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The Iron Cow of Zen – A Commentary on Some Classical Zen Koans

27 november 2019

By Albert William Low (1928 - 2016).

202 Pages | A Quest Original, first edition 1985 |  Softcover | Quest Books, U.S.A. | ISBN: 0835605981.

'A Koan is a saying or an action of a Zen Master and is an invitation to use the mind in a new way. This new way is the subject of the book.'

Perhaps the most famous of the koans is: 'What is the sound of one hand clapping?' Another is: 'At the top of a one-hundred foot pole an iron cow gives birth to a calf'. These pithy, seemingly pointless statements are used to startle the mind - to enable the consciousness to achieve instant enlightenment. Self-realization.

The Iron Cow of Zen is a book of such Koans complete with discerning commentary. Zen is a completely existential discipline, and Albert Low relates these ambiguous statements to our everyday existence. Thus, this Quest book becomes a very practical manual. A friend of the reader.

From Chapter Four: 'The Mind of Ambiguity' (p.58 & p.59):

" It is not the surrogate Other, that generates the horror, but the fact of the Other. The horror is awakened entirely by the ambiguity of 'me'. Me-as-center/me-as-periphery. In that the self is manifestly one, this ambiguity is a wound in the very heart of hearts - a wound that is the threat of being devoured: me-as-center threatened by me-as-periphery and me-as-periphery threatened by me-as-center. The threat is therefore of endless but total annihilation, and engulfment without bottom: hell itself in its most terrible aspect. This devouring potential of the self by the self has been symbolized by the ancients as the uroborus, a snake swallowing its own tail. "

auteur: Low, A.
ISBN: 0835605981

Prijs: € 8,17

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