the ultimate zen assessment – pseudo object oriented reality…

Warning – the analogy to object oriented programming is FALSE

(if you want to see the point of this post go here)

Everything you and I perceive takes place in the mind. Your senses provide information to your mind. Your mind becomes aware of what you call reality due to information supplied by your senses which is then subsequently processed according to your established interpretative neural networks. These networks are evolved through awareness and analysis of these perceived conditions during your evolution as a perceiving, conceiving being… i.e. whatever you have experienced and then ‘made of’ these experiences.

Clearly, this involves your total historical and psychic environment. It is then clear that ‘this certain something’ that ‘you’ perceived was an interpretation of an interpretation, and was only an image of ‘the real thing’ whatever that was. This certain ‘real thing’ cannot be known absolutely. That is why great masters such as HUANG PO pointed out the ‘error’ of conceptual thought processes:

“There is no  “self”, no “other”. There is no “wrong desire,” no “anger,” no “love,” no “victory,” no “failure.” Only renounce the error of conceptual thought processes and your nature will exhibit its pristine purity-for this alone is the way to enlightenment.” HUANG PO, Wan Ling Record 24, p.86.

This ‘error’, is merely the knowing that what is perceived as ‘the truth, the Absolute Real Reality,’ even in its brute external form, as Searle would describe it, is NOT IT ITSELF. It is only ‘one interpretation of it’, and this is all we CAN KNOW. We cannot know ‘IT ITSELF’, because for us there is no ‘it itself.’ All we can know is what we perceive and then conceive through interpretation. This is relative reality and is different for all beings. This is ‘our world’… This is ‘my world’, this is ‘your world.’ This is why it is said that we ‘create the world.’ This is why there are as many cities you live in as there are perceivers of the city. There is not ‘a city’. There are no unique events.

Clearly there are ‘events’ at some level. There are earthquakes, there are floods. There are divorces. There is love. You will be hurt by the master’s stick. Yet you are the perceiver. You ‘create’ your specific take.  You create ‘your’ world. The external, the unknowable, is the CLASS which is knowable to us only as a fragment or ‘taste’. The specific, our individual  realities, are the INSTANCES.


huatou: I am the world


making alphabet marks on flat things

The ROD written language MARK-MAKING DOMAIN is another. It is different to the rod language (speech) domain because now marks that represent rods are going to be made on paper (or at least on flat things such as paper or computer screens, white boards etc.) Rods might be drawn and coloured in previously, and then real letters can be used if the children know how to form at least some of them. STRESS: you do not have to move to this particular abstract domain IN ANY HURRY, quite the opposite.

Caleb Gattegno used the following letters to represent the Cuisenaire rods:

w r g p y d b t B o

White, red, green, purple, yellow, dark green, black, tan, blue and orange.

Others have used other letters. If you want to use Gattegno’s books, it might be best to stick to these, but you don’t have too, but you do need to be consistent. As a slight aside, it is useful to provide help in forming the letters properly, because here like everywhere else, a little good direct tuition is very useful. For example, form all those letters starting at the top. This goes for the great majority of the letter and number formation in the English language. Bad habits are persistently difficult to break.

You notice that black, brown and blue start with the same letter, as do green and (dark) green. Hence the alternatives. You get a tan if you stay in the sun for a while. They mostly see that straight away, and they accept that blue could be represented by a capital letter to avoid confusion. Familiarity soon takes over. Colour blind children can apparently distinguish the colours by shades, but I have never come across a totally colour-blind person.

This ROD written language MARK-MAKING DOMAIN is where ‘other’ SIGNS might be met. So long as the child totally understands the signs all might be well, but THIS WILL NOT BE THE CASE AT FIRST. However, even if you decide to make ‘mathematical’ signs as well as the written alphabet signs there are issues you should be aware of…….for example, do you think that signs are ‘domain specific’ or not? if you claim to be a master, you should consider this.