There was once a fine forest on the Ox Mountain,
Near the capital of a populous country.
The men came out with axes and cut down the trees.
Was it still a fine forest?
Yet, resting in the alternation of days and nights, moistened by dew,
The stumps sprouted, the trees began to grow again.
Then out came goats and cattle to browse on the young shoots.
The Ox Mountain was stripped utterly bare.
Our mind too, stripped bare, like the mountain,
Still cannot be without some basic tendency to love.
But just as men with axes, cutting down the trees every morning,
Destroy the beauty of the forest,
So we, by our daily actions, destroy our right mind.
Day follows night, giving rest to the murdered forest,
The moisture of the dawn spirit
Awakens in us the right loves, the right aversions.
With the actions of one morning we cut down this love,
And destroy it again. At last the night spirit
Is no longer able to revive our right mind.
Where, then, do our likes and dislikes differ from those of animals?
In nothing much.
Men see us, and say we never had in us anything but evil.
Is this man’s nature?
Whatever is cultivated rightly, will surely grow.
Whatever is not cultivated rightly must surely perish.
Master Kung (Confucius) said:
Grasp it firmly and you will keep it.
Grasp it loosely, and it will vanish out of your hand.
Its comings and goings have no fixed times:
No one knows its country!
Of man’s right mind, of this only does he speak!
Yours is the face that the earth turns to me,
Continuous beyond its human features lie
The mountain forms that rest against the sky.
With your eyes, the reflecting rainbow, the sun’s light
Sees me; forest and flower, bird and beast
Know and hold me forever in the world’s thought,
Creation’s deep untroubled retrospect.
When your hand touches mine it is the earth
That takes me–the green grass,
And rocks and rivers; the green graves,
And children still unborn, and ancestors,
In love passed down from hand to hand from God.
Your love comes from the creation of the world,
From those paternal fingers, streaming through the clouds
That break with light the surface of the sea.
Here, where I trace your body with my hand,
Love’s presence has no end;
For these, your arms that hold me, are the world’s.
In us, the continents, clouds and oceans meet
Our arbitrary selves, extensive with the night,
Lost, in the heart’s worship, and the body’s sleep.
Bertrand Russell – Face to Face Interview, BBC 1959
[11:45] Mathematics, Philosophy, and Religion
Until I was about 40, I got the sort of satisfaction that Plato says you can get out of mathematics. It was an eternal world, it was a timeless world, it was a world where there was a possibility of a certain kind of perfection. And, I certainly got something analogous to religious satisfaction out of it.
[12:38] The First World War, Nazi’s and Communists
I thought, as a politician, and I still think that it would have been very much better for the world if Britain had remained neutral and the Germans would have won a quick victory. We should not have had neither the Nazis, nor the Communists if that had happened, because they were both products of the first World War. The war would have been brief, there would have been nothing like so much destruction.
[22:45] Argument(s) Against War
Scientific man cannot survive if he is going to continue to make war.
The worst possibility is that human life may be extinguished, and it is a very real possibility — very real — and that is the worst. But assuming that doesn’t happen, I can’t bear the thought of many hundreds of millions of people dying in agony, only and solely because the rulers of the world are stupid and wicked. I can’t bear it.
[26:40] Message To The Future
I should like to say two things, one intellectual and one moral.
The intellectual thing I should want to say [to them] is this: When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only what are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted, either by what you’d wish to believe, or by what you think could have beneficent social effects if it were believed. Look only and solely at what are the facts. That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say.
The moral thing I should wish to say [to them] is very simple: Love is wise, hatred is foolish. In this world, which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other, we have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things we don’t like. We can only live together in that way. But if we are to live together, and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance which is absolutely vital, to the continuation of human life on this planet.
David A Smith is a name that has become synonymous in Sign-Writing and Glass gilding circles, with high quality, hand crafted reverse glass signs and decorative silvered and gilded mirrors.
In this short documentary, we reveal behind the scenes work, techniques and visions that Dave uses when carrying out his passion as a glass embosser – One of the few remaining traditional UK glass artists.
A short follow up film of one of two mirrors recently completed. The mirrors were hand made using the traditional embossing and brilliant cutting techniques from over 100 years ago.
Thirty spokes converge upon a single hub;
It is on the hole in the center that the use of the cart hinges.
We make a vessel from a lump of clay;
It is the empty space within the vessel that makes it useful.
We make doors and windows for a room;
But it is these empty spaces that make the room livable.
Thus, while the tangible has advantages, it is the intangible that makes it useful.
One of the aims of Zen is to let go of this thing we invent every day, which we call ourselves. If you can do that, then Zen will tell you where to go the rest of the way. This is not true of psychoanalysis, which insists that you liberate the ego and hence become yourself. But of course, that self is also a construct.
Whoever denies the existence of the unconscious is in fact assuming that our present knowledge of the psyche is total. And this belief is clearly just as false as the assumption that we know all there is to be known about the natural universe.
Our psyche is part of nature, and its enigma is as limitless. Thus we cannot define either the psyche or nature. We can merely state what we believe them to be and describe, as best we can, how they function.
Quite apart, therefore, from the evidence that medical research has accumulated, there are strong grounds of logic for rejecting statements like “There is no unconscious.”
Those who say such things merely express an age-old “misoneism” — a fear of the new and the unknown.