Once, after a discussion of the doctrine, Dōgen instructed:“It is not good to overwhelm another person with argument even when he is wrong and you are right. Yet it is also not right to give up easily, saying ‘I am wrong,’ when you have every reason to believe you are right. The best way is to drop the argument naturally, without pressing the other person or falsely admitting that you are wrong. If you don’t listen to his arguments and don’t let them bother you, he will do the same and not become angry. This is something to watch carefully.”

—A Primer of Sōtō Zen: A Translation of Dōgen’s Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki, by Reihō Masunaga, An East-West Center Book, Published for the the East-West center by the University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 1971. (http://bit.ly/oI7du6)

The sides were always strange,“ Beychae said. ‘We all said that all we wanted was the best for the Cluster, and I think we all meant it, mostly. We all still want that. But I don’t know what the right thing to do is; I sometimes think I know too much, I’ve studied too much, learned too much, remembered too much. It all seems to average out, somehow; like dust that settles over … whatever machinery we carry inside us that leads us to act, and puts the same weight everywhere, so that always you can see good and bad on each side, and always there are arguments, precedents for every possible course of action … so of course one ends up doing nothing. Perhaps that’s only right; perhaps that’s what evolution requires, to leave the field free for younger, unencumbered minds, and those not afraid to act.”

Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons (#)