Forty Two

Recently, in my attempt to while away the monotony of an MRT ride (and look cool), I was trying very hard to comprehend the Tao Te Ching. In the past, I had always given up after page 1, so this time I was determined to absorb as much of the sacred teachings of the Tao as possible. As an aside, what is it with Eastern philosophy that makes it so cool? You never hear hippies from the 60’s go “Dude the Puranas are so totally awesome man!” On the other hand, a Chinese character tattooed on your arm is the zenith of cool. My theory is that we somehow mentally associate the far-east with martial arts. And let’s face it…there’s nothing kooler than karate.

But onto more serious stuff. The Tao says (and I am quoting from memory here), that the secret of happiness is to be content. That is, man should know when to stop desiring, and when he is satisfied, he will be the happiest. But somehow, contentment for me rhymes with stagnation and complacency. When you are content with what you have, doesn’t that mean you will stop trying? Doesn’t that mean, for example, that if you are happy the way you are, you will stop trying to improve yourself as a human being? I always hear of sports champions talk about never stopping in their quest to improve – which means that they are never content.

“Aah”, you will respond “You see the Tao talks only about contentment vis-a-vis happiness, not success. Being satisfied with what you have or what you get is your one-way ticket to a lay-off, my friend” Wait, but doesn’t success bring happiness? (Or is it the other way around?) Is the Tao thus implying that all successful people are miserable?

I’m getting confused by my own rant. But suffice to say, there is no clear cut answer to happiness, success and eventually, life. What is clear as crystal is that you never know what to expect. So do you (as a character in House, M.D. says) approach each day as a blank slate, or hope for wonderful things to happen (at the risk of being disappointed once in a while along the way)?

Again, there is no straight answer. And that is my cue to end this caffeine-fueled post.

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7 Responses to “Forty Two”

  1. Sherene Says:

    if there were straight answers to such things, life wdn’t be anything like we know it.

  2. arun Says:

    Maybe..but does that mean we be content with the notion that there are no straight answers? Or should we keep looking? hehe

  3. Sherene Says:

    Or maybe we can formulate more complicated equations to figure out life ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. Anush Says:

    CID, Just quoting a passage from the Bible. Based on the below passages, I believe the key to be happy is not to worry for yourself, but just to trust in God (of course doing your best in whatever) ๐Ÿ™‚ As the last verse in this passage goes, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”

    Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

    Mat 6:25 ยถ Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

    Mat 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

    Mat 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

    Mat 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

    Mat 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

    Mat 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith?

    Mat 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

    Mat 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

    Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

  5. cray Says:

    dude, btw I got myself a Macbook! Converted at last… amen.

  6. Sherene Says:

    Update, update =)

  7. Rambootan Says:

    I was really inspired by Anush brother’s holy quotes!! he seems a really enlightened person.. is he a priest himself? Arun dude seems to have company of enlightened souls!! Anush has quited..’Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’.. may be brother should also have quoted ‘ John.. Kingdom of heaven is within you..’

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