Author Archives: Bill

About Bill

Stumbling down the Middle Path, one day at a time.

The Purpose of Life

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

See also: https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-purpose-of-life-is-not-happiness-it-s-usefulness

Who knows what’s good, who knows what’s bad?

“Good and bad aren’t absolutes. They are beliefs, judgments, ideas based on limited knowledge as well as on the inclinations of our minds

The situation we always live in is like that of the wise Chinese farmer whose horse ran off. When his neighbor came to console him the farmer said, ‘Who knows what’s good or bad?’

When his horse returned the next day with a herd of horses following her, the foolish neighbor came to congratulate him on his good fortune.

‘Who knows what’s good or bad?’ said the farmer.

Then, when the farmer’s son broke his leg trying to ride one of the new horses, the foolish neighbor came to console him again.

“Who knows what’s good or bad?” said the farmer.

When the army passed through, conscripting men for war, they passed over the farmer’s son because of his broken leg. When the foolish man came to congratulate the farmer that his son would be spared, again the farmer said, “Who knows what’s good or bad?”

When do we expect the story to end?”

from Buddhism Plain and Simple, Steve Hagen.

It’s None Of My Business

A somewhat different version of this post was published previously.

King Baby

I used to get calls from a sort of friend of mine. I call him a “sort of” friend because he only called when he wanted to complain about how terribly the world was treating him — or, as my friend Todd says, to “vomit on me.” Always problems; never solutions, and this had been going on for years. We all know folks like this, in and out of the program. Continue reading