Showing posts from July, 2012

God, The Buddha, and The Joker

Generally speaking, I’ve not used this blog as a forum for the discussion of current events. However, the recent massacre at an Aurora, Colorado screening of the new Batman movie – and the religious and spiritual questions that it raises regarding how and why such a tragedy could occur – so obviously falls within the purview of a blog that calls itself “an exploration of spirituality and the human condition” that not writing about it strikes me as a far more glaring omission than writing about it might appear ‘out of character.’ The emotions associated with these killings will be raw for quite some time. Be forewarned, then, that this post might be a more challenging read than many of my others.

God, The Buddha, and The Joker

I’m usually not into seeing violent films. However, I did make an exception in the case of The Dark Knight – the first in this modern Batman trilogy – for a couple of reasons. First of all, I’d heard that Heath Ledger had done such a phenomenal job playing that e…


Sweltering summer afternoons such as these inevitably remind me of my childhood – the still air, the unrelenting sun, and the silence only intermittently punctuated by the ratcheting sound of a grasshopper in mid hop, or the unanswered call of a field sparrow, or the sticking sound that automobile tires make as they accelerate down an almost melting asphalt road.

“How about we go fossil hunting?” I’d pose the question over the phone to my childhood friend, Charlie, or he to me.
“What time?” was the usual response, neither of us needing much in the way of convincing when it came to such suggestions.
“After lunch. One o’clock. Under the railroad trestle.”

And so we’d meet in the shade of the old wooden bridge and ride our bicycles along the dusty trail to where the new highway cut through the layers of a limestone undergirded hillside. Once there, we’d make our way slowly, almost wordlessly along the fractured strata, carefully overturning the loose rock, becoming more subtly in tune t…

Envisioning A Wabi-Sabi World

In my previous post, Can Wabi-Sabi Save The World?, I explored the Japanese aesthetic known as wabi-sabi in addition to briefly sketching out my rationale for pondering whether it might actually “save the world.” I’ll continue in that vein in this post, to the point where (I hope) you’ll be willing to agree that there’s at least some cause for someone to respond to that question with a great big emphatic “Yes!” First, though, let me review some of the pertinent aspects of wabi-sabi that relate to the point that I’m trying to convey. Toward that end I’ll try my hand at composing a concise and reasonably accurate definition of wabi-sabi:

Wabi-sabi is the traditionally Japanese aesthetic encompassing the appreciation of things that are simple, rustic, weathered, flawed, and natural in such a way that their very utilitarian ordinariness is elevated to the realm of artistic beauty. The truest appreciation of wabi-sabi requires the relinquishment (emptying out) of preconceived notions regar…