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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Buddha and Thoreau

I HAVE MINI BLINDS ON ALL OF MY WINDOWS!!!! And they're all the right size, too. It's been a long time coming. Now, I can relax. For a little bit. I'm still unemployed. I'm calling Technicolor back tomorrow and NY 1 should be calling me for a change. I've forwarded my resume to them after having called them again, three times now.

Anyway, I'm not going to be blogging about all that today. I was reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau while doing laundry today. I finally decided to read it since a copy of it fell into my hands several months ago (I can't remember when or where it came from). The man was a genius and apparently really Buddhist though he may not have realized it himself. Here's one choice quote that I picked up while reading:

"It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof."

Consider these similar quotes from Buddha:

"In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true."

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

It's interesting to ponder that what we consider to be truth is often only so because we think it is the truth because we were told it or we read it somewhere. But to spend life believing only what we are told and what we read, leaving no room for speculation or abstract thought, must be a dismal existence. I like where Buddha and Thoreau are coming from here.

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