Complex Thinking in Eastern Thought

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* Article: - Chia, Robert. Complex thinking in ‘Eastern Thought: Non-Presence, Decenteredness and the Unspeakable. Paper presented at the CSTT/ ESRC workshop ‘Language and Complexity’, Centre for Culture, Social Theory & Technology, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire, UK, 1998.



From the reading notes of Michel Bauwens, 2006:

Western thought is based on Being, eastern thought is based on Nothingness.

Aristotelian thinking is based on the view that reality can be known by naming things, by describing it with universal characteristics (the concrete cannot really be known). Reality and language are both based on logical rules, so rationality can uncover it.

But this 'fixes' things n a single location, so flow and process tend to be discounted. Henri Bergson and William James reacted against this, wanting to revalidate direct experience and intuition.

The eastern tradition, which distrusts language's inadequacy, therefore attempts to translate preconceptual and prelinguistic insight by 'paradoxical utterances', or 'infinitely suggestive nuances of feeling-tone". Ultimate reality is essentially nameless: there is a general eastern antipathy to overtly direct and assertive language.