Chinese Tidbits

[cite] Lynn Cornish:[/cite]... the hardest part is recognizing the need? It takes a lot of wisdom to see that something that is still nothing needs to be dealt with.
You bet! There in lies the advantage of age. It takes years and years to stumble our way through life's circumstances, and in our stumbling we learn, gain in
[chref=51]maturity[/chref], and wisdom deepens. So, I suppose wisdom is just another word for perspective - seeing the forest in spite of the trees (i.e., [chref=56] mysterious sameness[/chref]). When all we see in life are the 'trees', we keep bumping into them,... or cutting them down. :roll:


  • edited December 1969
    The Chinese use the same character for vacation and for false. Jai (with a falling tone) means vacation. Jai (with a dipping tone) means false. Interestingly, both vacation and false correlate to illusion. I mean, what in nature takes a vacation? Civilization disrupts the rhythm of natural life prompting our need for taking a vacation.

    Speaking of natural, ziran is nature in Chinese. Ziran also means: at ease; natural; free from affectation, natural world; nature; naturally; in the ordinary course of events; of course; naturally. Ziran is formed from two characters... Zi means self; oneself; one's own; certainly; of course. Ran means right; correct; so; like that.

    Nature is just 'self so, self correct, self right', and so never 'self wrong'. Nature is never that which we think or wish was 'so' (or not 'so'); that which we think or wish was 'so' is never truly free from affectation! In other words, what we wish was 'so' is not natural. Rather these wishes and ideals are only symptoms of personal needs and fears - which ironically are perfectly 'self so'.

    The wishes and ideals these 'self so' needs and fears prompt are dreams no more real than the dreams of our sleep. Dreams, like shadows on a wall, are not real; they only reflect the outline of real. Realizing that [chref=10]knowing anything[/chref], is merely an outline can help us see [chref=41]the great image[/chref] more 'clearly'.

    The following threads consider deeper meanings found in more Chinese characters
    Just What is Learning?
    Why is Taoism Chinese?
    What is Polite? What is Serious?
  • edited December 1969
    [cite] Carl:[/cite]In other words, what we wish was 'so' is not natural.

    Since we are natural -- human animals walking the face of the earth -- then aren't our needs and fears natural too? Even if they are sublimations or abstractions of our survival instinct, the root is still survival.

    I want everyone to like me because of the fear of getting kicked out of the tribe and dying. I want more money so I can buy more things that insulate me from the cold cruel world. I want a high def TV so I can distract my brain so I don't kill myself. And on and on...

    In the past you have said that we are at the mercy of our genetics, so what's different about this.

    Are you trying to confuse me?
  • edited December 1969
    [cite] Lynn Cornish:[/cite]
    [cite] Carl:[/cite]...what we wish was 'so' is not natural.
    (1) ...aren't our needs and fears natural too? .

    (2) ...Are you trying to confuse me?
    (1) Words become tricky when we start splitting hairs. In the largest view, [chref=34]all things[/chref] are natural. But, narrowing it a little to make a point, the difference I refer to is this: what is vs. what we [chref=71]think[/chref] is.

    Visceral need and fear is common to all life on earth in some fashion, depending on the particular biology involved. And so yes, need and fear are indeed natural, but that doesn't mean the thinking and desires which these primal needs and fears drive is equally 'natural' from a 'self so, self correct, self right' point of view.

    So, for example, primates - and apes in particular - have the same visceral needs and fears as we do. However, those needs and fear drive us to think beyond the moment into imagined worlds of the past and future. Imagination is never in [chref=65]complete conformity[/chref] with 'self so, self correct, self right'. In other words, imagination leads the way, 'self so' awareness [chref=21]follows the way[/chref].

    Or as another example, our needs and fears drive our thoughts to imagine 'good' and 'bad', 'superior' and 'inferior'. Nature ('self so, self correct, self right'), [chref=48]knows[/chref] no 'wrong', good, bad, superior, inferior, up, down, left, right, male, female, life, death, and so on. These are figments of our imagination and impart that sense of disconnection which we all feel - Eden lost.

    Frankly, being so imbued with preconceptions as we are make it difficult for us to feel the [chref=56]mysterious sameness[/chref] inherent throughout Nature - that 'self so, self correct, self right' in all. Sure, we prefer this over that; all life is guided by such needs and fears. Our problems originate when those needs and fears drive preconceptions, and we end up juggling and [chref=8]contending with[/chref] a mind full of [chref=2]'good', 'bad', 'beautiful', 'ugly'[/chref],...

    (2) Well, you know what they say, confusion loves company. On the other hand, it feels so nifty when you poke through the confusion, eh? This is like our relationship with food. If we want to enjoy feeling full, we must allow ourselves to feel hungry. If we want to enjoy feeling enlightened, we must allow ourselves to feel the 'question' [chref=15]too profound to be known[/chref].
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