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With this approach, all the elements within the situation are allowed to maintain their full concreteness and yet at the same time be juxtaposed to other elements that may well be logically incompatible with them.  The implications that this manifold of elements has are then allowed to find their own expression through the natural wisdom of the mind.  This wisdom by its nature seeks simple and complete resolutions that are capable of being implemented.  It is precisely in the development of this approach that Buddhism has so much to offer, emanating as it does just from this wisdom.

Basic to the Buddhist outlook is polarity, and the fundamental polarity is form and emptiness.  In Zen temples monks chant daily a sutra, the Prajna Paramita, which is the distillation of Buddhist teaching.  Central to this sutra are the words: “Form is no other than emptiness; emptiness no other than form.”  Form is what we are calling “structure,” emptiness is, in part, what we are calling “process.”  This statement, that form is no other than emptiness, does not mean that they can be reduced to one another, because structure is structure and emptiness is emptiness.  This is bewildering to anyone first encountering the concept, but at the same time it often strikes a note of satisfaction.

This doctrine of form and emptiness is associated with another that we have referred to as not-two, not-one.  Also associated with it are the concepts of the “middle-way” and “karma,” two concepts that are badly understood in the West.  The concept of karma has many levels of meaning; one level is associated with the doctrine of dependent origination, which as the underlying notion of “this being, that appears.”

These notions arise naturally out of our wisdom mind.  It is not suggested, therefore, that we abandon Western thinking and adopt oriental thinking.  Western thinking is, as we have said, process-dominated.  It is, using Marshall McLuhan”s phraseology, linear thinking.  It is the sort of thinking that is inevitable in the absence of a discipline designed to bring about its complement.  It sees things as being what they are because of the special or characteristics of what they have.

April 2nd, 2020 ~ Emptiness-nothing exists or starts by itself. It is empty of inherent existence. There are no self-made people.  Because of this emptiness, all things or phenomena are dependent upon causes and conditions.  Everything is connected.  When I see that process thinking is linear, it surprises me because process always sounds creative.  Yet, structural is procedural.  It is dynamic, right?  This leaves us confused.  It is paradoxical.  Wast it Suzuki Roshi or Dogen who said if it isn’t a paradox, then it isn’t true.  The point of paradox is not to come up with the answer, my intern therapist once told me, it was to get me to thinking about it.  

What we produce–the product–through process is empty of inherent existence.  It is dynamic, changing moment-to-moment.  Because of this emptiness, we have form–structure-phenomena dependent upon causes and conditions.  With structure, there is something there.  We see it, but it is not how we think it is.  In fact, both structure and process exist in a way that we don’t see how they actually exist.  We only think they do.  As Low mentions, they complement each other.   Finally, Low mentions Prajna Paramita–the Heart Sutra.  Given today’s world crisis, it can be calming to read and learn about it.


As in most posts on, italicization of words refers to the words of either Jiddu Krishnamurti or Albert Low.  The website writer’s words are in regular text.

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