some of the quotes in this post are sampled from
brain pickings, surf over and have a look!
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In my opinion every year could & should be a John Cage year, this year actually is. John Cage (1912-1992)
John Cage meets D.T. Suzuki in Japan, 1962
I once asked Aragon, the historian, how history was written. He said, “You have to invent it.” When I wish as now to tell of critical incidents, persons, and events that have influenced my life and work, the true answer is all of the incidents were critical, all of the people influenced me, everything that happened and that is still happening influences me.
At the moment (much due to my own investigations into Mindfulness), I’m particularly interested in how John Cage combined eastern wisdom & western nature writing –
Thoreau got up each morning and walked to the woods as though he had never been where he was going to, so that whatever was there came to him like liquid into an empty glass. Many people taking such a walk would have their heads so full of other ideas that it would be a long time before they were capable of hearing or seeing. Most people are blinded by themselves.
– how he reinvented the two in his own praxis
… Rather than taking the path that is prescribed in the formal practice of Zen Buddhism itself, namely, sitting cross-legged and breathing and such things, I decided that my proper discipline was the one to which I was already committed, namely, the making of music. And that I would do it with a means that was as strict as sitting cross-legged, namely, the use of chance operations, and the shifting of my responsibility from the making of choices to that of asking questions.
I guess I try to steal his method …
All I know about method is that when I am not working I sometimes think I know something, but when I am working, it is quite clear that I know nothing.
6 Comments Add yours
Please, where did you get the quote about Thoreau? I have added it to my quote list/collection and would like to attribute it appropriately.
Click on the last sentence in the quote
“All I know about method is that when I am not working I sometimes think I know something, but when I am working, it is quite clear that I know nothing.”
For me, this is it exactly!! Now, I actually seek this moment for in the nothing is where it really gets interesting. A bit over the top, I know, but it is such a wonderful quote. Thank you.
In Zen they say: If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, try it for eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and so on. Eventually one discovers that it’s not boring at all but very interesting.
Thank you for leading me to the John Cage 100th birthday celebration page!