1. Hmmm . . .
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    18 Nov '07 04:00
    Here is a traditional Zen koan—

    ___________________________________

    A man once made a home for a small goose in a large bottle. The goose was free to leave the bottle and return as he wished. But, by and by, the goose grew too large and one day became stuck in the bottle.

    The man did not wish to break the bottle, nor did he wish to hurt the goose.

    How will you get the goose out of the bottle?

    ___________________________________

    Koans point to an existential dilemma, and cannot be “solved” intellectually; they are not about theorizing.

    Nevertheless, I thought I would present one—without further commentary on metaphor or symbolism (which might be clear to someone in an “eastern” culture)—to see how various people might interpret it. Just out of curiosity.
  2. Joined
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    18 Nov '07 04:25
    Originally posted by vistesd

    How will you get the goose out of the bottle?
    Vasoline?
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    18 Nov '07 14:35
    the man will paint a scene all around the bottle so that from inside the bottle the goose will see an expanding universe and thus feel free and unlimited...the goose is "out" of the bottle...
  4. Melbourne, Australia
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    18 Nov '07 21:45
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Here is a traditional Zen koan—

    ___________________________________

    A man once made a home for a small goose in a large bottle. The goose was free to leave the bottle and return as he wished. But, by and by, the goose grew too large and one day became stuck in the bottle.

    The man did not wish to break the bottle, nor did he wish to hurt the goose. ...[text shortened]... e in an “eastern” culture)—to see how various people might interpret it. Just out of curiosity.
    It's a simple choice, since assuming the goose continues to grow, it will die.
    So, does the man wish the goose to die or does he wish to keep an intact bottle with a dead goose inside it?
  5. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    18 Nov '07 21:50
    Originally posted by amannion
    It's a simple choice, since assuming the goose continues to grow, it will die.
    So, does the man wish the goose to die or does he wish to keep an intact bottle with a dead goose inside it?
    Geese only grow so large though. He could keep feeding it till it died of old age.
  6. Melbourne, Australia
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    18 Nov '07 22:18
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Geese only grow so large though. He could keep feeding it till it died of old age.
    Well in that case, there's the question of whether keeping the goose in such cramped conditions could be consider cruel?
    If the goose is fine and the bottle is fine then there's no problem.
    Is the goose restricted from living a normal life? If the answer is yes, I'd be inclined to break the bottle and get it out - a glass bottle can always be remade. Can you remake a goose?
    Of course, then you might argue, ah yes, but it won't be this particular glass bottle, it'll be a new one, a different one.
    In which case my response would be ...

    Is this the purpose of koans?
    To force us into carrying on strangely pointless internal dialogues with ourselves?
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    19 Nov '07 00:08
    The man can't have it both ways. I grew out of my cradle, I've lived in a pretty small aprtment and when I get some money I want to have a big enough place to put my feet up at the end of a days work.

    Who cares about a bottle? Bottles come and go, the Geese has one life to live.
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    19 Nov '07 00:47
    ..i am sorry....most of you miss the point of the thread...if it was about using a hammer on the bottle, etc., it would not be a philosophical question but rather a home improvement tip...
  9. Standard memberKellyJayonline
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    19 Nov '07 01:07
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Here is a traditional Zen koan—

    ___________________________________

    A man once made a home for a small goose in a large bottle. The goose was free to leave the bottle and return as he wished. But, by and by, the goose grew too large and one day became stuck in the bottle.

    The man did not wish to break the bottle, nor did he wish to hurt the goose. ...[text shortened]... e in an “eastern” culture)—to see how various people might interpret it. Just out of curiosity.
    I'd start with a glass cutter, an axe, a fire, some seasoning, herbs,
    a little wine, and someone else who knows how to clean the goose
    to share a meal with, then partake after all is said and done. 🙂
    Kelly
  10. Standard memberKellyJayonline
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    19 Nov '07 01:071 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Here is a traditional Zen koan—

    ___________________________________

    A man once made a home for a small goose in a large bottle. The goose was free to leave the bottle and return as he wished. But, by and by, the goose grew too large and one day became stuck in the bottle.

    The man did not wish to break the bottle, nor did he wish to hurt the goose. ...[text shortened]... e in an “eastern” culture)—to see how various people might interpret it. Just out of curiosity.
    hmmm, I'd only do it once though post repeated for some reason
  11. Standard memberKellyJayonline
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    19 Nov '07 01:071 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Here is a traditional Zen koan—

    ___________________________________

    A man once made a home for a small goose in a large bottle. The goose was free to leave the bottle and return as he wished. But, by and by, the goose grew too large and one day became stuck in the bottle.

    The man did not wish to break the bottle, nor did he wish to hurt the goose. ...[text shortened]... e in an “eastern” culture)—to see how various people might interpret it. Just out of curiosity.
    Cannot recall if I have ever eaten goose before. 🙂
    Kelly
  12. Melbourne, Australia
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    19 Nov '07 01:18
    Originally posted by reinfeld
    ..i am sorry....most of you miss the point of the thread...if it was about using a hammer on the bottle, etc., it would not be a philosophical question but rather a home improvement tip...
    No, I think it is a philosophical question.
    What is the value of a glass bottle compared to that of a living thing? How much more philosophical do you want to get?

    Now, of course I would immediately suggest breaking the glass, but my concern is with the deeper question of why the guy put the goose in there in the first place? What did he think was going to happen?
    Perhaps the koan is one about stupidity then. Or attachment to material objects.
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    19 Nov '07 01:24
    ...no, the koan is about the place between to impossible choices...is there a third way ?...sometimes there is not...what does one do in such a place...the lesson of james tiberius kirk is to follow the kobayashi maru rule..when faced with a situation where you cannot win...you break the rules...
  14. Melbourne, Australia
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    19 Nov '07 01:28
    Originally posted by reinfeld
    ...no, the koan is about the place between to impossible choices...is there a third way ?...sometimes there is not...what does one do in such a place...the lesson of james tiberius kirk is to follow the kobayashi maru rule..when faced with a situation where you cannot win...you break the rules...
    Ah, now that sounds plausible, but why is it an impossible choice to break the glass bottle?
    What is this attachment that the man feels for this bottle?
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    19 Nov '07 02:47
    ..you are told in the original post that the man does not wish to break the bottle and so how is the problem solved when one's desires are such ?...is there a way to free the goose yet fulfill the man's desire not to break the bottle...life is full of such competitions in our own soul and between men...how is both harmony and success found in the same place..?
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