Yes, thinking about Brecht and trees made me realize how much I like trees and how much I miss the forest I practically grew up in (during playtime, I mean, not because we are tree-dwelling people). Sadly, it does seem like the tree of wisdom has been turned into four IKEA bunk-beds of the Gutvik line (apparently happened sometime in 2000).
But thinking of the tree of wisdom also made me think about the Bodhi Tree, the Bodhisattva, or Chenrezig, of whom the Dalai Lama is supposed to be the current manifestation. The Dalai Lama is currently in Chicago and has already given a talk to a sold-out crowd this morning. He will be giving a talk to the masses in Millenium Park (Pritzker Auditorium) later today (from 1 to 4 I believe). Even though there are tickets available for auditorium seats I will be happy to just listen to him sitting on the grass for free (next to a tree, maybe). This also made me think of Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest trilogy again, which as a strong affinity with Tibetan Buddhism. One recurring assertion in these novels is that an excess of reason is also to be considered a form of insanity, which, at least in my Western frame of reference, seems to make more sense to me as a description for Fordist capitalism. But, hey, who am I to question a Lama (not the animal–I do like llamas a lot, though–they tend to have this facial expression of perpetual wonderment mixed with defiance [kinda like Billy Idol]–very sympathetic [in an animal, that is]). So my plan for today: write some more and then go listen to the Dalai Lama and maybe try to ask him what he thinks about my dissertation (I am still lacking a fifth member of my dissertation committee and cannot really decide who to select).
‘Dick Cheney for the Day’: well, you know that one by now.
‘Marcuse for the Day’ (an important assertion regarding the logic of dialectical materialism):
There can be no such thing as a total abolition of alienation. Dialectical materialism recognizes the inexorable struggle of man with nature confronting the human subject and limiting its freedom no matter in what form of society. It is not the question of abolishing alienation altogether but abolishing what I might call surplus alienation, namely the alienation exacted by the existing society in the interest of maintaining and enlarging the status quo.