Day 86: I love Trees!


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.



  1. I have a book for you to read, if you would be interested. It obviously doesn’t have to be now, but whenever/ifever you get around to it. You still have a mailbox at school?

    Why am I checking my blog at 10:30 on a Sunday morning?

  2. Sure–maybe sometime this summer. What book is it? Yes, I still have my mailbox at school–that might be a good way to go. Checking your blog at 10:30 on Sunday morning–seems you are another one of those weird people who love to read and write. Crazy folk!

    On a different note: the whole Dalai Lama business did not really work out.Crap! I thought the grass-seats would be free, but no: you needed not only a ticket to get into the park, but you had to walk through metal detectors, had to check cameras outside, leave drinks behind etc. Not sure if they were protecting the Dalai Lama from terrorists, or a possible Richard Gere kissing-attack, which, as we have seen in the recent past, can have devastating consequences (but then again those two strangely enough seem to be good friends).

  3. The title! That could be helpful. “The First and Last Freedom” by Jiddu Krishnamurti. I think I mentioned something about it last semester. Feel free to buy your own copy, or I could just pass you mine. I just wanted to add that Krishnamurti wasn’t a guru or anything of the sort. Just a very keen observer of the human mind, with tremendous insights.

    Seems to me like you’re one of those crazy folk too. But I would like to think that checking my blog on a Sunday morning has more to do with me being a heathen and not going to church. But I do believe in trees! Amongst other tangible things.

    Sucks about the Lama, man. Looks like you’re just too poor to be enlightened!

  4. Ha, ha–no kidding! Seems like enlightenment is quite pricy these days. Might explain the large number of republican voters.
    No worries about being a heathen–doing some thinking and writing compared to being indoctrinated is certainly time spent a lot better. Just make sure you remember the lingo when you try to run for president. 🙂

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