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Zen is to religion what a Japanese “rock garden” is to a garden. Zen knows no god, no afterlife, no good and no evil, as the rock-garden knows no flowers, herbs or shrubs. It has no doctrine or holy writ: its teaching is transmitted mainly in the form of parables as ambiguous as the pebbles in the rock-garden which symbolise now a mountain, now a fleeting tiger. When a disciple asks “What is Zen?”, the master’s traditional answer is “Three pounds of flax” or “A decaying noodle” or “A toilet stick” or a whack on the pupil’s head.

ARTHUR KOESTLER, "A Taste of Zen," Bricks to Babel

Most of us were not afraid of death, only of the act of dying; and there were times when we overcame even this fear. At such moments we were free--men without shadows, dismissed from the ranks of the mortal; it was the most complete experience of freedom that can be granted a man.

ARTHUR KOESTLER, Dialogue with Death

Death tripped down the corridor, changing step, struck out here and there, danced pirouettes; often I felt his breath on my face when he was miles away; often I fell asleep and dreamed while he stood leaning over my bed.

ARTHUR KOESTLER, Dialogue with Death

The glory of science is not in a truth more absolute than the truth of Bach or Tolstoy, but in the act of creation itself. The scientist's discoveries impose his own order on chaos, as the composer or painter imposes his; an order that always refers to limited aspects of reality, and is based on the observer's frame of reference, which differs from period to period as a Rembrandt nude differs from a nude by Manet.

ARTHUR KOESTLER, The Act of Creation

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.



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