August 7, 2014

From the Buddha i have yet to learn: there is a way out of suffering.

August 7, 2014

Is tragedy only possible at brief moments in time when we’ve conceived some newfangled freedom, but are yet unable to seize it?

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May 25, 2014

Step away from your anger,
do not waste it:
use it some other day.

May 25, 2014

Bright shiny words

Master Chuang was quietly resting at a lakeside with some friends when someone started praising the age-old tree that shaded them from the sun.
— Do not be deceived by bright words, replied Master Chuang. This is not a tree.
After a baffled silence, everyone broke out at once. So the wise old man raised his voice and asked his neighbor:
— What is that soft fur you’re leaning against, my friend? Is it tree?
— It is moss and some lichen.
— And those spots scurrying all about, are they tree, too?
— No, Master, they are caterpillars and ants.
— And do you hear that sound trickling down from above? Surely trees do not chirrup and tweet?
— No, they do not. Those are hungry birdlings calling out from their nests.
After a while, Master Chuang continued: Now see how my own words grow upon your mind and scurry through your thoughts. Soon you, too, will be singing them.

April 13, 2014

Budding hopes

I met a rose-fingered elm this morning; we smiled.

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April 5, 2014

Surely i too am Othello—blind to a fault? Continue reading

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March 21, 2014

From the TV show House of Cards i learned: “Tomorrow you will still feel that anger. And you will use it. But you will not use it against X (the original source of the anger).”

March 9, 2014

On the heroic nature of capitalist societies

From Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue i learned that we might still interpret our modern lives on Aristotle’s terms, examining the final goods of our social practices and developing the virtues that sustain them — but also that the heroic world and agonistic social structure that antedated and informed the Nichomachean Ethics has been irrevocably lost: “Nobody now can become a Hector or a Gisli.” Though here i must differ, for was Steve Jobs not a contemporary Achilles? Did he not posses all the latter’s virtues? Was he not also courageous, powerful, obstinate, wealthy, successful, and almost invincible? Did he not carry Apple corp. into a stunning victory over all its enemies? Is he not a mighty hero of our age?

I submit that the social structures of the Illiad or Mahabharata are to be found little changed in the economic realm of corporations, the warring city-states of our times. And the men and women who fight on their behalf embody all the virtues that we now respect and crave: wealth, power, cunning, courage, wisdom, generosity, single-mindedness, obstinacy, pride and glory. MacIntyre, the Marxist turned Thomist, was right to see our world in terms of practices, goods and virtues; only those practices are capitalist, the highest goods power & wealth, and the virtues far from Christian.

February 11, 2014

At work i am Achilles, contending with heroes over spoils of war; at night — Odysseus, with but a god for friend.

February 11, 2014

Corporations are smallish feuding states, where citizen virtues and warriors prevail; in the world at large, however, only friends and fate await us.

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