《坛经》Su­tra of the Sixth Pa­tri­arch

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from him was also “yes”, but not for the rea­son you prob­a­bly think. Berke­ley was a de­vout re­li­gious man so he be­lieved ev­ery­thing con­tin­ues to ex­ist with­out any­one ob­serv­ing be­cause God per­ceives all from above.When we are not watch­ing, God is watch­ing.

nd The ques­tion of the tree fall­ing also re­lies on our def­i­ni­tion of sound, "is sound only sound if a per­son hears it?” If the vi­bra­tions that travel in the air or through other medi­ums rely on hu­man or an­i­mal ears to hear, and that sound is a hu­man ex­pe­ri­ence syn­the­sised in the mind as a form of per­cep­tion, then we might an­swer “no”. How­ever if we are purely talk­ing about the phys­i­cal phe­nom­e­non of wave dis­tur­bance then we may an­swer “yes”. Al­though talk­ing about quan­tum the­ory,Al­bert Ein­stein posed the ques­tion, is the moon there when no­body looks? Abra­ham Pais, Ein­stein’s sci­en­tific bi­og­ra­pher, wrote:“We of­ten dis­cussed his no­tions on ob­jec­tive re­al­ity. I re­call that dur­ing one walk Ein­stein sud­denly stopped, turned to me and asked whether I re­ally be­lieved that the moon ex­ists only when I look at it.” In­stead of tak­ing the ques­tion lit­er­ally, we can per­haps re­flect on broader ques­tions about per­cep­tion and eth­i­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity. In the fastpaced mod­ern so­ci­ety filled with con­stant so­cial me­dia up­dates and pho­tos or videos shared on­line, per­haps the ques­tion could be adapted to,“If a tree falls in a for­est, and no­body up­loads a photo or video on so­cial me­dia, did it even hap­pen?”

In the fast-paced mod­ern so­ci­ety filled with con­stant so­cial me­dia up­dates and pho­tos or videos shared on­line, per­haps the ques­tion could be adapted to, “If a tree falls in a for­est, and no­body up­loads a photo or video on so­cial me­dia, did it even hap­pen?”

East VS West

The idea that the mind con­trols all in per­ceiv­ing re­al­ity can also be found in East­ern phi­los­o­phy. nd The anec­do­tal story is re­lated to Bud­dhist monk Huineng (638-713), one of the most im­por­tant fig­ures in Chan Bud­dhism. Ac­cord­ing to stan­dard ha­giogra­phies, Huineng has been tra­di­tion­ally viewed as the Sixth and Last Pa­tri­arch of Chan Bud­dhism.

When in the Fax­ing Tem­ple in Guangzhou, Huineng over­heard two monks ar­gu­ing about the tem­ple flag wav­ing in the wind. One said, “The flag moves”. The other said, “The wind moves”. They ar­gued back and forth but could not agree. Huineng chipped in, “Gen­tle­men! It is not the wind that moves; it is not the flag that moves; it is your mind that moves.” The two monks were struck with awe.

The lit­er­ary roots of the story can be found in the Plat­form Su­tra of the Sixth Pa­tri­arch (li­uzu tan­jing).

Another sim­i­larly posed ques­tion a fa­mous Ja­panese zen koan says, “What is the sound of one hand clap­ping?”

Two hands clap and there is a sound. What is the sound of one hand? ( 隻手声あり、その声を聞け) - Hakuin Ekaku

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