South Side barber shop. Chicago, 1941.
By Edwin Rosskam
I like to think the woman in the hat, looking straight at the camera, was a woman who knew her own mind, chose her own path, and felt things deeply. I want her to hold me in her ample arms against her cushioned body, let me cry it out, and then take me by the shoulders and tell me get my act together and carry on. She would have liked a good cold beer, off-color jokes, a tomato still warm from the vine eaten out of hand like an apple, passionate and earthy lovemaking, and Eckhart Tolle.
“Give up defining yourself - to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious presence. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are. ”
all i know to do is to invent my own universes / to look for the universes within / without / to be the madness / the terror / the light / to see there is no knowing / only belief / that each is all and everything is nothing…
“In all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.”
― Carl Sagan
(dying Indiana town; photo mine; iphone 4s)
The Philosophy Student: A Parable
There once was a Master with a very bright American student. The student would ask him things like “how do the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama relate to the Cartesian mind body problem?” or “Doesn’t the world of Samsara arise within the One and so just a recapitulation of the classic ontological argument for the existence of God?”. Every time he would ask such a question the master would say “be mindful” and hand him an axe and instruct him to chop wood, or a bucket to carry water to the kitchens.
The young student was dismayed at this and was beginning to think his Master didn’t know the answers to these questions and … perhaps … was not as wise as thought. Then one day after asking a particularly impressive question involving quantum theory and the nature of space time as it relates to the Buddhist concept of mindstream and been handed a rake and told to “be mindful” and rake the garden and … it struck him … he understood. He had fewer questions after that day but the garden stayed well raked.
☯ Samsaran ☯