A Pure Working
David Settino Scott
A Pure Working
The title of the exhibition is drawn from John Taulers' book "Following of Christ". Aldous Huxley also quotes John Tauler in his novel, "After Many a Summer.
"God is a being withdrawn from creatures, a free power, a pure working. Man, then is as a nothingness surrounded by, indigent of, a being withdrawn from creatures, a pure working if he so desires. If he so desires."
In June of 1963, Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk set himself on fire on a street in Saigon. His immolation drew worldwide attention to the plight of the Buddist population of South Vietnam. It caused a stir in the White house and was an embarrassment to the American support of the Diem regime. During the following years of the war, countless numbers of Buddhist monks and nuns performed acts of self-immolation. And in the United States eight Americans also protested the war and sacrificed their lives by burning.
Alice Herz was the first to do so in 1965, Norman Morrison followed a few months later at the Pentagon in view of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, Roger La Porte a week later in front of the United Nations building in New York.
Now, the United States is involved in another war, and many are suffering and dying. We can ask ourselves, what kind of love and compassion causes someone to sacrifice themselves by burning, only to call attention to those suffering and dying. It is a sublime concept. It is the perfect sacrifice. It is truly a pure working.