IBMC #05 The Not-So-Quite Quote Challenge

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“If two people were simultaneously reading each other’s thoughts would the same thoughts be echoed for all of infinity?” asked Mehmet

“I’m confused at times, should I sound alarmed, should I echo the feeling?” pondered Hazeel out loud

“What good would come of creating a recursive feedback loop of confusion? One has to accept that there are things one won’t come to know about or understand but that is not necessarily a bad thing. This art of mind reading is not a precise science, best not conflate it with thought policing.” continued Hazeel.

“Haha, that’s just the thing, over thinking and over analyzing creates problems that aren’t there in the first place. Take for example the paradox of the honest and dishonest guard. Why not just walk out the door from which one entered the room in the first place?”

“You need not answer all the questions! You can just laugh and laugh again.” concluded Mehmet.

“You speak my mind Mehmet. Alas, sometimes thinking that one is hopeless and with no chance of success secures such a result. Giving up is a surefire way to fail. It’s hard to think it is easy and easy to think it is hard. Negative Thoughts- they do what we don’t ask for!”

“Well said Hazeel, I would like to add that it takes courage to admit for all to hear ‘I knew it! I don’t know!’, Pyrrho he was a skeptical man and he based his school of thought around the idea that we should not let our cognitive biases or allegiance to a cause dictate how we perceive the truth… perhaps he had the right of it…”

“Speaking of Paradoxes, what of koans? At times we pretend to think on one, but actually think everything else! It taught me that asking too many questions can be an exercise in futility and it’s best to just ask good ones.”

 

 

5

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The Astrologer Who Fell Into A Wishing Well

This story is number 40 on the Perry Index.

“An Astronomer used to walk out every night to gaze upon the stars. It happened one night that, with his whole thoughts rapt up in the skies, he fell into a well. One who heard his cries ran up to him, and said:

“While you are trying to pry into the mysteries of heaven, you overlook the common objects under your feet.”

Morale: We should never look so high as to miss seeing the things that are around us. (Aesop’s fables)

Morale: ‘Mind your own business’ – Samuel Croxall

Morale:  ‘How can you understand the world without knowing yourself first?’- Gabriele Faerno

Morale:  ‘Let the astrologer beware of predicting anything. For the imposter will fall headlong, so long as he flies above the stars.’- Andrea Alciato

Morale: ‘Let, for want of due repair,A real house fall down,To build a castle in the air?’ – Charles Denis

Morale: “To an astrologer who fell
Plump to the bottom of a well,
‘Poor blockhead!’ cried a passer-by,
‘Not see your feet, and read the sky?'”- Fontaine

The unfortunate man who fell into the well was none other than Thales of Miletus, who was said to have entertained the idea that

The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.’  

He is not by far the only person to have voiced this concern!

“The greatest explorer on this earth never takes voyages as long as those of the man who descends to the depth of his heart.”– Julien Green

“‘Know thyself?’ If I knew myself, I’d run away.”– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.”– Mark Twain

“One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self; of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.”– Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”– Henry David Thoreau

So why do human beings prefer to spend countless hours attempting to understand the world around them and not themselves?

I am of the opinion it is because we are always changing and our personalities are in flux adapting to each scenario based on who we want to become, whereas certain truths about the world do remain constant… such as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Also, the motivation for wanting to become a certain type of person could be owing to the values taught to us by society.

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”– George Moore

“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.”– St. Augustine

“All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.”– James Thurber

If we’re too preoccupied by trying to find out who we are and understand the world around us, we’ll forget what it’s like to enjoy the simple things in life. To take it all in one step at a time, and to find joy in the things we do comprehend. That is not to say that we should not get out of our comfort zones, rather life is not a jigsaw puzzle meant to be put together, it is an abstract painting and the beauty of it lies in its incomprehensibility.

Zero Moment Of Truth

At times we search for solutions to our problems on Google. Now, the thing is, are we are aware about the nature of the problem?

 

Exaggeration or understating the problem can often lead to unsatisfying answers. Think simply, do not complicate an otherwise straightforward situation.

Self diagnosis can be fairly accurate, but admit that it is impossible to be constantly aware of everything. Embrace the struggle of life even though it might at times seem rather futile. Like all those assignments we have to submit with 12 size New Times Roman font.

Be patient. It takes up to 3.3 bn years and a lot of pressure for diamonds to form and yet here they are in the current world.

Attempt to use different tools of thoughts to analyse the situation. Connect the invisible dots. Keep asking yourself, “so what?” until you get to the bottom of the problem.

Somewhere out there an entrepreneur has most likely come up with a solution for your woes,  as google will undoubtedly show you. However, take the initiative and try to become self reliant. Do what you can.

 

The Third & Final Quote- Book Tag Day 3

This post marks the end of the book tag. Many thanks to T.K Lawrence for being the one to tag me.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  3. Nominate three new bloggers each day.

I chose this quote:

“According to some, heroic deaths are admirable things. I’ve never been convinced by this argument, mainly because, no matter how cool, stylish, composed, unflappable, manly, or defiant you are, at the end of the day you’re also dead. Which is a little too permanent for my liking.”
Jonathan Stroud, Ptolemy’s Gate

If you have read the Bartimaeus sequence or played the video game ‘Avencast’ you will immediately realize just how true this statement is. Euripedes once said, “Death is a debt we all have to pay.” Although most of us are not Lannisters (game of thrones allusion), all of us pay our debt.

I tag: Everyone in the known and unknown universe. :p

Three Quotes Book Tag- Day #2

As you may well know by now, I’m taking part in a book tag. T.K Lawrence is the one behind the tag.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  3. Nominate three new bloggers each day.

And most importantly, the quote:

“And what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversation?”
Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I echoed those thoughts when I first began reading. Picture books just seemed so much more vibrant than their finely printed counterparts. Illustrations accentuate the message and help to deliver it to a younger audience. Dr. Suess anyone?

For my part, I tag:

Vincent Wambua

Andrew The Lonely Author

BookOwly

Global Dignity Day: One Year Later

Global Dignity Day is celebrated on the third Wednesday of the month of October every year. Students are asked to give a short speech about what dignity means to them and highlight it with anecdotes.  Afterwards, they are advised to write a letter addressed to themselves which is to be received exactly 365 days later. The contents of the letter must include what they want to achieve for themselves and others by living with dignity.

I am happy to report that I’ve received the letter! Even better still is that I’ve completely forgotten the contents of the missive.

“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

Without further ado, this is what was written on the letter:

“The best way to promote dignity is to be dignified. Leading by example is a sign of dignity. We cannot expect others to do what we ourselves do not believe in. To convince others, you must first convince yourself. Actions speak for themselves.”

Short, but I tried to apply brevity of speech. I don’t believe in going into detail if I can afford to be concise.

On the other side of the page I read:

“I want to be like Albert Camus. He opened my eyes to the absurd. I began putting things in perspective and not judging matters based on mere arbitrary assumptions.”

My speech on dignity was a spin off on the fact that sometimes it’s okay to ask others for help. There are people who genuinely perform acts of altruism without the need for money to change hands.

Once when I was standing in line for the BTS skytrain in Thailand, I witnessed a German man having great difficulty trying to use the automated ticket machine. I realised that he didn’t want to ask for help because everyone else seemed to go through the process of purchasing a ticket with relative ease.

I walked up to him, said,”Maybe it’s broken, it’s rush hour after all, let me check.” then went through the necessary actions slowly so he could observe, and handed him the ticket. I then proceeded to remark,”Everything seems to be in order, this is why they say,’Don’t ever trust a robot to do a man’s job!’ There must have been a glitch.”

The gentleman nodded and was on his way. It was a tacit understanding. No words needed to be spoken.

A link to the GDD website: Global Dignity Day Website

If you want to send an e-mail to yourself meant to be read one year later, try this website:

Future Me Org