Monday, June 23, 2008

Fresh Air

Matsuyama Castle

Castle Shrine

Exchange students

Ancient Samurai Armor

View from my roof in Niihama

From the roof
from my front balcony
Matsuyama Castle
exchange students
The Secret Garden in Niihama
View from one of my schools
Damien at his farewell party
"Indra's Net" this morning on my walk to school. An old, old lady was hobbling down the street and when she saw me kneel down to take this picture she laughed and said, "extremely beautiful, isn't it!"
We walked and talked together all they way to school.
My good friend Taka, who left today to go to school in Italy. Sad sad.

My legs are really sore today because Saturday I helped plant a rice field with Terri, which was totally awesome, walking around barefoot in mud paddies filling up with water. And then in the evening I went to that all night rave in the mountains, covered in mist. I wore all white, and Taka, the organizer of the event, painted on me like Jackson Pollack with acrylic paint. Then I danced around in the rain like a crazy man, careful not to touch anybody. Dancing is also a religion.

Today I went Matsuyama with the exchange students from Franklin, Wisconsin, who are home staying here for a week. I love spending time with high schoolers--they are a wonderful mix of child and adult. One boy in particular seemed to be so wise for his age, and yet also so, so innocent. What a burst of fresh air! And the rain stopped today; the sky showered us in blue and white sunlight. Matsuyama castle was stunning, as you can tell from the photos.

You might like this post I recently added to the New Realism blog. It's a short video, important I think, in showing the difference between conventional religion and post-conventional religion, which is an extremely important and profound difference often overlooked completely by my friends who argue against "religion." (Religion? what level of religion are you talking about? There are at least three or four very different ones, for example premodern, modern, postmodern, and nondual! And there is an esoteric and exoteric, or an interior and an exterior aspect of each of those levels! And there is a personal and a cultural manifestation of all of those! What level or altitude of religion are you talking about? What level of Christ?) People often group all those levels of Christ Jesus into one, and then say that that Jesus is a joke. They "throw the baby of with the bathwater", the baby, in this case, being Christ as Love-in-Action, which is a complete waste of perfectly good Love-in-Action if you ask me.

So this video demonstrates beautifully the differences between a conventional Jesus and a post-conventional, mystical Jesus, a difference which looks like that between a self-ish Jesus and a self-less Jesus, to be blunt about it. To the Christian Mystic in the video, Jesus is a manifestation of a self-less, compassionate God, which is "Love in Action." And that quality of Jesus, which was God, was what was speaking when it said "I am the truth, the life, and the way."

To the conventional Christian, Jesus is a limited, historic being commanding others to worship himself.

I tend to appreciate the self-less, "Jesus is an infinite Love-in-Action that everyone, including Buddhists and atheists, has access to" version more, but what do I know.

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May all beings be Free and in Love.

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