I just now searched for “He is nothing” E. Jean Carroll on Google, and got 22 top hits on her appearance on the Rachel Maddow show with her lawyers talking about it, and other aspects of the case. How is that a koan, you ask? Trump is the poster child for Self, you know, for Greed, Hate, and Delusion.
2/8 Good News Roundup: Trump Reduces Self to Nothing
The Reductio ad Absurdum/reduction to nonsense/proof by contradiction is a venerable logical device, important to Euclid and many others. But we are not used to the Reductio ad Nihilum, the reduction to nothing at all that E. Jean Carroll recently remarked on.
'He is nothing': E. Jean Carroll on the biggest surprise of confronting Trump in court
Now, if Trump had realized that he is nothing, that his maniacal narcissism has always been a snare and a delusion, that would be a Big Deal, and the best possible news—what Zen Buddhists call a kensho or an Awakening to No-Self. I’ll tell you about that in a koan post on Sunday, along with Jewish and Christian and Muslim and other examples.
So here we are.
That wickedness done by oneself, born in oneself, arising in oneself, crushes the one who is stupid, as a diamond crushes a rock-jewel.
And all of the other koans of no-self.
What Is Maya? — The Story of Narada and Vishnu
Narada asks Vishnu why it is that those who have felt his touch can never be fooled by maya/illusion again. Then Vishnu turns Narada into a beautiful young girl who marries a prince and lives a full life before dying and finding himself with Vishnu again.
They say that that will do it.
In Genesis, Adam and Eve make the error of embracing Good and Evil, so that they can no longer live in Eden, and are barred from the Tree of Life. The Jewish Tree of Life prayer points the way back.
A Jewish Koan
The Tree of Life prayer is said after a Torah reading, when returning the Torah scroll to the Ark.
Eitz Chayim hee: Returning the Torah to the Ark. (Siddur Sim Shalom, p.426)
It is a Tree of Life to them that hold fast to it.
This is reinforced in the commandments
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.
leaving no room for selfishness.
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Far too many Christians think that Jesus made up the second one.
The word “Islam” means “submission” (to God, or reality). Again, there is no room for self here. We can discuss details, if you like.
People need something they can rely on: highlight your simple self, embrace your original nature, and check your selfishness as you reduce your desires.
Dao De Jing Chapter 19
Parasparopagraho jīvānām (the function of souls is to help one another) is the faith's motto.
Non-possession (Sanskrit: अपरिग्रह, aparigraha) is a religious tenet followed in Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain traditions in South Asia. In Jainism, aparigraha is the virtue of non-possessiveness, non-grasping, or non-greediness.
Māyā, defined as a temporary illusion or "unreality", is one of the core deviations from the pursuit of God and salvation: where worldly attractions give only illusory temporary satisfaction and pain that distracts from the process of the devotion of God. However, Nanak emphasised māyā as not a reference to the unreality of the world, but of its values. In Sikhism, the influences of ego, anger, greed, attachment, and lust, known as the pānj chor ('Five Thieves'), are believed to be particularly distracting and hurtful. Sikhs believe the world is currently in a state of Kali Yuga ('age of darkness') because the world is led astray by the love of and attachment to māyā. The fate of people vulnerable to the five thieves is separation from God, and the situation may be remedied only after intensive and relentless devotion.
According to Guru Nanak, the supreme purpose of human life is to reconnect with Akal ('The Timeless One'). However, egotism is the biggest barrier in making this connection. Using the Guru's teaching remembrance of nām (the divine Name of the Lord) leads to the end of egotism. Guru Nanak designated the word Guru ('teacher') to mean the voice of "the spirit": the source of knowledge and the guide to salvation. As ik onkar is universally immanent, Guru is indistinguishable from Akal and are one and the same. One connects with Guru only with accumulation of selfless search of truth. Ultimately the seeker realises that it is the consciousness within the body which is the seeker/follower of the Word that is the true Guru. The human body is just a means to achieve the reunion with Truth. Once truth starts to shine in a person's heart, the essence of current and past holy books of all religions is understood by the person.
There are thousands of other religions.
List of religions and spiritual traditions
They don’t all teach unselfishness, as witness the Thuggee cult of human sacrifice to Kali (although the words “Thuggee” and “Thug” are used in India for ordinary robber/murderers, many of them Muslims), or Scientology.