HyC Adventures
The Poetics of Perception
Levity and Ludibundity



Levity and Ludibundity


By “levity” I mean both “lightness in mood, behavior, or word” and “lightness in weight” as the action of a counter-force that is the “opposite of gravity.”


I’ll coin a word—ludibundity, meaning the state, or the process, of  being full of play or light with levity. The lud- in this word derives from ludere, a Latin word meaning “to play.” When we are in such a ludic state, we can live up to, and liven up to, what we are as Homo ludens—creatures who play.


When levity and ludibundity co-arise, we are all lost in the funhouse. Absinthe-minded. On the path of playful samadhi.


Katsuki Sekida provides a good description of “playful samadhi” (戲三昧) in his book, Two Zen Classics, p. 30:


“Merry and playful samadhi. A merry and egoless activity of mind, such as that of an actor who, playing a part on stage, is freed from his own ego-centered thinking. In just this way, when a student of Zen fully realizes that there is no constant ego to which he can attach his notions of self and identity, the constrictions of egotistically motivated behavior and thinking are broken. Activity in this free frame of mind is called playful samadhi.”


This, then, is the spirit that pervades the pieces in this section.





My Interview with René Magritte
Zen: Missouri Style
Butterfly Dream
T. S. Eliot and Stilton Cheese
Antic Ode
The Goddamn Particle
Hauntology or Ontology?
Why Can't a Repub Be More Like a Dem?
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Sublimity of Structure: The Bombardier Beetle
G.B. Shaw's Play Misalliance
Who Came First?
Wittgenstein's Dust of Snow
Chaim Yankel
Jocoserious Joyce
Jewish Wry
The Bunt
Down and Out with Millionaires
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