See! King refuge

Fort Hill, Roxbury MA, 1971

When I lived in Somerville, later JP and then while attending art school, in Cambridge—Central Square off River Street near the river—I used to visit Fort Hill. On a sunny afternoon to the northeast you can over look Boston, Back Bay, Beacon Hill—I left in 1979, plenty of changes since then— the patterns of the in-between roofs and the silently moving city traffic. Four young men, none of us really knew each other well enough for an early morning shared moment like this, but I made this image anyway. On Fort Hill rent was very cheap, the Lyman family found a home and I found my own personal refuge. Now as I understand, the whole area has been gentrified and the park is probably full of playing kids everyday.

Fremont, ball games on Sunday afternoon, pizza and TV for the players and parents. In the 1960s when I lived in Boston we would eat at Durgin-Park with long tables, where you just came in and took an available seat, huge helpings, Indian pudding, and gigantic strawberry shortcake. The Fremont Pieology is a little different, everything is self throw away except the pizza.

A house over a garage in Tokyo, no sidewalk. In Tokyo land is very valuable, some who work in the city but cannot afford to live there may travel three hours a day to commute—13 million and change daily use the Tokyo public transportation system

Alameda Creek

There are many different kinds of photographs, people usually don’t spend time sitting around thinking about how many different kinds of photographs are there and listing them all, but when we see an image its usually very easy to feel the correct category of “kind of photograph.”

We can “feel” these categories and if we are lucky the different relationships of the things is fun. A photograph also has visual artistic qualities such as texture, color, line, shape, gesture, . . .

A photograph has a “certain and unique feel” to it. Technically it makes an image from reflected light, just like the human eye. Its what we see, and what else would it be?

There are many different kinds of photographs; Fine Art, advertising, portraits, snap shots, selfies, catalog, passport, scientific, NationalGeographic, and more— we can feel these different kinds and when there is not a fit.

Sometimes the wrong place is the right place, such as in comedy, satire or irony.

The photograph appears to u be very similar to that which we see with our eyes— more similar to what we see with our eyes than any other kind of graphic process—we feel a “woodblock” or an “etching.” we may like it, but it is not a detailed visual record like a photograph.

The photographic reproduction process produces an image, whether on a medium such as paper or an electronic screen, has specific common qualities which are unique and our biological and psychological nature gives us the ability to separate those “technical qualities” from the content of the photographic image, define that visual experience as a photograph and store it, to use as a tool later to measure , by feeling, i.e.knowing, things we see.

This is a “tool” we use unconsciously, if every time we saw a thing we had to start the process of differentiation and definition of every “thing” it would take too long. Feeling does it instantly.

Our “sensations data bank”, functions like a server. A person visually experiences, a behavior which they doing all the time. They have a feeling which says “This is a photograph” without ever thinking about it, enabling the viewer to smoothly move on. The feeling sets the stage for the meaning of the visual experience.

No matter what kind of photograph, when the human sees it, without thinking, the feeling classifies it as a photograph. When the content or meaning of the image is not compatible with the appropriate content/meaning of a photograph.the unconscious feeling gives a warning —“Something is not right here! Find out why.” A visual question is unanswered and visual tension is created. If there is no resolution in the visual image itself the contradiction of the image is unresolved, the viewer is left wondering why, misses the meaning experience of the image and is left not with an unanswered question resulting in no satisfaction from the experience.

Sometimes we are wrong, not usually, but sometimes, and without thinking, we find consciously, without thinking, that the question appears in our mind — is it really a photograph? We feel uncomfortable and seek an answer to that discomfort—What is going on!

We search for the answer— its a joke; its been photoshopped; whatever, we ask without thinking. Its that quality which a good photograph will find some way to use to increase communication of the content or meaning of the image.

Photographers can use that “knowing of the viewer” to put questions in the image, i.e. create a visual tension while the photograph as a whole resolves it.

Instantly defining it as a photograph, and what kind of photograph at the feeling level enables the viewer to quickly define the image and measure the value of the visual experience.

For many the photograph answers a question —What is it? Oh I know its a cloud in the sky. For me, it answers the question, What is it? Oh I know, its a cloud in the sky.

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In Buddhist tradition the first chief disciple, Śāriputra, sat to the right side of Buddha and the second chief disciple, Maudgalyāyana, sat to the left. Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin, China; Kannon, Japan) spoke The Heart Sutra to Śāriputra. When I included stuff about Buddhism, or Krishna, or any religion

The Heart Sutra in Chinese, calligraphy by Janney.

A reproduction of The Heart Sutra scribed in Siddham (Sanskrit script) from Sacred Calligraphy of the East by John Stevens. This is a very interesting book for artists, as well as anyone interested in in the relationship between scribe and printing as graphic processes of reproduction.

If that relationship interests you , THE VISIBLE TEXT, Textual Production and Reproduction from Beowulf to Maus by Thomas Bredehoft, explores the visual relationship between scribe and printing press in the west. He argues that scribed books of the same title were often seen as different original productions in and of themselves. Writing and printing have enabled humans to communicate with other humans, even long after they have past away.

Disclaimer: On this blog over the years I have published religious related images and words because I find them interesting. There is no intention for this to be a religious forum or to promote one religion over another, or perhaps even the idea of prompting religion itself. If a religion is mentioned it is not because I support it, if it is not mentioned it is not because I am against it.

Master Hua has been around northern California for a long time, I have met people who “follow him” and I have found his self published books in second hand book stores. On this cover is an illustration of Guanyin who as Avalokiteshvara (Sanskrit) will appear as a man and as Guanyin (China) or Kannon (Japan) will appear as a woman. (See The Lotus Sutra, Chapter 25.)

Aren’t we the other people too

Fremont Pizza

We have been eating pizza here on Sunday for about 6 months. . Its got a big room with long tables but we prefer to eat outside, you can do that in Fremont most of the year. This pizza place only works on throwaway—plastic utensils, paper napkins, ,cheese and peppers in separate throw away packages, throw away plastic glasses and the final product is delivered when the customer picks up the pizza in a corrugated cardboard box, take out or eat in, no tax or tax. respectively. When finished eating the customer throws the stuff away. We get one margherita pizza and split it , just right,. In spite of only throwaway they are usually tout of something, last week it was basil for the margherita pizza and pre measured packaged parmesan cheese.

Japanese have a different take on zoning., more of your property is under your control. .Retail businesses, factories and residential areas may exist side by side. Right in the hearts of Tokyo—and Tokyo has many many hearts—residents may have a business in the lower part of home and live upstairs. Land is usually at a premium.

Alameda Creek

Every week for the past five years I have presented some images from Alameda Creek. Since Covid restricted my outdoors experiences, I have attempted to take these common everyday images not just to show more interesting everyday images, but rather to suggest that photographs as a print need not be about records of how the human eye-mind connection works but to just experience the visual dynamics of a photographic print for its own qualities, unrelated to the normal human record keeping related meanings

Rather than a visual record of an event in time, I try to show a feeling of the thing s making up the event unrelated to the importance or meaning of the event. Most of the people seen along Alameda Creek are also likely to be seen around Earth, its not t e individual people, its the unity of the visual design.

Globalization is not some conspiracy  of individuals seeking to dominate the Earth, its  not to do with political policies —although many hope that political policies can find a solution before violence gets too bad—it is happening in spite of people with their political and economic agendas as well as because of people with their political and economic agendas.

For hundreds of centuries—300,000 years— when individuals and groups had survival problems or sought better survival opportunities they emigrated; now they immigrate. Now there are no more places for those “down on their luck” or “extra ambitious” to go. Earth has been divided up into geo-political units—countries —each claiming their sovereign rights for self determination.

Where for homo sapiens immigration has been one of the most popular and legitimate  solutions to problems of survival, its been normal human  behavior for at least 299,500 years, while for nation states, with their “closed geographical  boundaries” has been the“ abnormal”for about 500 years. ( I will choose The “Treaty of Westphalia” resulting in a federated state of Germany clearly defined by geo political units.)

Trying to use law which means control by force— to forcibly stop or control people from doing what has been a basic human behavioral solution for more than 99% of the duration of homo sapiens is one thing, but declaring it a crime which justifies incarceration or death is very different.

 It is normal human behavior to immigrate as a solution to survival problems. It is abnormal   to make it illegal  and use “normal human behavior ” as justification to imprison or kill people who immigrate.

Saying it doesn’t solve any problems, but don’t let the demagogues fool you into believing the best and only response is the military or police directed by law of authoritarians who believe social solidarity only comes from maintaining strict and rigid control over the behavior of the “other people.” On the other hand people have to be willing to respect other people, something we have yet to figure out to accomplish.

“We are the other people,
You are the other people too!

Thank you Frank Zappa for those words.

Here in the USA, if you are Christian and you see immigrants as a threat by evil people, ask yourself do you believe in a God who created all human beings, who created some that were good and others bad? with a standard which is determined by the color of one’s skin, the level of one’s technology or one’s place of birth?  I ask you What kind of God is it that would create humans and put them in such a situation?

I am sure we can ask that of most religions but specifically the ones that have joined their religion to a political ideology to justify in the name of their God this human history of killing others, plundering their property and stealing their natural resources for profits. With no place to go any more and hell bent on destroying earth it seems to me now might a good time to figure out how to stop this inhumane cycle.

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I am not “really religious” whatever that means, whether there is “A God” or ““Some Gods, I do not know, and unlike others, God has either not attempted to contact me or I am not able to receive the message. I don’t know but if it was important I believe God would have let me know.

I like Zen because (for me) it has the best stories and the pictures. I also like to visit the nearby Wat Buddhist Temple . Its a Theravada Temple,. Mahayana and Theravada are two different meta level categories of Buddhism. Some may use the terms Mahayana and Hinayana but the latter may be considered by many to be offensive and when used, then the former maybe considered to be arrogant..

Buddhist Temples are often very much involved in local community relations with festivals and ceremonies and whenever the temple is open, anyone can visit for a personal relationship.

I have previously mentioned “The Heart Sutra,” is words spoken by Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin in China,, Kannon in Japan) to Shariputra, that would be Shariputra on the left side of Gautama Buddha.

Shamen & Sketchly

When all the dark clouds roll away
And the sun begins to shine
I see my freedom from across the way
And it comes right in on time
Well it shines so bright and it gives so much light
And it comes from the sky above
Make me feel so free, make me feel like me
And it lights my life with love.

Van Morrison from Brand New Day

On Sundays we may go down and have a pizza. Two big TV sets. high ceilings,

In line at TJ’s a few months into the pandemic.

Before the pandemic samples were common at TK=J’s

You could say life in Fremont is boring,

Alameda Creek

Its sick and its tired,
Its hungry and torn.
It looks like its dyin’
And its hardly been born.

Bob Dylan lyrics I think its called Song to Woody.

Each week includes some photographs of walking along Alameda Creek. These days are numbered now, I have been diagnosed with arthritis in hips, as well as other places.

Universe is maybe 13,7 billion years old, Earth is 4.543 billion years old,—300,000 for homo sapiens —that’s us!—about 300,000 years.

To the best of human knowledge—i.e.science— it took 13.7 billion years to evolve human beings, 4.543 billion years to find a place suitable for home, and homo sapiens represent 0.0000002 of that time.

Science will never be “Truth,” its always to the best of our ability to know . . . until we know every “thing” in the Universe.

Look around at what we are, how we behave on this on Earth,

We are how we treat each other, not how we tell other how to behave, but too many think we are the latter.

I heard professor Stephen Hawking once comment (my paraphrase) — Philosophy used to know more than science , but now science knows more than philosophy and it will be like that until science knows every thing in the Universe.

Thus, O Sariputra, all things having the nature of emptiness have no beginning and no ending. They are neither faultless nor not faultless; they are neither perfect nor imperfect. In emptiness there is no form, no sensation, no perception, no discrimination, no consciousness.
Maha-Prajna-Parimita-Hridaya from A Buddhist Bible ed: Dwight Goddard

On the other hand, perhaps Universe evolved humans for a purpose; more likely humans prefer to think they are here for some purpose, they don’t know what is that purpose but that has not stopped from acting like they know and forcing the behavior of others to their purpose.

And in a sense we are. What other life form studies Universe, no other life form developed Science just to get to know Universe.

What we call “knowledge” is our human experiences as a part of Universe.

We often believe this is a“ ”Truth”

The flowers make a background, the roof, the sky, different leaf colors

Universe is an amazing, ongoing, phenomenon. Here I am writing being part of Universe—birds are singing, Sun is rising, noise coming in my ear, jogger passing by, clouds moving in the sky.

And beyond, Jupiter is in orbit, Milky Way is traveling through space and light is busy traveling to the end of Universe

Universe made of gazillions of particles coming together, then parting ways, creating and disassembling, always aUniverse in motion and change.

We are how we treat each other. our present behavior was created by past human behavior, while people pass on, how we treated each other in the past has created a structure of human behavior. behaviors we may think are good behaviors we may think are bad things; behaviors we think are outdated and no longer needed and behaviors we may believe are important not to lose.

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Feet are our connection to the Earth, gravity enables us to walk upright while not falling off Earth.

In-door slippers, outdoor sandals, tennis shoes and stockinged feet.

Textures, shapes, some color and line

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Sometimes I wonder if I am just following in the footsteps of someone else.

When I see my self, do I recognize myself? Photographs help me to ensure that my selfs have the same visual and don’t try to trick me in to believing fake experiences .

At the festival its always nicer to have someone with you. Painting by Janney

Shallow shelters, sundry seens

Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in.


The Adventures 0f Tom Sawyer Preface written by the author

Hartford, 1871 Harpers & Brothers New York Copyright 1920 Mark Twain Company

The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them about the room; then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or never looked through them for so small a thing as a boy; they were her street pair.t he pride of her heart, and were built for “style” not service—she could have seen through a pair of stove-lids just as well.She looked perplexed for a moment, but still loud enough for the furniture to hear: . . .

. . . Well, I lay if I get ’hold of you,, I’ll—

From the first page of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Hartford, 1871 Harpers & Brothers New York Copyright 1920

Alameda Creek

Along Alameda Creek life goes on, there is more, or less, water in the creek, more or fewer geese and ducks, seasonal changing vegetation the ever changing sky . . . and ones mental attitude.

These images will not tell you something you know or don’t know, Sometimes it may seem that reading the words is the price to see the images, but then again you do not have to read the words.

These past weeks people all over the world have been watching a daily reality TV show of putin using the Russian army to attack Ukraine, murdering innocent people, destroying infrastructure, stealing property, and from some reports, plundering, torturing and raping.

For perhaps the first time international television news is available via smart phone all around Earth, in real time or very close to real time—the world is watching the murder of innocent people by putin’s russian army.

What are they thinking??

Enabled by the legal legitimization defending the of carving up Earth into sovereign.geo-political units based on conditions in history which no longer exist, the world has changed? but people have not.

What we see is what human behavior is, we need to also ask what was it through history what can we learn from that hjstory.. Later we can consider any future plans.

Putin can do this without negative action taken to stop him because of the common acceptance of the principle of a sovereign geo-political unit, the nation state . . .War —acceptable until it isn’t.

.Nation states claim the sovereign right to kill people “to defend itself— the country..”

The nation state claims the right to send their own citizens to kill others, and die doing so, to defend itself.

Through history we people have seen and recorded the behaviors which enabled human beings to survive, evolve and have a history looking backwards we see a history of inhumanity, and humanity as well . That does not mean it was necessary to behave like that to get here. . . Sufficient, perhaps but not necessary. and not necessary to continue them,

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Temples in Japan and perhaps else where in Southeast Asia, are places where individuals come to pray at their own choice of time, and place, different than coming once a week to a group church service, maybe the latter enables the congregation to see who’s been good or bad.

Community events happen on temple grounds, and there may be classes in Buddhism, perhaps classes in kendo, ikebana, Cha-do, whatever

And chanting may be open to the public.

Looks kind if imposing when its empty.

Sometimes you are all alone–bow, clap your hands, ring the bell, make a small financial donation—and on your way. .

The temple and shrine grounds are usually open to individuals any time, no priest watching you. or telling you.

There was no wedding service here I think, usually weddings are done at shrines. or sometimes even in churches—its more of visual thing, some Japanese like the ceremony and clothes. I was there when they arrived and after they left, probably a PR or News shoot.

Wood blocks from a temple, respectively LtoR., intaglio, relief and a prove from the relief. The first block uses old style Chinese Seal Script— The proof has the Japanese pronunciation. The “Silk Road” from hundreds of years BCE was not only a distribution system for goods from one place to another, but also a place where Buddhism, as well as other religions and, knowledge in general, was circulated and dispersed

For many years Buddhist sutras were printed this way—as likely were other religious groups. Chinese were using wood to print since 200BCE. and movable type from 1040 AD; the Gutenberg press using movable type from around 1440.. and “written knowledge” to be spread from Europe across Asia to China .A copy of the Diamond Sutra from the sixth century is the oldest Buddhist printed sutra known .

People like drum sounds, when drummers are playing in public people will stop and listen. Who leads, who follows, who enjoys playing more? Sometimes I think that Warhol’s whole life was a single painting stroking to the beat of the Velvet Underground . In early films some peoples were shown using drums as a (primitive) method of communication, passing along information from place to place, but for any kind of detailed information you need 1) people from different places with the same drumming skills, and 2) a common detailed sound language. Language works great with sounds and graphics.

Earth spent .543 billion years arranging itself, this is what our world looks like today, I wonder from where did the raw materials come to make this station stare and what did people do to get them here.?

SiddarthaGuatuma had four seens: sickness, old age, death and the ascetic..

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi Svaha

Fete of know Fait

I am curious as to what people do–what is their actual behavior compared to the words used to express it

Some words are general, these people are waiting for a bus, they are doing the same thing,–waiting for the bus– but each is doing it differently in a different place.

I use the term society to mean a group of people who interact with each other in shared social networks, “Culture” as a popular term has developed a meaning different than the original sociological and anthropological intentions,.

To one person he is getting dressed , to another he is being disgusting.

Think of culture as a field resulting from individual‘s interactive behavior which defines the structure of human behavior within a specific area defined by the network of interaction.. Probably worked much better in the 1800 ’s; now the Earth is The Only Area . . .The only culture on this Earth is a global culture..

Graffitti–Art or vandalism? What is being communicated and Who‘s on first?

Culture is a unifying force, or field, like a gravitational field with natural forces between stars, planets and particles acting upon each other to move things around in an ordered manner enabling functionality and survival, while constantly changing.

Its the same with people, when they behave in ways that enable survival those behaviors are repeated because they work. Imagine if each person had to develop their language instead of learning one, how little conversation there would be, how little evolution.

This is what happens when people behave as society, is this human nature?

Alameda Creek

Human Nature and Social Solidarity

Pretty much every day I walk along Alameda Creek, usually between Beard Road Staging and Isherwood. I usually have a point&shoot camera with me.

Man in society must be under rulers.
St Thomas Aquinas

Is Human Nature a Thing or a a Set of Things which all individuals have in equal or differing quantities. If everyone has these qualities, are they good or bad? or are some qualities good and some bad. or can a quality be good in one situation and bad in another?

Mostly people behave in ways which enable the functioning of the society, taking a walk along the levee i spretty safe

Some authoritarian philosophies of social solidarity support government policy to defend those who hold political power using law.: The purpose of law is order, not justice.

Man in society must be under rulers.” Saint Thomas Aquinas

The private good and the public good are not the same.
Saint Thomas Aquinas

Just rule by one person is the best form of government, Its opposite is the worst.
Just as government by a king is best, so government by a tyrant is the worst.

Saint Thomas Aquinas

So many tyrants, so little time. and it only gets worse with nation states–national sovereignty, tax payer funded military, laws defending the state, patriotism, demagogues_is it human nature that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely..

Authoritarian philosophies usually are built on the belief that parts of human nature are good and other parts bad,

Those parts which are bad, defined ideally, are parts which create disorder in the society having a negative effect on the equality of life for people. and need to be prevented by any means necessary.

In real life, parts which are bad, are defined by the personal interests of the ruler.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely,

From a distance there is always peace in the valley, but when you try to go its so far away.

Three sets of sunglasses

Siddhartha Gautuma had four sightings of the outside world which so moved him he left his princely life to search, as a holy man to understand the source of suffering from sickness, old age and death .

He not busy being born is busy dying .
Bob Dylan It‘s alright Ma

Half of the people can be part right all of the time
And some of the people can be all right part of the time
But all of the people can’t be all right all of the time”
I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
“I’ll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours”
I said that.

Talkin‘ WWWIII Blues Bob Dylan

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For some time I wondered if the goal of Buddhist practice was to awaken the Buddha inside myrself, then why was the Buddha hiding inside myself in the first place?

Was it at one time human nature t was o be a Buddha and then humans and Buddhas become separated?
the person and their Buddha were alienated from each other?
Or maybe there was no first place. . .in the first place.

One day Hui-chung asked Tzu-lin,
“What is the meaning of Buddha?”
Tzu-lin answered, “Awakening.”
Hui-chung asked “Is Buddha confused?”
Tzu-lin answered., “Buddha is never confused.”
Hui-chung said, “Why does he need awakening?”

The Mind of Chinese Ch’an The Ch’an school masters and their kung-ans by Yi Wu

I was married in a Buddhist Temple. My face looks weird but I was never comfortable in a suit . My parents look happier than us. Priest Murakami was hesitant to marry us, he wondered if I was an ”American fad&fashion buddhist.”

Older Japanese houses may not have central heating, especially n the more rural the area.. In cold times people sit around the kotatsu, a table with a heat source underneath and a padded cover.

A pair of kotatsu repurposed as tables

Do words express true meanings,
I mean no words are still the same.
.

What is it that is so confusing about words??
Young . . .

or old . Why is it that I must awaken the Buddha inside me instead of the Buddha awaking the I holding him. imprisoned?

.Gate gate para gate, parasamgate Bodhi svaha