Monthly Archives: April 2010

What do you believe in

I believe everyone is equal, and everyone is kind and happy;
I believe life is always full of happiness;
I believe everyone has the potential to reach his/her perfection.

I believe in all these and I am going to prove them with my whole life.

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A new understanding on life

Note: This is a repost of a book outline with a new title and a little addition in the content.

Our science so far hasn’t developed sufficiently to provide a proper understanding of human consciousness and development of human society. Using scientific methodologies and concepts, combined with meditation experience and software programming experience, this book tries to provide a new framework of understanding. With this new understanding, hopefully we can gradually build a peaceful world with a high degree of life. Meditation and software are going to play a big role in that picture.

The outline of the book:

Part 0: The revolution/evolution in America

Part 1: Individual Consciousness:
Individuals are the natural centers of human society. Everything starts from the right understanding of our individual self. Buddhism teaches that we know our individual self directly. They are not like the physical world, which is external to us and we have to rely on science to explore. Through meditation, activity and reflection, we can know the self. So let’s study our individual consciousness.
ch 1: brain, mind, consciousness, growth of consciousness, and how they are tangled with community
How is consciousness formed? Where is it coming from? What is its material basis in the brain? What is the material basis of the self? How is the distance created? What is its relation to language? What is the health of the brain?
ch 2: memory, expectation/imagination vs. dwelling in the past and fascination about the future (both are thinking)
When there is no self, there are only two types of “legitimate” brain activities: accessing the past (stored as memory in the brain), and jumping to the future moment (the expectation or the imagination). What is driving the brain to do these two activities is the present moment or your encountering with the environment at the present moment. When you have a self, however, accessing the past becomes dwelling in the past (e.g. you are lost in the memory). Jumping to the future becomes fascination with the future (I am referring to illusionary fascination of the self). Both are thinking.
ch 3: learning, playing
ch 4: feeling, love

When you feel without thinking, you are experiencing love and interacting with love. That is playing. What is love?
ch 5: knowledge, brain, knowing, learning, not-knowing
What is knowledge and what is the wisdom that is beyond knowledge.
ch 6: peaceful forces
The peaceful forces in human history.
ch7: how to get to know your individual consciousness
Silence, sitting meditation, self-reflection, going back to the nature, going back to your childhood,  walking carefully in your life and doing no harm.

Part 2: Collective Consciousness:
After we know the self, how millions or billions of people can live and play together can be a challenge. The collective of consciousness can be a quite new topic on top of individual consciousness. The history of human beings is a history of how people organize themselves together.
ch 1: collectively
ch 2: society and community as external memory, space
ch 3: forces in history, peaceful forces, barriers
ch 4: social space, unlimited resources
ch 5: enriching each other, playing together (has nothing to do with money?)

ch 6: how to explore collective consciousness with software


Part 3: Life Science:
Computer Science is a science about life. Software is a bridge between the human science and the physical science.
ch 1: science, and the historical perspective, subjectivity/objectivity, the evolution of math and physics (just more transformation of plus and minus)
Traditionally, science has excluded subjectivity from its study. Christopher Alexander advocates bringing subjectivity back to science because subjectivity is objective. After all, we know ourselves directly. I argue that software is the tool to bring subjectivity back to objectivity. Software is a brand new way to explore social science and is a very effective tool.
ch 2: applying modern physics to the mental activities
What is the center of gravity? What is time? The movement of mental activities is more about degree of life.
ch 3: software and the principle of playing
We expand the concept of software to the social programming. With principle of playing, we can refactor the society and build a better playground.
ch 4: degree of life
Christopher Alexander says everything has life. They have different degrees of life. How do we understand life? How do we measure the degree of life?
ch 5: what is computer science
ch 6: diversity and equality, limitation and perfection, life
The phenomena of life: equality is manifested as diversity, perfection is manifested as limitation, absolute is manifested as relative.
ch 7: space
Everything is about space.

Part 4: Global Peace
ch 1: cultural communication
How the two great things of human civilization can meet and melt into each other? How the west and east can communicate the values of individual and collective?
ch 2: how to bring out democracy
The explosion of the self-organized production of social product is going to transform the society and change the social structure.  By engaging in these self-organizing activities of producing social product, we are enriching our lives and pursuing our happiness.
ch 3: we need pioneers to open up each individual field
Each individual field is going to be opened up one by one by the individual professionals in the field. They are going to use open source software and open organizations to empower themselves. Each professional field is going to be transformed. Individuals can pursue their interests in these fields freely and  independently. Ways of cooperating and organizing are going to be brought to a more granular and ad hoc level.
ch 4: build a better playground
With every progress of society, we have a better playground. That is how I look at history.
ch 5: the future of learning: how to engage with the space, true teachers…
How this individual field is going to be opened up? How learning/education is going to be transformed?

Part 5: Global Humanity
ch 1: the east, the thread of Chinese culture and how it is going to evolve
ch 2: the west,  the thread of western culture and how it is going to evolve

—————————————————————————————————————————

Outline with blog posts associated with each chapter

Part 0: The revolution/evolution in America
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/the-revolution-in-america/

Part 1: Individual Consciousness:
Individuals are the natural centers of human society. Everything starts from the right understand of our individual self. Buddhism teaches that we know our individual self directly. They are not like the physical world, which is external to us and we have to rely on science to explore. Through meditation, activity and reflection, we can know the self. So let’s study our individual consciousness.

ch 1: brain, mind, consciousness, growth of consciousness, and how they are tangled with community, language and culture:
How is consciousness formed? Where is it coming from? What is its material basis in the brain? What is the material basis of the self? How is the distance created? What is its relation to language? What is the health of the brain?
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/01/05/language-culture-human-brain-and-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/02/17/exercise-your-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/on-self-help-books-and-regrowing-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/16/see-with-your-whole-body/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/12/14/consciousnessexperiences-cannot-be-transfered/

ch 2: memory, expectation/imagination vs. dwelling in the past and fascination (both are thinking):
When there is no self, there are only two types of “legitimate” brain activities: accessing the past (stored as memory in the brain), and jump to the future moment (the expectation or the imagination). What is driving the brain to do these two activities is the present moment or your encountering with the environment at the present moment. When you have a self, however, the accessing the past becomes dwelling in the past (e.g. you are lost in the memory). The jumping to the future becomes fascination with the future (I am referring to illusionary fascination of the self). Both are thinking.

ch 3: learning, playing
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/play/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/02/25/do-you-believe-that-you-are-complete-and-have-the-potential-to-fully-develop-yourself/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2006/12/08/a-summary-of-learning/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/01/30/comments-on-the-summary-of-learning/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/04/06/no-chinese-food-anymore-continuous-exploration-of-space/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/02/14/thinking-feeling-and-playing/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/06/01/doing-things-learning-and-playing/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/06/12/reflect-on-my-schooling/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/05/08/the-art-of-my-life/

ch 4: feeling, love
When you feel without thinking, you are experiencing love and interacting with love. That is playing.

ch 5: knowledge, brain, knowing, learning, not-knowing:
what is knowledge and what is the wisdom that is beyond.
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/30/knowing-and-thinking/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/22/no-self-no-problem/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/when-you-walk/

ch 6: peaceful forces
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/peace-what-is-peace-and-how-to-build-peace/

Part 2: Collective Consciousness:

ch 1: collectively:
After we know the self, how millions or billions of people can live and play together can be a challenge. The collective of consciousness can be a quite new topic on top of individual consciousness. The history of human being is a history of how people organize together.
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/managing-common-property-is-a-challenge/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/collective-vs-individual/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/14/my-standard-to-evaluate-a-societyculture/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/my-fundamental-belief-and-why-i-am-doing-what-i-am-doing/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/10/11/buddhism-and-social-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/desire-and-future-society/

ch 2: society and community as external memory, space
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/community-vs-networking-part-2/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/material-culture-as-an-extension-of-human-cognition/

ch 3: forces in history, peaceful forces, barriers

ch 4: social space, unlimited resource
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/john-locke-has-a-second-thought-on-private-property/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/software-programming-for-everybody/
ch 5: enriching each other, playing together (has nothing to do with money?)

Part 3: life science:
Computer Science is a science about life. Software is a bridge between the human science and the physical science.
ch 1: science, and the historical perspective, subjectivity/objectivity, the evolution of math and physics (just more transformation of plus and minus)
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/the-subject-and-object/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/the-subject-and-object-part-2/

ch 2: applying modern physics to the mental activities
What is the center of gravity? What is time? The movement of mental activities is more about degree of life.

ch 3: software and principle of playing
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/a-better-way-to-understand-web20/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/08/17/software-like-buildings/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/01/03/web-brain/

ch 4: degree of life
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/one-billion-times-more/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/where-is-life-coming-from/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2006/11/23/only-losers-complain-about-too-many-choices/

ch 5: what is computer science
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/12/19/computer-science-is-life-science/

ch 6: diversity and equality, limitation and perfection, life
The phenomena of life: equality is manifested as diversity, perfection is manifested as limitation, absolute is manifested as relative.

ch 7: space
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/16/it-is-all-about-space/

Part 4: global peace
ch 1: cultural communication
How the two great things of human civilization can meet and melt into each other? How the west and east can communicate the values of individual and collective?
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/two-great-things-of-human-civilization/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/two-different-philosophies-of-life-and-society/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/07/23/news-of-china/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/inside-biosphere-2/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/09/the-myth-of-chinese-population/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/collective-vs-individual/

ch 2: how to bring out democracy
The explosion of the self-organized production of social product is going to transform the society and change the social structure. By engaging in these self-organizing activities of producing social product, we are enriching our lives and pursuing our happiness.
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/22/how-to-take-back-our-democracy-part-2-democracy-money-social-products-local-services-the-power-of-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/20/how-to-take-back-our-democracy/

ch 3: we need pioneers to open up each individual field
Individual professionals are going to cooperate in new forms of organizations.

ch 4: build a better playground
We are going to build up a better playground in the social transformation.
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/build-a-better-playground/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/open-organizations/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/05/20/open-cooperation-within-an-organization/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/national-initiative-and-law-20/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/grassroots-web/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/software-programming-for-everybody/

ch 5: the future of learning: how to engage with the space, true teachers…
The true face of learning will be brought out.

Part 5: global humanity
ch 1: the east, the thread of Chinese culture and how it is going to evolve
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/a-brief-rundown-of-chinese-recent-history/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/development-and-environment/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/05/13/china-capitalism-communism/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/china-and-environment/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/olympics-and-china/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/watching-olympics-opening/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/the-chinese-renaissance/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/two-ways-to-help-china/

ch 2: the west,  the thread of western culture and how it is going to evolve

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The Monkey King: a fighting Buddha

The Monkey King(or Journey to the West) is a great novel of the ancient China. It is probably the most imaginary novel of China. It is still of question that who wrote the Monkey King. For me, it is actually a great Buddhism novel. The major character of this novel should be the Monkey King instead of the Tang Monk(the monk of the Tang Dynasty who went to India for Buddha’s sutras.). It is about how the Monkey King became a Buddha and finally went beyond life and death. Let me tell you why.

The stone absorbed the spirits of the sun and the moon for thousands of years and finally a monkey was born out of it. The same as the stone monkey, each of us is also a spirit in this world.

This stone monkey has great courage. He later became the Monkey King. He had a lot of fun with his fellow monkeys in the Mt. Flowers and Fruit. But one day in a party he saw the death of an old monkey and was greatly touched. He wanted to look for a way to stay away from death. That is the same thing that each of us is very much concerned with. As spirits in the universe, we first of all want to survive in this universe. We need to learn how to stay alive. And death is always what we are afraid of. We should never ignore this fact that we are going to die one day. Buddha himself went for practice out of the sight of death.

The Monkey King tried very hard to go over all the world to find a master to teach him how to escape death. He went through a lot. He saw the human world. He was laughed at by people. He made friends. As us, the Monkey King had some experience of the human world. Finally he found a Taoist master. This Taoist master is a very great master. After the Monkey King refused to learn many of his techniques(as the Monkey King was only interested in learning how to escape from death), he gave the Monkey King a koan. He pretended to be angry, tapped on the head of the Monkey King for three times and went out of the door with his hands behind his back. The Monkey King understood immediately that the master wanted him to come to see the master at three o’clock at night through the back door. The master taught the Monkey King flying 54,000 km with a single leap and 72 Transformations. The world became much smaller for the monkey. And with 72 Transformations, he can transform into tigers, birds and so on so he can survive in various conditions. But this monkey king has a very strong self. He couldn’t hide what he had learned in front of his classmates. He liked to show off a little bit. He didn’t know when to hide and when to show. So the master knew that the Monkey King would make a big trouble in the future. What the master did is not to teach the Monkey King anymore. He kicked him out of school and told him never to reveal the Taoist master’s name. That is what the Taoist master will do. They teach you the skills of transformation. But they don’t save people completely.

So the monkey went back to Mt. Flowers and Fruit. He was so powerful now. He was challenging all the authorities of the old corrupt system, which was based on the Confucius hierarchy. He fought with the authorities of the hell, the sea, and finally the almighty sky. He even claimed that the position of Jade Emperor should be taken in turn and it was then his turn. (What a democratic idea! From a monkey!) Finally, the Jade Emperor of the sky had to ask for help from Buddha.

Although very powerful, the monkey couldn’t escape the palm of Buddha. Buddha locked him under Mt. Five Fingers. He had to wait for 500 years until the Tang Monk came along to release him.

Critics criticize Buddha for protecting the corrupt Confucian system. But as we know, at that time there was not much Buddha could do to change the system. The context/society was just not mature enough. The mankind was not ready yet. It would take thousands of years of development to make the society ready. The system has to progress slowly step by step.

The Tang Monk, who was going to the west for the sutras of Buddha, released the Monkey King from the mountain. So the Monkey King became a disciple of the Tang Monk and protected the Tang Monk along the way.

The Tang Monk is a very nice and selfless person. Even though he knew that all the demons wanted to eat him because they can obtain longevity if they consume his flesh, he was still very kind to those demons. But he was too talkative. He didn’t know what was more important. He couldn’t tell whose intention was good and whose was bad. He doesn’t have the analytic mind to tell the differences in the world. He couldn’t recognize the disguise of the demons, so he couldn’t even save himself from them. On the contrary, the monkey can tell the bad ones and the good ones. He has very sharp eyes, which were trained in the stove of the Lao Tzu god when Lao Tzu god was trying to burn him into an elixira. The monkey king is able to recognize the demons whatever their transformation.

At the beginning, the Monkey King doesn’t like the Tang Monk very much. So when the Tang Monk scolded him for killing a few robbers, the monkey king just flew back to his mountain to play with his fellow monkeys. But this monkey king has a very touching heart. The Monkey King, originally just a wild beast and just wanting his fun and freedom, got gradually moved by the human being’s feelings. He witnessed the Tang Monk’s great care for him and everyone else. He was deeply touched by it. He was going through a deeper transformation. Even though the Tang Monk laid harsh blame on him for killing the demons, he kept caring and protecting the Tang Monk.

After going through 81 tribulations together with the Tang Monk, the Monkey King finally became the fighting Buddha. He finally went beyond his strong self. He finally went beyond life and death.

The Tang Monk, after so many sufferings, also realized he needed the Monkey King to function better and more correctly to save all people. He understood how to tell the difference. He also learned to speak only when necessary. He understood the need to rely on the external resource and when to use it.

From all these, I would say that the Monkey King is actually a great Buddhism novel.

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