07 June 2010


[click image, video, hour and a half]


It is as though one could have an image from before the common era, an image of Lao Tzu. It's as though you could capture true manhood in one frame for everyone to see. This is an image of advancement that makes the boyz at the LHC look like monkeys playing with kazoos. Big men from everywhere might be felled by a glance at him, and that might set us free. Think of the priests and scholars and leaders across the globe in all ten times, and tell me how many you count who can come up to this that is shown here some one-hundred-and-sixty-plus years later. Or do you not see?

Unlike digital cameras that keep your right on the right of the image, daguerreotypes and other photographs show your left on the right side of the image. This is a salient bit for certain people to know when viewing images online and this image in particular. A person's left eye in a still image says much more than even the thousand words pictures obviate. It's the mark of the true human. So this guy is not only a real man, a man far advanced from the biggest men around today, but he's also a true human. I speak of him in the present tense because he's not dead.

I think I've managed to come down on one side of the theft-of-the-soul debacle. Maybe some bodhisattvas would deem it necessary to keep their images from the public during their walking around lifetimes, but not keep them forever from public view, because those who can see could be freed by the sight. So, from the early 1840s onward, you can expect to find hints in images. All clowns are avid about having their picture taken, and all vain people are extremely particular about it, but there is a rare human whose image is capable of yanking you out of delusion and setting you on the path to reality.


I find I cannot let go of communing with this face in the past few days and I don't even know if I ever will. I want a tapestry of it. I might use this as you might use a sculpture of the Buddha or a crucifix, but probably not unless pressed by stupidity so hard I have to stave it off like the vampire it is.

I'm still speechless in the thought of the heedlessness and arrogance of wasichu, the million entreaties from truth to be seen, to be realized, to become the stamp of transcendence for all humanity, the jailbreak for all living things. We are today as benighted as those who sought to forge the United States out of Shangri-La, only just capable of exponentially more harm, and displaying this capability now across the globe, to include spanning even your mindscape—which is far larger than just this planet—and perpetually less consequential than a pea.

Do gaze upon this indian every chance you get.


Not a trace of meekness. Not a wisp of ferocity. Not the suggestion of fear. Not a whiff of aggression. Not an atom of absence. Not even an echo of personality. Not even the smoke of desire. No question. No answer. Addressing only the tao. Speaking of his dignity is an assault on it. I will you be shrunk smaller than a speck and shot through yourself into infinity here.



  1. I detect a tear in his left eye (Right one in the daguerreotype as you point out) and his face says to me WHY?

  2. I think it is the quality of the upload exaggerating a tiny highlight. As you may have seen, the first time I posted the image, the daguerreotype was pretty trashed, though they take the BEST pictures. I worked on it pretty hard, took out all kinds of little nicks and stains and tarnish to present it here. I was very careful not to remove anything that looked as though it was in the original and I didn't touch his eyes, not wishing to even sort of ruin those, and there is a tiny stain near that eye that I didn't dare try to take out.

    I don't see any WHY on his face, though it would be inherent in any interaction between indians and "settlers". What they were trying to do with wasichu throughout this time was TEACH him, help him grow up. Fell on deaf ears and blind eyes, unerringly got twisted into proof of savagery... sometimes rising to the rank of "noble" savagery.

    The predicament of any enlightening beings trying to deal with the REAL savages.

  3. I didn't mean the tear literally - more a feeling that I get - can't pin it down, it's just how it makes me feel.

    Not encompassing the time of the photo, rather things today.

    Perhaps I'm broadcasting my own feelings upon him?

  4. Kae's H.S. Graduation tonight - I may be back later.

  5. I think maybe, yes, you're projecting there... but that is a GREAT thing to figure out...! Truly. And I've spent some hours with this image.

    Congratulations on Kae, and to her too.

    Do come back.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.