Originally posted by karoly aczel
thank you for asking
I think it is supposed to act like a'tool' to 'snap' you out of your 'everyday' thinking and present to your mind a completely illogical thought (or koan) .
Yes. Although in this case it isn’t completely illogical, but still aimed at shaking up facile assumptions.
By leaping to an opinion
—“Don’t seek the truth. Man, that’s absurd!”—Joseph both missed Seng Tsan’s point, and at the same time illustrated it. (Hello, Joseph! I didn’t know that I’d ignored your question; I didn’t even remember this post till it popped up again.)
On the one hand, if one does not already know what the truth would look like, how does one go about “seeking” it? How would one know it if one saw it? But, if one already knows what the truth looks like—why is one “seeking” it!?
On the other hand, if one first forms an opinion about what the truth should look like, then one will likely reject anything that does not look like that opinion (or set of opinions). What one then declares to be the truth is likely to look an awful lot like the opinion(s) that one formed in order to look for it: one is likely to find what one is looking for, whether that is really the truth or not.
And if one simply exchanges one set of opinions for another, then the “truth” will appear differently, according to that new set of opinions.
That is the dilemma.
In English, the word “truth” is cognate with words like “trust” and “troth”. Thus, we have something called a “correspondence theory of truth”—a true statement is one whose conceptual content accurately corresponds with the reality.
Seng Tsan, as a Buddhist, comes out of a different linguistic matrix—one in which “truth” is cognate with “reality” (or “being” ): in Sanskrit, for example, satya
, respectively. In such a way of thinking, truth is
reality, before we form any conceptual statements, or beliefs, or opinions, about