- As for the blog's name: -


I was @ Gustav Ericsson's sight, - Anzenkai, and I was looking at Nishijima Roshi’s calligraphies over there. Particularly there is one - "seki shin hen pen" - about which Gustav has earlier said in a blog post that it is Nishijima's favorite phrase from Master Dogen.

This seemed strange to me. It was not what I would expect Nishijima Roshi's favorite phrase to be. It seemed it could be some Rinzai master's favorite quote, - it seems to express continuous and constant sincerity, - but it did not seem to fit my view of the way Nishijima Roshi saw things.

So - consequently - I tried to think what would I expect his favorite quote to be. But all phrases I could think of did not seem to fit just what I might have had in mind.

So I tried to come up with what I would see it as, - and what I have come up with - is - "this universe out here".

- And this seems to be the right name for this blog here too.


- Definitely.                                                 ________________________

Two Kinds of People

There are many ways of dividing people according to various ideas or characteristics into two or more kinds or groups and I am quite sure anyone interested in the field of spirit has generally heard or came across such things once or more than once sometime.

This here is one I have thought of sometime and have written about it to Nissim Amon by e-mail on May 9th 2016. - Now I thought it is appropriate to post here, at the blog. Now is October 20 2017, I am writing it on a “Word” file, and will add it to my currently stagnant blog when I get the chance.


The idea is simple: - Some people use words in one way, and some use them in another way, - regarding a certain point or issue: - I am not relating to everyday speech. - I am referring to when we need or choose to use more eloquent or elevated language. (In Hebrew we have a word “רהוט” or “רהוטה” but in English it doesn’t seem there is a word exactly matching it)

- In such occasions the difference I am referring to and writing about here exists: - Some people use the language and words in order to fit their need or aim: - In case such language is necessary for the expression of their ideas or message or structure-or-content-they-wish-to-display they would use it accordingly. That is to say when other more common everyday means of communication would practically not serve the aim in an appropriate manner.

This may be obvious but is not necessarily so. - The other kind consists of those who would rather use such language not in the same manner but in order to create a certain impression.

It is not a matter of sincerity. It is not that it does not reflect sincerity clearly and doubtlessly, - but it is not the issue I am intending for here. It is not the main point intended to be pointed at here, however sincerity in itself may be as important and as valuable as it may be. - It is a matter of a person’s capabilities. - Some just use the more serious-sounding language or the more apparently-impressive phrases and sentences in order to sound as they wish and appear to be what they most likely are not. It is true there are occasions which call - though never completely I suppose, - for a certain spirit and means or manner of communication, - but this is not generally what I am referring to and even there things would still be - somewhat at least, - according to what I am saying here. - But generally, - There are those who lack the true feeling or sensation for the language, - who are without the relevant sensitivity as to properly phrase themselves as to express rather refined or truly elevated notions or proposals or ideas - who might sound rather the same to many (otherwise this whole post would have been unnecessary or out of place) in speaking in different occasions or incidents, (and off dignified stages, no doubt) but are essentially different and are fundamentally pretentious even if unaware of it themselves.

Such is the idea I wanted to express here. I believe it of some value if it enables some to trace and/or to detect the true abilities of some intellectuals who may in general somewhat deceive many - even if quite innocently and unintentionally, - as to miss or fail to notice their real shallowness of mind and inability of observing reality as it is in sufficient depth as to come to satisfying conclusions which might lead us where we would aspire to go.

Nice language, isn’t it?

Wtf.

Get my point now?

Some serve the need, - and some imitate, ignorant of the true spirit, unaware this is what they are doing since they mistake empty intellectuality and mere external appearance for true understanding which might sometimes manifest itself in such capable means of expression and sometimes might not need to.

Fools, as a general rule, don’t know they are fools.

This is sometimes not a secret, but sometimes it is.

So far.

Seppō Gison (Xuefeng Yicun)

I am used to using Japanese names of the Chinese masters. Nishijima was generally always using the Japanese names. It might make more sense using the Chinese names if you are talking or writing in English, - but as for now at least I am continuing this way. Nishijima said this is the way Master Dogen would have pronounced them in front of a Japanese audience, - but it hardly seems to matter to me. Anyway, - I wrote “Seppo Gison” and added the Chinese name too.

I just want to bring four stories about him here.

All from the Shinji Shobogenzo.

I changed nothing of the translation, (else than two spelling mistake I came across) and left it exactly as it is. The translation is that of Gudo Nishijima, (- ?) and it says “Edited by” Michael Luetchford and Jeremy Pearson. - I don’t really like the translation this much. No offence to Mike or Jeremy, of course. - There is an earlier translation of Nishijima together with a person by the name of Larry Zacchi and with Luetchford too, - of Book 1 only.

- It seems better to me.

In cases where the translation was changed (as it was in some of the stories) it seems it wasn’t for the better. - It seems the principle guiding Leutchford and Pearson in the translation was to make it as comprehensible as possible. - At the price of the subtlety or refineness of the text as presented, - it does seem explicitly wrong to me. Particularly since there is anyway a commentary to each of the stories [there] where one can explain or present anything you’d consider might not be properly understood reading the text itself.

- Still, - this is the translation I use.

I don’t even know Daido’s translation, though I know Brad Warner didn’t like it. - However, - I don’t think it is very reasonable writing the commentary there that Daido did (as I understand) present there if one is not a Buddha. If one did not understand the last Dharma. And I don’t think he ever claimed to.

One other remark: - There used to a blog by Harry Bradely where all (or about all) of the Nishijima translation of the Shinji Shobogenzo was published, story be story. It is gone now, I don’t know if in any way having to do with a post of mine here from January 2012.

Anyway, here are the stories. This is what the post is about.


- Book 3, - no. 18 -



Three colleagues, Master Seppo Gison, Master Ganto Zenkatsu, and Master Kinzan Bunsui, visiting Buddhist masters throughout the country together, arrived at the Reishi district, where Master Kinzan had been appointed master of a temple. The two other masters travelled on and arrived at Gozan mountain, where they were stopped by snow. Master Ganto just slept all day. Master Seppo just practiced Zazen all day.

One day Master Seppo called to his friend and said: Brother monk, please get up for a bit.

Master Ganto said: what do you want to do?

Master Seppo said: Although I have been practicing Zazen for along time, I haven’t got a good state. When we were travelling with Reishu, I was constantly disturbed by him. Now we have to stop here. You brother monk, however, just sleep.

Master Ganto shouted at him and said: Just have a good sleep! You just sit on the floor all day, looking like a piece of ground in a remote village! Some day in the future when you become a temple master, you will intoxicate and mislead men and women.

Master Seppo pointed at his breast and said: In here I have not become peaceful. I cannot delude myself that it is not like that.

Master Ganto said: I just have the feeling that you will go to the top of a lonely peak in the future, build yourself a simple hut, and will spread and promote great teachings. You have these great capabilities, although you are still saying such things.

Master Seppo said: My state has not settled peacefully yet, though.

Master Ganto said: If you are really like that, tell me the facts according to the state you have experienced one by one. I will affirm those that are appropriate and scoop out what is not right for you.

Master Seppo said I: When I went to Master Enkan Sai-an’s temple I had the chance to hear the Master preaching Buddhist theory in the lecture hall. He preached about the material (form) and the immaterial (emptiness). There I was able to enter the concrete state.

Master Ganto said: That is already thirty years ago. I really want to discuss something more relevant.

Master Seppo said: Later, I read in Master Tozan’s poem of the flowering river, that if you look for something outside of yourself, that attitude can never make you happy. We should avoid making an effort to get something outside of ourselves. I hate that attitude. It is completely foreign to me.

Master Ganto said: If you understand the poem like that, you still haven’t got through that state.

Master Seppo said: Later, I visited Master Tokuzan and asked him whether or not I had got the result of what I had learned about Buddhism in the past. Master Tokuzan struck me once with his stick saying “What are you saying? At the moment of the present nothing remains. It is like water in a tub with no bottom.”

Master Ganto said loudly: Don’t you remember hearing that something which is always coming and going from the house can never be a family treasure? if you want to spread and strengthen the great teaching, they should emanate from your breast; using them, you should make yourself one with heaven and earth.

On hearing this, Master Seppo arrived at the truth, and prostrated himself at once. He stood up and cried repeatedly: Elder brother! I have realized the truth on Gozan mountain for the first time.



- Book 3, - no. 95 -


When Master Seppo Gison was taking a walk with Master Sansho Enen, they saw a group of monkeys. Master Seppo said: Each of those monkeys is carring an eternal mirror on its back.

Master Sansho said: The situation has remained unnamed for many eons. Why do you describe it with the words “eternal mirror”?

Master Seppo said: A crack has appeared!

Master Sansho said: You, reverend monk, with fifteen hundred students, cannot even recognize the meaning of the words.

Master Seppo said: I am too busy with my job as a temple master.



- Book 2, - no. 83 -



Near Mount Seppo there was a monk who lived in a hut that he had built. For many years this monk had not shaved his head. He made a wooden dipper for himself and would go to the side of the river, scoop the water into the dipper, and drink.

One day a monk visited him and asked: What was Master Bodhidharma’s intention in coming from the west?

The master of the hut said: The ravine is deep, so the handle of this dipper is long.

The monk went back to the temple and told Master Seppo of this.

Master Seppo said: Wondrous! I will go there myself and see the real situation of the old Master. I will know at once if he is genuine.

So one day Master Seppo, taking a razor, went to the hut with his servant monk, to visit the old man. They looked at each other for a while, then Master Seppo said: If you can say anything about the truth, I will not shave your head.

The master of the hut immediately washed his head with water. Then Master Seppo shaved his head for him.



- Book 3, - no. 84 -



One day Master Seppo Gison was asked by a monk: What is it like when we are in an eternal valley or a cold spring?

Master Seppo said: Even though we open our eyes widely, we cannot see the bottom.

The monk asked: What is it like when we drink it?

Master Seppo said: Water will not enter the mouth.

On hearing this story, Master Joshu Jushin said: Of course! Water will not enter the nostrils either!

Then a monk asked Master Joshu: What is it like when we are in an eternal or a cold spring?

Master Joshu said: It is painful!

The monk said: What’s it like when we drink it?

Master Joshu said: We will die.

When Master Seppo heard these words, he said: Master Joshu is an eternal Buddha.

After that time, Master Seppo didn’t engage in any discussions.

________________________________________________________________

So far for this post.

As I said I don’t like that much the translation as it is, and it does seem to manifest somewhat in the stories I chose above - I am adding also Master Dogen’s referrences from the Shobogenzo (chapters Kokyō (20) and Dōtoku (39)) where he is talking about two (the 2nd and the 3rd) of the stories. These bits include also a translation, also by Nishijima, - here with Chodo (Mike) Cross, - which is different from the translation above. It seems in part at least the text itself is different in the Japanese too. - You don’t have to read it. But anyway still it is here. Depends on how interested you are.


First from Shōbōgenzō Kokyō, - relating to the second story here.

          Great Master Shinkaku of Seppō Mountain and Zen Master Enen of Sanshōin Temple are walking along when they see a group of apes. Thereupon Seppō says, “These apes are each backed with one eternal mirror.”
          We must diligently learn these words in practice. “Ape” means monkey. How are the apes that Seppō sees? We should ask questions like this, and make effort further, not noticing the passing of kalpas. “Each is backed with one eternal mirror”: though the eternal mirror is the face of Buddhist patriarchs, at the same time, the eternal mirror, even in the ascendant state, is the eternal mirror. That it backs each individual ape does not mean that there are big mirrors and small mirrors according to individual differences; it is “one eternal mirror.” As to the meaning of “backed,” for example we say that a painted image of a buddha is “backed” with what we stick behind it. When the backs of apes are backed, they are backed with the eternal mirror. “What kind of paste could have been used?” To speak tentatively, the backs of monkeys might be backed with the eternal mirror. Is the back of the eternal mirror backed with monkeys? The back of the eternal mirror is backed with the eternal mirror, and the backs of monkeys are backed with monkeys. The words that “each back has one face” are never an empty teaching: they are the truth expressed as the truth should be expressed. So apes or eternal mirrors? Ultimately, what can we say? Are we ourselves originally apes? Or are we other than apes? Who can we ask? Whether we are apes is beyond our knowledge and beyond the knowledge of others. Whether we are ourselves is beyond [intellectual] groping.
          Sanshō says, “It has been nameless for successive kalpas. Why would you express it as the eternal mirror?” This is a mirror, a concrete instance, with which Sanshō has certified his realization of the eternal mirror. “For successive kalpas” means before a mind or a moment of consciousness has ever appeared; it means the inside of a kalpa not having shown its head. “Nameless” describes “the successive kalpas’”sun-faces, moonfaces, and eternal mirror-faces; and describes the face of the clear mirror. When “the nameless” is really “the nameless,” the “successive kalpas” are never “successive kalpas.” Given that “the successive kalpas” are not “successive kalpas,” Sanshō’s expression cannot be an expression of the truth. Instead, “before a moment of consciousness has ever appeared” means today. We should train and polish without letting today pass in vain. Frankly, though the fame of this “nameless for successive kalpas” is heard on high, it expresses the eternal mirror as what? A dragon’s head with a snake’s tail!
          Seppō might now say to Sanshō, “The eternal mirror! The eternal mirror!” Seppō does not say that; what he says further is, “A flaw has appeared,” or in other words, “a scratch has emerged.” We are prone to think “how could a flaw appear on the eternal mirror?” At the same time, [in saying that] the eternal mirror has borne a flaw [Seppō] may be calling the expression “It has been nameless for successive kalpas” a flaw. The eternal mirror described by “a flaw has appeared” is the total eternal mirror. Sanshō has not got out of the cave of a flaw appearing on the eternal mirror, and so the understanding which he has expressed is utterly a flaw on the eternal mirror. This being so, we learn in practice that flaws appear even on the eternal mirror and that even [mirrors] on which flaws have appeared are the eternal mirror; this is learning the eternal mirror in practice.
          Sanshō says, “What is so deadly urgent that you are not conscious of the story?” The import of these words is “why [are you in] such a deadly hurry?” We should consider in detail and learn in practice whether this “deadly emergency” is [a matter of] today or tomorrow, the self or the external world, the whole universe in ten directions or [a concrete place] inside the great kingdom of Tang? As to the meaning of “story” in the words “You are not conscious of the story,” there are stories that have continued to be told, there are stories that have never been told, and there are stories that have already been told completely. Now, the truths which are in “the story” are being realized. Has the story itself, for example, realized the truth together with the earth and all sentient beings? It is never restored brocade. Therefore it is “not conscious”; it is the “nonconsciousness” of “the man facing the royal personage”; it is being face-to-face without consciousness of each other. It is not that there are no stories; it is just that the concrete situation is “beyond consciousness.” “Nonconsciousness” is red mind in every situation and, further, not-seeing with total clarity.
          Seppō says, “It is the old monk’s mistake.” Sometimes people say these words meaning “I expressed myself badly,” but [the words] need not be understood like that. “The old monk” means the old man who is master in his house; that is to say, [someone] who solely learns in practice the old monk himself, without learning anything else. Though he experiences a thousand changes and ten thousand transformations, heads of gods and faces of demons, what he learns in practice is just the old monk’s one move. Though he appears as a buddha and appears as a patriarch, at every moment and for ten thousand years, what he learns in practice is just the old monk’s one move. “Mistakes” are his “abundant jobs as temple master.” Upon reflection, Seppō is an outstanding member of [the order of] Tokusan, and Sanshō is an excellent disciple of Rinzai. Neither of the two venerable patriarchs is of humble ancestry: [Seppō] is a distant descendant of Seigen and [Sanshō] is a distant descendant of Nangaku. That they have been dwelling in and retaining the eternal mirror is [evidenced] as described above. They may be a criterion for students of later ages.

Second from Shōbōgenzō Dōtoku, - relating to the third story here

          In the order of Great Master Shinkaku of Seppō there was a monk who went to the edge of the mountain and, tying together thatch, built a hut. Years went by, but he did not shave his head. Who can know what vitality there was inside the hut?—though circumstances in the mountains were desolate indeed. He made himself a wooden dipper and he would go to the edge of a ravine to scoop water and drink. Truly, he must have been the sort who drinks the ravines. As the days and months came and went like this, rumors of his customs secretly leaked out. Consequently, on one occasion a monk came to ask the master of the hut, “What is the ancestral master’s in tention in coming from the west?” The hut master said, “The ravine is deep so the dipper’s handle is long.” The monk was staggered. Without doing prostrations or requesting the benefit [of further teaching], he climbed back up the mountain and told Seppō what had happened. When Seppō heard the report he said, “Wondrous! Even so, this old monk will have to go and see for himself. By testing [the hut master] I will grasp [his situation] at once.” Seppō’s words mean that the excellence [of the hut master’s expres sion] is so excellent as to be wondrous, but the Old Monk himself had better go and investigate.
          So it is that one day Seppō suddenly sets off, telling an attendant monk to bring a razor. They go directly to the hut. As soon as he sees the hut master, [Seppō] requests, “Express the truth and I will not shave your head.” We must understand this request. “Express the truth and I will not shave your head” seems to say that not to have the head shaved would be to have expressed the truth—What do you think? If this expression of the truth is an expression of the truth, [the hut master] might finally go unshaved. Those who have the power to hear this expression of the truth should listen, and should proclaim it to others who have the power to hear. Then the hut master washes his head and comes before Seppō. Has he come as the expression of the truth, or has he come as the nonexpression of the truth? Seppō shaves the head of the hut master at once.
          This episode is truly like an appearance of the uḍumbara. It is not only difficult to meet, it may be difficult even to hear. It is beyond the scope of [bodhisattvas in] the seven sacred stages or ten sacred stages and is not glimpsed by [bodhisattvas in] the three clever stages or seven clever stages. Sutra teachers and commentary teachers, and adherents of mystical powers and apparitions, cannot fathom it at all. “To meet the Buddha’s appearance in the world” means to hear a story like this. Now, what might be the meaning of Seppō’s “Express the truth and I will not shave your head.” When people who have never expressed the truth hear this, those with ability may be startled and doubting and those without ability will be dumbfounded. [Seppō] does not ask about “buddha,” he does not discuss “the Way,” he does not ask about “samādhi,” and he does not discuss “dhāraṇī.” Inquiry like his, while seeming to be a request, also seems to be an assertion. We should research this in detail. The hut master, though, because of his genuineness, is aided and abetted by the expression of the truth itself and is not dumb founded. Showing the traditional style, he washes his head and comes for ward. This is a Dharma standard at which not even the Buddha’s own wisdom can arrive. It may be described as “manifestation of the body,” as “preaching of the Dharma,” as “saving of the living,” and as “washing the head and coming forward.” Then, if Seppō were not the real person he is, he might throw down the razor and roar with laughter. But because Seppō has real power and is a real person, he just shaves the hut master’s head at once. Truly, if Seppō and the hut master were not “buddhas alone, together with buddhas,” it could not be like this. If they were not one buddha and two buddhas, it could not be like this. If they were not a dragon and a dragon, it could not be like this. The black dragon’s pearl is tirelessly guarded by the black dragon, but it rolls naturally into the hand of a person who knows how to take it. Let us remember: Seppō testing the hut master, the hut master seeing Seppō, expression of the truth, nonexpression of the truth, [the hut master] having his head shaved, and [Seppō] shaving his head. So, in conclusion, there are ways for good friends in the expression of the truth to pay unexpected visits. And between friends who are unable to say anything, although they do not expect [recognition], the means are already present for their selves to be known. When there is learning in practice of knowing the self, there is the reality of expressing the truth.

I droped the footnotes. The links for the full books are on the right and anyone intersted can check there.

Inviting Furious Attacks off the Light of Day and the Eyes of the Blind

I wrote this on 7.7.16. - I posted it first on September 8th, but deleted it on the 18. I initially intended to delete it then after a few days. I think the title makes the reason obvious. It is again posted today - October 30, - and I also initially intended to have it again on about that time, though I was unsure.

So if you have not read it then, do now. If you like.

(the rest is unchanged) As follows: (the rest is unchanged)

There is no clearer example of how could human thought be corrupted in our times and in contemporary society than the existing view having appeared in the last decades of homosexuality and neighbouring phenomena. - What is called LHTB is practically sickening humanity. Not through existence - I don’t mean that, - but through preaching. This could only be compared to the preaching of Nazism in the ’30, as it seems. Of course they do not preach violence or hatred but the wrongness and severe twist (to say the least) of reality is matching. - The extent to which some of what may be the most distorted phenomena of human mentality - putting aside some odd extremes we may always be able to find, - has been able to gain legitimacy and even be viewed by many as an expression of an actual sort of enlightenment, is truly unbelievable. There is no other matching testimony today to the miserability and poverty of human minds. Observing the Nazis, - for example - again, - one might have been easily able to present the positive features of individuals - their casual family life and their care for their close ones, - upholding of values some would believe in, - and create an apparently lovely picture of a pleasing person agreeable to all expectations of the general public. In other words, - showing you how LHTB’s could live in such a nice manner as to allegedly deny older existing views considering the phenomenon as a perversion and a corruption of human life - is bullshit. Nothing less. In principal it means nothing. A homosexual and a paedophile are fundamentally equally wrong in their existing tendencies. No paedophile is going to tell you of how the actualization of his fault is the correct fulfilment of his life being lived fully following its true aim. Same with other similar phenomena. - The LHTB group seems to have been able to twist and turn humanity and its thought in a manner unrevealed (naturally) to most today. Personally, - I have never come across even a single reasonable or relevant argument. People just think x, - and the common view is that x is correct, - and further that one who does not (explicitly stupidly) accept x and continues to hold views held previously before the rise of the popularity of x - is of a dark or a retarded mind unmatching with the pseudo observed view of the alofted masses.

As I said the change in view (in contrast with that held not so long ago) does not seem to be supported by any
(rational) practical arguments, it is just that when one expresses existing [new] views it is as if understood - goes without saying, - that those opposing these are dark and far (or somewhat) behind - and the attitude is accepted by surrounding fellows who never seem to notice, in general, - that nothing has practically actually generally been said. - But this is not the main point. - The main point is the extent to which this view newly prevailing does severely and completely violate reality. It is as if someone has been able to convince humanity that when coming to very large numbers (whatever the scale) the rules of addition no longer hold. It is as if someone has been able to present things as if iron is not a metal but some sort of a crystal or plastic. - It is as if we were told children need not be kept away from any sort of corrupting influence (perhaps particularly residing on the Internet) just in the same way our chairs and tables, furniture, would not suffer corrupting influence under any similar conditions. As a matter of fact, we are practically able to tell and learn, - that humanity does severely suck. - The shallowness and superficiality of modern man is - as it seems, - nowhere as strikingly evident as here. I know many will respond these words do not present opposing arguments denying their stance. Human intuition and natural simple fundamental notions have told humanity for most of its existence what these issues are. I won’t argue further than that. It is not easy to explain to a 15 years old teenager what it means to be 50 years old. Some people are stupid. However polite one may try to be the fact is not affected. - Some have got the eye to see things others don’t. This is the world. You can’t explain high math to someone who does not know basic calculation and you can’t necessarily explain some things to those whose personality is shallow or unclean. This is not a matter of the intellect. - Thinking otherwise would be about the deepest mistake. - It is never possible to put everything into figures which would be “objectively” comprehensible to all. - The fact many can’t fathom does not mean things are untrue. Some might blame me of conceit, but they do not even consider the possibility that I may simply be right. - There is no gain in continuing in this line.

I do think the Nazis are the best example. - It is because at the time view we may be able to quite easily see correctly today were held true in a manner quite unequalled. - It would have been pointless to try and speak at the time. The elimination of the Jews could not have been thought of as an undesirable result. The supremacy of the state or nation was not only not questioned, - but such questioning would have been practically considered immoral by many. - Blockheadedness could not be more easily viewed. And now again similar conditions arise. - Though of course in a different stage, - otherwise it could not be unnoticeable. - Seeing things is a matter of a mental state, of a mental situation, - the shallower a person, the more dull or faded his mind is, - the rougher intellectually is his mind restricted more obvious conclusions apparent on the surface, - the easier will he discard all that is said with typical confidence easily seen through. But the situation is quite hopeless. These words will only move those who are anyway somewhat nearby. Better than nothing. And together with other efforts elsewhere - with time, - some slight further progress may be achieved. This is all. “Even though two sparrows are sold for a penny, not one of them falls to the ground apart from the will of the Father”.

The “X” in Search of the Past behind your Back

In Shōbōgenzō Shunjū Nishijima’s footnote number 31 refers to a “story of a man who dropped his sword from a boat on a river, and tried to mark the place by putting a notch in his boat. He stubbornly searched under the notch, even though the boat had moved downstream”. (- The link is on the right, - Book 3 there of the Nishijima-Cross translation)

- Today’s religion is like this. - I mean those who originally leave the marks are not at all necessarily this foolish man off the story. - And the boat doesn’t move in a flash and the boat doesn’t move in a rush. - The situation humanity’s in doesn’t change overnight. - But it does change. - No one can deny that.

Judaism may be the worst. - Countless writings aimed at just the opposite of what Master Dogen means when he is saying about Master Nan’yo Echu (Nanyang Huizhong) that his “elucidation” “is never one truth or two truths”. (- Or, - “one way or two ways”, - Nishijima translates the Japanese “dō” as “truth" but this is clearly not the only way to have it, to say the least. - Chapter 53 (54 in Nearman’s translation) in the Shobogenzo, - Mujo-seppo.)

The allegory is very exact, in a way, - and this is what made me come to write this. - The unreasonability of the person in the story is so obvious while similar phenomena are ever escaping judgement of reason by eyes seeing them for what they are. - The nature of the spirit is not as the nature of physical matter in this rigid and rough world we are living in. - Still this is where we are. - It may be natural to write down instructions and directions received on the path. - And as well descriptions by those who know of what we don’t.

When a child is 3 years old he is told certain things. When he is 5 he is told certain things. When he is 6. - Parents would tell their children legends. A young child would not, of course, in many cases, - be aware that these stories do not reflect direct reality. He believes fairies, magic, witches, or whatever contents of these tales to be perceptible objects he might witness under possible circumstances. - I recall myself, at an older age, being concerned by questions such as who is stronger, - Batman or Spider-Man? - A friend trying to point to the fact that they do not in practice exist did not end my concern. I did not think at the time that abstract ideas (as these figures children uphold) do not have real features enabling us to relate to them as we might to real objects. But this is beside the point. - The point is of legends - as mentioned before that, - is it a lie a father is telling his son? Or is it not? Parents, of course, - are not unaware that young children at the appropriate age take what they are told as truth. Is it wrong? Obviously not many would think so.

- But if, - due to some distorted circumstances, - a child at 12 is still positively convinced his views of an earlier age are valid and true, - and further, - he can certify himself since he knows there is no doubt he was explicitly told so by those he trusts, - his reliable parents, - than there is undeniably something evidently wrong here.

- Of course wronger at 15 and worse if one is at an older age - possibly even an adult. Thinking of religion the situation is many times, as it seems, - about as bad as that. - It ever goes unnoticed because religion and faith are usually and normally taken to be nothing by most people today. Most would consider the issue pointless. - And in many cases the spirit itself is twisted in a way which makes things practically undetectable. - Due to a materialistic attitude within religious groups too. Materialistic attitude means they don’t know what understanding is and rely intellectually on written words. - But it is not only and merely about this.

It is not just about description of facts. - You might expect a child of 3 to behave in a certain way. You might give him according directions accordingly. - You would tell an older child of 5 or 12 different things. The two criteria would be the correct way for the child to act or behave according to his level of development and the appropriate means of presenting things regarding his ability of comprehending what you present him with.

Rules the Buddha gave over 2,000 years ago are not necessarily what he would order today. Some would still be in place, but it takes a certain kind of inner understanding to be able to tell. And this is of course never achieved through any form or kind of mere intellectual study. It takes more than that. And Jesus too, equally, - might have spoken somewhat different in accordance with humanity’s current level of development today two millenniums after the time he spoke his words we know. He somewhat related to that too, - changing earlier instructions and referring to the reason of that too. Things are much worse still. - It is not only that. There is the situation that scholars or learned men (or women, though not so frequently) imagine that after learning and becoming familiar with mere words and letters and acquiring knowledge the acquiring-of demands no inner or unique particular ability, they are able to “enrich” the existing contents of the religious or spiritual writings or customs, and on the basis of their materialistic familiarity with the external form of the issues and matters they may be dealing with, - they would expand and reform the field within which believers and practitioners innocently seek their path and way.

If scholastic knowledge as acquired and gained in the academic institutes would have been enough in the field of spirit, - (and understanding of the Dharma explicitly demands spiritual abilities, construction of the spirit, whatever anyone might say) practice as we know it would never have been necessary.

It is not about mere empty knowing of this or that. - The situation is different than in the secular field. - There it is just about features or abilities we already know being perhaps sometimes somewhat improved. - Here practitioners are to acquire gradually something they are initially ignorant as for the nature of. The main point is to change yourself. Master Dogen might object to the expression in contexts existing at his time, but here the situation is - as it seems, - just calling for this point. I don’t know if he would find a better way of putting it, he very likely would, - but it does not in any way negate what I am saying. He somewhat refers to the point too but it would not be useful for us here as it seems.

- Anyway, - one needs to become able to understand, then he will. It is not about how much you heard or read as it may be in other shallower fields. Those unfamiliar with the field would normally be blind to the fact. - There is no inner change people are familiar with normally in adult life in the lives of most people today. - Spiritual development roots out some rigidity inside your guts enabling gradual changes to occur in your personality with time as you practice or live. There are other changes. People of course sometimes changes in ways that are not generally mysterious, - but it is not the same.

- It is not easy to explain. - Anyway, - through practice, sometimes, - the ability to bring about changes is introduced, - and actual changes too are brought about. - It is not the same as things that happen sometimes in the secular field. You might say psychiatry and psychology are idiotic, - but I won’t get into that.

As for the effect of “Zen”, - there is an idea I thought of long ago, - and I will present it here: -

      Suppose you live in a neighbourhood where houses are generally 3-4 stories high. - As is a great part of Tel Aviv. - And let’s say you wake up one morning, - and step out to the porch, - and you see in front of you, - where there was an empty yard yesterday, - between two houses just across the street as it sometimes happen, - a new building 8 or 9 stories high - fully completed, - there are even tenants living there, - as you can see from the windows half open or laundry hanging off porches there. The building is brand new, it is obvious it has just been completed, - but a few tenants at least have already moved in. - As you can see through the building’s general appearance, - As I said.

      Now let us suppose also that you speak to no one about it.

      First you would obviously - perhaps at least, - think you might be dreaming. Let us assume you live alone. - So you have no one to talk to at home, and let’s say you passed the ideas saying (if so) you might be dreaming and this might not be real and know this is just a fact.

      Now you go off to work. And I said let us suppose that you speak to no one about it. Here is the point: - Your view, - that day, - seeing things, - whatever you see and come across that day, - will be different. - Your mind will be somewhat more open. Things will enter you differently. The soft shock you received creates a different situation where your inner systems work in a different manner. All this is assuming you talk to no one about what you experienced. Otherwise your mental situation will be different. - But this is necessary for our story here, - to make it able to clarify and expound what it is designed to. - Thing enter your mind deeper, but not violently. - After a while the mood will fade. It does not last for ever. But through Zazen you enter a mental state, - very slowly and gradually, and not everyone will come to it, - but after years of practice you get a steady state which becomes your normal one, - where the virtue I was talking about is inherited within your being through practice.

There is no way to get to that through any new form of prescriptions by the ignorant professionals living and ruling the scene today.

It is not possible to bypass the spirit.

- Those blind to it are ever living in a somewhat 2-dimensional reality. - It is like a person living in world made up only of rigid solid cubes. You can’t tell him of other things unmatching phenomena his rigid mind is unaccustomed to. I related to a similar idea in an earlier post. - The Spirit is not something that could be devised by those who don’t know it by means of guessing. - I doesn’t work that way. Common men and scientists today take the spirit and all that may be in general associated with religion or faith or occultism to be reamains of a primitive attitude we have - in their view, - moved beyond. - It will not get serious attention. And even if it would, - they would not see it reasonable to apply the tools necessary to get anywhere in the field. - The main point I wish to make here is that there is something of a different nature, in the way clouds are different from plastic toys or robotricks, - which the materialistic rulers of our contemporary miserable society - in the cultural way I mean, - can not and will not fathom, - and the possible results the enabling-of-which they miss, - are unequal to whatever they may be able to construct through their materialistic means.

In other words, - materialism means superficiality. - But the post was supposed to be about another thing. - It is about how religious ideas stagnate and remain as a shell empty of its contents. - A dead sea creature could be a good allegory too.

These words observed for themselves devoid of the real context and meaning may be much like a clam where only the shell is left, - or some similar creature, - and where those dealing with it don’t get there was a living creature inside and the dead thing they are holding misses fundamentally the essential thing.

This is why I brought the story at the beginning. - Had things been so easy to present all that I am saying, or trying to say, - would have been already known. There are many who are aware of the funny situation. Even if these many can be very few. It depends what you call it. And it doesn’t matter. - Strict adherence to religious texts unaware of their living contents can mislead like a blind camel in the desert. The essence is not easily brought into words. If you take the words relying on which “Zen” students have been able to become “Zen” masters, - they may be the best examples: - They meant everything to the right person at the right time, they might mean very little or nothing at all otherwise. You can’t cling to words out of context.

This was intended to be one post. But I’ll cut it off here, I don’t know why, - and I’ll complete it some other time.

It will be on in October, I believe. Cheers.

Education

In the field of education a lot of things are heard. – The importance of the matter is not – of course – altogether lost or missed. – Though, still, - I believe, - most would naturally perhaps be blind – to a great extent, - to the core of the living issue. – This may be quite natural, perhaps, - in times almost worshiping the thin intellectual layer of thought, considering the spiritual irrational by nature as a preliminary assumption, - and where and when human abilities are continually corrupted and degenerated through newborn-prejudices and corresponding dry and lifeless shallow atmosphere in which incapable immature humans could satisfy themselves with accepted approval through existing norms born through doubt. The ability to see is not appreciated while the construction of somewhat complicated structures reflecting the outcome of the view of those of mediocre abilities is considered the standard by which society should measure its standards and norms creating its being in contemporary times.

However, the issue is education, and not why the points I am about to relate to are not [so far] seen or raised in general.

The first point to observe in the field of education in general as it seems to me at the times we are living in is of a person’s ability to tell which of the views he imagines to be his own are actually so. – We are living in a time in which the intellect is greatly considered. I have related to it just above. – Wisdom, at the same time, with the utmost ease escapes procedural and formal tests and exams and could not be detected with measures the objectivity of would considerably rely on the question of whether they [the measures] would be verifiable by all – regardless of their own abilities as individuals. The practical situation is that many view themselves according to their intellectual-abilities, and here too, not much is demanded. (In most cases) – Depth of character, - liveliness of thought, anything that goes beyond the mere abilities which as-a-matter-of-principle could practically be those of an outstanding child of seven, - are underestimated and due to their-own-absence the ability to appreciate them is lost too.
– In this situation, - the ability to be able to tell what of a person’s overall view is truly of his own creation and of his own critical-filtering and what – on the other hand, - is absorbed off the society he (or she) lives in – is diminished and to a great extent lost with-regard-to-partial-points within his (or hers) world picture held by the person.

There are other situations too where other factors – of a rough character alternatively in many cases, - or an unclean mentality, - would lead to that result.

Unlike what people seem to believe in general, rendering their mind rational as a mathematical equation, practically human views held are sometimes absorbed, at some level, off what is common to believe around them. Depth of consciousness may very well be the main question here. And of course, many – particularly of shallow minds and a self esteem which does not correspond, - would not enjoy the comment regarding the issue and would react with typical insincerity attacking the commentator.

Consider Nazi Germany, now it is quite easy to see where the views generally held at the time originated, to a great degree. – But supposed you were at the time there, or that you were able to go there, - could you point and clarify that to a person at the time? – Quite obviously you might have preferred not to try. There may be rare individuals who might have the eye to glimpse your truth, but in most cases, - it seems, - failure is close to being guaranteed. – The situation is not identical. It is not merely about making individuals notice they are blindly absorbing issues off society and their surroundings but also, it is true, - about pointing to some emptiness or wrongness of views in themselves. – But thinking of the issue makes it easier to notice the phenomenon I-am-trying-to-relate-to today too.

With young children it might be easier. – Perhaps around the ages of 5 to 12. Children do have a lot of views or opinions or thoughts which they of course never have deeply considered. – They have been told this and they have been told that. Some may be right and some may be wrong. – Due to this situation it may be easier for them to come to notice the fact that they do not really know (many times) why they actually really think what they do. – With age the situation changes. Around 15 the situation would be different and again around 18 or 21. But anyway, - relating to the point at an early age would create consciousness of the related phenomenon in itself which would still exist at a later age too. – It is of course not wrong as-a-matter-of-principle to accept authority. Are we aware that we do? Are we aware of the reasoning? This is of course a different matter. – Very young children would of course believe everything their parents tell them is true. – This situation is not changed at once but gradually. As for adults, - when they live in a society where the standard is not to examine the issue they would very well absorb this too if they are absorbing the surrounding-of-their-ideas in general as referred to earlier. – But talking about children – if you question them about several elementary issues it might be quite easy for you to show them that they are not really aware of why they believe this or that. – Further, - though for this at a too-young-age this might not be so, - you might be able to make them notice that at certain points what they imagine to be simply what-they-think quite independently they don’t really know (unless particularly thinking about it) any rational justification to but simply have been told.

A child who has come to notice it as a child, - even though the nature of the phenomenon changes with age, - having become familiar with it at a stage when it is so easy to see, - would hold the awareness of the possibility of the phenomenon basically throughout his life later. Of course it is not guaranteed. If it is merely pointed out one day in school he might forget it the next. – But if he does come to the simple awareness at this age it is an understanding which will hold.

The issue is not particularly important with children. It is important with adults. Mainly, I’d say, - perhaps – after their mid 20’s. It is merely considerably easier to deal with at a younger age. Advancing with age, until 28, a deeper attitude is (or may be) required in order to display it. – Since the phenomenon itself becomes accustomed to the development in one’s personality and is accordingly better hidden (or otherwise of course gone) and further complexed. – Trying to make it clear how to deal with it then would be far less easy. – However, - for example – we do know that in most cases those born in religious families remain religious and those born in secular families remain otherwise too. Does this make sense? Of course not. The religious are often not interested in rational examination due to feelings of guilt and the modern-common-materialists a lot of times possess common baseless confidence due to which they would underestimate it and imagine they have generally performed it [quite unconsciously] anyway. Even if you point to a religious person that the fact that he or she were born where they were does not conclude that the religious beliefs held there are correct, - it is very hard for them to accept this.

Hatred for others which is acquired through “education” at home is a lot similar. While beliefs considered to be enlightened in modern ages could be of the issue too. Uchiyama Roshi speaks of that very nicely in his commentary of Bendowa. Though he is not that explicit. He speaks of people stopping thinking – in the past, - when they heard the word “Buddha”, and later, correspondingly, - when hearing of the Emperor and later “Democracy”. But this might drift somewhat off my intended line here. I have not summed the subject but I will here leave it at that. – What I am saying is that it is important for people to be aware of when ideas they hold true are actually derived by their own mental-means through reason (including reasonable trust in others, this is not faulted) and whenconverselythey [the ideas] are merely the outcome of an unconscious habit they are unaware of since they see it generally everywhere around them. (– So to speak, - “everywhere” – considerably among others, that is to say)

Andthat this would be the first point to relate to when coming to dedicate your thought to the issue of education.

Second, - would be the matter of being aware how far could one’s abilities exceed. To what extent could one rely on his (or hers) mental-abilities and where – conversely, - one should know that his (...) judgment would be insufficient and that he would practically better trust that of some others, - if possible.

This would of course somewhat contrast – though not just at 180° – with the first point brought here just above. – Some might say perhaps it would (somewhat) balance it. I don’t find these observations particularly important. What is important is to note reality as it is and notice the practical tools in need. Sometimes they might be at one direction and sometime they might be at another.

However, - while the first point is to be aware of when your views are actually your views, and you might say consequently making sure that they are, - since you would not naturally want to hold opinions which found their room in your mind simply as some matter of random appearance through what would not be valid as-for assuring their truthfulness and realism as a picture of what-ever-you-observe, - the second point is about when conversely you might imagine yourself capable of coming to conclusions as for some issue while actually the real picture is more complex or complicated or refined then your natural assumptions, - or while it requires some unique or special expertise relating to some connection you are somewhat-unaware-of. I don’t see a way to make things clear as for the second point like it seems to be possible for the first. – The second phenomenon originates with an unclear mind, underestimation of an issue due to somewhat of a rough sight, - as it seems. – I don’t think it could be pointed to [– as a concrete incident, - that is] as the first could. – The matter is not as easy, - it mainly requires a change in a person’s personality, as it seems. Still, - when relating to actual people facing one who wishes to relate to the matter, - ones who are also willing to listen, - things are a bit different. – Success is not guaranteed, but real people are not abstract ideas, - and observing them, - in case you understand the issue itself related-to here, - you might find what to grasp and/or hold on to in order to clarify the second-phenomenon-I-find-importance-with here.

That would mean of course somewhere relating to concrete examples, adapting yourself to the audience – and I could hardly expect success with a crowd of more than a few dozens, - but there are those whose abilities I could not easily estimate.

This could be explained to an actual person, and as I made clear it need not be one, - but giving an explanation here in a written blog that would do the trick just as well, - I could not see as possible. There are always those whose abilities exceed expectations, - but given that Buddha or Christ would not give it a try I do not see it as practical.

Some would of course see what I mean, I would be a fool to write this otherwise. – But generally speaking the ability to clarify the second point relies on the talent or the inner capabilities of a person. – The reason we are sunk in materialism is to a great extent this issue. I recall Steiner somewhere saying or writing that the rise of materialism has to do with the popularization of science. As long as it was in possession of few it found no conflict with faith. – I don’t see a direct issue of humility, though it may be my limited sight, - but many – particularly when so habited in society, - (see of course first issue) would easily miss the fact, - (supported by the fact that this missing is joyfully performed by many) that their mental abilities are insufficient for the determination of certain matters, simply accepting existing standards blindly and dryly (again this is somewhat of the first matter, but here it might hardly seem they could tell themselves) as for what-they-could-determine-themselves and what-they-would-need-to-accept-authority-as-for.

This is all.
I wrote this on May 26th, May 29th, and June 16th 2015.
I don’t know when I will come to publish it.
My blog is stuck due to the “Time” post I can not complete because of fucking matters I don’t know if I get to write about.