Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why not wake up?

You have slept for millions and millions of years.
Why not wake up this morning?

- Kabir (1440–1518)

Kabir is possibly the first Indian saint to have harmonised Hinduism and Islam by preaching a universal path which both Hindus and Muslims could tread together. He was a major influence on Sikhism.
Kabir lived in Varanasi, the sacred city on the Ganges.

Image used with kind permission of Azli Jamil
See more of his work here

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An Ancient Take on the Gun Control Issue

The Tao Te Ching
... 31. A Weapon is a Tool of Death

A weapon is a tool of death.
A tool of death is anti-Tao.
A man of the Way, leading,
will reject tools of death
if he has a choice.
There is a formal attitude
the left of which is life
the right of which is death.
To the left is peace & creation;
violence & destruction
occupy the right.
There is no beauty in death,
this the wise man understands.
If a man finds beauty in death
his self is compromised to its core.
He has lost the Way.
Should a wise man be compelled to violence
he will not rejoice.  Victory is not
a time for joy. Victory is a funeral
wherein a multitude is mourned.

from The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu
An Adaptation by R. Bob

via 3quarksdaily

Thursday, January 03, 2013

The Unforseen

Whoever cannot seek
the unforeseen sees nothing,
for the known way
is an impasse.


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Anish Kapoor

Today I saw the Anish Kapoor exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, by the Harbour in Sydney.
Kapoor was born in India but has been based in London since the early 1970s.
I was familiar with his installations featuring piles of powdered red and yellow pigment (resembling the cone-shaped heaps of sacred kumkum and turmeric displayed in shops near Hindu temples in India) but I was unprepared for his amazing mirror and optical illusion pieces.
Several of the works appear to be flat planes flush with the walls they are hanging on, but when you stand in front of them, your eyes cannot determine where the surface is. It was hard not to try to touch the works to check; however, there were lots of museum staff to prevent people doing this. (understandable - removing fingerprints from all those polished objects would not be easy)
It's an incredible experience but unfortunately there is no way of conveying the depth perception effect through photos, and you simply have to see the exhibition. But here are some images of his mirror pieces, which are photographable.
Even someone with no interest in contemporary art would find this show amazing.