Author Archives: signature103

About signature103

Language teacher and researcher. Buddhist.

nude

it isn’t being “naked”
they are different things
meaning is there from
our point of view
pet dogs see
nothing in our
flesh anymore
than we see
eros in theirs
in art the nude
is a symbol of
some deeper
misunderstanding
as man nothing more
rushes to our heads
than those very
curvatures and
as woman
lean strength
signals
security
that more
or less
guarantees
our future

(In response to Nude: Art from the Tate Collection exhibition currently showing at Yokohama Museum of Art.)

What the Buddha taught

Upon discovering the way to liberation from suffering the Buddha went to his former companions who had abandoned him. Noticing his changed disposition they listened and realised that he had reached their common goal.

He taught them that everything without exception is impermanent, that to understand otherwise is the cause of suffering, and that the most expedient way to liberation is to accept the impermanence of the self (non-self).

The Buddha summarised it in this way:

      1. life is suffering,
      2. it is cause by our desires (thirst),
      3. to cease suffering one must detach from desires, and
      4. the way to do it is by having correct
        1. understanding
        2. thought
        3. speech
        4. action
        5. livelihood
        6. effort
        7. mindfulness
        8. concentration

He also taught the nature our personality (skandha) and explained what the chain of rebirth (paticca-samuppada) is in detail so that we can deal with it practically. He taught that we must end rebirth (samsara) and not to perpetuate it by sowing the seeds (karma) that bring about further becoming, and he showed that a careful moderate lifestyle will quell future becoming.

He taught this one teaching (Dharma) for forty-five years until he died from accidental food poisoning.

Buddha

The historical Buddha was born 2,500 years ago near the border of Nepal and India. He was a prince. His father, Suddhodana, was the ruler of a small kingdom. His mother, Maya, gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama, his real name, in Lumbini, a forest en route to her family home. Without anymore reason to go she turned back and returned to Kapilavastu, the capital.

Soothsayers had predicted that he would become either a great king or a great spiritual leader. King Suddhodana, worried that his son would not ascend the throne, gave Siddhartha every comfort possible to ensure he would be groomed to become the next king.

At the age of 28, having married and awaiting the birth of his child, Siddhartha had decided to venture outside into the world to see his kingdom. There, he saw for the first time sickness, old age and death. He also saw the serenity of an ascetic among this reality.

Deciding to search for this happiness he left his family and duties. Now known as Shakyamuni, The Sage of the Shakya Clan, he sought the best teachers of the time, mastered their teachings. But he did not find the happiness he had seen in that ascetic he had met on that fateful trip. Deciding that that extreme asceticism is no better than decadence he changed his approach and followed a more moderate practice – The Middle Way. After intense meditation he became fully enlightened and found the happiness that he had sought.

At age 35 now known as Buddha, The Enlightened One, he spent the next forty-five years teaching the way which brings about liberation from suffering.

Id, ego, superego

Life is complicated. There are so many things we need to tend to. And Sigmund Freud understood this in simpler (or more complex) terms.

In talking of the psyche of people used the terms id, ego and superego. Basically, the id is what you want (your desires, wants and needs). The superego is what is expected and demanded of you from society. And the ego is what you do when taking into consideration of the superego (pressures from society and culture) and the id (your personal urges). These three need to be balanced for a person’s well-being.

Where idealism fails

If the mind (ideal world) supervenes the body (physical world) then there would be no need for the physical world whatsoever. That is, at any moment we can forego the physical and continue to exist in ideas.

The fact that we loathe to “let go” of this world must mean that we do not fully believe that such a world exists. And if we do it is has nothing to do this world, for no effect (paranormal or otherwise) upon it has ever been observed without questions being asked. There is nothing certain about the ideal world.

one, forty-two

everything real
has a positive
equal value
called existence

un-equivalence
is our choice
our preference
our bias
our privileging
of a thing
over others

be it god
the self
the soul
or whatnot

that
is the nature
of me
a human being

E=mc²

think about it –

energy
is matter
is space
is time

while god
maybe 0
the world
is an integer

and nietzsche
may have
proclaimed
“god is dead”

but to me
“god is ‘nothing’
& the world is
everything”

from the world
came god and gods,
not the other way
as we might believe