum exists when no limit can be reached.

    If you reach a limit and go no further you come to an absolute. If you reach a limit and can figure away around, through, past that limit you continue on.

    And do you feel as though Zen wants you to break your mental schema, or make them transparent when understanding the universe only to have your mental schema clutter your “mindscape” during daily life.

  2. Here’s a great question for you:
    Is life an absolute or continuum?
    Hint: in what state?

  3. Oh, another great question. If a woman lifts a car to save her child off of an adrenaline rush is that natural or supernatural.

    Would people of Egypt see the sun as a natural or supernatural thing?

  4. lol
    people of egypt, 5000 years ago

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