Friday, April 01, 2011

"Evolution v. Creationism" = Snore v. Bore, but...

Been in bed too much lately. It's windy season here and I've got a bed on the deck upstairs. When I'm not on it, there are usually a couple of neighbor dogs snoozing on it. When I am on it, they scoot over.

It's pretty close to a primeval sky here. A moonless night casts starlight visible on the ground. I see what the ancients saw from high towers in Babylon. They made use of the stars in ways that we don't -- it wasn't for modern-style astrology.

The sight is an everlasting awe. It is realer on the emotional Richter scale than photos. There is no comparison with attempts to wow oneself by dutifully imagining some initial "Big Bang" -- which never happened anyhow.

When you are a child, pretending about Santa Claus is healthier and more fun than that. We mostly knew there was no Santa. It did take some growing up to realize that, in addition, there was no "Big Bang" and no "entropy." Those tales reflect a culture of reubens fascinated with "stuff blowin' up real good" and guilty wishes for their neighbors and competitors to fizzle out... or blow up real good. Perhaps a saner culture would have us originating in a galactic-size bulb on a supercosmic Christmas tree put there by an unimaginably mythic Santa Claus. Maybe mankind isn't meant to blow up and fizzle out all the time.

Lying face up on my bed I can see three-dimensional relationships among the celestial clusters, the planets a hand's reach away, the wind blowing dramatically across the bed whereon I lie. Snatch a planet and toss it with all your might and it would disappear from sight ten thousand lifetimes before it got a fraction of a fraction near the next sunlight. But you and those stars wink back and forth at each other right now.

There are different colors. There are "dark" areas. There are foggy luminous areas, stars so numerous they outnumber the sand grains blowing across this valley of New Mexico Nagual, the whole Great American Desert's, Mongolia's and Africa's sand grains combined. Leaning deeper, these staggering areas of individual suns look like part of a powder. The components composing this powder are also a trillion miles from each other.

Squint and concentrate on those distant powder-clouds and one can sense them moving in some way. Maybe my mind is anticipating movements a trillion of our puny years in advance. They're aware of their own sensations, perhaps electromagnetically like the minute components of earthly clouds.

I close my eyes and can feel those sensations in myself. I'm making them, not contriving them. They're not being made by some biological brain-glitch predetermined by imaginary genetic goblins. I'm quite conscious of imagining this. Nevertheless, it is real.

Open my eyes and there are the stars again; the night wind blows away every other consideration but these stars I've let play in my psyche. This little part of the universe I'm seeing, an instant googol perplex of matter and space visible by eyes inner and outer, is my creation. I feel it the same way I feel my pulse and the activities of various organs moving throughout my body.

...you can sense these things while in the city, too, if your mind isn't habitually noisy with fragmented gobs of undigested thought. "Do the noises in my head bother you?" Isn't a groundless joke in this society any more.

The dogs hear coyotes hooting and have to join in too. You city gringos would probably run for a big hotel to get away from these canine songs. But so intent are the gorgeous, enormous vitality of this night sky and I on each other, the high decibels of the dogs are cute little puppy squeaks nuzzling their mom. The congress of consciousness between me and these star-fogs "billions of light years away" continues, kindly encloaking the enthusiastic melodies of the dogs on my bed.

Such was my experience. It went on for hours, stretching in slow snake-like undulations between enormous friendly unknowns of outer space and the mundane considerations of a middle aged man in the wee hours of night in the blowing wind.

Neither ceremonial pomposities of science or religion entered into the picture.

What's the difference between reading studies about sex and having sex? If during the act all you can do is think about what you read in a study, you've got a little problem with reality, there, bud. You're out of touch with your own. Literally, you're out of your senses.

So too with these obsessive arguments banging an imaginary "Religious Truth" against an imaginary "Scientific Truth" like a toddler banging alphabet blocks together who doesn't understand the letters on them.

You're not experiencing the reality of either thing. You bang heated meaningless words against one another. It's a substitute for acquiescing to the validity of your own mind and its inner sensations. These need no justification from the flapping corrosions of religions or sciences as society presently tries so dutifully to keep believing.

It's just that people who fear the independent sensations of their own minds may cling to decorations that meet with social approval instead. Science? Theology? Fiddle de faddle.

I see so many sentences that go "I use reason." There's usually such a martial stiffness to them, a parrot would be ashamed to imitate reasoning that badly. An individual's conscious sensations are data. What reason arbitrarily deletes data that doesn't fit a theory? That's "Truth-making," the quickest road to Falsehood there is.

Try not to let these tales get you into trouble. Religious fanaticism is boiling even in this country and "evolutionary theory" has allowed justifications for people to extinct whole masses of each other.

82 Comments:

Anonymous Holly Figuerosa said...

Wow. Just wow.

6:31 PM  
OpenID thehoppermemo.com said...

For a while now I've felt as if I've missed this side of your thinking. Something got in the way. I think I know what, but I won't speculate. I'm glad to read this extension of your mind again. Thoroughly enjoyed this piece.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Thanks, Ed. Yeah. You know I've been brooding about the next big bang -- on earth here, that is.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous vanyc said...

awesome. thank you Tom for sharing wise words. your writing is truly amazing. thoughts are brilliant. I don't understand it all all the time but it's great to stretch the mind this way...

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The joy's in the wondering.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Gee, vanyc, I was just watching a documentary about Bob Dylan. Joan Baez said the same thing about him.

On the other hand, I do know what I mean. Bob Dylan said he usually didn't.

9:02 PM  
OpenID litdreamer said...

We claim to know so much about the outer world, when we know so little about ourselves. We are connected to everything, yet have severed these connections time and time again, convincing ourselves that we are superior to other animals, then that we are superior to other people.

Perhaps the outer is reflected in the inner, but you're right: no theory can grasp all of what we and this universe are. Theories and ideologies must, by definition, eliminate truths that don't jive with their truths, and so, what we end up getting, are half-truths.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Yup. And little truth fractions with lots of zeros in front of them, too.

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Holly Figuerosa said...

Who is that ASSHOLE and why don't you delete him? I don't need my comments co-opted by some "anonymous" total shit.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Dark. It has been a long time. In case you are wondering, the is "Herr Waffen". I hope that all is well with you.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Waffen! Long time! Where you been?

11:40 AM  
Blogger Vilvos said...

//If during the act all you can do is think about what you read in a study, you've got a little problem with reality [...]//

Sounds like me, but I don't really consider it a problem.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

So long as your mate doesn't notice, I s'pose you're doing fine. Or... dot dot dot...

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Dark gives blumpkins to midgets.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant midgets to blumpkins.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Your show of hard-earned wit has made you a bore, Anonymous. Go 'way.

11:49 AM  
Blogger manisz said...

Q: Why did the anonymous liberal cross the road?
A: To leave a dull, phallic- engrossed comment about a blog article he didn't even understand.

11:50 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

It's quite a while since I looked at the stars but I share the feeling you describe. And people who talk unnecessarily take something away without gain on either side.

Science vs religion. What about death? The awesome heavens do not help to decide when for example, like a character in one of Camus' novel, you have to decide whether or not to jump into a river to save someone. Most of us are cowards. Without a great teacher, it's impossible to have the confidence to be able to live right in all circumstances. The stars are not a cure for fear. Philosophy can be a source of courage. Socrates, for example.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Ah! Now there is a good, succinct body of thought. Science, you'll see historically, is a daughter of organized religions -- which organized the mental habits of perception then used by what became "Science." But modern science is more properly "Empirical Science," strictly, having attempted to remove metaphysical considerations in favor of purely physical observation. It never succeeds entirely, as, for famous example, Einstein spoke in favor of the value of intuition, which needs no empirical proofs to operate.

So death, from the empirical view, is a matter of "now you see 'life', and now you don't. But where did it go?"

The fairy-tale characteristics of most religions have done little to help, as they have too often been outstripped by the fascinating discoveries of the empirical sciences, which themselves can seem like other-world magic. We are too accustomed to the light bulb, for instance, to remember the spectacularity of its emergence into our daily lives. But Edison thought up the successful filament in an afternoon nap. It didn't come from hard observation and rational conclusion. Nor did Relativity: I hear it actually came from Einstein's first wife, but no matter.

When All That Exists (in royal capitalisation) is considered only that which is observable through the physical senses, the greater proportion of everything by far must necessarily go begging. And so death is a dark gray, uncertain and joyless mystery.

But there is no such thing as non-existence. The idea itself is only a tricky play on words. When we flip off a light switch, the light dies only for our immediate convenience. So goes what we call death.

As to the need for teachers, I think there is no more consideration of the relative than that.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

I'll have to read and reply this with leisure.

1:49 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

Much to agree in your observations, namely: science is a daughter of religion, except substituting empirical observation to fairy tale like hypotheses: that science leaves the important issues a begging, as Camus said, Galileo rightly did not stake his life, since what difference does it make what goes around what; from the eyes of science, death is a dull, blurry, unpleasant thing. The analogy of the switching off of a bulb to death is a penetrating one.

I can't do better than quote SGI President Daisaku Ikeda:

What is death? What becomes of us after we die? Failing to pursue these questions is like spending our student years without ever considering what to do after graduating. Without coming to terms with death, we cannot establish a strong direction in life. Pursuing this issue brings real stability and depth to our lives.

Many views of life and death have been articulated over the ages by religious leaders, philosophers and scientists. Without going into a detailed discussion, I think it's fair to say that human knowledge has not advanced sufficiently to either definitively affirm or deny the possibility of life after death. Science takes as its object of investigation phenomena discerned with the five senses; what happens after death is beyond its purview. Its basic stance disqualifies it from speaking on the matter one way or the other.

No view of the nature of existence can offer direct proof of what happens after death. It seems, therefore, that rather than trying to compare the relative merits of different views, it is far more fruitful to ask how a particular view influences people's lives in the present- whether it makes them strong or weak, happy or miserable.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

(contd.)

As to the need for teachers, I think there is no more consideration of the relative than that.

This is the not so relative since intellectualism has definite limits. You can't learn mountaineering from books alone, you need a proven coach. You need to have the right teacher of the right teaching. A spacecraft will drift wiiide off track with the minutest programming error.

Life is magnificent like Himalayas. Jung glimpsed the vastness of the inner cosmos. So no doubt did others like Shakespeare. We mirror the universe.The future craves a philosophy which can open out these
vistas for everybody has them inside, EVERYBODY. That's what Soka Gakkai teaches.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Aye. I read Jung as an intellectual child and found it all impressive, as I had done no mountain-climbings of my own. After I had, over many years, I returned to Jung -- Specifically, SYMBOLS OF TRANSFORMATION -- and by now, I thought he was crazy.

As it turned out, Jung was a trance medium. There are samples of his mediumship on the internet these days. That material, compared to what he "translated" by way of the Freudianism he attempted to redeem, seemed intellectually superior.

Ikeda's quotation here is amenable to my own learned views, except for the conclusion. It is an echo of the very common "I'm too busy with life to be concerned with what happens after death."

Buddhism, that is, the sayings of the Buddha, are in agreement with the idea put forth by certain physicists, that time itself exists simultaneously; that we perceive it in small chunks like one bicycling across a mountain, which exists all at once.

The Buddhist principle of time ought to be in agreement with physics because that's where they got it. Einstein, for instance, read the works of Madame Blavatsky, which alluded to the undistorted view of time put forth by the Buddha, and for that matter, put forth by many ancients, including the idea of "the Alpha and Omega" in the Christian bible.

But the implications of the simultanaeity of all time and probability go begging. It is well and good to pay close attention to the events of one's day, and one's views of his past and future and the variations possible in his present, as all are interrelated.

The ways in which these things are interrelated straddle "death" and life alike; one will not allow his mind to travel particularly far by drawing an artificial border around what he thinks death and consciousness are. When we are "not here," if even for a few distracted moments of a given day, we are someplace else. Where, then? In what form?

2:47 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

Gosh!! That will require quite some answering and scratching of the head so I'll answer late tomorrow of My Time.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

This is not the soup I'm trying to talk. I never read a book by Jung, he might have been all the things you say, possibly screwed up, but I'm just using some quotes of his as an example of the Soka view of the vastness of human potential, and the dignity of an individual, translating into the practice of respect. The following quote from President Ikeda is all the Jung I know:

These phenomena offer impressive testimony to the power of the unconscious to disturb the physical property of life and eventually cause sickness, but they occur in a relatively shallow realm of human life. Human life extends to a stratum of the unconscious far deeper than we can imagine. Professor Hayao Kawai at Kyoto University, a Jungian psychologist, discusses the mind in Muishiki no Kozo (The Structure of the Unconscious) : "Judging from these examples, Jung considered that the stratum of the human unconscious could be divided into two, the personal unconscious related to the individual life, and the collective unconscious common to all human beings. They lie in such a deep stratum, however, that we are hardly ever aware of them in our daily lives." He also said about the collective unconscious, "It is not personally acquired but inherently endowed, and universal among all mankind."

The collective unconscious, which forms the deepest stratum of each human life, also forms a foundation common to all mankind. It is said that the entire spiritual heritage of man, gathered over two million years, flows within this deepest stratum. One of Jung's followers, C. S. Hall, analyzed man's fear of snakes and darkness, and concluded that such fears could not be fully explained by the experiences of a single lifetime. Personal experiences only seem to strengthen and reaffirm the inborn fear. We have inherited a fear of snakes and darkness from ancestors back in the unknown past. This is, then, a hereditary fear, according to Hall, which proves that ancestral experience is an engrained memory living in the deepest stratum of human life.

You can talk theory for years and will have no result except exhaustion and frustration. Soka Gakkai is a very practical thing I'm doing since my hair was black and I'll share a bit in this thread after my nap and a Gohonzon enshrinement in the evening if I don't get caught up in chores.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Yes. Do finish your thought and I'll wait for you.

7:16 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

Please give me a day or so to collect my thoughts and energy because this part involves talking about myself and self disclosures involving people who are part of my life who may not want it, that too over the net. From my viewpoint it is a serious thing to talk about since the Soka Gakkai brand of Nichiren Buddhism as I have experienced first hand over 34 years is a life transforming thing worth all the dollars there are. I'm sure the thing will fall into place over some needed sleep.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Indeed, and I will do the same. I don't think it's possible for any philosophy or theory or assumption to have any reality but the subjective.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

Dear Tom

My aim obviously is to convince you try out this marvelous thing which has the power to enable us and ours to lead the happiest and most satisfying life possible, and realizing the never realized dream of a peaceful and happy planet within a foreseeable time frame.

Buddhism is too general a term so I use the term in the sense of the kind I have been involved in, namely, within the Organisation of Soka Gakkai. This is the group which has inherited the spirit and intentions of the Founder, Nichiren (1222-81), by making his teaching known around the globe through the exhaustive efforts of the first three Presidents: the first, Makiguchi died in prison in 1944, incarcerated by the military government on charges of lese majeste, under the prevalent thought control policy; the second Toda accompanied his mentor Makiguchi to prison and emerged a bag of bones but charged with the mission to rid the world of unhappiness, and widely propagated the teaching in Japan; the third Daisaku Ikeda has continued on the global stage.

I joined in 77 at the age of 31. I had resigned after working as a radar engineer for ten years to join a PhD programme in Electrical Engineering in IIT Delhi, to fullfill my imagined dream of a life of freedom in the academic world. As fate would have it, I married around the same time. Things did not turn out as expected. Withholding details, due to privacy issues, and there was what I might describe as a big bang in my life of the unpleasant kind, the fragments of which are yet flying around, but under control. My life and career was in pieces and I was at an utter dead end, both circumstantially and mentally. It was something utterly unusual and catastrophic, I am not exaggerating, and I could describe it a little better if I tried very hard, but simultaneously I am torn between sharing and withholding, all the more because this is public space.

My late younger brother who was already newly inducted into the practice since a few months tried to sell me the practice (the core of which is to chant the four word phrase Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, the Mystic Law, the essence and e=mc2 of of Buddhism, but bear with me) but preening with scientific brilliance, I scoffed, my excruciating dilemma notwithstanding. However something really awful happened soon after, just skirting tragedy, and one afternoon with nothing better to do, I drifted into a meeting, coming into contact with the person, let's call him Nick, who is the one who by virtue of his dynamic persona, set on the life trajectory which life has followed. He got me chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. He himself was the proof of the pudding. Being studious by nature I devoured the philosophy and the writings of Nichiren with their incomparable beauty and power to inspire and encourage. The html is too long so I'm splitting it.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

(contd.)

To digress. Two fundamental principals of the life-philosophy are: "Desires equal enlightenment" and " Suffering equals enlightenment." The distinctive feature of the philosophy is the oneness of mentor and disciple, which distinguishes it say from Christianity wherein there remains a demarcation between the figure of Christ and the ordinary person, you can't quite become Christ. Buddhism says everyone can attain enlightenment "as you are". The line ofseparation between the common person and the Buddha is utterly demolished.To cut short, it recognizes the vast potential posessed by each person, which serves as a basis for respecting everyone. A modern term for enlightenment is Human Revolution. I experience life as a joyful and exciting process of ongoing growth, all the more using daunting problems as a welcome fuel for this. As Nichiren says, fire grows more a powerful when logs (symbolizing the difficulties of life) are added. When life is passionately directed towards the highest goal, what would otherwise by unbearable problems are felt as pinpricks.

To return to my own story. Allow me a gap of a day or so, since this is taking it's own course and I have to see it through. Not that I am not enjoying writing this, but it will leave gaps I'm sure. Thank you for your time in listening.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOsr_ZOi-Jo

8:56 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

All right, sir. Yes I'm familiar with Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. Do continue your story.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

Well, there is not too much more unless you want to ask or add from your end.

The problems continued and so did my incessant invocation of the Mystic Law of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. I was able to find the strength and the joy of life amidst hellish situations which otherwise might have been the end of me more than once. I had been blessed with two kids whose future and upbringing was a major issue. I once heard Buddhahood described as a state of life in which, if your spouse is screaming at you, you experience as the song of a nightingale. This humorous example is quite an accurate metaphor. Nichiren, exiled to icy Sado Island, declared himself the richest person in Japan.

On a purely material plane, my kids have grown up into fine young men, brainier than is good for them, who don't subscribe to my faith, as yet. So it's not easy to encounter or accept Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. Do not let the simplicity (mere chanting) of the process deceive you, or the ordinariness of the proponents. A TV set is easy to operate and everyone watches TV but the technology behind a TV set is hard to comprehend even for a brilliant engineer. Nam Myoho Rege Kyo is the powerful law of life which even the Buddha cannot fathom. To quote from the Gosho, the name given to the writings of Nichiren Daishonin:

The Buddha wisdom is so marvelous that it knows even the number of raindrops that fall in this major world system during a period, for instance, of seven days or twice seven days. And yet we read that the blessings acquired by one who recites no more than a single word of the Lotus Sutra are the one thing it cannot fathom. How, then, could ordinary people like ourselves, who have committed grave offenses, possibly understand these blessings?

Note: Lotus Sutra in the above implies Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

I await your feedback. Of course I'm the wrong person to be dilating on this. SGI USA in flesh and blood and real time are the natural connection.

Regards

10:36 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Yes. My good friend and client the late Robin Azi was a Nichiren Buddhist, and so from him I learned various more altogether. Robin twice beat a doctor's most certain diagnosis of malignant lymphoma, "go home, pack up, you're going to die in a few days," over a period of seven years. I wrote a little about it in one of Roger's blogs.

Robin never would take my advice, but I knew his self-healing entailed more than a strict diet of carrot juice and the like, plus the chanting. He came to me twice, ready for a creative pursuit, perhaps a legacy for his two young boys, rather than give up and simply die of cancer.

The hope and creativity did much to keep him alive for seven years. As he already had a reassuring hypnotic chant to steady his mind, he saw no reason to try "mine."

Mine is called "Concentrated Natural Hypnosis." It is even simpler and therefore less believable to minds darkened to their own potentials, as it requires no nodding to Gods or Universes complex and misunderstood, while trying to concentrate on the needed thing or condition.

"I need more money." "My body knows how to heal itself." "This problem will work out." And so on. A simple statement of desire or belief, your own invention, repeated for five minutes at some point in the day and no more. If no results in three days, change the wording.

I've suggested this to many people over the decades. Those who try it always experience some results. Of those, some don't believe what happens, and so quit. Those who don't try it achieve nothing and their problem remains.

Some have come away with spectacular results. I have, from time to time.

This of course leads one's mind to many, many questions. One's own dreams begin to teach.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

To wind up.

As regards your technique of concentration Ikeda Sensei has vouched for it in the following words:

"When you clearly envision the outcome of victory, engrave it upon your heart, and are firmly convinced that you will attain it, your brain makes every effort to realize the mental image you have created. And then, through your unceasing efforts, that victory is finally made a reality."

The aim of Nichiren, like any Buddha, is to enable people to live the happiest possible life, the kind of happiness which emerges from an adamantine state of mind, more than favorable circumstances. This is the benefit of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo as I have accumulated over the years. This is I am sure what Robin must have experienced even faced with a terminal situation. Conspicuous benefits, like money, are comparable to the flowers on a tree; inconspicuous what is termed as Human Revolution to the growth of the trunk as the rings accumulate.

Let me conclude with the sound of the lion's roar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5afTFxjIgVk

All the best. There is no tax on chanting.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

I know of no one doing regulated experiments acceptable to the dictates of science, but experience and observation so far shows me that you get whatever you concentrate upon, so long as you understand what you're concentrating upon. If you don't understand, you won't recognize what you've got. Some do like surprises.

As a statement of intent, I think one of many rough translations of "Nam myoho renge kyo" may read "I submit completely to Universal Law" --in this case, the Lotus so depicted as Universal Law.

...that is, that self-awareness of the whole is a many-petaled thing, and so on. The only individual I have heard of who managed to employ this concept fully for himself came to call himself Gopi Krishna.

He was young, zealous and foolhardy, as was I. He concentrated on the principle of the Lotus for a few years routinely, I on "sacrificing one breath to the other."

Both of us could have inadvertently died, there being such enormously blissful levels to navigate without maps, but both of us lived to learn to "translate" the experience into terms we, individually, could comprehend and use, and therefore offer to others.

I bumbled into the realization that it's all there in dreams; it is somewhat insane not to use them. Yes the better part of humanity is growing insane for it.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

"I submit completely to Universal Law"

Submission implies passivity and resignation. It's not supplicating but rather determining "I'm gonna do it, no matter what. I will fight to realise world peace." Nichiren says "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is the roar of a lion." Lion cannot be obstructed by any karma.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNbU2-9YcGI

When I started way back I would enjoy the pleasant sound of the chant in the privacy of my hostel room in IIT Delhi. The musicality of the mantra and the sound which seems to mirror the cosmic rhythm. But this is purely subjective.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Objection overruled! "Submission" is correct, as "nam" denotes and connotes it. There's nothing negative about passivity and resignation while learning a Universal Law. There is everything wrong with roaring while a teacher is trying to teach it. That's my context, peace movements are not.

Nor can one "fight for peace," not even in the diplomatic way you mean it. Millions of men, women and children are lately being slaughtered by psychotic representatives of people gone psychotic "fighting for peace."

Peace is learned -- re-learned -- an individual at a time. It does not deny negativity, passivity, or aggression.

I'm aware of course that you mean to get me to "try this out." I may as well quote a wise individual who knows me very well: this "would be like trying to drag an archangel to a spiritual workshop." Do take her word for it and save us both a nuisance. My purpose is to stress the value and responsibility of one's individuality, not spread my hands out in blessings of any group. No teacher can engage the dialogue between self and soul for you.

As I've hinted, one's own dreams teach. As I've stated flatly, people are going crazy for pushing dreams out of their philosophies, thoughts and activities.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

Just a matter of terminology and over-abbreviation. The lion is a traditional symbol for a buddha (no capital for B) and the lion's roar for the buddha's teaching. It stands for courage not aggression. Individuality is respected. "Cherry, plum, peach and damson blossoms all have their own qualities, and they manifest the three properties of the life of the Buddha without changing their character" (Gosho)Also: "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is the roar of a lion."

The Gohonzon is not a diety but a mirror. The Gosho defines it as the object for observing one's mind, or observing one's own buddhahood.

Roaring does not mean aggression. Buddhism is non violent. In a sense, Gandhi and King could be called lions that roared. The relation between a mentor and disciples is that of a lion and it's cubs. To quote from Gosho, the collected writings of Nichiren Daishonin: "The lion fears no other beast nor do it's cubs." Again: "A coward can't have his prayers answered."

The subtle but vital difference between mentor and disciple is what distinguishes Nichiren Buddhism from the Abrahamic faiths. Hence the word submission is out of tune.

Your respected late friend is a clear example of the leonine spirit in the face of death. His chanting gave him the courage to take up creative activity in defiance of fatal illness. A lady dying of cancer known to me drew a picture of a bird in a cage with an open door on the penultimate day of her life door. This is Human Revolution, this is fighting for world peace. Not like "If it's good enough for Brady it's good enough for us."

Archangel's cannot be dragged. But Daishonin says: "Buddhism is reason."

6:14 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

John Stuart Mill, and I'm sure many others said the only way to improve the world is to change the way people think. That's what we try to do, one at a time. Surely the charge of psychosis is more appropriately applied to the war mongers or those who choose silence than peace activists, even though your peace loving ears are disturbed by the imagined noise of roaring. Voice is powerful. To speak out is moral. Silence is reprehensible.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

I've often wondered about the symbol of the lion -- the male -- as in reality, that animal lives off its wives. Nor does it take any courage for a lion to roar. Nor do male or female take on a prey remotely challenging, except in its fleeing.

Perhaps the courage is the human's who worked up the nerve to get close enough to a lion to hear a full-blast roar. If not foolhardiness.

That is a nice eulogy for my friend Robin, but I knew him intimately and you did not. He "lost" his third bout with malignant lymphoma because he had no further hope for a challenge worth his efforts in his lifetime. A room full of several-times daily chanters, intended to keep him alive, not "courageously face death" or any such thing, was of no use.

There's much more to tell than that. I do deserve credit where it is due; I won't have presumptions belittling what I know and do. There is no such thing as magic words. Of themselves words are meaningless. Of themselves symbologies are meaningless, if in degrees.

There is such a thing as intent, and intent does set up what can be called an invisible energy-sound. But you so far seem more eager to present the rightness and goodness of your case than to listen to my own first-hand experience.

There is a serious error in Nichiren Buddhism, or so I read in one of Ikeda's essays: there is simply no such thing as an ironclad law of cause-and-effect.

This would be clear had the Buddha's core concept, that time exists simultaneously, been taken seriously and without either superstition or guilt.

But as I've said, this fact goes begging in every culture I know of. Were it considered for what it is, there wouldn't even be a need for people straining under their attempts at peace movements.

I'm sure John Stuart Mill made his quip with a bit of wryness, if concealed.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

Well, I certainly admire and envy your way with words but that is the advantage of monolingoism.

I both agree and disagree with your statements and cannot allow to pass without due response.

Await same not today since running around is awaited.

The question is not if one dies but how.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Hut, hut, my friend. I do think in another language. I'm rusty, but I do. I'm rusty at my root languages, Latin and Saxon -- and if 19th C philologists were to be believed, Sanskrit too, but I do consider them in constructing my spoken thoughts.

When accusing one's opponent of having an advantage of an ability for wordings, one merely shows he is fighting a battle of his own making and thinks he is losing. He is not amplifying any idea.

You've noticed how Roger's blog commenters are largely males, usually in, usually, mindless, competition with one another. It tends to drive reason and women alike away.

Our subject is a little more delicate than that noisy sport, and may actually yield worthwhile results.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

To continue. I have no intention to presume to belittle your knowledge or convictions. I ask for the same in return.

Robin died. So did Chandra, with all of us chanting for her. So will I and so will you, chanting or not chanting. One can only pray to chant like a man and not a dog. Death is not a tragedy. Death can be a victory like MLK and Gandhi. To die in saddle, fully alive till the last breath. The quality of one’s death mirrors the quality of one’s life. Most people crumble in the face of death. Your friend did not. The friends chanting for him may not have been chanting for him to live for ever but to give him strength and encouragement in his final battle. The moment of death is not the end. It is a fresh beginning. It is the ultimate test. Soka Buddhism is about human revolution and inner change, not miracles. Ofcourse Buddhism is good for health, even though we have to die some day.

That is why Nichiren Daishonin says “First study death, then other matters”. He further states:

”Ever since my childhood I have studied Buddhism with one thought in mind. Life as a human being is pathetically fleeting. A man exhales his last breath with no hope to draw in another. Not even dew borne by the wind suffices to describe this transience. No one, wise or foolish can hope to escape death. My sole wish therefore to solve this eternal mystery. All else has been secondary.”

The law of cause and effect is iron clad. Further, cause and effect is simultaneous. Intent is important in Nichirenism too. Chanting concentrates intent.

You say I’m unwilling to listen to your views. I’m listening. I’m serious. I want to avoid the “noisy sport”.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

PS: My expression is less meandering than yours. I am not writing to impress, ridicule or mesmerize.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_Capital_of_Asoka

10:59 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

I haven't concluded that you're unwilling to attend to my views, but I do mean that, how to put it, you are so intent proselytizing what you've been taught that you don't seem to notice what I tell you I've learned. My writing likely wouldn't appear to meander in that case.

I'm much stingier with words than you realize. The associative fashions I've learned to use would be more apparent and their significances grasped; and in time, the linear form of writing to which we're intently habituated from childhood would appear, as it often does to me, boring.

As I pointed out, time exists simultaneously. I tell you this fact goes begging. What if it didn't? What are the implications?

They are infinite. They are vivid and real in the present moment. There are no artificial separations between "life" and "death," no fake lines drawn between "spirit" and "flesh."

For one of infinite points, one would see who among his friends and relatives intends to die, who does not, and who is thinking about it, whatever the crisis.

I've been doing this for decades now. I saw, for instance, that my friend Robin had decided to go and what he planned to do next. He did not decide to become a Nichiren Buddhist in his next life. He's now in Africa. He'll be assisting the spread of a world-changing religion.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

OK. You got it right I'm proseletizing, if in your infinite non linearity, you cannot find a better argument than derogatory labels. But I concede your point, maybe I need to improve the methodology. From the start I was not keen on theorizing, which would constitute what I have been taught and found to conform to subjective reality. But at the core is my subjective experience which is something concrete inside me and in no way restrictive, on the contrary liberating, even though the idea of a narrowed down belief system (essentially nothing more or less than chanting four words) practiced in a highly co-ordinated organization may arouse apprehension.

Time simultaneous? The present moment is all we have. The infinite
past and future is condensed in the present. What matters most is attitude to the present moment. Readiness is all, Hamlet, last act. Are we ready now, or not. Me, not so sure, my years of chanting notwithstanding.

Regarding Robin, I cannot say whether he be born Africa or America. If I do, you may say I'm parroting. For myself, the feeling that my death will not be the end of me is like two plus two. You have the right to call me what you will.

There are no artificial separations between "life" and "death," no fake lines drawn between "spirit" and "flesh."

Let me parrot again, for brevity sake. The second concept is one among the ten onenessnes and called oneness of body and mind.Regarding second, yes life and death are two sides of same coin.

"For one of infinite points, one would see who among his friends and relatives intends to die, who does not, and who is thinking about it, whatever the crisis."

Excuse me what's that?

I do appreciate and envy your power of words.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

To quote Sensei:

"Life and death are the two phases that all living beings must pass through. Conversely, a living being can exist only in the state of life or death. The ordinary person can see his life only as it begins with birth and ends with death. The Buddhist perspective goes beyond this limited view, however, extending its horizon to life as a changeless entity that exists eternally, sometimes in the manifest phase called life, and at other times in the latent phase called death. What is the Buddhist view of the two phases of life and death? The Juryo chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "There is no ebb and flow of birth and death, . . ." Since "ebb and flow" indicate death and birth, the Juryo chapter, based on belief in eternal life, denies the ebb and flow of life, that beings are born and die. In the Ongi Kuden (his oral teachings of the Lotus Sutra), however, Nichiren Daishonin says that the denial of birth and death originates in delusion. We should instead regard birth and death --- the ebb and flow --- as essential phases in the ultimate entity of life. This, he says, is the only valid view of life. Life is the state in which its ultimate entity is manifest, and death the state in which it lies dormant. The ultimate entity remains unchanged, repeating the endless cycle of birth and death."

10:33 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Before I continue, do point out to me where you believe I'm being derogatory. Again, let's not get "separated by a common language," as Shaw put it.

Do also tell me what you don't understand about my statement: it's common to see who among one's friends will live or die and who's thinking about it. This is one of infinite results of comprehending the simultanaeity of time. I've been this way for decades. Not clear?

11:49 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

"Eagerly proselytizing about what you have been taught" paints me feel like a dumb ass who has been brain washed out of his wits. Actually my statements are a compound of two things. One is faith, a formidable word. To me it means deeply trusting another person ased on his integrity testified by his behavior and results based on that trust. The other is subjective experience and something hard and clear as granite at the centre of ones being.

Regarding the second I cannot read people's thoughts except normal human sensitivity. I have no power of predicting people's deaths. Some people die unexpectedly in accidents.

What is "simultaneity of time"? I have a sketchy idea of Einstein's theory, in the universal law cause and effect is said to be simultaneous. You are referring to something else. What?

12:37 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Okay, I see. I meant no sardonicism or cleverness. It seems to me flatly that you're eagerly proselytizing what you've been taught. This is my explanation to myself as to why you've been dismissive of what I tell you I've so far learned by experience first hand. The concepts we're discussing have only shallow similarities. I have no faith at all in the teachers I've so far known.

You will see above that you quote someone about there being no past or future, only a "now." That's a common statement in modern schools of thought.

I don't understand why you would now ask what is "simultaneity of time." I began with the analogy of the mountain range, above, you'll remember. To ask now, does this not mean you haven't been following my posts after all? Does this not mean your sarcasm for my own response on my writing is disrespectful?

All the events of time, and all their possible variations, take place at once... all in that great big "now."

"Now" is composed of an infinite number of "nows," the way a human body is composed of countless cells, each of countless atoms. You and I are sharing a tiny "now" at this moment -- my moment writing and yours reading create one -- but there are far tinier, stretching into infinity as far inward as outward as up as down.

All of them are relative to one's conscious comprehensions. Those comprehensions can be, and frequently are, limited, for a multitude of reasons.

Some of these reasons are unnecessary. Certain habits of perception have been allowed to override others; among the overridden is natural telepathy. Telepathy denotes spontaneous comprehension of the highly flexible characteristics of time and probability. Animals have not lost the natural ability in their way, but we've been taught our way out of it.

It's not difficult to re-learn one's way back to it. But "ironclad laws" such as cause-and-effect are ruled to be are indeed in the way.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

Since as you perceive there may have been a trace of disrespect in me towards you, I need to remove that before I venture to debate further on a matter which involves both our futures, certainly mine, let me chant thoroughly about it before I pen another word.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

That's the stuff. Do your proven method and let's see what happens next.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

I thank you, sir, for your time and attention. You have Robin's testimony and mine and theory cannot amplify further. I'm definitely sharing what I've learnt adding nothing of my own inventiveness except my life experience. I have no claim or desire to be a prophet or a guru. The chant is the culmination of thousands years of passionate philosophical quest by thousands of individuals and in no way self hypnosis. It is the sound of the cosmos, the music of those starry vistas you have glimpsed as described in your post.I have tried it on the crucible of my own life, as explained in detail, and found it to be a one hundred percent compass of life. We in the East have a tradition oh honoring mentors which may be jarring to individuality obsessed Westerners. To say more would be to sully the noble with my inadequacy of words. The charge of disrespect and complacent mockery is more applicable to yourself.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

I know of no cultural traditions that espouse independent-mindedness, SM, although there is lip-service where it is shown a little independent thinking might yield money profits at some point. East or West, there is no substitute for one's own efforts in feeling out Nature for himself.

My experience with "Nam myoho renge kyo" is that chanting the phrase is one of many probable forms of self-hypnosis, as are centuries of all sorts of prayer, some still used, some long abandoned and forgotten.

While I gather you'd think my conclusion -- it is from doing, not "theorizing," mind you -- is somehow belittling, may I remind you, independent-mindedly, that no one seems to know what "hypnosis" is and how it works any more than a physicist can tell you what a magnet is or how it works.

The perceptions I described in this essay are not merely incompletely recorded, as I expect few could follow the rest of them, they are but one set of daily perceptions of that sort. I have no time to count them up. They never require incantations or hypnosis to perceive, just a little peace and quiet. They never repeat themselves.

Many, many things are taken for granted that aren't necessarily so. We are presently in a time where questions must be asked anew, time and again. So too must the apparent results be questioned, repeatedly.

It is, more likely, my own questions and objections that are creating the scandal in this discussion.

I like being "a Westerner," but that isn't what prompts my own endeavors by any means.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

You didn’t roar this time.

The Pleiades and Galaxies exist within us. Tom Dark is me. If Europe is diminished so is Tom Dark. The worlds of the Buddha as of Hell are enclosed within us. Such are the dimensions o a single human life. Not my views but the Nichirenist canon, tallying with my baby-ish experience. Humankind is Indra’s Net.

World Peace is no joke. It cannot be ordained by legislation. It has to be planted one by one, as I am doing just now. It is surprising you find Stuart Mills comment tainted by wryness, it would seem so self evident.

Individualism is all right if it does not become egomania. Altered states of consciousness can be achieved even by drugs.

If NMRK is not the ultimate law of life, it is nothing. It’s not the same as abracadabra, or “ham and bacon”. Things have names, and names matter. You will not respond except by your proper name. Chanting will bring you book contracts, enlightenment and world peace. By all means, it won't kill you or psychologically maim you. Robin did not chant in vain, nor his pals who vigilled his final hours. After all, death is not a disease.

3:09 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

---Ah. Energy.

You didn’t roar this time.

---I haven't yet. No need.

The Pleiades and Galaxies exist within us. Tom Dark is me. If Europe is diminished so is Tom Dark. The worlds of the Buddha as of Hell are enclosed within us. Such are the dimensions o a single human life.

---These are nice echoing rumors about the cosmos, but what is your true experience of them?

Not my views but the Nichirenist canon, tallying with my baby-ish experience.

---And "the world is in a grain of sand." A common canon. I've been reminded to mention that the language of Nichiren is 900 years old, correct? The language of the Buddha, how many centuries? I have another question I'd prefer you did not ignore or sidestep by some quotation: what human language never changes?

Humankind is Indra’s Net.

---This is a meaningless statement to many, and a blasphemy to many others. In what language do you put it to make it seem true to all?

World Peace is no joke. It cannot be ordained by legislation.

---Nor by any imposition of an idea considered, but not thoroughly felt.

It has to be planted one by one, as I am doing just now.

---Ooooh, no you're not. En garde, pagan!

It is surprising you find Stuart Mills comment tainted by wryness, it would seem so self evident.

---Wryness isn't a taint, but a humor. I made a guess that Mills was a man of the world, imagining "changing one mind at a time." Otherwise, much of his thinking has been part of the problem. It is too mechanical and materialistic.

Individualism is all right if it does not become egomania.

---"Groupism" is the worst kind of egomania possible. A true individual will never "ism" or "ist" himself, where prudence declares he can be honest among a group of egomaniacs convinced they have "the Truth."

Altered states of consciousness can be achieved even by drugs.

---Often at the expense of biological damage, which those "altered states" have rushed in to attempt to repair. It is a foolish method, a favorite of the irresponsible and the runaway ego.

If NMRK is not the ultimate law of life, it is nothing.

---Then it is nothing.

It’s not the same as abracadabra, or “ham and bacon”. Things have names, and names matter. You will not respond except by your proper name.

---These are literal-minded assumptions, characteristic of an un-matured ego.

Chanting will bring you book contracts, enlightenment and world peace. By all means, it won't kill you or psychologically maim you.

---You are not paying attention at all, then. I repeat: I did try "NMRK" for a time. My own method is far, far, FAR more effective.

Robin did not chant in vain, nor his pals who vigiled his final hours. After all, death is not a disease.

---As the chanting was to keep Robin "alive," it was in vain by the designs of all involved. He wanted to die. He was ready. You ignore what I tell you I know -- very directly. This is one of the insults inherent in "authoritarianism," where belong the individual's senses, not quotations.

8:02 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

Not Mills but Mill.

What human language never changes? You tell, I don't enjoy being so demandingly riddled?

Late now. Rest tomorrow.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Would a Mill by any other name smell as sweet?

Take your time. Speaking of Big Benefits. I just got an astonishing query alluding to Huge Money and must cower about it for a little while.

My wife reminded me this was in one of my dreams a couple of weeks ago. Oh. Yes. I'd forgotten.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

See, it works. It's not the dream, it's Gohonzon saying, "Come back, Tom!"

3:19 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Ah, good! So if it doesn't work out, I can blame you, or the Gohonzon? Good, good.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

Buy you have to determine to make it work and take the necessary action, exerting "a million kalpas of effort in a single moment" to see heaven in a wad of bills.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

So! Excusing yourself already and I haven't even failed yet! I know your type.

You DO know I'm teasing, yes?

PS I haven't heard the word "kalpa" in an eon, I don't think. Rather nice to see someone using it.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

I'll pray that your dream works .

1.---Pleiades, grain of sand etc
My own experience.
This is something visible only to me so there is no use going overboard in describing my altered subjectivity. I have to back it up with quotations: "More important than the treasures of the storehouse are the treasures of the body but the treasures of the heart are the most important." (Nichiren). "It's the heart that matters." If all I had to show for my chanting was conspicuous benefits it would be nothing. For one thing, I thoroughly believe in the eternity of life which fundamentally alters ones perception and attitude to life. One enjoys the little things too. Also a clear sense of purpose. Buddhism is daily life and ordinary life is transcendental. So the answer would be a simple yes. It's real. Certainly I don't go around no starry trance or twirling flowers nor feel much need. When I say, for example, Tom Dark is me, it means becoming a more caring person. And about stars etc., to quote, benefit means purification of the six senses. You should understand I'm not quoting to sound grand. When something has been well said, there is no need to tie oneself in knots to reinvent the wheel. Using someone else's words alas is an expression of humility.

2.---What human language never changes? You have me agog for the answer. Maybe a dead language.

3.---Indra's net: I'm writing only to you, Tom, not to your population, and I wrote that assuming you may google that for Wiki. I would have done as much.

4.---World Peace. Nor by any imposition of an idea considered, but not thoroughly felt.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is felt with the entire force of one's being.

5.---En garde, pagan! Ah, compliment.

---Mill or Mills, as preferred.

Consider the thought, not the man. The fruit, not the tree.

6.---"Groupism" is the worst kind of egomania possible. A true individual will never "ism" or "ist" himself, where prudence declares he can be honest among a group of egomaniacs convinced they have "the Truth."

Man is a social animal. Families, nations, armies, movements good and bad, artistic and musical movements--life invigorates life. Individualism, atheism are isms. It's more presumtious to profess Lone Rangerism. To belong to a group, and and subscribe to it's ideas, certainly require ego transcendance which, I repeat again, comes harder to hose raised in the Western tradition.

7.---If NMRK is not the ultimate law of life, it is nothing.

---Then it is nothing.


How complacent, how judgemental, how cocksure. You put Moses to shame.

8.---These are literal-minded assumptions, characteristic of an un-matured ego.

Sounds like someone I know.

9.---I repeat: I did try "NMRK" for a time.

May you yet.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

I'll pray that your dream works .

---Don't. That's like watching a carpenter do something he's done routinely for decades, then taking credit for the results.

1.Pleiades, grain of sand etc
My own experience. This is something visible only to me so there is no use going overboard... etc.

---A famous artist friend once sent me a funny poster that said: "If you don't chew your food, who will?" Your comments say you expect someone else to chew your food. You're like an artist looking to critics to find the meaning of your own painting.

---Now then. I have friends around the globe who tell me what I'm doing very specifically now and then, and I do the same. There is far more. We do not restrict ourselves to platitudes and quotations for it.

2.---What human language never changes?

You have me agog for the answer. Maybe a dead language.

---The languages in which the Buddha's and Nichiren's words were recorded are both long dead. There are many translations and many errors.

3.Indra's net: I'm writing only to you, Tom,

---Without knowing whether I'd be familiar with Indra or her net. But you're writing to more than me alone... even in the privacy of e-mail, many others would be involved. Take a lesson from your own buddhisms as you've been telling them.

4.---World Peace. Nor by any imposition of an idea considered, but not thoroughly felt.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is felt with the entire force of one's being.

---Rather like corporate policy, insisted upon whether true or false.

5.---En garde, pagan!

Ah, compliment.

---You're welcome. It was that or "heathen!" but they're the same thing in 2 languages.

Mill or Mills, as preferred. Consider the thought, not the man. The fruit, not the tree.

---Being a Westerner, I do not give permission to worship John Stuart Mill this way. His materialisms rationalized much damage. One can misunderstand both tree and fruit.

6.---"Groupism" is the worst kind of egomania possible. (A true individual has no "ism" or "ist," etc.)

Man is a social animal.

---This does not mean his senses need operate according to group dictates.

Individualism, atheism are isms.

---I am an individual to whom you're writing. It's no "ism". Atheism, as I've often said, is good for adolescents. Afterward it represents an emotional problem.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

It's more presumptuous to profess Lone Rangerism.

---while I AM a "lone ranger" in the derogatory terms you imply, it's as presumptuous to "profess" it as to espouse some group and drop a sense of individuality. It is frequently disastrous to do the latter. As you see more frequently in your local news, people murder each other for that.

To belong to a group, and subscribe to its ideas, certainly require ego transcendence

---Exactly backwards. It requires a desensitizing and bolstering of the worst characteristics of the ego. I'm aware how, say, a noisy rabble of "groupists" would lock egos in step to try to march me down for making this undistorted statement. Thus it's been for centuries.

---"The ego" is simply that portion of one's conscious being that deals with its physical senses and performs physical manipulations, mostly quite honestly and charmingly.

---There isn't a religion I know of that won't insist on the very ugly, damaging distortion that there is evil inherent in the ego. There isn't a religion I know of that hasn't tortured people to death and fomented wars of self-righteousness for that imbecilic viewpoint, broadly swallowed east and west.

7.
---Then it is nothing.

How complacent, how judgmental, how cocksure. You put Moses to shame.

---I wouldn't even have tapped on the rock. It's far more complacent to pretend a small string of antique words represents "universal law" and "Truth." Beneath this complacency, a gnawing personal uncertainty, and it's visible.

8.---These are literal-minded assumptions, characteristic of an un-matured ego.

Sounds like someone I know.

---Yes, it is someone you know, someone you don't know, and someone you shrink from knowing from time to time. Consequently your recognition of others is somewhat dim.

9.---I repeat: I did try "NMRK" for a time.

May you yet.

---Because you refuse to know, you ignore. Now: try mine. It's only five minutes, once a day, the effects can be permanent and once so, no need for it ever again. You need pay no one anything, ever, not even respects. This may anger and frighten some teachers, but let them try it and perhaps they'll stop vampirizing the innocent with ancient guilt tricks.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

***""If you don't chew your food, who will?""

If you want me to do bare myself., I'm not obliging. An ardent individualist should not have difficulty to understand privacy. Particularly, nothing registers on you, so it would be a waste.

***"---The languages in which the Buddha's and Nichiren's words were recorded are both long dead"

Who told you that.

**"Without knowing whether I'd be familiar with Indra or her net. "

Can't you google?

---"Rather like corporate policy, insisted upon whether true or false."

Clairvoyant as well as omniscient, are you not?

***"Being a Westerner, I do not give permission to worship John Stuart Mill this way."

You are raving.

***"Groupism" is the worst kind of egomania possible. "

You have a blind distrust for organisations. You seem stuck at Woodstock. Organisations to you are just gumboots stomping.

***"it's as presumptuous to "profess" it as to espouse some group and drop a sense of individuality. "

Individuality in you definition is nothing more than doing your own thing. Belonging to a group is in no sense antithetical to individuality. It can on the contrary unleash individuality

***" tortured people to death and fomented wars of self-righteousness for that imbecilic viewpoint"

blind paranoia spilling to engulf the mind

***"Beneath this complacency, a gnawing personal uncertainty, and it's visible. "

Once we are perfect we are finished. I'm neither. But I've never stopped growing. You got stuck somewhere in '69.

***" Now: try mine. "

Seems harmless and may produce the puny goals aimed for.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

If you want me to do bare myself., I'm not obliging. An ardent individualist should not have difficulty to understand privacy. Particularly, nothing registers on you, so it would be a waste.

---What, not even a little peek under your toga? Who is being closed-minded here, then?

---I shall give you a little peek under mind, as an example. A friend I've never met, 2000 miles away, told me she saw three of my horses escaping. Then my new office and a new laundry room, describing the washer and dryer.

---3 months later, 3 of my horses escaped while unloading them at our new location. Then I set up my new office, across from the laundry room with washer and dryer exactly as she'd described.

---At the time she sent me that "predictive" e-mail, we had no idea that we were going to move, nor that we would need to.

---These aren't idiotic tricks, which is where your thoughts will try to escape, fearing the truth of the matter. They occur according to truer versions of the principles you think you are preaching, but aren't.

---Now then. As I've said, in your eager proseletyzing, you pass over what I tell you. You have the "cangue over his ears," not I. But I see your friends are reading. One of them may read this: these experiences are very very common with me, even routine, and they can and ought be learned, as they're useful. People will need them.

---In comparison, I repeat, the mere repetition of phrases from a dead language gets you nowhere but irritable and you have admitted that "secretly" to yourself often. It in no way shows you how to use the inner senses naturally available to anyone who chooses to pay attention them. You do not so choose, and you've written so. You're afraid of such free experiments. Many are.


---The languages in which the Buddha's and Nichiren's words were recorded are both long dead"

Who told you that.

---Unless you can converse perfectly and informally in either the original spoken language of Buddha or Nichiren, you tell me that with every word you type. Those languages are dead. The translations are distorted.


**"Without knowing whether I'd be familiar with Indra or her net. "

Can't you google?

---Can't you just know?

---"Rather like corporate policy, insisted upon whether true or false."

Clairvoyant as well as omniscient, are you not?

---Clairvoyant, about as is natural to me. Yes, I do see you faking it. You don't believe as you say you do.

***"Being a Westerner, I do not give permission to worship John Stuart Mill this way."

You are raving.

---Or you are humorless, and, apparently, ignorant of your own dependency on authoritarianism. Your children feel it. So do others.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

You have a blind distrust for organisations. You seem stuck at Woodstock.

---In fact, I was invited to Woodstock, as I lived a couple hours' drive away, but I wasn't interested.

Organisations to you are just gumboots stomping.

---Truly, you aren't "clairvoyant," nor intuitive -- you're prob'ly afraid of it the way the "sexually liberated" are afraid of sex. I haven't time nor room to tell you of my organizational past and present, but it's respectable. A brief example here on my blog recently.

Individuality in you definition is nothing more than doing your own thing.

---Worse than lacking intuition! You see "evil" in "doing one's own thing." If you learned this from what's-his-name, you are in a cult. It is sucking your vitality.

Belonging to a group is in no sense antithetical to individuality. It can on the contrary unleash individuality

---It depends on whether you join a cult or have an independent cause for which a group is of practical value. You so far seem set against "individuality" -- a thing never needing "unleashed," for god's sakes...

***" tortured people to death and fomented wars of self-righteousness for that imbecilic viewpoint"

blind paranoia spilling to engulf the mind

---You've described what does indeed happen with cults, even the "peace" cults, and if you deny this, you're in trouble with Reason. I've dealt with cult-people directly; I see you haven't considered with whom you are dealing and for whom you're proselytizing.

***"Beneath this complacency, a gnawing personal uncertainty, and it's visible. "

Once we are perfect we are finished. I'm neither. But I've never stopped growing.

---I told you, you have an un-matured ego. This is no schoolboy competition game. You haven't grown up to the point of "baring yourself," as you timorously called it here. Now comes your reluctant admission: you certainly do feel gnawing uncertainty beneath your "Enlightened" prattle. You try to cover this up by protesting "faith." Stop and admit your doubts freely. It's nothing to do with some imaginary road to "perfection." You preach "Truth" to me and others, that you do not believe. A truer truth will gnaw at you. No trite distortions from a time and language long forgotten, nor bowings, scrapings or chantings will make it stop.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

You got stuck somewhere in '69.

---Have you not even established for yourself that your stupid aspersions are fun for me? You know very well I'm not doing the same. You are far more "bare" than you pretend is hidden.

***" Now: try mine. "

Seems harmless and may produce the puny goals aimed for.

---Why yes, I did find the achievement of US$2 Million US and no need to ever work again somewhat puny. So I tossed it and started over. You've not begun to imagine doing such a thing. Your attempt to belittle my practical method makes what you're preaching yet more ludicrous to Reason.

I've been to Ikeda meetings. I politely suppressed a laugh. "This week I sold two more used cars than last!" O, what a benefit!

---Some die while "chanting" pretending to will themselves to live. To cover up this error, the survivors pretend some sort of golden lion's roar forgives them of the sorrowful nincompoopery they will keep trying so hard to believe.

---You may secretly try what I've suggested, see results, and "Nam myoho renge kyo" won't feel like such a good imaginary answer to "The Universe" after all. You are like one at the grocery checkout counter pretending not to look at the smarmy pop magazines.

---You're doing worse for your movement than better, but I suspect that you mean to do worse despite yourself. Who wants to join a gang of puffy people who pretend to understand "The Universe" better than anyone else? Only those who haven't had enough of puffy.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

***”Who wants to join a gang of puffy people who pretend to understand “The Universe” better than anyone else? “

The SGI is an organisation devoted to education, culture and peace respected around the world. We possess no occult mysteries or knowledge about the Universe . The incantation of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is an acknowledgement of the supreme human potential inherent in each individual. This is the core of the practise and philosophy. Proselytizing is a part of the practice and the means is dialog. If in the present case it generated some unnecessary heat, I apologize for my contribution to that. Our meetings tend to be exuberant but that is the spilling over of natural life force. Gang is a harsh word.

http://www.sgi-usa.org/aboutsgi/sgicharter.php

***”Worse than lacking intuition! You see “evil” in “doing one’s own thing.” If you learned this from what’s-his-name, you are in a cult. It is sucking your vitality.”

Doing one’s own thing is individual choice (even to the extent of becoming a hermit) and intuition is a natural faculty which some people have more than others. The purpose of life as I have understood is “growth” in the inner dimension of life. This I claim is my primary benefit and motivation–to aspire to grow to the end of life and beyond. The existence of the beyond is a powerful intuition for me which makes a big difference. (Peep!)Selling two extra cars is equally meaningful on the Way. Without denying our respective individualities, the point of the methodolgy of chanting NMRK is the universality of it’s efficaciousness, for fool and wise man alike. Many people diffident about chanting want their children to be part of the group, seeing the positiveness, direction, energy and focus in their jobs and studies which they see. If such is a cult, so be it.

I may add Dr. Ikeda is a world figure, the author of a hundred and fifty books, including published dialogs with figures like Rosa Parks, Mandela, Linus Pauling, Norman Rotblat, Toynbee, Andre Malraux, Gorbachev to name some. He is the recipient of over 250 honorary doctorates from universities on all continents. He has dedicated himself night and day for the cause of peace and happiness of people everywhere.

***”Have you not even established for yourself that your stupid aspersions are fun for me?”

I again apologize for any aspersion. Please understand my motivation now is if possible for you to have a clearer perspective on the movement, rather than to get you to chant, which seems out of reckoning.

3:03 AM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

PS:I have more puffy than about two grand made sometime.

3:52 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Sorry, am still busy. Back in a bit.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

SM, in my usual candid manner: your above explanations are also puffery to me. They are presumptuous, and the second post isn't excusable. You pretend I haven't done what I've done. You have so far belittled things about which you know nothing, wish to know nothing and would replace with, frankly, a daily fetish of gibberish in a language you don't even understand. I write always from experience and questioning, not a false "faith." Even when joking.

Inspect your approach: you quote Jung frequently in your postings as I've seen them elsewhere, but confess here you know nothing about the man nor his works. That's embarrassing.

By 1969, for your information, I'd been through Freud's BASIC WORKS as well as other essays, and Jung's SYMBOLS OF TRANSFORMATION and other works. I paid attention to this sort of thing for decades, even when it began to prove ludicrous and even damaging to those seeking a means to personal sanity. I have corresponded in depth with "famous" Jungian psychologists to see how Jung is practiced. I paid close attention to rank-and-file "Jungians" for decades. Jungianism is futile.

The one Ikedian "Buddhist" with whom I kept in touch, for his personal honesty, died unnecessarily. I saw that for a fact. You did not. Your rationalization about him is occultism.

Your approach, not knowing a comparative smattering, yet making quotes because someone else did, is intellectually dishonest, shallow, and an indication of "authoritarianism," as it is called, a chronic habit of error. In classic (or ordinary) reasoning, it's called "ad authoritatem." This approach is irrational, yet you proselytize me this way.

It is unlikely that your Mr. Ikeda approached people like this to gain what status he has -- unless they, too, are irrational and not given to reasoning. It's not improbable that many millions of people think irrationally. We are after all a species that seems always on the brink of extincting one another, despite best intentions or because these intentions themselves are gravely faulty.

For god's sakes, how many awards and commendations and all that rot did your Buddha achieve in his lifetime? Is this what he is known for? For which awards, from whom?

What towering historical figure is remembered because of a surfeit of ribbons, bows and medals? Which one?

Then why not revere Adolf Hitler? He was touted as a Great Peacemaker. The Catholic Church awarded him the "Defender of the Faith" medal in 1928. In terms of social status in the west, it's more than the satchel of praises your "boss" has so far garnered altogether. He is no Buddha and in his reliance on the traditional authority given Sahib Gautama, perpetrates an horrid error with this "cause and effect" business. As to popularity recommending Ikeda's Greatness, as a writer he isn't nearly as popular as Paul Coelho -- whose rather childish work bores me.

Bring Ikeda here to speak for himself and leave his flapping ribbons and medals at the door. Otherwise, speak for yourself without "ism" "ist" "ian" or any of that wearisome foolishness.

More later.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Next. A cult, in modern usage, is a group of people who say they have "the Truth"and "the Way" and so on that they alone possess. These Truth Ways are usually overly simple and restrictive -- of diet, fashions of expression and so on. In one way or another believe they are surrounded by ignorance, usually evil; they often imagine they're persecuted for it. They do sometimes explode in murder or suicide, such as the Jonestown cult (I knew a few members.)

I don't know whether yours is a cult. That's for you to explore. Your sons may be more intuitive than you know.

Never mind art or music cults, which are playful. There are scientific and religious and political cults. The "Moonies" and Scientology are good religious examples. There's an unabashed science cult in Amherst, New York. The descriptive is "scientism." There are also "One World" cultists, such as the Communitarians. There are many political cults, pick one.

"Doing one's own thing" was a phrase popular among various young adults in the 1960s -- hardly all of them. It wasn't a new fresh idea, but rather the reaction of a generation of youth in America who seemed to have too restrictive a life laid out for them. "So I will do my own thing." I was there and I saw. Few did.

Fearing "their own thing," many joined highly restrictive religious cults, Christian or the seemingly exotic eastern types. America has been in the grips of Puritan cultism for some time now. Cynical politicians and other kinds of cultists are attempting to use Puritan cultism to take over the wealth of countries whose traditions are Islamic, as you see.

Your few words on intuitive abilities are as dismissive as saying "fingers are a natural thing, some have better fingers than others."

"If there is a God, a thing the prudent are hot neither to confirm nor deny," intuition, not chanting, not prayer, not spinning wheels or shaking rattles, would be the closest avenue for discovering this august legendary creature.

Many religions large and small were triggered by psychotic episodes of certain men who could no longer follow the restrictive beliefs of the culture into which they were born. "Revelations" came as great explosions of intuition which their religious beliefs had constricted very severely, in relation to their natural talents. Christianity was formed that way, and so, it appears to me, was Islam.

Hardly all so "converted" survived the great explosion of "inner dimension" as you call it. A very few maintained the presence of mind and strength of ego to organize this intuitive information in a way that reflected the intuitions and feeling of many other people, forming organizations that have so far survived, to however tangled and distorted, yet have formed the cultures we know, whether the residents are "believers" or not.

As I said above, people don't know what "hypnosis" is any more than scientists know what magnetism is. It goes the same for "intuition."

Yet more than logic or rationale or the vague description you put up of "supreme human potential" or "struggle for survival," it forms civilizations and embroiders cultures.

Curiosity is also a natural attribute of the human mind -- and to its degree, of animals as well. I see too many "answers" in your brand of Buddhism and too little curiosity. More later.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

And now, "hypnosis." Your claim that repeating "Nam myoho renge kyo" isn't a form of hypnosis bears no fruit.

I mentioned "Concentrated Natural Hypnosis," which is a simple and direct way of focusing the attention on desired results. It needn't be attached to any belief in any religious cosmogony whatever. In fact, such mental paraphernalia may well reduce the effectiveness of this overlong method you seem to think isn't hypnosis.

The results can be stupendous, not merely relative to the "recipient" (but it's nothing "sent" from anywhere, no Jesus, no Gohonzon, no "Universe"), but to innocent observers who aren't trying to sell something -- and if your organization requests donations, then you are indeed selling something, which to my mind is a kind of blackmail.

I've suggested "CNH" over the years to many, to watch for myself. Those who don't try it fare no better. Those who do, show results. It's one of the "supreme potentials of the human being," so to speak.

Last year an 80 year old friend tried it. He'd had cancer for perhaps 30 years, now increasing, life threatening. He made up his own phrasing. He went to the specialist for tests. The cancer was gone, period. That was one year ago. He's gone for tests a couple three times. It's gone.

Another friend was told on a Friday she had three days to live, as was Robin Azi, but hers was a major heart attack. Pish posh, I said. You'll be having lunch with your daughter on Tuesday. She did. That was seven or eight years ago. She's still doing fine, also around age 80.

Two years ago her daughter was given a dead-very-shortly diagnosis, some sort of cancer, I've forgotten. But I haven't forgotten that she's alive, kicking, and doing fine.

Another, my age, was diagnosed with Hepatitis "C" also some years ago. That's another doctor's "death sentence." She tried "CNH." The next trip to the doctor, no trace of Hep C.

At the same time, a friend from the same town, same age, was so diagnosed. He didn't try it. Years later, he's still alive, "thanks" to a lousy life of strict diet, interferon and general medical joylessness.

...I forgot to mention, he recently had a hip replacement. Part of the territory of disbelieving one's natural abilities in favor of the medical establishment's problematicisms.

Robin Azi wouldn't try it. He died. He didn't need to.

There are those who've tried it, seen results, and backed away in fear. In any case, my list of "benefits" is too long even for a book, results from spectacular to whimsical, and it's always a playful experiment.

Once a day, period. 20 minutes, or much more than 5, will only compound the problem being addressed. No dancing about with attempts to toss in huge universes, "supreme potentials," or all that high-minded mental baggage.
If nothing happens in 3 days, change the wording. If nothing ever seems to happen, one may be out of touch with his own intentions in life. Five minutes of "I will get back in touch with my life's intentions" could probably help.

And as I said, when the problem is solved or the goal achieved, there's no need to continue. It's not a fetish or ritual. It's direct use of one's mind on reality as he knows it.

And you belittle it. These "supreme potentials" must be comprehensible only to a secret and mighty elite, or they're in fact in the way.

7:35 PM  
Blogger S. M. Rana said...

Thank you. Please give a little time, maybe a day or two, to study your comprehensive statement and express my thoughts with the same earnest.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

You have quite a net presence. Are you associated with Nirvikalpa and is that your position and method?

11:37 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

No. "Nirvikalpa" is the website of a young man from Georgia. Years ago he wrote me some questions about "The Seth Material," about which I'm pretty good. I told him to put my answers up on his website so that people who can't read for themselves would stop bothering me. They did.

I've been busier than usual too, sorry for the delay. I'll await your thoughts.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous S M Rana said...

Dear Tom

This conversation is proving too time consuming and like you I cannot deny other claims on our time. You already know something about Buddhism and your own writings are on the net, so we are, free to explore at our leisure. I respect your insights of CNH, and the testimonials of its efficacy narrated by you, and may use it as a supplement, as recommended by you, with some problems that could do with fixing. So I will restrict my reply to one or two aspects of your statements.

“..flapping ribbons and medals..”

The over three hundred awards received by Dr. Ikeda from institutions of learning are as a representative of the organisation he heads, in recognition of the recognition gained by the activities of the constituent organisations around the world. An honorary degree represents the highest distinction that a university can confer on an individual. Great insight and effort is is invested in the process of nomination and selection since the university’s very reputation is at stake. It is noteworthy that a large number of these are from China, in recognition of Dr Ikeda’s strenuous efforts towards Japan-China friendship. Mahayana Buddhism, the tradition of which Nichiren Buddhism is a part, solidly entrenches itself within the social fabric within which it exists. Among the nation states in which the Buddha carried out his altruistic activities, many kings honored him while some offered virulent opposition.

Thank you , Sir, for this opportunity of interaction, with apologies for anntning offensive to escape in the heat of discussion. I have perused your writings and activities as well as the esteem which others like Michael Mirasol have expressed.

Wishing you health and prosperity, and a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

With regards

S M Rana

October 27, 2011

6:53 AM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

I agree. The subject is infinite, so will never be exhausted, but we can be.

As to "CNH," if you should pass it along, be sure to mention that it comes from THE NATURE OF PERSONAL REALITY, a book by the late writer Jane Roberts. There are various suggestions of that sort in the book. "CNH" is merely my favorite.

Funny you mention it. Today, without any pressing need, while driving I repeated "We need more money" to myself -- playfully -- for five minutes. I got to the post office and found a check for $100, totally unexpected.

This sort of thing raises more questions than one might expect. That's the point. They're not questions raised at a lecture and quickly answered neat and trite. Your reality also becomes your classroom. Your teachers are not august personages festooned with ribbons and awards, as I have notoriously pointed out.

Look up the term "granfalloons" one day.

There are religious movements happening spontaneously all around the world now. Atlantic Monthly once wrote that the estimated number was about 1,200 new religions being formed a year. I don't know how they got that estimate. They are precursors.

New movements will sweep the planet, if we don't destroy ourselves by insistence on self-righteousness and punishment of "evil." They will catch fire among the poor, as usual. People will learn not only the practicalities of their own individual souls, but remember also the nonphysical origins of all things perceived, including themselves.

These are very ancient things, put in endless ways in endless times. They are renewed periodically over thousands of years. Ribbons and awards, so "carefully considered," are handed out because the recipient observes the status quo. That status quo has been crumbling for quite awhile. It may be swept aside by disaster where individuals won't awaken themselves independently.

6:50 PM  

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