02009-09-05 | Photos | 1 comment

New login password for the Backstage on Monday!

The following is not a music post. It belongs in the category “Journal”. If you are here for the music only, you can avoid these posts by going to this URL.

Took a walk yesterday Morning. Arrived at my destination a little too late and the green chile croissants were already sold out. Had a Pain Au Chocolat instead. Wrote most of this (((using Evernote on iPhone))) in the cafe, while sipping coffee and eating the croissant.

The space I talked about in Friday’s re-broadcast is time. Time has changed, or rather, our perception of time and especially our use of time has evolved. At some point (((a long time ago))) we used to say “I’ll see you in Spring,” later we might have said “I’ll see you at the beginning of the third moon,” which became “I’ll wait for you during the second week of the seventh month,” until we arrived here: “I’ll meet you at 6:15, and don’t be late – I’ll only wait five minutes.”

The grid has narrowed, from a year to a nanosecond (one billionth of a second), and the hatch-marks are so close now, we can barely distinguish them. If your watch slows just a little bit you miss your appointment – unless you are a doctor: they are always late for your appointment.

Is time an eternal and infinite and mysterious NOW or is it this finely hatched grid we superimposed? Like body and clothes, perhaps? Of course it is both. Something I wrote in the email-interview on Thursday stuck with me: poetry versus data (((maybe that is also beauty versus information or being versus having?))).

The moment, this now is poetry. The grid we superimpose is data. And isn’t that what is happening to everything? Aren’t we choking beauty with our grids, our data? Music (((and soon books))) have lost their magical beauty and have been reduced to bits, data files and streams. Is it a teeter-totter (((like so many things in life))) that swings back and forth… now towards poetry, now towards data? After these decades of reduction, will decades of expansion follow?

I think we can choose walking and biking over cars, we can choose to vacation in an area we can discover on foot or bicycle, as opposed to doing ten cities in two weeks – many of us have to do that for work already, so why do it for leisure also. We can find ways to counteract the tightening noose of time that we are ourselves superimposing on our world. We can insert space into our time, little balloons of NOW, like airbags in cars that save us from a collision with the dragnet of self-imposed time.

Maybe that’s enjoying a cup of tea or coffee in the morning, before you open up your laptop or read the newspaper. For me meditation is such a buffer. Sometimes my brain begs to keep working and does not want to relax into ininity. Sometimes it wins, but mostly it doesn’t. My gut knows better!

Later, during the walk home, this came to mind:

Sentient beings are numberless, I vow to save them.
That’s the first of four Bodhisattva vows. Here is another version.

But that’s impossible, or is it? Numberless… that’s infinite

I should print a t-shirt that shows this little formula (((I know it is a nonsense formula, but it would be fun to see who gets it))):

Infinity (numberless) divided by X, which is NOW or awareness or dropping body-mind or freeing or saving or whatever works for you equals one divided by X. When we multiply both sides with X, which is the action to be accomplished (((I hear the ancient voices say… nothing to do and nothing to accomplish))), we eliminate X and what remains is this: numberless equals one. You, me, the world. All one. All saved when you are saved.

And isn’t it interesting that we have to move the goal-post of sentience continually? We keep discovering that more animals are sentient according to our own definitions – so we change the definition… I wonder whether someday we will arrive at the same understanding many old tribal cultures had, that the entire world, every animal, plant and rock, is sentient. See this:

Until recently, humans were thought to be the only species to experience complex emotions and have a sense of morality. But Prof Marc Bekoff, an ecologist at University of Colorado, Boulder, believes that morals are “hard-wired” into the brains of all mammals and provide the “social glue” that allow often aggressive and competitive animals to live together in groups.

Today I woke up at 05:15. I uploaded the second half of the “Under the Rose” album, which you can find here. By 06:45 I was at Aspen Vista at 9,500 feet and started hiking up to about 11,600 feet. Here are some images from my walk:

1 Comment

  1. steve

    Ottmar:”The grid we superimpose is data. And isn’t that what is happening to everything? Aren’t we choking beauty with our grids, our data?”

    In his book, “Fury”, Salman Rushdie writes, “When the epoch of analog (which was to say also of the richness of language, of analogy) was giving way to the digital era, it was the final victory of the numerate over the literate.”

    Later, in that same chapter the protagonist muses, “What is the digital equivalent of lovely, he wondered. What are the digits that encode beauty, the number-fingers that enclose, transform, transmit, decode, and somehow in the process, fail to trap or choke the soul of it.”

    It seems like matter how high the sampling rate, a recording never matches a live performance. No matter how high def a photograph of a painting is, it never matches seeing a it in person … and so it goes … something is lost.

    I have no idea what it is that’s lost. The soul of art? is there such a thing? Can an inanimate thing have a “soul?”
    I dunno. I don’t even know how to find out.


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