First off, The Zero Defex will play this Thursday night (July 21, 2011) at the Beachland Tavern 15711 Waterloo Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44110. We're headlining. Before us you'll see Marky Ray and 100,000 Leagues Under My Nutsack. I can't get those MySpace pages to load on my computer. But maybe you can.
Next up, the folks at Dogen Sangha Los Angeles have uploaded yet another video from the interviews they taped with me last year. It's about time:
If you can't see that, go to http://youtu.be/SYRNr8Y-hpA
When I say it's about time, it really is about time. The interviewer asked me to explain my understanding of time, so I did.
What I'm saying in this video is my caveman interpretation of Dogen's 有時 (uji) or "Being Time." Here is Gudo Nishijima's translation and commentary on Uji. Here is Kazuaki Tanahashi's translation. And here is an exhaustive comparison of several different translations of Uji. Phew!
Watching this video for the very first time last night (I never watched it after it was taped), I realize I sound like I'm contradicting myself. First I say that there's no way we can undo what we've done in the past. And then I say that the past may be changeable.
I was trying to squeeze a huge number of concepts into something that could be edited into a short video. I'm not suggesting at the end of the video that it actually is possible to go back and change your past. It's not. This is why you have to act very carefully here and now. Nothing you do in this moment can be undone later on.
At the same time, we assume that the past is a solid unchanging single thing. But I suspect it isn't. And whether it is or it isn't doesn't matter much. In practical real world terms, the past is constantly changing. All we have to refer to when speaking of the past is our memories and our incomplete physical records of events (documents, photos, video tapes, etc.). These documents don't record the past in its entirety. And our impressions gleaned from viewing them are not at all the same as the impressions of the people who were there at the event.
For example, here's a video of Zero Defex playing our song Two Minute Hate at The Dale, a bar in Akron, sometime in early 1983. This isn't the best example. But on parts of the video this was excerpted from, The Dale looks positively huge. This is because it's dark in the club and one tends to assume the camera must be somewhere in the middle of the place. In fact the camera person was backed up against the front wall of the place. She was as far away from the band as she could possibly get. Which means she was about seven feet away from us.
My memories of the place are somewhat different from this video. And yet my memories of the place have now been changed by seeing the video, which I had not seen at all before 2005. So it's hard to say what's real. The actual event is gone. Are my memories correct? Or is the mechanically preserved image correct? It's hard to say. The camera saw a perspective of what happened that I could not see at the time. It's in front of the band, whereas I was over to the extreme right of the screen (I don't appear on camera at all in this clip). The camera was not playing bass at the time either.
Dogen believed that being and time were the same thing. We are not entities who exist within time. We are time itself. This view of what we are is radically different from the view we are used to.
Dogen also believed that all of time is contained in this single moment. The entire past and the entire future are right here.
And yet our experience of time is one of being cut off from all other moments of time and all other places in space except where we are right now.
In conclusion, TIME IS WEIRD. So don't take it for granted that it's exactly the way you think it is.
And that's about as deep as I can get on a hot and sweaty morning in Akron, Ohio.