peteg's blog - noise - books - 2007 01 09 TheTaoIsSilent

Raymond Smullyan: The Tao is Silent

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This is much like his autobiography, quite indulgent and rambly. I think he summarises the text quite well in Chapter 43, Mondo on Immortality:

Zen Student: So Master, is the soul immortal or not? Do we survive our bodily death or do we get annihilated? Do we really reincarnate? Does our soul split up into component parts that get recycled, or do we as a single unit enter the body of a biological organism? And do we retain our memories or not? Or is the doctrine of reincarnation false? Is perhaps the Christian notion of survival more correct? And if so, do we get bodily resurrected, or does our soul enter a purely Platonic spiritual realm?

Master: Your breakfast is getting cold.

There are lots of things about this book which feel tenuous and loose, so much unlike the logic he did up to that time (1977) and the puzzles soon after. It'll take me a while to do it justice.