Archive for May, 2010

BLUEBELLS DAFFODILS AND INTERNET

Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on May 30, 2010 by secretchan

Years ago, in fact many years ago I remember walking in a nearby wood where there were so many bluebells present they formed a carpet and here and there one could detect those delicate snowdrops.  Now of course they and most wild flowers have made way for civilization.

I remember too one day while out for a drive with my father discovering what can only be described as Wordsworth saw them and as I saw them then,


A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,

They stretch’d in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

Magnificent!  My father stopped and with great ad gentle care took some where there were many crowding the space and planted them in our small garden

Now more than sixty years latter I plant daffodils in our land and let as many wild flowers grow as I can without weeding, taking away precious life.

I look out into the woodlands outside and see pylons, roads and new buildings encroaching and see the smog of local towns sitting up there in the sky like angry orange beacons while the sky overhead is laced with the wingtip vortices of the flights which are continually passing overhead.

There aren’t bluebell woods and daffodils like there were any more.  Then I thought about this blog about nature and the correct Dao and Dharma way to live and realized really that these words are rather like those bluebells and daffodils.

You can find sure enough a multitude of pages on bluebells and daffodils though finding them growing wild is much more difficult.

When it comes to intelligent and studious words, scientific papers and teachings of the old masters in Occident and orient, the task in internet is much more difficult.

A simple name of a great master will bring thousands and thousands or irrelevant pages of beautiful women, misinformation as the blind lead the blind and rock musical references.

It was then that I realized that the globalized mind is filling internet with mediocrity and misinformation and that gradually the daffodils and bluebells of learning are being pushed daily further and further into the background where they are lost and almost irrecoverable.. It will go on and on…and there is nothing that those loving and understanding nature and the life principle can do about it.


BODHISATTVA FOREST AWARENESS

Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on May 22, 2010 by secretchan

It is like a painter
Distributing various colors:
Delusion grasps different characteristics,
But the elements have no distinctions.
In the elements there is no form,
And in form, no elements;
Yet not apart from the elements
Is any form to be had.


In the mind there is no painting,
In painting there is no mind;
But yet not apart from the mind
Is any painting to be had.
The mind, forever, non-abiding,
Immeasurably, inconceivably,
Manifests all forms,
Unknown to one another.
Just as a painter
May not know his own mind,
Yet paints due to the mind;
So is the nature of all dharmas.


Mind is like the painter,
Able to paint various worlds:
The five aggregates thus originate;
There is no dharma it does not create.
As is the mind, so is the Buddha;
As the Buddha, so sentient beings:
Should know that Buddha and mind
In essence are both without bound.

If people know that actions of mind
Make all the worlds,
Then they will see the Buddha,
And understand the nature of  Buddha.
Mind does not abide in the body,
Nor body abides in mind:
Yet it is able to perform deeds of Buddha,
Freely, and unprecedented.
If people indeed wish to know


The Buddhas of the three time periods;
They should contemplate the nature of the dharma-realm,
All is but mind’s creation.

HOW STRANGE THE HUMAN STAINED MIND IS.

Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on May 16, 2010 by secretchan

The jaguar is the largest feline in the Americas and jaguar territory
ranges from the south western United States to Argentina, one of the
most extensive distributions of any feline species. The fragmentation
of habitat through human development is one of the biggest threats to
jaguars, isolating populations and preventing genetic exchange between
them.

Large predators are forced to live within those islands and then
become endangered through loss of habitat and genetic diversity.

Now that is interesting, because when we look at these jaguars there
is great migration from one part o another in nature and it takes the
form of long corridors which form complex networks.

The species was placed in reserves, but still they could not survive
without that diversity.
Fortunately, on a positive note, with pressure from conservation
groups, seven nations of Central America and Mexico have formed a
network of selected protected areas and wildlife corridors have been
established to safeguard the jaguar population and coincidently all
other wildlife within.

That means an increase in the existing corridors which were
established in 1990 as the Paseo Pantera and again in 1997, with
multi-national support, as the Mesoamerica Biological Corridor.

The objective was to balance human needs, sustainable development, and
conservation of some of the earth’s greatest biodiversity.

This is a laudatory plan, yet insufficient for the thousands of other
species threatened Still it points out one interesting thing about the
human creature’s strange behaviour.

It is clear that he recognizes the need for animal bio-diversity and
complete freedom of movement in space, unrestricted by politics and
economic considerations and yet he is unable to see that the human
creature itself has allowed itself to be entrapped amidst identical
fragmentation of habitat, isolating populations and preventing genetic
exchange.

He even makes laws and boundaries between nations that prevent free
access to resources and create false identities based upon artificial
boundaries. His wars are fought over these islands that he has
created.

Are not human creatures by folly, commerce and conditioning of their
own minds that accept these laws really denied those same biological
necessities?

It is strange too that these very laws and fear of the movement over
their borders has generated the idea of creating a great wall across
the Mexican border.

How strange, because that would effectively seal off the jaguars of
North America from all of South America.

How strange the human mind stained by Identity is.

BUREAUCRATIC BUNGLING AND ANOTHER PLAN FOR EXTINCTION

Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on May 10, 2010 by secretchan

Although I admire and respect rodents I have no great love for the
common rat after having plunged my hand carelessly into its cage in
the days when I considered animal experimentation noble and useful.
That was long before I understood as a biologist the true force of
life within all sentient creatures.

Anyway I managed to find the rat’s mouth and it bit down.

Like an idiot I pulled my hand out and, like a sharpei, it just held on.

Calmly, while hurting and bleeding, I placed the rat with his feet on
solid ground. Then he let go. Well done rat. Rat, 1 – Scientist, 0.

Since then I have grown up and although wary of accidentally cornering
a rat in some dark ally, I am on their side, although I understand the
necessity to stop their breeding in cities. However, there are a mass
of other rodents out there doing no harm at all.

Rodentia is, after all, just an order of mammals which includes voles,
squirrels, mice, guinea pigs, porcupines and beavers. They constitute
more or less 40% of all mammals, and are characterized by two
continuously growing incisors in the upper and lower jaws, which must
be kept short by gnawing.

A plague of voles, some 750 million strong (though I don’t know which
official person counted them) is, I am informed, eating through the
fields of Castilla-León, devouring crops, decimating local economies.
I suppose the voles we have on our land would do the same if we had
great commercial ideas, although I prefer a healthy balance between
what few things we grow and their symbiotic existence..

Squirrels at one time or another, have become named as plague
carriers, but in the seminary in Spain we have many almond trees, and
every year these magnificent animals invade the trees and take
everything they can get hold of for the winter. A few in the past have
fallen foul of a cat or two and we have only the tails left
surprisingly around to tell the story.

I say, “well done squirrels” and just try to beat them to the punch. I
suppose we could set poisonous squirrel traps to save a few bushels of
almond nuts, but really is that the thing to do? Mice too are in the
oldest building and they manage to grab whatever is left out. Sure I
know they breed fast, but it seems much better to protect the food
than use horrible traps like a great executioner that breaks their
backs when they are caught.

Wild guinea pigs live on mountains and grasslands in Brazil, Peru,
Argentina, and Uruguay, so we don’t see them in Spain except housed in
little cages, doing absurd tricks for those who haven’t the energy to
contact living creatures in any other way, or serving as a pet for
some child or adult who would best be in a cage themselves.

Porcupines occupy a wide range of habitats in tropical and temperate
parts of Asia, Africa, the Americas and even Italy. I have never
encountered one in Spain, though hedgehogs (not a rodent, but spiny
none the less) were a plenty before hedges and forests were eliminated
to make way for highways, urban centers and large scale agriculture.

Then there are the beavers. Of course there are none in Spain,
although according to a report made in Strabo’s texts on Geography in
the first century AD they were here once.
He declared,  “Iberia produces many deer and wild horses. In places,
also, its marshes teem with life; and there are birds, swans and the
like; and also bustards in great numbers. As for beavers, the rivers
produce them, but the castor from these beavers does not have the same
efficacy as that from the beavers of the Pontus …

Basque beaver pellets were imported into medieval Britain and
documentary evidence shows that  beavers survived in Spain until the
17th century. Then, goodbye beaver.

I suppose the pelts are warm but I love that ad which shows a beaver declaring, “my mother had a fur coat, does yours”.

But wait!  What a surprise!

News has been released (El Pais) of the existence of a secret colony
of beavers in Spain.

What a fantastic chance to reintroduce the species, which was
eradicated 300 years ago.

But there in the same article is the great surprise.

There is a plan to eradicate these beavers completely because some
time in the past, they were presumably introduced into Spain
illegally.

If it was a native beaver, which is impossible, they would be
protected by law, but there is the loophole.

The European Union has given its backing to the cull to avoid setting
a precedent that  might open the door to the illegal re-introductions
of wildlife across Europe, not particularly because these beavers have
been causing a lot of damage.

I’m sorry,  but I see that as Bureaucratic Bungling… but then that is
the sort of action we can expect from a human creature.

It is a pity that the human creature has invaded the space of all
other living creatures. Fortunately, there are still some spaces
unfilled. But for how long?

How long before the largest beaver dam ever discovered, 2,788 feet
(850 metres) by a NASA flight will be wiped out by man as a plague or
a menace to our wonderful civilized world.

SCIENTIFIC TUNNEL VISION

Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on May 8, 2010 by secretchan

Science is considered to be a discipline producing solutions in some problem domain and a scientist is supposedly someone who works for that end.

However, sometimes one must wonder if the production of a solution may not be counter-productive, if not absolutely absurd.

Take the case of the simple clam. What is so special about this creature?

Did you know that there are  over 2,000 varieties of clam. There is the hard-shell (Mercenaria mercenaria, and soft-shell (Mya arenaria), but here we wish to speak about the hard shell type that lives in deep water, not tidal flats.

Apart from being eaten since prehistoric times, what is its life like?

Can you imagine simply drifting along or swimming at the mercy of the currents or sitting on the ocean floor simply ingesting?

Clams drift along on the ocean floor, doing nothing more than extend their siphon to suck debris that may contain food off the sandy ground.

It has a thick tan shell, usually egg-shaped, with concentric growth lines on the surface. Its white interior has a deep purple stain surrounding its muscle scar, and its hinge has three white cardinal teeth.

Its natural enemies are few… several species of ray, the Atlantic blue crab and of course, the enemy of all living creatures, including itself, the human creature.

Their life cycle includes a pelagic larval phase, a sedentary benthic juvenile phase and, as an adult, begins as a male with functional male gonads during the first couple of years, often becoming female with greater maturity. Their reproduction method is spawning and female fecundity is high, releasing up to 24 million eggs with each spawning.

Once the clam settles to the bottom, it sinks the siphon into the sand and at the same time secretes chemicals to build a carbonate shell that increases in size as the clam’s internal organs grow.

Now that becomes the interesting part, for like a tree, a cross-section of a hard clam’s shell usually reveals a clam’s age.

Traditionally hard clams live for about 40 years, but occasionally an exception is found.

Now as a scientist you might wonder how old clams can get before being destroyed naturally, and of course you cannot wait for an answer, because you may yourself fade away, others may find the answer before you or you may require tenure and maybe get an ounce of fame.

Patience is not always the virtue of a scientist of folly.

So what do you do when you get a remarkable and very unusual looking clam with a very dense shell? This is the dilemma.

Do you sacrifice the clam? After all it is only a remarkable “clam”. Or alternatively do you let it live out its life with careful observation so that its final life span can be determined?

Remember that science is considered to be the discipline that produces solutions in some problem domain and a scientist is supposedly someone who works for that end.  So if the question is the life potential of the clam, you clearly report the find and let that glorious life continue its development.

If you were bored, you could let it reproduce and even enjoy the fruits of that special clam’s life work if you were not a vegetarian.

Maybe you could open a restaurant while you were waiting or write a book or two on the “sex life” of a clam (probably not a best seller).

Now we come to the point of demonstrating scientific folly. While dredging the waters north of Iceland, a rather unusual specimen of the clam species, Arctica islandica, was found in waters about 250 feet deep.

With scientific innocence or is it ignorance… or plain careless stupidity… they decided to open it (thus sacrificing the creature) to find out how old it was. Who knows what they were actually thinking?

Only after researchers cut through its shell, which made it more of an ex-clam, and counted its growth rings, did they realize how old it had been — between 405 and 410 years old.

This “ex clam” just happened to be more than 406 years old, which makes the common life span insignificant.

To take a living creature and kill it to find out how old it was may be part of scientific discipline, but it fails to answer the question of how long a clam’s life potential might be. Of course, this is a typical error of asking the wrong question.

Okay, we can call it an accident, or was it the foolish ego excitement of discovering a clam that might beat the previous records of 220 years and 374 years?

A spokesman declared, “Its death is an unfortunate aspect of this work, but we hope to derive lots of information from it,” and another declared, “For our work, it’s a bonus, but it wasn’t good for this particular animal.”

If the human creature did not have proof of birth in the form of legal certificates, I wonder if scientists might be tempted to “sacrifice” human creatures to determine how old they had become.

A Nobel prize I consider doubtful, but the Guinness book of Records might be interested in mentioning the man who killed the oldest living clam to find out how old they get.

THE RIGHT TO LIFE QUESTION

Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on May 7, 2010 by secretchan

As we know, the force of life is directed at survival, not of an individual species, but of life in particular, in and of itself.

Although it has no impulse to retain any particular form which we may call a species, there are some living creatures with an imposing history of natural survival.

The oldest living animal species on earth that we have discovered at the moment is the horseshoe crab, which has at least been around for 445 million years in a minimally changed condition. That has to be a great success story, because the great Tyrannosaurus rex lived for only about three million years and is of course now extinct. This seems to suggest that the biggest is not always the best.

Actually, the horseshoe crab is not a crab at all. Evolution-wise is related to spiders, ticks, and scorpions. In fact, their direct descent may have been the sea scorpion, which existed once more than 510 million years ago. A fish, the Coelacanth, is a youngster compared to them, with a mere a 410 million years’ record.

So how has the horseshoe crab managed to succeed? It is most likely because they have an excellently evolved immune system.

When a foreign invader, for example, a bacteria, enters the blood, the immune system goes to work. Using a substance called Limulus Amebocyte Lysate, it detects its presence and clots that particular blood sample.

That seems to point clearly to the fact that nature, without any superior external guidance, can mange to restore the system and preserve its life and thus the life force of all horseshoe crabs, as long as we do not eliminate them with the folly of our actions.

A question that arises which I do not pretend to answer is, “Are we humans reducing the true life force potential of the human creature by artificial external interruption of the biological processes.

“Should we be allowing the least fit to die in terms of biological, not social survival”?

Of course the pharmaceutical world would collapse, doctors would collect unemployment benefits or turn to the profession of law, and I can hear the horrified cries of religions and “right to life” (human of course) organizations at even the mention of the topic.

We are, after all, no better than fruit flies in a bottle reproducing and reproducing and will do so until the upper limit is reached. But while the fruit fly always continues with reduced numbers to continue life in his bottle, we will undoubtedly break the glass of our world in the vain hope that he human creature will go on and on as the great survivor.

I’m willing to bet on the horseshoe crab and the Coelacanth.

DESPITE ALL, NATURE SURVIVES

Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on May 5, 2010 by secretchan

Have you ever looked a wolf directly in the eyes? Probably not, and though you may have seen them in their packs on television screens you have never even had the priviledge to meet one faceto face. What is there about those eyes? There is someting there that declares…”No matter what you do kid, you are not going to tame me.”

People with their littele toy dogs and their pretty fur cuts, that are an insult to nature, think they have the animal tamed, but they haven’t.  They think that this ancestor of wolves is ”man’s best friend” whatever may be done against it.  What a load of crock. Each dog in domestication for thousands of years may be conditioned, owned and abused but he is not really dominated.

No matter how that animal seems he still has somewhere that spirit which the human crerature has not yet smashed and distorted completely.

Thank nature for that.

Breeders breed races, but the inner wolf goes on. That magnificent creature has lost its organization and its capacity even to survive in its dog form, but it is still there somewhere ready to be awakened.

Wild dog packs, we call the ferile, return pretty quickly to a wild condition.

Their wonderful wolf heirarchy is still foundering in human folly, but if it were left alone for half a dozen generations the wolf ways would return and that wolf eyed look would return.

We see it clearly in Lu-na the Chinese Sharpei that we have… The eyes tell it all… Noble and indominble really.

The other four sharpeis that we have have less that fine wolf like body, but what  others call stubborn obstinacy, and we call spirit, natural shen. Tes it is still there.

What is that wolf pack organization really like? Perhaps we can learn something from knowing that.

Any wolf pack normally displays a natural (not cognitive) precise planning, and loyalty to one another. A strict, almost anarchistic system determines the job each animal must fulfill and the rank it holds with respect to other pack members and, because Identity is not involved, positions are held by an innate understanding of what is best for the pack.

So necessary is this ranking for survival behaviour that the position of the pups at their mother’s teats actually determine their future pack rank.

There is an alpha pair makes what we might consider “important survival decisions”,  but they have a beta wolf assisting them who has a complex task.

It tests aggressively lone wolves wishing to join the pack,  mark all fresh kills with scent, for that kill must have the dominance mark applied so that lower wolves must wait their turn.

Looking at this closely it is not a matter of “power wins”. It is that for the  the pack the stongest must survive for the benefit of all.

The different ranks receive food of varying richness and quantity, which makes each wolf develop a scent that instantly indicates its rank to other pack members and has an independnt reecognizable howl.

The Alpha Female strangly is the terrritorial leader, for she, when another wolf pack is near will battle for control of the territory. If she becomes frail then she passes the job to a younger female, who then becomes the leader.

The pack then is organized and well maintained.

Let’s now look at the human pack behaviour, but for false human dignities sake we will call tribal or social behaviour.

What is a tribe really..

Its etymology may be found in the Latin word for three, “tres”. The dative and ablative declensions of this word are both “tribus”. The word “tribus” could logically infer then  “from the three” or “for the three”.

That brings up visions of Aramis. Porthos and Athos… To which we must add our outside member hero D’artagnon.   “All for one and one for all.”

That was the base for a natural tribe and if we include in that protection of “one and all, and all for one”, the specfic protection of the young and the medio ambiente that supports us all, we have the human creatures natural heritage and function of the life force which is distict from all other animals.

Sadly, Identity stains have taken care of that and what the human creature has generated from the early hunter gatherer bands which were egalitaraian or later stratified tribal systems led by an alpha male that respected members and the environment which supported them, is deplorable  systems where there is social rank and prestige, (which may be termed civilizations), with complex social hierarchies and organized, institutional governments.

The true natural tribal way which was based uòn natural impulses which followed the life force survival paradigms have given way to a totally egocentric attitude by members who are expected to form egoistic state which is protcted by a state taught loyalty, acquisitiveness and aversion while holding up front bnners of civilized nobility, compassion and benevolence., functions, however they may be delineated by the state.

In anywolf pack there is conflict but few are maimed or injured. The human pack, on the other hand, makes war.

Those wars which in early human tribes were endemic, was often highly ritualized and played an important function in assisting the formation of a social structure among the tribes, permitting display of courage, and physivcal expression which resulted in relatively few wounds and even fewer deaths.

On the other hand “civilized” modern societies are well capable of  all-out wars of annihilation.

The human creature has basically lost the value of the tribal or pack structure and has changed the rules of natural survival such that egocentric survival is primary and tribe, children and the environment which supports  all falls away as worthless concepts. Lip service only, which is used for egocetic hollow state egoism.

Of course most civilized people will abhore war for varous reasons, but they set the conditions for it by their acts of acquisitiveness and aversion.

How strange it is tha the magnificent wolf has evolved to become a human plaything or a product yet.still out there in the wild in hostile conditions, still survives as a beautiful creature, while w, in evolving, have become like dogs, servile to the human collective Identity.

The dog still has the wolf spirit, but where is the human spirit within us?

We as human creatures have left behind the character of the North American Indian that held a oneness with”Nature”, the Great Spirit, and have become tribes of one, a contradiction in terms, for the family of three now is unable to keep the links of oneness that a family of three wolves have.

Even the human creatures greatest moments of glory have emerged when they behaved like feral dogs with a dominant leadership and an open system, but even the wolf loyaly was then absent and wealth and prestige took the place of honor, natural dignity and togetherness.

So we continue to try and bring the wolf descendents down to our level and kill off whatever remnants of their true nature remain in the wild wolf.  What a wonderful creature we human’s are, lost is a cloud of destructive confusion, codicia and aversion.