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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 6, 2008

Buddhist Philosophy

Hee-Jong Woo
Pages 317-331

Complexity Theory and the Structure of Full Awakening in Religious Experience

Enlightened experience (i.e. awakened to the truth) is the most valuable one in most religions including Christianity and Buddhism. As well-known cases of such experience are Apocalypse St. Paul and many Grand Zen masters in Zen Buddhism, it is natural for us to believe that the enlighten is for very talented or specially trained ones. However, applying the complexity theory on the structure of enlightenment, based on the power law function, selforganized criticality, phase transition, and emergence, it is clear that the full awakening can be experienced by everyone in daily life. Furthermore, such experiences are not necessary to be limited in religious one. Rediscovering the path to full awakening by complexity theory leads to the demythologization of the enlightenment in Korean Zen Buddhism, which emphasizes a hard apprenticeship in temple for long periods for the purpose.