both/and

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the excluded middle way

The Excluded Middle Way

My good friend and fellow traveller, Joty, has recently started a new blog and his first post – a review of some of the themes in Thich Nhat Hanh’s ‘ Call Me By My True Name‘ – is well worth a read.

“Gentlemen, I am from the Centre!” is a wonderful statement and is exactly what Both/And (the excluded middle way) is all about…

The Law of the Excluded Middle – ‘everything must either be or not be’ to use Bertrand Russell’s snappy summary – is a technical term in formal logic but it also helps illustrate one of the biggest delusions of the all…

If we check our own minds… we often feel that if something is true then… logically… it must be either true, or not true and no other possibility exists.

I think Peter is a git. Someone else disagrees, ‘Peter is great!’. So we argue. Either he is a git, or he is not a git. We just need to look at evidence. Or persuade the other person. Or… most often… decide the other person is also a git.

Both/And thinking enters the Excluded Middle… And, when you add in some Buddhadharma (especially what is called “Buddha’s final intention” in the Heart Suttra) then we arrive at The Excluded Middle Way.

It’s an interesting mental space, one to be explored.

Thanks Joty

Neither from itself nor from another,
Nor from both,
Nor without a cause,
Does anything whatever, anywhere arise.

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Filed under: both/and, conceptual mind, dharma, emptiness, form, Madhyamaka, Madhyamaka Prāsaṅgika, Middle Way, non conceptual mind, the excluded middle, Thich Nhat Hanh

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