Zen in the arts and other stuff II

Things really fall into place… Just now I’ve seen an extraordinary performance of Bobby McFerrin (yes, that guy with Don’t Worry, Be Happy! by the way, in the video of Don’t worry one of the actors is another one of my most loved actors: Robin Williams!) at the Jazz Festival in Montreal! This guy is a genius and no doubt about it: he is himself a whole orchestra and he is also undoubtedly HAPPY!(I know one when I see one… and not dead at all! – there where rumors – mean rumors! – that he did commited suicide himself… HE DID NOT!) He’s doing what he likes and likes what he’s doing and there is probably no better solution to life…

Anyway… here it is another portion of Zen in the Arts by Allan Watts:

“Heaven and earth are alike members of this organism, and nature is as much our father as our mother, since the Taoby which it works is originally manifested in the yang and the yin – the male and female, positive and negative principles which, in dynamic balance, maintain the order of the world. The insight which lies at the root of Far Eastern culture is that opposites are relational and so fundamentally harmonious. Conflict is always comaparatively superficial, for there can be npo ultimate conflict when the pairs of opposites are mutually interdependent. Thus our stark divisions of spirit and nature, subject and object, good and evil, artist and medium are quite foreign to this culture.

In a universe whose fundamental principle is relativity rather than warfarethere is no purpose because there is no victory to be won, no end to be attained. For every end, as the world itself shows, is an extreme, an opposite, and exists only in relation to its other end. Because the world is not going anywhere there is NO HURRY. One may as well “take it easy” like nature itself, and in the Chinese language the “changes” of nature and “ease” are the same word, i. This is the first principle in the study of Zen and of any Far eastern art: HURRY, AND ALL THAT IT INVOLVES, IS FATAL. For there is no goal to be attained. The moment a goal is conceived it becomes impossible to practice the discipline of the art, to master the very rigor of its technique. Under the watchful and critical eye of the master one may practice the writing of Chinese characters for days and days, months and months. But he watches as a gardner watches the growth of a tree-the attitude of purposeless growth in which there are no short cuts because every stage of the way is both beginning and end. Thus the most accomplished master no more congratulates himself upon “arriving” than the most fumbling beginner.

Paradoxical as it may seem, the purposeful life has no content, no point. It hurries on and on, and MISSES EVERYTHING. Not hurrying, the purposeless life misses nothing, for it is only when there is no goal and no rush that the human senses are fully open to receive the world.”


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