Monday, September 22, 2008

Did anybody get the license plate of that metaphysical truck?

Cowboy's Link Of The Day:

Will LOTD become a regular feature here?  Probably not, but who knows?  I'm wishy washy that way.  Celes showed me this site last week, and it's up there with some of the funniest stuff I've found on the web.  I'm so gonna crack it first.  One word: Karateka

I was actually asked by a client the other day if I read Rory Blyth's blog.  I stuttered for a minute before answering, "Yeah,  Um... I've heard of it..."  Ok, I was a bit more honest than that, but it didn't seem in my professional best interest to proclaim that I'm The Cowboy, the guy who continually posts comments to his blog but never has anything insightful to say. 

That said, I've been thinking about a lot of things.  Things Celes said to me, things my inner voice said to me (the one with the English accent), and things I've learned from the Tao.  I've been thinking about the whole arbitrary numbering system.  I'm not sure I agree with Celes on that one.  She's a frighteningly insightful person, but it's a subjective system.  It's in how you use it, I believe, and like anything can be used for good or evil.  Like my superpowers.  Someday I will learn to use them for good instead.  In other words, for now I believe it's good for me so I'm keeping it.  Cowboy 2.6.

Get out and do something.  Take that first step.  I passed this along to another friend who seemed to be suffering from the same malady.  I'm not sure if he did anything, but I hope so.  It probably had it's impact lessened as it came from a guy sitting in an airport terminal waiting for a delayed flight, but whatever.  It's one thing to sit in a darkened apartment coding all night.  I understand that, I'm a geek.  It's entirely another thing to sit in a darkened apartment/hotel room all night because you're bored.  Think of something, get off your ass and do it.  You don't have to find anybody else to do something with.  Things are always better with a friend, but if you can't find one, go anyway.  I went to the beach.  The effect on my mental state was staggering. 

I've noticed a dramatic decrease on the grouchometer lately.  I'm sure lots of things factor in to this, not the least of which is a metaphysical boot to the head from my New England friend.  A true friend will do that for you.  Dinner by the Atlantic is good for the soul too, and is also better with a friend.  Time with family is very good, especially if you've been separated.  What continues to confound me though, much like the Arabic version of Who wants to be a Millionaire? (yes, it really does exist) is this whole Tao thing. 

When I try to exert control over my destiny, things seem to fall apart.  When I try to hold on loosely and let this crazy thing called life take me where it wants to, good things tend to happen.  I like to think of it as the river from the Chang-tse parable, where the old man trapped in the river let it take him where it will, using the power of the river rather than fighting it, he was able to save his own life. 

But now the currents seem to be pushing from all sides, and I'm not really going anywhere.  Maybe it's just a temporary eddy.  Perhaps I should just be patient.  Or perhaps I've been deluding myself all this time and I need to just take control. 

Or maybe I never understood the parable at all.  Using the river's currents to your advantage is not the same as surrendering to them.  What I really need right now is a metaphysical parasail. 

All things are better when left in their natural state.  What is the Cowboy's natural state?  I don't know.  None of us really knows, because from day one we're bombarded with the influences of an artificially created civilization.  Things are the way they are because we made them that way.  We've all contributed to it, whether by action or by inaction. 

Imagine you're flying a kite in a field.  It's a windy, blustery day, and the wind is so strong that it blows the kite away.  Rather than let it go, or try to wrestle it to the ground, you simply hold on.  The kite lifts you and carries you away on a rather rough ride.  Nothing that will kill you, but certainly something that might leave you feeling slightly battered afterwards.  Finally the wind dies down, and you plop to the ground.  You get up, dust yourself off, and rather than worrying about how you're going to get home or back to where you started, you simply think "Where am I now?"  Nothing more.  All of the complex thought patterns that form your Ego are gone.  You simply are, and you simply are somewhere.  Perhaps you pick a direction and head off to see what's over there.  You have no motivation other than curiosity.  Somewhere down that path is an adventure, and it will be fun.  You don't know what it is, but you'll have a great time when you get there.  Everything will simply work out.  You don't know how, and you don't care how, but you know it will. 

Where did the kite take you?

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