June 21, 2011

Two Things Are Infinite

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
-- Albert Einstein

June 20, 2011

Quote from "Shawshank Redemption"

When "Andy" plays "Marriage of Figaro", narration by "Red" (Morgan Freeman):
"I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free."

June 15, 2011

Four Attitudes About UNKNOWN

Telescope and night skyImage via Wikipedia
"Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?" After several thousands years of civilization, the question remains as the same as beginning: we still face that mysterious world of UNKNOWN.
Probably, the attitudes (driven by different thinking styles) toward this UNKNOWN divide us in different types of people: rational, irrational, superstitious, skeptical, or something else. Below is what I could think of now about four different attitudes toward this UNKNOWN.

1. To understand the existence of UNKNOWN and accept it, to admit there is a immense part of Universe that is beyond our current (or even future) understanding, to suppose we human may or may not eventually understand this Universe, is an attitude of rationality;

2. To irrationally affirm the "knowledge" of UNKNOWN, to factualize UNKNOWN, to mystify or decorate UNKNOWN as human wishes, is an attitude of religion, or "conventional" superstition;

3. To hold our reason firmly as a solution to everything, to deny the existence of UNKNOWN, or to believe that just because we have known a great deal so we will know everything sooner of later, is an attitude of modern "religion" - worship of science;

4. To absolutely deny any possibilities to reach the truth of "UNKNOWN", to disbelieve completely about science in terms of discovering the truth of universe, is an attitude of agnosticism, which is also irrational, because it kills "HOPE" (or possibility) - the only thing that perhaps will be always "alive" (as long as the Universe exists).

June 14, 2011

Two Conditions That Produce Life Misery

The Pacific OceanImage via Wikipedia
If we agree that being able to be ourselves is the most essential condition of our life happiness, two other conditions will destroy this condition:

1: Trying to be someone else other than ourselves.
This "ambition" is built on illusion - "someones else" are mistaken for "ourselves". The causes of such illusion are multiple and complicated, but I believe a very important cause is false parenting/education.
When we held this "illusion", life is inevitably on the route towards misery, because (at the best account) even if we succeeded this "ambition" at certain level - i.e. we successfully turned out to be "someone else" - we could still not be truly happy because our true nature (or true "selves") will always be hungry at our unconscious level.
The only way to change this condition is "enlightenment" - realizing we are on the wrong track. As soon as we reach this enlightenment, happiness will naturally emerge to our life.
However, the danger of this condition is, if the condition stays too long with us, (also depend on how strong our "true selves" and "other selves" are) we might eventually forgot who we truly are, hence it is almost impossible to get our "true selves" back.

2. Knowing who we are but could not become who we are.
This condition is also created by complicated and multiple factors: false parenting/education, physical diseases, wars, social systems, or ultimately, fate.
I found this is the most commonly struggled condition of life. The ways to cope with such condition are numerous and complicated, and there will never be a single universal solution to this problem, because no one has the completely same life course as others, . However, to simplify the tanglement I would say there are two major pathways to get out of trap: fight and acceptance*.
If there is one thing worth fighting for in this world, it would be "happiness". However sometime the "enemy" can be some unconquerable monsters, such as powerful side of our relationship, or powerful social classes, or even "fate"; sometime the fighters -"we" - can be too fragile to fight, either mentally or physically, such as individuals against groups, fatal diseases, etc. In such cases, negotiation, or acceptance need to take place.
So after all, I think wisdom lies in the balance between "fighting" and "acceptance" - those who know when to fight and when to negotiate will eventually win the happiness, no matter what condition is.
However, since happiness is worth fighting for, I would say:

(If we really know what we want) Never negotiate without a fight.

*I have used "negotiation" and "acceptance alternatively, but I do know they do not have identical definition. The difference between them would be a relatively serious topic in which I do not wish to evolve.

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June 13, 2011

Ellen Degeneres - A True Genius of Love

If people asked me who was my favorite actors or actress, I might not have an immediate answer, but if people asked am who was my favorite comedian, my answer would be straight and simple: Ellen Degeneres.

I was so impressed by her early stand up shows (I even ran for a live one in Northampton, Mass). All her early stand up shows were incredibly hilarious and philosophic! Reminding me lot of Taoist ideas about life. She was the first American person (I know of) I consider as a Taoist.

The first stand up show I watched was "New Beginning" - the show she performed on her first tour after she came out from her "down time" (her hollywood career was destroyed by her coming out in 90s). I watched this show on VHS type. Now it's on youtube:

It is a true inspiring piece about life.

Later, her new stand up show "Here and Now" came out:

"Here and Now" is all about the "boring" "procrastination", but by my opinion this is a true masterpiece of Taoism about time and life. I highly recommand who ever interested in Taoism and Ellen as a genius thinker (she actually only had high school diploma) watch these brilliant comedy stand up. You will not be disappointed!

June 11, 2011

Quotes from "Les Miserables"

Innocence wears its own crown, Monsieur; it needs no added dignity; it is as sublime in rags as in royal robes. p54

...since natures vary, we must agree that all the beauties of human excellence may be fostered by faiths that we do not share. p65

What more could he need, this old man whose little leisure was divided between daytime gardening and night-time contemplation? Was not that narrow space with the sky its ceiling room enough for worship God in the most delicate of His works and in the most sublime? A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in - what more could be ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars. p68

Man is so constituted that he can endure long periods of suffering, both moral and physical, without dying of it. p96

Curiosity is a form of gluttony: to see is to devour. p183

There is a prospect greater than the sea, and it is the sky; there is a prospect greater than sky, and it is the human soul. p208

June 10, 2011

Spiritual Reality - Journey Within

A friend of mine sent me this video presentation about Buddhist concepts such as Meditation, Knowledge, Energy, Consciousness, Life and Death, etc.
Not sure how superstitious you would find, I found it both inspiring and superstitious. Several interesting quotes from video:

Sleep is an unconscious meditation; meditation is conscious sleep;
Meditation is nothing but a journey of our Consciousness toward "self";
Knowledge is nothing but experience;
Consciousness is a combination of Energy and Knowledge.