Parallels and connections

While I was looking up some information on Miles Davis, I came across an article on his “Tutu” album, and the real meaning of the coolness of Miles…

He has been called “the coolest man who ever lived,” and such hyperbole suggests an intuitive recognition that his coolness was about more than just pose, that it was about his capacity for maintaining dignity under pressure…

I found out that “tutu” isn’t just the last name of a famous archbishop, but a word, and a concept

In sculpture it is shown by the absence of violence in the facial expression or gesture; in the dance by the withdrawn expressionless face of the dancer; the chief should always benave calmly and unemotionally. This last criterion has been reported also by Warren d’Azevedo among the Gola of Liberia: ‘The pinnacle of success . . . comes with the ability to be nonchalant at the right moment . . . to reveal no emotion in situations where excitement and sentimentality are acceptable — in other words to act as though one’s mind were in another world. It is particularly admirable to do difficult tasks with an air of ease and silent disdain.

The concepts of zen are similar. A cool detachment to what is happening, but your awareness of what’s happening remains sharp. From a distance it looks like distance and aloofness, but you are present, and aware. What’s amazing is the universality of this concept, where Eastern and African peoples see and react to their environments  and themselves in similar ways. Wonderful discovery…


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