"If you understand, things are such as they are; If you do not understand, things are such as they are--"
--Zen Master Gensha (via Alan Watts "This Is It")
Then, one day, the oldest seer he had ever sought out (and the one most to be feared) had asked why the camel driver was so interested in the future.
"Well... so I can do things," he had responded. "And so I can change those things that I don't want to happen."
"But then they wouldn't be a part of your future," the seer had said.
"Well, maybe I just want to know the future so I can prepare myself for what's coming."
"If good things are coming, they will be a pleasant surprise," said the seer. "If bad things are, and you know in advance, you will suffer greatly before they even occur."
"I want to know about the future because I'm a man," the camel driver had said to the seer. "And men always live their lives based on the future."
The seer was a specialist in the casting of twigs ; he threw them on the ground, and made interpretations based on how they fell. That day, he didn't make a cast. He wrapped the twigs in a piece of cloth and put them back in his bag.
--Paulo Coelho, "The Alchemist"