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Thread: Wabi Sabi

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    Default Wabi Sabi

    Wabi-sabi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Wabi-sabi (???) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. The phrase comes from the two words wabi and sabi. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete" (according to Leonard Koren in his book Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers). It is a concept derived from the Buddhist assertion of the Three marks of existence (??? sanb?in?), specifically impermanence (?? muj??). Note also that the Japanese word for rust, ? is also pronounced sabi (the borrowed Chinese character is different, but the word itself is of assumed common etymology), and there is an obvious semantic connection between these concepts.
    Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity, simplicity, modesty, intimacy, and suggest a natural process.
    Thoughts?

    I kind of think of it as the difference between being (overly)controlled and being alive.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Symmetry is beautiful, but at some point you want an indication that you are not looking at a mannequin (for example if we are talking about humans). There needs to be an indication that what you are looking at is really alive.
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    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Wabi-sabi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



    Thoughts?

    I kind of think of it as the difference between being (overly)controlled and being alive.
    If I understand correctly, wabi sabi is from the same line of thought as things like the tea ceremony: that all things are already perfect manifestations of the Dharma, or, to put it in other words, necessarily perfectly what they are.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Symmetry is beautiful, but at some point you want an indication that you are not looking at a mannequin (for example if we are talking about humans). There needs to be an indication that what you are looking at is really alive.
    I think this related to the Uncanny Valley of human likeness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    If I understand correctly, wabi sabi is from the same line of thought as things like the tea ceremony: that all things are already perfect manifestations of the Dharma, or, to put it in other words, necessarily perfectly what they are.
    Ah. It's good to get input from someone who maybe more familiar with the Japanese concept.

    When we think about perfection, we are measuring against some arbitrary (and often inappropriate) standard. When we realize that everything is perfectly what they are, there is no longer an unhealthy need for perfectionism.

    Is that it?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Pretty.

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    I just think of it as the authentic true nature of things.

    In the arts the artist as the facilitator of nature. An unconscious competence.

    Most Japanese arts are so anal now any essence of wabi sabi has long vanished. Wear this, do that the list goes on and on...

    Here's a good quote from Bruce Lee...
    A martial artist who drills exclusively to a set pattern of combat is losing his freedom. He is actually becoming a slave to a choice pattern and feels that the pattern is the real thing. It leads to stagnation because the way of combat is never based on personal choice and fancies, but constantly changes from moment to moment, and the disappointed combatant will soon find out that his "choice routine" lacks pliability. There must be a "being" instead of a "doing" in training. One must be free. Instead of complexity of form, there should be simplicity of expression.

    I read that book on Wabi Sabi it's pretty cool.

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    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    When we think about perfection, we are measuring against some arbitrary (and often inappropriate) standard. When we realize that everything is perfectly what they are, there is no longer an unhealthy need for perfectionism.

    Is that it?
    Yes, as I understand it. Zen, in particular, teaches that the universe simply "is" and what mankind needs to do to attain enlightenment, is to stop projecting (to apply more modern terminology) our feelings, wishes, thoughts, etc. upon it.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I think this related to the Uncanny Valley of human likeness.
    Well I was using humans as basically an example, but I think its true of essentially everything. People have an innate preference for what is "best", and one aspect of that is the natural over the manufactured. Our idea of what is "best" comes from the unconscious, but we can often have trouble reacreating it consciously.

    For example one might reason at first that the ideal rectangle is a square. From a logical perspective it maximizes the ratio of area to perimeter. But when it comes to our preferences it seems that the golden rectangle is actually the ideal rectangle. And we see this in picture frame sizes which are close to a golden rectangle (3 x 5, 5 x 7, etc...). Of course this ratio appears repeatedly throughout nature (including our field of vision), so our preferences seem tied more toward what is natural rather than what we consciously reason to be "best".
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
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