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Boundary marker in north-west Cao Bang.


We go to gain a little patch of ground that hath in it no profit but the name.

William Shakespeare (1602)

line the sky there is no distinction of east and west. People create such distinctions and then believe them to be true.

Katinka Hesselink (2008)


Boundaries well exemplify distinctions. Distinctions A complex of clouds. Distinctions are fundamental to thinking, and belong in our minds, not outside. sit at the heart of our thinking: we cannot think at all without making distinctions. The boundary in the picture between China and Vietnam is deep in the jungle, only the concrete post attests to the divide which has been fought over for 2,000 years. A line, entirely Icicles by a pool of dark peat water. A poet's approach to way we find differences from eighteenth century Japan. in the human mind, which kills people. We fight (as Fortinbras does in Hamlet) and die for a boundary between our countries, it becomes a mental, cultural and geographic reality of greater value than our life. Expunging misleading mental divisions seems a worthy aim. We find biologists soften the divide between prey and predator, Buddhists seek to blend self The Samye Ling Buddhist complex in southern Scotland. The Buddhist approach to self appears in the writings of Hume in the eighteenth century. with others, and Brahmins Snow covered eastern Turkey from above. Ideas of about the alignment of gods and man abound in Hinduism. may elide god and man. Distinctions inhere in us, not outside us, but what can morality really gain if its advance is at the expense of thought?

Hamlet meets the captain of the army in scene IV, act IV of the play, and asks over what are all these men going to fight. Katinka Hesselink is one person among many on the internet who use this quote, its origins seem unclear, although it is Buddhist in conception. She comments on it at:

In Vietnam’s northern province of Cao Bằng the border with China wanders through the jungle along an arbitrary line, at kilometre intervals stand these markers. On one side there is an inscription in Chinese and on the other it is in Vietnamese naming, for the viewer, the country beyond.

Above hovering on blue introduces a link: click to go, move away to stay.


Saturday 26th January 2019

Murphy on duty to this site