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About LaoTze

I like this story about LaoTze

“Patanjali and Lao Tzu came to a stream. Patanjali began to cross the stream by walking on the surface of the water. Lao Tzu stood on the bank and called him to come back.

“What’s the matter?” Patanjali inquired.

“There is no need to cross the stream, because this shore is the [as] other shore.” said Lao Tzu,

That’s the whole emphasis of Lao Tzu: There is no need to go anywhere; the other shore is here. There is no need to do anything. The only need is just to be. Effort is irrelevant because you are already that which you can ever be. Go nowhere. Follow no path. Seek nothing. Because wherever you will go, the very going is missing the point because everything is available here already.”

I’m not trying to challenge the world, it’s always been the same. Conflict happens. Underpinning that and vastly more important is Harmony. Harmoniousness has always been there. Witness the Indian master Tshengregacha’s visit to Zarathustra. They were the roots of the so-called ‘Great Religions’ but what underpins both is Belief in Spirit as One Everlasting Harmonious Being, of which we are part.

There’s a story about a king who thought he was being deceived by his wise man:

“So the king sent a caravan to a great Indian mystic, Tshengregacha, to whom came disciples from all over the world, and with the caravan went the same messengers and the same treasure that he had once sent to Zarathustra.

After many months, the messengers returned from India with the philosopher, but the philosopher said to him, “I am honoured to be your teacher but in frankness must tell you that I come chiefly to your country that I may meet the great Zarathustra.”

Then the king took the golden box containing the grain of wheat and answered, “I asked Zarathustra to teach me. See, this is what he sent me. Here is the teacher who shall teach me the Laws of the universe and the forces of nature. Is this not ridiculous?”

The philosopher looked long at the grain of wheat, and silence fell upon the palace while he meditated. At length he said, “I do not regret my many months of journeying, for now I know that Zarathustra is in truth the great teacher that I have long believed him to be. This tiny grain of wheat can indeed teach us the laws of the universe and the forces of nature, for it contains them in itself right now. You must not keep the grain of wheat in its golden box. You are missing the whole point.

“If you plant this little grain in the earth, where it belongs, in contact with the soil, the rain, the air, the sunshine, and the light of the moon and the stars, then like a universe in itself it will begin to grow bigger and bigger. Likewise you, if you would grow in knowledge and understanding, must leave your artificial life and go where you will be close to all the forces of nature and of the universe, to the sum total of things. Just as inexhaustible sources of energy are ever flowing towards the grain planted in the earth, so will innumerable sources of knowledge open and flow towards you until you become one with nature and the organic universe. If you watch the growth of this seed of grain, you will find that there is an indestructible and mysterious power in it — the power of life. The grain disappears, and in that disappearance there is victory over death.”

“All that you say is true” answered the king, “yet in the end the plant will wither and die and will be dissolved into the earth.”

“But not until it has done an act of creation and has turned itself into hundreds of grains, each like the first. The tiny grain disappeared as it grew into a plant, and you too as you grow must turn yourself into something and someone else. Life always creates more life, truth more abundant truth, the seed more abundant seeds. The only art one needs to know is the art how to die. Then one is reborn. I propose that we journey to Zarathustra himself that he may teach us more of these things.”

Extracts, with thanks from:

http://www.energyenhancement.co.uk/yoga/Osho-Yoga-The-Alpha-and-the-Omega-Vol-7-Discourses-on-the-Yoga-Sutras-of-Patanjali-Chapter-4-Be-A-Seed-Question-1.html

The one about Zarathustra comes from Edmond Bordeaux Szekely’s Book of Asha. http://www.amazon.com/The-Essene-Book-Asha-Journey/dp/0895640082

I found the yogasutra site last night and I thought I were in heaven. I saw a lacewing yesterday it flew past me onto a leaf. They are angels to me bringing messages from my father who died 1993 after he’d introduced me to one about 200 foot up an industrial chimbley.

Ailing & Aliens

Some of my friends are ailing. I near said aliens. Would that be correct? Maybe, if you think we are just passing thru. I sometimes get real bad cramp, say, in my calf at 4am, I just did. I guess am lucky (to be alive, it reminds me I’m alive!).Some of my friends don’t get cramps, they have strokes and heart problems. Yes am lucky. Reading Osho and all of that, they say don’t yearn to do the world, don’t run to get to the other side where the grass isn’t really greener. Just be there, just be. I intend to be myself Now.

I am collating buk(s) from previous books I prepared. No hassle. Keeps me off the streets. Here’s some writings I prepared (+published in my buk The Dull Jodrell, which I may do in a new revised second edition soon…ish) earlier:

dj hopi cava sm

THE DULL JODRELL DUCKS THE ISSUE

dw foto sm

It’s nice lovely coming to chez Duncan Dragonhat because everything comes together.  Despite the blocks of flats, cars and planes it’s a beautiful place, overlooking Kew.  Although you can’t see the gardens you see the trees, hear the crows and witness swan-like ducks fly three abreast over the roofs.  But it’s more than that.  Last night he gave me religion.  Not Duncan.  VAN.  Van the man. Saw him at the Dominion Theatre and it was like a religious experience.  I used to be a Van fanatic.  Now I am just into the music, so to speak.  But last night was such a beautiful experience as Van took us through his repertoire and the audience went ecstatic.

Afterwards we came back for the hot chilli Janet made and I went to sleep from 2.30 till now at 6.30.  It’s light and warm enough to sit undressed and it looks like being a good day.

And Duncan’s little library here, I don’t know where to start, books on everything and all, and he’s read them all (nearly), records galore.  One called Achalay is all original Latin American music – pan pipes, flutes and all, and his books, more ducks fly by, his books are a sight for sore eyes; just the ones I put by to look at – Russell Hoban’s ‘Riddley Walker’, Bukowski poems, Casteneda’s ‘Tales of Power’, the ‘Lunar Effect’ by Arnold Leiber, ‘The White Hotel’ D M Thomas.  There are books about Castenedas, Gurdjieff, Enstein, Krishnamurti, Buddhism.  He’s got Kerouac, Genet, Hesse, Beckett, Alan Watts, Brautigan.  To list them would be futile, so I have.  But suffice it to say I’ve already said it.  A jet plane majestically interrupts my writing.  I don’t mind but it is the sixth one in as many minutes, but in London you forget it, they’re like the bird song.  There, like the bird’s song, the slight blue sky and the mild wind moving the tree tops, and I’d like to tell you all about Duncan but I can’t, because I have, suffice it to say.

The seeds you planted grow and help you when you need it.  ‘Organisms are either in a state of positive or negative receptivity relative to their natural environment’ (Arnold L Lieber).  This quote takes me back to when I wrote about positive and negative aggression, or should I say creative and destructive use of the ‘aggressive aspect’ in all of us.  The ‘natural environment’, Dunc’s got his here, I’ve got mine in the country, so to speak.

He the town mouse,

Me the country mouse.

To begin with we knew not where we were going.  We were kids from the street, like all the rest.  We still are.  But we found the clues.  We followed our Hunches, we saw the light come shining through and it’s shining right on YOU.

Once you begin to tune in more easily, through experience of Effort, through having been there before, you begin to recognise the signs, you look for the signs, the signs of synchronicity begin to aid you.  Everything begins to fit into place.  The most unlikely things occur and become right.  That’s why developing and keeping an open mind is good.  By opening your mind (like a walnut shell pulled apart), you begin to see connections, you begin to cut through the mist that clouds the consciousness.  So; the clouded consciousness clears as your mind opens up to all aspects all around.  My mind opens up as I write this story about the Dull Jodrell.

Duncan is not a Dull Jodrell, nor is he a Shrewd Idiot, but he is a fellow Traveller, he’s with us on the Journey to the East.  He and me are about the same age, we went to the same school, we both went into college and came out.  Twenty years (53 now) we’ve known each other, helped each other, watched each other from afar.  When we get together, by letter, tape, telephone or in person, we talk at length about our various discoveries.  He understands my effort, and he sees the Path I trod.  Now and then he makes observations on my werk, suggests directions, sends books which he thinks will help.

As every creator knows, he can often find somebody to criticise or sympathise, but to find someone who he respects, who can empathize, is elusive.  I found that type of friend in Dunc.  I’ll always remember when I gave him the first part of ‘The Shrewd Idiot’ to ready. We were in the Tate at the time, a William Blake exhibition.  Duncan disappeared.  I found him when I can to leave, in tears of laughter as he read through my manuscript, rolling around the seat in the foyer.  I asked him why the mirth and he said, ‘Because it’s good, so good, it’s so good to us because we know how far you had to come’.  Here are some of his other comments:

a Duncan and the cosmic egg (1)

  ‘I have thought that I spend too much time thinking about how to view reality, which is futile.  As the Zen Buddhists say, “All that is, is”.  This is true, but you must be in a receptive state.  If, by your very nature, you are inquisitive and unsatisfied by the world view our society has trained us in then this ‘Cosmic Egg’ has to be broken and our own personal one needs to be built, otherwise we are in the garden but cannot touch its beauty.  I used to use the concept of a furrowed field, representing tunnel realities.  I strived to build up enough energy to leap onto the next furrow, gain its experience/view point, then leap onto the next, eventually arriving at a point where I’d attained cosmic consciousness and was running on top of all the furrows.

We are like displaced people, trying to get back to our world, we see it fleetingly during our illuminations, which give us energy and faith, but then we are sucked back into accepting this world.’

 dhatdkblu

Namaste Dragonhat, Avatar & Ally,

Love from D. J. O’Dourke.

article in good company and my show is ready

Ok, so. The show goes on, tomorrow nicht is the preview. I am glad I set it up yesterday cos the weather has really dipped and you don’t want my books and all getting damaged in the wet and the wind now do you. I had a lovely unexpected meet yesterday at John Doubleday’s studio. My etchings of the six mystics were on the stage awaiting hanging and I was talking to Sue Polten a local artist when a woman came over and said I heard you talking about David Jury’s course, I was on it in its first year. It was Jean Wood. Jean was a folk hero on the course, one of her books had been displayed at the Summer Show at Royal Academy in 2012 and had sold two of the three copies in the edition. That’s the good news. Then she said although she had submitted one this tear it was not displayed. My friend Anna Johnson had submitted hers too and that was highly regarded in the artist book genre, a very beautiful bookartobject which also had been deemed unworthy. In fact Norman Ackroyd and his mate what judged it may be excellent practitioners in their own field, Ackroyd’s etchings are nearly as good as F H Haagensens, more of him later, but they are inept at judging artist books which is a special field. I did email them and suggest they incorporate likes of David Jury and Sarah Bodman to judge books but they couldn’t be arsed to reply. I think it is criminal practice of them to decide, having advertised book as a category , to abandon it and not refund the submitters of what I know were excellent books. But the RA is too big for its boots and feels itself above ethical good practice. Ever since they awarded me RA Doubtful status I have not submitted anything. They said congratulations on your success but I lost nearly £100 in getting my pics up and although they were selected they were not hung by the curators. Pah humbug. Sadly, I have now been informed that Jean’s book is not in the new Codex catalogue designed be David Jury but I saw Ailsa Clarkes in the open page illustration in David’s ABYB article.

My article in the Artist Book Year Book 2014-15 is placed by Sarah Bodman close to an article about creating the Codex catalogue by David Jury, who features strongly in my article and one by Gustavo Montero, librarian at Chelsea School of Art Archive, which mentions Dieter Roth, one of the subjects in mine. Clever Sarah for such placement.

I managed to get abour 80% of my show in place yesterday. I have still got to do a lino-print print from the lino I have prepared of Kane’s poem but I have today to fit that in. It is great to be able to exhibit the books I did for the MA and stuff from before that. I have included some sculpture so that my mates on the MA can see something new to them. Also I include some never exhibited since my final show at St Lukes in 1973 prints. There’s a ‘Melody Maker’ screenprint, all hand cut stencil with the drawing I did of Jimmy Page Jagger Richards and Van Morrison from which I hand painted the screen. Then the highest achievement I have made in screenprinting wherein I compare the opposite ends of the art spectrum; photo realism and pure abstraction. In a way i was doing a Richard Hamilton type print with Albers abstraction on the same plane which was a tribute to Barnet Newman. It is relevant to the show because of the use of words on art surface. So in the ‘Barnet Newman/Henley’ prints I played with his use of the word ‘zip’ which he used to dsecribe the gaps between his fields of colour. I then left one gap empty, like he did, one gap has the word ‘zip’ lino printed repeatedly all the way up its length and one gap has a lino printed representation reminiscent of the zip in Warhol’s cover for the Stones album Sticky Fingers which had just come out. So, even in 1973 I was playing with signs and symbols. i loved the ideas that Newman generated in his interviews and writings. The photo I took at the Henley regatta where I saw this woman all dolled up with a fag in her gob and a pint of beer in hir mit.

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