Monday, August 08, 2022

the real world out there.

There is a real world out there. The Hindu concept Maya suggests that what we see is an illusion, but that's not to deny the reality of what we see, hear or touch but rather, our interpretation of it. Punch the door and your fist will hurt. Pet the cat and it will purr.  Throw the stick and the dog will chase it. The door was real. your fist is real, the pain is real, the cat is real and the sound that the cat makes is also real. The stick was real and if you're lucky the dog will bring it back.

The illusion refers to our making unreal distinctions between things that deny the complex yet simple relationships between things, drawing and redrawing those lines that keep us apart and separate from each other... lines that prevent us from seeing the real world that surrounds us. There is life and there's death, and in the non-duality of the real world, there's only life.

There is an interesting text from the zen tradition called the "Hsin Hsin Ming" that I have found influential in my own thoughts. A fragment of the short text follows: 
The Great Way is neither easy nor difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.

Friedrich Froebel's Kindergarten was conceived as a means of awakening children to the richness of their surroundings in both the worlds of nature and of man. Froebel's concept "gliedganzes" meaning member-whole suggested that even though a child was an individual, he or she was also a part of the larger worlds of family, community, nation and even nature itself. 

For a time Kindergarten had become so influential that folks tried to make conventional schooling more like the real world. Due to decades of domination of education by standardized testing schemes, things have gone way off track and even Kindergarten was reshaped to be more inline with standardized testing schemes of measuring reading an math rather as opposed to integration with life.

Things have become a mess. But can be fixed. Reconnecting with the work of our own hands can help.

Make, fix and create...


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