The rise [again] of Julius Malema reminds me of a short story told by a monk about a donkey that fell in a well; it goes something like this (note that I’ve re-adapted it as a metaphor):
Once upon a time there was a donkey taking a stroll in an open forest. The donkey wasn’t very mindful about where it was going. It was only concerned about eating as much as possible.
Suddenly the donkey tripped and fell into a well. Fortunately it was dry. When the donkey regained consciousness it realized that it was stuck, so it began yelling for help.
“Help! Help!” Yelled the donkey.
Playing a chord, the great mountains crumble.
Playing a note, the pianist vanishes.
Who are you? Beckons the piano with a gesture of silence.
Without a word, the pianist appears.
For indeed, in stillness one realizes self.
In decisive action, one is self.
In oneself the great mountains crumble
And the music is what it is.
You know that story about all the limbs of the body. The hand said ‘We do all our work,’ the feet said ‘We do our work,’ the mouth said ‘We do all the chewing, and here’s this lazy stomach who just gets it all and doesn’t do a thing. He didn’t do any work, so let’s go on strike.’ And the hands refused to carry, the feet refused to walk, the teeth refused to chew, and said ‘Now we’re on strike against the stomach.’ But after a while, all of them found themselves getting weaker and weaker and weaker, because they didn’t realize that the stomach fed them. – Alan Watts
We are in a historical situation where we are looking for some kind of economic lubrication as a means to slither comfortably through this thing called life. But we seem to have arrived at a queer conclusion that the best way to do this is to stand in protest of just about everything that is contrary to our expectation.
Therefore we have become a lost people who think it necessary to point out our problems by way of protesting, but leave it to others to find a solution that is satisfactory for every one. In simple terms we sit at a socio-economic restaurant and expect the waiters and waitresses to figure out what we would like to eat. Thence the waiters keep on bringing us wrong food until by some fluke, one of us gets something they enjoy. However at the end of the day we expect our national restaurant to operate profitably in order for us to demand another meal tomorrow. This is symptomatic of a lost people.
In a village surrounded by hills and distant mountains, an elder teaches a group of young followers about some of the principles of life. “You see those mountains? ” he asks, pointing afar, “What color are they? ”
“Blue!” Shouts one of the learners with much enthusiasm.
“I see…” mutters the elder. Come with me.
The group followed the elder on a trail into the woods. They walked for an hours or so towards the blue mountains. Seemingly without covering any significant distance, the sun began to set. With the sky awash with colors that seduce day into night, the elder asked once more, “You see those mountains?” He pointed to the vast distance, “what color are they?”
“Black” answered one of the learners.
The elder instructed his team of learners to set up camp as light petered away into a religious sleep. Sitting around a fire, the followers were discussing the mountains and what their elder could be hinting at. The elder sat among them silently until one of the followers tried to draw him into the discussion with a tantalizing question to the minds that court the ideas of philosophy.
Death is undemocratic it seems.
Life lessons are adolescent it seems.
Mass frustrations are increasingly incandescent it seems,
but myopic leadership is increasingly amaurotic it seems.
Death is undemocratic is seems.
I pray for wisdom to be blatantly anarchic.
5. Dec. 2013
The goal of a business is to make money for its shareholders. This is the bottom line.
Many people join the entrepreneurial fray purely out of circumstance, to try and make a living. Be that as it may, as soon as business starts, one quickly learns that things are not as they seem – the path to making money is quite often counter intuitive.
If the purpose of a business is indeed to make money for its shareholders, why don’t we buy up a lot of printers and ink to print a few thousand bank notes? Well, money wouldn’t be worth anything if everybody had it. So then, why don’t we just take money from people. This is not very sustainable because people would want to do the same thing to you, thus wealth would be owned by the strongest man as was the case in ancient times. It seems pursuing this goal of business literally can lead to atrocious outcomes. Hence I propose that this paradigm broken.
Clutching the waters to avoid drowning,
Such is a man who drowns.
Letting go of the waters to drown,
Such is a man who floats.
The idea of purpose implies knowledge of an ideal. If we think of something as having purpose we are establishing a relationship between what it is and what [we think] it should be (according to the ideal).
If we say the purpose of a business is to make money for its shareholders, then the way to measure the goodness or the badness of a business is by how much money it is making for its shareholders. Everything else becomes secondary.
This is a mental technique we seem to employ in order to determine whether or not something is good. We use this contrast between good and bad to associate more with what [we think] is good and steer clear of that which is bad – this is the essence of learning. When a baby learns to walk it uses this technique to avoid all that which is contrary to its idea of walking. It continues to do this until it is fully reconciled with its purpose (of learning to walk).
What happens when we fulfill the purpose?
The justice system purports that there is absolute rightness or absolute wrongness and therefore delegates a person (who is also purported to have absolute objectivity to a degree of solely dictating the future of another [ in South Africa ]).
Here’s an excerpt from “the book of chuang-tzu”, credited to the thoughts or writings of Chuang-tzu (Zhuangzi).
Granting that you and I argue. If you beat me, and not I you, are you necessarily right and I wrong? Or if I beat you and not you me, am I necessarily right and you wrong? Or are we both partly right and partly wrong? Or are we both wholly right or wholly wrong? You and I cannot know this, and consequently the world will be in ignorance of the truth.
Who shall I employ as arbiter between us? If I employ some one who takes your view, he will side with you. How can such a one arbitrate between us? If I employ some one who takes my view, he will side with me. How can such a one arbitrate between us? And if I employ some one who neither differs from or agrees with both of us, he will be equally unable to decide between us. Therefore, since you and I and another cannot decide, must we not wait for still others?
If I can manipulate the system such that I beat you and your fate is decided upon by someone who makes their decision on fabricated information, am I right? Clearly I’m not but technically I am.
Is it not therefore a symptom of this system that those with the means will usually have their way and those that don’t won’t? Can we call this justice?