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"Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

"Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:52 pm

While briefly In the Dentist's waiting-room yesterday, I saw a full-page ad in THE ATLANTIC magazine for a new book, with, I felt, an interesting sub-title.

The subtitle echoed a familiar Zen Buddhist theme, and aphorism, often translated: "Not knowing is the most intimate".

But it is not a book on Buddhadharma.

Amazon allows us to "look inside the book", online, on their site, so I did. ;)

No chapter heading, nor any word in the Index, mentioned Buddhism, nor Zen Buddhism.

I understand from writers that very often, an author does not succeed in naming a book, but very often the editors and marketers at the publishing company will choose and impose titles for books. Well, I suppose SOMEBODY -- among author, editors, or marketers -- may have known about this Zen Buddhist aphorism.

The full title of the book is: NONSENSE -- THE POWER OF NOT KNOWING (by one Jamie Holmes; 2015).

Amazon lists the book here:

http://www.amazon.com/Nonsense-Power-Kn ... ot+knowing

(if I should see the book in a library, or on a friend's shelf, I'll give it a look).

--Joe

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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby macdougdoug on Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:02 pm

Looks good from here. Written by an Economist. Here' a bit of one of the reader's reviews :

From start to finish, Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing is a highly readable, engrossing book that explains how important it is to be able to deal with ambiguity, and not to be always seeking closure. Author Jamie Holmes points out early in the book that successfully dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty does not require a high IQ, but requires that one learns to master the emotional challenge of figuring out what to do when one has no idea what to do. He states that he hopes to convince the reader of "a simple claim": "In an increasingly complex, unpredictable world, what matters most isn't IQ, willpower, or confidence in what we know. It's how we deal with what we don't understand."

Those who don't or won't master that ambiguity challenge are more likely to "jump to conclusions", "deny contradictions", be mentally rigid, be prejudice and "revert to stereotypes", assert control elsewhere when losing control somewhere, be less creative, be more confident about an erroneous course of action, and be trusting of those who don't deserve trust and not trusting of those who do. There are also three things that tend to make individuals less likely to successfully deal with uncertainty and, thus, need a quick closure--fatigue, urgency and stress. States Mr. Holmes: "We have to reduce the messy world to manage it. But resolving something--fitting it into a metal box--also means that you stop scrutinizing it. Recognition means closure, and it marks the end of thinking, looking, and listening."
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:10 pm

Neat! ;)

--Joe
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby Linda Anderson on Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:57 pm

Not Knowing has always had branches. It is found in most spiritual traditions:

Sitting under the Bodhi Tree
40 days and nights in the desert
walking the labryinth
retreats of all kinds
the feminine, waiting in the dark
Moses on the mtn
poetry
etc, etc
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby macdougdoug on Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:02 pm

The magic was always in the mystery :heya:
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:08 pm

Thanks!, Linda.

You're reminding me now of a book I have, which I ought to post about. It is:

PRUNING THE BODHI TREE -- THE STORM OVER CRITICAL BUDDHISM;

...by Jamie Hubbard and Paul L. Swanson; Univ. Hawai'i Press; Honolulu (1997).

Sometime!

Today, ...golden music.

See ya,

--Joe

Linda Anderson wrote:Not Knowing has always had branches. It is found in most spiritual traditions: [snippeth]
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby fukasetsu on Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:38 am

Life today feels more overwhelming and chaotic than ever. Whether it’s a confounding work problem or a faltering relationship or an unclear medical diagnosis, we face constant uncertainty. And we’re continually bombarded with information, much of it contradictory.

Managing ambiguity—in our jobs, our relationships, and daily lives—is quickly becoming an essential skill. Yet most of us don’t know where to begin.

As Jamie Holmes shows in Nonsense, being confused is unpleasant, so we tend to shutter our minds as we grasp for meaning and stability, especially in stressful circumstances. We’re hard-wired to resolve contradictions quickly and extinguish anomalies. This can be useful, of course. When a tiger is chasing you, you can’t be indecisive. But as Nonsense reveals, our need for closure has its own dangers. It makes us stick to our first answer, which is not always the best, and it makes us search for meaning in the wrong places. When we latch onto fast and easy truths, we lose a vital opportunity to learn something new, solve a hard problem, or see the world from another perspective.

In other words, confusion—that uncomfortable mental place—has a hidden upside. We just need to know how to use it. This lively and original book points the way.

Over the last few years, new insights from social psychology and cognitive science have deepened our understanding of the role of ambiguity in our lives and Holmes brings this research together for the first time, showing how we can use uncertainty to our advantage. Filled with illuminating stories—from spy games and doomsday cults to Absolut Vodka’s ad campaign and the creation of Mad Libs—Nonsense promises to transform the way we conduct business, educate our children, and make decisions.

In an increasingly unpredictable, complex world, it turns out that what matters most isn’t IQ, willpower, or confidence in what we know. It’s how we deal with what we don’t understand.


Not my cup of tea (well basically any book for that matter) but I always purchase books for mom (just yesterday Adyashanti en Tolle)
So thanks for the tip Joe, I'll await the Dutch translation of the book.
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby Linda Anderson on Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:30 am

Fuki,
I'm a bit confused by what you are quoting and what you are saying...
linda
Not last night,
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Melon flowers bloomed.
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby lobster on Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:44 am

Linda Anderson wrote:Fuki,
I'm a bit confused by what you are quoting and what you are saying...
linda


:tee: Good one!

:hide: ... maybe you are serious ... :EEK:

As someone not averse to non-sense, I reguarly take a lateral or ambiguous, 'fuzzy logic' approach to a variety of situations.

For example modern art is often non-sense but hey can we not have something that the IBM TrueNorth chip will not be doing better than us meat balls in a few years time ...

Religion, applied non-sense, music, dance and zen (yes her) may be some of the few things left for us before quantum computers become part of our enlightened teachers ...

Oh the humanity :ghug:
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby Linda Anderson on Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:58 am

lobster, I was serious... it didn't dawn on me otherwise :blush:
Not last night,
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Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:05 pm

My best sensible guess is that Fuki is quoting a review at Amazon by a customer who bought and read the book.

(what'say, Fuki?)

--Joe
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:26 pm

hi, Linda,

Linda Anderson wrote:Not Knowing has always had branches.

Yeah, and some people are covered and entangled by more such branches than others. ;)

It is found in most spiritual traditions:

Indeed. But when I think of THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING, I stand in appreciation of the UN-knowing, the active process of regular devoted practice which brought and brings a practitioner to that status of "not being blinded by a View".

But as a Zen Buddhist practitioner, I find defectiveness or inadequacy in the image of a "cloud". This is helped by the "astronomer" in me, too. Cloud? No, no cloud. One who sees reality directly is not draped in cloud, nor residing in a cloud. The opposite! Clouds have evaporated. Hail!

But the "...Cloud..." author had a "God" in mind, who he hoped to apprehend. As Zen Buddhists, we do not posit any such supernatural entity, up-front, and come at practice that much more unburdened. Thus, the paths are different, I don't doubt.

--Joe
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby fukasetsu on Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:57 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:My best sensible guess is that Fuki is quoting a review at Amazon by a customer who bought and read the book.

(what'say, Fuki?)

--Joe


Yes I just quoted a text from a Dutch site where you can order the book, sounded like something on the backside or something.
I thought it was additional value....
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:12 pm

fukasetsu wrote:I thought it was additional value....

Thank you for it! It was, truly, for me. Of value.

Yes, it reads like something that a reviewer might have written and which the publisher has put on the reverse of the dust-cover of the book (or back of the paperback, if any paperback is issued so soon, already).

Thanks again,

:Namaste:,

--Joe
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby lobster on Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:15 am

Linda Anderson wrote:lobster, I was serious... it didn't dawn on me otherwise :blush:


:heya:

I have all the subtlety of a silencer without a baffle. That refers to car mechanics incidentally. :blush:

I would apologise but that would be like removing the car, whilst jump starting ... do they still do that?
Maybe we semi humans still have our uses ... :>.>:

... and now back to sensible nonsense ... :dance:
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby Linda Anderson on Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:21 pm

:heya:
no apology necessary, it's all arising
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
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Re: "Not Knowing" Branches-Out?

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:57 pm

Linda Anderson wrote:... it's all arising

Yeasty!

Now I want to make pretzels. Or bagels. :tongueincheek:

--Joe
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