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  1. Yesterday
  2. I see my previous post in reply to Joseph as being sufficient to address/respond to your last two. (As far as chaos is concerned, our two grandchildren have recently turned up)
  3. I don't really understand this or perhaps even agree. So I am not Dogen.
  4. Firstly ... I am using chaotic in its scientific sense. But if you claim it is not ... how do you know it is not? What bits of our existence are not chaotic? Here's a more of a layman's explanation of chaos.
  5. Appearance and Reality are deemed as "one" by certain cosmological ideas propounded in zen. Again it comes back to "we are what we understand". Thanks Joseph. Although at the moment I find all my speculations and waffling therapeutic, my bedrock could be called the "opinion" (faith) that Reality-as-is, our Cosmos, is not chaotic in any nihilistic sense of that word.
  6. As Dogen says, "we are what we understand"
  7. Personally, i would only saythe universe appears chaotic. However, it is my opinion that it is not.
  8. Last week
  9. I must admit I see freedom as a bit of an illusion, if not a delusion. The feeling of freedom stems completely from a lack of awareness of the underlying mechanisms in this universe as it applies to ourselves. Of course, having an awareness of the how the cogs are turning so to speak would make functioning untenable. So what Merton ultimately seems to be claiming is that God's gift is a lack of awareness. My perspective is that evolution has provided a capability to confabulate (even forward looking confabulation) as a societal mechanism for survival. It is really hard not to describe an ecological landscape without anthropomorphizing; it seems to make the landscape more understandable.
  10. As I see it, an overall/final purpose, any end product envisaged (teleological) would counteract, even negate/make impossible, radical freedom. I cannot do better than quote again from Hee-Jin Kim, from his book "" Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist" when speaking of the zen notion of "dropping body and mind":- "To cast off the body-mind did not nullify historical and social existence so much as to put it into action so that it could be the self-creative and self-expressive embodiment of Buddha-nature. In being “cast off,” however, concrete human existence was fashioned in the mode of radical freedom—purposeless, goalless, objectless, and meaningless. Buddha-nature was not to be enfolded in, but was to unfold through, human activities and expressions. The meaning of existence was finally freed from and authenticated by its all-too-human conditions only if, and when, it lived co-eternally with ultimate meaninglessness" In "western" and theistic terms, we have Thomas Merton speaking of God, equating God with freedom itself and that God's gift to us is "himself." We also have from Christian mysticism:- "Love has no why" (Meister Eckhart) So, just how "useful" is the idea of purpose? Even in a Cosmos (rather than a chaos)? Or a Chaosmos? Sometimes perhaps we ask the wrong questions, frame them incorrectly, confuse the implications of our "answers". (Jung suggested that the greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble…. They can never be solved, but only outgrown…...)
  11. romansh

    Back again

    WAID? what am I doing?
  12. I can't speak to what Joyce and his interpreters mean by chaosmos, but some chaotic systems have an "attractor", This prof gives a technical explanation, but I think the prof has a nice voice. These so called attractors, I can't help but think, parallel our illusion of purpose. The chaotic systems exhibit the coming together and falling apart. So it is not clear to me this represents purpose. I can't help thinking purpose is a useful illusion, like me thinking my kitchen chair is red.
  13. tariki

    Back again

    Back in Costa's, following a couple of days with the grandchildren, getting them to school and back, feeding and playing. The little lad, 9, is very inventive as far as creating his own games is concerned (when we can drag him away from his kindle) Yesterday he drew over 60 tiny little stick people, each with a number. My job was to cut them out as he is left-handed and we have no special scissors. What I noticed as I cut was that each stick person had individuality, different haircuts - afro's, mohicans, pigtails, punk! It amused me - luckily I'm easily amused! Anyway, I've drifted as usual. For some reason the idea of WWJD has been rolling around in my head, or What Would Jesus Do. I suppose I should rather consider WWBD ( "Buddha", get it?) but the options there are limited to sitting in the lotus position and closing the eyes......😄given the textual evidence. Which in fact makes me think of some of the textual suggestions for copying Jesus. What would I do if I found no tomato's on a tomato plant at Christmas time? What would I do if I found people in a temple or church acting inappropriately? How would I address those whose religious persuasion was different from my own? How would I seek to help a person mentally challenged? How would I care for a parent in certain circumstances? Well, some textual evidence suggests curses, fetching a whip, vindictive and acrimonious language, spying out a herd of pigs, getting someone else to care.......yes we are talking fig trees, money changers, Legion, Pharisees etc etc. Not trying to be controversial. Simply recognising the difference between literalism and what might be called the spirit that blows where it will. Between commandments on tablets of stone and those written on the human heart. Even the literalists, our fundamentalist friends, in effect recognise the difference when they seek WWJD - and thus, the difference in many ways between "Jesus" as historical figure and "Christ" as the eternal logos, or as Thomas Merton said:- The Hidden Ground of Love.
  14. Following on - now in Costa's with extra hot cappuccino - Joyce's Wakese has much that relates to Dogenese. Particularly the "coming together" (the gathering of chaos) in the present moment, keeping in mind what Dogen's own teachers passed on to him in China, this that to teach students the power of the present moment as the only moment "is a skillful teaching of buddha ancestors" but this doesn’t mean that there is no future result from practice. Hee-Jin Kim, in his commentary on Dogen, relates all of this to faith, not always spoken of in western books on zen. Kim explicates how any such creative practice-expression in the present moment is not a matter of some refined understanding, but of deep trust in the activity of Buddha-nature: “Zazen-only cannot be fully understood apart from consideration of faith.” So there is always the hub of the wheel, even though the wheel turns, the "still" point of T.S.Eliot:- At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.” (Lines from Four Quartets) Of relevance to all this is the wider understanding of what might be seen as the "one way". Deep correspondences can be seen (as above) between Joyce as he seeks the universal within the particular, with Dogen, as he seeks his very own path, time and place. Also with Eliot and that man's insights drawn from his own travels through "eastern" ways and Christian mysticism. Anyone conversant with understandings of the Universal Christ will also see how each relates to the other. How distant from such concord is the "only way" of some fundamentalist sects, where all who challenge one word of their own beliefs are deemed to be goats, to be cast into the outer darkness!
  15. In Wakese the word combines Cosmos (suggesting order, purpose, significance) and chaos. Joyce writes in Finnegans Wake of a constant rise and fall, circular, both for individuals and all Reality. A coming together, a falling apart.
  16. I often browse in books of poetry. This evening I came upon this one, which made me think of this thread:- You say, “If you want to be happy there’s no way, but to be a hermit. Flowers in the grove are better than brocade, every single season’s colours new. Just sit by a creek and turn your head to watch the moon’s ball roll.” And me? I ought to be at joyous ease, but I can’t help thinking of the people in the world. (Shih Te, 8th Century, translation from the Chinese by J. P. Seaton, from "The Poetry of Zen")
  17. Yes ... nice. The universe (cosmos) is clearly chaotic. And we humans are part of that chaos.
  18. Yes ... We draw an arbitrary boundary ourselves described by the pronoun "I", and then we have the fuzzy bits of "my" and "mine". In reality all kinds of molecules, atoms and ions are exchanging in and out of our bodies. To be fair the exchange is slower in the brainy bits. I think the phrase inter-relationship in reality is an understatement. Indra's net perhaps gives a better analogy. Similarly, for more nebulous bits like ideas and beliefs. Our material goods exchange, monies exchange. For me, connection is a 'better' word. We are connected to the the rest of existence, at the very smallest to the very largest scales; through the depths of time. If someone were to ask me, "are you religious?" I would have to answer, "no, but I am perhaps ligious." For I am connected to the universe and don't need reconnection.
  19. I have come across a new word of Wakese while dipping into Finnegans Wake, chaosmos. A combination of chaos and cosmos. Often I have contrasted the two, asking which one Reality was. Joyce obviously had his own ideas and I find it suggestive, given a Reality of becoming rather than a fixed something. (I did come up with one word of Wakese of my own, agonversary. This a word describing a wedding anniversary, combined with the state of the marriage itself.... 😃 Maybe others can give thought to words of their own?)
  20. Thanks Romansh I was offering three examples from prominent scientists. There are many more. As I see it all point towards a paradigm shift, this from a Reality experienced as "me in here, that out there", "me subjective, that objective" into one where there is a fundamental inter-relationship between observer and observed. Experienced and understood as such. (Anyone interested could look up a post I made on March 1, 2017 on the thread Dogen in Other Wisdom Traditions, which relates) Thank you once again for your interest. It is appreciated. (I'Il give further thought to what was said concerning Heisenberg)
  21. Bohm ... I have found to be a little impenetrable. It is interesting to think about how things like invention come about in a unfolding universe. Here I find myself disagreeing with Schrödinger a little. I agree that as yet we have yet to scratch the surface of the phenomenon of consciousness. Saying we cannot account for it in physical terms reminds me of Auguste Comte's prediction we will never know the composition of the Sun. Little did he know that the tools that lead to the understanding had been developed a few years earlier. Not really familiar with Heisenberg and his writings. But it would appear he was a devout Christian. I wonder if he had literal beliefs in Christ. If so ... how does an intelligent person believe in a Godly birth? It is as though we can't let go of our indoctrinated beliefs and perhaps if we do we fill the vacated hole with another belief?
  22. Yes, one of the Dads actually admitted feeling anger towards his daughter for having chosen such a "solution". Such bravery to admit such. My only link to such tragedy was my GP. A young guy who treated me for over 20 years, once through a period of acute depression. Always family photo's on his desk. Always greeted me with a smile. I had absolutely no suspicion of his own challenges. When I found out that he had taken his own life I was shocked. It still keeps coming back into mind. When I was deep in the pit a consultant said to me that others often have no idea just what we are going through, "especially people like yourself." I asked what he meant, and he said: - "You are always smiling". I had no idea! Simply automatic, it meant nothing. Mental health needs to be broadcast, spoken about, admitted. The suffering will obviously be far worse for anyone under the impression that all others are fine and coping well.
  23. I would gladly, Rom. Maybe one day when this world opens up again! Frankly though, just now my focus is finishing my 3-weeks out here, as we are a completely dry vessel! I suppose my forced temperance could be viewed as a health benefit - probably more physical than mental though!
  24. Back to Finnegans Wake. Dogen was getting a bit heavy and I needed constant escapes to Candy Crush Soda Saga to rest my weary mind. As an aid to the virtually unreadable Wake I am reading Richard Ellmann's biography of James Joyce, still the finest biography although first published back in 1959. Very detailed. Joyce drew deeply upon his own life and experiences as the source for his books and Mr Ellmann constantly gives examples of episodes from Joyce's life that found there way into Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, even though often in a slightly altered form (and even more often with names changed "to protect the innocent" - or not so innocent!) Joyce comes across as very advanced in his early years. By the age of 16/17 he had already passed through a "pious/overly religious" period and had thrown off the yoke of any overt Catholic indoctrination. This apart from a life long fear of thunder (the sound of which appears in the Wake as "bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonner- ronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!") .....a sound which I am told represents The Fall, a recurring feature of humankind's history rather than a once off. It is also suggested that the vivid hell-fire sermons took their toll upon his tender young mind, but not so as to cower his artistic expression. It seems that he sought to transform his own given time and place - 19th century Dublin - into universal themes. Yet Joyce retained his appreciation of his Jesuit teachers, recognising a certain slant of mind that they inculcated in him that he was able to transfer to other frames of reference beyond Church doctrine. Joyce:- "To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to create life out of life" No fears of damnation would deter him. He saw great meaning in Christ being born in a stable and his writings often draw forth profound epiphanies from what others would dismiss as commonplace. As I see it, how the mythic becomes our own experience. I see correspondences with Dogen. Off now to Oxfam.
  25. Suicide is such a tragedy I think, mainly for those left behind. Unanswered questions, thoughts if more could have been done, blame and responsibility, etc. In my previous career as a police officer (some 20+ years ago now) I attended numerous suicides and numerous attendances to notify family and loved ones. Always the same question from them - "Why?". I have a much better understanding of 'why' these days, after having been in such a dark place myself at one point, but fortunately I didn't reach critical mass. I try to encourage anybody getting close to suicide - just keep breathing - you will come through it (whatever 'it' is) eventually.
  26. I do think the world would be a much better place if many weren't so fixated on their beliefs being THE beliefs that everybody else should have. Whilst my hands are free I have grabbed onto bits and pieces from time to time that help me through life. I reckon there's maybe a bit from all sorts of religion, philosophies and science that we can all find a benefit from. But what's good for the goose is not always good for the gander and so we should be relaxed about others not being as passionate about our beliefs as we are. Each to their own I say, just as long as there is no harm done.
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