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Сообщения за декабрь, 2010
IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER Of course, you can’t unfry an egg, but there is no law against thinking about it. If I had my life to live over, I would try to make more mistakes. I would relax. I know of very few things that I would take seriously. I would go more places. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less bran. I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary troubles. You see, I have been one of those fellows who live prudently and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I have had my moments. But if I had it to do over again, I would have more of them – a lot more. I never go anywhere without a thermometer, a gargle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had it to do over, I would travel lighter. If I had my life to live over, I would pay less attention to people telling us we must learn Latin or History; otherwise we will be disgraced and ruined and flunked and failed. I would seek out more teachers who inspire relaxation a
HOPE According to the dictionary: a tendency of the spirit to consider something as probable; the second of the theological virtues; expectation; supposition; probability. For the ancient Greeks: In one of the classic myths of the Creation, one of the gods, furious at the fact that Prometheus stole fire and in doing so gave men their independence, sends Pandora to marry her brother Epimetheus. Pandora brings along a box, which she is forbidden to open. However, just as happens to Eve in the Christian myth, her curiosity gets the better of her: she raises the lid to see what is inside, and at this moment all the troubles of the world spill out and spread all over the Earth. Only one thing remains inside: Hope, the only arm to combat the misfortune that has scattered throughout the world. In a Hassidic story (Jewish tradition): At the end of the forty days of deluge, Noah emerged from the Ark. He disembarked full of hope, lit some incense, looked around him, and all he saw was destruct
THE FISHERMAN AND THE BUSINESSMAN here was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village. As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish. The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?” The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.” “Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished. “This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said. The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?” The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.” The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman. “I am a PhD in busin
THE MOMENT TO DECIDE The warrior of the light is terrified when faced with important decisions. “That is too great for you,” says one friend. “Go on, be brave,” says another. And his doubts only increase. After some days of anxiety, he withdraws into a corner of his tent, where he usually sits to mediate and pray. He sees himself in the future. He sees the people who will benefit and lose out because of his actions. He does not wish to cause unnecessary suffering, but nor will he abandon the path. So the warrior allows the decision to appear. If he must say yes, then he shall bravely say it. If he must say no, then he shall say so without fear.
THE PORCUPINES AND SOLIDARITY During the Ice Age many animals died because of the cold. Seeing this situation, the porcupines decided to group together, so they wrapped up well and protected one another. But they hurt one another with their thorns, and so then they decided to stay apart from one another. They started to freeze to death again. So they had to make a choice: either they vanished from the face of the earth or they accepted their neighbor’s thorns. They wisely decided to stay together again. They learned to live with the small wounds that a very close relationship could cause, because the most important thing was the warmth given by the other. And in the end they survived.
SANTA CLAUS One of the problems we have in this world is that too many adults believe in Santa Claus, and too many children don’t Lee Lauer A critic is a man who found out when he was about ten that there wasn’t any Santa Claus, and he’s still upset. James Gould Cozzens Santa Claus has the right idea: visit people once a year Victor Borge I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph. Shirley Temple Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want and their kids pay for it. Richard Lamm Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus! There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. Francis P. Church Santa Claus is anyone who loves another and seeks to make them happy; who gives himself by thought or word or deed in every gift that he bestows. Edwi
ORGANIZING THE BATTLEFIELD This is to be my main appearance at the Writers’ Festival in Melbourne, Australia. It is ten o’clock in the morning and there is a packed audience. I am to be interviewed by a local writer, J. F. I step onto the platform with my usual feelings of apprehension. F. introduces me and starts asking me questions. Before I can finish what I’m saying, he interrupts me and asks me another question. When I reply, he says something like ‘that wasn’t a very clear answer’. Five minutes later, there is a feeling of unease amongst the audience; everyone can sense that something is wrong. I remember Confucius and take the only possible action. ‘Do you like what I write?’ I ask. ‘That’s irrelevant,’ F. replies. ‘I’m here to interview you, not the other way round.’ ‘But it is relevant. You won’t let me finish my thought. Confucius says: “Whenever possible, be clear.” Let’s follow that advice and make things absolutely clear: Do you like what I write?’ ‘No, I don’t.
THE FOUR FORCES Father Alan Jones says that building our soul requires Four Invisible Forces, namely love, death, power and time. It is necessary to love because we are loved by God. It is necessary to be conscious of death in order to understand life better. One has to fight in order to grow – but without falling into the trap of the power that we obtain in doing so, because we know that such power is worth nothing. And lastly, it is necessary to accept that our soul – although eternal – is at this moment caught in the web of time, with all its opportunities and limitations. First Force: Love Rabbi Iaakov’s wife was always looking for an excuse to argue with her husband. Iaakov never answered her provocations. Until one night when, during a dinner with some friends, the rabbi had a ferocious argument with his wife to the surprise of all at table. “What happened?” they asked. “Why did you break your habit of never answering?” “Because I realized that what bothered my wife most was th
SINCERE REPENTANCE The monk Chu Lai was beaten by a teacher who did not believe anything he said. However, the professor’s wife was a follower of Chu Lai, and demanded that her husband had to apologize to him. Displeased, but without the courage to deny his wife’s wishes, the man went to the temple with her and murmured some words of repentance. “I do not forgive you,” replied Chu Lai, “go back to work.” The woman was horrified. “My husband is humiliated, and you were not generous!” And Chu Lai responded: “Within my soul there is no rancor. But if he is not truly sorry, it is better for him to recognize now that he is mad at me. If I had accepted his apology, we would be creating a false state of harmony, and this would further increase the anger of your husband.”
A Zen master had hundreds of disciples. They all prayed at the right time, except one, who was always drunk. The master was growing old. Some of the more virtuous pupils began to wonder who would be the new leader of the group, the one who would receive the important secrets of the Tradition. On the eve of his death, however, the master called the drunkard disciple and revealed the hidden secrets to him. A veritable revolt broke out among the others. “How shameful!” they cried in the streets, “We have sacrificed ourselves for the wrong master, one who can’t see our qualities.” Hearing the commotion outside, the dying master remarked: “I had to pass on these secrets to a man that I knew well. All my pupils are very virtuous, and showed only their qualities. That is dangerous, for virtue often serves to hide vanity, pride and intolerance. That is why I chose the only disciple whom I know really well, since I can see his defect: drunkenness.”