Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chasing Results

I don't remember exactly what it was like watching my kids discover their fingers and toes--beyond sucking thumbs, seeing the hands and somehow realizing that they control them, and seeing the feet as something foreign then grabbing them for a taste.. Not long afterward, babies reach out and grab things that are not the babies themselves. Later, crying brings Mommy to the rescue and squealing makes Daddy have a funny face. And so it goes... Off in that way, maybe they will reminisce about their own kids doing the same.

Is there ultimately anything that is not like this, responding to what we sense or think? If there is, can you tell me what it is without it being in response to my question?

So I heard a generous teacher say that he is bothered by a selfish student. The student takes, takes, takes while the teacher gives, gives, gives. Whenever he looks for his own understanding, the teacher never sees its reflection. What is happening here? What is his complaint? What is my response?

Perhaps someday he will "evolve" and consider the long view. Who knows how a student may someday be affected by the teacher? Perhaps eventually, unnoticed, the student will develop the right view. But doing this today so that someday he might do that? Is this any different?

Is there no escape?

I don't know what he may have told Jos├ęphine about reason for his every breath, but I once heard that each of us today has likely inhaled air that Napoleon had exhaled. I can't say for certain, but I doubt he mentioned me.

Can you break that feedback loop? Would it be wrong to try because I asked?

What if you succeeded? Perhaps then you could tell me the meaning underlying these words:

If there's a reason I breathe, I don't know what it is.
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