Currently reading: Walden by Henry David Thoreau 📚

Shams and delusions are esteemed for soundest truths, while reality is fabulous. If men would steadily observe realities only, and not allow themselves to be deluded, life, to compare it with such things as we know, would be like a fairy tale and the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments. If we respected only what is inevitable and has a right to be, music and poetry would resound along the streets. When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive the only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence—that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality.

Currently reading: The Way of Zen by Alan Watts 📚

Each of the other senses might similarly be used to illustrate the “non-active” functioning of the mind-listening without straining to hear, smelling without strong inhalation, tasting without screwing up the tongue, and touching without pressing the object. Each is a special instance of the mental function which works through all, and which Chinese designates with the peculiar word hsin.”

This term is so important for the understanding of Zen that some attempt must be made to say what Taoism and Chinese thought in general take it to mean.’ We usually translate it as “mind” or “heart,” but neither of these words is satisfactory. The original form of the ideograph seems to be a picture of the heart, or perhaps of the lungs or the liver, and when a Chinese speaks of the hsin he will often point to the center of his chest, slightly lower than the heart.

Currently reading: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins 📚

“Lying, as rule for life, is inherently unstable. More generally, selfishness, or free-riding parasitism on the goodwill of others, may work for me as a lone selfish individual and give me personal satisfaction. But I cannot wish that everybody would adopt selfish parasitism as a moral principle, if only because then I would have nobody to parasitize.”

Here’s hoping for a better four years…

Reality Bites

A relevent quip from a conversation in the novel The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace:

RICK: You’re being cruel, Jay. Go back to blatant bullshit. I vastly prefer blatent bullshit to overt cruelty.

JAY: You know, Olaf Blentner once said to me, over tea, that when reailty is unpleasant, realists tend to be unpopular.