Aries: “They are very self-confident on the surface but this conceals a feeling of inadequacy on a subconscious level. They spill energy in every direction”
Taurus: “There are four serpent signs of the zodiac that have to do with will and power. Taurus is the first serpent sign and represents the coiled up serpent power, latent and not yet in full expression”
Gemini: “Gemini individuals dramatize everything and and are apt to let their imaginations carry them away. Everyone on earth comes under the influence of Gemini, it represents dual forces: the opposition of human and the divine in all of us”
Cancer: “Cancer is the most subconscious of all the signs. Everything is latent and hidden. You can’t reason with them when they are emotionally disturbed.”
Leo: “Whether Leo people are constructive or destructive in their approach to life depends on what drives their chariot: self or Self.”
Virgo: “There is a sweetness and lack of aggression this sign that gives a great attractiveness. Venus, the love principle, is unhappy in an area the lower mind operates. Because of their own feelings of inadequacy, they can become very demanding when their loved ones are concerned”
Libra: “They have an executive and legal type mind. On the surface there is diplomacy and sweetness, but beneath is the velvet glove is a fist of iron”
Scorpio: “When they serve others and forget themselves they are truly dynamic and majestic. Scorpios are truly powerful when they do not seek power for self, but seek to be used by the power to heal and bless others”
Sagittarius: “Sagittarius keyword is ‘perception’, another word for 'intuition’. It is represented by the archer who shoots his arrow into the air though he knows not its destiny”
Capricorn: “Capricorn people can exemplify the highest or the lowest qualities of which human nature is capable. The Capricorn’s strengths lies in leadership and humility”
Aquarius: “Aquarius is the sign of spiritual rebirth. The keyword of Aquarius is "I know”. We stand between two Ages and to faith must be added 'knowledge’, and 'intuition"
Pisces: “Individuals born in Pisces have a deeply hidden inner pride. Assail it at your own peril. It is the temple of the living spirit
written by Isabel M. Hickey (19/07-1903-17/06/1980)
Approaching Vajrayana – Part Four: A Tale of Two Sciences
By Jakob Leschly
This final instalment in our four-part series “Approaching Vajrayana”* addresses an issue common to all of Buddhism: how its science is perceived, and how it stands apart from our familiar modern science. This comment is not so much about which science is more valid, but more about appreciating their differences. Finally, a comment on the practical situation of studying and practicing Buddhism in modernity.
THE PREMISE OF THE BUDDHA’S TEACHINGS
Nowadays Buddhism is approached outside of its traditional cultures, and we might want to appreciate how the great science of enlightenment stands apart from the modern science most of us have grown up with. Very briefly, we can say that Buddhism and what we loosely call modern science share a common epistemic premise of empiricism. But in the case of Buddhism, this empiricism is based on the subjective rather than the objective dimension. As a result, these two sciences end up with very different ontological views. Suffice it to say that the objectivist thrust of modern science results in information and data, while the subjectivist thrust of Buddhist science, Dharma, results in wisdom. This is not really about better or worse, good or bad. The author of this article would rather fly in an airplane constructed by modern scientists and engineers than by Tibetan lamas and yogis, yet for the important issues of life, he chooses to consult the latter.
The Buddha’s objective was to remove suffering, and his teaching has continued to successfully serve as a remedy for the cause of suffering — confusion. In that the Buddha’s teaching addresses the nature of consciousness systematically, logically, and rationally, there is no reason why the modern, analytically trained person should not appreciate what the Buddha taught.
A TALE OF TWO SCIENCES
And yet … the domain of what the Buddha taught, the concept of enlightenment, the path, and the subjective experiences of eliminating confusion are entirely unknown to modern science, and as a result, to the average modern person. Modern science has no unanimous or unequivocal understanding or explanation of consciousness and the nature of subjectivity. It is what the Australian cognitive scientist David Chalmers has termed “the hard problem of consciousness” (Chalmers 1995). As such, there is little common basis for the modern scientist to understand the science of Buddhism, and as a result, the wider community of educated modern people, brought up exclusively with the ideas of modern science, have few qualifications for gaining a logical appreciation of Buddhist insight. Unfortunately, this also applies for a large number of the cultures where Buddhism once thrived as a science, but where it is now, due to the influence of modern physicalist science, classified as religion and perceived as based on blind faith.
Although the rationality of Buddhism is not unknown to the modern educated person, it is still assumed that Buddhism is essentially a religion, not a science. While religions traditionally represent values and compassionate action, and in principle are deserving of the highest regard, the problem with directly linking Buddhism with religions is that, as venerable and important as religions might be, they are also seen to operate with blind faith and superstitions. Most modern educated people have little time for religions, and see them as invalidated by science. A Harvard professor puts it quite bluntly: “The findings of science entail that the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures — their theories of the origins of life, humans, and societies — are factually mistaken” and “… the worldview that guides the moral and spiritual values of an educated person today is the worldview given to us by science” (Pinker 2013).
One could wish that modern persons approaching the study and practice of Buddhism would appreciate not just the humanity and goodness of Buddhism, but also the epistemic validity of its science. While Buddhism operates with empiricism, the findings of direct perception, it does not merely operate with the third-person perspective of observing what is thought of as objective phenomena. Buddhist insight in particular is founded on introspection, engaging an awareness of what is experienced by the first-person subjectivity, effectively cultivating the conditions for a wiser and greater individual consciousness, with greater epistemic capacity. Modern science has a very different project, which is about data. While on one hand the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines wisdom as “accumulated philosophic or scientific learning,” wisdom on the other hand as “being wise” generally exists as a rather vague notion.** The Buddhist science of wisdom could well be a non-starter in modernity, but again, this is not entirely the case either.
THE MEETING OF ANCIENTS AND FREETHINKERS
Despite the increasingly dominating materialist views of modern science, there are groups and cultures that continue to value and pursue the theory and practice of Buddhism. These include on the one hand pockets of survivors of the ancient Buddhist civilisations who study, practice, and uphold genuine spiritual lineages, and on the other hand modern freethinkers who, despite their upbringing in modernity, have sufficient education and resources to think out of the box. The latter are not necessarily Buddhist, but are exploring the domain of subjectivity studies.
As for the first groups, these include sages from the old Buddhist countries, as well as monastics and laypeople, who train their minds on the path of enlightenment. These persons might not master the language and vocabulary of the modern analytical traditions, or be able to engage the modern worldview, but they embody a universal quality of insight and its accompanying manifestations of compassion, wisdom, and strength that are naturally attractive. They embody and exhibit the brilliance and warmth that celebrate the highest human potential. These persons inspire others with their qualities, and are often beacons that provide vision and guidance.
The educated freethinkers initially comprised individual seekers and philosophers in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, including the recent spiritual trend that was native to the various countercultures of the 1960s and ’70s. In the last decades, numerous modern academics and neuroscientists have engaged in dialogue about the nature of human consciousness with Buddhist scholars and practitioners, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. These dialogues have extended into provocative discussions between Tibetan and modern experts in fields such as quantum physics, green politics, human rights, ethics, philosophy, and so on, a direct outcome of which has been the Mind & Life Institute with its 30 years of annual symposia. Their mission statement includes “… fostering interdisciplinary dialogue between Western science, philosophy, humanities, and contemplative traditions, supporting the integration of first-person inquiry through meditation and other contemplative practices into traditional scientific methodology.” So, in a few such cases, the earlier perceptions of Buddhism as entirely faith-based are changing.
THE SKILFUL MEANS OF LANGUAGE
The actual transmission of the lineages of study and practice are still taking place in the traditional cultures of Buddhism. Also in Western countries, or countries subscribing to the discourse of modernity, there are well-organised centers which facilitate Buddhist study and practice. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, there are even non-Tibetan students who have mastered the considerable rigor of Tibetan academic training and achieved the Geshe degree, graduating from recognised institutions in India. Countless persons practice Buddhist meditation, with and without guidance from authentic lineage masters. Training in mindfulness and compassion is now mainstream, even though some of the popular modalities avoid mentioning the Buddhist origins. The religious stigma still hangs over Buddhism.
There are still many traditional teachers of Buddhism who dispense with engaging the culture and language of modernity and opt to just give essential instructions, almost as they would to traditional laypeople. Yet, there are masters like Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939–87), an accomplished teacher from the Tibetan tradition of Vajrayana, who embraced the modern world wholeheartedly. Possessing the skillful means of mastering both paradigms, he taught as an educated insider of modernity. And increasingly, Buddhist masters attempt to embrace the modern condition, with a growing knowledge of its language.
The essence of the Buddhist wisdom in the past spread throughout the societies of Asia. Although originally communicated to Indian students, the essence of Buddhism was gradually communicated within the native parameters of the cultures of Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Japan, and Tibet. Similarly, the essence of the Dharma is now being communicated in ways that will eventually enable practitioners of modernity to attain realisation and to manifest compassionate action. As much as modernity presently is new to the notion of a systematic, logical, and structured science of wisdom, there is dialogue. As long as intact lineages of transmission and realisation remain, this science of Dharma with its vast scope will still be with us, and available.
(A: When two weird people meet, a theory might be born. Be careful with unwanted babies.)
The thing about Tokyo Ghoul is that Ishida hasn’t give us much information on the biology and science of half-ghouls. @absolutetimeandspace and I decide to work together and specifically look into this. What we’ve up come with is a weird (and hard to follow) crack theory. We’ll try to put down our thoughts as best we can.
In chapter 99 of TG we learn that Kaneki is Dr. Kanou’s greatest successful experiment. Fast forward to chapter 44 of TG:re he says that Kaneki unintentionally developed into a complete experiment, a growing perfection that surpasses the other Rize-based cases, going on to stand on equal footing vs. an Owl-based half-ghoul - one with an Rc count over 3 times higher than his. This made us question how and why that happened.
We know that the main objective in using the Owl’s kakuhou was to create a powerful half-ghoul, yet why is Kaneki, who has an inferior kakuhou, still stronger than Takizawa? What makes Kaneki so special? (A:besides his tights?)
Other questions that came up along the way: Why do humans taste better to ghouls when ghouls are the ones with more Rc cells? Why do some humans taste and smell better than others?
The answers to all this might lie in the Rc count.
After looking into the key differences between the two breeds, we think that the Rc level and Rc ‘type’ (quality + age) is playing a big role on a half-ghoul’s strength. Our theory states that the lower the human’s starting Rc count, the stronger the resulting half-ghoul, while the higher it is the weaker and more likely the half-ghoul surgery will fail.
[ TG chapter 29 ]
Before jumping into everything we need to remember that the normal Rc count for a healthy human ranges from 200 - 500, compared to 1000 - 8000 for ghouls.
Rc Count + Quantity
Thankfully Ishida provided us with the Rc counts before and after the surgeries for most half-ghouls.
[ TG chapter 30 ] While Kaneki assumed that his count may be the same level as a human’s, we now know that during this time the number was at 911. This is much too high for a human, but also too low for a ghoul.
Coincidentally all of these people share the same trait: A below average Rc count. As a human, Takizawa barely staying in the normal range, while the twins and Kaneki’s were too low to even be considered healthy levels for any human.
The fact that these 4 successfully transitioned into half-ghouls might have something to do with the surgery working better for individuals with lower Rc levels, while higher Rc runs the risk of the subjects becoming floppies(such as Amon) and/or developing the “nameless” syndrome seen in Dr. Kanou’s failed experiments.
[ TG:re chapter 43 ] Creativity + Intelligence = kagune shape Quality + Quantity = kagune size All of these are factored in to equal a ghoul’s strength and potential.
Using the Rc count we can guess the quality of a human’s Rc cells. This is important in predicting the resulting half-ghoul’s strength since a lower Rc indicates higher Rc quality.
For example, logically speaking if the average human body were to put aside 500 calories for Rc production and you were to take three humans - one producing low quality Rc cells, the second normal quality, and the last the highest - you’ll see that the Rc count will continue to decrease as quality increases. (N: I mean it’s only fair.)
This would have to do with higher quality Rc cells requiring more energy for production.
Diagram is hypothetical and is only being used to illustrate that higher quality Rc needs more energy per cell to produce.
Rc Production in Half-ghouls
Now going back to Kaneki and why he’s the special little hot shit that he is.
We know that his count was 170 while human, meaning he has the highest quality Rc that we’ve seen so far. This is still relevant information for after the surgery because half-ghouls should be producing their own Rc cells just like they did as humans.
The misunderstanding that they lose this ability may come from people being under the impression that transitioning from human to half-ghoul will simply change the body to having all of the same characteristics of a ghoul’s. The reason why this is incorrect is because the presence of a kakuhou does not directly result in the loss of Rc production, rather ghouls are born without the necessary functions required to make their own Rc cells. Half-ghouls, on the other hand, should have no issue with an already built in system.
This means that every human turned ghoul is still producing a small amount of their own Rc (does not mean they can live off that supply, as a ghoul’s body has a faster metabolism, immune system, and regeneration, which requires a massive amount of energy to maintain).
Kaneki’s constant supply of new high quality Rc cells are being stored in the kakuhou, and as a result increasing the quantity of the high quality Rc cells (note Eto saying having both results in a powerful kagune). This is something that normal ghouls, who are unable to produce their own Rc, will never be able to obtain. A ghoul’s Rc count is built up on old recycled Rc cells from humans, basically diminishing the quality to average or poor.
Eto + Natural Half-ghouls
As for Eto (a born half-ghoul) and the Quinx (not ghoul or half-ghoul) I can’t say it applies to them in the same way.
However since we know more about Eto, this being her ability to eat human food and her massive amount of quality Rc cells, we can guess that she was born with the ability to efficiently produce enough Rc to sustain her ghoul body (this is based on tumblr’s assumption that her diet is mostly ghoul/human free).
This puts her at a huge advantage over the ghouls, Quinx, and artificial half-ghouls. Even if her organs produced low or normal quality Rc, the quality would still be better than any ghoul’s and at a larger quantity than any half-ghoul’s.
This means that while artificial half-ghouls are superior to ghouls, natural half-ghouls are the ones at the top of the food chain.
Now if Eto has both high quality Rc along with the quantity, then that’s a bit terrifying isn’t it?
Why do humans taste better to ghouls when ghouls are the ones with more Rc cells?
I’m sure by this point it’s self explanatory why humans taste yummy while ghouls taste like shit.
Ghouls are naturally attracted to humans because of their newly made Rc (i.e. fresh organic food)(N:
Fresh Rc is happy Rc!), and are disgusted by other ghouls because of their recycled Rc supply (i.e. rotten or stale food), because no matter how large the quantity, gross food will still taste gross.
Kaneki being the literature major that he is, described in detail what a ghoul tastes like after taking his first bite.
[ TG chapter 64 ] Basically rotten food.
This also answers the question why some humans taste better than others, and generally why the seniors have a much blander taste. Same story for half-ghouls and why Kaneki specifically is the best thing Tsukiyama has ever experienced (N: all that fresh high quality Rc mmmm).
That’s basically it. There was a lot more content involving RoS, Rc Scan Gates, human Rc types, Rize, Shirazu etc. but I decided to exclude it until I have better confirmation.
Funny I say that when this is crack theory post…
Buuut one thing I can’t help but briefly mention is that Shirazu might have physical problems in the future (not RoS), and the fact that the cage around his kagune just broke in ch 53 just made it so much more likely. gl boi.
Anyways thanks to @absolutetimeandspace for working with me on this, we became such good buddies in the process :’)
[Some people] have a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom. I believe that it is easier to establish an absolute and despotic government amongst a people in which the conditions of society are equal, than amongst any other; and I think that, if such a government were once established amongst such a people, it would not only oppress men, but would eventually strip each of them of several of the highest qualities of humanity.
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) French Aristocrat and Political Thinker.