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Showing posts from January, 2012

Let’s enjoy the freedom of uncertainty

What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything? 
I’ve spent most of my life looking for answers and have come to the conclusion that the questions are far more enlightening. The answer you get depends so much on the question you ask and, more importantly, when and why you ask it. The questions can tell us more about who we think we are than any answer we may then cling to for (a false sense of) security.
The problem with “answers” is that they are creative cul-de-sacs – discovery’s dead end. At worst, they are the source of delusion – the zealot’s certainty; at best, they lead to more questions. Somewhere in between, we can end up wasting our time trying to justify the “truth” of our “answer” in spite of any evidence that may challenge it – in extreme cases, hating anyone who challenges it. 
Or, in fear of the possibility that there is no permanent self, we may put on the uniform of this or that social, national, political or religious tribe to give us a sense of identity – eve…

Blue Monday: worst day of the year? Maybe

There once lived a farmer whose prize stallion ran off. “What bad luck!” the villagers exclaimed. 
The farmer shrugged his shoulders. “Maybe,” he said. 
A few weeks passed and the stallion returned with a wild horse. “What good luck!” cried the villagers. 
“Maybe,” shrugged the farmer. 
Then his son was thrown from the horse and broke his leg. “What bad luck!” 
“Maybe,” replied the farmer. 
A few days later, the country went to war and recruiting officers took all the young men away to fight. As the farmer’s son had a broken leg, they left him behind. “What good luck!” said the villagers. 
“Maybe,” smiled the farmer.
This is a shortened version of a tale, rooted in Taoism, which I read to my son from a fabulous children’s book called Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth.
As Blue Monday is, according to a mathematical formula, the “worst day of the year”, I wanted to share this story with you. It reminds me that we never really know what’s around the corner – nor whether it will turn out to be beneficial or…