Something new for today to ponder, or better yet to induce a moment or more of non-pondering, and non-ponderousness.
And here is a dialogue between myself and Eric about this illustration.
Eric: JSB, I’m really not 100% on what you’re getting at here. Why do you have to use the word “idiot”? It seems a bit insulting.
JSB: Imagine you are on an airplane, going wherever it is you want to go, maybe Pondicherry to visit the ashram. But it could be Istanbul, or Constantinople, or Roswell New Mexico to see some alien nonsense. It doesn’t matter where.
Eric: OK. I get it. I’m on a plane to… hmmm… New York.
JSB: So, you are on the plane to New York. It is good. Yes?
Eric: Yeah, it’s fine.
JSB: But you can’t sleep. Do you know why?
Eric: Airplane food doesn’t sit well with my stomach?
JSB: Nooo. That just gives you some gas and you pass it stealthily.
Eric: I’m so excited about going to NY that I can’t relax?
JSB: No. You are very angry. Shall I tell you why?
Eric: Please do.
JSB: There is a man behind you who is talking to his travel companion. He has been talking for hours and hours, ever since he boarded the plane. At first you eavesdropped, then you lost interest, then you wanted to throttle him, then to beat him to a bloody pulp. You can’t tune him out. You want to say something, but you don’t want to wake up others who are sleeping. What is it you want to tell him?
Eric: “Yo, asshole, shut the F_ _ _ up!”
JSB: Precisely my point. So you see, I am being very reserved in just identifying the speaker as an idiot – which it is! – without swearing at it or telling it to shut up. Don’t mistake yourself for the voice in your head. That is just you being the man on the plane endlessly prattling on about nonsense. Are you the talking man on the plane?
Eric: No. I’m me and he’s the jerkwad sitting behind me who won’t shut up.
JSB: Also you are not the talking man in your own head, perpetually regurgitating drivel.
Eric: So, what am I then?
JSB: To find out what you are you must first know what you are not. Otherwise you just file away an answer in the mental cabinet of what you are not. That is useless. First know you are not your own voice… not the idiot who never shuts up.
[Artwork by JSB & Eric Kuns in collaboration]