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Thread: Creation

  1. #1

    Creation

    I have a fairly large community aquarium, well planted with tropical fish of all sizes and colours. I was just watching the fish weaving through various delicate plants..... and I got to wondering "Why?"..... why are these living animals and plants so beautiful?
    I realised then that I do not have an answer at all? This was kind of like a huge emptiness......
    Can I ask the very simple question "Why.... Just why?"

    Gassho
    Tenrai
    Sat Today

  2. #2
    My life has been centered around biodiversity, its adaptation for survival, its evolutionary path and I have never seen a creature that was not beautiful in its own way as it expressed its being...as to why...it just is and I am happy you and others share that sense too.

    Doshin
    St

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenrai View Post
    I have a fairly large community aquarium, well planted with tropical fish of all sizes and colours. I was just watching the fish weaving through various delicate plants..... and I got to wondering "Why?"..... why are these living animals and plants so beautiful?
    I realised then that I do not have an answer at all? This was kind of like a huge emptiness......
    Can I ask the very simple question "Why.... Just why?"

    Gassho
    Tenrai
    Sat Today
    Hmmm. The beauty of a flower is not in the flower alone, but in the bee that is attracted by the colors to feed, thus to enable the flower to reproduce. The result is a win/win situation for flower and bee.

    From my brief reading, the bright colors of tropical fish are "key to astoundingly complex strategies to attract mates, repel rivals and hide from predators."

    https://www.bennington.edu/sites/def...ef%20fish-.pdf

    Alas, we humans find some too beautiful which, I understand, has resulted in depletion of some species (such as "Nemo") to fill aquariums.

    It is a dog eat dog, and fish eat fist, and man capture fish world out there! Beautiful colors and patterns play a part in all of it. That is Samsara, this sometimes win/lose, live/die world. Sometimes win/win, sometimes win/lose ... maybe even sometimes lose/lose.

    Buddhism does not have one simple explanation for beauty. It only notes that beauty exists in both the beheld AND the eye of the beholder. However amazing that our human eyes evolved to be so finely tuned to the wavelengths of light, able to experience such bright colors and patterns. The bright colors and patterns do not exist without BOTH your eyes and brain AND the atoms and photons which transmit those patterns.

    This world is complex, it is all of us, people and flowers and bees and coral reefs and fish. That is the true Beauty if you ask me. The Great Win/Win.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-16-2020 at 12:03 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #4
    Hello,

    I believe that our sense of beauty has developed from our origin in nature.
    A living, thriving piece of nature is where we can survive and all is OK. So we're feeling it as beautiful and stay there.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  5. #5
    I think that although in the perfection and the beauty of the world there's still no objective beauty at all. Our sense and taste of beauty and ugly is conditioned so avoid some animals a certain type of flowers, people are attracted to different types of people with different attributes..."A" loves a kind of music and lose myself into it while "B" may be annoyed by that music.. and "a palace for fish is water for human beings...heavenly beings see water as a palace and gaki as pus and blood"..
    And still we can see the beauty of the whole scenery, the perfection and loveliness in everything, in garbage, in a single word, in one gesture, in the flowers, in the animals, in our annoying neighbor, in the loud noises of the traffic and the construction area nearby and in each moment on the cushion, beyond beauty-ness and uglyness


    Gassho

    Ben

    Stlah

    Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk

  6. #6
    I have a fairly large community aquarium, well planted with tropical fish of all sizes and colours. I was just watching the fish weaving through various delicate plants..... and I got to wondering "Why?"..... why are these living animals and plants so beautiful?
    I guess that sometimes there just doesn't need to be a reason and we can just enjoy things as they are, resting in the colours, sounds and smells of the world without needing to know why and allowing our conceptual projections to drop.

    As a biologist, like Doshin, I know that evolution has made certain organisms appear attractive to others for evolutionary reasons and can explain how and why this happens but it still doesn't explain the idea of beauty. As Horin says, it is an arbitrary and subjective concept.

    The environmental scientist James Lovelock was once asked if he had ever had a religious experience and he replied that yes, for him, life itself was a religious experience.

    If that is the case, and I believe it is, it would be a shame not to enjoy it.


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  7. #7
    Hmmmm....I don't know. One thing that strikes me from a few snorkeling experiences I've had on tropical coral reefs is that each fish has perfectly coordinated colors. Green and yellow, orange and white, black and red. They never look mismatched. Like sharp dressers or stylish football uniforms.

    Gassho
    STlah
    James

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hmmm. The beauty of a flower is not in the flower alone, but in the bee that is attracted by the colors to feed, thus to enable the flower to reproduce. The result is a win/win situation for flower and bee.

    From my brief reading, the bright colors of tropical fish are "key to astoundingly complex strategies to attract mates, repel rivals and hide from predators."


    https://www.bennington.edu/sites/def...ef%20fish-.pdf

    Alas, we humans find some too beautiful which, I understand, has resulting in depletion of some species (such as "Nemo") to fill aquariums.

    It is a dog eat dog, and fish eat fist, and man capture fish world out there! Beautiful colors and patterns play a part in all of it. That is Samsara, this sometimes win/lose, live/die world. Sometimes win/win, sometimes win/lose ... maybe even sometimes lose/lose.

    Buddhism does not have one simple explanation for beauty. It simply notes that beauty exists in both the beheld AND the eye of the beholder. However amazing that our human eyes evolved to be so finely tuned to the wavelengths of light, able to experience such bright colors and patters. The bright colors and patterns do not exist without BOTH your eyes and brain AND the atoms and photons which transmit those patterns.




    This world is complex, it is all of us, people and flowers and bees and coral reefs and fish. That is the true Beauty if you ask me. The Great Win/Win.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Jundo,

    I have always appreciated your wide knowledge and interests. I remember thinking that as we spent a day in the car seeing beauty in the Gila and the wide ranging conversation. After reading your response I thought you could have been a biologist. That is a compliment A book you might like to read to put together ideas for another of your book is The Evolution of Beauty by Richard Prum (2017). I just remembered I down loaded it a few years ago, started it and something came up. I remembered I have it somewhere in my digital library when this thread started. It would be interesting and informative to have a Zen perspective.

    Doshin
    St
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-15-2020 at 06:06 PM.

  9. #9
    Horin,

    After 70 years fascinated with nature I am still surprised when I hear someone say ”that is ugly” when I see the same life form with such admiration. So beauty is often in the eye of the beholder. I feel most comfortable and at home with those who see it similarly to me but I smile at them and try to accept their view (maybe after a few words to change their mind

    Doshin
    St

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Doshin View Post
    Horin,

    After 70 years fascinated with nature I am still surprised when I hear someone say ”that is ugly” when I see the same life form with such admiration. So beauty is often in the eye of the beholder. I feel most comfortable and at home with those who see it similarly to me but I smile at them and try to accept their view (maybe after a few words to change their mind

    Doshin
    St
    I remember my parents in law often are annoyed by the "bad weeds" and "pest plants" in their garden. I told them that for me there are no bad weeds it's just wild herbs, useful and with their own function in the nature. I like the wild nature the "chaotic" fields and forests without the interaction and maintenance of men

    Gassho

    Ben

    Stlah

    Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk

  11. #11
    As suffering is the best argument for there not being a god, beauty seems to be the best argument for a god. Yes we are contrition we
    To respond to certain environmental stimuli through evolution but why do why see beauty in sunsets or waterfalls or the mountains? Our capacity to appreciate Beaty seem linked to a quote form Pierre Teilhard de Chardin; We are the universe become conscious of itself. Plotinus and Neoplatonic mysticism is based on ascending to the absolute through contemplation of the beautiful. It can help us on that journey as well.

    Gassho
    Sat today; Jason


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    I guess that sometimes there just doesn't need to be a reason and we can just enjoy things as they are, resting in the colours, sounds and smells of the world without needing to know why and allowing our conceptual projections to drop.
    I believe that Kokuu has offered the very best response of all.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #13
    About a year ago I read a research study investigating why there is beauty in nature. (As an artist I am very interested in the concept of beauty). The researchers arrived at the conclusion that beauty was in nature for its own sake, not procreation, camouflage or any other reason.

    BEAUTY IS.

    I love that.

    Gassho
    Anne

    ~lahst~

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    I think we've gotten some beautiful answers to the question of "why".

    I propose a different question: "Who?"..... who makes these living animals and plants so beautiful?'

    I'll just leave this quote from the opening of the Dhammapada here:
    All things are preceded by the mind, led by the mind, created by the mind.



    Gassho,
    Sekishi
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  15. #15
    Tenrai,

    What a wonderful thread you started. I learned.

    Thank you
    Doshin
    St,

  16. #16
    Thank you all for your responses. What an amazing experience this life is if we are able to see the beauty around us every day.
    Reading these posts I have reflected and tend to agree with Kokuu and maybe I need to let go of the desire to explain everything and just let it be, let this world wash over me.
    Thank you for discussing this.
    Gassho 🙏 🙏 🙏
    Tenrai
    Sat today

  17. #17
    I think the answer to 'why' is because it just is.

    Something can be ugly one day and beautiful the next... or even ugly one minute and beautiful the next. If the thinking mind is running fast then comparisons and expectations take over and I can guarantee there is more ugliness in the world. If the mind is at peace then there is more beauty... but then may be it is not beauty, but just stillness?

    Gassho
    Martyn
    Sat2day

  18. #18
    I've loved this thread, especially since I've been working on the aesthetics section of my summer Intro to Philosophy class. I won't speak, though. I'll just admire its beauty. Thank you.

    Gassho,

    Hobun

    STLAH

    Sent from my SM-T387AA using Tapatalk

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Martpr72 View Post
    ...
    Something can be ugly one day and beautiful the next... or even ugly one minute and beautiful the next. If the thinking mind is running fast then comparisons and expectations take over and I can guarantee there is more ugliness in the world. If the mind is at peace then there is more beauty... but then may be it is not beauty, but just stillness?
    This is all true, and in our Zen Way, we encounter a Beauty which holds all human beauty and ugliness ... all shining through with Light. And yet, it is also true that beauty is very beautiful, and ugliness is sometimes very ugly.

    There were two talks on beauty and ugliness recently ... the first one intended to cause a bit of revulsion ...

    We're All In This Together (21) - ugly is Beautiful
    .
    Not everything is beautiful (little "b") in our little village, not at all.

    Adjacent to Treeleaf and the old temple is an old dump, ugly and dangerous. With our human eye, we see it as ugly and something to fix. We should clean it up, make it better.

    With a Buddha's Eye, we encounter even the ugly as Beautiful (Big "B"), Shining, Nothing Lacking and Nothing to Fix.

    Likewise for all the ugly or scary things of life, all of which can be encountered with both Eyes open at once.

    With both Eyes open, let's clean it up, even though it shines as a jewel.

    We're All In This Together (22) - beautiful is Beautiful
    .
    Yesterday I said that even the ugly places of the world shine with a certain Light and Beauty to the wise heart.


    But, in fact, as beautiful Zen gardens, art and temple altars show, worldly beauty is also Light and Beauty ...


    ... and much more nurturing of a beautiful human heart.


    .
    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Jundo's thoughts and images of ugliness-beauty inspired me this morning after I sat zanaenkai. I rarely share such things, but I thought the discussion here might warrant this:


    Ugly

    I have great compassion for junk,
    For the objects that are ugly
    Through no fault of their own:
    On its bent rim, the gashed tire
    Bleeds tiny threads of steel;
    Undulating strips of tin
    Cross themselves with jagged ends;
    The deep-fridge, its lid arrested in rising,
    Touches the scuffed desk
    Piled with diapers;
    Roaches, rat shit, razors,
    Chairs with broken backs and legs,
    Shining needles straight as pine,
    All these oddities and endings,
    I absolve your ugliness;
    There are hands and eyes enough to blame
    That fashioned you and broke you
    And brought you here and keep you,
    But I absolve your ugliness.
    In sunshine, in moonlight,
    In dew, in frost, in rust and rot.
    I hold you in your beauty.
    Eyes of my eyes, let us be
    Open together.

    Gassho,

    Hobun

    STLAH
    Last edited by Michael Joseph; 05-17-2020 at 06:11 PM. Reason: forgot to gassho and give a name

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Joseph View Post
    Jundo's thoughts and images of ugliness-beauty inspired me this morning after I sat zanaenkai. I rarely share such things, but I thought the discussion here might warrant this:


    Ugly

    I have great compassion for junk,
    For the objects that are ugly
    Through no fault of their own:
    On its bent rim, the gashed tire
    Bleeds tiny threads of steel;
    Undulating strips of tin
    Cross themselves with jagged ends;
    The deep-fridge, its lid arrested in rising,
    Touches the scuffed desk
    Piled with diapers;
    Roaches, rat shit, razors,
    Chairs with broken backs and legs,
    Shining needles straight as pine,
    All these oddities and endings,
    I absolve your ugliness;
    There are hands and eyes enough to blame
    That fashioned you and broke you
    And brought you here and keep you,
    But I absolve your ugliness.
    In sunshine, in moonlight,
    In dew, in frost, in rust and rot.
    I hold you in your beauty.
    Eyes of my eyes, let us be
    Open together.
    Excellent verse! very good!

    bows
    Anne

    ~lahst~

  22. #22
    I am currently doing drawings of sticks. Old, dead, gnarled sticks with bark disintegrating and broken branches... I think they are beautiful.
    It is a matter of looking closely.

    gassho
    Anne

    ~lahst~

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperix View Post
    Excellent verse! very good!

    bows
    Anne

    ~lahst~
    Thank you, Anne.

    Gassho,

    Hobun

    STLAH

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Joseph View Post
    Jundo's thoughts and images of ugliness-beauty inspired me this morning after I sat zanaenkai. I rarely share such things, but I thought the discussion here might warrant this:


    Ugly

    I have great compassion for junk,
    For the objects that are ugly
    Through no fault of their own:
    On its bent rim, the gashed tire
    Bleeds tiny threads of steel;
    Undulating strips of tin
    Cross themselves with jagged ends;
    The deep-fridge, its lid arrested in rising,
    Touches the scuffed desk
    Piled with diapers;
    Roaches, rat shit, razors,
    Chairs with broken backs and legs,
    Shining needles straight as pine,
    All these oddities and endings,
    I absolve your ugliness;
    There are hands and eyes enough to blame
    That fashioned you and broke you
    And brought you here and keep you,
    But I absolve your ugliness.
    In sunshine, in moonlight,
    In dew, in frost, in rust and rot.
    I hold you in your beauty.
    Eyes of my eyes, let us be
    Open together.

    Gassho,

    Hobun

    STLAH
    Oh, yes, this is the point! BEAUTIFUL poem about ugly! Said so well.

    Hobun, may I cite this and paste it to accompany the video talk?

    Lovely.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Oh, yes, this is the point! BEAUTIFUL poem about ugly! Said so well.

    Hobun, may I cite this and paste it to accompany the video talk?

    Lovely.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Jundo,

    Please do so. I would be honored. Thank you.

    Gassho,

    Hobun

    STLAH

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk

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