A Follower of Lao Lai Tzu was gathering firewood, when he chanced to meet Confucius. On his return he said, 'There is a man who has a long body and short legs, a slightly humped back and his ears far back. He seems like one who is preoccupied with all the troubles of the four oceans. I don't know who he is.'
Lao Lai Tzu said, 'This is Confucius. Call him over here.'
Confucius came. Lao Lai Tzu said, 'Comfucius! Rid yourself of your pride and that smug look on your face and you could then become a nobleman.'
Confucius bowed and retreated and then a look of astonishment came over his face and he asked, 'Do you think I could manage this?'
Lao Lai Tzu said, ' You can't bear the sufferings of this generation, therefore you go and cause trouble for ten thousand generations to come. Do you set out to be this miserable or don't you realize what you are doing?'- Again from the brilliant The Book of Chuang Tzu
"Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the 'transcendent' and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you." - Christopher Hitchens, who died today.
Europe is beginning to sense that the overblown one sidedness of it's intellectual culture (most clearly expressed in scientific specialization) is in need of correction, a revitalization coming from the opposite pole. The widespread yearning is not for a new ethics or way of thinking, but for a culture of the spiritual function that our intellectual approach to life has not been able to provide. This is the general yearning not so much for a Buddha or Laotze but for a yogic capability. We have learned that humanity can cultivate it's intellect to an astonishing level of accomplisment without becoming master of it's soul.
I thought this beautiful quote from one of my favorite authors Hermann Hesse would be a good accompaniment to my latest entry in the dork or Dawk thread.
“I knew a Buddhist once, and I’ve hated myself ever since. The whole thing was a failure. He was a priest of some kind, and he was also extremely rich. They called him a monk and he wore the saffron robes and I hated him because of his arrogance. He thought he knew everything.
One day I was trying to rent a large downtown property from him, and he mocked me. ‘You are dumb’ he said. ‘You are doomed if you stay in this business. The stupid are gobbled up quickly.’ ‘I understand’ I said. ‘I am stupid. I am doomed but I think I know something you don’t.’ He laughed. ‘Nonsense’ he said. ‘You are a fool. You know nothing.’ I nodded respectfully and leaned closer to him, as if to whisper a secret. ‘I know the answer to the greatest riddle of all,’ I said. He chuckled. ‘And what is that?’ he said. ‘And you’d better be right, or I’ll kill you.’
‘I know the sound of one hand clapping,’ I said. ‘I have finally discovered the answer.’ Several other Buddhists in the room laughed out loud, at this point. I know they wanted to humiliate me, and now they had me trapped – because there is no answer to that question. These saffron bastards have been teasing us with it forever. They are amused at our failure to grasp it.
Ho ho, I went into a drastic crouch and hung my left hand low, behind my knee. ‘Lean closer,’ I said to him. ‘I want to answer your high and unanswerable question.’ As he leaned his bright bald head a little closer into my orbit, I suddenly leaped up and bashed him flat on the ear with the palm of my left hand. It was slightly cupped, so as to deliver maximum energy on impact. An isolated package of air is suddenly driven through the Eustachian tube and into the middle brain at quantum speed, causing pain, fear and extreme insult to the tissue.
The monk staggered sideways and screamed, grasping his head in agony. Then he fell to the floor and cursed me. ‘You swine!’ he croaked. ‘Why did you hit me and burst my eardrum?’ ‘Because that,’ I said, ‘is the sound of one hand clapping. That is the answer to your question. I have the answer now, and you are deaf.’ ’Indeed’ he said. ‘I am deaf, but I am smarter. I am wise in a different way.’ He grinned vacantly and reached out to shake my hand. ‘You are welcome,’ I said. ‘I am after all a doctor.’ - Hunter S. Thompson
The fashionable ideology that "artificial" lacks the inherent goodness of "natural" is an appealing, but hopelessly simplistic notion of the intellectually chic. Artifice is the result of a deliberate intent to make. Nature also "makes" things, using a set of basic building blocks common throughout the universe. Exchanging infinite time for deliberate design, nature has ingeniously built plants, planets, galaxies and unimaginable constructs which seem to structure the universe itself. What we call "natural" is simply the result of whatever set of rules nature has followed in fashioning our observable reality. On planet Earth, nature has manipulated the common elements to fashion everything from bacteria to the molten core of the planet. Discoveries in the "nano" technologies of bio, molecular, and micro engineering will re-edit the nomenclature of "natural" versus "unnatural", blurring if not erasing the line of distinction between "machine" and "organism", "natural" and "unnatural", "God-given" and "man-made" - Syd Mead
Excellent quote I just came across, puts something into words I've long believed but never been able to adequately describe.