- 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.                                                 ________________________


I would like to refer to time with regard to the four world views as fundamentally expressed or presented in my second post here at the blog. One does not need to be familiar with that post in order to understand this one.

What I [will] say here might not apparently seem to correspond to the presentation of the four stages [as I see them] presented there. I do believe the seeming discrepancy can be sorted out, but it will most likely not be in this particular post.

- Perhaps sometime in the future.

- I assume these discrepancies might have gone unnoticed had I not mentioned them, - but in case they would I made my comment. - The matter does not seem significant and the integration (of the contents of this post into that of the older one) does not seem urgent.

- To the point: -

Materialism, - I would say, - seems to ignore time altogether. - It fundamentally notices a phenomenon disregarding its context.

Its relation to space is the same. It does not concern itself with a thing’s surroundings.

It is quite like a young child’s, or even a baby’s view, - noticing a thing of interest unable to simultaneously focus on its either close or further-remote surrounding as well.

It is like noticing a spot on a wall unable to be aware of the wall as well.

You might say materialism is not concerned with time or space. It is merely capable of viewing a phenomenon or an object disconnected from its related or unrelated close-or-remote fellow objects. - As the first, - it is the most primitive view. - The most incomplete one.

Idealism would roughly correspond to our usual view in our materialistic day-to-day life these times we are living in.

It views linear time and linear space. - Again, - as materialism, - it does not differ between them. - It has the same attitude toward both.- The difference between time and space is that we can control our movement in space, - but we are completely in absence of any means to control our ever-continuing motion through what we call time. - Further than that, - we define our movement (- in space, or any other thing we might call movement, - which would eventually also be in space as well, - as it seems) in relation to time. - By its very essence. - We can not speak of movement which is not measured by our incontrollable continuous and steady progress through the most fundamental dimension the nature of can not be examined - as it seems, - through the other more evident and noticeable dimensions we are familiar with.

Movement is defined through time. - It is meaningless to speak of controlling our movement through time, - since it seems to be time itself which enables our movement, (and if we would see the fourth phase as transcending time, - we would also see it as transcending movement) and by which it is measured and gains its meaning in the first place.

Idealism ignores this difference. Thus it still treats time and space equally.

Idealism is somewhat contrasted, - apparently, - with materialism as presented above.
- It notices the existence of the whole and sees its elements as parts of it, integrated within it.

Were we concerned with the mind and with the existence of what we may call “individuals” or “sentient beings”, - it would have been relevant, - it seems, - that idealism believes in the existence of individuals while realism is free of that view and aware of the unity of the whole as one unified integral ever-living inseparable being, - from which we merely might imagine what we believe to be ourselves to be separate.
- However, - discussing time as we do here, - this point will not take place, - and things can be said to be - in that way, - as I did above.

- Realism will as if take a step back, - after materialism making a start off one extreme and idealism as if stretching it counter its initial intention, - though in somewhat of a careless manner - overlooking that which realism will thereafter reestablish and develop.

Idealism ignores the fact that thought is not isolated from perception and action, - and also from the consequences of that action which could again be perceived by the individual, - thereby forming [part of] what we may call the objective universe.

It sees thought and world view as existing - idealistically - by their own and on their own, - disregarding, - in principle, - any practical value they might have. - This is a view based fundamentally on emotions rather than on clarity of eyes. - While of course those holding it are not aware of this fact.

Noticing the fact that our mind, - (which in principle, - as a sort of an independent picture of things in possesion of its own existence, - could be said not to exist at all, - but this refers to the mind somewhat differently and is irrelevant here) as a reflector of its objects and a designer of action, - is a link in a chain, - or more exactly a part of a circle or an ever-continuing coil, - does have an effect on the way we would view existence in general, - and time too - in particular.

Realism acknowledges three facts: - That thought and consideration exist within a circle of perception - consideration - action and external-result, - and that the functioning of our mental ability of sorting-and-putting-data-into-order known as “thought” - within that circle, - is for a purpose, - and does not idealistically exist in its own self-created-universe for the sole purpose of its very own mere existence, as idealistic feelings of shallow men and women might seemingly point; - (- second) that one can only perceive within the present moment, - that is to say, - when it arrives and before it takes its leave - which might by the way questionably allow anything in between, - but I’ll get to that - I guess, - when I get to the [fourth] phase of the ineffable; - (- and thirdly) that in the same way one can only act in the present moment.

Since I came across explanations for what it means that one can only act in the present moment more than once, on the Internet as well I guess, - I will not get into that point and I will assume that those who arrive here at my blog know and understand this, - fundamentally at least, - the idea and its framework.
- If you are unsatisfied you could make your comment in the comments section and I might give it a try, - but it most certainly won’t be right away.

The idea that one can only perceive in the present moment is the same as the idea that one can only act in it. - Though I do not recall ever coming across it anywhere before until now.

Either way (therefore) it does not seem to require any further explanation or clarification as for what it (fundamentally) is.

- The first [of the three facts mentioned above] grants the other two their meaning or significance.

- Had it not been for the first the other two would fundamentally imply nothing as for our view of time, or perhaps of anything in general.

- Though the first point, - as you might say any other true point [in philosophy] to a great extent, - is inevitable, - which does make this last statement here quite meaningless in itself.

- Either way, - what I mean is, - that if you notice the practicality of the functioning of your mind, - the second and third points would gather their meaning.

This is a point I referred to in my second post mentioned at the beginning, - the idea is that our gathering of data and sorting (or you might say processing, - which doesn’t make it more accurate) it is for a purpose. - Therefore the view established within the mind of ours should initially be in accordance with that purpose. - Not just to a certain extent but - in principle, - fully. As this is that for which our “mind” places itself and functions in the first place.

Idealistic incomplete views are a misunderstanding (- or, - more accurately perhaps, - simply a missing) of the above.

- Therefore the point I would see as the meaning of “Sangai Yuishin” (- “The triple world is the mind alone”, - in Japanese) would become relevant.

- The idea is that you can not speak of the universe as something different from the picture [of it] reflected in your mind. - At the same time you can not see the reflections within your mind, - its contents, - as something different or separate from the mind itself.

The ideas, the pictures, the intentions, - “within” your mind are just what your mind consists of.
- It is not like a picture painted on canvas (or on paper, or whatever) where you can say that there is the thing on which picture is painted and then there is the picture itself from which it has of course its separate existence.
- It is not even like an electronic media where there is the hard disc and then there is the information stored on it, which of course are not entirely the same thing.

The point which might be necessary here is that our mind is an unnecessary thing in a way in the first place: - Functioning does not require inner consciousness: - We can see that with computers and machines.
- Whatever the physical or spiritual mechanism you might assume would be in action - the outcome does still seem to be the same, - it does not require the existence of self-consciousness and it does not - initially - in principle - at least, - explain why is it that we find it or why has it come into existence.

- “Zen” in a way seeks the elimination of the mind. - A perfect situation of a completely spontaneous action. - It does not (of course) mean the inner processes of perception, thought and will do not - or would not - take place, - but they would not need to summon up another folded layer doubling the fundamental one which is truly necessary - thus creating the basically-excessive mental element us ignorant beings are familiar with as “self-consciousness”.

I would say the state of no consciousness is the normal state. Out of which self-consciousness arises and into which it disappears.

That is to say the appearance of [the conscious] mind is essentially and fully related and linked to the appearance of its contents.

It only appears in the company of its content like an excessive fold in our inner mechanism. There is no such thing as an empty self consciousness. When it is empty it is clean. - When it is clean it dies out, - it does not exist.

That is to say in its very appearance self-conscious-mind is one with its contents. The fact is not immediate. Otherwise I would not need to write all that. But the two are not two, - we simply imagine them to be two because of viewing them differently, - from different angles, - unaware of the profound nature of the substance, - but they are integrally and inherently one, - completely, - which as I mentioned before could be said to be in a way of no existence what so ever.

It may perhaps be said to be a little like an origami structure where the paper itself is not separate from the form created out of it, - but it does go beyond that.

Some reference can be made to the case of the picture too, or to that of various electronic media, - but I will not get into that. - In the case of the mind there is no separation between a contents and a substance which is supposed to carry or contain it. - This may be because our mind is unreal in the first place. Clear mind does not allow any [self-] consciousness. If we have a conscious picture in our mind it always means some sort of imperfection or what you might call impurity. There is no exception to that rule.

Your mind is just its contents. It may not be easy to see but it is not possible to actually find some substance of it else than what you would usually and normally call its contents.

Having come to notice the practical inability to differentiate between our mind and an external preliminary reality or world, - or between the mental picture held at a certain moment and the structure of the actual facts it is supposed to reflect, and - simultaneously - noticing also that our thought or consideration is not an undependent system or factor independent in its aims and ways, but a part of a longer line of a wider and more realistic purpose, - and - thirdly, - that in spite of the first fact mentioned here we may be said to be living within an incomplete and imperfect picture we are holding due to the faults of the systems by which we are creating this picture, - (or by which this picture is created, anyway) plus, the fact that this incomplete and distorted picture changes or alters unfailingly at every moment, - we might subsequently view or observe things as if time itself spreads - unfolds, - and is wrapped up again - continuously through every moment and in every point it makes its progress through.

We are as if living in darkness where we only have our picture at every moment like a single cinema frame, like a one dimensional line in a two dimensional plain, - or like a two dimensional curve in a three dimensional space, - while being completely blind to anything but it. - We only have our picture at each moment, we can not see the picture of other points in time from any other point but them, - it is like the universe continually flashes and at every point in time the past and future are born and die out, - or die and a new past and future are born for a flash there. - Since we are unable to break out of our picture, - since it is for us our universe, - we are bound to see it - to a certain extent or in a way at least, - as real. It is what we act according to, - It is our knowledge, - even if we may integrate into it the fact that we know our perception and consideration are faulted, - (that is to say our consequent data too of course) this is still ever within the picture or view too. There is no other way. Of course. - So in a situation where we are practically obliged to use our picture, - our mental picture, - the gathering of information sitting at the time in our mental systems of the individual as an organism, - as the sole tool and ground for practically everything: - for our practical action - which is the only thing we are using it for, of course, - in such a situation in a way we need to act as if the picture is real. - We would - practically - hopefully - relate to things as an array of probabilities, - that is to say noticing our faulted knowledge to the extent we can. - But this too, this view which does integrate or include the awareness of the possible wrongness - this too changes at every fraction of a second. - So inevitably, as it seems, one is living in a world or a situation where he only has his past and future for the absolute now only, with a new “now” there will be a new past and a new future, - neither of which is real, but nothing of a greater closeness to reality is available.

- Thus it could be said, - following the practical life hereby described, - that every moment in time, every point - every singular point, - in time, - has its own past and future, enfolded within it. - It is only revealed at that point, though of course it could be related to from elsewhere, - but subject to the ever existing distortion of the linking systems and means. - You might say perhaps that realism views as if a two-dimensional time, - the whole axis of time as-if spreads from every point in time. You cannot of a certain point in time, or relate to it, - ignoring the point from which you take your view. Point A observed from point B is different from point A seen from point C. This is what idealism has no concern for. - Thus idealism has a simple linear view most would find natural, while realism has a further complexed system arising from a reality where what we see is not what simply is. - The fourth view, the ineffable, would not be the same. Though Nishijima would often (as far as I remember) leave this point unmentioned, the fourth phase is not the same as the third phase. The fourth phase being ineffable, this point may sometimes be reasonably not related to, but here it seems different to me: - Though inexpressible, though ever beyond simple reasoning through common logic and thought, the fourth phase in the issue I am writing about here, is not only different from the third phase, which it might sometimes tangent, but is very different here. In realism, we are living as if ever viewing the universe through an ultimately narrow slits of zero width - through the moment of the present, and realism integrates this view and processes it. - Realism is aware of our limitations as individuals living in the universe, but the fourth phase, is not like this. The fourth phase, as it seems to me, is closer to the western view of God, an almighty, - it is not simply the view of the one Reality to which one might say perhaps the whole of time is accessible “simultaneously”, - since than it would not be ineffable, - but it is more like that. - It is altogether different from the view of the third phase, the realism as described here, - as I said. - Does it have practical value? Apparently doubtly. - Daikan did not understand Buddhism. He did not need to. Whatever. My main point in this post was to describe the third view. To present reasonable expounding where usually we might just encounter expressions many would assume are unable to follow the same trail as logic. I would quote Dogen here: - “At the present time in the great kingdom of Song, there is a group of unreliable fellows who have now formed such a crowd that they cannot be beaten by a few real [people]. They say that the present talk of the East Mountain moving on water, and stories such as Nansen’s sickle, are stories beyond rational understanding. Their idea is as follows: “A story which involves images and thoughts is not a Zen story of the Buddhist patriarchs. Stories beyond rational understanding are the stories of the Buddhist patriarchs. This is why we esteem Ōbaku’s use of the stick and Rinzai’s shout, which are beyond rational understanding and which do not involve images and thoughts, as the great realization before the sprouting of creation. The reason that the expedient means of many past masters employ tangle-cutting phrases is that [those phrases] are beyond rational understanding.” Those fellows who speak like this have never met a true teacher and they have no eyes of learning in practice; they are small dogs who do not deserve to be discussed. For the last two or three hundred years in the land of Song there have been many such demons and shavelings [like those] in the band of six. It is pitiful that the great truth of the Buddhist Patriarch is going to ruin. The understanding of these [shavelings] is inferior even to that of śrāvakas of the Small Vehicle; they are more stupid than non-Buddhists. They are not laypeople, they are not monks, they are not human beings, and they are not gods; they are more stupid than animals learning the Buddha’s truth. What the shavelings call “stories beyond rational understanding” are beyond rational understanding only to them; the Buddhist patriarchs are not like that. Even though [rational ways] are not rationally understood by those [shavelings], we should not fail to learn in practice the Buddhist patriarchs’ ways of rational understanding. If ultimately there is no rational understanding, the reasoning which those [shavelings] have now set forth also cannot hit the target. There are many of this sort in all directions of Song China, and I have seen and heard them before my own eyes. They are pitiful. They do not know that images and thoughts are words and phrases, and they do not know that words and phrases transcend images and thoughts. When I was in China I laughed at them, but they had nothing to say for themselves and were just wordless. Their present negation of rational understanding is nothing but a false notion. Who has taught it to them? Though they lack a natural teacher, they have the non-Buddhist view of naturalism.”. The quote is from Shobogenzo Sansuigyo. I intended to dedicate a blog page to it and I would have by now if I had the time. - I still will, when I can. Since I dropped the footnotes two remarks should, it seems, still be made: “tangle” in “tangle-cutting phrases” is the same expression used for the title of chapter 46 (47 in the Nearman translation) of the Shobogenzo - “Katto” - literally “arrowroot and wisteria”; and “shaveling” - the repeated expression in the text - means according to Nishijima and Cross “someone who becomes a monk in form but who has no will to the truth”. (- “Tokushi”, - literally “bald child”)

There is nothing which contradicts logic. - What is or may be ineffable is not ineffable due to a contrast with fundamental deduction. - Its ineffability is not there, - though it may be that logic is born in “earlier” grounds human thought would at the general and common situation of most people (and much further) find it very difficult to fathom. - It is much like the third phase and the fourth phase here. - There may be a field unlimited by restriction we might at most times find it unreasonable that it would be possible for them not to exist, - a field known only to Buddhas, ineffable - to those yet unfamiliar with it at least, - but this field, if so, - is not something that opposes the world as familiar to most common men. - There is apparently something prior to a shallower structure us ignorant majority see as reality, including our thought processes and their apparent foundation, - but it does not mean an alternative structure which stands at a 180° opposition to the natural and fundamental notion that reason makes sense.

This may take the affirmation of a Buddha, but I am quite certain it is correct.

So far for this post. I started it in 2012. I naturally thought I would complete it in reasonable time. It happened that I didn’t. - I had legal procedures running against me, this is the reason I said I was busy in 2012 in “Ran said…”. Criminal procedures. (Mind you 108, btw) I won’t write about it now. - I did not intend to write about it in this post at all. - My intention was not to relate to anything but what this post is about here. However it has been so much time. I have also been in jail for 10-11 months in 2012-2013. I wanted to complete this post eventually at least by the end of 2015, but I am writing these lines on the 1st of January 2016. I usually wrote posts on the blog itself. Now I don’t have an Internet connection. I wrote the post as far as “the second and third points would gather their meaning” long ago. - Also as far as “what you would usually and normally call its contents” I did too, - but it seems this part what not yet fully written and I had to look it through. What is beyond that, I wrote on a “Word” and copied into the blog though some font adjustments need to follow of course. - I don’t think I wrote it the way I would have had it not been for all that happened. - The content may be the same, but I generally have always tried here to write relating to the manner of writing too, - in anything spiritual, perhaps, perhaps, the form too is not empty and proper presentation is called for by anyone who has a reasonable idea of what’s it about. So I might rewrite this sometime.

I don’t know when. If I do I’ll most likely drop this whole story then. - The thing is I am not now in the mental state to write this piece as I did when I started it. This is much of the reason why it has been delayed. I wasn’t working on it when I felt I could not do it as I intended. But I guess it could not wait no more. So I wrote it as I did - the remaining piece, - and am posting it here. I’ll probably have it on on Jan 10. I’m not that happy with it but it’s still OK. It’s not even “wtf” - it seems it has to be on. It happened that all that happened on a particular uneasy post, I mean a hard one, otherwise I would have probably been able to complete it long ago. But now I will be able to continue posting, it seems. I happened that I wrote 3 circumstantial post in between, since Shlomo Kalo died and then I found out that Nishijima too passed away already earlier, and there didn’t seem to be any point in delaying writing about this still. This post is apparently not just the way it should be, I am not in the best situation now and am never generally in the right mood even for writing this the way I did. But the general idea is there. People often relate to time in Buddhism as if it could not be related to rationally. I would dare too say that when Nishijima is speaking of “a new kind of logic” in his Preface to the translation of the Shobogenzo this is too wrong expression. There is no second kind of logic. I recall a Yoga Swami writing that there are no contradictions in reality, contradictions only exist in your mind. This is a very simple truth. Dogen may be using poetic means of expression, refined ones, practically say sometimes what is different from what would literally directly arise but neither Dogen nor Gautama himself could create a new kind of logic, a new kind of deduction or conclusion, since deduction merely tells you what things are: - “4” is just a new name for 2+2. Using a metaphor Dogen uses - one can not reach the country of Etsu by pointing a carriage toward the north, since it is a southern country. (Bendowa: “Trying to arrive at the Buddha’s state of truth [only] through action of the mouth, stupidly chanting thousands or tens of thousands of times, is like hoping to reach [the south country of] Etsu by pointing a carriage toward the north. Or it is like trying to put a square peg into a round hole.”) Common sense reflects a most fundamental feature of the universe, there are no two ways to tell us what things are. I could not in any way not view that Nishijima would agree with what I am saying here. He was a very logical person. And he could see just this truth more than others. Why did write what he did? It is beside the point, but while having a fine and skilled philosophical mind, he was not generally so exquisite in putting things in words, his ideas too, and he too was aware of that. Dogen might sometimes say things one needs to inwardly understand in order to get what he is saying. And it may be that the manner of speech is such that expresses itself in such a way that what it practically means to say is practically and considerably different from what the words would appear to say in the eyes of a person who is unable to fathom the bottom line. I thought today things could be expressed differently, explicitly and logically, and this is what I tried to do here. Buddhism represented, - i.e, - Buddhism re-presented. Hopefully to be revised later, when possible.