Showing posts from June, 2012

Can Wabi-Sabi Save the World?

Can what save the world? Wabi-sabi. You know…, that Japanese aesthetic sense kind of thing. Actually, I don’t believe I’d ever even heard of wabi-sabi until a couple of years ago when I was introduced to the concept by a children’s story about a cat named Wabi Sabi who was trying like the dickens to figure out the meaning of his name. Of course, the premise of the story relates precisely to the fact that the wabi-sabi aesthetic is quite difficult to define. We just sort of know it when we see it – as soon as we know what we’re looking for, that is! Ah, but are we going to let the difficulty of defining a concept stand in the way of us utilizing it to save the world? For the children, for the kittens, for Wabi Sabi’s sake we must try! Let’s begin with a few recent definitions put forth by various authors:
“Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of th…

Four (More) Views of No-Self

I hope you’ve had the opportunity over the course of what might have been a busy week to reflect upon the view from atop the summit of the previous post – A Gestalt View of No-Self. It was quite an excursion, especially for those who might have been unfamiliar with the terrain. Such views as that revealed by “what is called the self is everything that is not the self” might leave one wondering whether their eyes are to be believed! After all, things are generally defined by that which they are, not that which they are not. And to say that something is both that which it is and that which it is not simply defies the logic that usually pertains to the way we think about “things”. Well, sometimes the meaning of a great truth only becomes apparent over time – upon reflection, meditation, or prayer perhaps. If truth were otherwise then I suppose we could simply read ourselves toward the wisdom of the sages! These next four excursions won’t be quite so challenging as the last – especially …

A Gestalt View of No-Self

My original intention was for this post to be a follow-up piece to last week’s Too Big For Any Sticks or Stones To Hurt Us. Notwithstanding that fact, Too Big For Any Sticks or Stones To Hurt Us – Part 2 of Whatever seemed just a bit too obtuse and cumbersome. It was then that my working title changed to Five Views of No-Self. I really liked that title, despite the fact that it tips my hand regarding precisely what I really mean by “too big”. (Alas, the element of surprise has been lost!) The biggest problem with that title, however, was the fact that I could only do justice to one of those views over the course of the five or so pages comprising my usual post length. And so we have this week’s A Gestalt View of No-Self – with four more views to be explored in the following post.

Too Big For Any Sticks or Stones To Hurt Us began an exploration of the premise that we might be better able to withstand the many verbal and physical insults of life by simply expanding our conceptu…