- 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.                                                 ________________________

Religion: - My View (of a Certain Point)

- Many people seem to have an altogether wrong idea of what a religion is. - It seems generally in western religions it is not indicated at all. - Who-ever-it-is speaks to Abraham, and then he speaks to Moses, and he never indicates who is he or what is he, - or why should one actually do as he pleases or accept or follow his instructions in the first place.

- Then Jesus comes, and again he does not tell us who his father in heaven is, or what might he be, - or why should we be interested in according with the will of this unknown family member of his. (or ours)

- Further - he does not seem to generally intend for anyone to understand or figure out what the “Kingdom of Heaven” (or “Kingdom of God”) he repeatedly mentions actually is.

- Heaven or hell may be mentioned in different religions, - (and fortunate or unfortunate karma in the east) but that doesn’t seem to go anywhere beyond the persuasive attitude you might find with the mafia: - There too possibly presented with at least the pretention of a certain touch of good will. (- Of course it is not identical, but the principle does not reflect loftiness.)

- However: - I am not about what a religion is. - That would carry us far beyond the matter I wanted to discuss, and beyond this question itself, - onto further fundamental matters I don’t really give that much of a shit about. (- The last 10 words are merely intended to be humorous; - joking - that is.)

- Still: - One main point with regard to that still would be that various presentations presented by those who did have a true and clear idea [- of what a religion is] were suitable and appropriate for the time (and place) they were given.

(- which might also tell us something about why do religions tend to become as degenerated as they - apparently - sometimes do)

- Still again - as religions do often tend to become as degenerated as they practically do, - the general meaning and intention may be to a great deal lost.

- The situation would not be rare when those who do know would present a distorted and wrong view to their innocent audience - since otherwise they would not be believed. This may be especially true in case the very same audience has had the opportunity of listening to the same things off another who presented them similarly for similar reasons. - Though conversely those with (only) a scant (and emotional) idea might freely elaborate.

- Might be the nature of our planet. - Perhaps.

However, - again, - I said I am not about what a religion is. - Same is true for all of the above. - It is not yet what I’m at.

- In the past believing certain (religious) claims seemed to be considered as having moral value: - Having a certain opinion might have been considered morally “good”, while holding others would have been viewed as negative, - in the “moral” sense.

- I don’t know how beneficial might have such an attitude been in earlier times, - whichever ones you name or pick. - I suppose however seemingly stupid it existed for a reason and had its benefit, - however scant. - It does not mean it might be a way I’d choose, - at any time, - or that I could somehow see it as being for the better in an overall view in any sort of way.

Either way - I can not see a way in which it could be viewed as acceptable today. And I can not see how could any person - i.e. - not a sleeping one - view things differently. - Today of course.

Still this is not yet my point.

- One other thing before I get to what this post was originally intended to be about: -

Religious people might often be insincere. They feel obliged to believe certain “truths”, - and their surroundings might also expect it of them. It seems sincerity might sometimes be foreign to such surroundings. - I am not familiar with Christianity, - I live in Israel. Christianity and Judaism are not of the same character, - they feel different, and the people are different too. Not due to the religions themselves only - it seems. But I assume the idea, or principle, - is the same. - Individuals do not much like to be confronted with certain ideas, and at certain points would prefer to avoid logic or common sense.

- This of course does not apply to all. - But the phenomenon seems undeniable.

In olden days the situation has obviously been different. And materialistic men would only see the other side and imagine religions as a rule are nothing but the primitive empty thing they are quite simple mindedly in the habit of seeing them as. - But again this is a wide and serious matter in itself and I am not getting into it here in this post. - I have no plans for the future. I allow this blog to follow its course and I can’t always see where it leads. - No doubt it feels right.

- I assume the general line I have described would be able to prove typical in most major religions, today, - though some(*) are just fanatics and aren’t even troubled by common sense, and some - on the other hand, - might have an open mind and question sincerely.

- That which brought me to write this - is - as I said - not yet all this.

Some religious men might consider themselves believers, - but when you ask them as for concrete facts this belief would or might relate to - you might get a considerably different picture.

That which I wanted to relate to in this post is that unlike some unawaringly do imagine - it seems - religion does not have its own quarters, or patio, or area - some sort of a private sphere the facts in which are not obliged to fully correspond to those of reality. - If you believe - you believe. - If you don’t believe - you don’t believe. There is no possibility to have a certain view as a religious man, - while seeing the same object (either a phenomenon or an elaboration of a phenomenon) in a view that would practically be contradicting to the first.

- It seems obvious, but it also seems there are those who favor forgoing their clear eyesight.

- It does not of course mean one has to know everything. - It’s fine if you don’t know. - Or your idea may be vague.

Clearly this is not what I am talking about.

Though of course it is not possible also to hold a certain opinion as-if-within-a-religious-sphere, - while claiming to be ignorant about the same matter in another context.

- Religion is fundamentally obliged to reality as science is. - Religion and science (and art as well) do not exist in separate universes. - It is a common view today as if religion and science are contradictory. - It is a stupid assumption. - On both sides. - Religion may be wrong or science may be wrong. - Practically today both would many times be severely wrong. - To the extent of ridiculing their own being according to the revered aim they are to be running themselves in accordance with. - Or not that far from that - anyway. - But in principle - they should fit each other and match and act in mutual assistance.

- If a man who holds the contemporary assumptions of now-a-days’ “science” sees religion as a ridiculous phenomenon in itself - this might make some sense, - but if accepting a religious or spiritual path would cause a person to reject what may be said to be the scientific principle - this would means this person is negating reality, - in which his aforementioned chosen path reside as well.

- - -

All this does not apply only to science and phenomenal facts. - It is also true of philosophy and its views. I have somewhat referred to this once in a comment on Brad Warner’s blog.

- Teachers or leaders of Buddhism might sometimes say - “In Buddhism we believe this or that”, - or - “Buddhism says so and so”. - In case this is merely a technique of avoiding controversy as for what they themselves know to be a solid fact, - this is acceptable. - But it seems this is often not exactly the case as it is.

- It seems to be a means of making a statement without actually making it - as if.

- As if Buddhism has its own sphere detached from reality just as I referred to before. - Plus, - beyond the question of the correctness of the idea in itself there is also the question of whether such an attitude contributes to the mind of the recipient, - and does it nurture it, - or does it contribute to the degeneration of this mind and it it nurtures.

- The point I think should be clear - and it does not only of course apply to Buddhism - though this seems to be an example I am more familiar with - is that Buddhism (- as any other religion or teaching) does not reside within itself, and does not have its own residence. - Many misunderstand this, - but all religions are means for existence within reality. - Though this statement could easily be misunderstood or misinterpreted by the contemporary materialistic line of thought.

- Buddhism describes reality. - Buddhism does not describe Buddhism.

- Christianity, Islam, Hindu, - the case is not different. No religion aims at itself. No religion is its own purpose. All religions lead you beyond themselves, - in my view - to the extent they are true religions. - As any decent school or academy would. - Though some, - both within the “religious” and academic establishments may have it severely wrong. - In most cases these may be revealed to be well educated - in their own [- conformative] view - blockheads, - self esteemed in a way which may permit very little point in communicating to their authoritative highness.

But this is another matter this article is not about.

I am saying one who teaches Buddhism or guides people in its path should dare speak about reality.() - Same with any other path or spiritual system.

And it is of course only natural. - Otherwise the teaching would be pointless.

Attempting to avoid a point by a means as described above is not legitimate. - Not in my view.

- I’m saying it should always be remembered that religion describes reality and acts within it. - Not any other way.

. . . . .

- I once came upon a statement one can not master “Zen”.

- What is mastering “Zen”?

- “Zen” teaches us action in reality. - “Zen” does not teach “Zen”. - As long as one is living within “Zen”’s local hut one is still entrapped by the teaching, rather than freed by it, - it seems, - and it doesn’t seem it can be said to be fully embodied.

- Correct me if I’m wrong.

I don’t suppose anything can be mastered at all. - Rather one goes “beyond” mastering, - or rather - correctly - mines underneath - prior to it, - turning up with its meaninglessness.

- But that’s just beside the point.

. . . . .

I guess it was easier for religions in olden times.

Some lived in accord, - see Jonah 1:5-11, 14, 16,() - and for many, - perhaps in somewhat of a later time - the attitude must have been - “We are right, - and just fuck the rest” - [that’s when things do get somewhat degenerated] which must have considerably contributed to the simplicity of the teaching.

- Now a days, - living in accord - with materialism and secularity - seems to tend to ask for, - or require, - a price - I don’t think necessarily has to be paid.

I suppose I made my point.

(*) I here mean “some” as “some individuals”, - not “some religions”. And same with the second “some” in the same sentence.
() I do not mean here the [ultimate] Reality, - “God”, - the universe, - or whatever you may call it. - I’m just using the word in the common way.
() I did not verify the English translations. I read the (original) Hebrew. From reading a few verses here and there (mainly on BibleGateway) it seems existing translations of the Bible are not very good. But I assume as for the general idea at least, with regard to the chapter I mentioned, - whichever translation you may choose ought to be sufficient.

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