Give. So that you can receive…

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The happiness we feel after a particular event or activity diminishes each time we experience that event, a phenomenon known as hedonic adaptation. But giving to others may be the exception to this rule, according to research forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

In two studies, psychology researchers Ed O’Brien (University of Chicago Booth School of Business) and Samantha Kassirer (Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management) found that participants’ happiness did not decline, or declined much slower, if they repeatedly bestowed gifts on others versus repeatedly receiving those same gifts themselves. (1)

We like to receive. And we love to give.

But why do any of those two?

How can giving be meaningful if receiving is not?

How can receiving be meaningless if giving is not?

When you see two obvious paths in front of you…

Try and look out for the third one!

It is the goal of philosophy to question the obvious.

And here we have two very obvious options…

A wise man will never ask for anything. But neither will he give anything back. In a cosmos built of dirt, there is no point to try to reach the stars. In a cosmos full of butterflies, there is nothing you can receive. Look at the calm lake. Feel the deep dark forest inside you.

You cannot give anything to anyone. For there is only you.

There is no point in receiving anything. For it is you who will get it.

Try to clap with one hand.

You can do it.

Do less. And less. And less. Until you do everything…

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A recent article portrayed a woman who managed to become a CEO before she was thirty. (source) This is not the only case where “Doing more and more” is praised as the main way people should pursue their existence in this life.

Modern civilization and today’s society praises the ones who push their limits, do more and more, reach out to challenge themselves,

Everything seem to be well thought out. And yet, behind the seemingly obvious and well earned success and happiness for doing more, something deeply hideous lies. Hannah Arendt had put it extremely elonquently at the end of the Human Condition. As Cicero says, “When you do nothing, you will suddenly realize that you are doing the most”! Modern man has embarked on a Sisyphian endless process that only leads to dead ends. At the end of this life, lies death. In the heart of our existence, meaningless noise. We need silence to listen to the cosmos. We need peace to make the cosmos listen to us. It would take a lot to describe why striving constantly for more is wrong and I will not do that.

Anyone who knows what I’m talking about will recognize it (tautology).

Anyone who doesn’t, would definitely not learn it here…

Doing less. Being a human. Not a pigeon.

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Pigeons are capable of switching between two tasks as quickly as humans – and even more quickly in certain situations. These are the findings of biopsychologists who had performed the same behavioral experiments to test birds and humans. The authors hypothesize that the cause of the slight multitasking advantage in birds is their higher neuronal density. (1)

Doing less is doing more. More brain means more filtering to the input we receive from the cosmos. And the input is raw and dark. We cannot accept it unfiltered. That is why people innocent enough to witness the cosmos end up crazy at the end. Only children can bear the burden. Because they know they can fly. Even though we teach them that they cannot.

The pigeon is not remarkable because it can perform multitasking.

A modern processor can do the same as well.

The pigeon is remarkable because it makes the children run and laugh…

Feed the pigeon.

Feed yourself.

Now look.

It’s gone!

It’s flying…

Sitting right next to me.

Too good to be true…

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The old adage that says ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’ has finally been put to the test – mathematically. A team of researchers has found that overwhelming evidence without a dissenting opinion can in fact weaken the credibility of a case, or point to a failure of the system. [1]

Do not seek certainty when you seek certainty…

The real meaning of Tao: Everything possible. Illogical. Thus true.

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People see patterns and rules everywhere.

But these patterns and rules are elusive. A pattern could be there and you could “see” it, but if you interpret the data in a different way or if you examine the context of your observations, you could “know” that there is no pattern and you could stop “seeing” it.

In the same way, one could say something “mystical” and prove it to be “correct”, in some specific way under very specific circumstances.

In a way, everything goes. Perhaps that is the whole meaning of Tao itself…

If you think about it, Logic is a human construct. The cosmos we experience is a phenomenal world. Reality (if a universal reality exists – because many things imply that every person actually formulates his own reality – see quantum mechanics) is the common denominator of all the phenomena. And the only common denominator is Consciousness. Tao by definition is illogical in its sayings. And perhaps this is what it is trying to do: Guide us to the beginning, to what now seems “illogical”…

Clap with one hand.

You could do it.