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Yes? No? Mu?

May 27, 2009 - Meg Alexander
I've been coming across this concept of mu a lot in the past 24 hours, so I thought I'd write about it on the off chance someone else out there will find it of interest.

Reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance today, I came across the word mu.

Robert Pirsig writes that, "Mu means 'no thing.' ... It states that the context of the question is such that a yes or 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."

This weekend, with friends, we were joking about what one word we would choose if we could only choose one word. "Perhaps" was a favorite, but after further consideration, I think I would have to go with mu. I would probably be the wiser for choosing this response, rather than quickly categorizing much of life into yes/no, like/dislike polar opposites as I am so prone to do.


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