the Wayst land

(Belated) Father’s Day greetings

Life is longest as mountains,
Happiness is much as seas

Calligraphy and poem by Janney.

Alameda Creek

Walking the same path most every day reminds me of the blues line—I’m Leaving’ town runnin’ ’cause walkin’s mos” too slow . . .

What does it mean to “Know Something,” or “Know Some Thing?”  How many things are there in the Universe? Is there a finite number of things? Will humans ever complete an inventory of every thing in the Universe? i.e. will they ever deferentiate every thing from all other things and give them all names?

Human beings  were not always on Earth. The Earth is over 4 1/2 billion years old, life  is 3.7-4.5 billion years old.Human  1-2 million years ago—chose your own  estimate, for this post the difference is not important. Homo Sapeins are about 300,000 years ago, a very, very, short period on earth represents a very very tiny part of the history of Earth, yet it the history of Earth knowing itself. 

In the beginning  there was no book  of instructions, no knowledge.   People were born, survived  and evolved —we are here today— beginning from matter which was not people and which behaved in a way resulting in survival.

We use words to represent these thing in speech,  writing, and now as  electronical impulses. Still the spoken word, the written word or the electronic word are not the thing itself, they are an abstraction  separate from the thing  that we use to represent the thing in communication with others.WordsWords

When we use a word such as “See the tree”, we see a tree, not because the Universe made a tree, but because people have agreed this is what atree is. Its a tree because we call it a tree.

All of these words, whether spoken or written were made up by people who were not intending to go around making up words but developed from the   behaviour of people  in the process of survival creating a tool for communication in differentiating a thing and giving it a name.

But having a name for a thing and “knowing it” are not necessarily the same thing. In the history of survival people had to adjust to changes in their experiences and just how many different sounding grunts can you make? Still, figure it took humans a long time, in human time, to create language, but its a very short time in Earth time.

Words, spoken,  written or electronic, are a discrete thing, some thing we have a common agreement on  the meaning, yet when we look at each situation in using the word the “thing” a quality, may have varying quantitative differences—houses are not all the same size, skies are not always the same blue but no matter what the differences, in human communication  and because its the communication which is important, we  “naturally”  submit to the shared meaning . .Its one reason we survived. .

Unless, of course, there is a specific reason not to, which is unusual and may even be considered eccentric or deviant. We all have different experiences, no matter how small and its the suppression of our different individual experiences to the commonality of our society which effects a social structure of behaviour,

Through all of this evolution no two human beings are exactly the same, have exactly the same experiences , but generally their experiences are close enough that the words of the language have a Real Meaning.

Human biological capabilities to know through experience are the five senses . . .
and then there is Reason—to know some thing without the sensual experience. of that thing

Giving a thing a name, a definition, is using Reason.And both are part of being human.

Cannot count the cows unless you “know” what is a cow and what is not a cow.

The Universe is a bunch of small particles moving around, joining together here, parting there, and joining together with different particles somewhere else , and over and over. It is humans who define the cow as separate from the air and the ground—to the Universe its all one thing, itself, the universe. Without humans the Universe does not know itself and perhaps does not care —or maybe there was a moment when it did care which is when human beings came into existence.


Imitation Kasuri in the clothes store, Kasuri is an old Japanese fabric generally dyed with indigo and related to Indonesian Ikat which is generally many different colors. At one time in Japan there were laws concerning which “classes of people” could wear what fabrics and farmers were assigned kasuri. Even today you may see women working in the fields wearing mompei

An old piece of kasuri which has been hanging somewhere in our house for over 35 years. The cotton thread is dyed and then the fabric is made, traditionally on a hand loom but today probably on a machine.

Driving in the country in Japan you may see women working in the fields wearing mompei—pants made of kasuri.

Sky in Amherst, Massachusetts

Table and windows in Salem, Maine

What is the meaning we look so hard to fail to find? Would you know if you wakened the Buddha inside of yourself.

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.

Heart Sutra

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