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Mornington Crescent as Zen koan

In his book about Iris Murdoch A.N. Wilson says that this highly intelligent woman asked him, quite seriously, what the rules of the game called "Mornington Crescent" were.

For anyone who doesn't know, the game figures in an anarchic BBC comedy programme called "I'm sorry, I haven't a clue". The participants compete by naming various Underground stations in a pseudo-meaningful sequence until someone says "Mornington Crescent" and wins. The "point" of the game, of course, is that there is no point. Iris Murdoch enjoyed the show but had been unable to figure out what the rules of the game were.

It has struck me that "Mornington Crescent" is a perfect example of a Zen koan. Koans are used in the Rinzai sect of Zen to shock the monks into Satori (enlightenment) by asking insoluble conundrums such as:

Q. Does a dog have the Buddha nature?
A. Mu.

Have any listeners gained Satori by listening to "Mornington Crescent"?


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