Lots and lots to choose from this week, mainly because I've been reading Brad Warner's books on Zen as well as his website and lots else besides ...
Imagine, for a moment, what the world would be like if we took the same approach to money as we do to sex. Imagine trying to hide all evidence of money from children, telling them that it’s not something they should know about. Imagine shaming them for asking questions about it, for expressing an interest in it, and for wanting to experiment with it. Imagine that you never explained how budgets work, or how to balance a checkbook, or how to pay for anything. Then, imagine that when they turn 18, handing them a credit card and saying “good luck with that.”
In essence, that’s what we do with sex.
Would you be surprised if those young adults didn’t know how to responsibly handle money? Would you be shocked if they ended up in crisis because they didn’t have the skills to take care of themselves? Would you think that their parents and schools had done their job?
If you answered “no” to these questions, then maybe you can also ask yourself why it should be any different when it comes to sex.
Albert R Shadle was the world's foremost expert on the sexuality of small woodland creatures.
[This could easily be the opening of a Douglas Adams or a Terry Pratchett novel, but it's actually from Mary Roach, Bonk: the Curious Coupling of Sex and Science]
Our life is just action at the present moment. The past is nothing more than memory, and the future is nothing but dreams. At best, past and future are no more than reference material for the eternal now. The only real facts are those at the present moment. You cannot go back and correct the mistakes you made in your past, so you better be very careful right now. You can dream about your future, but no matter how well you construct that dream, your future will not be precisely as you envisioned it. The world where we live is existence in the present moment.
[Brad Warner, Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen's Treasury of Right Dharma Eye]
The Paris Peace Conference [of 1919] dispensed recipes for war. The powerful nations dished out independence: which meant it was not independence. Something which has been given you through the benevolence of a higher power is not true independence: it is a sign that you are not strong enough to stand on your own.
[AN Wilson, After the Victorians]
Virginia Woolf's prose was as beautiful as her face, but like many twentieth-century English writers, she had nothing to write about.
[AN Wilson, After the Victorians]
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.
These ambiguities, redundancies, and deficiencies recall those attributed by Dr Franz Kuhn to a certain Chinese encyclopaedia entitled Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. On those remote pages it is written that animals are divided into (a) those that belong to the Emperor, (b) embalmed ones, (c) those that are trained, (d) suckling pigs, (e) mermaids, (f) fabulous ones, (g) stray dogs, (h) those that are included in this classification, (i) those that tremble as if they were mad, (j) innumerable ones, (k) those drawn with a very fine camel's hair brush, (l) et cetera, (m) those that have just broken a flower vase, (n) those that resemble flies from a distance.
[Borges; Essay: "The Analytical Language of John Wilkins"]
Action and its results are one and the same. Time, the thing which makes us see them as separate matters, is the illusion. Time is no more than a clever fiction we humans have invented to help organize stuff in our brains.
[Brad Warner; http://homepage.mac.com/doubtboy/endofscience.html]
Boredom is important. Most of your life is dull, tasteless and boring.
[Brad Warner; http://homepage.mac.com/doubtboy/boring.html]
I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities.