diciembre 5, 2008
Dorothy Norman invited me to dinner in New York.
There was a lady there from Philadelphia who was an
authority on Buddhist art. When she found out I was
interested in mushrooms, she said, “Have you an
explanation of the symbolism involved in the death
of the Buddha by his eating a mushroom?” I explained
that I’d never been interested in symbolism; that
I preferred just taking things as themselves, not
as standing for other things. But then a few days
later while rambling in the woods I got to thinking.
I recalled the Indian concept of the relation
of life and the seasons. Spring is Creation.
Summer is Preservation. Fall is
Destruction. Winter is Quiescence.
Mushrooms grow most vigorously in the fall, the
period of destruction, and the function of many
of them is to bring about the final decay of rotting
material. In fact, as I read somewhere,
the world would be an impassible heap of old
rubbish were it not for mushrooms and their capacity
to get rid of it. So I wrote to the lady in
Philadelphia. I said, “The function
of mushrooms is to rid the world of old rubbish.
The Buddha died a natural death.”