Grass Hut - 19 - "Transcended Space and Time"

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39455

    Originally posted by Jishin
    Hi Jundo,

    I am not a good word smith.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    That makes too of us, brother. But you are good.

    Gassho, J


    • Jishin
      • Oct 2012
      • 4820


      Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_


      • tom1957
        • Jul 2015
        • 4

        Thank you.

        I'll need some time to digest the content of your reply.......



        Originally posted by Jundo
        Be cautious, perhaps, about being overly analytical about some questions. Perhaps the True Sound" of falling trees is not heard merely with the ears. Thus, all Zen guys tossed out Koany responses such as "hear with the eyes, see with the ears" or "no ear at all." Dogen spoken of the trees and rivers preaching the Dharma. Anyway, where is there for this "tree" to "fall"?

        The National Teacher Dazheng of Guangzhai si in the Western Capital of the land of the Great Tang was once asked by a monk, “Can the insentient preach the dharma?”
        The National Teacher said, “They’re constantly preaching with ardor; they preach without pause.”
        The monk said, “Why can’t I hear it?”
        The National Teacher said, “That you can’t hear it doesn’t prevent others from hearing it.”
        The monk said, “I don’t understand. Who can hear it?”
        The National Teacher said, “The sages can hear it.”
        The monk said, “Can the Reverend hear it?”
        The National Teacher said, “I can’t hear it.”
        The monk said, “If the Reverend can’t hear it, how does he know that the insentient preach the dharma?”
        The National Teacher said, “Fortunately, I don’t hear it. If I heard it, I would equal the sages, and you wouldn’t hear me preaching the dharma.”
        The monk said, “In this case, living beings have no part in this.”
        The National Teacher said, “I preach for living beings; I don’t preach for sages.”
        The monk said, “After the living beings hear it, how are they?”
        The National Teacher said, “They’re not living beings.”

        Dogen commented ...

        To snatch away the voices of the sentient realm and liken them to the voices of the insentient realm is not the way of the buddha. The insentient preaching the dharma is not necessarily sound, just as preaching the dharma by the sentient is not sound. ... Such being the case, we should carefully put our minds to and study in what manner it is that the insentient preach the dharma. One who considers, as the foolish think, that the rustling branches of the forests, the opening and falling of leaves and flowers, are the insentient preaching the dharma — this is not a man who studies the buddha dharma. If this were the case, who could not know the preaching of the insentient, who could not hear the preaching of the insentient? ...

        ... and hearing beyond and right thru measures of time ...

        “If we use our ears to hear it, it’s hard in the end to understand” means that, even if they be the divine ear, even if they be the dharma ear that fills the world, that fills time, if we think to “use the ear to hear it,” “it’s hard in the end to understand.” Even if there are ears on walls or ears on staffs, they will not understand the insentient preaching the dharma; for it is not sound. It is not that there is no “if we use our ears to hear it,” but even though we spend the concentrated efforts of a hundred thousand kalpas [incredibly long eras of time], “it’s hard in the end to understand.” Since it is the deportment of the one way beyond sound and sight, it is not the dens and caves in the vicinity of the commoner or sage

        Hi Jishin,

        Be cautious, perhaps, about over-reliance on easy koany-like responses. Be more analytical.

        Gassho, J



        • AlanLa
          • Mar 2008
          • 1405

          There's transcending space and time, and Connelly says I do that all the time. I get that, and I think it's pretty cool, but I need to read Nagarjuna to get deeper into that fun.

          Then there's managing the transcendence of space and time, which is a bit trickier because it's sort of a trick question. I manage it by not managing it. Or, reading from above, I hear it by not hearing it, see it by not seeing it, and so on.

          Or I could just say this in answer to all of Jundo's questions: Zazen.
          But people who try too hard to manage their space and time boundaries don't like a smart ass.
          AL (Jigen) in:

          I sat today


          • Jeremy

            Originally posted by tom1957
            ...Similar thought experiments relate to the question: which sound is closer, one two feet away or half a mile away ? I say they are equally close as they are heard in our mind.
            Hi Tom,

            I like analytical games, so I'll carry on with this...

            Are sounds really heard in a single place that is your mind? I hear sounds 'out there' and I can locate them quite well in lots of different places without looking. I also see things 'out there', not in my head. Perhaps it's the locating of your mind inside your head that's mistaken. Perhaps your mind is everything that's 'out there'.

            Colour vision is a fantastic example for this because there's a clear difference between a physical description of colour vision and the subjective experience of colour...

            Is colour inside our heads, or out there? Physics tells us that light comes in a continuous spectrum of wavelengths, but we see qualitatively different colours - red, green, blue, etc. According to a physical model of what's happening when we see colour, the qualitatively different colours are created by pigments in cells in our eyes selectively responding to light of different wavelengths, plus a bit of processing in the visual cortex. Objectively, there's just light of varying wavelengths being 'processed' by our eyes and brains, but subjectively, we see qualitatively different colours 'out there', not inside our heads. You could say the colour (greenness, blueness, redness) 'out there' is a projection by our brains which are inside our heads. And here's the thing - so is everything else, not forgetting that our eyes and our heads are all part of the projection. Perhaps that's what our 'mind' is.

            If someone should ask "Who made the grass green?", the answer is "You did". This gets more interesting when you think about thoughts and emotions. If some one irritates you, then we say 'that so-and-so is irritating', but if you ask 'who made them irritating?', you might see that it's you yourself who made them irritating. (Same goes for other 'good' and 'bad' thoughts and emotions, and their classification into 'good' and 'bad'. North, South, East and West also, for that matter).

            When I said the answer to "Who made the grass green?" is "You did", it's not you and you alone, of course. It's you and a gazillion 'other things' that made the grass green.

            - that's enough bla bla bla for now, and way too many questions begged on the way.

            Last edited by Guest; 07-20-2015, 01:50 PM.


            • Jundo
              Treeleaf Founder and Priest
              • Apr 2006
              • 39455

              Hi Jeremy,

              You hit upon two points of basic Buddhist psychology and models of the mind.

              First, traditional Buddhist psychology was way ahead of its time in attempting to describe how the mind creates, in the brain, a 'virtual' experience of the world, and of your 'self' in relation to the "not self" rest of the world. Modern science, though still so incomplete, understands this process better every day: Your experience of your self and of the world is ultimately a partial fiction created when brain, sense organs and the 'outside world' (everything that is "out there" in the world really, whether you experience it or not) come together. While I believe there is something "out there" which I am sensing (some Eastern and Western radical idealist philosophers have denied even that), our actual experience is much like an internal movie you call "me and the world" created when the world is 'virtually' recreated inside the brain via data that is collected by the senses, passed by chemical-electrical signals to neurons, then (in processes we still barely understand) mixed with all the inner emotions, instincts and everything else the brain has learned about interpreting, organizing and responding to the world since you were a baby. The result is the inner movie you call your "experience of life". In fact, you have never actually seen or felt "the world" at all ... not even your closest loved ones or the room where you sit ... only a virtual recreation inside your head of light that entered your eyes, somehow recreated and interpreted within the lobes of the brain as objects that, for example, you stick names on and find pleasing, displeasing or neutral.

              Got the picture? The computer screen you are looking at right now may or may not be "out there" in some form (as philosophers have debated that for centuries), but no matter, what you ultimately are experiencing right now is some kind of a recreated picture of a computer somewhere in your visual cortex.

              Next, Buddhism posits that the "Mind" is not something limited to only within you. I am not referring to some wild "cosmic consciousness", but merely the fact that you could not have an "inside" subjective experience without the rest of the world. Thus, the Buddhist meaning of "Mind" (Big "M") is something much much wider in meaning than just what is produced between our ears by the brain. What is outside us (assuming, of course, that there is something "out there") is seen or touched and flows in through the senses, is next processed and experienced between the ears, and thereupon results in our thoughts, words and actions back out to the world ... all of which can also be encountered as actually one great feedback LOOP, each dependent on the other for the creation of the whole of "reality" as our experience of the world (and the world's simultaneously being experienced and acted upon by us) ... outside flowing in and inside thereupon acting and flowing out ... so much so that one cannot even speak really of "Mind" as merely "inside" or "outside". In fact, "Mind" is a great inter-flowing inter-acting Whole of inside-outing and outside-ining! The world apparently "outside us", and our experience of "self" somehow "inside us" can be transcended in the Great Dance, and is Mind.

              Thus, in Zazen, perhaps we might say that we encounter such whereby separation of self/other is only one way to see life, and whereby the hard borders may sometimes soften or fully fade away ...

              ... sometimes written by old Zen folks rather like this ...

              However, PLEASE DO NOT MERELY PHILOSOPHIZE ABOUT THIS. Rather, get on the cushion and learn to be so in the bones!

              Gassho, J

              PS - A not-particularly Buddhist friend sent me the following little clip awhile back. The speaker is an evolutionary psychologist explaining something of a mainstream modern scientific model of how the brain creates a virtual sense of "self" and consciousness between the ears. The fellow, as an evolutionary psychologist, is very focused on how this is a product of evolution and neurons. That is not really the topic we are discussing (and a rather narrow way to look at the question if you ask me), but his description of the mind's creation of a "holo-deck" version of the self and world between the ears is perfectly harmonious with what the Buddhists have said for thousands of years.

              Is consciousness real? Could it be just an illusion manufactured in the theatre of our minds? And what use is it – why did it evolve in the first place? Professor Nicholas Humphrey explores the this film from the Royal Institution
              Is consciousness real? Could it be just an illusion manufactured in the theatre of our minds? And what use is it – why did it evolve in the first place? Prof...
              Last edited by Jundo; 07-20-2015, 02:02 PM.