shugyo

innovating the signpost of navah

on the realization of "new"...

Attribution: Homage to the gurus, the cultures, the people, the animals, the plants, and to the earth, to samsara and the realization of nibbana.

Curious about the etymology of “innovate”? It is “into, new”. Then curious about “new”? Sanskrit for new (“navah”). I wasn’t prepared for this journey, and well, I never am; make do with what you have. Once more unto the breach, dear friends…

Charles Muller’s DDB was used for “navah” and low and behold Amaranth came up. Imagine a civilization that experienced the genesis of this word Amaranth. No cell phones, no TV, no newspapers, no cars, no planes, no electronics, no cotton gin, no automated looms.

Plants were a majority of the day. In this case, amaranth – Pig Weed some call it. New conquerors banished it for what most likely can be summarized as fourth stage herd progression (which is conventionally attributed to economic reasons)1. Telling isn’t it? Yet that’s not valuable to focus on, it really isn’t, nor is the fact that Amaranth has a very long and bountiful growing season, nor is the fact that its very nutritious. It is in the feel of the name of the plant itself, its association with “new”, and that it continues to produce in so many ways.

What’s most interesting is that the Greek translation is “unfading”. Well that’s certainly an interesting take on an a fallen down and sun-faded highway sign pointing to what new may have meant in ancient cultures. Unfading. So here I am, dusting it off, polishing it and placing it back in the ground where it belongs; leave it better than you found it.

We somehow took new to mean “replace”; the context of its meaning was literally replaced. I hope we remember that new represents continuous maintenance, innovation, absence of style. Newness is in the integration of the mud, representing the ten thousand things into the lotus. With that, you can now understand, maybe, just a little more, what beginners’ mind actually is. Always new. Unfading. Continually Innovating. Illuminated.

Just. Like. You.

It is my sincere wish that this benefits all beings.


1 see Edward Burnays’ Stages of Herd Progression; [ redacted ]; see Maintenance Arbitrage, Towers of Hanoi Problem, Halting Problem etc. Where “maintenance” can be any aspect maintained of the human condition. Food, water, shelter etc.
2 A treat geographically emergent from what today is called Mexico, is Alegria, which means “joy”; joy, the center channel of flow. It is made of Amaranth seeds; the precious gift keeps on giving.