"An ethical man performs acts of service which are praiseworthy, but he is all the time conscious of them, and, moreover, he may often be thinking of"An ethical man performs acts of service which are praiseworthy, but he is all the time conscious of them, and, moreover, he may often be thinking of some future reward. Hence we should say that his mind is tainted and not at all pure, however objectively or socially good his deeds are. Zen abhors this. Life is an art, and like perfect art it should be self-forgetting; there ought not to be any trace of effort or painful feeling. Life, according to Zen, ought to be lived as a bird flies through the air or as a fish swims in the water. As soon as there are signs of elaboration, a man is doomed, he is no more a free being. You are not living as you ought to live, you are suffering under the tyranny of circumstances; you are feeling a constraint of some sort, and you lose your independence." - D.T. Suzuki
"As to attaining the goal and taking hold of the thing itself, this must be done by one's own hands, for nobody else can do it for one." - D.T. Suzuki
"I allowed my mind without restraint to think of what it pleased, and my mouth to talk about whatever it pleased; I then forgot whether 'this and not-this' was mine or others', whether the gain or loss was mine or others'; nor did I know whether Lao-shang-shih was my teacher and Pa-kao was my friend. In and out, I was thoroughly transformed; and then it was that the eye became like the ear, and the ear like the nose, and the nose like the mouth; and there was nothing that was not identified. As the mind became concentrated, the form dissolved, the bones and flesh all thawed away; I did not know upon what my frame was supported, or where my feet were treading; I just moved along with the wind, east or west, like a leaf of a tree detached from its stem; I was unconscious whether I was riding on the wind, or the wind riding on me." - Resshi (Lieh-tzu)...more
If this book was at all close to capturing the spirit of Neal Cassady, then, despite being a complete head case, he was could possibly be one of the mIf this book was at all close to capturing the spirit of Neal Cassady, then, despite being a complete head case, he was could possibly be one of the most enlightened people to have lived in recent times....more
A remedial course in being a boyfriend. Some things felt like I was learning two many pieces of fruit I have, total, if I have 3 and Liana has 4. OtheA remedial course in being a boyfriend. Some things felt like I was learning two many pieces of fruit I have, total, if I have 3 and Liana has 4. Other things, well, I was frankly interested reading (particular, the notes about what you *shouldn't* put up with or ask for). All in all, it was worth a read, just borrow it from someone who has a copy. ...more
(This was part of an email that I sent to a friend of mine about this book!)
You know, Walden is an interesting book. His commentary and observations a(This was part of an email that I sent to a friend of mine about this book!)
You know, Walden is an interesting book. His commentary and observations are so detailed, it's easy to fall asleep in the middle of a sentence. But then right after that, if you're not paying attention, Thoreau makes a statement that's so amazingly spot on or profound, it's absurd. He made a statement about the first Sparrow flying over Walden Pond in Spring, singing, and said that the Sparrow is doing his part to help crack the ice over the pond.
I mean, seriously, who makes comparisons like that?
This book is a *tough* read, make no doubt about it. If you want to read *anything* from this book, make sure to read Conclusion. This will give you a good sense of him and what he believes in, and what I love about this book....more
1 until page 68 between 3 and 4 from 68 until chapter 23 2 for chapter 24
Almost like an upside down parabola.The trajectory of this book went like this:
1 until page 68 between 3 and 4 from 68 until chapter 23 2 for chapter 24
Almost like an upside down parabola.
No lie, I almost quit this novel, but the book got *very* interesting after the Monster describes his path. The way the story ties together with the beginning is absolutely brilliant, but it was a very hard read for me - the English was hard to understand and there was more time spent in the descriptions of things as opposed to the things themselves (Pirsig would probably say that I look at "quality" from the classical view, and this is probably accurate with respect to this novel).
But there were some gems...
Even when the affections are not strongly moved by any superior excellence, the companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds, which hardly any later friend can obtain. They know our infantine dispositions, which, however they may be afterwards modified, are never eradicated; and they can judge of our actions with more certain conclusions as to the integrity of our motives. A sister or a brother can never, unless indeed such symptoms have been shown early, suspect the other of fraud or false dealing, when another friend, however strongly he may be attached, may, in spite of himself, be contemplated with suspicion.
The insightfulness of that passage made me pause for a bit - it's actually very brilliant.
There are more like this, but I probably missed half of them because it was such a boring read for me....more
You know, just to give you some perspective, I was somewhere in the middle of Act III when I recognized a horrible habit of mine. I like to find out hYou know, just to give you some perspective, I was somewhere in the middle of Act III when I recognized a horrible habit of mine. I like to find out how many pages are in the current chapter that I'm reading. It seemed like, possibly multiple times in a single page, I'd double check how many pages I had left until I finished it... or how many pages left until the next act.
To the untrained eye ego-climbing and selfless climbing may appear identical. Both kinds of climbers place one foot in front of the other. Both breathe in and out at the same rate. Both stop when tired. Both go forward when rested. But what a difference! The ego-climber is like an instrument that's out of adjustment. He puts his foot down an instant too soon or too late. He's likely to miss a beautiful passage of sunlight through the trees. He goes on when the sloppiness of his step shows he's tired. He rests at odd times. He looks up the trail trying to see what's ahead even when he knows what's ahead because he just looked a second before. He goes too fast or too slow for the conditions and when he talks his talk is forever about somewhere else, something else. He's here but he's not here. He rejects the here, is unhappy with it, wants to be farther up the trail but when he gets there will be just as unhappy because then it will be "here." What he's looking for, what he wants, is all around him, but he doesn't want that because it is all around him. Every step's an effort, both physically and spiritually, because he imagines his goal to be external and distant.
The last time I read something which dropped my jaw more than this was in Beck's "Everyday Zen", when she talked about the "Superstructure".
... and I don't think I scanned ahead more than twice the remaining 200+ pages.
If you can stand the sometimes really hard sections, you'll be completely rewarded by the ending. And it'll make the tough sections more meaningful, too.
In some sense, maybe that's exactly what Zen is.
As the book personally relates to myself, he defined a central term that I've used a lot over the past few years - being "pro".
Readers of the book will know what "pro" is and why, my attempts at being both "pro" and having substance are completely at odds....more
02.06.2009: This book is geared for *married* men, or at least men in a committed relationship. I didn't know that when I bought the book, but I decid02.06.2009: This book is geared for *married* men, or at least men in a committed relationship. I didn't know that when I bought the book, but I decided to read it as if I were in one.
... I'm not really sure how I feel about it right now. On one hand, I'm thinking to myself, these women are crazy and they're married. It's totally different than being a single guy trying to date. But aside from one idea (about reassuring), I'm thinking that there's a possibility that there might be some truth behind what the survey's indicate. It would have been nicer if the surveys were aimed at more than 400 women at a time, but which number would make me feel better? 1000? 10,000? ***sigh*** ...more
The main problem with this great obsession for Saving Time is very simple: you can't save time. You can only**spoiler alert** Are you a Bisy Backson?
The main problem with this great obsession for Saving Time is very simple: you can't save time. You can only spend it. But you can spend it wisely or foolishly. The Bisy Backson has practically no time at all, because he's too busy wasting it by trying to save it. And by trying to save every bit of it, he ends up wasting the whole thing.
To state the obvious, this is about Lewis's struggle to cope with the death of his wife. And without a doubt, this is something that I don't know abouTo state the obvious, this is about Lewis's struggle to cope with the death of his wife. And without a doubt, this is something that I don't know about (perhaps one day I shall be privileged enough to be in a situation where a marriage ends due to the death of one of us).
But the fact of the matter is that this book is about getting over loss. Loss takes so many forms that when one, like I did, read it in the context of being angry that Lewis could dare bitch and moan about losing his wife, in spite of the fact that he, by all accounts, had a wonderful marriage, when plenty of people out there are married and have completely shitty relationships, if any, at all, one can still relate very well to his struggle.
Anyone who has experienced loss has grieved, and understanding another person's grieving process should, in theory, shed light on your own loss and grief.
And, well, from what I understand, there aren't many books of this type out there. So get it and read. And don't be angry at the fact that he makes some damning statements because we've all made them at some point in time....more