International Journal of Transpersonal Studies


This is a theoretical paper devoted to an examination of the phenomenon of the Zen

koan. First, the existing understanding of the koan will be outlined from a number of

sources. This will be followed by an examination of what the koan would look like from

a structural point of view. Ken Wilber’s outlook will then be used to look at the koan in a

fresh way so that one might see it as a kind of test of the level of consciousness exhibited

by each solution. The latter is related to recent thinking on models in general.