“Die while you’re alive and be absolutely dead. Then do whatever you want: it’s all good.” Bunan
“Zen is the way of splitting the self again and again, until there is nothing left.” Frederick Lenz
“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” W.C. Fields
“Give me boredom. At least I know where I’m going to eat and sleep tonight.” Al Paca
“Plato in the peonies, Socrates force-growing his own hemlock. A man toting a sack of blood manure across his lawn is kin to Atlas letting the world spin easy on his shoulder.” Ray Bradbury
“If you think training is expensive, try ignorance.” Peter Dricler
Tickets at the Strasburg Rail Road are $15.50 for coach; ignorance as always is free.
“You can’t change yourself, nothing can change you: no Primal Therapy, or Encounter groups-nothing. All that can happen is that you can come to accept yourself. You think you are ugly, then be ugly. You don’t like your body, you don’t like your mind-they are you, accept them.
And it is the ego that wants to change, become radiant, enlightened, unique. No one loves themselves. And this is the whole beautiful attitude of the religious man-that nothing can be changed, so eat well, live, enjoy. He doesn’t waste energy fighting against himself. Nothing is wrong but a wrong attitude. You are trying to square the circle-it can be done; if it could, it would no longer be a circle.” Osho
If you have a problem with this you can text or call 717-672-1014, I’m sure they have operators standing by who are experts on change.
Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre has been called the bible of existentialism. It’s a long, difficult book to read, and depending on who you ask, it’s either a work of pure genius, complete nonsense or both.
It might be worthwhile to look at some other things that Jean-Paul Sartre wrote in order to understand existentialism and his perspective in general.
For example, he said: “All I really want to do is go to the book store, drink coffee and read.” Back in his day book stores didn’t even have Wi-Fi, so you know he was serious.
Another thing that’s crucial to understanding the man and his philosophy is this: “I do not think therefore I am a mustache.” Well, obviously.
And possibly the most important thing he ever said is: “Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.”
This is especially true of most outdoor photography unless you plan to shoot wide open, convert to black and white, and call it something obscure like being and nothingness.
In his book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki writes; “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”
What he calls beginner’s mind refers to doing something without thinking about achieving anything, which could be recognition, likes on a Facebook page, or a tweet by the President and a free room for life in one of his hotels.
Last night I spent two frustrating hours taking photos of colored pencils for a piece I wanted to write called selective focus. It was to be about the way we get caught up in our own bullshit by the way we think, and what we think about. So of course the photo had to be tack sharp, it had to be perfect.
Finally I decided the whole thing was pointless and gave up, putting the pencils in an old cigar box along with some crayons I had for another project on color. I looked over and saw something that was random and perfect and nothing special (also the title of a fantastic book by Charlotte Joko Beck).
I took six photos for the simple reason that I thought it was cool. Yes, I shot RAW and JPEG in manual on a tripod, but people don’t change overnight. And it was absolutely perfect in its own way! It’s a simple photo of crayons in an old cigar box given to me by my father 20 years ago.
So at 2 am last night I had an epiphany and it was free, there is true joy in doing something just because its fun. I can’t wait to tell this to my therapist next week when I pay my bill. She might tell me that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but I have a feeling she’ll read more into this than there really is.
Immanuel Kant, in The Critique of Pure Reason said; “Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.”
In other words, it’s all balls in a boat.
“It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul.” William Styron, author of Darkness Visible
“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.” Dalai Lama, Buddhist monk
This is a photo I took of some old keys, obviously. It was a simple matter of arranging, lighting, taking a few shots on a tripod, processing the RAW files in Lightroom, editing in Photoshop, and then a little tweaking in Photomatix Essentials for an HDR effect.
So I asked myself, am I obsessive, compulsive or possibly both? I wasn’t sure so I did some research on the five types of OCD.
The first type is cleaning obsessions, such as cleaning your camera and lenses with a special microfiber cloth kept in a special package and folded in a special way.
Next are checking obsessions, which can include checking camera settings frequently like shooting modes, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focus points, exposure mode and white balance.
The third type is obsessions without visible compulsions, which can involve intrusive thoughts such as previsualization, and in extreme cases this is known as Dryshooting.
Not surprisingly there are also hoarding obsessions, which may involve accumulating tripods, lens hoods, filters, and new equipment of all kinds whether you need it or not (do not keep a copy of the B&H photo video catalog under your bed).
And finally, obsessions with ordering, arranging and counting compulsions, which would realistically be almost everything else involved with photography.
So in my case, the answer might be yes, but it gives me something to do and it’s much better than sitting in a recliner, drinking vodka and watching daytime TV. (I’m guessing).