Yoshizen's Blog


HEALTH  WARNING : In this post, some description may give you a distress.

———————————-Anybody squeamish, may better avoid reading this.

With a release of a film depicting a man cut off his own arm to survive, when he was trapped under fallen rock

—– many more stories of the people who did the same has been appearing in the media.

To face such dreadful incredible situation, how human psyche works, became a topics of the neuroscientists

and the pain researchers.

And the scientists discovered an interesting phenomenon that the mind-set can control the pain.


The man actually cut off his arm and  freed himself described the moment  ” There was amazingly not

much feeling or pain, hence able to sever the fresh and the bone with cool conscious,  as if it was just a

preparation of meat for a BBQ ”

A pain research lab did an experiment and found how human brain process the pain signals with heavy

involvement of the emotion, and found the emotional preconception influence the intensity of the pain.

If the emotion was cut off, in another word, dispassionate, even a pain signal doesn’t reach to the Brain.

( As a matter of fact, I did this to deal with my toothache.  Since I don’t take any medication, neither Dentist’s.

I just accepted the pain as if I were born with it.  So, there wasn’t a pain.

But able to do this resulted, no teeth left. —– sound awful isn’t it   You may say, it’s not Middle Way though,

it was not any extreme.  Simply there wasn’t a pain to endure.  It was just another day. 😀  )

But with exaggerated emotion and the fear, even the same stimuli can give far more pain.

———- These facts signify and prove the Phenomenon in the Zen Buddhism.

Preconception adjust the body’s physiology, such as rising Adrenalin level, hence heart rate etc, ready to

encounter the critical situation, but so often the case, it over shoots, setting the tension too high and making

a feeling and sensitivity to the pain even higher, then even creating an exaggerated image to be a miserable

victim etc, and making the life even more dreadful.

In the opposite case, if a man contemplated the situation and totally accept it and able to see that

” There is no way left and it is no use to complain or fight against it “ —– This absolute mind-set

(in Buddhist term, Mindfulness ) and absolute dispassion ( Mushin ), would even block the pain, and makes

the man to see the situation in cool head.    ( Because no emotion clouding the eyes )

This mind-set is —– as it involves the control of the emotion, it situated in the Old-Cortex deep in the brain,

right next to the Hippocampus, Limbic System, with its close proximity, it affects the physiology too.

The mind makes you to get ill, but in the other hand, it can alleviate your pain and misery as well.

—– Repeated Buddhism practice will make you to get lid of useless thoughts, and

the state of the no mind = Mushin  makes you to do the job dispassionately and efficiently.

—– Once you master this, you can free your mind in any situation.  You are no longer a prisoner of  Emotion.

You don’t need to learn this when you are facing life or death situation. —– So, buy Buddhism now, while

you can, while you are in Peace. —– It never cost you  for your arms and legs  😀


PS:  No,no. The photo above is nothing to do with the story.  The beautifully tattooed DNA pattern is

—-my  friend  Michael’s very active healthy arm.  Photo was just happened to be in my album and

—-going to be published in a book, collection of the Scientific Tattoo.

—-I haven’t asked him how much pain he had to endure though, I think it wasn’t much anyway  😀

—- ( It only scratched the skin, —–  never went to the bone ! )

Return of Chilean Miner

The return of Chilean Miner is one of the most extraordinary story in resent human history.

It was an exceptional raw human endurance, and the typical technological solution of today.

( I have no idea, how to drill a hole into solid granite and hit the target 2,000 feet away.  What sort of

guiding / detecting system, technology there.  When Doctor insert a probe through blood vessel, he can

see it by X-ray image, even in 3D.  Though, can Radar does the same function towards under ground ? )

That is why the Chileans are so proud of its achievement. ” We can do this “.

In Buddhist’s view it was also the proof of that the Buddha’s insight was bang right.

——- You might say, no, they are the devoted Catholic that’s why God saved them.

I’m talking  not about their God,  but the Universal Dharma / fundamental nature of Human Psyche.

Even though,  their motivation to go down the notorious hell mine is derived by the better money

than the other safer mine,  in other words greed and the ego,  yet still,  if they couldn’t overcome

much more fundamental ego / survival instinct / fear of the death = negation of the self,  they

couldn’t go down to the hell in the first place.

Without this State of Non-self /  Anatman, they couldn’t keep the discipline / diligently follow their

leader / foreman and managed to keep peace in the utterly desperate condition.

If they were just greedy egoist,  there could be easily the fight over the food ( can you imagine, just

one spoonful of tuna fish per day,  under the utterly uncertainty of the fate, for 17 days ).

If , Survival of Fittest was the rule, some of them, much stronger than the leader, could have broken off

and took all the food only for them —— but no such fight occurred.

They had accepted the fate,  there could be the possibility of all of them may die, one by one,  still

without fallen into the madness facing the coming death,  play together and kept Hope

—– waited, and waited, —— 17 days ! ! !

This is nothing but the typical sample of the  Buddhism Paradox / The one

who survived was the one who accepted the death. Non-self is really the key of the survival.

And the Non-self was the foundation of the charity / kindness / compassion —— so, they helped

weakest, and  ALL 33 survived together and came out the hell.

It was not the Dharma helped them.

They followed and kept the rules of the Dharma / they are the Dharma.

( You may say,  why non-Buddhist could know and follow the Dharma —– Dharma is the universal Rule

therefore it rules every body, and all the human being has it in them, whether a person aware of it or not )



Life to be Artists

I’ve received a question from a keen reader of this blog / Jaganathan, who is

creating / developing  fancy program of creating even fancier sound, out of computer.


anyway id like your thoughts or a blog post 🙂 Why do many artists end

up depressed, do drugs, kill themselves.  And how to keep doing good

work irrespective of whether it is a success or failure.  How do

continue doing sincere work even if nobody gives a sit.


In anyone’s life,  to see what is the success, having many facets —— Financial ?, Social recognition ?,

Historical importance ?, Personal Pride and Confidence ?, Made people happy and became local Hero ?

All those may satisfy the ego.  But in reality, before think about success, most acute needs are to survive.


When I finished hi-school and chose the direction and Uni’, I hated to go to science and technology side

as I didn’t want to be enslaved by the technology —– I’ve applied to Art College.  Though I was told by

the member of  Alpine Club in that College  “Want to become Sculptor ?  Oh no, even studied in here,

its impossible to live on the sculpture.  You may end-up an art teacher in a junior school or a craftsman

making dummy for the shop” —– What a hopeless situation. I gave up and next year I went to a Uni’

where we don’t need to fix the direction / Faculty / Major  for the first year —– then end up to take

Sociology by accident.  Before apply the Art College, an art teacher told me ” The success rate of

top Art College ( Where I wanted to go) is about 50%, and the other would be less than 10% ”  here

success mean, able to live / survive on the skill or the art which was studied in the college.

This was the time, Art was the traditional Art, long before such as Conceptual  Art became main stream.

Art is a very subjective commodity.   Commodity mean, the objects which can be sold and owned.

Though, when the type of art, and the educational direction has changed to the Pure Art and a theory

of Conceptual Art, sellable art became the dirty word as it is Commercial / Crafty, to live on

the Art become even harder. Who want to buy a pile of dung / (said to be) conceptual art installation. 😀

——- So, the question of Jaganathan is a little bit out of time or not a kind of the matter to rise a question.

Depressed, infested by Drug, kill oneself or even kill others —– may not be anything unusual.  😀

Even worse, as the art education is aiming to the concept, not the skill, actually no skilled useless persons

were flooded to the labour market ( it include the Media study as well).

Under such situation, if any artist want to have satisfying life should better take Buddhist’s paradox.

Forget success, forget recognition, forget financial reward and just make own art —– but perfect one.

Perfect Art would hit the guts feeling of the others. It impress the people and make their mouth shut.

——- so-called success will follow. ( But, as long as the one is hoping and expecting the day will come, with

ego and greed there will be no perfect art or success. —— in this aspects, Dharma is very harsh )

So that, so-called  Positive thinking, or Keep your hope live etc etc are all but just the sweet words.

The Buddhist Mushin is the very strict term, if not perfect, it would be all in vain.

If Jaganathan is developing new program, if it is exciting enough, he could be absorbed into its work,

he couldn’t be disturbed by useless thought —— its mean, he needs to make his work interesting,

important enough —– here, crucial inspiration, key idea which he may get it in the Blank Space

may become decisive factor.  So, to see its new idea, in complete open mind / Mushin holding the key.

( Here, chicken and the egg,  Exciting project absorbs person’s mind and make him into Mushin, though

to get exciting idea need to have Mushin —– shut up, just start.    Ha ha ha. 😀 )

——- So, how about, take a walk, —— Do a Walking Zen and get Mushin first  🙂




Posted in Buddhism, Emotion, Evolution of Brain, Evolution of Mind, Mind, Subconsciousness by yoshizen on January 23, 2010

We tend to simplify the Notion, such as the Emotion, like thinking it as if it is only the feelings,  Sadness,

Joy, Anger etc—– just see as an indicator of the mind, thus totally missing the point of  its function behind.

The part of the brain which is dealing with Emotion is known as Limbic System,  which situated under

side of the Cerebrum, and just above the Thalamus where body functions were kept controlled.


Structurally, this part of the brain is the older or original part in the evolutionary scale ( sometime its called

Old Cortex ) therefore common  with other simpler animal.

(less number of Neural layers indicates this too ——primitive hence it is fundamental to the Life)

So, what is this Limbic System is doing as the main function.

Its function is to Assess the incoming signal (Information / Data ) according to the Self-interests.

Self interest is largely, the instinct of survival and own comfort. —— its mean, Ego.

( Though, highly developed human’s case, this ” Own comfort” include the feeling of  Achievement ——

of which target may not necessary immediately link to his or her own gain, and it can be very spiritual )


And the action which was triggered by a stimulus such as a visual signal of the danger,

the evading action has to be continued for a certain length of the time, (just out of vision  wouldn’t be enough)

it has to be kept by the chemical effects.———- (So, Adrenalin is high, tension is kept high )

Since the Limbic System is directly linked to Tharamus,  effects are mostly Physiological,and the

secondary Psychological effects must be a later development,  or even a cultural development and

the result of the Conditioning.  (When to laugh or get angry etc are depend on the Culture, so that

small children don’t have same Emotion.  They need to lean the manner,  how to react and should  feel !!!).

Programing of ” How One has to Feel”— is the basis of the development of  HUMAN like  human.

This is what we call ” ETHOS” —– since, it is in Emotion / Uncontrollable—– hence Imperative.

( Carl Jung called this ” Collective Unconsciousness”  though it is only the end result. He didn’t know why )

( Most of the people know only their own culture and  own emotion—– so, not aware of this)


To see a news “A boy was rescued after 8 days” may trigger an Emotion ” How lucky this Boy is” and

feel a joy,  or dreaded with a thought ” What a poor boy to spend 8 days next to the Death” —– is

depend on each personality,  still this news gave significant impression to both person —– as it

triggered their Emotion,  but if it didn’t trigger the Emotion,  this news couldn’t

even be noticed / insignificant Data to the person.

Even an exciting signal source such as a sexy object (person) may become boring subject after a while.

( Hence, ” Seven  Years  Itch” —— 🙂   )

———- Emotional perception is very subjective, hence changeable.  So the importance of the Data as well.

Selfless (so-called) is to handle the signal while  being Apathic to the Emotional Bias, which

bore out of the Ego or deluded idea.

And giving no significant weight to any signal, and treat all the incoming signal impartial is

The Open Mind. ( Sociologist’s Value Free )

Emotion is the part of Self-conscious feeling,  noticeable side-effects of the Limbic activity.

Before the Large Brain / Cerebrum evolved and took over the Decision making process,  this part of the

Brain handled the thinking function / assess the Data and decision making. —– Important fact is, its still

doing  this subconsciously —– Hence it makes  Double Layer System .

( Emotional feeling  may started like an  Allergic Symptom to alert the individual.)


In metaphor, the incoming signals were assessed and directed to each door. (One is a Trash bin)

And this signal leaving each foot print.—– Some of them might make very muddy big foot print,

even splashing sticky muddy water all around.  ( Emotionally drenched. It’s a mess.    😦   )

Buddhism is making this signal to tread quietly, leaving minimum foot print and the noise.

When the foot step become  silent,  the Buddhist can hear the minute sound behind.

And some experienced Buddhists can even re-direct the signal and prevent it goes into the

door of House of Horror.   —— (Shame, screaming Horror House may be quite exciting and fun   😀 )

Origin of Mind

” Here I’ll explain how the Mind evolved and structured / in my Hypothesis “

My understanding of the structure of the human mind took the form coinciding with

the understanding of  “How Buddhism works”.

So, they were developed in a two-way traffic.  “Assuming, if the Buddhism works, the mind

needs to have such and such structure” in the same time “If the mind have such structure,

Buddhism must be working in this way”.  So that it was like working on a Zigsaw Puzzle

which got the fuzzy pictures on both side.  I might be wrong, hence it is a Hypothesis, yet still

so far the Buddhism picture seemed to fit well, therefore the other side should work as well.

( This is a quick summery of it, as somebody said, a blog got to be in 100 word to be read by others)


In any life form, selfish Ego is the fundamental of its instinct, to eat, to sleep, avoid the pain are

all for the survival of the Self.   Sex is in its extension toward the extended time scale.

In the simple organism, those activities was often programmed chemically, so that in that level,

the boundary between physiology  and the instinctive activity is rather vague, still  its indicate

the deepest origin of even highly developed organism, like a  mind of humankind today.

When the life form evolved and started to have a complexed behaviour, more than an instant reaction,

(with supporting nervous system and information process power,  which we call intelligence )

even a simple animal start to have each distinctive behavioral pattern.


In order to make sure own survival, they start to act more proactive, selecting suitable environment,

seeking better hunting ground, picking the sign of danger and avoid a direct encounter etc by fully

utilizing its  intelligence—– in other words, use memories and the knowledges for the necessary decision.

And this decision can be projected in the time scale as well, to the future, such as to avoid possible

danger or wait a play to come, even sense the change of  weather from the sign to seek the shelter.

Its mean, they not only see an object in their front but also able to imagine which has not appeared  yet.

( Incidentally,  I used this idea to define the level of life organism to social organization, how high it is evolved,

by measuring the length of the projected time scale, such as an action to catch a play with a fraction of a

second projection,  to years long development plan of the Government —— in the Thesis for my Degree)

So, it is safe to say, even a simple animal having abstracted cognitive  notion and its future projection.


In my view,  originally the emotion seems to have developed to support this projection by preparing the

physiological condition of the body with the appropriate hormone balance.——- (Since it is a chemical

based effect, it last longer and deep.  And hard to control by any logical persuasion.  Therefore

it may need to remove the cause in the first place ——and this is what the Buddhism is doing)


During the process of evolution, the human brain not only increased its size but also the amount of

informations stored, and more importantly, it acquired the sorting and filing systems as well.

Same kind of informations or data will be filed in close association or as a group.

And later, each group started to have an own  [Tag ] which is the abstract notion of the contents,

such as fish, bird, hot or color red (which include 100s of hue) etc.  (note; it’s not yet by the word)

This abstracted  notion was the essential for the omnivores mankind’s survival, for them

to know which is the kind to chase, otherwise run for life, before actuary encounter face to face.

And with the development of the notion, it enabled the brain to have a process of the information purely

from the memory with its own cause, and also give the category to each vague feelings.

Those ability lead to the development of the internally generated signal flow and the process.

—–This is the birth of the Mind.

( On this stage, it would be functioning like, the one came across a dead snake, first alerted with fear,

then moment later, as realizing it is dead, start to play it with stick,  even try to carry back.——this is a

highly complexed behavior involving inference, further observation,  judgement—-there is the Mind )


When the human brain further evolved and acquired the language, those Notion [ Tag ] was

given each Name or the Word such as Fish or Bird, Good, Cold, etc etc.

And with further development, when human started to form social system, the linguistic

communication become the essential  tool for the survival.

On the end, the human intellectual system, based on the linguistic Notion ( Thinking ) started to

have the dominance in their Mind, and even created purely abstructic System of Notion, such as

Idearism, Metaphysical Notion, the God, even a Deluded Idea. etc etc.

(Which may completely remote from the life’s reality —-and the two systems started to alienate )

In the same time, this Notion based system has masked all the original information system which

had been evolved from the time of primitive life and containing most of the fundamental rules of the life.

Which is Buddhist calls as the Dharma. —– And this hidden [ Primary  System ] is the Subconscious.


The paradox is, even though most of the mental process was carried out subconsciously, as the

neural net work such as sensory nerve are connected to the [ Primary System ] first, yet still, as

the display unit is the very [ Conscious System ] we wrongly believe that the Mind is in our Conscious.

It is exactly the same misunderstanding that the display or monitor screen is the TV.    🙂

(As the Mind has such multilayered structure, we need to uncover layer by layer to find the Dharma.

——and this is what the Buddhism’s practice for)

In the same historical origin, the Self having multi layered structure too.  (such as Ego, inner Self )


(Copy righted by Yoshi Imamura / 2010 )

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