21 July 2011
Jim Harrison: D. H. Lawrence said, "The only aristocracy is that of consciousness."
Gary Snyder: What do you think he meant?
JH: I think he meant that the person who is most conscious lives most intensely -- if "intensity" is the real pecking order, since life is so limited in length, as we are both aware of recently. That the person who experiences life most vividly --
GS: The most vividly? I'm not sure I agree with how he meant that, but that's a good question --
JH: Why would you disagree?
GS: Oh, because it's too spectacular, too romantic.
JH: Well so was he.
GS: Of course. At any rate, you could set that beside an East Asian idea of the aristocracy of consciousness, and a Chinese or Korean idea of that would be much calmer, much cooler. Not like a hard glowing gemlike flame, not like a flaming candle burning out --
JH: That's what Kobun Chino Sensei said; they criticized his friend Deshimaru because he said, "You must pay attention as if you had a fire burning in your hair." And Kobun said, "You must pay attention as if you were drawing a glass of water."
GS: Oh, that's better.
Read the rest here.