The ENSO, the symbol for Zen in Japanese, means nothing. Not meaningless, no. Its meaning is NOTHING. Null. A void. Emptiness.
You’ve seen the Enso here before, in Just Who Do You Think You are Anyway?
Well, who are you, anyway? Are you, you know, Somebody? In our celebrity-mad culture, all that matters is our name to be heard and our face to be seen. Context is meaningless: good, bad, fame, notoriety, no difference. Andy Warhol nailed it: “In the Future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” Andy was right. Turn on your television set any time, 24/7. All kinds of people asserting their Somebody-ness, no matter how, or for what. Or to whom.
There’s somebody, though, who didn’t buy it in her lifetime and surely wouldn’t buy it now. Here’s what she wrote about it:
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!
How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the lifelong June –
To an admiring Bog!
Already in Emily Dickinson’s day, in the Civil War era, the celebrity virus was rampant. But Emily went out of her way to be seen by no one except the most intimate of family. Well, I daresay she carried things to an extreme. But so do we; and maybe there’s health in paying attention to her counter-cultural view. Do we dare to be Nobody? At least we could avoid standing in a bog, kissing a whole lot of frogs!