Digging around for a Sun-Ra CD case last night (which I never fucking found!), I happened upon the book that got me thinking about the idea of zen and deejaying a few years back. Entitled “The Unfettered Mind, it was lent to me by my man Chris Schubert who is a big fan of the connection between dance music and eastern thought as well. The thing that is so perfect about this particular book is that most of it is taken from essays written by a zen master Takuan Soho to master swordsman, sort of an instruction manual on how to use zen in fast paced action. Some of the things he says are just fantastic, such as:
When this No-Mind has been well developed, the mind does not stop with one thing nor does it lack any one thing. It is like water overflowing and exists within itself. It appears appropriately when facing a time of need.
where the No-Mind is defined as such:
It is called No-Mind when the mind has neither discrimination nor thought but wanders about the entire body and extends through the entire self.
If that doesn’t perfectly define what happens during a good deejay set both for the selector and the dancers, I dont know what does.
This whole book is pretty great, and far less corny in its practical use than The Art of War or things like that. It is about becoming one with what you do, wholly and totally, and using it to rise above what would ordinarily be possible. I am going to be re-reading it in the next week or so, and I will try to post up other interesting bits from it. But I highly reccomend everyone just go out and buy a copy! Any decent deejay should recognize much of what he says intuitively, identifying with the swordsman. Dancers can relate more to the general concept of losing oneself in action….