Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Kōan LCi 1001

Two hands clap and there is a sound. What is the sound of one hand?
— Hakuin Ekaku

" the beginning a monk first thinks a kōan is an inert object upon which to focus attention; after a long period of consecutive repetition, one realizes that the kōan is also a dynamic activity, the very activity of seeking an answer to the kōan. The kōan is both the object being sought and the relentless seeking itself. In a kōan, the self sees the self not directly but under the guise of the kōan...When one realizes ("makes real") this identity, then two hands have become one. The practitioner becomes the kōan that he or she is trying to understand. That is the sound of one hand." — G. Victor Sogen Hori, Translating the Zen Phrase Book

Of course, you could try a naive translation of LCi to LC such that the resulting term is a list of calls made.

But under the most naive encoding, some terms might reduce under all rewrite strategies to the same term, i.e. superficially make the same calls in exactly the same order, and you still wouldn't know anything about the exact temporal behaviour. I just need observational equivalence on traces of rewrites of terms under an evaluation strategy.

It always boils down to the same observation: Value doesn't equal behaviour.

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