Wednesday, February 10, 2021


Indeterminacy means, literally: not fixed, not settled, uncertain, indefinite.
 It means that you don't know where you are. 
How can it be otherwise, say the Buddhist teachings, 
since you have no fixed or inherent identity 
and are ceaselessly in process?
Life is filled with uncertainty.  Chance events happen to all of us. 
Each of us must take responsibility and make decisions. 
None of us should be imposing our ego image on others.

There's another way to live.
 Accept indeterminacy as a principle,
 and you see your life in a new light,
 as a series of seemingly unrelated jewel-like stories 
within a dazzling setting of change and transformation.
 Recognize that you don't know where you stand,
 and you will begin to watch where you put your feet.
 That's when the path appears.

~ John Cage
from Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, 
Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists
by Kay Larson



erin said...

i went immediately to the sistine chapel, as well! without a thought! i equate this with the process of reading whole sentences when only fragments, or even only words fragments, exist. our mind writes the rest in. interesting how you bring huxley in after this. i am caused to look again and again to what is truly there, beneath that which i have painted in over years of conditioning, both from the outside and the inside.

is indeterminacy not also the cousin of humility?


Dean Keller said...

it's interesting to watch oneself "size up," or but into a "context." To see the automatic nature of the mind to define, and compare, thus to judge. How time spent just sitting with what's here, is not even recognized. Like the moments between notes or pauses between words, they are ignored as not useful. Yet within these are much of the sweetness and beauty.

humility is present as the boundaries of words and concepts disappear, as the, "I" concept weakens and disappears as well.

Kenza said...
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