It lost a living role model, and in that sense, he lives on.
Even though his writing style did not appeal to me so much, Robert Aitken struck me as a guy who would never be compelled to use weasel words to make excuses for his behavior. I have the impression that he was not deluded about good and bad, and endeavored to avoid doing bad in order to allow the many good things.
How many people today have the stones to be upright?
How many people can look directly at their shadow and not be afraid?
Heck, how many people today even have the courage to look at their shadow?
20 years ago when I was being interviewed by the Marine Recruiter, one of the "benefits" of being a Marine I chose was Courage, Poise, and Self Confidence. I never met Robert Aitken outside of his books, but I imagine he embodied those things pretty well.
Courage is not stupidity.
Poise is not posturing.
Self Confidence is not denial or delusion.
On this Zen path, I think it is important to look deeply into our own stupidity, posturing, and delusion.
High or low, we should question our sitting.
The second law of thermodynamics may get me down, but I'm determined to go up.
Yours in practice,