Sunday, April 18, 2010
I am sitting at the bar sipping a Caucasian and trying to concentrate on the laptop. Louise, the bartender, mixes one for herself eyes me with dudely amusement.
"Still trying to come up with something to write about the supposium on lazy wisdom Moondog?"
"Supposium? What the fuck is a supposium Louise?"
"You say symposium...I say supposium. Supposing...what iffing...is what's been going on around here lately with all this deep philosophizing about your Lazy Wisdom...capital 'l' capital 'w'. Why don't you just stop thinking about it and let stuff happen...then sit back and dig it as it goes down...Moondog? That's my way of not doing lazy wisdom...little 'l' little 'w'."
Finally, my fingers begin to type and words begin to appear on the screen.
In the last dispatch from these regions I promised to fill everybody in on the doings and insights of the Duder Bar supposium on lazy wisdom, but I got distracted and didn't get very far...so here we go again...
As usual, just as I am about to elucidate a significant new strand and what have you, something happens...
This Armani suited stock broker looking guy glides through the door snapping his fingers and bobbing his head to music only he can hear. Everyone at the bar looks at him as he slowly intones...
"Dude be slow steppin', mang...threw away my 3G, multi-tasking smart phone, mang...don't want to talk to you while I'm downloading and gaming and trading at the same time no more, bub...smashed that fucking thing, Maurice..."
He slowly spins and, in a leisurely fashion, syncopates back out into the street.
I type some more...
Unbelievable! Louise was right...I'll get into what Louise said later. Synchronicity strikes again! Is Carl Jung hanging out around here somewhere? Slow dancing at high noon...stop thinking about it and lazy wisdom just dances through the door...
Here comes Nancy walking down the bar from the back carrying a brown paper bag.
"Is this yours? Found it in the back booth where you were 'entertaining' last night."
She hands me the bag. I have never seen it before. I reach inside and pull out a book. Look at it in rapt wonder. Everybody at the bar cranes their neck to see.
Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers,Loungers, Slackers and Bums in America
By Tom Lutz
An advertising flier for the book for the book flutters out of the bag onto the floor. I pick it up and read it out loud to the congregation.
"Lutz eases readers into this sparkling cultural history of stylish American torpor with an anecdote about his 18-year-old son, Cody, moving into his house and bivouacking on the couch—perhaps indefinitely. Lutz himself spent a decade before college "wandering here and abroad," so his intense anger at Cody surprised him—and inspired him to write this book about the crashing fault lines between Anglo-America's vaunted Calvinist work ethic and its skulking, shrugging love of idling. An English professor who admits to being personally caught between these warring impulses, Lutz (Crying) has a gimlet eye for the ironies of modern loafing: that the "flaming youth" of the 1920s were intensely industrious; that our most celebrated slackers (Jack Kerouac, Richard Linklater) have been closet workaholics; that our most outspoken Puritans (Benjamin Franklin, George W. Bush) have been notorious layabouts. Lutz's diligent research on a range of lazy and slovenly subjects, from French flâneurs to New York bohos, ultimately leads him to side with the bums. Flying in the face of yuppie values and critics of the welfare state, his "slacker ethic" emerges over the course of this history as both a necessary corrective to—and an inevitable outgrowth of—the 80-hour work week."
"What the fuck!"
Louise is pointing up at the TV above the bar. She turns up the volume as everyone present does a double take in unison then stares at the TV.
Just as Bing and his motley crue are winding up their observations on the nature of things, John Lennon's voice rings out from somewhere down the bar...
"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans...Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans..."
It is the ringtone on somebody's cell phone. Sheepishly, Doris, a newcomer to the Duder, answers her phone and hurries to the back of the bar so as not to disturb the proceedings at hand.
Now...at this juncture I think it only fitting to take a step back so as to be able to see the forest and not get lost in the trees...as they say. Obviously, The Duder Bar Supposium on Lazy Wisdom seems to be composing itself. The old Trickster is cracking the cosmic joke once again...reminding me who's who and what's what...and I might as well fuggetaboutit as far as trying to theorize and expound upon those matters "myself". The universe is doing me, I am clearly not doing it...life is living me...I'm not...well shush...you get the picture. During the past brief bit of time here at the humble ol' Duder Bar the DUDE himself is playfully wagging his finger at us sinners and saying...
"Chill...there's NOTHING to do...there's nothing you CAN do, really...when you take a giant step back and have a good look at the whole durn thing. Let go dudes! Chill...deeply...lazy wisdom... abide man..."
Thursday, April 1, 2010
We Dudeists here at the old Duder Bar have been incommunicado for awhile because of all the mulling about and intense ruminating that has gone into our latest project, a small booklet entitled LAZY WISDOM: PROCRASTINATION AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE, but I'm going to wait to elaborate further on that until a little later on. First, I want to bring to light a couple of fellers you may have heard about but, if not, will probably get a kick out of...natural born Dudeists both, and both probably sympathetic with our current frenzied quest for the key to profound procrastination.
The first, Wes “Scoop” Nisker, is a writer, radio personality, Buddhist meditation teacher and stand-up philosopher who, years ago, came up with the challenge, "If you don't like the news go out and make some of you own." Interesting concept. Anyhow among the books old "Scoop" is notorious for are CRAZY WISDOM, THE ESSENTIAL CRAZY WISDOM, and, most recently, CRAZY WISDOM SAVES THE WORLD AGAIN! Here's a quote from this last tome that speaks directly to our current cogitations as well as to the Dudeist modus operandi in general.
“If I were in the department of wisdom, I would call for an immediate moratorium on progress, to last at least a half-century. We had a whole lot of progress in the last couple of centuries, and although it brought us pain-killing drugs, space telescopes, and Velcro®, it appears we can no longer keep up with our own ingenuity. We now race madly around in our individual boxes of steel, chasing after satisfaction, and in the process we are throwing the atmosphere out of whack by burning up two or three geological epochs worth of the sun’s stored energy in one great choking bonfire of the vanities. We have spent the better part of our genius figuring out new ways to blow each other up or learning how to go faster, and in our fear and haste we forgot about who we are and where we are going. We need to relax, deeply, and let our hearts and minds catch up with out tool-making ability, which ha gotten way “out of hand.” What we need is a century of less doing and more “being.” The next revolution is a big slowdown."
“I also have some broad suggestions on how we might help heal our sick civilization and the ailing planet, based on the understanding of crazy wisdom, a long-running tradition of tricksters, saints, philosophers, self-proclaimed fools, and other disreputable characters, Rather than practical solutions, crazy wisdom offers a stance, an attitude to carry us as we proceed through these ominous days."
Just think of The Dude as a Crazy Wisdom/Lazy Wisdom master and things begin to fall...some sooner...some later...into place.
The other feller I want to call your attention to, name of Thaddeus Golas, wrote a 79 page book back in the late 60's called THE LAZY MAN'S GUIDE TO ENLIGHTENMENT which was an instant hit at that time. Here's what Amazon has to say...
"Originally published by the author in 1972, the underground classic Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment teaches how to improve the quality of life, to feel good, and to determine what's real."
And from an Amazon reviewer...
"I've never been interested in having a guru, and Thaddeus Golas was never interested in being one. He wasn't looking for converts, followers, or even agreement, and I've always felt free to disagree with the way he makes this or that point. So this book has long been perfectly suited to me and my somewhat iconoclastic/refractory temperament."
"This little book is one of a very small handful that I regard as the absolute cream of 'hippie spirituality'. Stephen Gaskin's 'This Season's People' is that literature's Diamond Sutra and Paul Williams's 'Das Energi' is its Tao Te Ching. Golas's slim volume comes very close to Gaskin's in its adamantine wisdom and so ranks as a close second in diamond-sutrahood, but I think of it as something like the Dhammapada."
"Its message is so easy to put across that, technically, you already know everything it says. The heart of the matter is: relax; just love as much as you can from wherever you are. When you come right down to it, you're already 'enlightened' and you don't have anything to prove."
"But somehow, the 'way' Golas puts this message (and the bit about "love as much as you can" is a direct quotation) has some major mojo in it, enough to knock your mind loose from your brain."
If you're interested you can read the entire book online HERE. Or...if you're even lazier...just keep reading...
A selection of reminders from the text (abbreviated):
Whether I am conscious of it or not, I am one with the cause of all that exists.
Enlightenment doesn't care how you get there.
Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it.
There is nothing you need to do first in order to be enlightened.
This, too, can be experienced with a completely expanded awareness.
I wouldn't deny this experience to the One Mind.
And on abiding...maybe...
When you learn to love hell, you will be in heaven.
And so fellow pilgrims, enough of homage...time to move on down the line toward LAZY WISDOM: PROCRASTINATION AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE...or...
DOING NOT DOING...heh, heh, heh...
But first...before we expose the secret keys to the treasure chest containing our sacred doings and elaborations...I would like to share with you some other folk's pronouncements on the subject...
“Procrastination isn’t the problem. It’s the solution. It’s the universe’s way of saying stop, slow down, you move too fast. ”
“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”
“I love deadlines. Especially the whooshing sound they make as they pass by.”
“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”
“Procrastinators: Leaders of Tomorrow”
“The sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up.”
“Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.“
“The two rules of procrastination: 1) Do it today. 2) Tomorrow will be today tomorrow.”
“Don't fool yourself that important things can be put off till tomorrow; they can be put off forever, or not at all.”
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
C. Northcote Parkinson
“Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday.”
You know what? I think that by now...if you've gotten this far...that you all figure that you've read enough of my scribbling for one day, so I'm going to hold off on presenting any more from the Duder Bar Symposium on Lazy Wisdom till next time.
As the sign on Ken Kesey's magic bus said...FURTHER...LATER (my addition)...