Before a person studies Zen,

mountains are mountains and waters are waters.

After a first glimpse into the truth of Zen,

mountains are no longer mountains and waters are no longer waters;

After enlightenment, mountains are once again mountains and waters are once again waters.”





Complexity characterises the behaviour of a system or model whose components interact in multiple ways and follow local rules, meaning there is no reasonable higher instruction to define the various possible interactions.[1]

The term is generally used to characterize something with many parts where those parts interact with each other in multiple ways, culminating in a higher order of emergence greater than the sum of its parts. The study of these complex linkages at various scales is the main goal of complex systems theory.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complexity 

COGNITIVE: arguably, the perception of anything being more-or-less complex is a matter of the LEVEL OF ORGANIZATION at which it is first approached, or where our inquiry concludes. 


ex nihilo nihil fit

Nothing comes from nothing

(Parmenides, Lucretius)

is this a version of

Everything is Connected? 

Walt Whitman

HIERARCHIES: There are things within things… Like Ezekiel’s celestial wheels?


why is KNOWING complex and REALIZING simple?



KNOWING something—it’s nature (pure description in more-or-less detail) and/or its causes or consequences (in more-or-less temporal proximity) feels different than REALIZING.  Realization involves a constellation of cognitive resources that may overlap significantly those that gather together the stimuli and perceptions (and their connections) that constitute knowledge.  In traditional usage, realization (as in realizing one’s ambitions, or realizing a work of art) has a distinctive affective component—it is co-constituted of sentience and sapience—heart and mind.


  • “REALIZING” something seems “easier” than “KNOWING” it–it feels intuitive, you feel you understand without the obvious conscious cognitive effort  (in this recalls “subitizing” rather than “counting”)      



 “I wouldn’t give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity;

But I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.”

(Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr)



(Recalls: Einstein: “the simplicity on this side of complexity was easy;

but the simplicity on the other side of complexity took real thought and effort.”)