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What I learned, week 1

Posting today because I'll be out all day tomorrow.

Well! First, I learned that there's lots of different levels of things that count as learning. There's learning interesting facts--like, courtesy of frigg, that jackals can be found in Denmark. I did not know that and would never have guessed it.

Danish Jackal (source)


Then there's learning that's more like realization. Here's one of those, from this past week:

The tall one and I were talking about perceiving things truly--getting beyond illusion to see the man behind the curtain, or whatever. I was thinking about a line in Miyazawa Kenji's Ginga tetsudō no yoru, where the main character gets beyond "true reality" to "truly true reality." But talking with the tall one just then, it seemed to me that peeling off layers of illusion to get to what's truly true is like peeling layers of an onion--you're not really getting at anything more real.1

Why? Because (it seemed to me) you bump up against the limitations of your own flesh, your own circuitry and history and tendencies, and no meditation or prayer or mind-altering substance can get you away from what you inherently are. Depending on your religion or philosophical persuasion, there are different ways of acknowledging this and dealing with it. In the end, it seems to me that we need to just live, without too much concern about illusion or our own curbed vision. The world is open to us in its completeness, regardless of our limitations.

Ogres, on the other hand, can have layers



1 Since I'm incapable of saying anything without caveats, I have to add that obviously sometimes there are illusions or untruth that you *can* penetrate through, and you *can* suffer from misperceptions that it's good to clear up. What I'm saying is pointless is a sort of inward-focused continual search for a truer truth.

Comments

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
queenoftheskies
Jan. 7th, 2017 05:18 pm (UTC)
That Danish jackal looks a lot like a coyote.

I think people are capable at getting through to the truth/true reality at some points in their lives, but not in others, depending on their current situation.

But, sometimes, people seem to want more than just the truth/true reality, don't they, and seek more?
asakiyume
Jan. 7th, 2017 05:22 pm (UTC)
People certainly sometimes want in a generalized way. Sometimes it's good to probe what that's all about, but I think that direction has limitations.
queenoftheskies
Jan. 7th, 2017 05:23 pm (UTC)
Definitely.
xjenavivex
Jan. 7th, 2017 05:19 pm (UTC)

Brilliant observations

asakiyume
Jan. 7th, 2017 05:24 pm (UTC)
I'm glad they resonate!
yamamanama
Jan. 7th, 2017 05:36 pm (UTC)
I never would have thought that.
asakiyume
Jan. 7th, 2017 06:03 pm (UTC)
Thought which? That jackals could be found in Denmark?
yamamanama
Jan. 7th, 2017 06:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I looked at a map of where they're located and nothing really close aside from a few isolated pockets in the Baltic states.
asakiyume
Jan. 7th, 2017 06:09 pm (UTC)
Speaking of the Baltic states, see below!
nipernaadiagain
Jan. 7th, 2017 05:38 pm (UTC)
Jackals have also made it into Estonia in recent years.

At first the scientists thought the first specimens got into Estonia as illegal pets or something like that. But no, they have migrated thorough Ukraine on their own (according to their genes)

Edited to ad link to story in English:

https://retrieverman.net/tag/estonian-jackal/

Edited at 2017-01-07 05:41 pm (UTC)
asakiyume
Jan. 7th, 2017 06:05 pm (UTC)
Wonderful story--yes, they seem very like coyotes in the Americas in their adaptability to all sorts of climates. I had always thought of them as hot-climate creatures, but clearly not! I like that they went by the name of "reed wolves" in Hungary.
heleninwales
Jan. 7th, 2017 05:54 pm (UTC)
Your reflection is very perceptive and seems to be similar to the Buddhist insight that "all five skandhas are empty".

And courtesy of your post, I have now also learned that there are jackals in Denmark, which I never would have expected.
asakiyume
Jan. 7th, 2017 06:08 pm (UTC)
The thing I came away with--at this moment, anyway (and can you call it learning something when it's subject to change? Not sure...)--is that you have to stand on your reality at some point, however illusory it may be or however blind you may be and just take it from there.

Yeah! I was so surprised about the jackals.
sovay
Jan. 7th, 2017 08:03 pm (UTC)
like, courtesy of frigg, that jackals can be found in Denmark. I did not know that and would never have guessed it.

I had no idea! That's great. Are they native to the region or just migrating?

What I'm saying is pointless is a sort of inward-focused continual search for a truer truth.

I'm not sure that it hurts to keep making the effort to see, to the best of your ability, what's really there rather than your fears or fantasies or other forms of misperception. I agree it is unlikely that there is a single solid truth at the bottom of it, except for things like the laws of physics (and our constantly revising understanding of them). And people who try to disclaim responsibility on the grounds that nothing is real anyway are in fact just being assholes.
asakiyume
Jan. 8th, 2017 03:58 am (UTC)
I'm not sure that it hurts to keep making the effort to see, to the best of your ability, what's really there

I think I'm trying to draw a distinction between meaningful exploration and something that's like chasing a will-o-the-wisp. I certainly wouldn't want some outsider deciding which is which for me, and I'm definitely willing to let other people judge that for themselves--and hey, even if it is a will-o-the-wisp, maybe you're in the mood to give it chase, and if so, fine. Just, you know how sometimes an outsider can sometimes see something like a drinking problem, which a person themself isn't able to see? So, similarly, I think sometimes people can get lost in a house of mirrors of ever deeper, truer reveals, and maybe they can be invited to just stop the pursuit. But if they say no, I'm onto something profound and real, then okay.

Regarding the jackals, the linked article suggested it's a return of jackals after an absence of 200 years, which seems to indicate they used to be there. It seems as if in recent centuries they've been limited to southern Europe and the Balkans, but maybe they're reasserting themselves.

sovay
Jan. 8th, 2017 07:05 am (UTC)
So, similarly, I think sometimes people can get lost in a house of mirrors of ever deeper, truer reveals, and maybe they can be invited to just stop the pursuit.

For me, the house of mirrors feels like the idea that there is one unambiguous, universal truth under all the deceptions of the world—that feels like the kind of lure for which people would overlook or discard perfectly useful, smaller or specific revelations just because they're not the one big all-encompassing theory of everything.

It seems as if in recent centuries they've been limited to southern Europe and the Balkans, but maybe they're reasserting themselves.

That's incredibly cool. Go, jackals, reclaim the lands of your ancestors.
asakiyume
Jan. 8th, 2017 12:39 pm (UTC)
For me, the house of mirrors feels like the idea that there is one unambiguous, universal truth under all the deceptions of the world—that feels like the kind of lure for which people would overlook or discard perfectly useful, smaller or specific revelations

--Yeah: I feel this way too.

Go, jackals, reclaim the lands of your ancestors.

--Team jackal for the win!
frigg
Jan. 8th, 2017 05:29 pm (UTC)
lol... I believe the jackals are a new species in Denmark - at least according to the articles here.

Unlike the wolves who were deliberately hunted to extinction here with the last one being shot in 1813, ending 13,000 years of wolves in Denmark. Quite disgusting. Hopefully we can learn to live with them this time round.
asakiyume
Jan. 9th, 2017 04:59 am (UTC)
Ahh, my misunderstanding--I thought the 200 years referred to the jackals' absence, but it was the wolves!
sartorias
Jan. 7th, 2017 10:43 pm (UTC)
There are times when I think people are mixing truth with order.
asakiyume
Jan. 8th, 2017 03:58 am (UTC)
That definitely seems possible.
amaebi
Jan. 8th, 2017 02:12 pm (UTC)
...and, after all, some people go about naked, or largely so.
asakiyume
Jan. 9th, 2017 05:07 am (UTC)
Meaning, not with layers of distractions-from-reality on them?
amaebi
Jan. 9th, 2017 01:06 pm (UTC)
Just that, yes.
amaebi
Jan. 9th, 2017 01:08 pm (UTC)
Hey, did you ever read Charlotte Armstrong's novella, "The One-Faced Girl"?
asakiyume
Jan. 9th, 2017 01:29 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid not! (One of these days, there's going to be a happy moment when you ask, and I say yes.)
amaebi
Jan. 9th, 2017 01:38 pm (UTC)
You have read oodles and oodles of stuff, and I have read oodles and oodles of old popular fiction. :D
asakiyume
Jan. 9th, 2017 01:40 pm (UTC)
This way, we both build up lists of interesting things to read ;-)
amaebi
Jan. 9th, 2017 02:20 pm (UTC)
I need a sisyphus icon
...but I bet you're as much in need of More List as I am. :D
frigg
Jan. 8th, 2017 05:17 pm (UTC)
Ah, and this is where I also tell you that a crested porcupine was hit by a car and killed - less than two weeks ago in Northern Jutland.

The animal was well-fed and it's not the first time they have been spotted in the area - so it's not a matter of a single lone animal escaping from somewhere, but unlike the jackal, the crested porcupine really has no business running around wild in Denmark.
asakiyume
Jan. 9th, 2017 05:00 am (UTC)
Who knows what will appear next! Tell me if a dragon is reported.
frigg
Jan. 9th, 2017 11:04 am (UTC)
Ha! I'm sure a dragon would be considered an invasive species. ;)
saimans
Jan. 9th, 2017 03:39 pm (UTC)
And you heard the howling jackals when they see your campfire and a twinkle in their eyes, Good that they are on the roofs can't climb....

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )

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