Karate #haiku revised

Children trade punches
As parents trade gossip
In the stifling gym heat

walking with the dog

i walk the path
that many have walked
for a millennium

watched over
by the green life
the network
beneath my soles
the quiet over sphere

the pulsing
under the surface
connecting but
separating us
all at once

led by my dog yet
constrained by my lead
i am now convinced
she knows infinitely more
about the world than me

via negativa, via positiva

The obvious problem overlooked with describing God is that describing what He is not is to assume there is a god (or gods) in the first place.

The problem is really the same as describing unicorn with positives. That is, a horse with a straight horn on its head. The speakers assume there exists something horse-like with something horn-like on its head-like part.

The difference is that God has no attributes to describe (which is its description) and a unicorn had attributes to describe. Either way we have described an assumed something.


There are six pramāna (knowledge or valid cognition) in Indian philosophy.

Pratyakṣa (perception) is the sense data, essentially your intuition (Hume’s term) or experience. In Buddhism there are six senses – visual, aural, scent, pallet, tactile, and mind. Each have their corresponding “objects” – sight, sound, fragrance, taste, touch, and mind-object. Perception may correspond to sensation in psychology and not processed content.

Anumāna (inference) is similar to logic. One thing causes another by being inferred.

Upamāna (comparison and analogy) is to link two different unrelated situations or objects through similarity. This may include simile and metaphor.

Arthāpatti (postulation, derivation from circumstances) is implication by knowing the consequences of one action to another. Unlike anumāna it is long term and not immediate.

Anupalabdi (non-perception; negative cognitive proof) is the affirmation of the absence of the positive situation.

Śabda (reliance on past reliable testimony) is the reliance on past evidence given by others.

Buddhism, under Tibetan Buddhism system, recognizes that only perception (pratyakṣa) and inference (anumāna) as valid. All else are denied. This is interesting considering that the Buddhist sutras are taken to be sacred texts. On this count we must wonder how the rejection of śabda works here.


your life in forty volumes
shows you had your art
from almost the very beginning

it only takes one word
an adjective perhaps
or an emotive one

to change the meaning
of the work, to give it
a nuance not found otherwise

be it a few pages or a hundred
unmistakably it was always there
and forty volumes later

you have had enough

… faith or none

I am rather curious of the grandnarrative that when people of faith (whatever that means) talk about having faith or none, it somehow assumes that faith is the default, and none is the choice one deliberately makes.

True, most people do not make a choice, that is, their religion is given to them by birth. Bit that is assuming religion is the default mode to start.

This narrative is kind of forcing to say that I believe there is no god or gods. Often one makes the mistake and says ‘I don’t believe in God’. The former rejects the concept of god or gods (hence there is no god or gods). The latter rejects existent god or gods.

The misconception of Buddhist suffering

The Buddha said life is suffering (dukkha). Suffering is the condition of unsatisfactoriness. Immediate pain and sadness is of course suffering. But in happiness, in avoidance of pain and sadness, we are still in the condition of suffering.

To understand this and to change one’s mindset one can end suffering or end the illusion of suffering. True “happiness” is not temporal happiness but a seemingly transcends time and space. By extension even this true happiness is illusionary. Nonetheless we must pursue it as if it is there even though it is not there.

Pluralistic Agency

The problem is not so much that we do not understand agency but rather agency is pluralistic, that at any given time there is more than one agent. The interaction of two agents is what we commonly call cooperation or by some similar terms and statements which entail two objects or things.

An example is when two people love each other or marriage. The agreement between them to act in a certain way is termed love. It is not a passive process but always entails active processes.

The discovery of Bono

I have always appreciated Bono. The matter-of-factness of the lyrics of the songs he writes with U2 are astounding. And all the more I appreciate the song Iris which now makes a lot more sense.

He says he is at peace. And this is a just another fact to go along with all other facts he has discovered.

Is/ought, descriptive/prescriptive, truth/value

Yesterday, I happened to have a conversation about Hume’s is/ought problem with someone. It was the first time I had touched on this subject with anyone even though I had read about it.

What happened was that I had the construct of the problem backwards in my head — what ought to be could be derived from what is. Or did I?

I had suggested that what someone pays for a painting such as a Da Vinci is over-inflated because it’s worth is that of the cost of its material and labour. The discussion was derived from a discussion on what is truth and value.

Noticing my mistake, I thought more about it. I realized this problem is similar to the descriptive/prescriptive conundrum in linguistics.

Where as linguistics of the earlier generations were about prescription (telling what the rules of language are to be adhered to) later generations up to now is about description (telling you how language actually is used). That is, to describe is to say what it is and to prescribe is to say what it ought to be.

It also seems that this does indeed relate to truth and value. Truth is what something is thought to be. And value is what something is thought to be worth. But does it?

Is/ought is about experience and judgement of reality. Descriptive/prescriptive is about data and its interpretation. But truth and value do not seem to be a “natural” binary in the same way as the other two. Truth is usually discussed with false or falsity of facts or reality. And value is usually discussed with subjectivity and objectivity. Their domains are different. This is an uneasy relationship and perhaps should not be discussed together.