Category: Philosophy

11 Feb 2016

Six Degrees

Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy & Design / Typography | 3:21pm

Six Degrees

17 Dec 2015

Dumb Charades

Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy & El Eye Ef Ee | 7:02pm

Gustav: What’s down?
Meursault: (drooping) Well…

– Pause –

Gustav: Yeah?
Meursault: I think I will not find answers to any questions.

– Pause –

Meursault: EVER!
Gustav: Maybe there are none!
Meursault: Is that why one can find any answer that fits?
Gustav: Yes.

– Pause –

Gustav: Come over. Join me for a drink.

(sound of the gentle fountain, and footsteps)

Meursault: What happens when you put Sisyphus in a management classroom?
Gustav: Sisyphus changes.
Meursault: No! Only, the boulder becomes heavier. As a consequence, he must roll it up faster!

(the clang of glasses)

Dumb charades


28 Feb 2015

Shades of Grey

Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy & El Eye Ef Ee | 12:25am

Both of [X]’s wives turned out to be expensive to keep, having a predilection for clothes and jewellery. It became clear that [X] had joined al-Qaeda because he needed the money, so therefore the leverage would be offering to help him with his financial needs.

At the next interview, [Y] had $10000 on his desk, which had been taken in a raid. He also forged a divorce petition that indicated to [X] that he could get rid of the more expensive of his wives. Suddenly, [X] started talking in detail about his work as a bomb-maker for al-Qaeda. As the interrogations continued, the interrogators found themselves getting ever closer to the prime object of the manhunt – [Z].

– Source: Manhunt / Alexander Stilwell

Who is innocent? Who exploited whom? I wonder if we have definitive answers for these questions, although any uncertainty on such judgmental questions irks us. Our conditioning with duality compels us to judge in haste and finish with it. We don’t quite like dwelling. We put God and Devil at opposite poles; it’s easy. All ethical, moral and activist rhetoric adopts this slant. The fault is always with the other.

But is it so simplistic? The other is a product of the system, the same system we are part of. Consequently, the responsibility befalls on each one of us. Greed is encouraged in consumerist systems, and it passes off as innocuous, and even desirable, trait. It appears harmless. When we sit and dig deeper, the stories the layers unravel might be appalling. The finger then turns about and points to oneself.

God and Devil are never at the poles, for there are none. All we have is shades of grey. Innumerable shades of grey. And God and Devil are somewhere there, lurking, playing hide-and-seek.


6 Feb 2015


Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy | 10:49am

In reality, you are pushed to live with illusion. You are never encouraged to ponder about, and understand, reality. Consequently, illusion becomes your only reality. Your education, media, and gossip are full of trite memes, sustained and strengthened by illusion. For it's only in illusion that the unreal can be sold: peace, equality, freedom and growth for all. Any by buying in, you contribute to the continuity of that illusion.

10 Dec 2014

Fading lines

Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy & Fiction | 9:52am

I can't tell this day from the other; I can't tell the next week from this one, either. Months have passed in tens and I can't tell which one will remain etched into the farthest lanes of time, for each one has just been the same. I can't tell this year from the past few I had lived through. There was a time - and what a time was that! - when I could spot that one face among hundreds, even in the gloomiest of hours, and now I can't tell her face from another's. Have I lost the eye or is it the faces indeed? They sport the same deliberate smiles, that sly glint in their eyes and that haggard bearing that fain hides the beauty of ageing skin. Just as the nonchalant fingers, benumbed by habit, hold the fag but never feel its texture, I feel I have sleepwalked in time without ever confronting life. There's neither the joy of living nor the ache of dying; just a frozen indifference.

Maria found it unusual that Jacob should ponder so deeply in her company. She ran her finger through his hair. He felt Maria's slender nail slide along his neck. Then he heard her: "I sleep with three or four men every night; I can't tell one fuck from another. You either get used to it or you look beyond. When you start getting used to, you have chosen to die."

Briefly, Jacob looked at her face. "And what is it to look beyond? What is it to look beyond when this is all there is?"

"I don't know! But on some morning when you open the window and look into the distance, you will feel you can still run, that you can still abandon everything and just run. You will not mind the stakes, you will not care if you must run barefoot, you will know how much you want to run and touch those spotless skies, crash in the sand and just breathe. And maybe then, when you die, you will at least die with grace!"

27 Oct 2014

Traceless Flight

Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy & Fiction & El Eye Ef Ee | 12:21am

You can reconcile with death, partly because it is choiceless. Just as the claws of an eagle that hold fast its prey, death holds you captive. Its clasp is firm and its strike, final. When the errand is done, it leaves behind nothing, just as the flight of the eagle does not, either. The inevitability of this fate at once justifies the seeming absurdity of life.

In contrast, dying is tougher to reconcile with. Unlike death whose move is abrupt, the abject process of dying invites you into its hold and imposes its contours on your unwilling person. Its biggest triumph is in putting you against yourself. One part clings to the hope of surviving so you can return to the familiar; the other is strangled to give in. In this very ambivalence, dying and living merge as a continuum. 

What you are familiar with, you realise, is not life but living. The only thing that needs to be understood, if you must understand life, is death.


11 Sep 2014


Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy & Design | 11:54am

Circles of dots

The other day I saw a kid playing in a garden. His dad and mom were running around him. Later during a brief chat that moved lightly, they continuously had an eye on him. It appeared their thoughts were running around the kid; that the kid was the centre of their world. And it occurred to me that each of their parents, in turn, had their thoughts running around them. By extension, then, their parents', around them.

That gave off in a visual representation. Each of us is at the centre of such a universe. Even as one is circling around a dot, or many of them, s/he too is at the centre of another circle, one or many. Some of these are concentric. They intersect with other circles too, making up an imitation of the universe. It leads to a few observations:

1. When I am expansive and loving, I extend and contribute to the circles; when I am hostile and narcissistic, I disrupt other circles and collapse.
2. At any point, dual states co-exist: that of the dot and the circle (particle and wave).
3. It's only the circles that intersect, expand and spread. The dots never meet. అందుకే వేటూరి గారు అన్నట్టు: "ఎవరికెవరు ఈ లోకంలో ఎవరికి ఎరుక..." 
4. Further, ergo, the dot (self / I) is a myth, a delusion.

17 Jun 2014


Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy | 10:14pm

Q: Sir, what is rebellion?
A: Poetry is rebellion. Forget meter, forget structure, forget grammar. It's for those who like to live in confinement, those who are too afraid to step out and bare their hearts. Be incomprehensible. Life is incomprehensible. Rebellion is incomprehensible.
Rebellion is not in taking to the streets in a crowd and yelling slogans about changing the world. Rebellion is not noise. Rebellion is to put yourself to the wall and confront your deepest fears, to strip and be vulnerable. Rebellion is silence.
- Camus 

13 Aug 2013

Dog's life

Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy & Poetry & Politics | 5:46pm

you want me, at all hours, to
cringe to your drumbeat
give in to a sagging spine
be hushed and whooshed off
when your convoy passes by

lick your boots so neat
when you trample and whack
thank the blade hasn't slain
be unabashedly loyal
and proud of my servitude

you, wily wolf, want me to
slit my brother's flesh
pay for your bread and meats
and when my home burns to ashes
pray you and curse my fate

and how well do i do this
- for the plaque, a fake,
that reads 'good citizen' -
verily like a wagging dog
more screwed than a pavlovian!

12 Jun 2013

Dissent, Decent

Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy & Politics | 10:50am

Bertrand Russell's reply to a magistrate's request that he pledge himself to "good behavior", after an anti-nuclear demonstration in London, for which Russell was arrested (in September 1961).

"No, I won't."
Bertrand Russell

22 Feb 2013

The Subway Diary

Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy & Fiction | 11:48pm

I can’t distinguish between sleep and wakefulness these days, but if this is called waking up, I have just woken up. You open the eyes, stretch the limbs, join the rush, pace with the clock till it’s dusk, or till your eyes close again. A day in one’s life. I had known such days. Till four months ago.

I fold my bed carefully and put it in the hole. They gave me this pack when they threw me out of that bus. The stock has to last for one year, I was told. Should I have to visit the Embassy to collect the stock, I wondered. I don’t need to. They will come and give me. It’s all right if I forget the track of time, and I most likely will. They will remember. They will keep the clock for me.

This is my domicile. It’s an abandoned subway. It used to stink when I was thrown in, but I have gotten used to it now. One of my friends had a theory that it takes a man 21 days to get used to something. I didn’t keep a count, but I guess it didn’t take me longer than that. The subway, just like the rest of the city, is under surveillance. And that’s how they will fish my body when I die.

Subway Diary (Courtesy of Corbis) 

I walk up the steps and smell the day. How does one smell the day? Live my life for two weeks and you will, too.

The din of the city is gradually getting louder. Artemis de Cuba is a secret Cuban province. You won’t find it on the map. It’s a small picturesque island, two hours off Guantanamo, and a favorite retreat for the mafia. The city is rich and thickly guarded. Unless you are in close circles of mafia or politics, you can’t get out of this island alive. Should you get caught scheming an escape, they will put you on a boat to Guantanamo as a subject for training the new recruits in torture methods. If at all they don’t shoot in your brains and dump you dead in the sea while on the boat itself.

People walk past me. I walk past them. I’m not a stranger anymore. I would cross three lanes and I know my place. I arrange my humble spread and sit at the foot of the skyscraper. On a lucky day, in two hours I get the money needed for a basic meal and tea. I sit here because this is closer to airport. I look at the skies and I see these planes – all of them private, chartered jets – flying. And I fancy one of them mistaking me for a head of a drug cartel and flying me out of this place, back in time, for an evening with a Brazilian escort, but losing the direction and landing in India. Or even, having realised the mistake, push me into the sea below. From where I would swim, across one sea after another, to reach the tip of India. And resting on the sand, cry. Cry loud, to my little daughter, “Darling, I have come!”

An old man hurriedly drops a coin into my bowl. I lower my eyes and look at it. I say, “thank you”, but he has already left. Within two hours, thanks to a few generous souls, I have enough money to buy myself a meal. What would my daughter think if she is told her father is now a beggar? At six years, she is too young to examine her prejudices, but also old enough to imagine her father in a beggar’s rags and form a lasting opinion, as a consequence. Her mother abhors beggars and has done a good job of gifting her prejudice to the little one. It takes a snap to form a bias; to undo it takes a lifetime.

By the time I finish brunch, it’s almost noon. I don’t know when I will have a good meal again, so I sit there for some time and relish. I close my eyes and feel the sun on my face.

Swiftly walking by, a young man pulls a coin out of his pocket and throws at me. Before I thank him, he has joined the crowd. They never look at me. If they do, they would see their own guilt. Charity is the easiest way to get rid of guilt. Pull out a coin, throw at the guy, and you are a step closer to the heaven. I gulp a piece of bread, sip a cup of tea and take them closer to heaven. By sheer accident.

But this isn’t a bargain I had asked for. I had a life just like these people who, dressed in rich suits, are hurriedly making their way to work. I was a strategy consultant with one of the biggest brands on the globe. Fat pay, enviable perks, two cars in the garage, annual holidays in the Caribbean, medical insurance, education allowance for the kid, I had everything. I didn’t see a blot on the road ahead, I was proud, confident, and believed I don’t owe anything to the world. And then, in one hour, everything changed.

I remember that day. “Come over with your docs in an hour. A quick meeting”, the voice on the phone said. It was an acquaintance at the Embassy. Must be for an important trip, I thought. The guy didn’t smile when I entered his cabin. I was told that a confidential file of national security, which I had prepared for a defence client, got leaked and, probably, traded. “But it was protected, encrypted at two levels, and can’t go out without approval from high-office”, I clarified. “But we can’t touch the big fish”, he admitted upfront. “And because you know this secret too, we got you”, he added. They took me into a voice-proof room, stripped me, burned my documents – passport, bank cards, identity cards, education and work papers, everything – and put me on a plane. I was blindfolded. A couple of minutes later, I felt a sharp prick of a needle on my wrist. For a few seconds, I felt everything was spinning and slowing down. When I regained my consciousness, I found myself sitting in that bus. I wanted to know what, if at all, they had informed to my family. To my daughter. But they wouldn’t answer. Can I make a phone call? No answer. When will they send me back? No answer. Estranged. Stripped of identity. Done in.

Education would see me through. Or so I thought. I would find some work, make calls to home, post notes on Facebook, file an online petition, and it will be fine. A few weeks of tough life, but I will be out. Rahim laughed at me, “you are naive”. Rahim was the guy I first met when I took the steps down the subway. He looked younger to me, but I never asked his age. He taught Economics at Stanford, he told me. A migrant from Pakistan, he was picked up as a terrorist suspect after he strongly defended on Facebook a campaign that questioned the government’s stand on freedom of speech. I wanted to know why he thought I was naive. “Because you are in a rat-hole and are still thinking in terms of options. That’s what the world makes you into. Your life depends on someone’s whim, they kick your butt, put you into a hole”, he stressed, “close the doors and expect you to find the way out, yourself!”

I was still not convinced. Rahim explained, “Not for nothing is this a secret province. Once you are in here, there’s no way out. You are an illegal entity here. Nobody is allowed to give you work. Without identity proof you are not allowed to make calls. Besides, you can make calls only to other provinces. Calls to your country and my country are barred. Unless you are, you know, in close circles with mafia. If at all you go the distance and steal one of their phones and call your home, they will intercept your call, track you down and kill you in ten minutes”. It made me feel more gloomy and angry. “Without identity proof, again, you cannot step into any internet kiosk. And no, this ain’t no movie, so don’t imagine some generous bystander helping you with his iPad. Every mail is tracked, every IP is mapped, every corner of the city is under surveillance. Nobody will risk it for you. And Facebook? Twitter? Mail? Ha ha ha! You surely don’t know the world, bro! Your profiles must have already been erased!” he added. “J-u-s-t l-i-k-e t-h-a-t!” he snapped his fingers. “And in a world obsessed with evidence, how will you prove your identity?”

“It can’t be that bad”, I tried to tell myself. “Authoritarian regimes are vile. Human rights are totally violated”, I opined, trying to keep it as a mature conversation and not yield to my emotion. He again chided me to not repeat from the book, but look deeper. “All regimes are just the same, bro! It’s a power game. In authoritarian states, they use torture; in democratic states, they use persuasion. Whichever way, it’s the state that decides your choices”. His argument was forceful, so I couldn’t refute. At the same time, I refused to lose. “But even at relative terms, democratic states grant you more freedom. Your voice is at least heard”, I made a point. “Freedom is a big myth, a sort of global urban legend! In a state that is strongly capitalist and with a thriving consumerist culture, feedback is a cog that helps their competition. So you are encouraged to voice your grievance, and they make you believe you have the same equation with the state. You are a scapegoat. You voiced your story. Did anyone give a fuck? You think your state or your company wasn’t aware that you would be deported? Why do you want to deceive yourself more? Wake up!”

I couldn’t move. His words, “Wake up!” played in my mind for some time. He had to add, “And who said you don’t have freedom here? You are free to move around in the town, you can sleep anywhere. You won’t be killed for begging. Public toilets are free to use, and they are clean. If you pass out or get shot, health care is free”. I noticed his dismissive shrug. “You could visit the girls, they give you a special price. They are kind”, he winked.

He seemed to be familiar with this place. He could help me out, I reckoned. “Well, I had everything till the other day. Now here I am. I don’t have any document. I want to go back to my little daughter. I at least want to call up and hear her voice, and tell her I am alive. I can do some work. I could… teach, do computers…”, I tried to add. “And?” he asked. “I could… I could wash cars, clean the tables”, I was desperate. “Can you sell drugs?” he asked. “Impossible. I will rather die than sell drugs!” I asserted.

One week later, he introduced me to a crack gang. After I told him I will never sell drugs, he didn’t ask me again. But probably he knew I would relent. For six days, I knocked on the doors of offices, homes, hotels and malls. Nobody would give me any work. When I returned at nights, fighting the pangs of hunger, he would offer me bread. Desperation was getting to me. I wanted to call up, if only once, and find out how my daughter was doing. “I want to give it a try”, I finally told Rahim. He briefed me. “It’s illegal by the book. But do you think cops don’t know? There are millions in it, and state needs it. You do good, you make quick bucks. No danger from cops, they will look the other way. The danger is from the other gangs. Even from your own. But, hey, it’s not any more cruel than it’s in a corporate. There, they fire with pink slips. Here, they use guns. You rise the ranks, they may even help you visit your country”.

In my job, I always smuggled ideas. It is the norm. It is the game. My conscience was clean. Now if I were to smuggle drugs, what’s so bad, after all, I reckoned. Rahim almost read my mind. “You are trained to believe that everything legal is moral and everything illegal, immoral. If selling drugs were legal, would you have taken so much time to decide?” When the gang briefed me about the job, it sounded very similar to a job description in a multinational. If one looked at their organization chart, he wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, either. It wasn’t an ethical question for me anymore, but that of my own grit. I was enticed by the fact that I could save money and somehow find a way out. But the stakes were high – one mistake, and I must pay with my life. Can I risk it? Survive longer, save coin by coin, and meticulously plan an escape, or risk it, live on the fringe and rather even die? I had thought about this even before I met them. Rahim warned me to be polite with them, no matter what. I weighed in the stakes again. Politely, I thanked them and told I am not ready for it yet. With a grin and a hard pat, the guy said, “Easy. No worries. Whenever”.

Although in Rahim I found a chap who I could share my anguish with, I hated him because he seemed to have answers for everything. He was incisive and witty. I tried to find the method in this madness, and he reminded I am mad. I could not come to terms with the situational irony of my life, he persuaded me to confront it. I can’t say I made friends with Rahim, for I didn’t spend much time with him. And in whatever short time I had spent, I was preoccupied with my thoughts and hardly tried to know anything about him. However, in the few discussions we had, he packed in insights that I couldn’t crack in my lifetime. If I have survived here for so long, I owe it to him. Three weeks after I met him, at about midnight a crack gang came in and took him away. Rahim told me that the new recruits in these gangs compete for cash awards on Ximbo, the local version of YouTube, by posting videos of their violent attacks on the homeless. I don’t know if they killed him, but after that night I have never seen him again.

A few hours go by, as I reminisce and pointlessly observe the crowd. I sit on the pavement, sipping tea. My cap is torn at its edges. With my thick beard to add, I look funny and out of place. On the opposite side, a young woman is talking on the phone. Her other hand is firmly clasping her little daughter’s hand. They may be waiting for the bus, returning home after a round of shopping. The woman looks complete with the baby. People are wrong when they say a woman completes a man and vice-versa. If that were so, marriage by itself would be fulfilling. But that’s not how it is. It is children who complete them both – the man and the woman. The nurtured becomes the nurturer, life comes full circle. The little girl looks at me. I look back and she smiles. Maybe she finds me amusing, or maybe, by some miracle, she saw in my eyes the beautiful face of my daughter. A minute later, the bus arrives.

After a short walk, I find a place to sit outside a park. I watch the children playing. A little kid approaches me and puts a chocolate in the bowl. I smile at him. His mother scolds him and pulls him away. Over the next hour, a few people notice me and I gather some coins. The city is brightly lit and it has started to get cold. I get up and start walking. It takes about 30 minutes to the subway. I take the shortcut to reach sooner. I reach the penultimate lane when I spot a group of young guys chatting and smoking. It doesn’t feel all too well, but I just keep at it. I will just walk by quietly and not stare at them, I assess. As I am just about to walk past them, two guys stand up and intercept me. We don’t exchange any words or stares. Quickly, they check on me and find nothing. One of them pulls the change I had gathered in the day from my pocket. Finished with, they push me away.

Anger would have been a fair response, but I realise this is the world I have made. I realise I am responsible for the world, as it is. This much is clear to me – that I had lived like a frog in a well. I thought if I have a good job, a family, and minded my own business, I am living it perfectly. Why do I need to care for, or understand, the world, I convinced myself. What do I care if some country, thousands of miles away from mine, is at unrest, I would dismiss with arrogance. But I see that to think one is alone and independent is a delusion. Every time I forgot to be kind, every word I spoke in anger, every act of indifference, every prejudice I held as truth, every truth I refused to believe – at every such moment, I made the world what it is. Now I am paying for it. Everyone must pay. If you are lucky to make it through life unscathed, your kids will pay. If they are lucky too, your grand-kids will.

I reach the subway. When I walk down these steps, there’s no note of piano that I hear. All I hear is the haunting sound of my own feet hitting against the floor.

I spread my bed carefully and lie down. In an hour or two, some young chaps, ambitious of winning cash awards on Ximbo and making it big in a drug cartel, may stop by and pick me up. Or they may come next evening. Or the day after. A day or two later, someone munching on popcorn will, after watching the bullet hole crack my skull open and my frame drop dead to the ground, point the cursor on the Like button and click it. Deliverance of another kind, but if there’s no deliverance from this hole, that’s the second best. It’s that time of the hour when, if that guy from the Embassy hadn’t called me that day, I would hold my little one in my arms and hum the rhyme that only two of us know. It’s meaningless, but she gets it. Quietly, I sing what has become her favorite lullaby.

Round round round and round round round
In such a big ground, round round round

Daddy round, baby round, round round round
You and me on the ground, round round round

I just hope my daughter is listening to it. Will I ever see her again? I don’t know. I don’t want to know. Imperceptibly, and stealthy as a snake, fear grips my frame. With every fleeting moment, the tide of hope seems to recede further. With hopeless resolve, though, I want to hang on to its faintest edge. There’s a secret cam somewhere in this dungeon. It could be right above, looking into my tear-dimmed eyes. The indifferent stare of the world. As I look into blinding darkness, I wish this night never ends.

30 Apr 2012

Triumphant Fool

Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy | 10:29pm

Sooner than later you will die, against all odds. All the powers of the world cannot stop you, and none will dare to beat you in that race. It's a triumph meant wholly for you. When you, then, stand alone at the line, swelling in pride, and look back, you will realise how much you ran in vain and how foolish your pride is! There's no going back; it was a stroll and you wasted it in running.

25 Dec 2011

Seeker and the King

Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy | 10:24am

A sannyasi in search of truth, sought various teachers. In his wanderings he was told that a certain king was enlightened, that he was teaching wisdom. So this sannyasi went to the king. The king had everything, palaces, jewels, courtiers, power; and the sannyasi had only two loin cloths. The king instructed him concerning truth. One day, while the king was teaching him, the palace caught fire. Serenely the king continued with his teaching, while the sannyasi, that holy man, was greatly disturbed because his other loin cloth was burning.

One may be living amid riches and yet be utterly free of it all, and another may have renounced everything and yet is living within a prison of his own making.

21 Sep 2010

Weakest Link

Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy | 6:12pm


The reason why advertising, marketing and PR work. The reason why public opinion can be played with, with fair ease (as this article suggests). The reason why image management consulting and gurus work. The reason why facts can be presented as per choice to prove or disprove anything in the courts of law. The reason why even empirical data are interpreted differently by a simple variation in criteria. Information asymmetry can make it worse, and distort invariably.

The consequences are, sometimes, devastating! One prays that it doesn't happen in the most precious of relationships, but life doesn't care! 

JK puts it brilliantly.

"Perception is clouded with judgment, with comparison, with desire. To perceive without the interference of the censor is arduous. Imagination builds the image of the self, and thought then functions within its shadows. From this self-concept grows the conflict between what is and what should be, the conflict in duality. Perception of the fact and idea about the fact are two entirely different states, and only a mind that is not bound by opinion, by comparative values, is capable of perceiving what is true."

To find what is true, perceptions must never be taken as absolute. That implies all beliefs, ideals, opinions, etc must end. Importantly, the authority of oneself must end. One must be naked. So long as "I" exists, truth will elude. Unless "I" dissolves in entirety, perception can never be a direct and immediate access to reality, as it is intuitively assumed.  

Russell emphasised all his life the importance of the limits of knowledge. Definite knowledge is minute, and probable knowledge is fine in the realm of scientific inquiry and must be held with skepticism. Beyond that, nothing can be known. Certainty, then, would be a detriment to perceiving what is true. For the same reason, he dealt with, in depth, the problem of how to reconcile some apparently obvious truths about our experience of the world with the possibility of certain kinds of perceptual error. Camus puts across a similar take in the following lines.

"This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists. This world I can touch, and I likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge, and the rest is construction."

"We have a right to think that truth with a capital letter is relative. But facts are facts."

Truth is always beyond everything. Camus: "Always go too far, because that's where you'll find the truth".

Perception, unless admitted of fallibility, is the weakest link.

9 Sep 2010

Buddha Bar

Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy | 10:02am

A man once came to see the Buddha to get help with his problems. After the man had told the Buddha one of his problems and asked for help, the Buddha replied: "I cannot help you get rid of that problem."

The man was surprised that the Buddha could not help him in this regard, but he told the Buddha about another problem; he thought to himself that the Buddha should at least be able to help him with that problem. But the Buddha told him "I cannot help you with that problem either."

The man started to get impatient. He said: "How can it be that you are the perfectly Enlightened Buddha, when you can’t even help people get rid of their problems?" The Buddha answered: "You will always have 83 problems in your life. Sometimes a problem will go, but then another problem will come. I cannot help you with that."

The baffled man asked the Buddha: "But, what can you help me with, then?" The Buddha replied: "I can help you get rid of your 84th problem." The man asked: "But what is my 84th problem?" The Buddha replied: "That you want to get rid of your 83 problems."

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