Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A proverb

There is an old Chinese proverb:

"To know its taste there is no need to eat the whole chicken."

It took me many years to come to this same conclusion though I could never state it so simply.

I've read whole novels that can be summarized in a couple of words. When I was a student I took copious notes and listened intently to lectures only to realize later that the professors were just automatons on automatic pilot spouting words they never believed. I once had a boss who would cross his arms over his chest and say "Have you read the manual."

To all of that I say, "Bullshit."

The object of life is to live it- not read the damn manual. The object of reading a novel is not to admire the intricate plot but to suddenly understand what the author was seized by when he/she wrote it. The object of sex is not the orgasm. It is the nanosecond after the orgasm. Taking a plane up is not as enervating as safely landing. Tasting a chicken for one second is better than cracking the bones and sucking marrow.

Listen carefully. This is as instructive as I can ever hope to get. To live totally THIS VERY MOMENT is a challenge. Everything else is just frosting on the cake.

And the second part of this (which should not be necessary if you understand my statement above) is this:

Never become attached to that moment and regurgitate it like a dog who returns to his vomit. Let it go. Otherwise, You'll miss the next moment.