Home______Waving Flags as Physical Processes, or Arthur C. Clarke in A Vacuum

"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum." Arthur C. Clarke
Two monks were arguing about a flag in the wind. One said, "The flag is moving."

The other said, "The wind is moving."

The Sixth Patriarch happened to be passing by. He told them, "Not the wind, not the flag. Mind is moving."

Mummon's comment: The Sixth Patriarch said, "The wind is not moving, the flag is not moving. Mind is moving." What did he mean? If you understand this intimately, you will see the two monks there trying to buy iron and gaining gold. The Sixth Patriarch could not bear to see those two dull heads, so he made such a bargain.

Wind, flag, mind moves.
The same understanding.
When the mouth opens
All are wrong.

----From the ancient collection of koans, The Gateless Gate, or Mummon, by Ekai


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