The Diamond Sutra: The World’s Oldest Printed Text
Long before the “Gutenberg galaxy”, the Orient was already printing hidden gems of wisdom in the form of books.
The oldest printed text in the world is believed to be The Diamond Sutra, a book of Mahāyāna Buddhism that was found in a cave 1146 years ago. Belonging to the Prajñāpāramitā, or “Perfect Wisdom” tradition, this sutra dates back to the year 868, (centuries before the West had even started using paper), and it gathers Buddha’s teachings on the nature of perception and the illusion of the material world. From its Sanskrit translation, its full name is The Perfect Wisdom Diamond Sutra that Cuts through the Illusion.
Perhaps the primary origin of knowledge is a frugal bowl, open but measured; an infinite receptacle capable of self-generating and regenerating. In this sense it is not surprising that the precious parchment, roughly five meters in length, had remained hidden in a cave together with forty-thousand books and manuscripts. The rocky “container”, which had remained sealed shut, was part of the Thousand Buddha Caves in northeastern China, and the parchment was discovered by the British-Hungarian archeologist Aurel Stein.
Stein took the collection to India and later to London, where it was briefly exhibited next to the Gutenberg Bible in the British Museum. Currently, because of its utter fragility, it is safeguarded from public scrutiny.
This small book’s enigmatic text can be recited in a mere forty minutes. Composed mainly of paradoxes such as “That which you know as the teachings of Buddha are not the teachings of Buddha”, The Diamond Sutra evokes the cathartic lightness of Zen thought, and, perhaps, it points towards the dissolution of the pillars of knowledge supporting the ubiquity of the void.
Pictorial spiritism (a woman's drawings guided by a spirit)
There are numerous examples in the history of self-taught artists which suggest an interrogation of that which we take for granted within the universe of art. Such was the case with figures like
Astounding fairytale illustrations from Japan
Fairy tales tribal stories— are more than childish tales. Such fictions, the characters of which inhabit our earliest memories, aren’t just literary works with an aesthetic and pleasant purpose. They
A cinematic poem and an ode to water: its rhythms, shapes and textures
Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water. - John Keats Without water the equation of life, at least life as we know it, would be impossible. A growing hypothesis holds that water, including the
Watch beauty unfold through science in this "ode to a flower" (video)
The study of the microscopic is one of the richest, most aesthetic methods of understanding the world. Lucky is the scientist who, upon seeing something beautiful, is able to see all of the tiny
To invent those we love or to see them as they are? Love in two of the movies' favorite scenes
So much has been said already, of “love” that it’s difficult to add anything, much less something new. It’s possible, though, perhaps because even if you try to pass through the sieve of all our
This app allows you to find and preserve ancient typographies
Most people, even those who are far removed from the world of design, are familiar with some type of typography and its ability to transform any text, help out dyslexics or stretch an eight page paper
The secrets of the mind-body connection
For decades medical research has recognized the existence of the placebo effect — in which the assumption that a medication will help produces actual physical improvements. In addition to this, a
The sea as infinite laboratory
Much of our thinking on the shape of the world and the universe derives from the way scientists and artists have approached these topics over time. Our fascination with the mysteries of the
Sharing and collaborating - natural movements of the creative being
We might sometimes think that artistic or creative activity is, in essence, individualistic. The Genesis of Judeo-Christian tradition portrays a God whose decision to create the world is as vehement
John Malkovich becomes David Lynch (and other characters)
John Malkovich and David Lynch are, respectively, the actor and film director who’ve implicitly or explicitly addressed the issues of identity and its porous barriers through numerous projects. Now