Kyoto Journal Issue 31
John, Yoko & the Great Western Cultural Revolution
The Art of Immortality
Conversation with Eric Lloyd Wright
Interview with Documentary Film-maker Tatsumura Jin
Japanese Garden Design
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In Oriental medicine, the concept of the Art of Benevolence, which has been handed down for millennia, expresses the spirit of medical therapy based on the union of healer and the patient. It is said that medical therapy should take place through dialogue between the souls of two living people. Patients make a lengthy report of their symptoms so that the healer may understand the personality that has fallen into the extraordinary world known as pain, a world of social isolation and helplessness. Patients need their healer to acknowledge their suffering and sympathize with them so that they may be liberated from their psychological isolation. Medical therapy has the capacity to incorporate the Art of Benevolence, through which the patient can return from the extraordinary world of pain to a healthy normality.
Architecture has to express this feeling of human potential, too, saying this is what I am as a creative individual. We must have a human, creative environment, not an environment that strives to overpower us. Now, of course, it is not the church that overpowers us, it is the large corporate skyscrapers, those huge monoliths in the center city that so oppress everyone. Those glass and steel towers are far beyond human scale. You go into some of these skyscrapers in New York and the lobby is five or six stories high! It’s ridiculous. One is just overpowered. There is no sense of human scale because they are consciously trying to overwhelm you with corporate power.
A Conversation with Eric Lloyd Wright –
What the cultural revolution of the Sixties came to be about was transformation; the transformation of Western consciousness concerning the nature of truth, and of individual responsibility in the stewardship of society and the larger world. It was a period where people learned how to organize, to speak up and question authority. The Sixties opened up Western culture to Otherness, other ways of thinking, living, working and breathing. And through most of it John Lennon and crazy-like-a-fox Yoko Ono were there, crossing boundaries, pulling down the Keep Out signs.
John, Yoko & the Great Western Cultural Revolution –
Books like those of Fukuyama’s, based on the premise that history can have some sort of an end, are examples of what Arnold Toynbee once called the ‘mirage of immortality.’ The economic and social system that Fukuyama calls liberal, democratic capitalism is largely the product of five-hundred years or more of fratricidal struggle between the world’s great powers. The collapse of communism has momentarily rendered it supreme. That Fukuyama has identified this brief occasion with the end of history is itself a sign of how much the cold war has shriveled our social imagination.
Stay Brief Moment –
A sage is not simply someone with a noble mind or advanced soul. A sage is someone who listens to and obediently follows his inner nature. The Chinese character for sage is made up of two characters meaning “ear” and “to develop.” A sage listens with the heart to his inner voice without letting the ego interfere. There is a proverb relating to Oriental diagnosis, “the sage is one who knows by listening.” Here, sage refers to the selfless mind that captures and becomes filled with the essence of nature.
The Art of Immortality –
Japan, A View from the Bath, by Scott Clark — Lauren Deutsch
Cover Image by Lawrence Huff
published March 8, 1996
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