“If you do not know what writing is, you may think it is not especially difficult . . . Let me tell you that it is an arduous task: it destroys your eyesight, bends your spine, squeezes your stomach and your sides, pinches your lower back , and makes your whole body ache . . . Like the sailor arriving at the port, so the writer rejoices on arriving at the last line.”
Colophon of a 12th century Beautus manuscript from Silox….. from Writing, The Story of Alaphabets and Scripts
What is thinking? We use the words “I am thinking about it” to generally mean, ”I have not decided yet.” Does your mind do thinking?
De people think in words? Make a list of “pros and cons” How did humans think before there were no words, in images perhaps, but how did they know how to differentiate one thing from another thing, which has to be done to give it a name so you can think—simple to do: night sky,; tall buildings,; neon signs; people in the streets, and what is their relationship to each other? A city scene.
Or is the process of thinking , differentiating and defining a part of out biological hardwire?
Early evening at Nakamise Street, Sensoji
We use the experiences of our five senses; the mind defines the things and the relationship(s) between the things and then we know what ’s happening.
I might make references to the subject of religion, often a controversial subject which through hjstory has been responsible for lives lost unnecessarily, as well as benchmarks for behavior. outside of human capabilities.
Religion is knowing by True Faith. A True Believer, regardless of any contradictory information knows their faith to be True. We learn by true faith from culture that a photograph is a visual “record of reality.” Or perhaps its just another graphic print technique .Every computer screen is not calibrated to one standard display of color and the artist has no control over that like th eoffset printer or the wood block printer.
Science is knowing by the scientific method, which includes restricting input information to what can be experienced by common human empirical senses—see, hear, taste, smell and touch; an accurate description of the methods and procedures used; a conclusion clearly stated in a common and correct form of communication, such as grammatically correct writing, appropriate for the community of scientists, and peer review of findings.
Science is a democratic approach to knowing. Scientists agree to the standard for knowing, they use the scientific method to conduct experiments and present both the findings and methodology so peers can judge for themselves on the basis of a common scientific standard. Faith is autocratic in nature, people can never know as specifically as tp what words describe about what another thinks or feels
Scientists are human, Its not that they do not do things perfectly, rather they do things, when there are problems they work to resolve them and then redo until they get it right, a process which some times includes multiple scientists over decades. .
This does not mean that scientists might not disagree with the finding(s), it does mean that they will accept it as “scientific knowledge” even when they disagree. They may also conduct future experiments to disprove a previous experiment. This may often happen after new information, not previously known, becomes accepted—this is one way science both checks itself and advances. Science has a a common agreed upon, independent standard for what it accepts as knowledge and there are no rules about what you can choose to investigate, just rules about how you do investigate.it.
Political democracies using voting may have a common and specified procedure for voting, but often the quality of the information and quantity of mis-information individuals use to make voting decisions may be very desparate or perhaps desperate.
Religion knows by Faith, every person determines their own faith, inside of themselves, to their own standard. Even when you talk with “members,” of a “same faith,” they often have different opinions about matters of faith, generally considered “acceptable minor differences” among like minded peoples. Science defines what is a “fact” and then accepts as knowledge that what meets the definition which is independent of personal opinions.
If the human set of knowledge included all the facts—if each of us knew every “thing” in the Universe — it would be easy to find a common definition of knowledge, but humans have no answers for many things, often we disagree on the very words used to describe things and meanwhile science works at finding more new “things.”
Still, sometimes we have to make important decisions about things which we know little or nothing. Faith provides a basis for such decision making. It seems to me a person’s faith should be about how that person behaves, and not about using political power to force the behavior of your faith on others. separate and independent from political matters—Politics and religion need to be completely separated. Joining them always results in violence. One’s faith is not about using the violence of law, police & order, to force your religious beliefs on others.
A monk asked Jõshû, “Has a dog the Buddha Nature?”
Jõshû answered, “Mu.”
This is a famous Zen story (koan) from the 12th century, .Each person has their own Buddha-Nature inside of them, except when there is no inside or outside.
Mumon’s Verse 頌曰
(Mumon was the author/collector of Mumonkan around the 12th century and he wrote this about the koan)
狗子佛性 The dog, the Buddha Nature,
全提正令 The pronouncement, perfect and final.
纔渉有無 Before you say it has or has not,
喪身失命 You are a dead man on the spot.
Downtown Boston 1971: In the background looking across Tremont Street you can see the trees of The Commons.. He has an old D-28 Martin his tight hand fingers are stubs and he uses a flat pick held between thumb and finger stubbs while singing old hymns. Would dog know if someone put in a $1 and took out a $5?
) Dogen is said to have traveled to China during the 13th century and brought Chan Buddhism (Zen) to Japan, 2) Dog is rumored to be “man”s best friend.” Perhaps the problem is believing if there is a question there must be an answer when having the question makes the problem of having an answer in the first place.
On his return to Japan, Dogen founded Eiheji, (Eihei Temple). its a beautiful old temple on the west side of th e country
There was a series of Japanese films around the title character Tora-san, it was very popular, there were 48 films with the same actor as Tora-san, 1969-1995, and with . . .
the same story.: Tora retuning “home” from the last time he left, Tora creating a problem and Tora leaving again, until the next film, with an unrequited romance usually thrown in. It was based along a street in Shibamata where Tora’s aunt and uncle lived at and ran a sit-down-and-eat or take-out dumpling shop.
I remember the 1950s when we looked forward to a big box of pop corn and a new “Francis the Talking Mule.” movie.
Walk up the street to the temple, which has a presence in every film, and walking along the outside of the inside walls of the temple— on a wood floor with your shoes off— are these beautiful old carvings scenes of buddha’s life—Why are scenes from Gautama’s life important when his mission was to teach Dharma of ending the cycle of life & death or is his image proof of ending the cycle.
Question your Faith when ever you can, so when you need your faith, all your questions are answered and your faith is strong. Its a long way to the recycle redemption place with a bike and two shopping carts.
Gate, gate ,paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha