“Dying as Mahler – or Lao Tzu”
I once visited the large estate of Mrs. Carlson, the widow of the inventor of Xerox. Many monks would visit there for its utter tranquility, which she herself radiated.
I asked her the secret of her deep Peace. She smiled: “Don’t read the newspapers.” And I did stop them – and the magazines and, of course, the TV.
But still every day I hear from one source and another of hatred, hatred, hatred. And I despair for us.
I read somewhere quite a time ago that the real cause of Mahler’s death was his Weltschmerz, his taking on the suffering of the world. And while I love his music, I don’t want to die like that. I hope I’m constantly reminded of Lao Tzu: our world is, as it is, As-the-Tao.