All 10 entries tagged Zp I Meaning Of Life

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October 27, 2005

Dumbing down in the heaven

Just spent ten minutes listening to Just like Heaven from Katie Melua, with Windows Media, who continuously play that trick of flickering images with me. The music is conforting to the ears, and the images to the eyes. Like a huge vacuum, those images were trying absorb me in, in the earth of nothingness, into a life of worthlessness.

Let me go, my life is elsewhere.
I'm running away now.
From the moderness,
From the fragments of postmorderness,
From memories,
From your arms and my desires.
The clouds of darkness,
on waterloo bridge of her highness,
where the rain drops
washed away my fears,
and sufferings.


May 03, 2005

Rationality

Today I had a good talk with my tutor Red Chan. One of the topic we came across – actually I was too fasinated by her speech and was not active in this conversation – is rationality.

It's very interesting how some people often judging other people by their competence in rationality. Don't give me a frown and asking 'why shouldn't we, isn't it the way it is?' just yet. First of all, isn't science initialised and based on human experience of the world? If not so, explain why 1+1=2 to me first without any of your/other human being's experiences. Don't just tell me it's an axiom in maths, so it's universally true. Such axiom might be concluded out of simple life experience like if you take an apple and get another apple then you have two apples. But real life is much more complicated. For example, if you get one human and get another one, then you may have three all together if they have a baby or none left if they kill each other. The result is so unpredicable according to the situation and the change of the situation. Rationality can be one of things you choose to believe in that influence the way you think. -- Matthew Felgate ;) But who defined the rations? A man, at least on the history books men wrote. It's same in the usage of language as well. When we look at the letters/characters without concerning a context, they are just traces of ink/or whatever you name it, but human beings gave them meanings in order to communicate: make statement, command, and etc. In English, the word 'men' used to be the designation for all human beings. So what people learned from English history books were always: men created this, men invented that. If it is a book without special clarification, what a beginner would learn is that the whole history is created by MEN. Rationality, too, is a great discovery by men. There wasn't at all any female contribute to its formation at all. Or is it so? It might be a woman first concluded that it was always two apples after getting one after another, and then she told a man. The man, who got the oppotunity to be educated how to write, wrote it down, and such knowledge got passed down. Wouldn't it be slightly quicker if the woman had the chance to learn to write, or speak in public had published it herself? Just because you are a scientist doesn't make you any closer to the truth, you might be closer to the truth that MEN of certain background created. You're less true when you talk about the planting of plants with an experienced gardener, you're less true when you talk about hunger with people starving in Africa, and surely you're less true when you talk about women's life with a woman. The feminist attempt is to let more human intelligence from the female side to reveal to the public and so that human beings can get closer to the truth more efficiently. I don't think you would disagree that with a proportional paticipant of women, a group (scientific or not) would surely work more efficiently. But it's not proportional yet, and there are attempts to mislead us to believe that this is the perfect proportion (at least in the west), link so that's what the so called 'complaint' all about – to make some factors seen, isn't that what the scientists are doing as well?

I admit I'm a lesser being of human species – bad temper, bad manners, if I happened to offend, I apologise. But I believe since I can sense the world, I can express my views of the world based on my senses. The way I speak doesn't affect the content of what I say, and the content of my experiences which might be opposed to what you have long accknowledged isn't neccessarily wrong, well, neither fully true though.


Desire

It is interesting how people hold different views towards the word desire

According to the neo-Marxists, humans have some sort of fundamental desires . If only concerning on the word 'desire', no wonder the Buddhists saying that this is the root of suffering. However, fundamental desires are different from the normal desires we're familiar with under a capitalist context. Those 'normal desires' would be probably called pseudo-desires by the neo-Marxists. They are normally related to money and are inevitable elements of a bourgeois life. Yet fundamental desires are beyond those desires. Fundamental desires should guide people to see the vision of a utopian world. The function of capitalist culture industry is to block people to think about their fundamental desires and satisfied with suffering from all sorts of capitalist desires the system provided thus to achieve(or maybe never achieve) the 'perfect' life of bourgeois class. I think such critique towards the capitalist system is similar to what the Buddhism says, that the 'desires' prevent us from sensing the real world and achieve nirvana (utopia?).

Heehee…

I wonder if I will be degraded by adapting Buddhist theorist in exam? It's reasonable to oppose institutional religion and creat a secular realm, but none of the religious philosophy should be degraded. On politics, there should be some rational reading on religious theories as they read Rousseau or Marx.

hmmm…


April 02, 2005

And let's talk about love ~

缘(yun) is the favorite word the Chinese would relate to love. The Chinese would always say people get the chance to meet because they have 缘, especially when lovers get to meet. The origin of the word is from Buddhism. 缘 is the Chinese translation to 'cause' (in association with 'effect'). However, with the influence of the confucious thoughts of fate, as in everything is decided by the fate, so the word 缘 is always explained in association with 'fate' instead. Whereas the 'fate' in Confusious thoughts is not any superpower, it's the unknown power and rules of the universe. Such rules gradually become the Confucious morality. The one who follow them would be accepted in the Chinese culture, otherwise be excluded. So 缘 in this sense, is actually a term to supress the pursue of love. Because your love of life is decided, you can only follow the social institution of marriage, otherwise you are against the 'rules'.

There is a Chinese Buddhist terminology —
愛緣(i yun): Love or desire as a contributory cause, or attachment. (CJK index for a Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist terms )
So love here is only an initial which would cause coveting, defiling attachment and 愛惑 (i hu: the illusion of love or desire) etc. But I'm wondering where is the cause of love? If it is desire, what would cause the desire for this particular person (or maybe several people in some cases ;) )?

huh?

But in any case, 缘 is a good excuse for the failures of love, and I still think it is a good solace.


the question about SOUL

Writing about web page http://www.usbig5.com/faq/02/faq_261-280.htm

Here's some additional information about the Chinese Buddhist thought in the word 'soul', or so-called 'mind', as it is translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in different ways.

最近有人問,他說人有無靈魂,又說究竟靈魂在那裏,又說醫院給人開胃病蒙藥往病人嘴上放他就不知痛了,如死一般,要有靈魂該作夢呀,並且又不作夢。

【答】 此問題非初學所能明了,既解釋清楚,恐亦不能領悟。云「不在內,不在外,不在中間」唯此,若指定一處,即是大錯。茲以留音唱片為喻,試問聲在何處,究竟片有沒有聲。謂沒,人知其分明發聲。謂有,何以不自發聲。會得此機 過半矣。若謂作夢是有靈魂,不作夢是無靈魂,再舉一喻,人行動時知覺起,謂是活人,若睡眠時知覺伏,可謂是死人乎。請再體會。

Q: Someone asked recently: Do human have souls? If we do, where is it? He cited the fact when doctors give the patients with stomachache pain-relieve tablets with narcotic, the patients would not feel the pain anymore and looked like dead. If there are souls with them, they should be at least dreaming.

A:This is not a question with simple answer. Even it is fully explain, it might not be fully comprehended. The Buddha says: 'It's not in there, it's not out there, it's not in the middle way.' Thus, if pointed a location, it would be extremely wrong. So here I can only give the example of sound records. Is there sound on the record, and where is it? If you answer no, it is opposed to the fact of its making sound. If you answer yes, then why it doesn't phonate by itself? (會得此機 過半矣。— the meaning of this sentence is not clear for me. Does it mean that only half of the people can understand the meaning of the example?) Presume the assumption of dreaming equals the proof of soul's existence is true, then I have another assumption here: people get their conciousness when they are awake and moving around, when people lie down and sleep, they don't have their conciousness with them, do you think they are dead? So please think the question over.

;)

———————————————————————
I get the feel that the Chinese Buddhist scholars often leave the concrete questions some vague answers that makes the principles stay mysterious.


March 13, 2005

Overdue species — me and you?

Writing about web page http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1436408,00.html

The mass species have only 62m years living permit on the earth, said the American scientists. And we are urging the best-before date now, yes, we as you and me, ants, penguins, polar bears, camels, geckos and whoever you think you are. So maybe South Asian tsunami is only the begining. Extinction's footstep is on our doors every next minute. Are you scared? I'm not. I feel relieved. If the earth explodes, at the very second after the explosion we will see the world of utopia: when all the fighting stop, all the agressive beings gone away, there will be only silence, silence of peace, and the remains of love. We all know the theory of human bodies get lighter after death — as a proof of the existence of soul. Thus when we get extincted, the earth will be suddenly lighter. All the dirts will be left here on the mudane ruins of the earth, because our souls are so light they can't carry much. Only emotion of lightness will be taken with us, such as, love.

I have no fear if I will die tomorrow: I have apologised for not being kind, paid back part of my debts… There aren't much to carry with my soul, I will have an easy flight ;)

If all the souls are gonna have a meeting in mind air after the extinction, I bet I will see you only with your love too.

And don't panic. The research is reported by University of California, so just take it as one of those hollywood tragedies. They suggested that it's still unpredicable how we gonna be wiped out, maybe climatic mayhem, dislodging comets, volcanic activity, or maybe our lovely gods would feed us to their pets every 62m years? :D Watch out the dog shaped clouds, they might be the huge monsters that would eat you for dinner tomorrow :D


February 11, 2005

Love and kindness


February 04, 2005

Why the fear?

People went to varcity last night and have soaked into the deap sleep since then, even the clean ladies forget to get up. The entire early morning of Friday goes silent, except the fear in my mind blowing rampantly like the strong wind here in the winter. I woke up with the silence of nothingness, I feared, and I cried.

I think we are in rat alley, where the dead men lost their bones. — Wasteland 1922 T S Eliot

The quoted was also in Chu Tian-wen's (the screenwright of A City of Sadness) novel Notes of a Desolated Man (also translated as the Journal of a Wandering Man), when her protagonist faced his best friend's dying of AIDS. I've never read the poem through, nor the novel. But every word I read, has touched me, rising waves after waves of fears in my mind but then petting them down by the understanding of life. The fear of death is the fear of losing, the fear of facing the eternal nothingness. But Chu Tian-wen says: 'It's difficult to live, but more difficult to die'. People always interpret the novel as another manifesto of homosexual. I think the position of homosexuality was to provide A-Rao (the protagonist's best friend) more desire to live because his right of living had been long deprived. The more were deprived, the more were desired. The more desired, the faster death would come to the doorway. A metaphor to A-Rao's death was given in a later chapter: the goldfish which gorged to death. The more dazzling the life is, the more fears grow towards death. Death is not terrifying, it's the images accompaning death terrify. I think there are many themes of Buddhism in this novel. It's just she, so do I, still has confusions to many untackled questions, and bearing these questions in mind to struggle for the living ones.

———————————————————————

Just found a story I wrote titled 'Please give me the power to give away my fears' with a sentence saying 'We live in the word because we have to pay the debts we owed in the previous life, that's the whole meaning of life.' :D Well, I was just trying to explain anxiety disorders with the story, find it quite interesting now :) I have been clinging to these questions over years, and still not seemed to give up the questioning.


January 20, 2005

Meaning of Suffering?

  • The Buddhists believe in that the hunman being suffer, everyday, all the time. Then someone asked: 'Why were we born in the world as human being if it's inevitable to encounter suffering?' Li Bingnan the Zen scholar answered:''The suffering in human life may cause the ennui for life, but since there's no extreme suffering, we get a chance to learn the Sutra and find the Way. The Gods upon the heaven have too many joys that they tend to forget about the sentiments. The demons down the hell have too much hatred that blinds their mind to understand. The animals are too stupid. The ghosts have only thirst and hunger, they suffered in the hell from the internal. Thus none of them would find the way. Hence the opportunity to become human is precious." (I think it's a very lame translation. The original was written in old Chinese style, I could barely understand it. Sorry if I misinterpreted it. After all I think the answer is quite sufficient.Please check the original, it's the answer 15 in the linked page.)

  • Persistence (执着, I m not sure whether this is the equivalence in English), the cause of suffering.
    Li Bingnan says:'Persitance confines you in the ambit of confusion and obstacles. Accomodating makes your wisdom boundless. The knowledge is not achieved from the first stages. So once you persist to a misunderstanding, you have stepped into the devildom of learning. The only way of achieving the Way is to follow the Sutra, but to take a further step and boasting how much you learnt.' (Answer 46)

  • What does Li say about how to resist the suffering?
    'Learn more from the Sutra, find out more about the Cause and Effect. See through the psuedo-reality, and then you can gain the power of enduring.' (Answer 83)

These answers above kinda answered my questions developed from today's talk after the Meditation. Do they answer you at all?

I was thinking about my endless argument with Lulu at all the time since we started being good friends. Relating it to answer 2, I got some conclusion. To start an argument was fun, but it often ends in fruitless result and bad moods. If I didn't have the persistance of the knowledge I assumed I had, those awful outcomes could all be avoided. Or could they? To put it into a wider context, does the argument play a part as building up our friendship? Or does it not? Hmmm… complicated…

And again, what about the anxious youth? The ones portrayed in the film 15 ? Why do they suffer? Were their sufferings out of their cravings as well? What were the cravings we had when we were 15? Can someone answer this question? (ha… I m enchanted by my essay topic of subcultures now… )

PS. I was listening to Hey Jude and Let it Be when writing this entry.

And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain
Don't carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it's a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder
*
And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be

LALALALALALA~

solutions, solutions, there are always solutions. Cest la vie ;)


January 05, 2005

Meaning of Traveling ??

What is the meaning of life? I started to ask this question to myself very late, not until my first listening to pulp 's album This Is Hardcore , in 1998. The album only marked me with a full head of questions, without offering any answer. So I start to wonder what is the meaning of life? And suffered.

Yeah I know meaning of life is way too big a topic. Let's start from the smaller aspects. So here comes chapter 1, Meaning of Traveling.

Meaning of traveling is a question that I started to ask even more recently. Before 15, I only traveled with my Mom, and she had always told me that it's about getting new knowledge. But when I started to travel without her, I started to doubt it. My first single trip was at 15, I traveled to Beijing, to pursue my then lover. But traveling can't be always about love though. The question is booming after reading several friends' travel notes. Yes : ????? loads of question marks.

I had always thought that meaning of traveling is about food. I was, and still am though am trying to get rid of it, obsessed with good food. So the primary attraction of a tourist spot for me is its food culture. (Well, excluding Britain, I m here for a degree not traveling. But I have to admit, I love the English dessert .) And the first place I went when arriving this destination of my trip is always a restaurant. However, what if you are getting too much of its food? My friend whos currently traveling in India is facing this problem. I think if he continues to take curried food, eventually would he vomit all the food he had in his life. Well, so as he sounded. The second situation is, what if most food they provide in that place are mentally/physically unacceptable for you? I had this situation in Prague once. There is this Czech apple pie we had the other day, I put it down immediately after my first taste. I knew if I had the second taste I would throw up on the table, no kidding, I think I have this allergy to such food. But Lulu liked it, and she said I was not open-minded. Well, here is a more persuasive case. There is this village in China, which is famous for its made of the dried mice. Dried mice for what? Snack! I doubt many of you will travel to that place and have a taste of the mice biscuit. Will you, Lulu? Anyway, this is one of the cases, which put you off from putting food as the primary purpose of traveling. And furthermore, there is a third situation. What if the food culture in such place confronts your belief? A vegan would not probably enjoy the food in Brazil , I assume. Reading the tourist brochures, youll find out, when they recommend some food, there are always some particular restaurants you can find the food. Thus the whole point about food culture is asking you to help pushing up the food industry in that place. And when they start to cook the same food just as the food you can easily consume in the exotic restaurants in your city, can you see anymore point to spend the money to travel a long way for food? So lets tick food out of the list in meaning of traveling.

After food there come the great architectures. I m not an expert in architectures first of all, and I assume neither most of you do. Its only after told by the tourist guides, that I have gain some knowledge of what this kind of architecture is called, and what is that kind of architecture called. So, the whole point of about learning knowledge of architectures? Hmmm, probably. What comes next when you have already known the knowledge then? What if the architectures are those you are familiar with? Or what if the architectures are against your aesthetic taste? What is left for you to appreciate in that place you travel to? Id like to tick architecture out of the list.

Well, landscape then. There are landscapes that would hold your breath, and bring you to another life. Do you believe so? Lets interpret it like this: great landscapes are great background scenes for your photographing. Not only are the photography fans putting photos in priority, but also the others, the majority of the travelers. How far can the eye sight make the impact on our minds? What if you dont enjoy photography at all? The obligation of photo-taking can sometimes be a torture, too. Especially when you show your photo to a friend and receive laughters on your poor photographic skills. My lomographies on Prague is one among those disasters. Apart from photographic scenes, we enjoy the beauty of the landscape. I used to travel to Yangshuo to see the great landscape there. It was in the summer, we got great sunshine on the landscape there. I enjoyed the day when we rafting on the Li River. I could FEEL the landscape surrounding me. Actually, the mild sunshine and the breeze had played more effective roles in that rafting trip rather than the landscape. Nevertheless, the Sun and the breeze come to your home as well. What makes my trips different? I guess it may not be the landscape. I guess. O, I guess its the utopian atmosphere they created there. The Ibiza Island remodeled beside Li River. And I know if I go back to that place again, shifting my focus from what they told me to focus on: the youth, the pubs, the x-sports; to the other facts: the young flowergirls, who were told to drink with the filthy mid-aged men, the louts and all; I wont necessarily enjoy the landscape again. Lets tick landscape. Its a camouflage that they have exaggerated the beauty to squeeze your money.

How about getting to know people? Good point indeed, but only when you are an outgoing person, only if you are good at starting a conversation. Does traveling leave the introverts at home? What if the introverts want to travel around the world too?

Perhaps my question is not about the meaning of traveling, but is traveling eligible for ALL people? Men and women, specialists and non specialists, extroverts and introverts? how about able and disable? How about rich and poor? Even if they are all eligible, the world has been globalised, does it worth to travel? Even if parts of the world remains very different, will you well stand the fact that you are an alien? Does traveling makes you a better person ? Have you yet opened your mind through your traveling experience? Are you any constructive element to the place you traveled to? Do you enjoy traveling?!????????

Angela would definitely tell me that I am a pointless person, if shes got the chance to read this blog. Well, I m always pointless. You see, there are so many points scattering around in the world, I find it really difficult to choose a particular one to point at. So tell me, what exactly is the great feeling you caught when traveling?


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