2007-11-11 9:35 PM

Mu Day!

Wednesday was going to be Mu Day. However, the only koan-esque question that day was “what is the sound of unfinished paperwork at a deadline?”

For those who have not yet googled for “mu koan” I will quickly summarize.

“Mu” means empty or without in Japanese. The Chinese equivalent is “Wu” as in wu-chi (empty stance). The computing equivalent might be “syntax error” or more likely “runtime error”. Linguistically they are often double binds.

The way I explained it yesterday at worship was as a malformed question. You can go around and around to answer it but in the end it is wasted because the question isn’t quite right. Sometimes it is a matter of the presumptions being faulty. Sometimes it is a false dichotomy and/or neither answer is valid. When they are presented as double binds neither choice is valid but people still feel the need to choose one.

So next time someone asks “if a tree falls in a forest…” you can “mu” rather than feeling bound to “yes” or “no”.

Where do you find yourself (artificially) stuck between two choices?
(If “mu” doesn’t get you unstuck I recommend Dr Martin’s Self Help.)

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan No Comments »

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