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

Sat Jan, for teen

”New wares being made in Kyoto these days do not impress me, so I searched for antique ones, but the only ones I liked were centuries old. Finding whole sets of such dishes was clearly impossible, so one day I decided to make them myself. And that’s how I became a potter.”

Uncommon Clay The Life and Pottery of Rosanjin Sidney B. Cardozo/Massaki Hirano

Rosanjin was a sign painter known for the beauty of his calligraphy, who became a chef/restauranteur and then a very eclectic potter who excelled in many different styles of Japanese folk pottery, ” e.g. oribe, shino, karatsu, Bizen porcelain, ki-seto, kuro seto, and more.

Sometimes I wonder how do the words in The Unknown Craftsman ( Soetsu Yanagi) compare to Rosanjin’s life?

To the best of my understanding Rosanjin was self educated, maybe some kind if an early apprenticeship in calligraphy/sign paining. Yet it seems to me that, without the “natural benefits” of personal apprenticeship he managed to embrace the spirit of Japanese folk craft in whatever he did.

Alameda Creek

A photograph is a lot like a history . . .

It records a moment of time, perhaps a longer duration when compared to a photograph.

Like a photograph, history is an incomplete record..

Not included in the photograph are the things outside of the photograph. Not included in history are the things that happened outside of the story..

Nut a major difference is that history, even when documented by being written down the story changes over time. The photograph never changes except for deterioration of the media.used to present to the human eye.

A photograph is a visual record of that place between the past and future, History is a record of a specific place between the past and future . . . .

Over time people may change the content of history, and over time how people visually experiences a same photograph may change. when seeing the photograph may change how they see a photograph.

The visual facts of the photograph do not change, whatever came through the lens to make the image still made the same image, its still the same “things,” but how people relate the things in the photograph to each other may have changed.

History is different, historical facts may change, Last week was an article about discovering that the Roman concrete was so durable was because there were pieces of a specific kind of limestone mixed in it. Or the Chinese discovery of the meaning of the Oracle Bones in the late 19th Century., Or a coup may become a revolution .On the other hand, history, at best, is a record made by the five senses of a skilled and independent observer in the right place at the right time.


A photograph is expected to be a graphic medium which makes a visual record compatible with what the human eye sees.. Even when other kinds of “waves” are captured by a “compatible camera,” e,g, outer space, and converted to the range of light waves compatible with the human eye, its called a photograph.
Still, if made with a camera , even if its out of focus, bad exposure or poor composition, the graphic technical process makes the final image a photograph.

The ways people are the same are many, many, many times more than the ways people are different— people can get violent over the ways they are different, never appreciating the wonder that people are so much like each other.

Sliced tofu to be combined in a sauce cooking on the stove

Think life in a small town where everyone knows each other, there are social places for everyone, some may not like the place they are in and want to change it.

A thoughtful husband who came with his wife to drive her home after the procedure.

For others its not a dissatisfaction about where they are, but a step in a long career or life plan or perhaps a short term term plan, which may not be fun and enjoyable but that is a temporary situation and part of working for success.

Probably no member of a hunting and gathering society would confuse this flood creation with a living monster, but in the 18th century dark on a English bog or a Florida swamp, vision raised on memories of ancient home grown fantastic folk tales could easily make an appearance.

Morning Glory!
Growing ’round the well rope.
I get water elsewhere.

Haiku by Chiyojo from GOLDEN WIND Zen Talks by Eido Shimano Roshi

Gate gate paragate parasangate Bhodhi Svaha

Space fore one more

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I’m only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”

The James Webb Telescope has sent us many wonderful images from the Universe. What are photographs? As images in light3 they are traveling through space , and when they reach a medium light, they can create an image.

like in a movie theatre where an audience member holds up a hand and a black matching area appears on the screen instead of the movie image. These images from outer space may use different light waves and this light carrying this image is very very old.

The James Webb Space Telescope’s mid-infrared view of the Pillars of Creation.Courtesy NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

How is it these Images embedded in the light traveling around the Universe in search of a medium. Maybe other life forms will will have different sense organs. All the life forms on Earth would have evolved onEarth and thus have sense organs which could experience Earth.

A photograph is an image made from light reflecting a surface, which in the reflection makes another (the reflected) image makes another image in itself, and so on.

Light coming from “gazillions of lights year away” can reach us as long as nothing is in the way, like a blackhole or a galaxy or two. But what is blacked out?

Does the image we see have some missing parts, like where the arm got between the light flow—the projector and the screen —and blocked the light and thus altered or blocked the image.?

Alameda Creek

People really like photographs and they really—really like photographs with their image in it,

This is about as close to snow as Fremont gets.

We may call a “snapshot” implying an impromtu unrestrainable reaction/response to a moment in time. Some times I wonder if Steve Jobs had that behavior in mind—if more people had a digital personal small computer and they could make photographs and pass them around digitally, then Apple could build a larger market based on “human feelings” and sell more products,

Light is traveling all over the Universe,. Or maybe its “just all over the Universe,” its not traveling at all, it stays in one place and its the latent images that travel around. .How far can it go before it dims? Does it seek to go everywhere there is no light. Or maybe light is running away from no light.

Can light light everything in the Universe? Then it would be the Universe.

One reason the iPhone is so popular is because it can make photographs and people send them directly , and instantly, to another person. Human communication.

Light with “latent images,” maybe more like a movie, traveling through the Universe, and all we need to do is to reach our hand out there, grab (record) a piece of the traveling light and print it out. We could see history and theoretically everywhere light has been there should be images except where the light has been reflected some where else, and if we could ever we can find a specific piece of light we could print it out.print out.

Does , or can, light travel the whole universe? Think about it, maybe its not the light traveling but the images like on a conveyor belt and we pick and choose which one we want.

It seems that different living things also have different as well as over lapping ranges of light perception than humans. And we can compare them, Bats using sonar detect (perceive?) the same mountains and caves we do. We share perceptions which reinforces our common knowledge.

Our eyes naturally pick and choose from the things we can see, and cannot see —know.

We have tools which can do that, tools which are not just extensions of our senses,. The investigation process has shown we have used things we could not perceive to measure things we cannot perceive.

All of that is embedded in a photograph, and you can take this photograph, call up a friend on the other side of the world, and both of you can be look at the photograph.and talk at the same time .—Oh did I s forget to say, you can record it!


You may think its weird I make too many photographs of my self, (and that is your right, and I don’t care what you think about this ) , but I am here, I know what I want, its convenient, and many of these images are not complimentary,—who else would allow others to see them like this except me. But they are for fun., especially those using a point-and-shoot.

I like the feeling of being caressed by the afternoon light feeling the warmth move across my body..

Walking past a fenced & screened construction site in San Francisco , I wonder a feeling about a different life.

Can I photograph something in the past—or at least in, my own past—but isn’t that what a memory is for, to remember my past, maybe I need to get past the memory.

If I make a photograph, then using a computer mix and mingle pixels, and then make a print, is that a photograph? Or is there something about the feeling of the image that instantly communicates to you —This is (or is not) a photograph ! and not a silk screen, a wood cut or an etching.

Ga te ga te par a ga te par a sam ga te Bo dhi sva ha

When an end, again begin, Cegin

A monk asked Baso, “What is the Buddha?’
Baso answered, “Not mind, not Buddha.”

Mumonkan, Case XXXIII Ummon

What does a monk do for their living,? Smile? Be a living proof of the dream? Do monks in the USA get social security contributions paid? Do you learn to be be a monk ?

When we look at other people we might be tempted to think we see them as they are, but we also see them as we want to see them ,or maybe as we want to see ourselves.

My mother had a stroke, lost memory and developed expressive aphasia. She was very intelligent, had a large vocabulary, could have a warm heart oran angry tongue. Most of the care givers were not native born and often raised , they could communicate well, but mom’s vocabulary could be beyond their. ,and my vocabulary. At the nursing residence they gave her a wheel chair—strapped her into it and let her roam the halls, Suited her just fine,. She was known to, and I witnessed it once, go into the rooms of other other residents and, loudly— you could hear her outside the room in the hall,—critique the care givers.

Why do people wear the clothes in which they appear outside? Do they enjoy those specific clothes, I like older clothes, they are soft and smooth and remind me of good experiences I had while wearing them.

May be 1965, or so . . . sometimes when I see one of my old photographs I feel like I screwed up a lot of my life,

Alameda Creek

Keep it in the kitchen
It will gleam
Keep it from the weather
It’s your ice cream
Hide it in the queen’s room
O don’t you be so mean
Hide it in the cleanest kingdom
Where it won’t ever be seen
Cause, brother , that’s your only ice cream

Wonderings , Keep It Kenneth Patchen

Sometimes when I am watching a movie or a tv show, and the story is about a young overweight nondescript woman who plays a stereo typed unattractive character . . .

How do they advertise for the part? Maybe there are agents who specialize in these kind of parts.

Maybe you think no one openly advertises for a “loser” person, but there are so many stereo typed looking people in movies and tv shows—they cannot help but use stereotypes, its so economical.

I also see actresses chosen for their “stardom ” they are often visually physically attractive , but in the movie are made to appear unattractive only later to bloom. Yet the whole time you are watching them you remember they are not the person they are playing and probably people who never in their heart felt like that role.

How does it feel to be 14 years old, very over weight, only to sneak into your bathroom and lock the door to try on lipstick and make up, only to remove it all before leaving.

That’s just a rhetorical question —what do you do if the thing preventing you from getting what you want in your life is yourself? How you look, the color of your skin, your religion your gender, Perhaps some people grow out of it, others let it bother them their whole life . But that is also the condition of human life onEarth,—the behaviors that enabled us to survive are the very behaviors that keep us polarized.

But if your precious illusion should turn out not to be real where then where will you leap my dear little flea

Wonderings Kenneth Patchen


Using children’s different color backpacks, Ai Weiwei made this installation for the 19,000 children who died in the Sichuan Earthquake, May 12, 2008.

And when I do not know who or what the the stones represent they become bland perhaps like most of our lives when compared to the headlines of others.

A cautionary note—driving a modern automobile can have side effects.—do not enjoy talking with the car’s computer distract you from driving.—you could kill some one or even yourself.

Is life any different on the other side of the window? Add some silver on the other side and its a mirror.

Visually caught trying to find myself or maybe trying hide myself on a shelf.

Light on a wall in a medical services building in Pleasanton,

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi Svaha