Occidental vs Oriental Ontological Arguments

When it comes to the ontological argument most believers can use it to their own conceptions of god. An eastern pantheist could easily begin Anslem’s ontological argument by conceiving that the greatest conceivable being is the One, that which cannot be conceived. This conception of the One denies that there is a personal god, something westerners conceive differently because of being born and raised in the Occident rather than the Orient. But by following the train of reasoning involved, the proper conclusion would be that therefore the One, that which cannot be conceived, exists. For westerners who think this is irrational the easterner could simply reply with a koan. A koan is a story, dialogue, question, or a statement which is used in Zen-practice to silence the questions of the rational mind. A famous koan says: “Two hands clap and there is a sound. What is the sound of one hand?” This is because to easterners, reason cannot approach or understand or conceive the One, the ultimate reality. People who say that they cannot understand something are emphatically not saying that they understand it. Polytheists, as far as I know, could also use the ontological argument to argue for the head god of their pantheon of gods, if they are unaware (and hence cannot conceive) that other people in other parts of the world have bigger conceptions of god.