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tariki last won the day on December 4

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About tariki

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  • Birthday 05/30/1949

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  1. Just thought that I would post a short history of my time on Discussion Forums, now that I have in effect retired. It has been a personal journey and for me, fulfilling. I'm going back a few years to when I first got on the Internet. Maybe about twenty years ago. A whole new world, at least for me. What do you look at? Pondering, I remembered a Buddhist magazine, Tricycle and wondered if they had their own website. Sure enough, yes, and I found it and looked over a few articles and photos of various Buddhas and Buddhist wannabees sitting on cushions seeking to meditate their way to nirvana. Scrolling down the Home Page I spied the words "Bulletin Boards" and wondered what they were. Perhaps private ads along the lines of "Buddhist, GSOH, wishes to meet like minded for zafu sessions". But no. Investigating I saw that here we had a rich assortment of various people, with "screen names" such as Dharmakara, Lotus Flower and other such exotic titles, all raising questions, answering back and forth, and all sounding quite knowledgeable as far as Buddhism was concerned. For a couple of days I read a few of the threads and then the thought popped into my head..........I too could register, I too could assign myself a name, I too could join in the talk, actually express a point of view. Believe it or not this thought gave me the collywobbles. Did I have the nerve? Seriously, my hands shook and my heart thumped. Nearly fifty years old and the thought of expressing an opinion, even on the relative anonymity of the internet, filled me with apprehension. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. With trembling hands I registered. As a first swipe at the obvious conventions of the media, I gave myself the name of "Dookie", a name my daughter had often called me - I have no idea why. Then I had to decide upon my very first post. There was a deep discussion taking place between two suitably named worthies, posting back and forth on various points raised by the classic zen book "Zen Mind, Beginners Mind" by Shunryu Suzuki, a book they obviously relished and admired. Me, it was one of those books I had found it hard to get into and in fact never really got into it at all. To be frank, it had bored me rigid. Should I say this? Should I step in and have my say? I hesitated but then thought that if I feared to do so and held back, what was the point? So in I went, speaking my mind. I was totally ignored! The conversation carried on around my meagre and rather paltry post as if Dookie was non-existent. Perhaps the fate of so many in this world. But Dookie was made of sterner stuff; what does not destroy us makes us stronger says Nietzsche. Soon I was back on another thread and this time drew a response! Someone in cyberspace had actually read my words and seen fit to answer! Very soon, another thanked me for "making my day" and I have to admit, this almost reduced me to tears. The thought that words of mine had touched another's emotions. From then on there was no stopping me. An English teacher in the USA, in fact a published novelist, sent me an email and told me that I was one of her "favourite voices on the Boards", another asked me where did I get my wisdom from. I never associated myself with wisdom and told them so in one way or another. The fact is that for me it was a question of self confidence, self esteem. There is a thin dividing line between this and pride. I tried, and endeavour, not to cross it. Good to take to heart the words of Honen, one of the "fathers" of Pure Land Buddhism, who said:- "When a scholar is born they forget the Nembutsu". Everything that is truly of worth is a pure gift of Reality-as-is; given, not attained, realised, not earned or gained by merit. Anyway, eventually I learnt that Dookie was a word in the USA used by children for poo, a fact that threatened to tarnish my reputation just a little, not to mention forestall any suggestions of wisdom. But I soldiered on. The Bulletin Boards on Tricycle finally disintegrated, unmonitored they sunk under their own weight of spam, flaming, sledging and insults. So much for Buddhist ethics But I had the bit between my teeth. I registered again and again on various Boards. Christian, Secular, Atheist, Agnostic, Islamic, General, Ex-Christian, Inter-faith and various new Buddhist forums. Two hiccups when once I was censured for a "racist" post ( I had posted of my thinking that Wei Wu Wei was a "wizened little Chinaman" before finding out his true identity as the Irish Aristocrat Terence Gray) and then received a lifetimes ban on another when I crossed swords with the Administrator who took exception to my implying that a post of his was based upon gossip. But it has all been good for me. I have retired from all Boards now after perhaps 30,000 posts or so. In my time I have been called a hypocrite, a liar, the "voice of satan", even the Anti-Christ; I have been called wise and been called stupid. I have been known as Dookie, Tariki, Cobblers Apprentice and one or two other equally preposterous names, as the mood took me. Generally I have sought to be polite and truthful. We can only try. One of my fondest memories of meetings in cyberspace was various exchanges with a guy in Sri Lanka who had ambitions to become a Theravada bhikkhu (Buddhist monk) who eventually thanked me for extending his knowledge of the Buddhist Scriptures. My worst? Crossing swords with a member of a Fundamentalist Christian Sect whose bigotry, which he was totally oblivious to, was, to me, shocking. In the end, as the wag said, "There are only two types of people in the world, those who divide the world into two types of people and those who don't". There is great mileage in the zen advice that if we wish to know the truth then "cease to cherish opinions", simply because, as per the great parable of the raft, the Dharma is for "passing over, not for grasping". For me this has its echo in the Gospel advice not to judge others. From being afraid to say boo to a goose I will now say what I like, when I like. If not now then when? Anyway, I have cut and pasted this from my blog, and the full illustrated edition can be found by those who enjoy punishment, on:- http://mydookiepops.blogspot.co.uk Thank you
  2. Consciousness in insects

    Thormas, sorry, we are just talking past each other. The bottom line is "enlightenment", seeing. Classification, dissection, can follow, but first we must see. To classify, value, dissect, speak of higher and lower, as part of a pursuit of "understanding", this because it is "fun" to do so, is to miss the mark and merely to wander about to no purpose. How do we come to see? Ask me another. Do I see? Ask me another. Thanks, but that's it.
  3. Consciousness in insects

    Once we give some sort of "value" to the asking of questions we leave no-thing-ness behind. But is that "better" than equating ourselves with the situation of a fly or a spider? "Do not see yourself as better than others, nor as less than others, or the equal of others" ( Buddha )
  4. Consciousness in insects

    "Does a dog have Buddha nature?" Is maybe an "eastern response", at heart a question rather than an "answer". The stock "answer" is "Mu", or "nothingness ". To say either "yes" or "no" is to miss the point, or rather, is to enter the world of dualism. What is required is an "appropriate response", the teachings of a lifetime. So we can have ourselves as "special", something "worth the wait", made in the image of a prior creator, transcendent to ourselves, or we can truly ask the question "as if our hair is on fire" and express our own appropriate response. I was reading a novel by Charles Bukowski, "Pulp", where right at the beginning the main character, a Private Eye, sitting in his office, swats a fly, thus "taking it out of the game", his stance towards even himself, a man awaiting the moment he will be swatted away. Apparently Bukowski is admired for his "honesty". What is "honesty"? Does a dog - or even a spider - have Buddha nature?
  5. Evolution and God

    One was "The Quantum Astrologer's Handbook" by Michael Brook. Rather than write anything new about this book, I will regurgitate previous waffle as per my review on Amazon:- Entertaining Possibly this book could be described as whimsical. It seeks to combine the life of Jerome Cardano, a sixteenth century Italian polymath, with the latest understanding of quantum mechanics. Personally I was totally lost amid the quantum sections and reveled in the often lecherous life of Cardano, a man involved with probability theory as well as the Inquisition, who dabbled in medicine and astrology. A man of his age no less ( like all of us, as Michael Brooks suggests ). The word "probability" provides some sort of link between the biographical sections and those on quantum physics - Michael Brooks ends by calling us "travellers in the dark" , thus dealing at times only with probabilities. While we can say with some degree of statistical certainty that say, a set percentage of those in their nineties will die in any one year, it remains uncertain as to the fate of any particular nonagenarian. That I can understand. Large, predictable. Small, apparently random. After which I am lost. Extrapositional, entanglement, photons in two positions at once - and one or two algebraic equations did not help my understanding, particularly when a x b was, as far as the quantum world is concerned, definitely not the same as b x a. Still, fear not, we are all in "travellers in the dark". Mr Brooks in fact tells us that we are all left to our own interpretations and he implies - I think - this has a correspondence with the fact that any measurement at the quantum level effects the position of whatever is being measured. Something to do with a cat, but as I say, I was lost. The cat was either dead or alive. All is random? "Love has no why" says Meister Echart. The observer is king? What are the teachings of a lifetime? "An appropriate statement" says Yun-men. I see all this combined and inter-relational. Constantly entertaining. I read it in a couple of days and enjoyed it a lot. Thank you Another was a Graphic Guide, "Introducing Quantum Theory". Never actually reviewed this but I liked the pictures, especially the cat on the cover
  6. Evolution and God

    I suppose Christianity could be called "sin and the ending of sin", possibly the sunshine is in the ending. The "latest" is as I said, drawn from one or two excellent little books. Also included were cats ( either dead or alive ), things in two places at once, influence from a distance.........all under the proviso that if you think you understand it you don't understand it. Quite a helpful tip.
  7. Evolution and God

    The latest on "time" from the quantum world seems to suggest that our own default linear experience is not the final word. Apart from that, I'm back with "I teach this and this alone, suffering and the ending of suffering" ( Buddha ) Meanwhile there is speculation to while away the hours.
  8. Evolution and God

    Must admit I thought much the same when reading about "us" being "worth the wait".
  9. My experience was that there was (and is) no clarity. What is "scriptual" to one is "non-scriptual" to another. The arguments, claims, quotes and counter quotes of all the various believers have been, are, and will be, unending. Such is the Bible.
  10. Evolution and God

    As far as I am aware clicking the link given will allow you to access the video irrespective of whether or not you have a Facebook account. PS if not, you can google BBC Blue Planet 2 and select the "Fish that uses tools" video.
  11. Evolution and God

    https://www.facebook.com/BBCOne/videos/1647755921911486/ Just thought the above video link says much about your topic Paul.
  12. End Times?

    A few years ago I read a testimony from a guy who had been raised outside of the Christian tradition. He believed only in benign beings beyond his senses, beings who sought only his welfare. Such seemed healthy to me. Still does. Life affirming. Grace seems to be the fabric of reality, in which we live and move and have our being.
  13. End Times?

    There is a magazine in the UK, "Private Eye". Every edition features at least one "look-a-like", a double photo. This week it was the Rev Richard Cole, dressed up for "Strictly Come Dancing", and the British PM, Theresa May. Very similar, in fact, uncanny. Its a good game.
  14. Salvation for the Dead (A Practical Guide)

    Thank you. I would seek to emphasise reciprocation, a sharing, a recognition of our own darkness. Speaking in terms of those with faith and then the "faithless", the "saved" and the "lost", even the alive and the dead, is for me divisive. "Protecting oneself, one protects others Protecting others, one protects oneself" Again, I feel disturbed in being asked to offer up good works. But each to their own. Reciprocation is on-going, unending. As Thomas Merton said, we are already "one" yet do not see it. "We must be that which we already are".
  15. Christianity is not a religion.

    From Eckhart, German Sermon 22:- Now listen carefully! I have often said, as great masters have said, that we should be so free of all things and all works, both inner and outer, that we become the place where God can act. But now we put it differently. If it is the case that someone is free of all creatures, of God and of themselves, if God finds a place to act in them, then we say: as long as this exists in someone, they have not yet reached the ultimate poverty. For God does not intend there to be a place in someone where he can act, but if there is to be true poverty of spirit, someone must be so free of God and all his works that if God wishes to act in the soul he must himself be the place in which he can act, and this he is certainly willing to be. For if God finds us this poor, then God performs his own active work and we passively receive God in ourselves and God becomes the place of his work in us since God works within himself. In this poverty, we attain again the eternal being which we once enjoyed, which is ours now and shall be for ever. There is a passage in St Paul which says: ‘All that I am I am by the grace of God’(1 Cor. 15: 10). But now my words seem to be above grace, above being, above knowledge and will, above all desire, and so how can St Paul’s words be true? It was necessary that God’s grace should be in him, since it was this that made perfect in him what was imperfect. When the grace came to an end and completed its work, then Paul remained what he was. The above is from Meister Eckhart's sermon on "True Poverty". It is obvious to me at least why he is seen as a "dharma brother" by many who follow the Buddha's path. I'm surrounded by grandchildren at the moment ( if just two can "surround", and recent botox injections for my bletharospasm have left me with misty moisty eyes, walking through water - quite nice at times, it takes the sharp edge off of the world) Anyway, words tend to divide and misguide. Theism, non-theism. Non dualism means "not two", not that "all is one". I've found that this can be said a thousand times without the difference being known, not least by myself.. Like a book on quantum physics I was reading recently, where ( apparently ) in the weird quantum world A x B gives a different answer to B x A. Algebra was never my strong point , but it seems to have something to do with reality if you tend towards a love of words and see them as definitive/fixed in any way. Reality as I see it is a constant becoming but at each and every moment we must needs make our "appropriate statement", which according to Yun-men is always the "teaching of a lifetime". So we ask God to rid us of God ( as Eckhart says ) This is the absolute poverty of spirit. But like the dharma as raft - for passing over not for grasping - we tend/can leap from the raft before we can swim. We can leave God behind before we are ready. "Gratitude is all a lie" says Saichi the Pure Lander. I still say "thank you" all the time. I sometimes wonder if I shall ever be ready. Anyway, back to trying to dress the kiddies.