"Getting The Death Card"
Ink on Paper 8” x 5”
photos by rob mcdougall of shetland ponies, named fivla and vitamin, wearing cardigans knitted by doreen brown.
This is the body of Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, a buddhist monk of the tibetan tradition who died in the year 1927. Itigilov is best known for leaving behind a body supposedly “incorruptible”, being resistent to organic decay.
Itigilov left a testament that he wanted to be buried exactly as he died, namely in a lotus posture. In his testament he also made clear that his body was to be exhumed after an unspecified number of years. In 1955, many years after his death, loyal monks exhumed his remains in secresy, in fear of persecution from the anti-religious communist authorities. The body was then accordingly not subject to decomposition. Another exhumation of the body was performed in 1973, with the same outcome.
Finally in 2002 the body was exhumed once again and reportedly thoroughly examined by medical professionals, stating the condition of the body to be the apparent age of “no more than 36 hours”.
To this day, buddhist monks show their reverence by shaking his hand, and some enthusiasts even believe that Itigilov never died, but is currently in a state of hibernation - perhaps having achieved the transcendent state of nirvana.
what the fuck.
The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups.
All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.
His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: 50 pounds of pots rated an “A”, 40 pounds a “B”, and so on.
Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”.
Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity.
It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work-and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
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