on seeing what is
nature verses nurture: on seeing what is :
- first one sees mountain as mountain, then mountain as something else, and then, mountain as mountain – a zen observation of seeing what is.
- at first, there is only the pure instinctual sensory perception of what one chances to come upon
- then one reviews the thus perceived object in terms of one’s immediate relationship with it
- when not having anything to do with the perceived object, and when having nothing to do, only then the idle curiosity interjects thoughts, pleasant or fearful, upon the perceived object, and one sees it to be something else
- in moment of awareness the disillusionment disperses and one sees what is as it is
the story of the five blind men describing the elephant according to their respective positions, though well known, has rarely inspired people in position to come together, and perceive the wholesome object perceived by their individual limitedness. just observe any gatherings of people, be that a town hall meeting, a u.s congress, an oval office cabinet session, or even in the ramblings of those trapped in various “think tanks” and internet blogs and electronic devices.
there were never such five blind men, each one tied permanently to a position as implied by the story. , in fact, the blind people are much more aware of their surrounding than are most people with eyesight. eyes are instruments of sensing the body mass of the objects of perception, as are ears of the audible characteristics, fingers of tactile qualities, nose of aromatic, tongue of their taste. neither of any one of these five senses in and by itself creates a whole picture of what is before one. all the five sensory organs of perception together form the whole image in terms of what it is or would be in relation with the preceptor’s immediate need of it or getting away from it. that’s what any creature, including human, does when coming across something new. creatures in the wild perceive things and other creatures similar to that of an automobile driver. even though for a car driver as well as a jungle dweller, the urban or the wild surrounding is not unknown, the live creatures of the wild may all of a sudden come face to face on the cross trails, much the same as some text messaging driver pushes one’s car in front of an unsuspecting driver. individually each creature’s physical motion’s speed matches its perceived needs for an action. so does human when on foot. but the thrust of a two hundred horse power machine squared by the velocity of mile per hour pushes the car far beyond the driver’s perceived need for the response. so there is the accident. it is an accident only in the sense that it is not a planned action. but otherwise, it is not an accident at all. it is a rushed up action taken without considering all the various consequences of the various factors -- the varied abilities of each individual’s perceptive senses, each one’s state of alertness and the understanding of the laws of the dynamics of physics outside of the laboratories, all collide in an instance.
it is not just the for safe driving devoid of road accidents, but all human interactions with things and beings require a relative understanding of the nature of things and beings. a new born fawn stands up within seconds and in a few hours runs along its deer mother. this rate of growth corresponds with each creature’s longevity in relation with its safety in a given surrounding. but in case of the humans, the rate of the sensory awakening is different between the urban and rural surroundings. a primitive child learns to sustain itself sooner than the civilized child.
the civilizing factor of the western child is the compulsory education from age 6 to 16. other than conditioning the child to conform to the norms of the way of life, the schooling also functions as the baby sitter for the younger children and a designated place for the near adult youth to be off the street. in so doing the confining also unwittingly conditions the growing limbs and organs to loathe the physical movement. even kindergartners of the west have become prone to obesity.
the mind-body relationship in non urban humans and other creatures is indistinguishably simultaneous creating a motion in response to the needed action. watch a horse galloping through a stream. even though the horse cannot see the uneven rough surface beneath the waters, the horse steps steadily. the primitive people and even some countryside rural dwellers living by the streams, wade streams, or walk on the muddied, slippery coconut trunk thrown across deep ravine with ease. the trapeze and other circus acts and the olympian belle dancing on ice and gymnastic feats of young girls look awe inspiring to only those who having had a sedentary life have never been allowed to experience the body-mind- purposeful motion coordination from the time they were enrolled in the kindergarten.
in the days of slavery of the original kind, the children of the slaves were left free, not out of the love of the children, but for the fact that these children were being reared in the manner of the creatures of the wild. watch the cubs of tigress or lioness or wolves; chicks of birds, and even the children of the aborigines of Africa, Indonesia and south america, and even of third world farmers. all these little ones are at first given nourishment and protection. they are left with all the time to grow in form-function relationship naturally occurring in their infantile curiosity taking forms of rough and tumble play – walking, running, jumping, exploring the surrounding, touching, tasting, and occasionally getting into tight places feeling roughed up a little. their mothers are watchful of all these rough motions, which, along with the growth of the little ones expand the perimeters of their exploits, and at some point includes the observation of their parents’ motions -- the hunting or digging for food, the mending or building of the nest, burrow or hut, the interactions between parents and with others nearby. and just as motivated by the natural instinct, the little girl struggles to mimic her mommy’s actions, all these fawns, cubs, colts, baby birds and primitive children begin to behave like mothers like daughters; like fathers like sons.
now, what the slave parents’ daughters and sons also learn is the sense of being captive in which they are made to do things, which otherwise they would not. the same perspective sense awakens in the urban children by the time they are past elementary school. in senior years of high school, most of the children develop the passive acceptance to the living like their parents and enter the race of the easter egg hunt carefully planned by the authority that their parents have accepted. some of these children begin to wonder whether there may be a different way to live. the responding answer to that wonderment does not come from the school teachers who are themselves put in place to train the young to conform to the very thing the young desire to get away from. nor does it come from the state or the rich funded religious and charitable organizations that, at best serve the captives more in the manner of trustees, who are planted to keep the inmates cool. nor even the counter culture groups provide any demonstrable alternative since most of their energies are wasted in acted protests, since, even their peaceful vigil at the death row prison is unwittingly promoting the main stream commerce by buying candles, balloons, placards, painted tea shirts and such paraphernalia. the “hare krishna” u.s. founders simply strived to imitate the christian missionaries in converting not the mindset of the young americans, but only the rhythms and steps and wordings of the dance. and all forms of group dancing provide catharsis: the more tiring the physical work, the more vigorous the steps and motions of dance. for the aristocracy it is therefore the slow motion waltz in the ballroom.
the media’s revered “mother” teresa when went to india, was as naively devoted young lady in the “service of god”, as all the christian missionaries are who consider themselves to be doing, by going to the gutters of calcutta or africa. years later, the elderly lady began to wonder about her $39 million dollars a year mission that has not reduced the flow of the dying clogging the gutters of calcutta. at best, her mission has provided the background for the photo opportunity for the likes of lady diana and hillary clinton. just as before pulling the trigger of fancy pistol to kill someone, the holywood spy james bond says: “nothing personal,” hillary clinton acted as the lawyer wife of the then arkansas governor, then as the “first” lady of the politically correct species of the u.s., and now as the secretary of state, simply acting out her roles as scripted by the prevailing foreign policy, sensing/feeling no personal guilt for the death and destruction caused by her acts. the english people adored the media image of lady di was a carefully cultivated english move to keep at least young, politically unaware people at large distracted from the otherwise crafty english/western political maneuvers.
the missionary zeal and its equivalent notion of “sacrifice” of the recruit soldier, when instilled and not instinctual, is devoid of the cause-effect relationship in the action, which is provoked by thought, be it promoted from the pulpit or the presidential podium. in either instance, it is the recruit who is sacrificed, and the pope or the president reaps the benefits. the frail old missionary teresa was never encouraged to perceive that her spiritual leader pope barely moved his ringed finger except to allow a devout believer to kiss it. nor did the equally brain numbed guard of the cultural revolution ever wonder why the very proponent of cleansing of the Chinese society was exempt from following his own proposals.
it is this divide from seeing what is, firsthand, as against being told what it is, creates the split, first between what one is supposed to be experiencing, and what does indeed experience. then depending upon the promoter of such duality between the information and its effects, the experiencing person begins to doubt one’s own perceptive senses, as if there was something wrong. this then creates the superhuman attributes of the promoters of such acts, making jesus as the son of god, gandhi into mahatma, as suggested by the high priests, religious or political. and the apartheid regime begins, of the spiritual and intellectual on one hand, and the laity and laboring masses on the other. it is necessary for the enforcing authorities of religious and political kind, that the followers develop a sense of self doubt, which enables them to consider themselves as inferior. then only they may be reduced to the sacrificial lambs for the enforcing authority, leading them to their destruction here and now, calling them martyrs, who, without question perish, for, “theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die.” there is no difference between the ones who blew up the twin towers and enlisted men who died “in the service of their country”, since their notion of the country itself is subject to change, depending upon which of the two thus pitted against each other has for the moment an upper hand. some of the recruits had risked their lives in the service, but were on the losing side. so they had ended up being tried for having committed crimes against humanity. the international court itself is made up of the instigating authorities of war, now playing the divinely justices.
like father, like son; like mother, like daughter are how all creatures grow up to be. even the plant life grows like that from every respective seed. yet, no two trees of the same species grow up to be the exact replicas of the mother tree, even when planted in rows in commercial farms. the lock, step and barrel is the is the militarization of the urban life in which even in the church wedding, the bride and groom rehearse the guard of honor steps before walking to the pulpit. schools’ sports have “cheer leaders”, who. aided by the rehearsed synchronized motions then lead their team’s fans to cheer and clap in a programmed way. in musical concerts when one person stands up to give the standing ovation, it creates the mechanically precise domino effect upon the rest of the audience; and one, who does not feel musically moved, still moves with the peer pressure.. and political speeches have the covert cheer leaders planted in the audience to prompt applauds; tv employs the canned laughter to condition the liking for a program, which is otherwise too dull to prompt laughter. governments and commercial conglomerates plant the trouble makers in the protest rallies, and hire the “media experts” to cultivate a favorable view point in controversial issues.
this not wanting to see things in their evolutionary nature of constance is reflected in one’s relationship with things and beings, too. it misconstrues constance as permanence of the desired form and function of one’s relationships. the very word: family contains this notion of familiarity with people and their acts one has grown accustomed with. it makes one feel safe and secure at home. this feeling is the sensory perception of things thoughts and acts that are learnt, and therefore are repetitive. in it there is no acceptance of change, which is the nature of things not being static. in the urban culture people are more confined to their small living spaces at home, in their work cubicles, at work stations beside the conveyer belt, in school classroom at one’s desk for the student and near the chalkboard for the teacher. at every which place one’s act is assigned and repetitive. the hallmark industries have hijacked "love" from its ecological function in the human relationships, to fit into the marketable cards. etymologically, love means a feeling of possessiveness, and hence excluding, like: my girl friend, my wife, my this, my that. it originates from the era of the slave holding of the biblical times of things created for man's pleasure.
the common meaning of “love” is nothing but this desire to have things and beings one is familiar with, do things one is accustomed to. thus couple in love become engaged with each other, form a family. but then something unexpected happens. since not even identical twins are one single entity; the two thus united in matrimony, are united only in a thought out custom, designed more for the identification of possession, to let others know that they are taken. marriage is of the social convenience, and not inherently essential trait of the human species, as it is for some birds’ specie. so despite the societal sanction, some couples live happily ever after, and others do not. more divorces happen in the urban society than in the rural society. in the urban living there is more repetitiveness than in the primitive, and even in the rural life. it is simply due to the fact that the people there interact with constantly changing things and beings. nothing repeats, not even the yield of the planted field. in the jungle trails and the rural pathways not being paved, even one’s every step feels different. there was a news story of a London woman, who sought divorce from her husband on the grounds that his kisses while going to work each day were mechanical, devoid of feeling. the 40%+ american divorces have other reasons, but all due to some “irreconcilable differences”. some of these behavioral differences of the spouses may be physically or emotionally abusive. behavior, which is a repeated form of acting is devoid of seeing things in their natural order of motion, change. but one’s not seeing does not stop things from moving. so the outcome is not as expected. hence disagreement, fight, divorce, and wars.