稽古; Keiko

abstract time, abstract space, what is keiko?
just this, is keiko.


Keiko (稽古1), according to etymological studies of Charles Harper’s Digital Dictionary of Buddhism, one may infer, “to follow ancient examples”. The first character indexes calculation, reaching, comparing, stopping, investigating, prostrating, and delaying (Muller, 2008a). The second character indexes the ancient, antique, and old (Muller, 2008b). In another way, keiko may be translated as practices of ancient ways. What better way to communicate this, than to frame it, give life to it, and make an appeal.

To continue this commentary on keiko, a framing of ancient wiring will be followed by an exploration of one aspect of Muller’s etymology. Following this, Piaget’s work on human development will be considered, along with an example from insect life (bees please). Lastly, with bees as example, a short refrain will leave off with an aspirational appeal, for it is in the unsatisfaction that one desires to leave the hive, calculating, reaching, comparing, stopping, investigating, and delaying… gratification for the greater reward of…

Ancient W<ir|rit>ing

Ancient ways may be thought of as that which increases quality of vision, perception, intuition, and all matter of senses prior to reallocation of neurology toward hierarchies of socioeconomic-technical structures (e.g., cities, banking, markets). Ancient ways are what is in-born much like the gentle spirits of plants, and the rough to refined behaviors of animals, humans, and gods. Ancient ways are like that of differentiated properties of elements found in qualities of earth (i.e., hardness/solidity), water (i.e., cooling horizontal spreading fluidity), fire (i.e., heating vertical contracting fluidity), wind (i.e., homogenous pressure gradiation), and space/emptiness (i.e., [redacted]). Ancient ways are responsible for direct perception (i.e., insight) through calming tranquility—as a microscope stable, a slide clear, and lenses precise and accurate.

The practice of ancient ways indexes a noble search, beyond intellection, with little room for the descriptive, and favors conceptual autonomy. The slide, the focusing wheels, and the light is adjusted—“just enough”. If this is difficult to grasp, employ a little psychological imaginal exposure. Imagine living as an early human sans neurotic technological empowered urbanities of subsequent times (see Karen Horney’s evaluation of neuroticism and urbanity). Out in the world bare—this is the ancient way. Sans cellular phones, computers, flyers, newspapers, telecommunications, political strategies, leadership concepts, and so much more. Just a pure grasp of natural phenomena.

Some Useful E<ty|nto>mology

Where and when is keiko, exactly? It is to put away the descriptive, and uptake the concept, it is worth considering the mere first index in Muller’s (2013a) etymology—calculate. Calculate comes from the Latin “calculus” which traces to “pebble”, like that on an abacus (Harper, 2022a; Harper, 2022b; Rapaport, 2007). The word is a diminutive of calx which is of “limestone” (Harper, 2022b). The small stones of limestone of which khalix is but a “small pebble” relating to the proto-Indo European (PIE) root “split, break up” (Harper, 2022c). And thus, one can see that it is an ancient way to “divide up” (i.e., differentiate), and what does delaying do other than to divide up temporality? This is a practice most ancient, one need not understand math as a written/spoken language, yet may understand it more intuitively—insects are a good example. Insects can communicate angular relations, and more on that shortly.

Reconstructive Memory

Piaget, a major figure in human development, undertook many studies of memory and intelligence to arrive at being “led to stress the fundamental importance of the ‘reconstructive memory’… fit[ting] between the elementary mnemonic level of simple recognition and the higher mnemonic level of recall” (Piaget & Inhelder, 1973, p. xi; MDL applied). This reconstruction memory can be seen in a psychomotor-efferent activity in worker bees.

Worker bees employ a “waggle-dance”, communicating flight times using a division of time (i.e., proportional time), and an angle against a recently recalled direction of the sun relative to the hive (i.e., azimuth; Seeley, 2011, pp. 9-12). The worker bee does this by using the angle straight up the honeycomb as an origin (i.e., parallel against gravity, perpendicular to topology; p. 10) translating to an azimuth (i.e., perpendicular to gravity; parallel to topology). Body language, a language most ancient. Gestures and grunts, oh my. Not only that, but on the observing end, other bees decipher this message by “follow[ing] a dancer, monitoring her waggle runs” (p. 11; edited for readability).2 This joint attention of actor/observer in linguistics is known as joint attention (Okada, 2013, p. 391-400)—it’s the concept that’s important. A concept communicated, efficaciously—maximum utility. Poetry.


In this short piece, an etymology has pointed to the ancient ways of keiko—tada ima (只今; just now). Then some life through bees has come to pass; phenomena well researched and empirical. Through insect example, one may realize motor-efference (i.e., efference copies) as empowered by Piaget’s “reconstructive memory”. Considering that scientists have found that there are neurons capable of encoding angles of visual information (i.e., hypercolumns; Hubel et al., 1976), one can see that there are not only cognitive, but also biological elements to perception’s ability to organize reconstructions.

When considering interacting in the world across time (i.e., temporality), cognition operates both in response and in advance (i.e., heuristic). Yet, heuristics are subject to issues of anchoring and adjustment bias (Tversky & Kahneman, 1974). It is here, keiko provides further assistance via meta-cogntion. Science and further insight may be a great help to avoid the pitfalls of living by heuristic, but this entire practice starts… with observation—kan (勘; perception), that most ancient of ways. All this without yet mentioning the directing of perception (i.e., attention)—joint or disjoint. Direction as a function and derivation of Peirce’s salient signs (e.g., icons, indexes, and symbols; Buchier, 1955, pp. 102-115). And to this, the exploration concludes, for another round of improvement will come again—alas, it is time to feed a starving ox, an ox following, and maintaining… a well worn path (道; road, street, path). Such is the completion phase of misogi’s shokuji (食事; meal).

Practice here, and the universe will reveal what is perceived behind a veil of ignorance, as secret. Revealed, not one iota of secret is relied on, for the universe is beyond reliance and continues <un|folding. Practice here, and one day, there may be a meeting, and a true vision of ichi-go, ichi-eh (一期一会). A meeting that was, is, and will be limitlessly… not only there, but also, and… super-positioned with…




In love, and affection,
for the benefit of limitless beings,


1 See related entries on 修練, 武者修行, 修行, 稽古, 修錬 in Charles Muller’s Digital Dictionary of Buddhism (this dictionary contains more than just Buddhist concepts).

2 “Don’t play the butter notes,” Herbie Hancock recalls of Miles Davis’ instructions (Hartnett, K., 2014). Yet sometimes one just blurts it out, here comes the brick, the anvil, the grand piano—it’s the teacher/student relationship—in a note, unplayed. Bada, ching! Big, bada, boom! (Besson, 1997).


Besson, L. (1997). The fifth element [Film]. Gaumont.

Buchier, J. (Ed.). (1955). Philosophical writings of Peirce. Dover.

Harper, D. (2022). Calculate. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.etymonline.com/word/calculate.

Harper, D. (2022). Calculus (n.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.etymonline.com/word/calculus.

Harper, D. (2022). Chalk (n.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.etymonline.com/word/chalk.

Hartnett, K. (2014, February 5). “Don’t play the butter notes”. The Boston Globe. Retrieved from http://archive.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/brainiac/2014/02/dont_play_the_b.html.

Hubel, D. H., Wiesel, T. N., & LeVay, S. (1976). Functional architecture of area 17 in normal and monocularly deprived macaque monkeys. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, 40, 581–589. https://doi.org/10.1101/sqb.1976.040.01.054

Muller, C. (2008, July 29). 古. Digital Dictionary of Buddhism. Retrieved from http://www.buddhism-dict.net/cgi-bin/xpr-ddb.pl?q=古.

Muller, C. (2008, October 14). 稽. Digital Dictionary of Buddhism. Retrieved from http://www.buddhism-dict.net/cgi-bin/xpr-ddb.pl?q=稽.

Muller, C. (2009, February 9). . Digital Dictionary of Buddhism. Retrieved from http://www.buddhism-dict.net/cgi-bin/xpr-ddb.pl?q=考.

Okada, M. (2013). Embodied interactional competence in boxing practice: Coparticipant’s joint accomplishment of a teaching and learning activity. Language & Communication, 33, 390-403. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langcom.2013.05.005

Piaget, J., & Inhelder, B. (1973). Memory and intelligence. Basic Books.

Seeley, T. D. (2011). Honeybee democracy. Princeton University Press.

Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1974). Judgement under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. Science, 185(4157), 1124-1131. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.185.4157.1124

Appendix I

[ this loop… ]
learn your loop distance.
learn your loop velocity.
illuminate this loop.