sidebar 2006.02.07
That's about as un-Buddhist an idea as I have ever heard.

I like this old Ben Stein quote: "The indispensible first step to get the things you want from life is this: Decide what you want."

And the question THAT brings up is... what do we want out of life? Some of the assumptions about money...I dunno. I'm kind of afraid to go off the path I'm on sometimes, because it seems to have more money associated with it than most other paths that might be open to me.

--Kirk Wed Feb 8 02:00:51 2006
Technically, all your questions are unBuddhist as they require wanting something. Desire is the obstacle to enlightenment. But without desire/ambition, would you have the drive to do anything? Like create new Atari 2600 games?
--Erin Maru Wed Feb 8 04:31:02 2006
Well, at the risk of playing armchair Eastern religion dime store philosopher...

I think you're very right about the tension between getting interesting things done and a Buddhish outlook (I can't lay claim to grasping the full thing, so "Buddhish" it is) And, remember, for me "interesting" is a semi-sacred concept.

I think in practice I might be a little more Daoish. I don't have a deep exposure to it, mostly that "Dao of Pooh" book, but its concept of going with the flow seems very natural to me. Part of that is an unhealthy desire to avoid responsibility, I have an odd fear of being "blamed" for wrong decisions in life.

The funny thing is, its worked out pretty ok for me, I think. Is that coasting on a fair chunk of innate ability I got lucky with? Are there amazing feats I'd be capable of if only I wasn't such a 'fraidy cat? Dunno!
--Kirk Wed Feb 8 12:16:55 2006
But didn't another wise man say that "The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living" or something like that?

As much as I get worked up about stuff, I'm coming to accept that my ambition, frustrations and so forth is a form of play or a necessary byproduct of me doing what I want to do and coming up with ideas for doing it.

Then again, the more I learn about Buddhism, the more I dislike the inaction side of things. From what I understand, a lot of those Eastern philosophies came out of a reaction against the constant war and that the best way to save your ass, as a peasant, was not to get involved in politics, not to get involved in wars, etc. etc. Just do your job, plant your crops, etc. etc. But if your nation calls on you to do war, you might as well do it because it's probably more pleasant to get killed straight off than get persecuted on the run by a government.

But yeah, I think there's some useful things that Buddhism as to say, but I think the overall philosophy gets in the way of actively taking part in the world and being fully human. . .even though it does allow for a nice serene escape from everyday life every once in awhile.
--The_Lex Wed Feb 8 13:18:15 2006
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
--George Bernard Shaw
--Kirk Wed Feb 8 13:47:47 2006