- As for the blog's name: -

I was @ Gustav Ericsson's sight, - Anzenkai, and I was looking at Nishijima Roshi’s calligraphies over there. Particularly there is one - "seki shin hen pen" - about which Gustav has earlier said in a blog post that it is Nishijima's favorite phrase from Master Dogen.

This seemed strange to me. It was not what I would expect Nishijima Roshi's favorite phrase to be. It seemed it could be some Rinzai master's favorite quote, - it seems to express continuous and constant sincerity, - but it did not seem to fit my view of the way Nishijima Roshi saw things.

So - consequently - I tried to think what would I expect his favorite quote to be. But all phrases I could think of did not seem to fit just what I might have had in mind.

So I tried to come up with what I would see it as, - and what I have come up with - is - "this universe out here".

- And this seems to be the right name for this blog here too.

- Definitely.                                                 ________________________

The Eightfold Path according to Steiner

First - The title of this post is questionably humorous. You might see it either way.

Second, - in the last post, - I have left rather important or central matters or things untouched, - with the intention of avoiding repetition, as I knew they were to be dealt with here this time in this post.

I wouldn’t normally have left things as they were in the last post, - had it not been for this intended post the previous one would have been considerably longer.

I made no reference to where Steiner offers his instructions or to his relevant references regarding and explaining them.

As it is known - in the teaching of Yoga (- among others too of course) seven Chakras are mentioned.

- For some reason Steiner only mentions six: - The Sahasrara Chakra (- the top seventh one) is not mentioned.

Either way, - Steiner speaks of these six Chakras. He does not refer to them as “Chakras” though, but as “Lotus Flowers”. - This seems to be the term as it appears throughout his writings. (- and abundantly many lectures)

These seem to be clearly related to different aspects of human mentality and of one’s personality.

- Each to a different facet of a person’s being.

While with regard to each lotus flower, - (I will (generally) use here the term as Steiner is using it) each of its petals has to do with a different property of one’s “nature”, - so to speak, - that is.

Steiner makes clear by fostering such a property one can shape the matching petal which seems to be responsible for it.

[- responsible for a certain degree, - at least]

- Particularly, - Steiner makes clear that the function of each of the eight limbs of the Eightfold Path set forth by Gautama Buddha over 2,000 years ago, is to shape, - correspondingly, - each of eight of the sixteen petals of the fifth Chakra, (- related to space, - as I seem to recall from years ago[- i -]) which Steiner refers to as the “sixteen-petalled lotus”.

(- every second petal it seems, - Steiner makes some reference to this, but I will not)

- The principle may be somewhat similar to that of cultivating muscles, - one may exercise a certain action in order to bring life and order to a certain organ of his body, - which then, - when strengthened, - enables the proper and healthy functioning of exactly-the-same-action having brought forth its consequent development.

- Though of course it is different. - The outcome here is a learning of the relevant organs of your being, - and true learning - by its very nature - is irreversible.

- While muscles which merely receive nutrition and priority-within-bodily-functioning generally return to their previous state with the cease of practice.

Consequently Steiner gives the following guidance for eight lines of conduct which are to contribute, - as referred to above, - to the proper development of the relevant lotus flower of sixteen petals: -

(- the third line of which is of course the one referred to in the last post)

The first is the way in which ideas and conceptions are acquired. In this respect people usually allow themselves to be led by chance alone. They see or hear one thing or another and form their ideas accordingly. As long as this is the case the sixteen petals of the lotus flower remain ineffective. It is only when the student begins to take his self-education in hand, in this respect, that the petals become effective. His ideas and conceptions must be guarded; each single idea should acquire significance for him; he should see in it a definite message instructing him concerning the things of the outer world, and he should derive no satisfaction from ideas devoid of such significance. He must govern his mental life so that it becomes a true mirror of the outer world, and direct his effort to the exclusion of incorrect ideas from his soul.

The second of these functions is concerned with the control of resolutions. The student must not resolve upon even the most trifling act without well-founded and thorough consideration. Thoughtless and meaningless actions should be foreign to his nature. He should have well-considered grounds for everything he does, and abstain from everything to which no significant motive urges him.

The third function concerns speech. The student should utter no word that is devoid of sense and meaning; all talking for the sake of talking draws him away from his path. He must avoid the usual kind of conversation, with its promiscuous discussion of indiscriminately varied topics. This does not imply his preclusion from intercourse with his fellows. It is precisely in such intercourse that his conversation should develop to significance. He is ready to converse with everyone, but he does so thoughtfully and with thorough deliberation. He never speaks without grounds for what he says. He seeks to use neither too many nor too few words.

The fourth is the regulation of outward action. The student tries to adjust his actions in such a way that they harmonize with the actions of his fellow-men and with the events in his environment. He refrains from actions which are disturbing to others and in conflict with his surroundings. He seeks to adjust his actions so that they combine harmoniously with his surroundings and with his position in life. When an external motive causes him to act he considers how he can best respond. When the impulse proceeds from himself he weighs with minute care the effects of his activity.

The fifth function includes the management of the whole of life. The student endeavors to live in conformity with both nature and spirit. Never overhasty, he is also never indolent. Excessive activity and laziness are equally alien to him. He looks upon life as a means for work and disposes it accordingly. He regulates his habits and the care of his health in such a way that a harmonious whole is the outcome.

The sixth is concerned with human endeavor. The student tests his capacities and proficiency, and conducts himself in the light of such self-knowledge. He attempts nothing beyond his powers, yet seems to omit nothing within their scope. On the other hand, he sets himself aims that have to do with the ideals and the great duties of a human being. He does not mechanically regard himself as a wheel in the vast machinery of mankind but seeks to comprehend the tasks of his life, and to look out beyond the limit of the daily and trivial. He endeavors to fulfill his obligations ever better and more perfectly.

The seventh deals with the effort to learn as much from life as possible. Nothing passes before the student without giving him occasion to accumulate experience which is of value to him for life. If he has performed anything wrongly or imperfectly, he lets this be an incentive for meeting the same contingency later on rightly and perfectly. When others act he observes them with the same end in view. He tries to gather a rich store of experience, ever returning to it for counsel; nor indeed will he ever do anything without looking back on experiences from which he can derive help in his decisions and affairs.

Finally, the eighth is as follows: The student must, from time to time, glance introspectively into himself, sink back into himself, take counsel with himself, form and test the fundamental principles of his life, run over in his thoughts the sum total of his knowledge, weigh his duties, and reflect upon the content and aim of life.”.

- First, - this presentation seems to place things in a reasonable order. - I am far from being versed in the matter, but it seems that the Buddha, - Gautama Sakyamuni, - as with other matters, - has presented things in a manner suitable for the circumstances and conditions having occurred at the time of his teaching.

Such presentation surly would not have been that beneficial for the Indian people living in that distant past. Relating to it was beyond the capabilities of the common and the-majority-of-the-population then, - and perhaps particularly at that region - India, - too.

- First related to is acquirement of views, - second is the function of thought and decision-making, - which, - of course, - needs to rely upon the first in its working and for its functioning.

Next are right speech and right action, - which again of course necessarily follow the previous in the same way, while right speech can be viewed as a particular partial case of right action.

- “Right livelihood” is apparently not right livelihood. - It seems the Buddha here again simplified his teaching for ease of understanding and application. - Apparently it is rather correct general life management as a whole, and not just the right choice of making a livelihood which may be a significant part of it. (- unless you are a monk, - that is, - as it seems one might naturally assume)

- And it makes sense here too: - After the previous four such a general attitude toward one’s whole life would reasonably follow. The previous four may be necessary tools to be at hand arriving at this fifth component of the structured guidance. - Which may be seen perhaps as a larger scope “right action”, - relating to one’s life as a whole rather than to specific actions within it.

- The order seems here to somewhat change. - Rather than one component relying on its previous it seems now the order is reversed: - For the purpose of properly actualizing the fifth element one would need to be familiar with his abilities. - This is where “right effort”, - or - “endeavor” - as Steiner seems to have better put it, - comes in. - It is necessary to know your capabilities and incapabilities and act accordingly.

Then the seventh would follow in a similar way: - That which is known as “right mind” is apparently about absorbing as much from life as possible.

- Again, - apparently, - in this context, - mainly for the purpose of the actualization of its previous among the eight listed particles, - (of the Buddha’s way) for which it is necessary.

The eighth seems to me rather like a substitute for Zazen.

(- I here meanZazenmainly as just sitting, - as practiced in the renowned house of Master Dogen. - This isn’t in any way intended as criticism of koan-Zazen as practiced in the no-less-renowned house of Master Rinzai, or elsewhere in general. - But it doesn’t seem the eighth limb of the eightfold path, - as it is, - or as it may be understood as attempted to be described here, - as a reflection or an outcome of the structure of [here a certain element of] the human body, - (- or the human being) would equally correspond to koan-Zazen as it would to the Shikantaza. - I am less confident, - or clear, - as for the Susokan, also practiced in the house of Master Rinzai.
- As for the way meditation was practiced since Gautama Buddha and up to Master Prajnatara in India, - or in other sects and lineages, - I am quite ignorant, - and so I could not comment here.)

- Anyone practicing Zazen regularly, - as it seems to me, - needs not be concerned about the last part of the instructions as described by Steiner here above. (- Referring to “Zazen”, - that is, - as noted just here above in the last parentheses)

- That is not to say if one naturally comes to acting accordingly, - as a result of sitting, - [- Zazen, - of course, - i.e.] or whichever other true practice or practices, - he ought to avoid it. - Of course not, and definitely not.
I might be a little confusing at this point, - but I suppose this is just the situation. - As it is, - either way.

- It seems the eight links should be viewed in a circle. This is also the form of the Chakra. - It is circular.
- The 16 petals are of course arranged in a circle.

- Btw.

- That is to say, - having gone through the eight - the last and eighth element among them, - (- whichever way it is viewed) again contributes to the proper establishment of right views. - Hereby closing a circle.

Also the significance of the first or early links in the chain is noticed and apprehended as a result of the understanding of, - and proper accordance with, - its ending.

- By which of course their actual employment is deepened and rooted in one’s developing spirit and habitual manners - which accordance with the hidden capillaries of the complex reality ever gradually increases.

Actually, - during the writing of this post, - I am getting the impression that it would be more reasonable to start with the fifth: -

First, - it would be reasonable for a person to want to plan his life management. For this purpose, - it is necessary for him to be familiar with his abilities and inabilities, - (I am somewhat repeating myself here) in order to try and do his best throughout his planed life, while also being aware of what would not be realistic to attempt.

For this purpose one is to increase his acquaintance with life, - through “right mind”.

For this (- this here might too be an answer to Kodo Sawaki Roshi’s well known saying: - “Zazen is good for nothing”) Zazen is an unmatched tool - it seems.

Out of Zazen, - right views are born, and you might say at this point is the birth of the Buddha-Dharma. (- As a world view or taught teaching, - that is. - I will refer to this differently in just a few paragraphs. It is definitely not a contradiction. - It is just using the same expression in somewhat of different ways.)

Correct Decision Making follows from a correct vision of existence.

And next follows - of course, - correct and true application of the above in every moment, - “right action”; - naturally preceded by right speech.

- Right action being last is also fully in accord with a thought I once had: - “Right action is the Buddha-Dharma”. - It is just the full purpose of every religion, or path, - to the extent such exists - if it does. - Given the reference I made to the matter in my second post here at this blog, - you might say all the rest exists for its sake.

- If Master Dogen sees Zazen as everything, or if he refers to it in this manner, - it is just because he sees Zazen as right action as well. - Otherwise it wouldn’t be possible.

- Though I am unsure things are just that way with regard to that still, - either way.
- Not 100% that is. - I am certainly not a person who would be looking for a reason to doubt Master Dogen, - but Jesus never taught Zazen.
- There has to be a reason to it. - It could not be otherwise.

- After that, - again, - in order to act correctly - particularly at each and every moment - one would naturally want to manage his life and plan it accordingly.

- Which again closes the circle.

- Though more reasonably at this order, - as it quite lucidly seems to me at least.

Having gone this far throughout this post, it now draws me to a matter which deserves a post in itself.

- A whole one that is of course.

- However I will relate to it here as it naturally follows: -

Buddhism was initiated, - began, - on this planet under our feet on which we live here in the physical plane, - as the prince Gautama Sakyamuni saw the morning star, thereby attaining his Buddhahood - and starting a true revolution - changing a considerable part of the human culture present on the face of this planet aforementioned.

- After which it [- i.e. Buddhism] has been continued through 27 generations, from Sakyamuni Buddha up to Master Prajnatara, - still in India.

Then Master Bodhidharma journeyed on foot, introducing it to China. (- Not necessarily exclusively though, - of course.)

The school we know as “Zen” seem to have been shaped through six generations, - from Master Bodhidharma up to Master Daikan Eno.
(- Dajian Huineng)

Then - through Daikan’s successors - Ejo
(- Nanyue Huairang) and Gyoshi, - (- Qingyuan Xingsi) and through their lineages, - it spread through China.

Through the continuing lineages of Masters Rinzai
(- Linji Yixuan) and Dogen it reached Japan.

- Now, - or rather recently, - in the 20th century, - it has spread to the west.

- And still is spreading.

- Gautama Buddha in India has never emphasized meditation or relied up on it in his teaching in the way Bodhidharma focused on it in China. It was one element within the teaching among others.

The same situation of course still occurred through the 27 generations (above mentioned) prior to the lineage crossing - with Bodhidharma, - off to China. - And through other lineages and traditions, - both Mahayana and Theravada, - in India, and in other countries where Buddhism may have yet spread at the time.

- With Bodhidharma - in China - the situation changed.

- As for the reasoning given, - to the extent any was, - it seems it would be irrelevant here. - It would have mainly been intended at Buddhist monks living at the time. - Nothing of the sort of what I am intending to get to here in these words.

The changes introduced might have very well been a result of the changing time and the different culture. - Though the teaching of Bodhidharma never intended to be the only teaching prevailing throughout China.

There were others.

- Both Buddhist and of other sources.

The alteration or revision in the teaching are undoubtedly in accord with the natural inherent character of the Chinese people, - not far remoted from that of the Japanese people as well, - of course.

- One significant point is that the amount of sitting is significant.
- If your sitting is scant you’d be a ridiculous “Zen” student.
- Fundamentally.

- The reason other elements [of the teaching] were abandoned is not viewing them as unuseful or unworthy.

Apart from being influenced by Chinese Taoism, - the situation is that according conduct - that is to say intentional, - with previous teachings as was the custom in India up to Bodhidharma, - would not be in accord with the objective of the attitude of the manner of continuous sitting in Zazen for long or numerous periods.

Intentionally attempting to act in accordance with teachings or instructions the spirit [- or core - which the spirit always is] of which is not yet understood, - as done earlier, - in India, - would be - very likely - hindrancial to the benefit attained through the increasing influence of Zazen spreading throughout our lives by the means of continuous and abundant sitting.

That is to say, - the necessary thinking, - yet intellectual at the beginning of one’s practice - would hinder one’s clarity of mind being so central in this path ran in the houses of Bodhidharma and his Dharma successors in various lineages.

- Besides, - behavior which is not natural, - not in accord with one’s (still) existing tendencies, - may in a way distort the harmony - which may be considered precious on this path as well.

- As the path of “Zen” has been spreading to America and Europe, - some seem to imagine themselves able to set new standards. And the shallower and scanter the understanding, - the freer the hand.

- I assume at first people were following their guides instructions. - I am not really familiar with the situation, or the scene, either in America or in Europe. - Not even here in Israel, - to a great deal, - actually.

However, - as I understand many today would “suffice” with a rather limited [meditation] sitting quantity or schedule.

- One important point at this point, - as much sitting as you can reasonably afford to enable within your life scheme, - is not necessarily as much as would be reasonably necessary for any worthwhile practice.

- Not in the least.

- There is no such relationship, - fundamentally. - Though many seem to, - quite thoughtlessly, - imagine otherwise.

- Not to speak of a situation in which one is simply insincere, - unwilling to reasonably dedicate what he practically could, - deceiving himself accordingly as his abilities permit.

- Please note: - If you put 1$ in your bank account once a day for 10 days, it is the same as if you put ½$ every day for 20 days; - but if you want to grow a tree, - assuming it needs a certain amount of water, and air, and sunlight, - if you only allow it 50% of the water it needs, and 50% of the air, and 25% of the sunlight, - you could hardly expect the results to be promising.

- The same situation occurs if you put an engine in a car with only half the necessary power. - It might move it at all, or it might not.
- Either way, - no one is going to enjoy the ride.

Part of what I said so far may be somewhat unnecessary for [the purpose of] my initial point I am aiming at, - here within this post-within-a-post.

- However, - the situation is, - that many - it seems - in the occident - who consider themselves to be students of “Zen”, - do not sit more than Buddhists would in India prior to the birth of the “Zen” branch of the Buddhist way.

That is to say, - the reasons for abandoning that which Master Bodhidharma and succeeding patriarchs chose to omit from the path they instruct, - may no longer be relevant.

For some at least.

And not necessarily a minority.

- While of course I am referring to the occident, - to the new Buddhist practitioners there, - those of them intending to trod the “Zen” path, - partly at least - as they view it; - not to the situation in the countries from which Buddhism has arrived in the west.

- All that I am saying, [- here] fundamentally, - has nothing to do with them.

I am not saying we should return to the situation as it existed in India, or as it is [or was] in any other Buddhist (or non-Buddhist) branch or stream - in any other [eastern] country.

But it seems the situation is to be reconsidered. And part of the elements excluded might better be again put into use.

- This might even be essential.

I don’t mean practitioners should pick up whatever by themselves, - of course. This has to do with whoever is instructing them. - But it seems those who run the framework - or some of them, - are to be more thoughtful. - They should be able to clearly see the benefit the practice they offer or prescribe would bring, - or might bring, - or else - they’d better consult someone who does.

One example might of course be the Eightfold Path discussed in this post.

I originally intended to allow myself the liberty of rewriting Steiner’s instructions quoted here. - As I did in the last post with the third part of it.

But after rearranging the order, - which I only thought of - unintentionally - during the writing of the post, - I changed my mind.

- Still a few remarks would be necessary: -

Generally speaking, - a “Zen” student would, - or perhaps - rather - should, - be more gentle upon himself than may be quite likely implied in Steiner’s words. - The path Steiner is indicating is not the same path, - it is different. - It relies upon such instructions as exampled in Steiner’s long quote brought above as quite a fundamental component of its structure.

- For a “Zen” student it might be much more valuable, - in my view, - to at first notice the significance of the regarding matter, - or matters, - as for his conduct to become a rather harmonious and quite natural outcome of this inner understanding.

- Which of course could not mean, - or imply, - a quick process.

- Here also the rearrangement of the order of the lines of behavior within one’s life would be significant, - particularly:

- Zazen being the fourth rather than the last - that is - as a result of the meaning of the following observed-lanes-of-conduct is clarified and deepened.
(- slowly-but-naturally gradually inscribed within one’s natural understanding and tendencies)

I somewhat changed some of them [- i.e. - Steiner’s quoted words, - at the heart of this post] here, - but this is very close to the original. (- If you do check the link, - please note it is quite old.) - Had I tried to rewrite them again today it would have been quite further different, - perhaps even further than my rewriting (of “right speech”) in the last post. - Particularly since I would begin with “right livelihood”, (- which apparently should today rather be right-life-management, - which of course does include the correct choice of making a living, - assuming one makes one at all, - as a rather central part of it, - but does not limit itself to it solely) and not with the accumulation of right views and their relevant filtering, - normally taken to be the first in the wheel.

- Also I don’t very much like Steiner’s attitude in what he refers to as “the regulation of outward action”, - the fourth among the instructional directions as he lists them. - His words are generally not literally incorrect, - I don’t oppose them, - mainly - that way. - However he seems to focus on being harmonious in a way that is not inspiring or uplifting, - so to speak. - He somewhat makes up for it in the next two instructions which follow. - But generally the attitude seems to be merely regarded with not being obstructive or distractive. - This seems to me to be what might be called a rather “small” attitude. - It is, or would be, in accord with one’s abilities at first, - but later on it might be questionably appropriate.

- The meaning of harmony - though not literally, - might become altogether different: - In a way that it would or might (sometimes) drive one into action rather than just keep him from being a disturbance in the simplest sense.

- So, - as I referred to in the beginning, - Steiner’s words are not necessarily literally wrong, - quite the other way around, - but could easily be misinterpreted, - to the extent of creating a wrong or even unfortunate atmosphere.

- So far for this point.

- Last, - I would want to refer to what might be the main point which drew me to the writing of this post here.

- And the previous one, - possibly.

Steiner’s attitude is not anachronistic. - I am not at all certain this could be rightly said of every interpretation of the Eightfold Path as a set of instructions you could come across elsewhere within various attempts to expound the Buddha’s teaching.

- The attitude he is taking does seem most appropriate for the times we live in. - Though it has been over a hundred years since the writing of his book, the distance does not seem significant. - As one might actually expect, - we have not changed that much since.

It seems to me the presentation put forth by him could generally be the correct way to view the Eightfold Path these days, - which I imagine is quite different than common directions one might come across today.

- Still with the relevant reluctances (- and corrections, - possibly) expressed earlier.

- Else than this, - study of this kind of teaching, - where it might involve enumerated lists of items - perhaps more typical to Theravada Buddhism than to the school of Mahayana, - should today, - in my view - be carried out relating as well to the correlating occult elements of the human body. - As referred to at the beginning of my post with regard to the Eightfold Path, - and as Steiner makes clear in his book, - where I read it.

I am referring to such teachings as Dogen refers to in Shobogenzo Sanjushichi-Bon-Bodai-Bunpo. - A chapter I never read in full, - (- like many others, actually, - you might find it funny but I don’t read much, and your language - native English speakers - is tiring, - for foreigners such as myself) where Dogen relates to the Eightfold Path as well. (at its end)
(- Just since I mentioned it, - what Dogen is saying there is altogether irrelevant to what I was saying here.)

- This kind of listing, - it seems quite clearly, - is related to occult elements, and generally - it seems, - based upon them.

- Such knowledge is obviously not irrelevant to such matters, - and given the development and refinement - since ancient times - of the human “mind”, - or what it might represent, - it seems in quite a solid way that now at the times we are living it would be right to include such study in the studies of such matters.

Familiarity with this understanding (as introduced by Steiner in his own teaching, - which is not Buddhist) would necessarily be a part of appropriate understanding of these Buddhist (- or not necessarily Buddhist) teachings at these times in the 21st century in which we live. (- Assuming they are taught at all. - I am not here referring to the question of whether one should engage in such studies in the first place. - But if these teachings do take place, - then my words apply as I am bringing them here.)

- I don’t think one who is not acquainted with the matter, - with regard to any such particular teaching, - could reasonably claim to thoroughly understand it and be appropriately acquainted with it as a teaching of the path to which it relates.

- The occult is part of the reality which surrounds us.

- Understanding it [- the reality] does not exclude it. (- The occult.)

And this is no doubt true of religious and spiritual teachings as well.

- Though many of those who are supposed to be teaching Buddhism would deny what they are to know the truth of, - if they are to be considered worthy of guiding men and women in the path they see themselves as leaders in.

- However, - I will not go further about that.

My last point turned out to be two: - The (possibly) main one mentioned above, - that is. - Which brings my post to the end.

- It’s been a lot of work writing it.

- I don’t suppose there will be any such long post in the near future.

Posting as Practice

- Right speech, as an element, - or a lane, - of the Eightfold Path, - is usually fundamentally interpreted as an avoidance of being untruthful.

- Not telling lies, - that is.

This interpretation does make a lot of sense given the time and place in which Gautama - the historical Buddha - lived, - and actually taught his Sangha. - This may be as complicated as he could get, - reasonably - that is, - there and then.

Then a reference is made to being considerate; - sometimes, not always. I came upon a claim as if being considerate is more “deep” than not being untruthful. I couldn’t very much see it that way. [- + : - btw]

Only combining the two simultaneously would or could justify speaking of depth here in this context, - in my view.

However, - this is as far as it goes, it seems. [- i -]

There is a book by Rudolf Steiner originally called “Wie erlangt man Erkenntnisse der höheren Welten?”. - (- 1904) In the sixth part of this book - “Veränderungen im Traumleben des Geheimschülers” - Steiner offers the following instruction to his students: -

“The student should utter no word that is devoid of sense and meaning; all talking for the sake of talking draws him away from his path. He must avoid the usual kind of conversation, with its promiscuous discussion of indiscriminately varied topics. This does not imply his preclusion from intercourse with his fellows. It is precisely in such intercourse that his conversation should develop to significance. He is ready to converse with everyone, but he does so thoughtfully and with thorough deliberation. He never speaks without grounds for what he says. He seeks to use neither too many nor too few words.”.

Though neither of the two fundamental earlier mentioned points is explicitly mentioned or demanded, - they would (- both - though not initially equally) naturally follow from the instructions handed (here above) by Steiner, - which to some degree, - views them as taken for granted or understood of themselves.

- However, - the seriousness and awareness, - plus maintenance of liveliness rather than its absence, which might sometimes follow from the attempt to stand up to the previous two, - plus the balance indicated, - would stabilize and nurture-the-essential-fundamental-outline of those two axises - (truthfulness and considerateness) which do - behind evident scene - form the structure of Steiner’s description, (- which in itself grows and develops around them as its initial (- rather skeletal) framework) even if not in the most evident and apparent manner - prior to the practice being enabled to permeate one’s being and become inherent in him.

- However again, - quite without regard to my words in the last two paragraphs, - the point I mainly wanted to relate to here this time is that in following the outline carefully introduced by Mr. Steiner, - (Rudolf) even in posting, - either a blog post or a comment, - on the Internet - one would be carrying out what may be said to be actual practice of the path.

I initially thought, (- I related to this matter some time ago on the comments section of Brad Warner’s blog - HCZ, - where I would sometimes express views before starting this blog, - but I was quite unlucky at the time as some troll who pretended to be me posted long copy-&-paste posts in which my initial intention seem to have got lost, - somewhat at least; - that is while Brad was (seemingly) having a quite strict non-deletion policy at the comments section at the time) that [in order] to have the text fit actual Buddhist running and spirit the word “deliberation” should be replaced by “mindfulness”.

- Anthroposophy is different from Buddhism at this point, - though since the text is translated [from German] I am not sure the word “deliberation” may not be somewhat of a mistranslation in itself.

I don't know German.

- During the writing of this post, - I have again observed Steiner’s words brought above, and I have rewritten them - all over again - as follows: -

       “The student should not speak else than in a sensible and meaningful manner, - all talking for the sake of talking draws him away from his path. - He should avoid the usual kind of conversation, with its random variety of rather arbitrary themes, and corresponding quite careless discussion. - This does not imply his withdrawal from human intercourse. - Rather it is just in such intercourse that his conversation would develop to significance and bloom into real contact with the actual reality.
       - He would fundamentally be ready to converse with anyone, - but his doing so is mindful and would bear appropriate (- though not necessarily evident) seriousness for the occurring facing moment. - He never speaks without grounds. - And as well he seeks to neither use too many words nor to employ too few.”.

This seems to be better in accord with the harmony I am familiar with in the house of Master Dogen, and in the larger house of Master Bodhidharma. Those treading other paths might differently adopt things according to their own conditions and circumstances.

Though I believe the harmony prevailing throughout the spirit of renowned Master Dogen (though not only) is unmatched.

The situation in the west might ridicule itself in comparison.

While at the same time other claims might be made vice versa, - but this is quite irrelevant here.

Anyway, - I have made my point.


[- + : - btw] - This considerateness is, to a great deal, - [- actually] the second of the four elements of the bodhisattva’s social relations, (- “Bodaisatta Shishobo”, - chapter 45 in the Nishijima-Cross translation (- Book 3) and 46 in the Nearman translation) but this is [- again, - actually] beside the point here in this post.
[- i -] (- Steiner actually says otherwise: - “Students will recognize ... the instructions given by the Buddha to his disciples for the Path”. - That is to say his instruction is right speech. - The next post will tell you more of what this footnote is about. - Hopefully. - God only knows.
- Also I haven’t actually thoroughly checked so it may be that the common presentation
[of “right speech] is not as I imagine. - However, - the post’s main point will maintain itself, - I believe.)

Living and Dying, Coming and Going

I did not originally intend to make this post, - though I thought some of it might get integrated into the previous one. - As it didn’t - I have come to write this, I originally intended to go on to a different matter in the next post. - So this isn’t an independent post in a way, - but as if appended to the last one.

- As I got into the matter of our origination as human beings, of where this form of ours comes from, which has to do with the origination of the ground beneath our feet and the planetary system to which it belongs, - and very likely the universe itself - or the physical plain as we usually see it, - and what a religion is, or what religions are, - for the purpose of which I initially got involved in this matter in the last post, - plus - also - perhaps the most important here - within this frame of things - what is the explicit reason for our present existence in particular and for that of that which is here surrounding us, - as I got into all that - which is of course of greater importance than the actual line and intended-aim of the last post in themselves, - and that is without almost any reasonable support for the fantastic story many would consider altogether outrageous, - I thought I would try and provide some support or relate to it in some way. - Now for all those who imagine themselves wise but may not be so, - this is not to be a proof. - Very obviously not.
There are many who know (- however extremely few these “many” may be) but very reasonably keep silent. (- or sometimes even explicitly argue contrarily, and I do believe you might have come across them)
Has it all been [that easily] reasonably provable you would have very likely have heard of it far earlier.

(- Though there may be many [lit.] hard headed academics and the like whose inflexible abilities of thought and silly blind heart blocked with externally-absorbed self-esteem they imagine to be of their own grounding would keep them from being able to appreciate the value of  practical arguments even in case such are presented to them to a possible extent.
- However, - I am not about these now. - I’m just as fond of them as I might be of an unexpected gathering of coals and ashes I might find on my new and clean Persian living room carpet.
- Particularly just after it’s just been bought or cleaned.

I don’t really have a carpet; this is just for the purpose of illustration, but stupidity, - while fundamentally innocent in its nature, - can actually be terribly annoying when assertive and confident.)

- So this post is to be a just a grouping of several unrelated points, - you might make of what you will.

- The first: - In ’93, - (- I’m quite certain, - though there may be a chance it was 92) it should have been April that year - I participated in a zazenkai in Nanzen-ji Monastery (Rinzai sect) in Kyoto.

- It was open to anyone, - as I guess zazenkais in Japan usually are, - though the hour it was scheduled was so early quite few would come.

It was either a Sunday or a Saturday morning - I can’t remember which. - I think when I walked there it was still dark. - There was Zazen, I can’t remember how many periods, - then there were the Heart Sutra and Hakuin Zenji’s song of Zazen, - (- chanting - that is, - each of them once) and then there was a short talk by Nanzen-ji’s Roshi, - (I don’t know his name) who conducted it all all by himself - as far as I can remember.

I was the only foreigner - again as far as I can remember. The talk was all in Japanese.

As we were afterwards walking away, - me and perhaps two or three of the other participants, - I asked them what did the Roshi say.

- In his talk - that is.

I can’t really remember exactly what they said, - and they probably didn’t think there was a reason to be so carefully exact about it, - but the general idea and the spirit were -
“The Sun shines, the trees grow, the birds are singing, - all so that we can come to realize our true nature”.
(- The words were very much like that too, - I guess)

- It didn’t occur to me at the time, - but what the Roshi was saying is just that which I was, - and am, - talking about. - Of course he didn’t make it explicit. - He didn’t even intend for anyone to understand what he was talking about; - unless he knew I knew something about these things - this is.

- But the fact - nevertheless - still stands.

- Second: - The “birth” mentioned in Job 38:21 is clearly Enlightenment. - It was known neither in Judaism nor in Christianity so the fact was completely missed.

Translations being so bad, - as - I assume - translators were not men who could actually speak Hebrew but merely had quite dry scholastic knowledge of it, - the inevident meaning of verses 18-21 has been almost completely lost. (- This is also why I don’t link, - though you might find the whole chapter, in the most reasonable translation I have come across, - (- though I haven’t searched that far) opposite the original Hebrew - here.)

Was I to try and translate it myself, - (- though my knowledge of English might be somewhat insufficient) I would try and present it as follows: -

“- Have you meditated onto the breadth of the land?

- Say, - have you known it all?

- Which is the way [in which] light shall dwell, -

And darkness, - its abode - where?

- As you will carry it to its borderline,

- And as you will understand its home routes.

- You have [indeed] known - (that) then you will be born, -

And the number of your days [is] great.”.

(- When it actually says “Where” - I translated “Which” - as to maintain the spirit; - and for the same reason when it actually says “place” I said “abode”; - and when it simply says “take” I wrote “carry”. - More significant, - where I used “meditated” the original Hebrew word means “looked” or “observed”, though it is somewhat different from these two, - and there is no exact English word for it. - At the same time, - it is the same word used today (- not without reason of course) for meditation in modern Hebrew.

I considered using “contemplated” but preferred as I did. - “Looked” might have done had it been the only possibility, - but I believe it is better as it is.

- However, - in verse 19 there is no “to” - which you might find in existing translations, - and it merely seems to be a rough and irresponsible interpretation.)

It does lose on translation, it’s quite inevitable in trying to convert the Biblical Hebrew to English, but it is still reasonably comprehensible.

- “then you will be born” does not relate personally to Job, - who has already been enlightened by that time, - but is a general reference. Since Job has already been enlightened by the time, - it says he does know a person will be “born” (- i.e. - will be enlightened) under the circumstances described.

As for the number of his days being great, - this again refers to the fact of us reincarnating throughout the history of the Earth, - toward enlightenment; - (I’ll try to cease using this word) while when we get there our horizons open. - This is - in a way at least - (that is to say - I’ll tell you when I get there) when we are truly born.

- In spite of the fact in Buddhism it is sometimes referred to as “death”.

- So in that birth the number of our days will truly be many.

It is possible to go somewhat further here, I prefer not to.

- Thirdly, - the John Lennon songs “Instant Karma” and “Whatever Gets You through the Night” are somewhat about this.

I won’t go over them word by word, I’ll just quote from “Instant Karma”: - “How in the world you gonna see? - Laughing at fools like me.”, - [- !]Why in the world are we here?”, - and, - “Why on earth are you there?”, -* and I will make a few references to “Whatever Gets You through the Night” too: -

It’s your money or life”: - The money or your life implies materialistic pursuit, - no less common today - of course - than it was in 1974, - (when the album and single were released) versus spiritual development which is the natural and significantly-inherent purpose of our lives, as they are taking place here on Earth.

- That is, - it is of the choice of dedicating your life to worthwhile, living and reasonable aims - or to dead pursuit of material possession, - in following the common ways of a blind society.

- “Do it wrong or do it right” is similar to Sawaki Roshi’s “To know there is no way to fail in becoming a Buddha is issaichi**. The night trains carry you along even when you are sleeping.***.

- “Don't need a watch to waste your time” is a dual meaning: - Else than the evident, immediate meaning, - “watch” (also) implies meditation, - which is perhaps the number one element in spiritual practice. - That is to say you don’t need meditation in order to waste your time, - or rather refers to the fact that if you completely ignore your life’s purpose for which you are here, - namely spiritual development or progress, - here generally implied by one of its primary tools - meditation - indicated by the “watch”, - then you are wasting your time.

- And your life.

(- though on the other hand there is another side to it Lennon doesn’t refer to, - but I’ll drop this here as well)

- It’s a bit like Master Seppo’s quote I’ll refer to next. (“Seppo Gison” is “Xuefeng Yicun” in Chinese, but I’m used to the Japanese pronunciations, so far at least.)

- “Out the blue or out of sight” refers to enlightenment (- explicitly so, - sorry to be using this word again) appearing out of the blue or being out of sight. - See the next line as well.

(The chorus is about how important the thing is, and the way people react when you try to tell them about it.)

Lennon evidently did not intend for the actual meaning of the song to be obvious to someone who knows nothing about all this. - And I need not expound about the reason. But in case of both songs, - the fact that this is what he was talking about is not in question for anyone who has a reasonable idea about the matter.

All my above (and below) references should be viewed in context of the songs and not independently. - I did not link but you can find the words very easily on the web. - Anybody in doubt who has a true teacher could inquire with his own teacher. - As I said it not open to interpretations, - though written in an inapparent way as to have only the acquainted comprehend.

Next is Master Seppo Gison’s quote you can find at the lower part of the blog page. The first part of the sentence again refers to the same matter I am here to support at this post. - Redemption is a facet of E often emphasized in the Eastern versions of the path.

The second part: - “people are not willing to enter even if they are dragged” - corresponds to what I said in my last post: - “humanity is not concerned about the way at all”.

- Last is Dogen’s quote I used as the title of this post. - It is a phrase appearing repeatedly in the Shobogenzo. Sometimes variated it seems.

- Living and dying implies reincarnation. - Nothing else. Teachers who claim otherwise either explicitly lie or know very little shit.

- But it is not only that, - but within the context I was talking about: - Life and death as enabling us to walk the path the Teaching of Master Dogen (- as many others, - that is) is about.

Coming and going implies ordinary daily actions within our lives. - But again, - it implies their value as contributing to the aim of creation. - As I said, - whatever we do here on Earth serves that purpose.§ - Every action a human takes contributes to his inner being learning at least the slightest bit as a result of it. - And particularly in “Zen” its quiet and ordinary character has value in itself. - Noisy and obstructive outstanding actions might take you nowhere.

So it is about the value of simple everyday actions within the living structure of the far wider picture, - and suggesting their inherent significance minorically expressing it.

Here too, - this is not a subjective interpretation of the phrase. I can not see a way in which it could sincerely and seriously be interpreted otherwise.
At the time Master Dogen lived there was no problem. - Even though the story wasn’t generally told in full man has not yet lost his faith. Such a process was not even in its beginning.
So good old ever young Master Dogen Could express himself freely, - though this does not mean understanding was immediate to all.

I did not allow comments for this post. If you feel there is something you want to say you can do it under the previous one.

* - Still, - I’d mention that “gonna knock you right the head” refers to intellectualism, - which is a barrier to spiritual development, - and that “what on Earth you tryinna do” implies the fact that that-for-which-we-are-here can only be achieved on here Earth, - not in higher realms.
** The book from which the quote is explains “issaichi” as “the wisdom which understands the total aspect of phenomena”.
***While the quote in the book says “train”, I changed it to “trains”. Japanese does not normally distinguish between single and plural, - and in the original text it seems quite obviously to mean both.
§ This is an exact quote from the last post.

The gun at the picture above is the gun that killed John Lennon. It seems the asshole who took it imagined it to be of artistic value. - The stupidity of intellectuals can still be surprising, - apparently.

Genpo, Shimano etc

I don’t know much about the Genpo Roshi affair. - I read here and there, on the Internet, mainly on Brad Warner’s blog perhaps. I know almost nothing about Eido Shimano and the matters he’s been involved in, even though my first teacher (Rinzai sect) is a Dharma successor of Nakagawa Soen Roshi of Ryutaku-ji, - who has been Shimano’s teacher too.

I’d be interested to know and it’s quite easy on the web, but I can’t spare the time, - and the “head”, - as we say in Hebrew. (- today)

I’ve heard (actually - read) of other scandals following the mentioning of those of Dennis Merzel and Eido Shimano, and here too - very little. If you are reading this you are likely to be familiar with these things more than I am.

I don’t know the American scene. Quite thoroughly ignorant as for it.

And happily too, - btw.

- Still there might be a point I want to relate to.

- When I first had my first interest in the way - the spiritual path, - and for quite a while after, - several years at least, - I would see the way and religion as two different things - altogether apart. Unrelated.
I had no interest in religion.
- I assumed it to correspond to its appearance, - which I don’t even say it doesn’t.

- I recall when I met Kalo* in 1990 (Tuesday, - October the 15th) I was surprised at his (- unrequested) statement: (which I might still quite hate the sound of) “God exists”.

“God” was associated with religion. - I did not expect to hear anything about it.
(and I still do not see what’s the use of referring to the Reality by that name, or calling it that, - but perhaps there is still something to be learned)

- The point of “God” is irrelevant. I saw religion as people usually do. - Both secular and within the degenerated establishments.

I had no interest in religion. Actually it might be quite repulsive. I can certainly understand the way many intellectuals or extreme-materialists feel toward it.

- I suppose when I got to Nishijima’s Dojo in ’96 I still had this attitude, though I was familiar with the facts I intend to present here in this post already at this time.

It was sometime after that that my view changed. It doesn’t mean there were any facts I considered to be different. It’s somewhat like the way one feels toward things, - their interpretation. (- Still - such things can be quite real too - given that our mind at the outset is a practical tool.)

But then I didn’t think of religion as such a different thing from the way. - The path that aims at enlightenment or runs through it.

- It seems [- btw] this word is getting the status of a dirty one, in the house of Dogen, - as it presently extends to the west.

I don’t think this is correct. The situation in America today is greatly different from that in Japan 700 years ago. Things which may have been taken for granted then may be foreign to alien beings who are today joining the club.

I think this situation should be reconsidered.

Anyway - I suppose my change of view was much due to my stay at the Dojo, - though it only occurred sometime later. It seems to be that way for me not only then.

Again - anyway - now this seems to be strongly drawing us to what I tried to avoid in the last post. - Unavoidingly actually.

I might assume anyone trodding a spiritual path have a reasonable idea of what it is. “Zen” or Yoga or whatever. - Even with Sawaki Roshi’s “Zazen is good for nothing” people seem to parrot illogically taking it literally out of context.

However - as for religion, - in order to reasonably relate to what it is one can’t escape the questions of the existence of our planet and solar system, - and humanity - of what they are and how they came to be.

It is not that true teachers do not know this. It is easily understood why they avoid the subject. Some choose to explicitly lie. - While false teachers don’t even know they are supposed to know this, - in the non-dualistic schools at least - it seems, - so it doesn’t get heard at their places either.

Different religions have their stories of creation. This is not a new fact.

The pervading view today is of course that the whole physical plane - which is considered to be the whole of existence - is run by pure chance. - The appearance of everything within it is considered to be a consequence of completely random occurrences.
- The appearance of the Solar System, the Earth in particular, - and humanity which inhabits it - are merely the outcome of such processes and incidents.

I will not relate to how reasonable or unreasonable such an idea may be.

I will relate to the fact that it is untrue.

I do not expect anyone to take my word just because I say so.

At the same time I will not reasonably support my point at this point. Anyone interested can try and inquire for himself. It would be very difficult and probably far beyond anything I write here.

I will just state that our planetary system, including our home planet, - was brought into its present existence by intelligent beings who run the processes involved which are usually considered to be the fruit of pure coincidence. - That is - while humanity is a tool for individual beings who are born within it to attain to that which is known within Eastern religions as “Enlightenment”. - However shocking some may find this idea, - at least in the possibility of taking it to be true, - it can be said that that which the spiritual way is headed at - is originally the intentional aim of creation.
- I will here also refer to the fact that the statement in the Bible (Genesis 1:27) that God has created man in his own form refers to the fact that man is capable of “attaining” that enlightenment. (- I myself would have preferred not to use that word, - but I don’t want to leave room for absence of clarity.)

As for how things practically took place - the most reasonable description (in English at least) in my view you can find here. - It is not that I am saying it is all correct. I am quite confident it is not. - Contemporary materialistic so-called “science” as well changes its views once in a while. - Also the details are not relevant for the main point this post is to be about. - It doesn’t really matter for that. - And even among the writings or lectures of Mr. Steiner here you might find something which would be better than that. - That which I linked here is from a book I received years ago from a certain woman who doesn’t particularly seem to like Steiner very much, - which may very likely be the reason - in part - why she presented me with it after I initially borrowed it from her.

I prefer to relate to this point [here] as little as I can. It is an apparent fact that many will consider it ridiculous. And I am not (even) arguing as for its validity. - But without it it is generally impossible to practically make a correct assertion as for what a religion is, - here in this context, - and with my present (yet unfolded) intention, - at least.
And with the audience which might be reasonably assumed here at this blog.

- All [true] religions have been introduced by whoever they are - or whoever it is - who guide (- or guides - if you wish) humanity in its course of development, - whom of course do not [- or does not - that is] reside here at the physical plain as we ourselves do.[- i -]

- That is - religions are to be a tool as for the primary cause and aim of creation. - Whatever we do here on Earth serves that purpose. But not in the same way. Our consciousness ever increases. [- else than when it doesn’t - that is] But religion is a sort of guide or stream as to promote this purpose. - Most would imagine today that the moral guidance introduced within religion is identical in principal to the moral rules, laws or attitude we encounter in secular culture. It is not. - I am not referring to the extent or magnitude of refinement, advancement, development, - or primitivity, - of the structure and content of the designated route. - The purpose is not the same purpose.

- I would say the interest of the Heavenly factors who source the vital stream lies primarily with its purifying effect and its creation of natural patterns within the action and mental-structure of individuals who accord with the guidance presented.

- It is not just about “justice” or rightness in themselves as we see it in the secular world.

Not only through moral guidance, - religions contribute to the development of men, women and humanity toward spiritual attainment their present form is created for the purpose of. - And toward what may easily be said to be its pinnacle or climax.

- This of course has to do with the Heavenly introduction of religion. - It does not mean every nonsense introduced through degenerated scholarship which develops with time is favorable in the first place.
- You might consider for example the words of Christ spoken to the [- Jewish] religious leaders of his time in Matthew 23.

(- Which might have - [- btw] particularly as having been delivered in public, - contributed to the addressees of these words having assisted their renowned severe criticizer in safely finding his way to the cross at the famous sight of Golgotha.)

This is as well true as for religions which have made or presently make no reference to anything of the sort of what I said, or apparently seem to just be altogether unrelated to it. - Which of course isn’t really a rare thing; - otherwise most of what I said might have been unnecessary. - Hindu might be quite clear about its objects. - In part at least. - But in Judaism, - which Christianity has acknowledgably sprang out of, - all you might be able to find is religious law, generally without any reasoning or elucidation as for. - Ancient religions too may seem altogether unrelated to the picture I present.

- As for the reason for this - you might generally speculate as I might, - or so it seems - to me at least.

My main point in the above discourse is that religion is an instrument as for the spiritual development of humanity - aiming at the point at which what we might call “the spiritual path” is aimed at and leads to. - The difference is religion is intended for the majority of humanity, - or reasonable portions of it at certain major zones, - while the path is intended for those who are ready to take a far more explicit trek.

- Humanity is all aimed at enlightenment. - That’s what it has been created for.
Through continuous reincarnations it moves steadily forward. - This is the purpose of reincarnation: - To allow repeated use of the human body in constant progress until it is no longer in need.         [- “it” here refers to reincarnation; - if you see it as referring to the human body, - though - it would still be correct]

The spiritual path, - or - “the way”, - (- which could also carry a far wider meaning, - far more inclusive which would also integrate religion [- as presented here, - that is] as well) may perhaps be seen as somewhat like a home stretch in the Earthly existence of an individual. - Though quite a long one in itself; - ranging - you might say - in most cases - it seems - beyond a single life span. - It is when one intentionally pursues the path, - not always recognizing it for what it is, - due to his own inclination, - or attraction, - or sometimes consideration too.

- And there may be those who imagine they follow it but actually don’t, - following the instruction of such silly cons as the notorious Andrew Cohen; - (- he does seem like the most classic example - though my knowledge of him is scarce) an instruction that is made easy and convenient as to suite the will of those who have never had true attraction to where they are suppose to and imagine to be aimed at.

- So, - as for what I was saying earlier: - Originally I saw religion and the way (- I will use this word hereafter in this post) as two different and unrelated things. - Originally, - perhaps, - because I knew nothing of what a religion is. - But after I did too: - I viewed the different as the significant or essential, - or somewhere around the vicinity of these.
- The fact is humanity is not concerned about the way at all.
- Almost, - that is. - These days especially, - or at least.
- So this was the point I tended to notice and evaluate. It is quite natural.

Somehow sometime after visiting Nishijima’s Dojo, - my view changed. I saw the identity of the purpose and the as-if-possible-continuous-link as meaningful. And I generally thought of the way and religion as one.

- Nishijima - like many others - does not relate to the difference at all, - you might say. - He speaks of Buddhism. - He does speak of the will to the truth. - He does not neglect its importance. - But he does not relate at all to the difference between Buddhism as offered to the great humanity, and its practice by those for whom the will to the truth does have (real) significance.

I could mention as well, - that in anything I came across on the net referring to the incidents the title of this post suggests - the difference I am referring to was never suggested, and its existence has never been implied. - Nor in anything else I came across on the web, - as far as I can remember. - There is just “Buddhism”, - no distinction.

After the incidents you might assume this post is to be about, - not right away, but after some (- not necessarily intentional) regarding thoughts have been [quite freely] crossing my mind, - I quite tended to return to my previous view.
- To value the differences and see them as significant.

Buddhism, Christianity, and contemporary scholarism
- The question of what does Buddhism have to offer to westerners in general and perhaps Americans in particular, - and perhaps generally speaking - to that society which originally was of Abrahamic religions, - is practically and essentially to be divide - to a great deal at least - into two separate questions.

- This is why I went into all that I did just above.

It is true that I may be happy to make all the references to the occult, - but I would have preferred to avoid them, - for now at least.

- One question would be what does Buddhism have to offer to the general public, - i.e., - to those of it who find interest in it, - of course.

And a second question would be what would it be able offer to individuals who find interest in the way, - to those who have an inner inclination to pursue or seek that which is described by those who have come to know it as ineffable.

- And my first main point in this lengthying post - is that these two questions are not the same.

I might quote from Shobogenzo Baike: -
My late master, the eternal buddha, does not easily grant monks’ requests to stay at the temple. He usually says, “People who are accustomed to not having the will to the truth are not permitted in my place.” He sends them away at once. Having got rid of them he says, “Without being a genuine person, what do they want to do? Dogs like that disturb others. They cannot stay.””.**
- It is not necessarily exactly what I am talking about, - I don’t know the situation in China, - at the time or generally. - Were we talking about Japan I could say it is not exactly the same. - But the idea is similar and the difference I am talking about is here evident: - Tendo would never dream - of course - of having any objection to these people being Buddhists in the first place.

- I’m not saying I like the quote. - It may be somewhat out of place here in this context. - But it does display some sort of difference nobody would doubt, - not seriously at least - I believe.

As for the second question: - (I am here altering the order, - it seems more convenient) Has a person established the will for the truth, or has it naturally arisen, - or is it perhaps - I guess - in some stages of developing too, - it may be somewhat insignificant which way would he choose.

- The fact that Christianity exists where it does, the fact that Buddhism exists where it does, the fact that Hindu and Islam have spread as they did and are available in the regions in which they are, - is not without reason. - This will be significant when we return to the first question. - But generally religions suit the population where they arise and spread. - I don’t necessarily mean this is true in the last decades too.

- But still - anyway - for an individual who is genuinely attracted to the spirit, or to the truth, or to his or hers actualization of being a living part of humanity, - such environmental background or characteristics are not that dominant. - One’s personal tendencies might be much more significant.

I have recently* come across a post on Brad Warner’s blog where he refers to a woman asking him about the choice of her way. - In my view, - the most significant factor in such a case is which does one find more attractive. - Assuming we are talking about real paths and real teachers - not of the sort of the joker [- AC] I have mentioned earlier, - assuming we are referring to real ways, and the question is just which is better for a particular individual person - I would say in most cases the way one finds more appealing is the one that would actually suit him better.

I am not saying this is without exceptions. - But usually Rinzai would be better for a person who likes Rinzai and Soto would be better for a person who likes Soto. - It seems to me the main question this woman ought to consider is which [form of] meditation she is better found of. - As they are not necessarily at all alike. (- They may be quite alike compared to some altogether different stuff, - but then this does seem irrelevant here.)

Anyway - what I wanted to make a point of here is that with regard to the second question (discussed first here) it is true that Buddhism could be very suitable for men and women who find attraction to it.

However, - as for Buddhism taking its place as a religion in the occident - the situation may be quite different.

- This does not mean that there would not be individuals for whom the bargain would be right and in its correct place.

- The question is how small would the minority be and how insignificant.

I recall Papa-ji (- H.W.L Poonja, a Hindu Advaita teacher, picture on the right) once asked: - “Where do you find 500 people with the will for the truth?”. - Well, - of course, - he meant that you don’t. - Such a number is not reasonable.

- When I hear of a “Zen” center in the west with five hundred members it feels strange. - It doesn’t feel natural.

And this is where all that I have been bringing up here might link to the scandals you might expect me to be discussing here instead of all that you’ve had the chance to come across by now so far. - Sorry if you find it disappointing but you can always Google for sex. - Or Bing.

- If I think of such a center it seems the attendees were somehow misguided as for what they are coming for. - I don’t mean intentionally. - But the general idea might have been somehow misinterpreted for them: - As the whole picture I have been drawing is nothing near known to either humanity [of course] or to practitioners, - [- in most cases - it seems] the possibility of an occurrence of such a situation may be quite more realistic and common.

And it is not only due to that - of course.

The first question (here second) would have to do with the extent to which Buddhism could take its place as a religion in the west.

And this may be the place to mention - in case my - quite fantastic in the eyes of many I suppose - presentation, - is accepted - the true value that is reflected by such statements as that religion is “the opium for the masses”, (- or - “of the people” - as in the original quote) and thus also the true quality that is quite equally reflected - of the actual human material which produces such statements.

- And also - the wrongness of the view which sees religion - in part - as some sort of a primitive form of psychology.

- However, - as for the question itself - the question is how suitable is it for the people.

- Does the glove fit the hand?

And I don’t see room for analysis. - Perhaps somebody could. - But it seems quite impractical.

- But - then again - the feeling is quite clearly that it could not substitute Christianity. (- Nor could Christianity substitute Buddhism in its Eastern grounds - in case it makes anyone feel better; - and otherwise too, - btw.)

Here I might come upon another point which would differ than the view of many - and on different sides too:

- Many would take it for granted that Christianity is available in abundance in the world that is known to be Christian.

I would say that is not at all so.

- I don’t think that which any of the Christian churches today has to offer to the general public who would regard them as religious authorities is of the form Christianity should reasonably take on today, - or could actually justifiably even be called by that name. - Having been born and raised in Israel I have very little knowledge of the matter. - But I do imagine - still - I could say none of them reflects the true spirit of Christianity or its understanding. (I suppose Christianity did not rely upon understanding throughout the last 2000 years; I suppose the situation will not be the same in the next similar period.)

I could again refer to the state of Judaism at the time of Christ reflected in the chapter I linked above.

- There was Christianity. - It may be found here and there - today too. - But I don’t think any of the organizations known as churches does advertize it. - Again: - Suppose my story is true, - what would come a priest - in any of the churches you might know - who tries to advertize it, - or even generally just bring it up?

- I have recently come across news of an unknown Indian tribe traced in Brazil, - (see here too) completely detached from civilization - unless I got it wrong.

- They see airplanes. - They’ve been spotted by such.

- Now suppose they ask you what an airplane is. - Or perhaps you just want to tell them. - And suppose you tell them it’s a big bird. - Because practically they won’t understand better.

- Of course it isn’t. - It isn’t a living being at all.

And then your story goes down through the ages.

And suppose conditions change, and technology perishes, - as in some science fiction stories I might have read when I was a child, or a teenage.

- Airplanes don’t exist anymore, but the church insists on the story.

And then some wise scientist comes up and makes clear such a bird could never have existed.

Fools fight fools, - and those who do have a real and reasonable idea are wise enough to shut up.

(- As in the words of Lao Tse: - “He who knows does not speak; He who speaks does not know.”.)

And the image of religion may then be constructed according to misinterpretations of anachronistic fairy tales neither side really understands.

(+ : - btw - sometimes It’s not even that. - It seems some of the quotes the church used to rely on as to assert the Earth could not possibly be in motion simply do not say that. - It’s just bad translations.
- As I can read and speak Hebrew I can make that statement very unequivocally.)

The above parable is not meant to be perfect, - it is not 1:1, - if you get the general idea just forget it.

+ Back to the subject: - (sorry about the delay)

So, - it is that many, - both secular and religious - would imagine Christianity to be what the churches market or have to market.

In my view it was a great pity if this was about all there may be to it.

If you accept my account given earlier - again - the rerise of Christianity in particular and of religion in general is inevitable.

If you use your common sense and the most ordinary eyes every man normally has, - it will not appear overnight.

We can not expect it at present.

But if you take what you imagine to be Christianity to be what it actually is, - it doesn’t seem like anything we could expect anything much of in the future of humanity.

- It seems like a very poor glove.

- And then you’d say, - “- wtf, - this Christ thing is nothing, - It’s not even something we can take seriously”. - And you don’t see things in the actual perspective and framework or the way they are.

- I do say what the churches have to offer is not something you can plant.

It’s not even a tree.

But if you get what I’m trying to say you might notice Buddhism somehow doesn’t fit the ground.

I’m not saying it’s wrong. - Obviously. - It seems to be a way I follow though I’ve never chosen to receive precepts.

But the bottom line of this long road I’ve been leading through all the above words is: -

“Isn’t Buddhism trying to spread too wide?”.

These may have been somewhat of an expensive two cents, - but that’s it, - either way - here in this brief and light fifth blog post.
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shlomo_Kalo
[- i -] Steiner Speaks of beings who have completed their development on an earlier incarnation of this Earth of ours, who are at present the “leaders and guides” of humanity, - while beings who have not been able to complete their development at the same time and under the same circumstances are serving them for that purpose. (- as “angels”)
You might find some about that in the lecture previous to the one I’ve linked, (up at the post - that is) and in the one here too. - I suppose the natural place to look for it would mainly be in a book called “Occult Science, - An Outline” (- “Geheimwissenschaft im Umriss” ) but I don’t really know this book. - I’m not that versed in Anthroposophy.
** The above quote is from the Nishijima-Cross translation. (Book 3)
- Nearman gives: -

* - Well it was recent when I wrote it. - It has taken me so long to write this post that it may no longer be. [that recent]
- But it is not really that important.