“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Yoko Ono in Being Ecological

Have you ever read Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki?

If you haven't do so at once lol...it gives you the best best best mediation instruction, no matter what contemplative lineage you're in (or not).

And somewhere in the middle is the most wonderful mysterious thing: two blank pages, with a life-size drawing of a fly on the upper right hand corner of the double-page spread.

That's the moment of mind transmission right there! I'm not spoiling it by telling you. That's the amazing lovely thing about meditation: it proves that you can surprise yourself, aka that the future is possible, and new things can happen.

I read it when I was 17. I was so upset...then I read this book and it totally changed my life.

As we head into global warming space ever further, I can't insist enough on you having some kind of healing centering self-soothing practice that you do, whether it be making yourself a nice sandwich or meditating or donating to your favorite charity or smiling or...

Please, the lifeforms need you! The dolphins are upset because they can't use their flippers to turn off the gas pipelines, and we are all collapsing in a heap of depression or cynicism or denial (yeah even now, unbelievably).

So I had this idea when Penguin asked me to write Being Ecological for them. I thought, wouldn't it be amazing if Yoko Ono agreed to put some of her This Is Not Here artwork in it? Given that this was the very first work of art that truly amazed, scared, pushed me.

John Lennon was assassinated when I was 12, and the “Imagine” video was on the tv all the time, because the song went to #1.

When you watch the video you'll see Yoko and John entering their house, and above the door frame is the phrase “THIS IS NOT HERE,” which is the core of the Fluxus piece I'm talking about.

Thanks to the greatest of good fortune and some lovely friends, Yoko agreed to let me put this in the middle of Being Ecological. I never explain or refer to it, just like Shunryu Suzuki's fly! Don't you think it encapsulates something beautiful about ecological awareness?

And then the genius genius Penguin people sandwiched it between the word “metaphysics” and the phrase “of presence.” Jesus Christ that's total genius. See what I mean?

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