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Posts Tagged ‘buddhism’

"The Golden Calf," by Damien Hirst (sold for $18.6 million)

“The roots of today’s globalizing spiritual crisis lie in a movement away from immediacy; this is the hallmark of the symbolic.”
—John Zerzan

“Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation.”
—Guy Debord

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
—Shakespeare

Symbolism is an act of re-presentation, always impoverishing and isolating that which is symbolized by collapsing it into a fragmentary concept, separated from its environment and its dependency on the rest of existence.  As the universe flows on in its relentless dance, a symbol remains the same, and the breath and spirit of what it identifies is forgotten in favor of its name.  “For the Murngin people of northern Australia, name giving and all other such linguistic externalizations are treated as a kind of death, the loss of an original wholeness,” notes John Zerzan in Too Marvelous for Words: Language Briefly Revisited.  How deeply in this pile of deaths might we be buried today, as symbolic culture has grown exceedingly complex and expansive since its inception?

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Seedless

As I sit here, having just finished my winter grapefruit, savoring the tingly succulence of my newly awakened tongue, I think of all the times I’ve eaten fruit when my experience was hindered by the presence of overzealous seeds.

Call them “pits,” call them “pips,” either way you label them, these little necessities of life have remained a thorn in my otherwise comfortable critique of genetically modified foods and the idea of “civilization” as a whole. I am aware of the role they play, and yet still sometimes loath their presence. I get frustrated with interrupted bites, but am aware of the lesser, worse option: edible laboratories. And yet, still, seeds are an example of the tiny points at which my allegiance to comfort rests on the idea that the world around me should be redesigned to fit my own desires.

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The first decade of the 2000s was a riot of a time. Suicide bombers, micro-lending, atheists being mentioned in an inaugural speech by the first African-American man to be sworn into office, who’s hung out with Bill Ayers of the Weather Underground, and whose last name is one letter off of that of the most hated Muslim in the entire world! But, as always there are some things we just can’t take with us. Here’s a list of proposed baggage we might consider leaving behind.

Hint: The first one rhymes with “blipster”…

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