The Japanese Word, Mu

Reading by Liz Helgesen (Download file)

Awakin Feature

Yes and no…this or that…one or zero. In the basis of this elementary two-term discrimination, all human knowledge is built up. The demonstration of this is the computer memory that stores all knowledge in the form of binary information. It contains ones and zeroes, that's all.

Because we're unaccustomed to it, we don't usually see that there's a third possible logical term equal to yes and no which is capable of our understanding in an unrecognized direction. We don't even have term for it, so I'll have to use the Japanese mu.

Mu means "no thing." Like "quality" it points outside the process of dualistic discrimination. Mu simply says, "no class: not one, not zero, not yes, not no." It states that the context of the question is such that a yes and a no answer is in error and should not be given. "Unask the question" is what it says.

Mu becomes appropriate when the context of the question becomes too small for the truth of the answer. When the Zen monk was asked whether a dog had Buddha nature he said "Mu," meaning that if he answered either way he was answering incorrectly. The Buddha nature cannot be captured by yes or no questions.

That Mu exists in the natural world investigated by science is evident. […] The dualistic mind tends to think of Mu occurrences in nature as a kind of contextual cheating, or irrelevance, but Mu is found through all scientific investigation, and nature doesn't cheat, and nature's answers are never irrelevant. It's a great mistake, a kind of dishonesty to sweep  nature's Mu answers under the carpet. […]

When your answer to a test is indeterminate it means one of two things: that your test procedures aren't doing what you think they are or that your understanding of the context of the question needs to be enlarged. Check your tests and restudy the question. Don't throw away those Mu answers! They're every bit as vital as the yes and no answers. They're more vital. They're the ones you grow on.

--Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Add Your Reflection:

16 Previous Reflections:

  • link
    On Mar 17, 2019 online grocery Jaipur wrote:
    Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 15, 2019 aashirvaad atta 10kg price wrote:
    Thanks for sharing nice information with us. I like your post and all you share with us is up to date and quite informative.

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 14, 2019 bikaji bhujia 1 kg price wrote:
    I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 14, 2019 saras ghee 1kg price wrote:
    Its a great pleasure reading your post. It'sfull of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work.

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 12, 2019 online grocery in Jaipur wrote:
    Amazing post..!! Thank you so much for this informative post. I found some interesting points and lots of information from your blog. Thanks once again

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 11, 2019 call kirana wrote:
    CallKirana: Online Grocery Shopping store in Ajmer and Jaipur. Buy best Groceries Online to call and WhatsApp +91-9252690000, and get free home delivery.

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 11, 2019 callkirana wrote:
    Find grocery store in ajmerand jaipur - Get best discount coupons, offers, Grocery Home Delivery Services and deals in ajmer and jaipur at callkirana.in

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 9, 2019 Fame Park Studios Wedding Videography wrote:



    Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work.




    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 8, 2019 airsoft guns wrote:



    I like this post,And I guess that they having fun to read this post,they shall take a good site to make a information,thanks for sharing it to me.




    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 6, 2019 canna line wrote:



    Your music is amazing. You have some very talented artists. I wish you the best of success.




    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Oct 19, 2011 Michael Nu'u wrote:

     When I was seven, I took for myself the name Arimu. It always felt like a better fit than Michael to me. In felt sense that is.


    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Oct 23, 2008 susan beryl andreassend wrote:
    In-reply, to Ganoba Date's post.........Oct 21st 2008................Thank You..I cannot say it any better, than the words you wrote......in relationship to the following statement.."I am the Spirit of "seshat""Frequency carrier of the emerald tablet's",that were the base for The Secret DvD. created by Rhonda Byrne in 2006. My Home Powerful Intentions.org>>>>>>>www.co-creatornetwork.com.........if this makes no sense what I have just said,,Please go and read the above mentioned post from Ganoba Date. Namaste to you who are reading this at this moment.

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Oct 21, 2008 Ganoba Date wrote:
    I have lived the mu way for many years now and while i am blessed with the wonders of love, many people at least at first sight think I am a joke.
    That is fun too.

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Oct 21, 2008 Rebecca wrote:
    mu is a great way of saying things its true there is somethings that there is no yes no answer.

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Oct 21, 2008 jamie wrote:
    there it is...

    Post Your Reply

Search Awakin Readings

Or search by year or author.

Subscribe to Weekly Email

Every week, we send out a digest with a reading and inspiring stories to our global community of 91,937 people. Subscribe below.

(unsubscribe)

Contact Us

If you'd like to suggest a thought or want to drop us a suggestion, drop us a note.