“Great Mystery #3: At Ry Hojskole” was a live performance held at Ry Hojskole in Denmark on Tuesday, April 23, 2019.
Start listening at 6:35.
Ry, Denmark (students)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA (me)
The Opening Monologue
I’m a philosopher, and tonight’s performance will be philosophical, artistic, and perhaps even a bit mysterious.
You see you were born into a mystery. When you were born, you didn’t know you would be born into this. Neither did the rest of us. Nor did anyone living before us or since.
Or perhaps you weren’t born into a mystery after all because, perhaps, you weren’t even born. And therefore, perhaps, it is only the mystery–still, eternal, luminous–that ever is.
The mystery has no name or face and cannot be told. It can only be neglected, overlooked, forgotten, as our culture does, or else, as we seek to do today, it may reveal an aspect of itself to the eyes of contemplation.
Seen with the eyes of contemplation, life itself may reveal itself as mystery: still, eternal, luminous.
My friend Peter Limberg interviews me on his Intellectual Explorers Club podcast. It’s a beautiful conversation, one well worth listening to. I hope you enjoy.
Since the summer of 2017, I’ve been experimenting off and on with an artistic-philosophical form sometimes called “The Philosopher Is Present” and sometimes called “The Great Mystery” or something else. “The Way of Mystery” may be the current name.
A couple of weeks ago, I recorded the latest version of this improvisational piece, this time with art students at the LungA School, an art school located in rural Iceland. Enjoy.
The piece begins:
At VideoAmp, a software and data platform, CEO Rory McCray “encourages an environment where his employees practically live at the office,” the BBC reported in February 2017. Personal trainers, yoga instruction, meals, and games are all provided at the Santa Monica office, and employees come in early, get “addicted to productivity” and often stay late.
Meanwhile, WeWork, a startup that leases co-working and office space, is involved in renovating Dock 72, a massive 675,000-square-foot building located in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard. And Dock 72, which boasts amenities that include organic food, conference rooms, and fitness centers—not to mention the promise of serendipitous encounters with other extroverted entrepreneurs—could be, according to the New York Times, “the kind of place you never have to leave.”
While these attempts at packing workspaces with everything a worker might need to live seem novel, they actually have a direct, and rather shadowy, historical parallel. Unbeknownst to them, VideoAmp, WeWork, and many more prominent tech companies such as Google and Facebook are drawing on a model that, up through the early parts of the 20th century, was a social experiment implemented at coal mines, textile mills, steel plants, and even chocolate factories: the company town.
You can read the rest of the article here.