Saturday, September 6, 2003

Saturday September 6, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:56 PM

Pictures for Kurosawa

Five years ago on this day, director Akira Kurosawa died.

The above pictures are offered as a remembrance of Kurosawa and also of Charlotte Selver, who died on August 22, 2003.

The picture at right is from an entry of August 22.  As one obituary of Selver says, “She was very sharp and very precise.”

The picture at left is the cover of Alan Watts’s book The Spirit of Zen (a religion that is also very sharp and very precise).

A New Seeing,
by Mary Alice Roche

The connection with Alan Watts was a fateful one. As Charlotte recalls it, “My aunt wrote me from San Francisco, ‘last night I heard a man lecture about what you do.’ And she sent me Alan Watts’s first little book, The Spirit of Zen. I had never heard of Zen, was amazed and fascinated, and decided to visit the author.” She did so in August of 1953, and that was the beginning of a long relationship with Zen Buddhism – and also the beginning of a long series of joint seminars with Alan Watts, first in New York, and later, on Watts’s ferryboat in Sausalito, California. Some of the titles of their seminars were “Moving Stillness,” “The Unity of Opposites,” “Our Instantaneous Life,” “The Mystery of Perception,” “The Tao in Rest and Motion.” (Watts always said that Charlotte Selver taught a Western equivalent of Taoism.)

The picture at right above is intended as a sangaku, or Japanese temple tablet.

The picture at left above on the cover of Watts’s book may be regarded as illustrating the following:

“As these flowing rivers that go towards the ocean, when they have reached the ocean, sink into it, their name and form are broken, and people speak of the ocean only, exactly thus these sixteen parts of the spectator that go towards the person (purusha), when they have reached the person, sink into him, their name and form are broken, and people speak of the person only, and he becomes without parts and immortal. On this there is this verse:

‘That person who is to be known, he in whom these parts rest, like spokes in the nave of a wheel, you know him, lest death should hurt you.’ “

Prasna Upanishad


  1. My children (dear darlings that they are) love the Kurosawan shading on this dragon.

    [you’ll have to search for the skit titled *dragon* … but I warn you … you’ll end up walking around your house chanting, “Trogdor!!!” and hate it.]

    ~grabs Steven and gives him a giant hug~

    Comment by oOMisfitOo — Sunday, September 7, 2003 @ 2:59 AM

  2. After a days worth of contemplation … (no, really …)

    What happens when you get to the other shore?  If ignorance is bliss … and you are carried to other side of knowing … does that mean the other shore is hell?

    8. And they praising him, said:’You, indeed, are our father, you who carry us from our ignorance to the other shore.’

    Comment by oOMisfitOo — Monday, September 8, 2003 @ 1:21 AM

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