A Smile in the Mind's Eye: An Adventure into Zen Philosophy by Lawrence Durrell

By Lawrence Durrell

Durrell’s notable memoir of his non secular trip with famed Taoist thinker JolanChang

Beginning with their first assembly over lunch at Lawrence Durrell’s Provencal domestic, Durrell and Jolan Chang—renowned Taoist thinker and specialist on jap sexuality—developed a permanent dating in accordance with mutual religious exploration. Durrell’s autobiographical rumination on their friendship and on Taoism recounts the author’s existential ponderings, beginning along with his creation to the paranormal and enigmatic “smile within the mind’s eye.” From parsimony, cooking, and yoga to poetry, Petrarch, and Nietzche, a grin within the Mind’s Eye is a captivating story of a writer’s religious and philosophical awakening.

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What is it about watches that makes it ‘inevitable’ that they should have this effect upon us? Paley claims that, when we observe the watch, we see that it has a principal function, that its parts have functions and that the materials from which the watch and its parts are constructed are well suited to the functions that those parts have. Moreover, Paley claims that it is because we see these things that we ‘inevitably’ form the view that the watch has a maker. Paley’s claims are implausible. Consider the real-life example of the discovery of the antikythera mechanism in 1900–1901.

How do we know that this claim true? Well, we can prove it in the following way. Suppose that it were false. In that case, there would be only finitely many prime numbers, and, at least in principle, we could give a complete list of them. Now, consider the number that you obtain by first multiplying together all of the prime numbers on our (finite) list and then adding one. This new number cannot possibly be divisible (without remainder) by any of the prime numbers on our list. (If you add 1 to a number that is divisible by 2, then you get a number that is not divisible by 2.

Premise) Things do not cause themselves. (Premise) There are no circles of causes. (Premise) There are no infinite regresses of causes. (Premise) There is no more than one first cause. (Premise) If there is exactly one first cause, then that first cause is God. (Premise) 7 (Hence) God exists. (Conclusion, from 1–6) (There are some extra premises in the generic argument that are not present in Aquinas’ argument. ) What will Naturalist say about this argument? Well, whether or not Naturalist is inclined to dispute any of the other premises, it is clear that Naturalist will not assent to the sixth premise.

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