Bones to ink—Oracle Bones to I Ching
The earliest known form of Chinese writing are the “Oracle Bones” (甲骨) of the Shang dynasty (about 1600BC -1046BC) a period also technologically associated with the Xia dynasty which preceded it and the Zhou which followed. as The Bronze Age. The writing was on animal bones, usually the shoulder of a cow or the bottom of a turtle.
These three images are CC, you can find information @ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_bone.
They were used to divine answers about the weather and other subjects of concern. A hot metal rod was poked into the bone creating cracks which were then divined to gain understanding. The writing usually included the question, the divined answer and general terms of the situation including names and the date.
Traditionally it was common for farmers to sell them to the “pharmacist” to grind up as medicine. About 1900 it was determined that they were divining tools from the Shang dynasty creating the oldest connection between the present and the written past.
The characters evolved over the millenniums
With the Zhou dynasty the Oracle Bones were replaced by Yarrow stalks and sixty-four hexagrams, the work of King Wu and his brother The Duke of Zhou with the Zhou I —or centuries later came to be called I Ching, aka The Book of Changes.
As long as Covid keeps up , for me, not much changes along Alameda Creek. Keep feeling should go somewhere; think everyday its the same thing; am getting older; got to get out and do some more stuff before cannot; . . . Walking along the creek daily for over 14 years and another 14 years walking my dog, meeting different people over those years. These are my weekly images.
When I see someone, generally I make an hello gesture—say something, or wave a hand. or sometimes its a look of the eyes combined with a nod of the head. Most respond, some do not even look at me, others are talking on their phones and Iid I know know them there is usually a quiet wave of hands.
We often assign causes to events—we call it understanding and a method of knowing—which requires there to be a thing differentiated and defined from other things, another thing related to it, and a description of events during at the duration.
One could say that the Universe does not much care abut al this or any of it, it just happens. Small particles move around here and there, they have affairs with other particles to make “things” which entropy and new things are created while old things dissappear
The Universe does not care?
Yet the Universe created people who care and the people are part of the Universe so it does care. Maybe the Universe created people to solve problems it could not solve, such as entropy or otherwise known its own demise.
The Universe created people to solve the problems of its own entropy , a quality of its own making or perhaps it was damage done to the Oneness during and/or after the Big Bang.
Entropy into what? Entropy with what?
Entropy is what happens inside the Universe. If the Universe were to entropy outside the Universe that would imply there is something outside of, separate from, the Universe. Perhaps cathie one “Our Universe.” Still universe means one and to suggest there are more universes than the one we know is to suggest that the Universe is not a universe at all, but one “thing” of another set of “things” which is more properly given the letters “uni.”
How do humans fit into the Universe. Is it even an important question given our material representation —what % of the Universe is human mattter to compared o non-human matter in The Universe ? What is Human matter? Matter in the Universe which is aware of itself.
But not aware of itself as of the Universe but as separated from The Universe. We know who we are because we separate ourselves from the ting we are.
OK, OK , so what else can you show me? Stand upside down inside handcuffs?
Maybe the Universe did not make us, but we happened in spite of the hopes, intentions, dreams or efforts of the Universe. Maybe the Universe kicked us out— like the Christian God kicked Adam and Eve out of Eden for eating the fruit of knowledge and there is not other place to go,
Humans are forever floating around in their alienation, an essential yet poorly designed part of the Great Oneness. Individuals separated from it until death, society never to find how to return because every effort only creates new things to know, to be never completely reunited again. Our endless job as a part of The Universe is not just to experience it like other forms of matter but to know it and report back, Humans are the Universe’s Department of Intelligence.
Is any of this results of conscious efforts of the Universe ? Alienation by accident or alienation by intent whatever people are the conscious effort of the Universe, whether by intention or by accident, to know itself.
A symptom of a Universe gone mad with mental illness—how can the universe be mentally ill when there is only one, it is what Is, nothing else with which to compare it, is its own standard. We are here to witness The Universe as both subject and object with no way of knowing if its gone insane.
Sometimes I think one basic problem is we have is there is no number 2, its a tool humans created to survive. Mathematics is often called the “pan-galaxy “ language but its humans that classify things into a same group and then we find they are different from each other and no matter which direction we look, bigger or smaller., there is no end to this process of differentiating and defining, What we perceive as “same things” is only because we do not know them well enough, yet.
Most Japanese people like to socialize while eating and drinking. Even when you just drop in on someone you might bring a present such as senbei or cake, over sencha and conversation. Outside the house you will see groups joyously eating, drinking and talking. Popular TV shows bring these experiences into the homes as entertainment often featuring the craftsmanship and culture of the food profession.
I had just finished dinner at an Okinawan restaurant with a big sign on the wall welcoming US soldiers, and within a could of blocks after leaving found a takoyaki outside window. Full as I was, could not resist, bought six and ate them.
She liked the Art Boxes of Joseph Cornell who put objects inside his boxes. Inside Winifred’s box (about 1970) are a crucifix and three plaster molded shell shaped vaginas. In the lower window is an offset printed image of The Last Supper with press-type and press-arrows indicating clams are being served for Dinner. I may have known what, if any, religion she associated with, but I do not remember, its a work of Art, and does not make any difference.
Winnifred was my sister’s best friend in college, I became friends with her and her husband in Boston and later when they moved to Vermont where she worked a curator in a local museum and taught art. A few years later, mid 970s she moved to Los Angeles to work as a curator of an established museum and tragically, too soon after, she died in an automobile accident.
She left this piece with me before going to LA.
Inside three small plastic babies and clam shell.
Does this guy look like he is the eyes, the ears, the nose, the mouth and the tongue of The Universe?
We all are, whether we are paid to be here or not ,and some even get paid just have their \\photograph there.
By the end of this post are you supposed to know me better?
all dharmas are marked with emptiness;
they do not appear or disappear,
are not tainted or pure,
do not increase or decrease.
Therefore, in emptiness no form, no feelings,
perceptions, impulses, consciousness.
No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind;
no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch,
no object of mind;
no realm of eyes
and so forth until no realm of mind consciousness.
From The Heart Sutra