Skip to content


May 4, 2010

Screens. We all experience and see the world through them–effortlessly (so we think)–consciously and unconsciously. They both enable us to see/experience/feel/hear/think/create and at the same time (can) obstruct those very things. Limitation enables and blinds perception. It’s part of living in the realm of time and space, part of being human. Yet screens can be violent by what they obscure, overlook, refuse to acknowledge, refuse to let in. How does one live a path that acknowledges limitation and accepts frames and screens…but doesn’t do violence by/to what is obscured, left out?


6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2010 12:06 am

    Limitation – had not seen that aspect of the matter, before, not consciously at least.

    I believe I’ve seen that idealistic attachments, during subconscious interpretation of observations, will naturally lend bias into observation of nature, so much that the original observations would effectively dissolve, leaving only the remnants of observation skewed in attachment. I believe it is not as if we could not be truly objective, but that we subconsciously prevent ourselves from being so.

    That it the “skewing”, as such, could be regarded as an effect of limitation, rather than as an affect merely of willful mind, I think that lends some essential depth to the understanding of the matter. So, it is not as if it all ended with willfulness, but rather that willfulness arises out of limitation. Will have to think on this matter of limitation – very intriguing.

    I offer my apologies for any sense of opacity, in my response – thinking out loud, as it were.

    • May 5, 2010 9:45 am

      I loved this response! I like to “watch” people thinking and I feel honored by the engagement with the work. 🙂 Limitation and its understanding are fascinating things that have real effects in the world. I always wonder if there’s a way to think of finitude and its necessary “skewing” as not skewing at all (the fact we are not gods placed outside the world should not make us think of things as being skewed). But then there are things that are definitely “skewed” in obvious bias or whatever. Where this comes from (ex.–growing up in a culture in which one never “sees” the lens of subtle racism/sexism/etc. through which one judges the world)–how much of that is part of being human in community with others (and an accident of fate, where one is born, etc.) and cannot be avoided completely–and how much “willful” (individual?) mind is an interesting question.

      • May 6, 2010 3:19 pm

        Personally, I believe that skewing is skewing — identity principle, A=A — but that it does not need to be attached to, whether for sake of ephemeral emotion or anything else, in perception of nature.

        From what I believe I’ve understood, in reading the writings (or rather, translations thereof) of teachings of some old Zen monks such as Bassui (cf: Mud and Water) and Dogen (cf: Shobogenzo) it seems to appear that, while emotion happens, naturally, but to be attached to emotion is not the uphill road – nor to be mindless detached, either.

        It may seem that they suggest the pursuit of a state of non-willful, mindful mind – such that I believe may be referred to as Kensho, or Dharma Mind, or Zazen, or Enlightenment, or any other term that would seem to apply – though not for the sake of achievement, insomuch, but rather for the effects of overcoming the attachments and delusions, as it were, that mind can introduce into life – that is, in my own naive way of trying to explain what I think I see of it, myself.

        I don’t do a lot of sitting meditation, but I try to pick something up from reading, now and again.

  2. May 5, 2010 8:54 pm

    I often think of perception as veiled by transparent layers… either we are aware of the transparencies and strain to remove them to see what is purely real (though the limitations of the mind never completely permit this), or are oblivious to them and are comfortable with what we think we know – perhaps confused if a transparency or two is removed… Makes me think of the recent work I did in class on Plato’s ‘Allegory of the Cave’!

    Love it, Melissa. You are one aware! : )

    • May 9, 2010 11:05 pm

      Thanks for the comparison to the Allegory of the Cave! (I am happy now. 🙂 I like your analogy–the transparent layers. The interesting question is always what makes us finally realize that we’ve been seeing through a veil (whichever layer)…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: