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December 07, 2010


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Eat Strawberries , forget everything

"This is it"....you got it...or it got you!

Anyways...for me it (IT) is what lives me...breathes me...thinks me and so on. It's IT and That's that...the profundity of a silent mind always blows "me" away!

Keep IT trucking!

On the Strawberry Story: Why put in any belief in a Zen Story that is totally made up, whose content serves to propose a philosopical suggestion that is (apparently) since you are about to die and you can't back up, strawberries taste sweeter than ever before. There are numerous technical flaws with the story, such as: If the person hanging on the vine is in a "can't live" scenario, how do we know that there was a strawberry on the side of a cliff, or that he ate it, or that it tasted sweet? Who did he tell this to? The Tiger(s)? Who told the Zen Masters about the strawberry and that the man ate it? It must have been the Tiger(s) because no one else was there to tell the "story." Other story flaws: a man cannot outrun a tiger across a field. I don't think a strawberry plant could grow on the side of a cliff. Tigers are solitary animals so the probablility of other tigers in the area at the bottom of the cliff is small. Also, what are the vines attached to? It is astonishing that there are two mice there. I wonder if the theorotical trapped man would have also "tasted the mice" and found them tasty as well. If he ate the mice, and stayed on the vine long enough the tiger would have got bored and wandered away. The man would have saved himself and lived to tell the tale. Moral: If you have faith in the moral of a story, it's easy to overlook improbablity of the story.

I like the poem you wrote at age 13. It shows that your talent for writing was already planted and growing. And it continues to grow. You description of your walks with your dog and the accompanying thoughts and realizations were well written too.

First, i have enjoyed your blog for about a year. i interpret "This is it" in a Zen way, that is there is no past and no future, there is only now. i thought you said at one point that we are the stuff of stars and that we will always be the stuff of stars.

Jim, I agree that made-up stories with morals often are impossible to take literally. What I like about the Zen strawberry story is how it grabs my attention, because the combination of events is indeed so utterly unlikely.

Plus, I really like strawberries. The notion of tasting my very last one is an interesting thought experiment. Except, one day it will be reality. There will actually be a last strawberry, just like there will be a last dog walk, and a last everything.

Yet usually we look ahead and consider that there will be plenty of additional opportunities to do this and that. This is true, usually. Eventually it won't be, though. So there's more than a little wisdom involved in appreciating each moment for what it is: potentially the last time we'll experience whatever it is we're experiencing.

Animals and such can certainly live without reflection, or in that ghostly, slippery thing called the *moment*. Humans? If humans actually lived in the present they'd use no memories. There are Lilliputians in the brain, with lightening speed they forge tiny bridges between the now and the then. The present is always the past---there in the ---Lilliputians with hand-baskets scoop and store our memories and all those memories deeply influence/educate the much talked about NOW. Talking/writing about the Now is irredeemably oxymoronic. If any human really was the NOW (aka "this is it"), I suspect they couldn't return from it. They'd have fallen off the end of the brain's Universe.

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