This kōan, after all, was referred to in a 1990 episode of The Simpsons, which in this part of the world1 may be the only sure way for your average centuries-old philosophical tradition to get any sort of publicity.Two hands clap and there is a sound. What is the sound of one hand?—Hakuin Ekaku
|Lisa: No, Bart, it’s a 3,000-year-old riddle with
no answer. |
It’s supposed to clear your mind of conscious thought.
Bart: No answer? Lisa, listen up! [Pat pat pat]
So, sure, we’re willing to admit the possibility that the author is slyly opening our narrowed Western minds to broader and livelier veins of thought. Our sources, however, suggest he’s just a bit of a dope:
1. Excluding Boulder County.