Site Headlines

Please scroll down for posts on main page...

WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

Most popular posts Recommended reading
Meet another hero - but he's not allowed to vote WA Governor's Race Saga
The Heroes of India Company United Nations - Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud
WA Governor's Race: EXTRA EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT! Wisconsin Vote Fraud
One day in Fallujah Bioethics
Diktat summons Simplicio 'Science'? What's that?
Harsh Conditions Japan


WWW Pull On Superman's Cape
Superman's product of the century (so far):

October 24, 2005
Kyoto: Kokedera (Part 8)
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan, Photography


I descended from the upper garden into the main temple complex - but I wasn't ready for this visit to be 'over'...


I really wanted to more fully grasp this place - it was obviously suffused with meaning - but how much could I understand what these priests intended to convey with more than 600 years to work at it?


This is the way out. Not going there.


'Outside' of the moss gardens proper, things look a bit more conventional. What's the difference?


Closer to the lower garden - something begins to change. Is it the light?


Is it the shape of the plantings? The increasing coverage of the ground?


Why do they command the water and force such discipline on it?


Is there some order to the placements of the plantings and the stones?


Why is the 'entry' hidden behind maple foliage?


What have these Zen masters thought about for so long?


What is the sudden sense of immersion that happens as soon as I enter the garden?


What shapes these views?


What stirs the innate sense of beauty within us?


How can it engage us for so long?


Why does the water seem like a solid surface?


Since I was here a little while ago - what has happened to the light? Where has it moved?


Why are my eyes drawn to a different place?


Where did that spotlight come from? And why didn't I see that one before?


How did this change? And what is so different about it?


Has the moss changed color?


I look to the left - see the panoply of dark and light...


Turn about 45 degrees to the right...


And 45 degrees again...


And once more - to complete a 180 degree panorama - it speaks. What does it say?


What emanates?


What reflects?


Will these stones speak?


Is there writing on the water?


Or the moss?


A voice comes from behind me: "We have others coming. You must leave the garden. Please go."


I leave by the maple gate. It is time to say goodbye to Kokedera. I will not forget this place.

I do not know all of the answers to the questions that I've asked - those that have come to me. I've figured out a few things.

The lower garden was built so that the ponds 'write' the ancient Chinese character (SHIN) for the word 'heart' among the plantings.


The lower garden is the 'garden of the heart'. Everything about it is designed to engage the emotions - to 'pull at your heartstrings'. It is to be viewed from every angle and it invites whoever contemplates it to open up their hearts to receive enlightenment. For me, it is the single most beautiful evidence of the natural truths underlying the knowledge of the Zen masters. It is what a group of individuals who have the time (over 600 years so far) and focus can communicate to the world in this subtle yet profound way.

I further discovered something else as I have worked with these photos since. The net of it is that - within the garden - the photos are optically 'flat'. Remember, I took all of these without a tripod - but I got reasonable exposure times. As I processed the photos outside of the garden they had what I would consider to be typical photo corrections for brightness and color saturation. A little more brightness - a little less saturation - a little less brightness - a little more saturation. Within the garden: nothing. For the most part photo processiing algorithms determined that nothing was necessary for optical correction of these photos in the garden - not from any angle, not from areas that were overexposed due to sunlight, not from shadow of trees or darkness of bark. This cannot have been by accident. It leads me to believe that the entire atmostphere of the garden - this 'illuminated', 'emanating' sense that pervades the place is from very careful management of the amount of light that enters the garden from the sun - in all times of the day and in all seasons of the year. I don't know whether this was unconscious or not on the part of the designers - I suspect that to whatever extent that this kind of work could be intentional - it was.

Dear ancient Muso has achieved a kind of natural immortality - he has conveyed the warmth of his heart - and an invitation to experience the heart of the natural world from hundreds of years ago.

I hope to be able once again to visit this place in another time of the year, during another season - so that I may hear it speak once again - a testimony to the heart.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference: Kyoto: Kokedera (Part 8):

People Pulling

Hmm, lets try this again. Typepad's goofing and lost my comment.

These are the pictures that caught my eye for various and sundry reasons: Dsc_02650066, Dsc_02680068, Dsc_02740073, Dsc_02770075, Dsc_02780076, Dsc_02810079, Dsc_02840081, Dsc_02890086, Dsc_02910088, Dsc_02980093.

What a beautiful place. I suspect that there are no answers to your questions, other than "to get your attention." Your brain filters out most of the information coming in through your physical senses, and this place removes the filters, so that you are suddenly immersed in them.


EMCEE: Well, getting my attention is certainly something that it did. I really appreciate that you look at my photos and like some of them Jan. If you see them with your practiced eyes and like them - well that's really great for me! Thanks!

Posted by: jlb at Oct 24, 2005 8:40:47 PM

Man, I kid you not, that comment took 5 tries to get through. Typepad's lost it's mind...

EMCEE: Sorry about that Jan - I opened up a service ticket with them. Thanks for letting me know...

Posted by: jlb at Oct 24, 2005 8:42:11 PM

Wow, I have no words. I really hope to be able to visit this place some day.

Posted by: Tomas Rees at Nov 16, 2005 2:01:56 AM

My Photo
Patriot 'Dillo!

Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

Ron L - Wisconsin election watchdog and hilariously fun grandpa.

James Pell - Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class - American hero with stories to tell about Iraq, Kosovo, and Bosnia.

Emcee - "Don't encourage him!" Jeff Goldstein

November 2010
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        

Recent Posts


Site Info
Powered by TypePad

Blog design by:

Header art by: Coby Cyr

Ann Coulter
The most brilliant journalist of our age - does heavy lifting

Black Five
Want to know what is really going on in our armed services? Matt does tell. He's a man of honor and gives tribute to men and women who serve all of us around the world.

Blogs For Terri
Terri Schindler Schiavo - We will NEVER forget!

Master photographer Jan shows off spectacular photos around the Pacific Northwest.

Commissioner Hugh Hewitt
The man! Inspirer of blogs, flogger of the currently most important.

Common Sense and Wonder
Great group blog - full of common sense penned by very talented people. I wonder...

Cream of the Crock
Diana once killed me in a place of wisdom. We've made up. One of my favorite experts.

Day by Day
Chris Muir provides the best first place for you to spew your coffee every morning

Digital Brown Pajamas
Sleepy Stormtroopers of the Religious Right. Plus Jeff is just a great guy. And Steve! Don't forget Steve! Oh no, where'd you guys go?

Evangelical Outpost
What can I say? I like Joe.

File it under...
These guys are animals. I mean it, they are animals.

Hamilton's Pamphlets
The Federalist Papers are still alive - and so is Alexander ...

Huffington's Toast
Hilarious answer to Arianna Huffington's psuedo-blog

In DC Journal
Bill is positively InDC, occasionally InDCent, always Bill

Jihad Watch
Lead by Robert Spencer - dedicated to bringing public attention to the role that jihad theology and ideology plays in the modern world.

Laura Ingraham
Find her on the radio and listen - does heavy lifting

Matt Rosenberg
Culture and current affairs from Seattle journalist and musician - and contributor to Sound Politics and Redstate - all in one very productive guy.

Michelle Malkin
Conservative goddess - does heavy lifting

MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Beth has a terrific blog AND she's my favorite Bama fan. (Which for an AU guy is like we've overcome class warfare, you know?)

Nerf Coated World
Friend Matt's wisdom tech and politech

Ninme, tenme, elevenme, just don't two-time me

Pillage Idiot
Replacing the creator of worlds - do you miss Allah? Go see Attila.

Pixie Lair
I'm a Pixie. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. (It's Shell - Look what God made!) - Found her again!

The triumvirate. I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!

Protein Wisdom
Jeff's menagerie of extreme thoughts, well said.

Scribal Terror
Gail can write! And make you do your English homework!

Sissy Willis
'Wiley' Willis cats and thoughts.

Sondra K
Like Special K - only better

Sound Politics
Shark and friends dig out the unsound

Tapscott's Copy Desk
Mark Tapscott, Director of The Heritage Foundation's Center for Media and Public Policy. Solid good read all the time. Moved to Examiner now...

The incomparable Ace of Spades HQ
The truth in spades!

The Jawa Report
Dr. Rusty and pals. Find original fisking and research here.

The Mighty Beldar
Crusty trial lawyer, bemused observer of politics & internet dilettante from Houston, Texas

the pragmatic chef™
Scott is a connoisseur of food and life! He really knows what seared means...

The Radio Equalizer -Brian Maloney
Could Brian be the next conservative heavy lifter? My money's on him.

The Truth Laid Bear
TTLB Ecosystem host and esteemed pundit.

Timothy Goddard
Brilliant analysis - plus Red State WA!

Great conservative commentary and about some kind of Weblog awards or something like that

Fellow traveler McGehee's musings