Light shadows, darken minds

Another basic advantage of cultural clash and transition is that people on the frontier between different modes of experience develop a great power of generalization. McGeoch says (p.3961): “Generalization, likewise, is a form of transfer whether at the comparatively elementary level of conditioned responses .. . or at the complex level of abstract scientific generalization, where a single statement sums up a myriad of particulars.”“

The Gutenberg Galaxy Marshall McLuhan

The relationship between general and most else about language maybe quite arbitrary.

Asakusa is an old part of Tokyo,,

Politicians may call each other names —general names— and listeners put their own particulars to the subject . . .It connects to their heart, but knot to their minds making the issues unimportant.

Its much easy-easy- easier than being specific. Calling your opponent a socialist is lot easier than having an intelligent, detailed argument against their policies.

Nakamise  Street runs along the walkway to Sensoji, the most widely visited religious site in the world .is a temple dedicated to Bodhisattva Kannon (Avalokiteshvara in Sanskrit; Guanyin in Chinese)..

Often the particulars do not smoothly fall under the general category.

Sensoji , builtin 645 CE is dedicated to Bodhisattva Kannon who hears the cries of people around the world. Also known as Guanyin in China and Avalokiteshvara in India,

And the one that flags my mind is when two particulars are generalized together to appear equal by distorting the truth with a false particular category. On ordinal level questions, such as Strongly agree, agree, no opinion, disagree, strongly disagree. there may be 1 in the strongly agree and 350 in the agree and the summary will say that “351 strongly agree or agree ” which mis represents the data.

They were laughing at me so I made a photograph of their sense of humor.

Just around a corner, can be a block or two off a very main street, The February Cafe: with living quarters on the second and third floors, maybe the owners are elderly, retired, live upstairs, rent out the store on the first floor and an eldest son is waiting for an inheritance and a big tax bill.. I think Japanese in general prefer inexpensive -but-real rather expensive-but-fake.

What could be in the empty, assembled, unused boxes in the lower right?

Skytree is always there. Tokyo is a big city, its a safe city, you can walk just about anywhere safely. Japan has thriving competitive businesses and offices, homes and apartments everywhere. Its about a 20 minute walk from where I like to stay, across the bridge, over the river, to Skytree.. When you cross the river looking left, you can see the Asahi Kin no unko (金のうんこ) or “golden poo-turd. But here its just life as usual

Alameda Creek

Its my belief that religion and politics should be separated from each other, well not necessarily in politics in general, but in a society, which is politically constructed for democracy, Democracy is dependent on informed, knowledgable individuals having a vocabulyrical grasp of common communication, an understanding of their own interests, and knowing what they are willing to compromise on“ ”freedoms” for a more civil society where laws and norms increasingly reflect the commonweal . . .

Different individuals have different measurements regarding their freedoms—what is defined as a freedom for one person may be a tyranny for another .

Human beings do not understand much about human behavior but most of us think, or believe, we do, and often have strong opinions about why people do things especially the less we know or understand about who they are and what they are doing.

What you know and how you know it are the two important parts of knowledge—what is it you know and how is it you know it. Science has a Scientific Method, where how you do the experiment is as important as the findings of the experiment. Perhaps not so much how you do it, but how accurately you record how you do it.

Scientific data is empirical, meaning, when another person “ has the experiment methodology information, (usually a scientist, but technically any person) after reading that information, they can do the exact same experiment, and what is the same in both experiments is that the person(s) who does the experiment possess the capability to input data based on the “Same Visual Tools of Observation.” because the in-put sensory tools are human biological senses — i.e. sight, smell, taste,, sound and touch. In science people can always check someone else’s work using the same tools to experience the experiment.

Whatever experiences are in the “knowable range” of human senses are both a benchmark standard qualification and a yardstick quantification.

Humans have feelings and words for those feelings but its not like a cup of water which is the same from one cup to another— people’s personal feelings and words may or may not be the same, but humans do not have the ability to know what whether they are . We cannot get into “the heads of others.” to know someone’s unique feeling sand thoughts and actually, often we are unable to accurately assess our experiences of the common ones we have.

But still we believe we understand others. Religious experiences are personal and unique, people cannot duplicate the religious experiences of another and even if we did , we cannot know we did., even when the words we speak to describe it sound the same.

Religion is mostly “faith-based” beliefs about unanswerable questions regarding some kind of “Highest Level of Truth.” Beliefs about Truth, Your Highest Truth is what you believe to be True, that would be the last thing you want to compromise.. On Earth there are groups of people who believe in different religions.

Politics is about the power to control lives, and the legal right to unilaterally use police or military force to realize that control.

When religion joins with political power, it combines the right of law with particular standard of a belief, A belief is not an empirical reality, many different peoples have many different beliefs.rLaw on the other hand, being political, is written. codified, and enforced, and ideally in a liberal democracy enforced equally but in an authoritarian society law is a tool for social control and personal political power.

You cannot compromise your truth, i.e. your religious beliefs, and when you join them with political power, and the issue is a religious belief there can be no compromise. Religion and democracy do not fit because they do not increase the the power of democracy to settle political differences of opinion through compromise and do increase the likelihood that differences of opinion will be settled by the use of force.

Every time you are in a political situation when different views are held and one view of those involves a religious truth, that side will have a faith based reason to never compromise. If they hold political power, it may mean possible legally sanctioned outcomes such as killing, prison and more, politically legitimized by their belief.

There are real people along Alameda Creek, people who live and will die, who have opinions, maybe different than mine. but when we are on the creek we are together for the same reason, to get some outdoor exercise. In this sense Alameda Creek is an equalizer..

And much of world history is wars between religions, and/ or religion being used to justify war.

Oh my name it ain’t nothin’
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I was taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that land that I live in
Has God on its side

With God on My Side Bob Dylan

Your religious beliefs are about how you behave, mine about how I behave, but political power should never be used to push or force one’s religion on another. It needs to be independent of religious beliefs.

He’s a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain
A Buddhist, and a Baptist, and a Jew
And he knows he shouldn’t kill
And he knows he always will

Kill you for me, my friend, and me for you

Universal Soldier written by Buffy Saint Marie

When you mix religion and political power, when trying to force your religious beliefs on others, you believe you are Working for Truth, and it always results in using political power to justify violence and killing.


EndPapers is often focused on “religious” or philosophical themes, some “usual things” juxtaposed with some ”more usual things” and often images of myself. ordered in an illogical way. Its not meant to make sense until it does, but that may be a long time away, either ahead or behind.

While waiting in line to buy gas gas, this shirt stood in front of me, I had to wonder, Is God the Father to be feared? Would you believe in a God who you were afraid of?

Why is there discontent in a society.? Is there Good discontent and Bad discontent? This photograph is maybe 80 years ago in the US. Few of us in the USA live like in this photograph. (Photo from Building America)

Science developed the knowledge that made our lives possible and humanbeings developed science.

And this is me “in the back” maybe 30 years later. The mother above would be about 60 years old then, child might be 30 if still alive. Compared to her and her child it seems I had a much easier material life.

I don’t really know who clicked the shutter,, nor did I know this image was in the can until after I developed the film. I don’t remember ever giving my camera to someone else to hold, I had NikonF then and rolled my own tri-x , 30 frames to a roll. I don’t remember what she was doing,

Even when we think we know what is in someone’s mind by the expression on their face, often we are fooled by what is in our own mind.or maybe its just me that is so easily fooled.

Buddhists monks having lunch after morning chanting. Local people bring food to the temple each day.

Washing one of the 47 graves (+2, Lord Asano Naganori and his wife ) at Sengakuji. The graves are up from the main temple. I buy some incense to burn at each grave. It was a bright Sunny late October afternoon , we were the only ones in this section.

Sengakuji is a Soto zen temple. My wife’s family temple is a satellite of Eiheiji, the home temple of Soto zen.

My wife is from Nagoya area where Lord Kira was quite popular. The story is simple, Lord Asano was disgraced by a non-elected deep state self serving bureaucratic and was sentenced to be disgracefully executed.. HIs samurai retainers lost their job becoming ronin, disbanded and disappeared, only to have 47 emerge in the snow one December evening, kidnap Lord Kira, take him to Sengakuji and cut off his head. Their reward was they were allowed to commit seppuku.

Gate gate paragate, parasangate bodhi svaha

Lightly, with less entropy please

Decoration or message—or just early Art!

Marks inscribed on a shell believed by scientists to be made by Homo Erectus, perhaps a million, or a little less, years ago. Homo Erectus were on Earth for 2 million years. Homo Sapiens for maybe 300,000. The photograph shows “human like” intentionally made markings.

Link to In Our Time BBC4 podcast on Homo Erectus

What was Art to a Homo Erectus? A visual meaning? perhaps a mark meant a sound? Ownership of the shell? Directions to some place? Its interesting to speculate how language evolved and how art—marks on paper— came to represent sounds, and increasingly more complex sounds.

What was the meaning of these marks, made 500,000 years ago ?

Part of the letters –“O”— and “P” in the word “STOP. ” painted on a street, it appears when they reprinted the word “STOP”, the new letters did not register on the previous printed ones.. Perhaps human beings 30,000 years in the future might encounter this street and with little else known about it, make theories and judgements about the past. .

From somewhere in the history of human development, standing erect and increasing the ability of our mind-network to enable the development of language. and ways of recording it, was a big step in the evolution of humans. . How much was carried over from previous human species? While it seems like a big difference between humans and other primates, it took over hundreds of millions of years for life to evolve the ability to read and write and to have a complex language .

Sengai’s brush of the three basic shapes of the Universe..

How long until humans develop drawing ? The very first drawings must have been very “primitive. ”Or perhaps only when the drawing could communicate was it shared with others while the practice efforts were kept out of sight, and site, until the drawing was good enough.

Spoken or written, words are amazing, If there is a finite number of things in the universe , should we be able to compare different languages and find the match for each “thing” word. which represents a same thing. Will a more complex society have more found more of the “things” than a less complex society? Or maybe we find that languages have words for things which don’t match .

Maybe some Creator created these different kind of people to be able to sit in a relaxer chair and for entertainment , watch the people killing each other. starving, suffering. Maybe Art is more than enough—Art who?

Alameda Creek

A background feels staying in the same place, while the blue person moves between two trees .I think of things n t in the photograph—person, tree, ground, stones, shoes, fence, house, window, hat, hands, legs, feet, roof, facia, leaves, —hands feet, head, they are part of the person,

Red works well in front of dark green, they are complimentary colors.. A photograph can be a very complex thing. .Understanding a photograph is for the mind to identify enough of the things and their relationship to each other to have a word which summarizes the “meaning” of the image.

In the process of differentiating and defining the things in the photograph so you have a word to express what is the meaning of the mage the viewer has gone beyond the visual experience.

Having the mind give you a word to“understand“what is the meaning of the photograph , the viewer has stepped beyond—left behind so to say— the visual experience of the photograph and settled for a literal meaning.

The literal meaning is usually different than the meaning of the visual experience.

We all have our own visual experience, it is unique just as our own lives are unique, But our mind gives us a literal meaning, which is not only separate from the visual experience, . . .

The literal meaning, a word or perhaps a group of words, are abstractions. The word is not the experience, but a conceptual representation of the visual experience, which is a part of language, a set of words or sounds which are common to a society of those that use the words. Its the interactive process of using the words, i.e. speaking and listening with others, that gives mind the power to define the visual experience in words.and enable language to work as a tool for communication among people.

The unique visual experience of the individual’s eye becomes secondary, perhaps unimportant, when the mind summarizes and defines that experience with words. Language , a tool that enables communication among people, also works to give us a shared common experience of life. We have the experience of seeing, but the mind tells us what it is we we see. .

Unless you are a visual artist, and took a color and/or design class where the teacher taught you to experience what you see and not what your mind tells you what you see.


One night Buddha’s mother, Mahamaya dreamed that a beautiful white elephant had entered her womb through her side and fortune tellers predicted a chakravartin—a “wheel turner””—would be born who would become a great emperor or a great holy man..

Buddha’s father, .fearing the latter, kept his son confined to the castle grounds—grounded so to speak—until one day, after marriage and having children, the Buddha to-be- took a chariot ride around town during which he saw disturbing situations of suffering and an emaciated monk trying to understand it. Soon after, he left his home and family to find enlightenment.

Buddhism has a vast quantity of visual, literal, sound and architectural art.historically spread through, and adjusted by, different cultures over the past 2500 years. It spread through East Asia over the silk road to China, Japan and Korea..Sutras, perhaps originally written in Sanskrit were translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Malay, and more languages, Today sutras have been translated into western languages,

With so many translations built on previous translations how can we know what it was that Buddha actually said?

I like the grounds, it feels quiet, peaceful, and Buddha is shining.. Sometimes I wonder if Buddhism isn’t just another con job? Awaken the Buddha inside of you!! Escape the unending cycles of suffering and reincarnation! !

Would you choose never to experience the sufferings of life if it meant never experiencing life? Were the unhappinesses of life worth the happinesses?

“You win a few, you lose a few. Some get rained out. But you got to dress for all of them.” 

 Satchel Paige (One of the greatest pitchers in US baseball)

A little car, a narrow house, and a small garden, but maybe this whole story I just told you has little or nothing to do with reality.

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

Lightlylessly warped records

Sensoji : Gate at Kaminarimon , Asakusa, entrance to Nakamise-dori (street) leading to Sensoji..

“ji” means temple, but often in translation the writer or editor will use “Sensoji temple” but they are actually saying “Senso Temple Temple. ”

In translation I prefer the author to use the untranslated term for some words which work better in the native language because it builds the vocabulary of the reader and gives a better feeling for the term. Readers can figure out a lot of meaning on their own, they don’t need baby steps and on the WWW its quick moment to search the native meaning.

Day or night its a popular place

Visitors can purchase a printed caligraphy good luck charm, for about 10,000¥ or a prayer for improved family relations.

Sensoji is dedicated to Kannon—Guanyin in China; Avalokiteshvara in India —the Bodhisattva of Compassion and Mercy who hears the sounds of the world. It would not be allowed in some states in the USA, as in Lotus Sutra, when Avalokiteshvara is asked the method used to teach Dharma, the reply is any form that works: In India Avalokiteshvara is male, in China and Japan is female.

Alameda Creek

“Every technology contrived and outered by man has the power to numb human awareness during the period of its first interiorization.

The Gutenberg Galaxy Marshall McLuhan

For much of its existence of photography has been a tool for human beings to establish a common visual record about “things”. . .“that ’s what it really looks (or looked) like.”

Different than a drawing, or a wood block, or an etching, or a verbal or written description , a photograph of a thing is what it “really looks like.”

In spite of, that no photograph is the “real story” of what was in front of the camera, its only the image carried in the light that came through the lens of the camera, a camera which has been properly adjusted for exposure and focus. Is the out of focus image a photograph?

But for practical purposes, for most people the photo used to be considered a “real visual record of some thing.”

Very rarely did the viewer ask, “what is it?” and when they did the explanation usually answered the question., “Oh.I see it now.”

Digital technology and people come together to use the photograph in new ways.

The photograph is no longer some kind of “truth.”

For decades advertising has used manipulated photographic images to market products. but we, the viewers, knew the images were manipulated, With AI we do not know, maybe we can assume but that is like assuming every one you meet is lying, you cannot trust anyone and that is not much of a life.

In my photographs, there is no need to assume I am manipulating the image to fool, to lie, or indoctrinate the viewer. There is no more meaning other than just the visual experience of the shapes, the colors, the lines, the gestures, the textures, and there is no pretense of any “reality.” Just enjoy the visual experience of the photographic technical qualities without any hidden meaning and find your own stories in them.


A Non-Buddhist said to the Buddha, “I do not ask for words; I do not ask for silence.”Buddha sat quietly. The Non-Buddhist said admiringly, “The compassion of the World-Honoured One has opened the clouds of my illusion, and has enabled me to enter on the Way.” Making his salutations, he departed. Ananda then asked Buddha, “What was it theat Non-Buddhist realised, that he so praised you?” The World-Honoured One replied, “A high -class horse moves at even the shadow of the whip.”

Mumonkan Case XXXII Blythe translation

Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts, about 1971.

Juxtapose a New Mexico weaving, a bizen tokurri and a japanese lacquer tray. on top of L. L. Bean chest of drawers.

When can you see where others do not look?

“Leaving homeland, parted from kin, banished to a strange place,
I wonder my heart feels so little anguish and pain.
Consulting Chuang Tzu, I find where I belong:
surely my home is there in Not-Even-Anythng land.

Selected Poems Po Chu-i translated by Burton Watson.

Gate gate paragate pasasangate bodhi svaha

One day, a way, I say, we may

Tora Tora

Tora-san films were very popular in Japan. The hometown was Shibamata, a suburb of Tokyo where Tora inherited a dumpling shop. As he was always traveling , his uncle, aunt and sister ran it. Each film was story about Tora returning home, trying to help someone, making a mess for himself as well as others and leaving“ ”escaping— again, to return at the next Tora-san movie..

At the end of the street is the Daikyō-ji (題経寺), popularly known as Shibamata Taishakuten (柴又帝釈天) and regularly appearing characters associated with the temple are in the films .Visitors take their shoes off at the entrance.

On the walls around Daikyō-ji are carved stories of Shaka buddha. You pay some yen, maybe on weekends you stand in line, take off your shoes and walk through the temple seeing the illustrated in wood stories from the life of Guatma Buddha .

Shibamata Taishakuten was built in 1620

Evening from a bridge in Asakusa, Taito City, an old “lower” city, it might flood the banks in a bad typhoon.

A residential street in Chofu, a suburb of Tokyo.. Some of the houses have garages which are used to park their car.

Alameda Creek

Some people are always pushing conversation that the US is “the exceptional country..”

Consider the evolutionary process which has produced life in general and specifically life for human beings. ”’

At the beginning there was no instruction manual, at best some “evolved natural instincts” embedded in our DNA. gave individuals a clue to being able to survive, but humans needed a group to survive.

Everything, at least everything fundamental to survival, had to be learned on a trial and error basis. The group nature of human beings enabled survival information to be taught, stored and distributed among others. Language and memory were one form of storage but the ability to write on a medium which could outlive the writer and still communicate the information was an amazing creation.

Many early humans probably failed to figure it, out in time for their survival or maybe just in times of crisis, and still, constantly new people were born to get up in the morning and do it again. A lot of people and societies did not make it—whatever “ make it” means, I refer to societies in which every member dies out and no human knowable record can be found. But their lives were also woven into the basket of human culture.

However, every culture, every society, who made it this far represents people who figured out to survive. All are exceptional, none are more , none are less than the others—and we , all together, probably are the surviving 1%. .

What we mistake for “our exceptionalism”—

We —this humanity on this earth—who are left are like teams which qualified for the playoffs—Do we play each other off until only one wins or can we find a way to celebrate our success together. I guess it depends on how you see the game.

But it seems to me that we all, by birthright, are survivors who own this Earth in common.

When humans were just beginning, living in small groups they had more control over their own lives.’ As societies evolved over the last 300,000 years individuals have become increasingly interdependent with other, a benefit, if not a necessity for survival , and a division of labor has become and will become even more, increasingly specialized. And unless we can learn to function together peacefully, we will go on in this mad mjx of capitalism/mass markets/garbage until all the resources humans need to survive will no longer be available on this earth—but proudly the wealthy will get in their space ship, with limited space for humans and maximum space for their prized possessions and as they take off, give their last sorrowful look at their home they destroyed but will have memories of great fondness, full of illusion.

Now advanced markets have mass consumer with gazillions of products enabling us to live very nicely. . . .” have a meaningful career, own a house, food on the table, cars to drive, vacations to take, clothes to buy and wear . . .

But by taking bits of Earth from one place to another place to make it into things, then marketing and selling these things, which are later thrown“ away” in a garbage dump,’ somewhere . . . but not “where” is my backyard , please. . . .

At some point we will use all of the natural resources that keep this planet alive and turn therm into garbage— and the word garbage means we can not use it— and be a dead planet traveling through the universe.


There are many different lines of public transportation in Tokyo used by 13-14 million people daily. and it shuts down about 12 pm, but its easy to find your way around.

Each line has a name, letter and color, and each station on a line has a number for that station, on that line. The names of the trains that stop at any specific station are in the black rectangles.

A digital sign in a metro passenger car showing a green circle with the name of the Chiyoda Line line, each line has a different color. As you can see below where the next station connects to the Ginza Line in orange and the Hanzomon Line in gray. The green boxes all in a line represent the different cars on the train and the red box is the one you are in. Japanese use more graphic communication than USA.

Through the screen in the window in Chofu.

Can I really think that when ai die, the particles that made “me” will dis-associate ” and then what kind of a chance to ever “re-associate” again, I guess if the universe goes on for ever, that chance would happen, and again and again.

Ga te ga te pa ra ga te pa ra sam ga te bo dhi sva ha

Jay did karears

Country comforts in my arthritis

Vermont: Farms on rolling hills, cleared fields and “second growth” timber.

Maine: It looks like there was a main house, and then additions. Its got ladders to clean the snow off the roof and a front porch on which to court.

Maine: Looking out the window, growing up in the house kids could watch the traffic come down the road, it was a one lane driveway downhill about a mile long, only went to one house, and you needed four wheel drive in the winter and spring.

Western Massachusetts is known for it own sense of some thing,

Alameda Creek

Since Covid I have been walking Alameda Creek, making images and posting them here.

A photograph, like every graphic art, has it its own character., its own feel—when you see a photograph, without thinking, you know its a photograph—your mind does not tell you it is a photograph, you have learned to “know it” by the visual experience and not the “thinking” experience.

A photograph has specific qualities, one of which is that a “real” photograph visually appears like we see. Or, it is an extension of our visual sense like a microscope or telescope.

In our visual experiences we differentiate the things, identify the things, and the relationship between the things—then we “understand” the photograph—for the most part its done without thinking.—we take “measure of the situation.”

Things are in my photographs but I do not take photographs of “things.”

A thing can be something we don’t know what it is, still we have name for it—dark matter or dark energy, A thing is in-and-of itself, even when its also part of another thing.

A thing can be something that we do not agree on what it is and still we can talk about it. It can be an idea, a theory, a memory—our language enables us to create new things on the spot, ,often by combining things together which have never been combined before, such as conspiracy theories, a scientific discoveries or Art.

A “thing” has a unique discrete measurable quality—nominal, ordinal or interval measurement is ok, just keep in mind they are generally not cross comparable, boundaries are distinct enough

It is learning a language that teaches us what things are, it forms our “understanding,” our “knowing” of the Universe We, as individuals do not have to create the names for all the things we experience, individuals just learn them as they grow up, and we learn to see a common universe. Imagine if each person, only using their own personal experiences had to develop their own language, and 3then if in order to talk with an other person each would have to learn that person’s language —we would be like other animals, limited to a bunch of grunts and yells with very superficial meanings.


I will be undergoing a medical procedure with 8 plus weeks to functional recovery, so I will not be doing posts for that while..
I like to stay in Asakusa, when visiting Tokyo to walk around, its an old older area. Its a five minute walk to Sensoji for 6:am chanting at the temple. After walking and riding subways and trains all day, before returning I stop at a department store to see what is on sale in the basement. Japanese department stores generally close at 8:00 pm, the basement, one or sometimes two floors, is for food, and it is wonderful food. Direct connections to the subway system enables commuters to conveniently stop by on the way to work or home to pick up snacks —takoyaki and okonomiyaki, courses for dinners, complete dinners, speciality and high quality foods, and sake and wines .

I get there about 7:30 pm, when the food starts going on sale. Fresh sushi here at I take it back to it he hotel, sorting out my images and clearing my flash cards while eating. Beer is also available a block away at the local Ozeki store—Asahi Dry Black and Kirin Prime Brew Black .

My shado images are like throwing the I-Ching. (Zhou I), I did not have any training, or an apprenticeship with a master for reading the deep meanings of shado. however . like Jung in the Wilhelm translation introduction, its not the hexagrams or the shado that has the capability to tell the future, it is yourself, your responses to the stimuli which give you the insight.

It may seem like I do not know who I am, or maybe I am not the person I know. I prefer to leave that up to the guardians of the empty gate of know-mind.

If there was a Zen store I would take you their, then again maybe I wouldn’t tell anyone where it is, you would have to find it yourself.

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi Svaha