The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Nature ... Philosophy ... Photo ...

Here is some trailside philosophy that I came across yesterday (Memorial Day) during a hike along the Long Path in Harriman State Park (NY). If I had a marker or a paintbrush, I would have put an addendum below this thought. One word . . . “yet”. Actually, ZXZ’s thought is rather profound . . . i.e., the reality of ourselves is in our stories, in our journeys, in movement. We do not exist as something still, something static, as say a glass of water or a rock can. Without movement, without life, we are just carbon-based flesh with a few other chemicals thrown in. If we really “are”, then we’re here, not there . . . not yet. But like that caterpillar on the tree, we’re moving towards “there”, and in that movement, in that journey, we take on our identities and our reality.

The second pic shows some guys beating the heat yesterday at Lake Skannatati. We do stuff like jumping into lakes on hot afternoons. That’s why we’re here, that’s why we are.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 2:56 pm      
 
 


  1. Jim, What would you say about someone who has had, say, a stroke and can no longer move or communicate? What about a person who is kept alive by artificial means? Does that person exist? Or what about the people in Oliver Sacks book “Awakenings” who were “locked inside themselves” did they exist?
    I have to say I’m not sure, but I think I would say they do exist. Who knows what such individuals may add to the collective unconscious of the world. I find myself wondering what unknown “thing” do they add to humanity, the world that we know nothing of at this point.
    I *do* agree with the idea that the process may be the reason we exist, as you say. I’ve tended to that “doing” all my life. But then I find myself wondering about those who cannot communicate, who seem to have “no journey”: What is their purpose in life? Might they have a purpose in life that we simply do not understand. Might their purpose be like that of the “rock” for whom exisence is the “journey”?
    Not disagreeing; just kind of thinking about this. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — May 27, 2015 @ 1:33 pm

  2. Mary, interesting points. But as someone who practices Zen, I would say about someone who has had a stroke and can no longer can move or communicate, e.g. with “locked-in syndrome” as Sacks describes in his works — their story goes on. Even in a stillness of the body, our minds can still move, so long as we are conscious. We are still in motion. We still are here. Someone with locked-in syndrome is not going to be jumping into a lake. But I’ve read that locked-in syndrome, as terrible as it might seem to us, might not be pure torture afterall; it might not be all that different from doing zazen, when you calm way down and time takes on a different role. I would NOT want to experience locked-in syndrome, but in Zen we learn that the mind can make its own world; so long as we are alive and aware.

    Comment by Jim G — May 27, 2015 @ 8:08 pm

  3. Jim, You are certainly correct–the mind can make its own world; that’s for sure. I think we get just a small “taste” of that when we fully concentrate on something.
    Which brings up some other questions. I wonder if the future of mankind might be just that–each making his/her own world. But then I wonder what must the communications be like between people when there *is* such communication in that world. I’ve had some dreams that border on that kind of thing. It would be great should that mind-to-mind communication actually exist somewhere. Perhaps the life after this one?
    Then too, I wonder sometimes if some “animals” that have higher brains than humans have such “make-their-own” worlds. What an interesting concept. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — May 28, 2015 @ 8:36 am

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