Last&first mu

First full moon of the New Year

Visit to Quanyin at Wat Buddhanuso in Niles. Quanyin, as Avalokiteshvara, spoke Heat Sutra to Shariputra.

Four face Buddha at Wat Buddhanusornto is the Thai Phra Phrom  representation of Brahama and is often a part of Theravida Buddhism. The front face represents career and life, clockwise, the second is symbolic of relationship and family, the third is for wealth, and the last for wisdom and health

Thich Nhat Hanh passed last week, he touched many people all over this Earth. I heard him talk in Berkeley over 35 years ago.

White Buddha

And if you are seeking a more aggressive deity, Guan Yu 关羽 Buddha Chinese military general served under the famous military leader Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han dynasty of China.. And a hero of The Three Kingdoms. He was known as the general who defeats bandits.. He is a deity worshipped in Chinese folk religion, popular in  ConfucianismTaoism, and Chinese Buddhism, and small shrines to him are often found in traditional Chinese shops and restaurants.

Nakamise Main Street Madonna taking shelter, maybe from the ran or the unending work keeping the modern consumer. economy going g by being a worker spending days making a product and a second job of consumer,, buying the product.

Then using it, while later packaging, and used products go to the garbage dump OR perhaps are recycled, The product, has to be made from other “stuff, and from some meta-level, stuff is really just pieces of Earth. The Earth is our stuff , this is al we have to play with, do we us eit for $500,000 yachts or housing for poor people? At some point do we run out of pieces of Earth to make stuff? or do we learn to recycle everything.

Alameda Creek

I imagined someone doing back flips across the field.

Like Fujin and Raijin at Sensoji, the powering bare tree stands guard for the woods.

Momental records of a camera-computer visual cacaphony

Along Alameda Creek people do not always walk in a line, maybe they are walking three abreast—three -deep,and staggered— they feel like they share a disciplined purpose.

The bicyclist is in the “correct” lane.

One hesitant, the other rarin’ to go.

Looking for what do people do, Is this the way we really are?

Can we leave it on the ground like nature does in the name of entropy?

Reminds me of a line from the song by Michael Peter Smith . . .

The Dutchman’s not the kind of man
Who keeps his thumb jammed in the dam
That holds his dreams in,

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Light misconverswaytions with my celph..

When I got interested in string theory, read about more dimensions than the ”ones we know,” I thought the “ones we know” are not even real. One dimension? Its a concept, no “thing’ except a mental concept is one dimensional ;

Two dimensions? Same thing, its a concept we all use, even those no good at math understand that when you buy a rug for a 9′ x 9′ room, you do not bring back a 12′ x 12′ rug..

shado shado

Three dimensions? Basically the same thing, a three dimensional thing is always changing, even if the only force of change is Entropy & Time, which means changing.

A shadow is two dimensional—to the best of our knowledge—even a photographic print on paper of a shadow has some dimension, no matter how small, but the real shadow has none.

A shadow is not a “thing,” its an absence of some real thing— Light. Its having Light misconverswaytions with my celph.

The left is a shadow on an Acoma bowl, the right on a balloon.

Its a universal emptiness which at times is a worrysum . . .

yet is also a reason to reach out . . .

She picked up the book and asked him the meaning of certain words.
“I am illiterate,” he replied, “But if you wish to know the purport of this text, please ask.” “How can you grasp the meaning of the text when you do not even know the words.?” To this he replied, “The profundity of the teaching of the various Buddhas has nothing to do with the written language.”

From a conversation between the Sixth Patriarch and Bhikkhuni Wu Chung Chong.
(I enjoy the translator’s choice of words.)

Gate Gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svhava

Four tell the past

“Little birdie, little birdie,
What makes your head so red.
You’ve a short time for to be here,
And a long time to be dead.”

traditional Appalachian song

Fifty years ago seems like along time ago:

Strong Maine , 1970

Leonard, Cambridge MA 1971

Japan Center, San Francisco, early 1990s

I have reached my definition of dementia —When I go to doctor with a problem, and the doctor tells me its because of my, age, it will not get better, and probable get worse as I age.

Arthritis

Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples are part of the everyday life of of Tokyo residents, where people encounter them face to face as they go about their business. Here is one sandwiched in between office buildings with a grande view of an apartment building for their backyard landscape.Temples and shrines are designed for on-demand personal use.

Small among large, land ‘in Tokyo is very expensive and the zoning is very different,

The lush of San Francisco.

Alameda Creek

Individual people have five senses which enable a person to function in the universe. Living things, unlike rocks for example, are required to behave, to do something, to enable survival. Our senses give us information which enables survival.

We interact with the universe and differentiate one thing from another, Some things help us survive,, some do not and some things are dangerous. We use our senses to know and we can only know what we can sense.

We also have the ability to create tools to extend our senses,

While this does enable us to see things beyond the biological capabilities of our human senses, it does not enable us to know the things which might be “sensed” or “known” by other kinds of senses, not just smell, sight, sound, smell or taste. We cannot know what we don’t know.

We also have “mind” or “reason.” Through the process of human knowing we have knowledge—we know a bunch of “things” and we can use the mind/reason to relate them to each other using language.People use their senses to differentiate one thing from another and mind to give it a unique identity—a name.

In one sense the history of people is a history of always ”discovering new things, ” a history which brought a new meaning with the creation and development of writing, printing, and now digital, which makes information instantly accessible and enables a qualitatively new level of comparative analysis.

Sometimes new discoveries shed light —a thing is actually not a thing , but a bunch of different things. Air for the example, the (no) thing we used to differentiate things like a mountain from a tree, actually a bunch of small particles.

Things can have both a general and particular quality to them . We scan peak of horses in general,, a concept, yet each specific horse will never be the exact of the concept and it works well for communication and survival but there no such real horse as the concept of horse.

The camera is a tool to enable people to use light to record a moment of the past.

Still when people see the same photograph often they do not see the same thing

A photograph is a specific record, a particular situation of a thing, and not a general. yet people may still disagree on what they see when viewing the same photograph.

Sometimes its easier for people to agree on what is the general, an ”imaginary concept” of a thing; than on what is the particular, a specific ”Real” thing.

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a) People are naturally good; or,
b) People are naturally bad; or,
c) People are naturally good and bad.

”Naturally” refers to a quality of human life which by default is unchangeable, immutable. We all have it, its human nature, in our biology.

Consider even if each of us has the quality, can there be quantitative differences of that quality among individuals . . .

Such as compassion, cruelty, a mechanical sense, a talent, a way with people, an instinct, an intuition.

a) People are naturally good; or.
b) People are naturally bad; or.
c) People are naturally good and bad.

Choose one of a), b), or c) from above: —How might the societies be different?.

Marshall McLuhan tells the story of two women meeting on a sidewalk.One is pushing a baby in a carriage and the other says ,“What a beautiful baby,” and the other responds , “Oh, you should see the photograph.”

I don’t care if my photographs are fake or real, they are just about trying to forget my problems to make myself feel happy enough to get through the day.

Gate gate paragate parasamgate, bodhi svaha

Eatzenbe

Welcome from New Year’s Tiger

Year of the Tiger, brush drawing by Janney

Welcome to Dim Sum in Fremont California. Fremont, the fourth most populated city in the Bay area and was established in 1956 when the small local towns of Centerville, Irvington, Mission San Jose, Niles, and Warm Springs joined to become one city.

During the 1960s computer related engineers from Asia, especially from China and India, increasingly came to Silicon Valley for computer related jobs, jobs which also pay well.

When I moved here around 1980, house prices in the area from Palo Alto through Sunnyvale area were increasing and Fremont was not referred to as a part of “Silicon Valley.” Although many computer related businesses had locations in San Jose, along 101 and 237 there was an arrogant hesitancy to even call San Jose a part of Silicon Valley in spite of above 101 was an ever growing assortment of computer related business

Marinated tofu; tofu is one of my favorites foods, we have it probably 3-4 times a week.

Plate of three Old Fashioned Egg Custard

At this time Fremont had a safe town with plenty of business space and residential housing before going through the canyon to the other side of the mountains. .Many people from Asia have established in Fremont. I got my first office, $35/month, in Fremont, and a few years later moved my residence there. Plenty of Chinese and Indian restaurants.

Black Steamed Bun with Egg Yolk, soft and sweet,

Small matters

Before Christmas, I saw this elderly woman carrying her bedroom while moving the wheel chair with her feet. She was moving so slow, perhaps with know where too go, Imagine what it would be like, leaving a shelter in the morning to return at night, having to carry your belongings with you. And from a wheelchair on the street, I wonder “Just where and how do you use the bathroom.”

With modern society came many benefits, and wealth, an excess of wealth, people with billions while others are suffering . Most of us would like to solve that problem, we don’t know how or maybe we no how.

A burrito, a tube of chips and a newspaper for breakfast, al fresco.dining.

Where could I go but to the Lord.
”Seeking the refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to save me in the end
Won’t you tell me
Where could I go but to the Lord”

Where could I go but to the Lord. J,B Coats (1901-1961)

It is an old Martin-D28, between the stubs of fingers on his right hand he is holding a flat pick, its an open tuning and singing mostly southern gospel songs.

They had just arrived from Appalachia, an old gas guzzling car with a backseat piled with f clothes among old fast food wrappers. Toledo, circa 1969

Powell Street Station woman delivering a lecture to the tourists standing in line to ride the cable car up Powell Street.

Maybe he was a fisherman in his younger days, or perhaps someone”s ne’er do well brother., he has a job
Boston, circa 1970

Alameda Creek

I walk along Alameda Creek almost every day, Some times I listen to podcasts, other times I meet someone and walk&talk with her or him or I just use my five senses to keep my mind form wandering.

When the water comes from here it means the dams are open upstream. Sometimes young people come here as a group or by themselves .

Fremont lies in the shadows of Mission Peak

There is a notion that what you sense—see, hear, touch, smell and taste—are Real, and we differentiate and define them as “Real Things.”

And then the Universe is a bunch of things with space between the things enclosed in an undefined (but expanding) area. The purpose of Science is to differentiate each thing and give it a name and one day we will know everything in the Universe.

Yet as we examine the “space” between things, we find “smaller things” with space between them, which as time goes on, repeats itself. Oh the Absolute Absurdity of It All——The Myth of Sysphus ( book by A. Camus).

Stephen Hawking remarked (my paraphrase): At one time Philosophy was ahead of Science, but now Science was ahead of philosophy and will be until Science has discovered everything in the universe.” —which he he suggested was coming soon.

It seems that while Science is an excellent human tool for knowing, we are the universe looking at itself and its a a classic subject-object situation. For the Universe . people looking at the Universe is like me looking at my foot, or how about me looking at my mind?

And does this search by the Universe have a purpose ?

Look around you, most other living things are busy meeting basic needs. People on the other hand are busy doing all kinds of things including many choose and enjoy the work they do.

Suppose that the Universe had developed a sickness and evolved human beings to cure itself. —But would not the sickness be a part of the Universe? or Maybe we are not the doctor but the sickness?

Imagine culture as a snowball rolling down an infinite decline, forever increasing its size as it gathers more snow as it rolls, maybe discarding some here or there and mixing some different snows together,

Through history people pop up here and there on the always-increasing-in- size snowball, and their experience is limited to what they can muddle around and see, hear, smell, taste or touch .

Each individual has a different place in the snowball, each has their own unique experiences in real and historical time., though there are enough “near-the-same” experiences to enable normalized working social relationships—human survival as a society.

Appreciate how having a written language means a qualitatively different society—Its a game-changer, a paradigm shift. Communication with people you will never meet from time periods you will never experience,

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Usually I like to “just have fun” with the camera.

I usually carry a small point&shoot —I still use a flip phone. Walking along an upper floor of an open parking building it was fun to see myself in the windshield of the car below.

A “thing” is differentiated from other things by identifying its unique set of qualities—different from other things, One “thing” that helped build our vocabulary for many years was that “air” was accepted as“no thing. Air as a no-thing helped to differentiate one thing from another—sky from mountains, dog from ground, can eat from can’t eat— and then Science established that air itself was made up of “things” —78% nitrogen and 21 % oxygen.

But the process of scientific investigation often seems to result in an ever ending finding flow of smaller and smaller particles, aka things.

Stores can be very confusing if you cannot read. and history can be very confusing if you can read. People spend a lot of time consuming things in both personal, businesses and civic life. During that process they read a lot of information and make buying decisions based on that information.

But as important as differentiating one thing from another, its abstract qualities are interesting We can speak the word “couch,” go into a furniture store and see tens of “couches” none of which look the same, but it does not matter, we understand the concept of couch and can apply it in (most) different situations, doesn’t matter how unusual, strange or new the couch looks— the Particular is never the General, except perhaps in popular media.

Actors in popular media are often selected for their visual appearance qualities. Add camera angle, lighting, technical fixes and of course, writing, rehearsing and acting, all things can be used to enhance the “real photographic” impression experienced by mass audiences—a dialectic of The Ideal and The Real. Actors are people, and the video moving image deliver amore comprehensible Ideal -real experience, there is no room to question what see, and it becomes a vicarious experience. But reading a character development in a book your imagination plays a far more important role in the your mental image of the character. because your mind fills in all the missing visual stuff delivered by the video.

Bizen tokkuri on a lacquered tray with pueblo weaving

This “physical idea ” is not just “attractive” people, but whenever a physical appearance (is believed to) matches the visual character of the role, most characters of which, by definition are “common ” to a mass audience, are a stereo-type. We often use stereo-types in our daily lives. And yet a common critique of people in general is that too often we use stereotypes in judging others.

Ki-Seto tokkuri and Kuro-Oribe guinjomi : Kuro-Oribe, and Oribe in general, is is differentiated from other Japanese folk pottery by its long tradition of creative expression. The guinomi appears to over power the tokkuri—“You’re too small to get me drunk!’’

When we see and If there is no “quick fit” of the original visual image to some category in the database of our mind, question develops. Depending on the situation—life threatening or minor intrusion — the outcome may be more or less important. The “concept of a thing” is more important than any “real thing.” which by the way changes, decays, entropies—empirically observable by the presence of conservatives. in socities.

Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha

My grey shun

The fall is persimmon time.

This year I mix them with Trader Joe’s oatmeal, two minutes in the microwave, add some California raisins and almonds, another 30 seconds, then add persimmon (or apple or banana) and a little milk—protein, vitamins and carbs..

The moon far away . . .

and nearby is our faith in a near consumer economy.

Alameda Creek

Human beings—Homo sapiens—have been around for about 300,000 years..

Rome., Greece, China, MIddle East, , Aztecs, Incas, the Eurasian Steppes, wes3 of the Jade Gate — for peoples all over the world, primary written knowledge of the history of human beings is limited, give it 4000 years to be generous . . . or include art as an expression of primary evidence, painted images go back to 45000 years ago or on the Iberian Peninsula where art is dated to 64,000 years ago.

300,000/6000= 1/500 = 0.02 or or 0.2 %

Human life as we know it is about 0.2% of the history of the human species.yet is only the last 150 years that “technologically advanced civilized” humans‚ have created nuclear weapons and altered the global climate in their drive for more and more wealth

Its interesting how we see history, for example, when using the symbols BC and Ad , or symbols BCE and CE or where ever humans choose to designate the concept of something unknown , when they choose to divide the continuum of history from an unknown past to the known present on to the unknown future. Both ends, the past and future are undetermined—unknown— and yet we do not let that “unknown” bother us from our daily life in the middle—Its November 20, 2021, who cares about any other time, out of sight, out of mind.

Show me your face before you were born . . . why can‘t we remember the future? . . . What was happening before The Big Bang?

Life forms on Earth have all figured out a way to survive as a species. Survival of the fittest —reproductive success. No life forms are separate, they are all inter-related and part of why we survive on Earth

Here we are on Earth, our home in the Universe, the one planet in one solar system, out of billions of solar systems in one galaxy out of billions of galaxies in a Universe which is expanding. Will human beings survive long enough to have to migrate in search of another sun?

For 300,000 years humans have been living on Earth and increasingly we are learning that during that time many people traveled extensively , and in hard times when the fitness part of “survival” moved people to migrate, long before there were kings, or warlords, or geo-political nation states with “national boundaries” defended by standing armies paid for by taxes legitimized by the idealogical license of “National Sovereignty.” Migrating is what people naturally do. its geo-political entities with tax payer funded standing armies which is is unnatural

“Capitalism” —an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.— (Oxford Languages)

Or—
Capitalism is often thought of as an economic system in which private actors own and control property in accord with their interests, and demand and supply freely set prices in markets in a way that can serve the best interests of society. The essential feature of capitalism is the motive to make a profit. (Wikopedia).

The internet enables the world to inter-connect instantly and constantly —as long as there is electricity, which has to be produced. For the first time in history people all around Earth see other people, other societies, and compare themselves and dream of something better for themselves.and their families.

“Economically successful” western societies have developed consumer markets where fashionable new products are constantly created to compete for discretionary monies —planned obsolescence—and for many individuals in the developing world, the global economy is their chance to participate in a market with lower prices and better quality products—if only the “developed countries” actually believed in free markets.

For so many new products its cheaper to just take another piece of Earth from “over there“, bring it over here and make some new things to sell in the market, and just throw the old thing away, “over there, ” please, not here.

“Every proposition  on Earth can be figured on a basis of profit and loss and there is no other practical way to figure anything.”

.“When I say profit, I mean earned profit, but not in the  legal sense I mean earned   “De facto,”  and not “de jure”.”

“Take the income I will earn for the rest of my life from the ownership of stock  in Southdown Incorporated, that is called “unearned income” but actually I have earned it by years of of devoted service I have rendered to the company. I have earned it because I deserve it. But as a contrast  take the  profit, the income that Sarah Jaffe has been getting from her ownership of stock since the death of her father. Mrs. Jaffe, I’d like to ask you what have you ever done for the  corporation .Tell me one single thing  small or large. Your average income in Southdown dividends for the past five years has been more than 40,000 dollars, have you earned one cent of it? 

My father did the earning,.”she said

But you personally ?

No of course not, I’ve never earned anything 

Prisoners Base, a NeroWolfe novel by Rex Stout

Every person on this Earth has a birth right to life., still after 300,000 years of homo sapiens and 4-5 thousand years of “civilization”, humans still delight in finding reasons to murder each other .

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For over three years I was personally involved with the care of mom, she had a stroke with severe memory loss and expressive aphasia. She lived in a memory facility and was in rehab for a couple of months.

Being involved in the care of one’s parent is a privilege and honor. For what ever reason one gets chosen even if its by default.

It takes a lot of time.

At rehab, she was there for eight weeks, the sliding front door was locked, needed a “buzz” to get in. Mom always curious and anxious to get outside would sit by the front door. When someone approached the door and the buzzer rang she would be waiting to make her escape by zooming out the door.

The staff let her roam around the facility in her wheel chair and she would visit other patients and give opinions to the professional caregivers as to “what they were doing wrong.”

My mother’s name was Lynn, which was also the name of town north of Boston, this railroad line ran through Union Square, Somerville, I would assume it might go there. Photo circa 1970

Gate gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha.