My biggest mistake, on a daily basis, is identifying too strongly with sensory input.
Every day I find myself attracted to some visual stimuli, repelled by others. Choosing ‘this’ over ‘that’. Remembering pleasure. Leading to desire. Remembering pain. Leading to fear.
Two sides of the same coin: attachment.
Watched the movie “Enter The Void” the other night. My buddy Netflix says:
When Oscar (Nathaniel Brown), a foreign drug dealer living in Tokyo with his stripper sister, Linda (Paz de la Huerta), is fatally shot in a police raid, his spirit leaves his body in a hallucinatory odyssey that merges his past, present and future into a chaotic whole. This riveting third film from provocative French auteur Gaspar Noe screened in competition at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Cyril Roy co-stars.”
(By the way, there’s a reason they show all the credits right up front. And if you can get through that chaotic first 3 minutes, with crazy music and credits flashing, I promise you’ll be glad you did. Or rather, I promise I was glad that I did.)
In a sense, “my” music isn’t really mine. Post it online. Press cd’s. Get paid. Still not mine. Because, like everything here, it has a beginning and an end. Which means it’s hollow.
If S.N.M., D. T. Suzuki, and the others are right (and I’m betting they are), the only thing that is real is that which can’t be tasted, touched, seen, smelled, heard, or conceived mentally. And that no-thing continues on the moment the senses fail.
So, what to do? Turn away. Again and again. “Neti-neti”; not this, not that. “I am.” And every time I feel pulled toward or away from anything, turn away again. Conceptually, I know this. Yet during Enter the Void, I recognized the main character’s dopey lack of wisdom as my own.
Reminds me why I admire Frank Zappa, taskmaster extraordinaire. Demanded top-quality musicianship and excellence from himself and those around him. Was not afraid to say what was on his mind. Was not a perfect individual, nor did he pretend to be. Once he put out an album, it was ‘on to the next project’.
At the end of it all, when asked what he wanted to be remembered for, he replied, “Nothing. It’s not important.”
How about you, Fellow Artist? What matters? What doesn’t? What do you grab onto? How does it affect your art? Your life?What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?