Kōan 37: Killing

Gasan instructed his adherents one day: “Those who speak against killing and who desire to spare the lives of all conscious beings are right. It is good to protect even animals and insects. But what about those persons who kill time, what about those who are destroying wealth, and those who destroy political economy? We should not overlook them. Furthermore, what of the one who preaches without enlightenment? He is killing Buddhism.”

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I would just like to take a moment to remind everyone that this blog isn’t meant to be preachy. Please don’t accuse me of killing Buddhism! All jokes aside though this kōan reminds me of the Dunning–Kruger effect, or the cognitive bias in which people think they’re experts on a subject because they don’t know just how much they don’t know.

Sadly it’s a cognitive bias I’ve been guilty of many many times…

That said, I also appreciate this new perspective on killing. Whether it be insects, time, or the economy, personally I don’t think it’s on the same level as killing another person, but just imagine what the world would be like if we redefined the very concept of killing.


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