The purpose of a fish trap is to trap fish, and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten.
The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits. When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten.
The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten the words? He is the one I would like to talk to.
Four hundred years ago, almost no one on Earth had tasted coffee. It was too difficult to move things a few thousand miles.
A hundred years ago, if you wanted a cold drink in the summer or needed to ice an injured knee, you were largely out of luck. It took millions of years of cultural and technical evolution to get to the point where people had a freezer in their house.
The industrial revolution was mighty indeed. It paved the Earth, created the middle class and changed everything. And it was a powerhouse for generations, incrementally changing what hadn’t been changed yet.
The TV revolution followed, introducing mass marketing as a force that could change our culture.
Then, the 60s brought the computer revolution, which involved large devices capable of sorting, calculating and processing things that were previously unsorted.
We’re living right now in the connection revolution, one powered by the internet, in which people connect to people, computers connect to computers and our culture changes ever faster, daily.
The next two revolutions are right around the corner:
The biology revolution, which has had some fits and starts, will transform our bodies and our planet. Once computers are able to see, understand and modify living things, the same acceleration of the last three revolutions will kick in.
And the AI revolution, in which we engage with computers as much as with each other, is showing itself now too.
Faster, ever faster. Moore’s law ratchets technology, technology changes the culture, the culture changes the economy and it continues.
Revolutions are impossible, until they’re not, and then they seem totally normal.
Iced coffee, anyone?
~ Seth Godin
In his final sermon
Buddha didn’t speak.
He just held up
a tiny flower until
Jesus didn’t preach
any religion at all.
He said, “Behold
the lilies of the field!”
That was enough
for anyone whose
eye was open.
Dante saw the whole
and hosts of angels,
in the petals of a rose.
Wonder in silence
your breath a stream
of unborn stars.
Friend, all that stands
between you and
this world of miracles
is your mind.
~ Fred LaMotte
Jesus told us to love our enemy. “Father, Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” This teaching helps us know how to look at the person we consider to be the cause of our suffering.
If we practice looking deeply into his situation and the causes of how he came to be the way he is now, and if we visualize ourselves as being born in his condition, we may see that we could have become exactly like him.
When we do that, compassion arises in us naturally, and we see that the other person is to be helped and not punished. In that moment, our anger transforms itself into the energy of compassion.
Suddenly, the one we have been calling our enemy becomes our brother or sister. This is the true teaching of Jesus.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“Paradise or no paradise, I have the very definite impression that the people of this [Big Sur] vicinity are striving to live up to the grandeur and nobility which is such an integral part of this setting. They behave as if it were a privilege to live here, as if it were by an act of grace they found themselves here. The place itself is so overwhelmingly bigger, greater, than anyone could hope to make it that it engenders a humility and reverence not frequently met with in Americans. There being nothing to improve on in the surroundings, the tendency is to set about improving oneself.”
~ Henry Miller
A system that depends on growth can survive only if we progressively lose our ability to make reasoned decisions. After our needs, then strong desires, then faint desires have been met, we must keep buying goods and services we neither need nor want, induced by marketing to abandon our discriminating faculties and succumb instead to impulse.
You can now buy a selfie toaster, that burns an image of your own face onto your bread — the Turin Shroud of toast. You can buy beer for dogs and wine for cats; a toilet roll holder that sends a message to your phone when the paper is running out; a $30 branded brick; a hairbrush that informs you whether or not you are brushing your hair correctly. Panasonic intends to produce a mobile fridge that, in response to a voice command, will deliver beers to your chair.
Urge, splurge, purge: we are sucked into a cycle of compulsion followed by consumption, followed by the periodic detoxing of ourselves or our homes, like Romans making themselves sick after eating, so that we can cram more in. Continued economic growth depends on continued disposal: unless we rapidly junk the goods we buy, it fails. The growth economy and the throwaway society cannot be separated. Environmental destruction is not a by-product of this system. It is a necessary element.
The environmental crisis is an inevitable result not just of neoliberalism — the most extreme variety of capitalism — but of capitalism itself. Even the social democratic (Keynesian) kind depends on perpetual growth on a finite planet: a formula for eventual collapse. But the peculiar contribution of neoliberalism is to deny that action is necessary; to insist that the system, like Greenspan’s financial markets, is inherently self-regulating. The myth of the self-regulating market accelerates the destruction of the self-regulating Earth.
[…] There is no environmental rescue plan: to admit the need for one would be to admit that the economic system is based on a series of delusions. The environmental crisis demands a new ethics, politics and economics.”
– George Monbiot