The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Why Are You Running?

The great master Levi Isaac of Berdichev was walking his usual route in the marketplace. Along came a man rushing madly to somewhere and bowled the master over. “Why are you running so fast?” asked Levi Isaac as he got up.

“Well,” said the man, “I need to make a living.”

Levi Isaac asked, “Why are you working so hard to make a living?”

Well, no one had ever asked our mad dashing friend such a question, and he was at a loss as to how to respond. “Well,” he stuttered – and then a lightbulb went off. “I am working so hard in order to make a living for my children.” It seemed to be a fine answer, and the master wished him a good day.

Twenty-five years go by. Again the master is walking on the same path in the marketplace. Again, he is bowled over by a rushing passerby. Masters are consistent, so the same conversation ensues. And again it concludes with the man saying, confidently, “I am rushing so much in order to make a living for my children.”

Levi Isaac looks deeply into his face. He realizes that this is the son of the man who had bowled him over twenty-five years ago. Turning his eyes heavenward, he asks God, “When will I finally meet that one child for whom all the generations labor so mightily?”

These gentlemen running through the market each justified their labor in terms of their children. Though supporting children is a very good reason, it is still insufficient. Every “reason” is ultimately an excuse. Even kids may be used as excuses, a violation of the erotic quality of lishmah. It is only enough to respond, “I am running for the sake of running, working for the sake of working!”

- The Mystery of Love

We live in a world where everyone is madly dashing about trying to fulfill their busy schedules. It creates a lot of stress, resulting in stress-related illnesses, road rage, sleep deprivation, loss of libido...the list is endless. But more importantly, all of this goal-oriented behaviour is a major distraction from erotic living.

I know that a lot of you people are suffering from work-related stress. It all starts with an unhealthy attitude (based on materialism, consumerism, greed, addiction, etc.). To relieve this stress, you must work for the joy of working, find peace and flow in your daily activities. Work in a zen-like fashion. It is often said that if you love what you do, it is not “work.” How easily we forget this.

Try to appreciate every little thing you do at work for its own exquisite beauty, whether it’s writing code in your editor or answering phone calls and emails or attending meetings or filling out reports. (I know, it will be very tough!) If you can get to that zen-like place, the work flow in your daily routines will become an erotic experience.

Do things for their own sake, this is what Gafni is saying. (Kushner would concur.) Be in the moment of every experience. There is no future and there is no past – there is only the present moment. This was one of the very first lessons I learned when I started my therapy and my reading.

It all begins with your attitude.


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