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#1506 - Monday, July 28, 2003 - Editor: Jerry

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  • Jerry Katz
    Photo from Calla Visage: http://www.livejournal.com/users/callavisage/ ... #1506 - Monday, July 28, 2003 - Editor: Jerry ... Dharma Bums Jack Kerouac
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      #1506 - Monday, July 28, 2003 - Editor: Jerry
       

       
      Dharma Bums
      Jack Kerouac
       
      "Did you know the prayer I use?... I sit down and say, and I run all my friends and relatives and enemies one by one in this, without entertaining any angers or gratitudes or anything, and I say, like 'Japhy Rider, equally empty, equally to be loved, equally a coming Buddha,' then I run on, say, to 'David O. Selznick, equally empty, equally to be loved, equally a coming Buddha'... when I say the words 'equally a coming Buddha' I want to be thinking of their eyes, when you think 'equally a coming Buddha' you think of those eyes and you really do suddenly see the true secret serenity and the truth of his coming Buddhahood."

      * *

      "Look," said my brother-in-law, "if things were empty how could I feel this orange, in fact taste it and swallow it, answer me that one."

      "Your mind makes out the orange by seeing it, hearing it, touching it, smelling it, tasting it and thinking about it but without this mind, you call it, the orange would not be seen or heard or smelled or tasted or even mentally noticed, it's actually depending on your mind to exist! Don't you see that? By itself it's a no-thing, it's seen only of your mind. In other words it's empty and awake."

      "Well, if that's so, I still don't care." All enthusiastic I went back to the woods that night and thought, "What does it mean that I am in this endless universe, thinking that I'm a man sitting under the stars on the terrace of the earth, but actually empty and awake throughout the emptiness and awakedness of everything? It means that I'm empty and awake, that I know I'm empty, awake, and that there's no difference between me and anything else."

      * *

      "We've dedicated ourselves to prayer for all sentient beings and when we're strong enough we'll really be able to do it, too, like the old saints. Who knows, the world might wake up and burst out into a beautiful flower of Dharma everywhere."
       

       
      Sathanas65
      Live Journal
       
      Chapter 1: The story of an awareness body aware of awareness
       
      Chapter 2: The story of awareness aware of an awareness body.
       
      Chapter 3: Awareness.

       
      Iamom
      Live Journal
       
       
      BAMBUCICLETAS
      by Steen Heinsen
       
      I am riding a bamboo bicycle through the main street of
      Christiania. Usually it takes quite a bit to make the roughies
      turn their heads - but this bamboo bicycle does the trick. It
      is beautiful, light and fast - and it is nice to touch.
       
      As I park the bamboo bicycle in front of the Shop in order to
      have a black currant juice it feels almost as if I am
      dismounting a Harley right next to a café - several people
      come over to touch the frame and to check out how the bike is
      made.
       
      "Where have you got that from?” they ask, here in the Paradise
      of Bicycles, the almost car-free town in the middle of
      Copenhagen.
       
      So where have I got it from? - Well, from The Smithy next to
      The Grey Hall. The Smithy of Christiania has for the last 30
      years been a furnace of innovation on the bicycle front. First
      came the Dursly-Pedersen bicycle whose rider feels like he is
      in a camels saddle. Then came the bicycle trailer, which
      became car free families way of transporting groceries on
      holidays and on weekdays, and at the moment The Smithy sells
      carrier bicycles for the transportation of children and many
      an odd purpose. And now the bamboo bicycle is being
      introduced.
       
      Flavio Deslandes is the man behind the development of a
      bicycle made of bamboo. He is Brazilian and he is an
      industrial designer from the PUC-Rio University. I met him in
      his small workshop next to The Smithy.
       
      - The bicycle is one of the worlds most brilliant inventions.
      It is hard to find a disadvantage (to the bicycle) - except
      the material it is made from. Light bicycles are made from
      aluminum, which is one of the most resource demanding
      materials that exist. My bicycles are made of grass, he says.
       
      I scan my own knowledge and experience with bamboo. Let’s skip
      the cane and the flower sticks - what else is there? Garden
      furniture and squeaky armchairs. It is hard to find anything
      particularly brilliant about that material.
       
      But Flavio makes me see things differently: Bamboo is a
      resource of immense potential. And it is strong too. What
      makes it possible to build bicycles from it is that it is
      stronger than steel when strained in the longitudinal
      direction, 17% to be exact.
       
      I can stuff my thoughts about squeaky furniture. History
      teaches us that it was bamboo Faber glowing in Edisons first
      electric bulb and that it was bamboo that kept the very first
      airplanes in Paris, constructed by Santos Dumont, together.
      Bamboo is beneficial to the CO2 value of the atmosphere. While
      growing it emits more oxygen that the equivalent amount of
      wood pulp.
       
      So please caress your bamboo bicycle gently while you marvel
      at the thought that bamboo keeps more that two billion people
      around the world employed, that it grows without fertilizer
      and that it can be used for almost everything - from tasty
      rice dishes to building material. Bamboo is a species of grass
      and every third year it can be harvested. It needs no
      replanting and it comes in sizes from small to extra large
      literally speaking: The biggest ones grow up to 60 meters
      tall.
       
      While Flavio turns on the computer he tells me a couple of
      more facts about bamboo. The first thing flowering in
      Hiroshima after that the bomb had destroyed everything was -
      take a guess. The only building still standing after the earth
      quake in Costa Rica in 1992 was - yes, that is the correct
      answer.
       
      Flavio searches in his CAD program and comes up with a wheel.
      Not that he invented it but he looks just like he did when he
      looks up at me with sparks in his jet black eyes.
       
      "This is going to be a revolution: the bicycle wheel made out
      of bamboo. There is steel in the assemblies of my bicycles.
      But unlike everything else that is made out of bamboo - for
      instance the furniture that you talked about - the steel used
      here serves the bamboo, not the other way around. I use bamboo
      in its natural form in the bicycle. If you start bending it,
      drilling holes in it or you put nails or spikes into it you’ll
      weaken the structure,” he says. He shows me how every part of
      the frame is fitted into the assembling and kept in place with
      glue.
       
      "But I keep on researching in order to find even more
      replacements for the metal parts. This wheel here is one
      hundred percent bamboo: Rims and hub are made out of laminated
      bamboo and the spokes are made out of straight bamboo sticks.
      I also work on being able to produce pedals and pedal arms in
      bamboo,” Flavio says proudly.
       
      "Building these bicycles is art. It is not something you just
      do. Every bamboo must be selected and fitted into the frame
      according to size and quality. The secret lies in treating and
      handling the material the right way. Learning that takes times
      and the maintenance takes time as well. Just like it takes
      time to learn how to play football,” Flavio Deslandes says and
      smiles Brazilianly.
       
       

       
      Robertstheology
      Live Journal
      "There is a unity that binds all living things into a single
      whole. This unity is sensed in many ways. Sometimes, when
      walking alone in the woods far from all the traffic which
      makes up the daily experience, the stillness settles in the
      mind. Nothing stirs. The imprisoned self seems to slip outside
      its boundaries and the ebb and flow of life is keenly felt.
      One becomes an indistinguishable part of a single rhythm, a
      single pulse.
       
      Sometimes there is a moment of complete and utter identity
      with the pain of a loved one; all the intensity and anguish
      are felt. One enters through a single door of suffering into
      the misery of the whole human race with no margin left to mark
      the place which was one's own. What is felt belongs nowhere
      but is everywhere binding and holding in a tight circle of
      agony until all of life is gathered into a single timeless
      gasp!
       
      There are other moments when one becomes aware of the thrust
      of a tingling joy that rises deep within until it bursts forth
      in radiating happiness that bathes all of life in its glory
      and its warmth. Pain, sorrow, grief, are seen as joy becoming
      and life gives a vote of confidence to itself, defining its
      meaning with a sureness that shatters every doubt concerning
      the broad free purpose of its goodness.
       
      There are the times of personal encounter when a knowledge of
      caring binds two together and what is felt is good! There is
      nothing new nor old, only the knowledge that what comes as the
      flooding insight of love binds all living things into a single
      whole. The felt reverence spreads and deepens until to live
      and to love are to do one thing. To hate is to desire the
      nonexistence of the object of hate. To love is the act of
      adoration and praise shared with the Creator of life as the
      Be-all and the End-all of everything that is.
       
      And yet there always remains the hard core of the self,
      blending and withdrawing, giving and pulling back, accepting
      and rejoicing, yielding and unyielding-what may this be but
      the pulsing of the unity that binds all living things in a
      single whole-the God of life extending Himself in the manifold
      glories of His creation?"
       
       
      Howard Thurman
      THE INWARD JOURNEY
      Harper & Row, Publishers (1961)

       
      R.K. Shankar
      I Am list
       
      Atma Bodham Gracefully Granted by Bhagawan Sri Ramana -
      A Tamil Rendition of Bhagawan Adi Shankara's Sanskrit Text
        

      Verse 60:
      parumaiyu nuNmaiyuR paththi vinAsang
      kurugalu nItchiyung kUdA - dhuruvang
      gunankula nAmamung koLLAma luLLa
      dhuNarga birammamend RutRu   

      Transliteration

      " 1)  Measurable fullness, immeasurable smallness,
              manifestation, demanifestation,
              contraction and expansion
              without adjoining -
         2)  form, attribute,
              type and name
              without accepting,
         3)  that which abides,
         4)  is Brahman." thus perceive enquiring (into It).

      ---

      Verse 61:
      edhanoLiyi nAllLiru mEyiravi yAdhi
      yedhanai yavaiyoLirkka vElA - dhedhanAlE
      yindhavula gellA milagu madhuthAnE
      yandhap pirama maRi.        .

      Transliteration

      " 1)  By the Light of which Sun, etc., shine,
         2) which they 'are not fit to and cannot' illumine,
         3) by which(!) all this landspace abides shining,
         4) that itself(!) is That Brahman.",
      know thus.

      ---

      Verse 62:
      oLirndhulaga mellAndthA nuLveLivi yApith
      thoLirndhidu mappirama mOrvA -yoLiru
      neruppiniR kAyndhangi nEroLiru mandah
      viruppuNdai yaippOla vE        

      " 1)  That Brahman (which is) Illumining, (It)self pervading inside (and)
      outside all universe, (and) shining,
         2)  Know to be only like the dull ball of iron that shines like fire,
      having got roasted in fire."


       
      Gene Poole
      Listcology
       
       
      (broadband connection recommended)
       
      (Summary: Internet mailing lists and the technology of
      threading of lists)
       
      This has directly to do with manipulation of media content,
      with unexpected effects on the 'consumer'.
       
      Text in lists is media content.
       
      Readers of lists (one or more lists) are subject to the effect
      denoted in the speech content of the above linked website.
       
      We have a crux between conscious and deliberate thought and
      intention, and unconscious or automatic thought and surprising
      or unexpected conclusions.
       
      It is a common strategy of the reader of lists to deploy
      'filters' to make the content of read lists 'linear'; that is,
      that readers often (or always) adjust their perceptions to
      take into account what seems to be incomplete or fragmented
      information (postings).
       
      One side-effect of such filters is the disappearance of
      information to be gleaned by accepting the nonlinear content
      of lists (including content of many lists, not just one list).
       
      This effect is termed by social psychology to be a 'latent
      function' of the technology of lists (threading).
       
      List ecology must take this effect into consideration, even if
      it is understood that each reader has deployed filters which
      are quite different than any other reader.
       
      Meanings derived from reading of lists (threaded postings) are
      not only subject to ordinary misinterpretation, but also, to
      the effect of joining nonlinear information which has
      infiltrated the mind of the reader, information which has
      bypassed the filters (assumptions) of the reader. Such joined
      information may manifest in a manner that is either
      progressive or retrogressive, with effects which are
      experienced as pleasant (progressive) or unpleasant
      (retrogressive) by the reader.

       
      Islam Online
       
      Betwixt the Conceptual and the Affective:
      Hayy Ibn Yaqzan Revisited
       
      By Ahmed El-Sayed
      A doctoral Student of Philosophy
       
      Born in the year 506 A.H. (Islamic Calendar), or 1110 A.C.,
      Ibn Tufayl has widely been esteemed as one of the most eminent
      Arab and Islamic philosophers and physicians. Although he was
      a prolific writer in multifarious fields, like medicine and
      astronomy, what he is most famous for of his extant work is
      his worldwide acclaimed treatise “Hayy Ibn Yaqzan”.
       
      The several, repeated Latin, French and Spanish translations
      of this exceptionally eloquent and philosophically profound
      treatise are often considered indicative of its value and its
      far-reaching influence on medieval and the later renaissance
      philosophy. Though this magnificent treatise of philosophical
      literature could very well be read as an attempt on the part
      of Ibn Tufayl to establish a reconciliation between religion
      and rational speculation as lot of his predecessors and
      contemporaries were wont to do, there is philosophically and
      religiously more to it than this merely ideological motif.
       
      As Hayy, the protagonist and avatar of the immediate,
      primordial and indeed theoretically non-positing inquiry into
      being, develops the reader gets appositely presented with a
      series of original and stunningly deep insights that artfully
      maps the trajectory that philosophical reasoning is wont to
      follow. Not only does Hayy arrive at the necessary existence
      of God by dint of reason, but he proceeds further with his
      investigation to identify the limitations of such an
      identification vehicle. At a climax-like point of
      enlightenment, Hayy realizes the primacy and power of the
      affective experience of God in the worldly sphere. Even his
      purely immediate faculty of reason and consciousness has to be
      overcome to allow all his rational and animal turbulences to
      settle and attend to the concrete flood of the divine. Getting
      acquainted with the orthodox rituals of traditional religion,
      Hayy is filled with frustration and is resolved to return to
      his marooned isolation and rejoice in his solitary yet more
      authentic experience of God .
       
      What is in Between?
       
      In a move that is quintessentially Aristotelian, Ibn Tufayl
      sets out to investigate the telos (end goal) of oriental
      philosophy and wisdom in the experience of communion with God;
      the affective experience that can only be attended to in the
      actual instance of the lives of those who earned its matchless
      joy and rejoiced in its ineffable splendor. In a manner
      similar to Aristotle's characterization of happiness in the
      Nichomachean Ethics, Ibn Tufayl asserts that his (quite
      corresponding) being-in-communion-with-God is conceptually
      irreducible; ideally, then, it is to be sought in actual
      sphere of experience. Further, such exalted mode of being is
      posited as the necessary culmination of any inquiry into the
      dynamics and character of being. To demonstrate this claim,
      Ibn Tufayl constructs the literary imagery of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan
      to portray the actuality of what he envisioned the natural
      dialectical development towards truth. This path is
      systematically delineated as Hayy advances from the initial
      child wander through the accumulation of empirical knowledge
      by trial and error, the discovery of the faculty of reason,
      the rationally deduced proof of the necessary existence of the
      divine, and the investigation of the attributes exclusively
      specific to Him until the concluding recognition of the
      limitations of reason vis-à-vis the irreducible affective
      wholeness of the one. All of his intermittent moments of
      intellectual frustration (vis-à-vis those of ecstatic
      enlightenment, existential anxieties and crises, bewildered
      inquiries, emotional ambivalences and affective repressions
      and paroxysms) correspond quite stunningly to different
      moments in the history of philosophy from the Pre-Socratics
      down to him. Commencing with a recounting of the decisive
      infliction points and the momentous transformations of Hayy’s
      life, our undertaking will endeavor to explore and interrogate
      the philosophical foundations of Hayy’s propositions.
       
      Demonstrating his profound understanding of the structure of
      reason and its essentially negative mode of knowing, Ibn
      Tufayl aptly chooses Hayy’s first experience of absolute
      negation and existentially imposing anxiety at the death of
      his doe-mother to mark the initation of Hayy’s lifetime
      inquiry. Starting with the dissection and the observation of
      the dynamics of the elements of his immediate experience, Hayy
      begins to develop his own cosmogony—model of origin of the
      world. In his description of such an undertaking, Ibn Tufayl
      critically surveys most of the philosophical propositions of
      ancient Greek antiquity, starting with the Pre-Socratic idea
      of the four primeval elements and down to the matter-form
      primacy debate between Aristotle and Plato. As time elapses,
      Hayy’s understanding of the world progresses in a dialectical
      process in which his inductively formulated theses either
      cancel or reinforce each other, up to the point at which he
      arrives at the principle of causality. By that time Hayy has
      already found out two important ontological facts; first, that
      despite the plurality of things an underlying oneness always
      seems to ground being; and second, that there is always
      something, namely the soul, that transcends sheer physicality.
      As he traced the chain of causes, Hayy eventually came to
      realize that there must be a cause that is prior to the world
      and that it can’t exist within the sphere of space and time.
      Such cause is God, the necessarily existent. At this moment he
      realizes that consciousness, the investigative tool he has
      used to recognize the existence of God is, like Stoics, the
      divine manifestation in man. Further, he came to the
      conclusion that the only way to reach happiness in life and
      experience a proper death is to always be in the presence of
      such all-powerful necessarily existent. To achieve that, he
      embraces his three modes of existence, namely, as an animal, a
      heavenly body—which he deemed higher than animals and more
      devoted to the divine—and as in communion with the necessarily
      existent. As for the first one, as an animal, Ibn Tufayl,
      seems to espouse the stoic prescription to eat only what is
      sufficient to sustain you, and to always try to add to the
      cycle of life by replacing whatever you consume by means of
      prudent use and cultivation. The perfection of the second
      mode, that of a heavenly body, was, to Hayy, to spend the
      longest time possible in a detached meditative state to free
      himself of all distractions, disturbances of desires and
      animal temptations. To achieve the third and highest mode of
      being, the communion with the divine, Hayy decided that since
      transcendence of physicality is the constitutive feature of
      God he should relentlessly try to die to himself, to always
      experience his nothingness. Regarding this as the highest
      possible form of communion with God, Hayy was quite
      disappointed when he left his island to see how ordinary
      religious communities worship God. He thought that there way
      was quite reductive and unsatisfactory to the necessarily
      existent.
       
      Having introduced the main ideas Ibn Tufayl puts forwards in
      Hayy Ibn Yaqzan, we can move on to an analysis of such theses.
      To begin with, it could be said that Hayy Ibn Yaqzan is the
      Islamic literary extrapolation of Aristotle’s
      actuality-oriented ethics. The way Hayy’s reasoning on nature
      evolved into a highly complex belief in God clearly
      demonstrates this point. Ibn Tufayl emphatically asserts that
      reason and rational inquiry are never sufficient as a proper
      ground for what, as he intimates, could be described as the
      fully actualized experience of and most irreducible mode of
      comportment towards God. In the process of knowing, the
      knowing subject is still fully aware of himself as he
      identifies, appropriates and constructs the objects of
      experience. Riding himself of his ego was Hayy’s way to
      achieve communion with God; the stage at which all turbulences
      of conscious subjectivity settle down and one becomes but a
      mirror wherein the divine can manifest Himself. Substantially
      then, Ibn Tufayl supports the view that calls for a return to
      the primordial unity with the world. On the way to redeeming
      this unity, reason plays an important role as it dialectically
      proceeds from one thesis to the other. Once reason hits its
      limits at the question of God—the thing which is, in its own
      right, quite Kantian—affective experience should be allowed to
      give itself as the province where meaning in its authenticity
      and full concretion unfolds. Though Ibn Tufayl does not thus
      formulate the point, the least that could be said in this
      respect is that he quite embraces a view of reason that is
      most akin to that of the conception of nous (the rational part
      of the human soul) in the Pre-Socratic tradition. Such a path
      of thinking tends to understand reason, qua a discourse, not
      as identical with the rational: the conceptualizing faculty
      that is necessarily governed by a rigidly defined set of laws
      otherwise labeled “transcendental logic”, but rather as a
      whole aura of experience where no trace of the classical
      subject-–object dichotomy exists. The similarity to Aristotle
      has hence unfolded. Positing authentic actual experience
      rather than intellectual abstraction as the condition for
      happiness and communion with God, renders Hayy Ibn Yaqzan
      thereby the Islamic version of Aristotle’s ethics.
       
      However, two questions pressingly emerge. The first is as
      regards language; Hayy operated in a complete absence of any
      linguistic experience. Accordingly, the path of his thought
      was disburdened of all cumulatively hermeneutical
      sophistication, as is usually the case in any form of human
      society. In other words, the immediacy of his primordial
      experience of the worldly-given was not over burdened with the
      restraints of the pre-molded sets of concepts and definitions
      the human agent is bound to linguistically function within as
      it socially evolves. But is such linguistically void
      experience of the world an authentically immediate one or is
      it rather objectively reified?; as such man comports itself
      towards and associates with the world through its capacity to
      discourse. But how and within what experiential sphere is such
      discourse possible? It is possible through language. Yet what,
      if it is at all possible to interrogate language through a
      “what”, is that which we call language? Is it the totality of
      words, concepts and definitions visually illustrated in terms
      of script. If so would not this ultimately amount to the
      problem of the appropriation of meaning and the overloading of
      language that hay was spared as he evolved in complete
      isolation from any form of encounter with the human other? It
      certainly would. So what is that that we call the authentic
      form of language? That is the vocalized form, place of the
      occurrence of language, the voice. Being sequestrated deprived
      Hayy of the verbal experience of voice and utterance. Thus his
      immediate experience of language as the realm of the authentic
      manifestation of being was impinged on by the absence of
      voice, the actual opening in which language reaches its full
      concretion and wherein the ethical emerges in the summoning of
      the other, the opening that in its won right ontologically
      grounds for and makes possible the meaning of the communal (or
      ummah) in Islam. So if the authentic and full experience of
      God is one that goes beyond the fetters of the rational and is
      accordingly one that is grounded in the more basic and indeed
      immediate realm of affectivity; how could it possible to thus
      be in complete solitude? In other words how is affectivity at
      all possible in the absence of the other and so the absence of
      language?
       
      Further what is also quite paradoxical is the repudiation of
      the body that Hayy has reached and axiomatically maintained.
      If the essential animal needs are inescapable and if we need
      to continuously be in the presence of God, how can my body,
      the most immediate medium of affective experience be
      marginalized? The Platonic tendencies towards formal
      abstraction of Ibn Tufayl have obviously swayed him in this
      respect. In order to secure the rigor of the argument, the
      role of the body which is already emphasized in the Islamic
      creed and enactments should have been acknowledged. Otherwise,
      the problem of over-conceptualization that the logical
      interpretation of Islam would not even partially resolved.
       
      Notwithstanding any criticism, Hayy Ibn Yaqzan definitively
      stands as an exceptionally philosophically insightful piece of
      classical Arabic literature. The originality of its ideas and
      their timeless relevance and importance will continue to
      intrigue speculative minds especially at moments of crisis
      like the one we are presently living, moments at which the
      need for re-discovering what has already been discovered
      appears to be must to redeem, to the presence of thinking,
      what has long been consigned to oblivion.
       
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