- 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.                                                 ________________________

Dōgen’s structure of presentation and the Buddha’s structure of the four fundamental principles

Nishijima noticed a correspondence between a pattern he noticed in Master Dōgen’s expression in the Shōbōgenzō and Gautama Buddha’s four principles (known as the “Four Noble Truths”) preached, in case I’m not mistaken, - in his first talk after having become the Buddha. - This is of course correct. - I don’t know if anyone has pointed to this correlation earlier (before Master Nishijima) but given that Master Dōgen, however famous in Japan, - is not as renowned as Śākyamuni Buddha in the world, - I might guess not. - However, there is a certain mistake with Nishijima’s presentation of the issue, - and this is the matter here.

- Nishijima’s scheme is presented, as far as I know, - in this collection of talks published, as it seems, first in a booklet and later as a PDF. - I did not know of it at the time I was in his Dojo in ’96. - What I know of the thing is mainly, I guess, - from the time I was there, and not from the text mentioned. I, myself, have brought a presentation of the framework in my blog. There I referred to the third phase unlike Nishijima’s reference. He was relating to realism as a synthesis of idealism and materialism. I presented things differently, I believe more correct and exact relating to this point. (You can check at the link) But this is not the point here.

- In Gautama Buddha’s presentation he naturally follows the essential order of the four principles. With Master Dōgen the situation is different. - Dōgen does not - as far as I came across, - give a structured presentation of the sort the Buddha did or like a scholastic study. Rather, he picks up different issues and relates to them - first perhaps as the usual way, - and through various means follows the path to expound the Buddha Dharma. - The natural order, - as in the Buddha’s lecture, - would be materialism first, idealism second, realism third, and the fourth phase - sometimes related to as “reality” and sometimes as “the ineffable” - fourth. But in Master Dōgen’s system he does not work through mere logical explanation, as I related before. - He starts off people’s minds, - he wishes for them to pick up what he is saying or to absorb it in a harmonious way. - Therefore he begins with where most people’s mind is most times, - i.e. idealism. He takes off where your mind is at first, - presenting first the picture you naturally have in your mind, - as a place to start off. - He wants the understanding to be full, as much as possible of course, - not just intellectual, rational. So he has to work this way, - starting with your picture and then moving on, - relating to your integral functioning of the mind (and body) including imagination and intuition. Working as they do in university would be pointless, - leading to mere intellectual understanding, - if any, - which is most clearly not the aim in any spiritual practice.

Nishijima seems to have overlooked this fact. - When relating to the correlation he spotted, - he relates the first principle (Duhkha-satya) to idealism, the second (Samudaya-satya) to materialism, the third (Nirodha-satya) to realism, and the forth to the fourth phase. - The mistake is in the order of the first two, - the first with Buddha’s (Śākyamuni Buddha’s) would be the second with Dōgen, and the second with the Buddha the first with Master Dōgen. - As I referred, - Dōgen starts off idealism, then takes a step back to materialism, - and subsequently moves on to realism. This is the mistake I wanted to point to here in these words.

- Nishijima is no longer with us, - I do not doubt he would accept my idea. - Such people (who have attained to the ultimate) are not concerned with personal issues irrelevant to the truth itself. He would find being offended irrelevant, beside the point, but since this is not altogether obvious to some this last note here is not necessarily unnecessary. - One other thing I wanted to mention: - In the introduction - by Michael Luetchford - to the lectures entitled “Three Philosophies and One Reality” I referred to above, - he relates to the issue of the appropriate translation of Sanskrit “satya”. - I dare say, that although only other words (mainly “truth”) have been used in English for that purpose, - relating to the context and the actual meaning “principle” would be the best choice. - Not Perfect, - English is English and Sanskrit is Sanskrit, - but better, all things considered, - than other alternatives. I believe “truth” is picked due to an attitude relating to the words themselves and not to their particular meaning and use in the concrete case. So far.

Japan

I first travelled to Japan on April 6th 1991. Arrived in Narita airport on April 7th. Stayed overnight at the airport and arrived at Ryūtaku-ji the next day. I stayed there until January 27th ’92 when I flew back to Israel.

- I travelled the second time arriving in Ryūtaku-ji on April 17th (just at the beginning of the first sesshin) and stayed there until May 15th I think, after which I went to Shinshō-ji Kokusai Zendō near Fukuyama, - I visited Sōgen-ji for a sesshin during that time and Zuiō-ji (Niihama) for just four days (as far as I remember) before that. - I returned to Israel sometime in August I believe.

My Zazen in Ryūtaku-ji was at first very bad. - Or so it seemed. - One member of the Sangha in Israel who was also as it seemed friendly with the Rōshi (Kyūdō Rōshi, the rōshi of Ryūtaku-ji at the time, has been to Israel from 1970 to 1984 (which is before I started practice) establishing the Dead Sea Sangha there) told me the rōshi said one can never tell if his Zazen is good or bad, - but I am not sure he was accurate, and now as it seems to me he might have been talking about single Zazen sittings. If you feel very good or most bad in a sitting it does not mean, as it seems, - the sitting was equally fruitful or beneficial. But observing your sitting over a period of time it seems quite obvious one can get - normally - quite a reasonable idea of what his sitting is like. It doesn’t mean you can’t be wrong but this is not what it’s about. - My Zazen got better at the second season (October to January) as it seems. - I don’t remember exactly but more or less it seems so. In between seasons (during the summer) the zendō was mostly closed as far as I remember and sitting by myself (at the hondō or somewhere) was quite easier, - my legs were very painful at first and sitting by myself at my own time was different from being obliged to the zendo sitting periods determined by the jikijitsu. (Zendo head monk) So it may be that during that time too already my sitting was getting improved.

- My posture got very good, I think. At the end of the second season, or perhaps sometime earlier, I can’t remember that good. - The January sesshin and the season end on January 25th. I left two days after that, as I said, which surely was a mistake, - but regardless of the issue here. - In Israel my Zazen couldn’t stay the same. It didn’t really or just get bad, - but the posture could not have been continued as it was. It may have been roughly the same, but some quality was lost. It’s the posture, - it could not be the same as it was in Japan. It may have been about 3 days, - but after that something is different. It is clearly something about Japan. I don’t necessarily know what, I won’t speculate here, - but the phenomenon does exist. This is my point here.

The same happened the second time I returned to Israel. On returning to the Ryūtaku-ji in ’92 my Zazen, the posture, - got better again, it didn’t change when I left Ryūtaku-ji (see above) but on flying back home to Israel the phenomenon repeated itself. - It is nothing crucial, it is nothing extreme, I paid no great attention to it at first, - I think, - but the fact seems to be that a certain quality of the meditation - of the posture, - and I had quite a beautiful posture, - could not remain just the same as it was in Japan here too. - I recall after returning the second time, - around October ’92 to January or February ’93, - people seeing me didn’t believe I was an Israeli, - I didn’t encounter it myself but people working with me told me they were asked where am I from and when replying I was from Israel they were not believed. (We were working in the streets cutting trees there) I think it has to do with it. - Israelis are different from Europeans. One can tell by the eye. Certainly from Japanese. - In the same way Arabs are different too. As a general rule of course. If you live in England you might gain a sort of nobility they have. But as for the matter here, I made clear, - it is not a matter of education. It is not a matter of a culture. It is something else. Most would not believe its existence, - as it seems. It seems to negate what most would believe to be the rules of nature. Beside, - it is quite a delicate phenomenon, even on being able to witness it many would miss the observation. - But personally I could say (of my own experience) it is beyond doubt. - Does it mean one is better to go to Japan if one wishes to (seriously) practice “Zen”? I don’t know. I generally don’t think it is better to start practice in Japan, - it is quite obviously better to sit a while before going there. - Else? I suppose - as the Japanese say - “case by case”. - And if one meets a true master he will be able to advise better. So far for this one.

Dead grasp of contemporary zombies - June 29th 2019

People in general will never understand meditation as long as they will not understand that psychology and/or psychiatry are totally - generally - unable to understand it based on their contemporary knowledge and path. One who truly understands meditation understands how miserable and practically quite idiotic these paths of inquiry are. - They are roads leading nowhere. Their investigation of meditation would never be taken seriously by anyone who has real knowledge of it. - It is like a severely mentally retarded person trying to understand the mentality of a common reasonable one. - It is like trying to construct a trampoline while being able to use only the most rigid and dry materials, like old pieces of totally weathered wood of zero flexibility. - Or like trying to make a cloud off similar small bits of the same material. These people generally don’t know what they are doing. They’d be a joke in the eyes of any real person who can see the relevant things as what they are. Though not many speak since it is quite pointless.

- However, - if you think what these contemporary cute guys have to say about the matter is significant, or if you’d go to their words for finding out what it is or for finding out about it, - it means you know nothing about it. Their ability is like that of an animal-pathologist trying to find out about animals mentality off post mortem autopsy. Thing will be known, inevitably, - but I could not make a time estimation. As for now, - it is important, in general, - not to seek understanding of the field in turning to those considered authorized in the academic world - who use the most ridiculous tools in their fundamental ignorance regarding the matter.

I happened to write this following an article in a newspaper (“Haaretz”) by a person who says he is sitting but seems to understand nothing of the matter. (An additional to Friday’s paper on June 28 this year) Terrible newspaper in my view, - though I recall it used to be a good one years ago, - but I admit I never read the whole piece since it was far from enjoyable, but only several pieces of it here and there. (It was quite a long one)

      - - Anthroposophy - --

I have mentioned Steiner several times. - I first heard of Anthroposophy in 1990. - I was then investigating - so to speak, - various paths - after having already started practicing “Zen” about five years earlier, - in order to choose the one that would assumably be the best for me. It is not that I had any trouble with “Zen”. But I left the university some time earlier and wanted to dedicate my life to the path, - so I had the thought of examining which way would be the best. [for me, that is]

- Then amongst other possibilities I came to hear of Anthroposophy and of Rudolf Steiner. - I wouldn’t call Anthroposophy a “way” at all. - A “way”, as I’d see it, - is or would be one which would lead to or arrive at enlightenment, - or rather, perhaps more accurately, - pass through it. The custom in the house of Master Dogen may be not to use the word, - but I do need to here.

- Anthroposophy, as presented - rather, - leads to initiation. It is not the same. The main point I wanted to relate to, here, is, perhaps, - that in all of Rudolf Steiner’s truly quite endless written books and given lectures - what is quite clearly the most significant phenomenon ever existing in the universe, - namely “enlightenment”, - as it is most commonly referred to, - is altogether and completely apparently absent. - It is as if he has never heard of it. - It is not comprehensible. How could it be? - He seems to be of so much knowledge, - so much that this phenomenon too of him being so knowledgeable does occur to a person as an unusual thing not normally encountered, - of an enormous variety of phenomena existing in this physical world and most extensively elsewhere in other spheres too, - even if in actuality quite clearly wrong at certain points.* - But within all of his so extensive references to perhaps almost anything you can think of, (and not little of what you would not necessarily think of as a practical fact) just the main point, - as it seems, - is never there. - Anthroposophists, - I get the impression, - are not at all aware in general of its existence. That is while in other paths, - such as Yoga or “Zen” or DAT - it might be said to be just the central point, - though of course those who are so fortunate as to arrive at it are very few.

- Not being aware of it would mean too, of course, - not being aware of its absence within Steiner’s references and descriptions as referred to here.

   [- Here a certain note may be inevitable, - though at the same time it may apparently seem so obvious its necessity would be severely questionable.

   -
In Steiner’s perhaps-most-known book - “Knowledge of the higher worlds and its attainment - (- “Wie Erlangt Man Erkenntnisse der Hoeheren Welten?”) in part II there, - “the stages of initiation” - the second of these [stages] is referred to as “enlightenment.

   
I recall coming across it earlier as “illumination”. I do not remember when. Obviously these are just two translations of the same German word I do not know. I initially read the book in Hebrew where also it would be the same word. - One reason which made me rewrite this post is coming across it as “enlightenment” rather than “illumination” on the Rudolf Steiner Archive site after having already written the post at first. - I then just related to the issue (of this note here) in one last sentence at the end of the post.

   -
I don’t know where I might have seen it as “illumination” plus I don’t think it is of real importance here. Though as that it seemed more clear to me that Steiner never meant to refer here to the phenomenon I was referring to.

   -
However, - either way, - this does not change the situation regarding this point I was referring to: - the fact I came across it as “illumination” is altogether meaningless but still - I do not see any doubt or any room for doubt that Steiner never had any intention to imply for this to be the central aim of other paths as referred to above and as again indicated below. It could not be that he had any intention - when writing about this stage to initiation in this book mentioned above, - to mean that this - which he apparently happened to call by the same name, - is as well the same thing I am writing with regard to here, and which is mostly known these days in the occident too as “enlightenment”.

   -
We ought to remember too, that, at the time the book was written, Yoga or “Zen” or Buddhism in general have not yet appeared in America or Europe as they have only several decades later, and that the word referred to, - therefore - was not yet known as it is today in its main meaning, - and this would mean that at the time the book had been written the thought of the possibility of this dual meaning would not necessarily occur.

   -
However, - even disregarding what I said here just now about what may (or may not) have been the intention in the use of the word (whatever it is in German) as brought initially by Rudolf Steiner in his book, (and one might guess elsewhere too) it does seem practically as obvious as possible that this-to-which-he-is-referring could never in any way be the phenomenon I was questioning about the-absence-of within his guidance and presentation-of-reality.

   -
I do hope this will not be in need of argumentation.
   -
Clearly, - the two are not even close.

   -
This is why I said at the beginning this whole note here may be in practice altogether unnecessary. - But I am not an Anthroposophist and I do not live or abide in Anthroposophic circles or meet Anthroposophists normally or regularly in my everyday life, - so I have no direct knowledge of the actual situation regarding the issue: - As I said, it is practically quite unclear to me whether all I’m saying here would be considered so obvious in a way which would make this long note here nothing but a silly and unnecessary inconfident addition to the main point, - or - whether - on the other hand, - readers among Anthroposophists might not even find it so easy accept what I am saying. I will not argue. I do hate to bring up all so-well-known references to what the thing is and how absolute and ineffable it is, - while as-far-as-I-recall Steiner is referring to some ability of projecting occult light onto objects in order for one to be able to see them.

   -
Obviously overlooking this point of this remark added here would deny all meaning of the whole piece written here. Assuming there has been a point in the first place and I wasn’t trying to clarify what has never been unclear anyway to you or other readers here.

   
Either way.]

- As I said prior to this whole long note above here, - the question here is how could it be? - I never came across anything similar to an explanation. - Shlomo Kalo says Steiner is wrong. I don’t doubt that. - I happened to relate to that here, in a blog comment somewhere. (- Hebrew only, - both the blog and the comment there) But even if so, - it still does not eliminate the obscurity of the fact I was questioning about. (What I am saying regarding what Kalo says is mainly off things he has written or said to me personally. I have never been a member of the school he established, (- “דע"ת” in Hebrew, - written “DAT” in English) I was not among his students, - but I did meet him several times (Oct ’90, Feb ’94, June ’96, Feb 2001) and have been corresponding with him over the mail over a period. I never came across an explicit reference to Anthroposophy in his books (though there are many of them I did not read) though at one place his reference to “esoteric intellectuals” is clearly speaking of Anthroposophists. (He there denies Steiner’s assertion that man had to fall) One point he finds significant is that Jesus was enlightened since birth, - which Steiner of course could never mention if he never makes any reference to the phenomenon of enlightenment at all. - But Kalo never referred to this point of the absence of this phenomenon within Steiner’s teaching as pointed here. (- Not that I came across, anyway, - that is) - See footnote as well.)

As for the next issue - from here through the four paragraphs beginning with the current one here, - I am saying before I continue, - in case you dislike a point added there, or possibly doubt it, - or are unhappy with it or find it troublesome in some way, - than you could just ignore it. - It could be done without and I don’t want it to become an interference to the main issue as already clarified.

- That which is known as “enlightenment” is what Buddhism leads to, - as other paths. The quality of what may be referred to as “Buddhahood” is that of being enlightened. - Jesus was referring to it as “the kingdom of God” or “the kingdom of Heaven”. There is no such place as “the kingdom of God”. It refers to a state of one who attained Buddhahood. Yoga of course leads to it too and observe it as its explicit aim. It is quite clear that Jesus never meant to be very clear about this at the time. - Still in Luke 17:20-21 you could find his words - “the kingdom of God will not come with the observation of eyes. - Nor will they say here-it-is here or there-it-is there for the kingdom of God is within yourselves.”.§ - Obviously, - the fact of these expressions expressing what they do is not yet known within the Christian churches today. It is Kalo who says they mean what they do and I am relying on him saying what I do, though I am quite certain anyone who has come to the same achievement (just the one the-absence-of-in-the-references-of-Steiner is discussed here) would or could affirm this point as well. (It is not something Kalo just happens to say somewhere but a rather solid reference within his teaching)

- Not so long ago I came across this lecture of Steiner having to do with the Lord’s Prayer. It is clear from it that he was not aware of what the words “your kingdom” there do mean. - I am mentioning this of course because they are referring to just the central missing point I was talking about, - the request in the prayer asking for the kingdom to come is for the arrival at it.

- As I said, if it is this particular last statement about Rudolf Steiner being wrong you observe as an obstacle or you severely-disagree-with in a way which could interfere with any chance of making any comment answering my main query presented here in this post, - (- that is in case one does have any intention of that, - of course) - than just put it aside. You could just forget this issue here. - Beside that it may be particularly very difficult to support the issue, I could just address one to Kalo’s books, - but most of these are in Hebrew, not many have been translated. Also I don’t particularly remember where does he speak of the issue, these are not things I read recently, - though generally it ought to be repeated continuously various times there. (- You can find another reference to who Kalo himself is here, he was of course not widely known as Steiner is today)

- Now at the bottom line of this post, - if anyone (reading this that is) could actually refer to the question in question, - could let me know or explain why or how is it that Rudolf Steiner apparently** never mentions or relates to the phenomenon I referred to known-as-“enlightenment”-in-eastern-paths, -†† in spite of his so-extensive references to almost anything you can think about, - (and particularly of course within that to spiritual development as a central issue) in his books he has written and lectures he has given, - than do let me know.

- I do not have a way of contacting me through e-mail at the blog, - no “contact me” option, - but do write at the comments section. - I would perhaps temporarily add a “contact me” had it been necessary, but I’ll be sending e-mail messages to many who might be able to comment so they’ll have the e-mail address anyway. Also I prefer to have the comments (assuming there will be any) openly here at the blog. Besides traffic here is so low I do not have much reason to expect other potential commentators else than those mentioned. One other note, - the post was initially written on a file as you can find here. The post as it was before being rewritten here (comments can only be posted here under the post, not there) and the original as written initially for that here. The way it is on PDF is better generally but the difference is not supposed to be significant. (I can’t just copy it as it is into the blog, the editing features are not the same, not anything you can do on a “Word” you can also do here, but it does not mean changing the text)
___________________
* (Steiner himself too does states the possibility of wrongness, I think)
- Kalo never really made it very clear what it is that Steiner is wrong about. - To me that is. - It is not that he avoided the question, - but generally issues discussed in meetings or our correspondence were those having to do with me, naturally, - and the matter referred to here was not generally a central one in this manner, - so the concrete question did not come up. (- Also in answering letters he normally seemed to be of the habit of writing very short answers, always one page, rather small, in a somewhat large handwriting usually) He died on the 30th of August, 2014.
Steiner, as far as I have come across, uses the word Buddha in a different sense or meaning, - it is not wrong or untrue but it may be said to be the secondary meaning of the word, - the primary or first one is as I referred.
§ (- You might also see Matthew 20:20-23)
** - I have never read all of his writings or lecturing, - needless to say perhaps, - far from that as you might guess, - but the fact is quite clear and seems to be very easily noticeable.
†† - Btw, - Kalo’s teaching is not of the eastern paths, - though relying on continuous meditation as in some of these, - but is Christian oriented.

- - Ignorance -

Most would observe ignorance as absence of knowledge. I am not saying it is not so. - But most would practically consider a person ignorant if he or she is not familiar with modern common views accepted through widely known “science”. Again, certainly, some of these, are, of course true. Some may be unclear but never mind, - does anyone know what exactly are all subatomic particles modern physics talks about? - Quite obviously not, including the physicists, - though they can say various things about them, - but as I said, - never mind. - But as I said, some are true, - and you might take it for granted that this is an understatement, and this is fine too. - Of course various findings about the physical world - about the shape and the size of the Earth, about the speed of light, about the speed of sound, about electricity and gravitation and lots of other shit, - are true. To the extent you believe the world we live in exists in the first place, - but never mind that. - There is also a change in view of other things, - philosophy, morality. Here what many take to be an advancement may quite not be so, - but again never mind, this bit written here is not about everything.

- Most people, or many people, or rather the “educated” in particular, - would view “ignorance” as relating to not knowing things of the sort of I related to here above. - In the driest sense, - in many cases or relating to quite a few things, - relating to quite a bit of modern knowledge, - this would be true. But it doesn’t matter that much.

- On the contrary, - today, particularly among those intellectuals generally related to above, - certain views having been significantly common in the past, - are no longer held. - Further than that, - are considered foolish. Primitive. - I am relating to the absence of faith. Those dry minded intellectuals consider the abandoning of these a great advancement. - Of course different religions had different views. Had different stories. - Narratives introduced may have been in accordance with the time they were given. Obviously, I suppose, - I do not intend to say every thing or story presented in every religion is true or correct. I could somewhat further continue here about this but this is not the place and the time. - Anyway, - still, - the general view in which faith is based is true. The logical presentation is not always easy, - but the “natural choice” theory for example is bullshit. - There are other things I might write about if I have the time. - You don’t have to take my word for it. - But generally speaking, - it could be said the idea this world have appeared off the intended and deliberate doing of the residents of higher spheres, or anyway off a higher existence, of whichever nature, - is fundamentally correct. And by “fundamentally” I mean also how significant or important it is. - Also the idea of the existence of higher beings or “God” surrounding us and influencing our lives day-to-day and possibly minute-to-minute is equally correct and of primary importance for the actual understanding of where-we-live and what-we-are-doing-here as part of a reasonable conception of our situation in general.

- The point in these words here is that significantly, - the absence of the natural grasp of the situation as related to in the last paragraph, - is far more essentially “ignorance” than all absence or lack of knowledge accumulated through secular research which as-I-related-to-in-the-beginning intellectuals of our contemporary age would speak of as ignorance. The ignorance we are deeped in is amazing. - Never in the history of humanity has it been like that. - The learned are like animals. - Of course many see this, - though this “many” may be very few, - while for obvious reasons they would not speak. It says in the Tao Te Ching: “He who knows does not speak, he who speaks does not know”. - So many fools who do not really know a thing may speak occasionally and the intellectuals who happen to hear would set their opinions accordingly. - Anyway - the practical situation may be close to shocking to those who can see it, to those who are aware. - Quite in reverse, quite in contrast with the common view of all those considering themselves of advanced qualities endowed through modern culture, - the actual situation is their’s is the ignorance, that is to say, - there is some ignorance indeed in not knowing this or that about all various facts or details they uphold the value of so much, - but most clearly, - observing our life as a whole, - the actual meaning of the word is so much more-significantly manifested and further expressed in their mental state and attitude. - This is ignorance. Deep ignorance. Harsh one. The other commonly related to [in the secular world] is more or less peanuts in comparison with it. It is not what is significant. It is not what is meaningful. - Quite obviously if you accept the picture presently denied. This is where ignorance is, - and the rest has its value, - but is never comparable.


Written on June 26th 2019, in one take.