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Tag Archive: beliefs


Rules of Life

 

0243 Capitolino Museum, Michaelangelo statue o...

0243 Capitolino Museum, Michaelangelo statue of Marcus Aurelias, Rome, Italy (Photo credit: rosemarydukelow)

 

I have been doing a lot of soul-searching lately. Reading the works of philosophers has reinforced some of my beliefs and also helped me address some of the areas I found wanting. I have added some excerpts here. I hope you also find it useful.

 

21 Rules to Live Your LifeDokkodo
‘Dokkodo’ is a small book written by Miyamoto Musashi in 1645. He was a famous Japanese swordsman, believed to have been one of the most skilled swordsmen in history. The contains some very and relevant rules that should apply even today.
1. Accept everything just the way it is
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long
6. Do not regret what you have done
7. Never be jealous
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself or others
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love
11. In all things have no preferences
12. Be indifferent to where you live
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need
15. Do not act following customary beliefs
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful-After the latest massacre in the USA, this is apt.
17. Do not fear death
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help
21. Never stray from the Way

 

I thought I should add this too from my favourite philosopher;

 

Men exist for the sake of one another. Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.

 

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love-Marcus Aurelias

 

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What is life?

Cover of "What Is Life?: with "Mind ...

your opinion doesn't matter
your opinion doesn’t matter (Photo credit: the|G|™)

Yes. what is life? Dictionaries will say there is evidence of some action and some self-sustaining processes. Evidence of living. Is that all?

Well, when that question somehow popped up in my head, for some strange reason Haddaway‘s ‘ What is love‘ started playing in my head. Those of a certain vintage may remember. It goes, ‘What is love?’

‘Oh baby don’t  hurt me.

Don’t hurt me no more’. I am sure you know the rest of the lyrics.

Is there a connection between the two? After all life can be a direct result of love (intended or not). Chicken and egg come to mind.

What is life? Are we defined by our jobs? Our self-worth? Are we defined by our monetary value? Or the friends we keep? Our families? The letters after our names? The titles? our failings? Our successes?  Are we defined by some altruistic concept?

I do not have the answers, so I ask the question.

The mortal coil that is us. Is That’s what is life is? What about our beliefs? Our faith? Or our non-faith?

Living the high life. Living la vida loca. Living the life of Riley.Is that what it is? I may be rumbling. But one has to ask these questions. Or are we to assume since we are living the life, that is life. Should we find room in ourselves to explore and discover more about us? Whats there to learn?. Explorers, all those hundreds of years ago traveled thousands of miles to discover something new. Discover what really?  Was that the life? Or a mere self-fulfilling mission? Is life anything to do with one’s happiness, or sadness? Or could it be an accident? I am not even alluding to conception!  Or is it some intrinsic concept yet defined? I only ask because I want to know. Otherwise I would keep schtum. Wouldn’t ask otherwise.

The Bible says the world and life was constructed in 7 days. Religions all bicker on what is life. Scientists have their own interpretation, and only last week a ‘Great discovery’ was made-Higgs boson. Apparently its the ‘God‘ particle. Its sent everyone in the scientific world agog. Doesn’t take much to please some people. Someone should issue a fatwa!  It is a good thing no one  said it was the ‘A’ word!  The ‘G’ word is all right. Just a thought, imagine they had called that particle ‘Pippa’s Bottom’-Millions of young boys (and girls too) would have become science-interested and thus turn a ‘boring’ thing into an overnight sensation.

Got to admit no one really knows what ‘life’ really is . Otherwise we would not all come up with different answers. The American Dream could be all what life is? But the deeply religious Americans may say otherwise. Survival of the fittest could be what it is, essentially. But surely should life be measured by the length of time one was of sound mind, and breathing? Could life not extend beyond our brief sojourn on this beautiful planet? Well, if you take away the Greenhouse effect, tsunamis, earthquakes, the cheating bankers, terrorists. It is beautiful. Well, I could add CNN, FOX, The Sun too-heck I wont cause I may get into some deep muck. The other side of the same coin is could life be something that started before we were born-those lustful looks, back of the car incidents, cinemas – I mean could our lives have been predetermined even before conception. I was gonna say DNAs, but freaked out. I don’t want to open up an even larger hornets nest. But seriously, where do we start from and where do we end?

Is it like the chicken & egg question? Well, imagine Mr/Ms Chicken having a chat with their neighbour Mr/Ms Egg discussing who came first!

I am still struggling to get a definitive answer to the question posited in the title. However, I was reading a blog earlier today which persuaded  me to look for answers from a different perspective. The blog is called http://www.wedontknowwhatthefutureholds.com. There is a quote from that blog I have un-ashamadely copied and pasted. It goes:

” Life is a test that we have to take; a risk, and one chance that we have. It is hard but with age comes kindness, good fortune, and love for others. Kindness is a gift to receive; a gift so special that you may only receive it once in a lifetime.”
– Beata B.

Is life a test? We do get tested almost everyday since we take risks everyday. Everyone one of us has to make some judgement everyday. Sometimes we call it wrongly. Other times we get it right. Experience helps. So does intelligence, culture, social and physical geography, upbringing, socialization, DNA(?), social circles etc.  That quote also made me think that life is also a gift. It’s a mortal present bestowed upon us to utilize wisely. Otherwise we would not be tested. Would we? I used to listen to a lot of rap music and some of the lyrics, possibly majority ululated about not living beyond the 20s. It seemed like a badge of honour that someone would cease to exist or kind of looked forward to their demise at such a tender age. Is it because the test was too hard? Or perhaps it was an acknowledgement that there was nothing worth striving for beyond a certain age. Or just misguided lyrics? Or perhaps some element of artistic licence?

“The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity by contributing to the establishment of the kingdom of God, which can only be done by the recognition and profession of the truth by every man.”

Leo Tolstoy

“What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

TBC

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