- 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.                                                 ________________________

Three phases of thinking

It has occurred to me today (23.9.15) that there are three phases in human thought: This does not correspond to the thinking of the head, the thinking of the heart and the thinking of the body, - but is another way of seeing things.
As for these - the thinking of the head, the thinking of the heart and the thinking of the body, - I suppose I might generally assume the readers of this blog would know what it’s about, (- or perhaps I would just like to think so, and at present - the audience - as much as there is any, - may be somewhat different than it was at first) but anyway it is not necessary for understanding my point here. I just mentioned it since if one hears about “three phases in human thought” one might easily imagine it is what I just clarified about it is not.

Now to continue with the matter I am about: -

- The first phase is that of mere deduction.

2 + 2 = 4

If a b and b c than a c

That is to say logical conclusion, - nothing beyond.

One may no doubt be very intelligent, but still remain fundamentally within this phase. - It does not touch reality, - it has to do with ideas in the most abstract way.

- If I know John is 70 years old, and I know Jim died 103 years ago, I can conclude they never met here on Earth through their relevant incarnations as Jim and John.
If I know you are reading this blog, and if I know you are American, I can tell there is (at least) one American reading the blog.
- If I know all black men have green eyes, and if I also know John Lennon is a black man, - I can conclude John Lennon has green eyes.

- And so on.

Any child is capable of it, - and it could of course be extended and expanded creating a complex structure consisting of nothing but deductions, as the ones presented above here.

- The second phase would include perspective as well.

- The first supplies you with a map like perhaps a train or a bus map. It tells you which stops are on which line but does not give you any real description of the area, or at least not one compatible with a reasonable description in many ways. - In the second phase one would be relatively aware of how relatively important issues are. - You don’t only know that X means Y and that Z means P, - but you are also simultaneously capable of estimating how important or unimportant issues are in relation to each other.

- Practically - in real life, - we - normal men and women, (I do not of course mean children here) do not live in these first or second phases.

In simple everyday life or situations we are not naturally limited in this way, and have no reason to fall into a trap of carrying such a restricted route of thinking.

- The trouble is with intellectual education. - When people are taught and told in what is supposed to be an instruction for a professional or specialized manner of doing a particular or general work they are to be capable in the field of, - while thereby practically guiding them to use their thought in a manner resembling the representation of reality by a black and white 12" TV, or somewhat degraded even further to the rough area of the fine art of form filling - as practiced in supreme excellence in the developing society we are living in. I am of course not relating to children’s education in these words.

The guidance would generally be supposed to serve a purpose of establishing a possibly lofty, elevated, - or advanced means of special understanding, or subsequent utilization in accordance with it, - but it may be that sometimes it would create an attitude that is very empty relying on guidance which does no more than to tell you to act in a certain way in situation X and in a certain different way or manner under conditions Y or Z.

It doesn’t really matter if a computer technician or a washing machine technician has full knowledge of what he’s working on as long as he does his work well. - But in other fields this is not the case.

- It is fine if your TV technician does not have full knowledge of how the instrument works as long as he knows which parts he has to replace, - but in certain fields adopting a similar attitude might be, - as it seems, - no less than stupid.

- Particularly in dealing with humans, and most reasonably as it seems in dealing with society as well.

In places where an actual ability is necessary, an inner one which has to be developed, - mere instructions and acquired knowledge are eventually viewed as what will or could do.
- The practical reality is that the sillier a person is the higher will he view himself due to the image he holds of the esteemed qualification he receives.

- And times, - as in the legal system, - which I have come to some acquaintance with quite unfortunately, - out of an intention to speed up procedures - as a general rule, - a standard emerges, as the heir of a habit, of a manner of thinking limited in reality somewhat to the initial first and second patterns of thought as being referred to here in this post you are reading now.
And here too, the greyness and lifeless-disconnected-thought, complying with the dogmatic and formalistic atmosphere and routined lane of procedure prevailing in the surrounding circles, are as a matter of fact practically imagined to be wisdom by those individuals dwelling within them and daily involved.
(Practically the situation is that due to an expertise undeniably necessary for familiarity with somewhat subtle formalities the general framework of thought is viewed as if bearing some sort of essential value beyond mere intellectualism. This phenomenon is not shared by all, and some of course are more aware of the reality.)
Practically the situation is more of the opposite. - It carries more of a degeneration of thought than of any real, essential or vital virtue or ability of independent value. - You might say it pads your heart with dust. Liveliness is diminished.

- Lawyers are of course skilled with adopting this attitude, - but what it actually seems to mean is using only a limited part of your mental ability as a human; - and it would also mean many whose abilities would not fundamentally exceed - in certain ways, - the lifeless manner of the first and second phases, - this incomplete manner or style of viewing and determining, - would find their way into the system. - Since it initially requires according qualifications - for the better and worse, - as its main standards.

The third phase would include life or essence as well. - As I said I don’t necessarily mean some outstanding manner of mental functions or an extraordinary state of mind unfamiliar to most.

It would generally be our usual phase of action in daily life. - Unlike the situation in the other two it goes beyond absolute abstractions and also exceeds the situation in which we can also be aware of a reasonable relationship of perspective, - (- telling us how relatively big or small, or valuable or perhaps weightless, - each thing is or would be) but still nothing more. - The first would be somewhat like some list of details or textual data arranged in a table or a diagram. - The second perhaps like an initial sketch or an outlining drawing in basic lines of a rather geometrical orientation still, - unlike a real picture where objects do not generally fit geometrical forms in their clean simplicity. - Or perhaps the first might be viewed as a black and white picture or drawing while the second would be monochromatic, - including further nuances but still - at the same time, - limited as it is in other dimensions. - The question would be whether adding colour would be a good way to allegorize our third phase. - It would be natural to think of it at first but reality has taste and smell too, - a colourful picture is still a dead picture, - even if taste and smell could synthetically be added to it. There is something beyond, merely speaking of colour would miss the point here, would be of the second phase in itself, as it seems. You may find it funny, but relating to computers might be helpful here:

- A file which includes only text or numerical data may be light in size. One which includes a sketch or a plan or a diagram in an according file type would be or could be somewhat heavier. A picture takes more space. A real picture unlimited to the fundamental characterizations of a working plan or to black and white or monochromatic or some limited set of poster colors would demand of course much more space as a resident occupier of your computer’s hard disc or memory. Working with such files or data would similarly be differently demanding for the computer. It would apparently be a different kind of task and would require a different track of dealing with it as it is so. - It would require a different amount or a different measure of resources and time.

- So this would, or might, give us some idea as for the place of the three phases of thought I am talking about here. - Wisdom could only fundamentally have to do with the third. Intelligence has to do with the first. - “Zen” might wish to bring us to deeper and closer acquaintance with reality, - but this does not mean the third phase here only relates to that. - In everyday life, in the simplest situations having to do with fundamental everyday things and direct meeting with other, - we most normally think (- when necessary) in full, - in the third phase. We do not intellectualize or sophisticate departing from the situation itself. - And, - unintentionally - we relate spontaneously to the living factors of the immediate situation we are in as it is.

True wisdom, would mean applying the same practice elsewhere too. - It does not mean anyone can do that. - It does not mean it doesn’t take any qualifications. But humanity has a tendency of walking the other way. The intellect is the shallowest layer of human thought. I recall Nishijima Roshi’s spontaneous comment to something I said once: - “Intellectual thinking is nothing”. - And he is absolutely right, the way he meant it.

- This fact is scarcely understood today, perhaps, one might say.

The third phase would include what we may intuitively perceive but deny or neglect due to degenerated norms in society. - We have notions as for things where we could not so easily analyze and present organized findings rationally and neatly. - One clear and easy example would be about our inevitable ability to pick up the difference between a human and an animal, - spontaneously. - But contemporary so called “science” would tell us this or that as for the matter so that when we intellectualize on the basis of that we lose what we easily see and note. - A better example may be of the difference between living and lifeless matter. - It is fundamentally seen immediately (in most cases) without any need for conscious thought processes, but intellectualization draws you away from it. - The immediate or intuitive fundamental notions are taken today to be silly, primitive in the eyes of intellectuals, - while the third phase is neglected by those only able to appreciate complexity rather than true depth.

It is about capturing the living reality of the moment, and about not limiting one’s self to only those faculties of one’s mind one is able to retroactively analyze and fully understand. - This may be the fundamental mistake leading to the distorted place we are in today. We can not reverse engineer every step of our mental processes in real time. This is to a great extent where stupidity lies. We can not do it not in real time either, - we can sample but we can not reprocess all in this way. - Ignoring the subtle functioning of the more refined abilities of the human mind because it could not be analyzed or comprehended by the rather rougher abilities of the intellect of particular incapable esteemed individuals who are unable to appreciate what is valuable and what is not so, - is practically idiotic. Our abilities to act in the third phase in real time and to try and understand our understanding in a retroactive analysis are not the same. - Most people would not at all posses the ability to extend their view as-if in another dimension to not only view what they view in a real time situation but also to appreciate their thought itself as well as if externally, - in the third phase as related to here. - The practical fact is that in such a situation the thought would be reduced to the lower paths - and therefore the whole worth of the analysis could not help but be in accordance.

- When in normal daily action we do not limit ourselves to the mere features of the situation which are those that could be expressed easily to another person through verbal speech and written words, or any other reasonable aids such as pictures and diagrams. - We just act in response to what we face, we do not try to analyze beforehand. Such analysis would mean practically thereby dropping part of the relevant knowledge and perceived notions, - (which are intellectually - heedlessly - so dropped in a retroactive remote consideration, when missing the point here, - more than often, - as it seems) unaware of what we really process in real time.
- In such an ordinary situation we naturally include the more refined features of what we encounter, not necessarily fully conscious of it. - The more living and inner factors corresponding to some similarly matching ones within our own human being. So far for this issue.

It is not so essential that the third phase is what we apply in daily life as I referred here, for the main issue I intended this post to be about, - that is, - it makes it easier to explain. I initially just wanted to use the fact for making clear what I meant by the three phases, - what I meant by the third one, - and then it carried me elsewhere too. As I found the other matter important in itself. - This post was supposed to be just about presenting my idea I referred to in the first line. - Other issues rather came by, and are fundamentally welcome too. - Anyway I’m just saying the fact I repeatedly related to that the third phase is what we apply normally in daily life is not such an inherent feature of what it is. It is not a superficial remark either, on the other hand, too, of course. - The third phase would grasp the living elements and those characteristics which make a thing into a real concrete particular situation or object, - not just an abstract one one might have made up or any general idea similar to many unclear or vague or simplified others. From here it is possible to deepen, but anyway otherwise too, regardless of that, - this would be the right attitude touching reality unlike the previous two where some preliminary sketch or design was actually what is being dealt with.

So far for what I had to say here, generally. - I suppose the general idea of what the three patterns are is in the least clear in itself. The three phases seem to fit three of Nishijima’s four phases or world views: - Materialism, - idealism, and realism. - It is not so clear how this would also comply with my relating to these earlier in this blog, - but this might come up too with time. - Fitting Nishijima’s pattern might mean there should be a fourth phase, - but this could hardly have real importance here - as it seems. - It would be some perfect or ineffable state of oneness with what you encounter, - or a state of a mindless mind as that of the Reality itself, - I see no point in relating to it here. - Might be of supreme importance elsewhere.

As I have not had the chance to experience this state, I will not relate to it.
(Though it apparently could not fundamentally be experienced, - since you can only experience anything when having a mind, consciousness, - and if the state is fundamentally of being rid of that, - no divided consciousness or unnecessary double action leading to what we call our mind, - experience could not take place)

I would mention one other thing. - In Korea, I heard, - on arriving in a “Zen” monastery, - they place a glass of water before one, half filled, roughly, - and ask him whether the glass if half full or half empty.

A person’s tendency, - most persons, - would be to intellectualize. - Suppose they ask you nothing, suppose the glass is just there, - you’d most time relate to it correctly. - If it doesn’t concern you, you’d ignore it, if you’re thirsty, you might drink the water, or ask to do so, in a normal situation. - As you relate to any other object in your surrounding. - But the moment they ask you the question, - if you don’t get what it is about, they screw your mind. - Most people don’t get that. - This is “Zen” wisdom, - as far as I get it. - It would relate more to the thinking of the head the thinking of the heart, and the thinking of the body I said at the beginning this post was not about, - than to the three phases as described here, but anyway. - One’s inability to utilize his mind in a realistic manner when relating to a situation while not-being-part-of-it, - is what is being examined in the Korean trick. But you can be confident that a true “Zen” master, - a Buddha, - could not be deceived through any silly artificial attitude arising from an immature mind. He can see you, this is not a computerized test where you can fill in correct answers while being ignorant. Anyway, I hope the idea is clear.

OK. Here it ends. Fwiw.

(I started Writings this post on a “Word” at a time I did not have an Internet connection on the date as it appears at the beginning. - I did not change that. I later continued on February this year several times still in this way. Later I continued and it happened that much was somewhat changed and revised, particularly when working on it in the blog itself. Things are somewhat different this way.)

1 comment:

Ran K. said...

I got the post unintentionally deleted. I was going to delete some draft and the post got deleted instead. Lucky enough I had a draft that was almost the same as the final post itself. I corrected a bit and will still need to correct a bit, (not the text itself, mainly indentation) but I uploaded it anyway right away. I’m mentioning this since I noticed a few entries after this, so I’m saying there is no new post, I just had to re-post this one. I’ll delete this comment when all is right.