The well-known Zen Buddhist phrase 'the finger pointing at the moon' refers to the means and the end, and the possibility of mistaking one for the other. Trevor Leggett says, 'the forms are the methods and they are very important as pointing fingers, but if we forget what they are for and they become, so to speak, the goal in their own right, then our progress is liable to stop. And if it stops, it retrogresses.' On the other hand there are those who say 'with considerable pride, "I don't want fingers or methods. I want to see the moon directly, directly . . . to see the moon directly . . . no methods or pointing." But in fact they don't see it! It's easy to say.'
With many varied analogies, stories and incidents, Trevor Leggett points to the truth behind words, behind explanations and methods. Indeed, the book itself is like 'a finger pointing at the moon'.