- 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 Four Elements of the Social Relations of the Bodhisattva

Chapter 45 in the Shobogenzo (in the Nishijima translation) is entitled “the Four Elements of a Bodhisattva’s Social Relations” - Bodaisatta-shishobo. Master Dogen lists them as free giving, kind speech, helpful conduct and cooperation. In the English translation that is. - “Free giving” is according to the footnotes the Sanskrit dana, - same as the first paramita, - that is just “giving” as it seems. - The “free” is quite clearly added by the translators just in order to clarify the meaning, to avoid some possible mistake in grasping what exactly it is about, - but essentially you might say the “free” is as if in square brackets. - Where the translation gives “kind speech” it says (in the footnotes) the expression Dogen was using is “loving words”. Helpful conduct is said to originate in Sanskrit where it was “useful conduct”. - (Also regarding the Japanese itself I got the impression “beneficial conduct” is a bit more exact in itself but has been altered to fit the text) As for “cooperation” - in Japanese (- that is in the text in the Shobogenzo) it’s “identity of task” and prior to that in Sanskrit “identity of purpose”.


- Fundamentally, - as it seems to me, - these would be giving, consideration, assistance and unity.


- “Unity” would be equal to love in a way perhaps, - but what has made me write this post was thinking of the fourth element as unity, - which seemed to have been better defined, - in the context at least.

Giving - as it seems to me, - would originate with not being too severely attached to things. - Not seeing possessions as too rigidly founded. - Than things would more easily be able to pass back and forth in accordance with necessities. - Their being “yours” or belonging to others has less weight and subsequently they can more freely shift in between different owners – who still, then, would not be holding them too tight.

- Consideration seems to be rooted in noticing the pain of others. - Then consideration would naturally follow. – Obviously you don’t go around inspecting in search of pain in hearts of others, - a natural tendency has to appear or be developed.

- Assistance seems to be on the path to unity. - It must originate with some sense of unity, - though not necessarily conscious or aware; where the needs of others in themselves are inevitably also notices - obviously, - otherwise how are you to assist them? - It is inevitably a form of giving, - and is motivated by consideration. - It is a more whole form while the other two may be somewhat of more preliminary factors. - Plus, if I said consideration is related to pain of others, - here joy too would take a more significant part in the process. Or so it seems.

- Unity may be only in the hands of Buddhas. The common phrase (- appearing repeatedly in the Lotus Sutra) of “a Buddha alone, together with Buddhas” might be in place. - It is what assistance is aimed at and inspired by, - and - you might also say - (if you don’t mind being corny, that is) its perfect and ultimate culmination. - “Love” is what us ignorant beings would observe as the outcome.


It would be about non differentiation, - about treating others equally as we would treat ourselves.

- Master Dogen also relates to a notion related to the aim (- purpose) rather than to the means: - “The sea does not refuse water”.

- Where a natural tendency of coming near the situation is attempted to be described.

But that is still just coming near. - Though it is not just about being concerned with the conduct, - as I referred; - it is about a fundamental notion of not being separate: - The sea not refusing water, - mountains not refusing earth, - and the enlightened rulers not having a remote dislike for the masses; - where the natural tendency brings about further progress of unity-having-been-come-closer-to, and actual submergence would be - even if slightly, - taking place.


(Written 31.8-10.9 2021) So far for this post. (Written 31.8-10.9 2021)

Buddhism as it is (18.7.2021)

 I did not relate to that earlier, - but it could explicitly be said, - that one who imagines that homosexuality of both males and females or what is referred to as “transgenderism” at the current time are healthy phenomena as fine as normal heterosexuality, - that there is no fault with these, - as the opinions evidently spreading most successfully throughout contemporary society - does not have the “eye”.

Only this. Now. Written at the date noted above.

A remark regarding the Shōbōgenzō

We know Master Dogen intended to rewrite the Shobogenzo and add new chapters (as far as I understand) as to come to 100 altogether. It is obvious that chapters such as Kesa-kudoku and Den-e, or both chapters titled “Shin-fukatoku”, - or Hotsu-mujoshin and Hotsu-bodaishin, - would not be included both in his final editing.

- Obviously he did not have such an intention. - He would only choose one of each of such pairs. - And, as I said, - would write this one again too. - (Koun Ejo writes this in addition to the last chapter - Hachi-dainingaku, - listed 95 in the Nishijima-Cross translation, - after the end of the chapter itself) Also he did not include Bendowa, though of course it is not possible that he did not know of it.

But my main intention is to his intention of rewriting all of what was to be included in what was apparently to be the final version of the Shobogenzo. Beside that there were to be new chapters and also it follows that the order was not going to be (as far as I understand) just the chronological order of the 95 or 96 chapters edition which seems to be most popular today.

- I generally thing the rhythm according to which such chapters may be arranged is important, - I guess it would be lost if you just arrange it all according to chronological order, - plus include these double chapters I mentioned above. What I wanted to say here is that realistically, - it seems wrong to relate to all we have in writing ignoring the facts. It was not a perfected work. - One example which seems very clear is in Sanjushichi-bon-bodai-bunpo. (- Chapter 73 in the translation I mentioned) I was looking for what Dogen would say about what “right action” (- known as the fourth lane of the eightfold path) would be. - What he says there generally is just that right action is becoming a monk. (- Paragraph marked 46 in the Nishijima translation) At the end of the chapter it says “Preached to the assembly”, not “written”. - I think at the time there must have been monks in his order, or maybe has been just one monk in his order, - who were or was getting ideas, - perhaps off the Vimalakirti Sutra, or perhaps some other text or texts I don’t know, - of leaving the order and becoming laymen. - I think Master Dogen saw a necessity to relate to that and have these ideas get off these people’s minds. - So, - the chapter may reflect, - in this place I am referring to here, - (which I do consider particularly important, - I mean right action may not be viewed necessarily as the no. 1 possible topic, - but it could not be viewed as unimportant. - Particularly I think we could say it would be what Master Nansen is talking about in his [second] answer in the story recorded in Shinji Shobogenzo 2/54.) a condition or a situation which may have occurred at the time and place when the things were preached, - and not necessarily the actual and exact view we might see of what the lane of right action would be in the field of the teaching of our Master Dogen. - I don’t know if this is the situation, but it does seem more than probable.



- So, I think, - particularly in the right spirit of the teaching of this unique teacher, - that when studying the Shobogenzo we ought to be aware that things may have not necessarily been expressed in the way he that would have ultimately wished had he had the time to complete his work, and subsequently be more cautious in reading, - if at times things might not seem exactly as we would expect, - being clear that this is no disrespect to him but rather an actual following of a realistic attitude.


- And, at the bottom line, - he said - “there are no innovations to be added to the Dharma at all”, (- Shobogenzo Butsudo) and I also linked Matthew 5:18 as the first link (list on the right) here at the blog; - (though the meaning there might be somewhat different) Master Dogen does not create the Buddha Dharma, - he expresses it, - as all teachers. - There aren’t two of these. - So we ought to aspire to understand the universe itself, - or the reality itself, - not cling to the words of anyone in a blind manner. True teachings are never dead, - and ever inexpressible, - so they say. - So we ought to try and figure out things ourselves, - as Master Gensa (- Shobogenzo Ikka-no-myoju) not finding himself eventually able to be deceived by others, as he says. (Paragraph 97 there, the first paragraph in the chapter)

Nobility vs. External Sensitivity

Buddhism is a religion of wisdom. Christianity is a religion of love. I am not interested in love generally. Some people are interested in love, altruism, morals, and possibly in things like grace or compassion. Some people are interested in truth and essence. Some people have an internal tendency and some people have an external tendency. - Obviously balance is necessary or at least useful and it may be natural for different abilities to complete each other. At the same time different people find different things appealing and have different qualifications they might follow in a natural way.

- My tendency has never been relating to the social facet. But this is not what the issue here is.

- It has been said that planets reincarnate like humans. Not just like humans but they generally incarnate. It has been said that in the last previous incarnation of our planet wisdom has developed. That its development has been completed there. On our present Earth love is to be developed. - It seems it still has a long way to go.

- In relation to this, Christianity is viewed, by some, who do seem to have a point in their ideas, - and that too may be an understatement, - as having an advantage over Buddhism. Kalo says in one of his books, about enlightenment, - “by means of the redemption it attains it is capable of attaining love and becoming its very self”. It seems to me only an enlightened could understand his words here. But in general his idea is that the phenomenon he is relating to only occurs in Christianity.

However, - as I said, - I find other things interesting. - In Buddhism, - absence of good and bad is revealed. - In Christianity it has no mentioning, - it is not emphasized, never it seems. - What makes you see one thing as better than another? Happiness is nothing. What is left then? An existence of an ability may be better than its absence. But here too, - it may be viewed as having no difference, - where one is not better than the other. I don’t think this ability, - to view this phenomenon of emptiness of any quality of goodness or its contrast, - is equally gained in Christianity.

- Certainly not in the same inherent manner. Acquiring this, not merely as an ability to be able to witness and be able to say it is so, - but as an inherent grasp going down to your most natural and spontaneous sight, - is a thing I would certainly like to gain. - It is not worthless. - Having been able to inherently and fully incorporate this understanding into your mind and being, - your action is different. - While in Christianity love is developed, - external sensitivity is valued and considered, - a person having been able to gain the virtue I am referring to here would act in a more refined manner, - more noble, - while still acting, still doing, - his natural behaviour would be freer of unwise concerns - his understanding relating to the absence of goodness and badness would naturally make his action more harmonious, more elegant, no doubt, - and this elegance is not devoid of value, as I tried to refer. I don’t know if it balances out love in its value, - but it is certainly more interesting for me, more appealing. No doubt more beautiful, but this is not necessarily the point to judge by. So far.

Knowledge

Normally in our day to day life today we seek knowledge. - We learn and we study. You are even reading this right now. - People are practically as if stuffing their head into a tube.

- It is very easy to ruin your mind with excessive study.

But my intention here is not about this extreme. (- Btw, - if you check the link do note it was written back in 2012)

Idiots would always think the more things you know the better. Which is of course true in a way. Idiots are not always wrong.

- But there is the question of what it does to your mind.


- One other thing: - Back in the 80’s I studied math. I didn’t much want to, but this is how it was. It took courage to leave the university. Though I knew it was a place of idiots before I got there. - Not all of them though, and not in every way, of course, - but anyway this is just by the way. - In math of course, - you prove stuff. - Step by step. This is the nature of what you do there.

- Calculation. Proving theorems too has the nature of calculation. - This is limited. This is a proof, or an evidence, - of the limitations of your mind, - or our mind. - The inability to see things as a whole.

Intuition today is put aside in mathematics. I mean obviously one has to use it, - but in a way it is in principle ignored.

- Looking at the ancient Greek, - their attitude was that what they called “axioms” were to connect their practice to reality. It is quite simple, - they can not start off nothing, - so they pick up some of what they could see as undeniable truths, - ones they could peacefully assure themselves are true and correct, - and questioned what could be then constructed subsequently.

- I think every child in primary school knows that. - Though not in such an explicit manner.


- It seems about a 100 years ago a group of mathematicians adopted a different attitude: -

The Greek’s adoption of axioms is based on intuition. - But they say “fuck intuition”. They don’t give a shit if axioms are true or not. - Their attitude is we just pick up whichever set of axioms and see what comes up. - Does it reflect reality? - Does it not reflect reality? - These are not mathematical questions in their view.

- I had some correspondence with a professor (emeritus) of math in an American university and she explicitly had expressed her opinion that math is not about exploring reality. This is the way things are seen today. - But my point (- here) is about the view in which intuition is considered a thing to be put aside. - Actual seeking to develop our mind would to a great extent take an opposite course: - We ought to aspire to be able to view things in an integral manner. - In Math, as long as you have a proof, (or a solution, or a calculation) it doesn’t matter at all whether you are able to see the entirety of the different steps - in your mind, - in one integral picture. - Of course one who does have such an ability might sometimes at least prove himself capable in fields noticed, - but the ability itself is never considered as one which has to be developed.

- Still this is not the subject. - But the point indicating the inferiority of our step by step manner of thinking is essential.

- We should always aspire to see the whole picture. Of course step by step thinking is practical, - but this might mean our [human] mind is not in the best state. I’m not saying we should abandon it. But as a matter of principle we would be more than considerably wrong if we imagine this is what we should look up for.

- What made me write this piece, or start writing it, - is - the thought of what would be the manner of thought of the reality itself. - In order to come to the best we can hope for we ought to let go. - it is quite the opposite of what we do in math, - or - quite clearly, - in intellectual study at all. - This manner of thinking ties our mind. This may be quite irrelevant to most people, - but if you relate to meditators, - or to those persevering in treading the path, - this is not a thing of no interest.

- In a way, it is just letting go, - learning how not to hold on to those bits of thinking we are accustomed to grasp like a monkey grasps a tree, - or like having our shirt being caught in the thorns of a bush or some other plant, - which is essential for getting our mind developed.

- It is these unclear and unclean graspings which interfere with the possibility of our mind’s eye seeing things otherwise. I am not saying I got to that. - But the situation does seem clear. - Being unable to see that pursuing immediate possible easy to reach details as a matter of course and continually unaware of the eye lying within you capable of a view independent of that, - hinders - quite clearly - the integral ability which might otherwise come to be and function, - however so slow, - within you - again. It is the contrast between an unclear vision and a clear one. - For the need existing all the time in everyday life for most people it is inevitably, practically, - impossible to follow what I say; - but as a matter of principle I believe the understanding standing at the root of this post, - has a significant meaning, - where we live in a society running the opposite direction. Completely blind - in general, - to such ideas, - and ever ready to mock at them with the full confidence of the herd of intellectuals herding in the dry deserts of shallowness of mind. - There is further this I wrote about three months ago. - It might add to what I said here. - There is the ability to see things undisturbed far beyond what we are accustomed to, - as it seems, - untroubled and relaxed, - with an actual minimum of an intended effort, - putting aside our so-common desire to assure and double-check things in our conscious mind, - and there is the degraded state we are presently in (- most of us that is) grasping as-if-by-hand wherever-we-can in-the-most-untidy-manner every bit of information or data, - [- thus] disabling our mind to come to its potential through natural functioning.