May 08, 2008

Drinking quietly, doing nothing

Zen, for when all else has failed.

They say patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, but I'd add art and blind obedience / brain death too. Possibly also TV, but definitely also Zen. You're never too far gone to come home to Zen, which welcomes the dumb and deranged, asking only that you're willing to give up your self, a bargain that even the devil is supposed to offer pretty good terms on.

When I was younger - and I was always younger - my aim was sitting quietly, doing nothing. That never really paid rent, so now I'm a riot of activity, but I still have way too many books on Zen and Taoism, it's Chinese cousin.

Neither of which, in their original form, cross the line from philosophies to religions - still no need for a man in the sky- and neither of which I mean to disparage in the second paragraph, above.

It's just I came across a Zen book today and put it in the slow-skim pile to let me feel better about failing in so many other areas. Zen isn't impressed with worldly success (except when it is), but either way it's a welcoming discipline that offers a wholesome alternative to madness / depression / suicide. None of which I'm feeling, but it's always good to build reserves ahead of time, to get ready for the return to the mean, and I'm feeling good enough today that some crash is due.

Slight digression. Success, money, sex, fame. It's what the game is supposed to about, right? Pick any two of those and you've got it made. Just ask Elvis:

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