In a conversation with human-rights activist, filmmaker and author Amir Soltani, Amir said “there is no doubt that as a species we have been death-centric and not life-centric”*.
Human rights activist, filmmaker, author Amir Soltani in conversation with the Impermanence Platform, July 2020.
This morning, during a guided meditation practice with Jim Rosen**, one of the participants remembered her three year old daughter asking her to draw her thoughts. The little girl would get upset when her parents would draw her vision in a static way. The girl would then improve her parents’ depiction by adding movement to the drawing.
Mount Mishima in the province Kai, Katsushika Hokusai, 1829 - 1833, Rijks Museum, Netherlands
Katshushika Hokusai was attentive to life: "From around the age of six, I had the habit of sketching from life. I became an artist, and from fifty on began producing works that won some reputation, but nothing I did before the age of seventy was worthy of attention. At seventy-three, I began to grasp the structures of birds and beasts, insects and fish, and of the way plants grow. If I go on trying, I will surely understand them still better by the time I am eighty-six, so that by ninety I will have penetrated to their essential nature. At one hundred, I may well have a positively divine understanding of them, while at one hundred and thirty, forty, or more I will have reached the stage where every dot and every stroke I paint will be alive. May Heaven, that grants long life, give me the chance to prove that this is no lie. ”."***
The Syrian poet Adonis seems to long for the same 'divine understanding': ‘Sufism and Surrealism allow us to see (...) the absence and the presence: the absence of men and the presence of mechanics, the absence of the heart and the presence of reason, the absence of nature and the presence of industry."****
It was because of his fear of death that Iranian polymath Omar Khayyam wrote in his Rubbaiyat "This moment is your life.'"
*Human rights activist, filmmaker and author Amir Soltani in conversation with The Impermanence Platform, July 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8ynaiC-ZPc
****Adonis, 'Sufism and Surrealism", Introduction, page 26.
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