dao mosaic


Tulips create art

Tiles of carnelian, lapis, and jade,
The muralist sees his picture
One centimeter at a time.
Every piece alone is precious;
Together they make a priceless whole.

Not far from where I grew up, there was a muralist whose specialty was mosaic. He accepted commissions from all over the world and also collaborated with a number of famous artists on their murals and sculptures. He had bins and buckets full of all sorts of fascinating tiles. Some were red, blue, and yellow glass. Others were elaborately glazed ceramic. A few were tones like lapis, turquoise, malachite, and obsidian. Some were even mirrored with god and silver, and these would shine out first whenever he would wash away the grout.

God may be in the details, but it is also important to know the big picture.

That is where the muralist is such a great example. He knew what the big picture had to be, and yet he had enough concentration to piece together enormous tableaus out of tiny square centimeters. That is knowing both the small and the big. Follow his example and you will never be petty; yet you will not lose sight of the relationship between the microcosmic and the macrocosmic.

365 Tao
daily meditations
Deng Ming-Dao (author)

© Original Photo by Gabi Greve, Japan


used with her permission

Ms. Greve has given us access to a great amount of amazing work
and we are so thrilled to have her permission to use it!)

I have only guessed at this title, I will clarify when I hear from her.
Her link is to her
Daruma Museum, please visit to enjoy her talents!

Historical Developments: The Classical Period


Zhuangzi takes a step beyond Laozi in his theory of emotions. Zhuangzi discusses the passions and emotions that were raw, pre-social inputs from reality. He suggested a pragmatic attitude toward them—we cannot know what purpose they have, but without them, there would be no reference for the "I." Without the 'I', there would be neither choosing nor objects of choice. Like Hume, he argued that while we have these inputs and feel there must be some organizing "true ruler," we get no input (qing) from any such ruler. We simply have the inputs themselves (happiness, anger, sorrow, joy, fear). We cannot suppose that the physical heart is such a ruler, because it is no more natural than the other organs and joints of the body. Training and history condition a heart’s judgments. Ultimately, even Mencius’ shi-fei (this-not this) are input to the xin. Our experience introduces them relative to our position and past assumptions. They are not objective or neutral judgments.

XUNZI also concentrated on issues related to philosophy of mind though in the context of moral and linguistic issues. He initiated some important and historically influential developments in the classical theory. His most famous (and textually suspect) doctrine is "human nature is evil." While he clearly wanted to distance himself from Mencius, the slogan at best obscures the deep affinity between their respective views of human nature and mind.

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Katharine Jashinski, First U.S. Woman Conscientious Objector

Interactivist Info Exchange
Collaborative Authorship, Collective Intelligence

Title Katharine Jashinski, First U.S. Woman Conscientious Objector
Date Friday November 18 2005, @07:12AM
Author jim
Topic News
from the good-soldiers dept.

First U.S. Woman Conscientious Objector
Katharine Jashinski

Statement made at Ft. Benning, GA on November 17, 2005 by SPC Katherine Jashinski, first woman in the military to publicly declare resistance to participation in the war:

My name is Katherine Jashinski. I am a SPC in the Texas Army National Guard. I was born in Milwaukee, WI and I am 22 years old. When I graduated high school I moved to Austin, TX to attend college. At age 19 I enlisted in the Guard as a cook because I wanted to experience military life. When I enlisted I believed that killing was immoral, but also that war was an inevitable part of life and therefore, an exception to the rule.

After enlisting I began the slow transformation into adulthood. Like many teenagers who leave their home for the first time, I went through a period of growth and soul searching. I encountered many new people and ideas that broadly expanded my narrow experiences. After reading essays by Bertrand Russel and traveling to the South Pacific and talking to people from all over the world, my beliefs about humanity and its relation to war changed. I began to see a bigger picture of the world and I started to reevaluate everything that I had been taught about war as a child. I developed the belief that taking human life was wrong and war was no exception. I was then able to clarify who I am and what it is that I stand for.

The thing that I revere most in this world is life, and I will never take another person's life.

Just as others have faith in God, I have faith in humanity

I have a deeply held belief that people must solve all conflicts through peaceful diplomacy and without the use of violence. Violence only begets more violence.

Because I believe so strongly in non-violence, I cannot perform any role in the military. Any person doing any job in the Army, contributes in some way to the planning, preparation or implementation of war.

For eighteen months, while my CO status was pending, I have honored my commitment to the Army and done everything that they asked of me. However, I was ordered to Ft. Benning last Sunday to complete weapons training in preparation to deploy for war.

Now I have come to the point where I am forced to choose between my legal obligation to the Army and my deepest moral values. I want to make it clear that I will not compromise my beliefs for any reason. I have a moral obligation not only to myself but to the world as a whole, and this is more important than any contract.

I have come to my beliefs through personal, intense, reflection and study. They are everything that I am and all that I stand for. After much thought and contemplation about the effect my decision will have on my future, my family, the possibility of prison, and the inevitable scorn and ridicule that I will face, I am completely resolute.

I will exercise my every legal right not pick up a weapon, and to participate in war effort. I am determined to be discharged as a CO, and while undergoing the appeals process; I will continue to follow orders that do not conflict with my conscience until my status has been resolved. I am prepared to accept the consequences of adhering to my beliefs.

What characterizes a conscientious objector is their willingness to face adversity and uphold their values at any cost. We do this not because it is easy or popular, but because we are unable to do otherwise. Thank you.

dao intensity

Chinese characters for "intensity"

Reba in the now and in the eternal

Tao is strangely colorless,
Yet intense.
It grips like a tidal wave.

The old books describe Tao as strangely colorless. What do they mean by that? Where gods appear in flashes of blinding light, where hell yawns open with flame and sparks, how is it that Tao, supreme above all, is strangely colorless?

The description of colorless is a reference to the fact that Tao is beyond all descriptions. When you experience Tao, you will recognize that you are in the grip of something so right. But it will be impossible to conceptualize it or reproduce it. In fact, the more that you try to pin Tao down, the more elusive it becomes. It is a paradox that something colorless can be so intense, gripping, and unforgettable.

Have you ever played a competitive sport, say, like football? Have you ever felt that sweet spot, when everything went right almost without your trying? Wen you were in tithe grip of that momentum, did you say to yourself, “Don’t do anything to break this. Don’t say anything, don’t ruin it”? That feeling is a little of what being with Tao is like. If you tried to reproduce it later in another game, you couldn’t. If you tried to “master” it, take credit for it, explain what happened, you couldn’t. Later in private when you reflected back, you would realize that they experience that you felt was strong enough to move others, to sweep all before it, to hold you in intensity. What you felt was Tao.

365 Tao
daily meditations
Deng Ming-Dao (author)

REBA in my dreams
the series of Reba Exhibit photographs:
Motorola V220 cell phone photoshop filters
©2005.21.11 lisbeth west

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