One is reminded of the old game, "Which number comes next in this sequence?":
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 100, 1000, 10000 ...
This sequence is actually a Shinto breath-counting meditation, using the traditional Japanese numbers of "hi, fu, mi, yo, i, mu, na, ya, koto, tari, momo, chi, yorozu" (as explained in The Essence of Shinto: Japan's Spirtual Heart
). But here's what no one else will tell you:
- This sequence is a precursor to permanently erasing files from a computer by overwriting portions of the drive with numbers. This is a meditational technique for overwriting "thought trash."
- This sequence could be likened to the opposite of Zeno's Paradox. Instead of making less and less progress (like Zeno's arrow that never reaches its mark), one makes more and more progress, exponentially.
- This sequence illustrates how radically different Shinto is from Buddhism and other philosophies that seek nothingness. With each zero added, Shinto sees not less but more — greatly more. In its progressive optimism, Shinto uses the concept of zero to expand rather than obliterate.
- Each of the ten zeroes stands for the fact that Shinto has no founder, no orthodox canon of sacred literature, no doctrines or precepts or commandments, no explicit code of ethics, no idols, no need for a building, no ritual of membership or conversion, no holiest place for worshippers, no defined set of prayers, and no organization or central authority.
So yes, basically.