Monday, September 27, 2010

What I Know For Sure

A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor's cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. "It's overfull! No more will go in!" the professor blurted. "You are like this cup," the master replied. "How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

My mind feels like that cup sometimes. So full. Overflowing full. I have a hard time remembering things. My daughter says I have the memory of a gnat. She’s right. I think it’s because I have so much useless stuff stuck in my memory and I can’t find the delete button. I can remember my childhood phone number, but I can’t remember to pick up juice on the way home. When I try to remember something new, my mind plays a familiar recording. “The message inbox for the number you are calling is full.”

There is just too much information out there that I’m trying to store in here. Not only grocery lists, but also information about truth. I just finished a book by someone who thinks he has God all figured out. The title isn’t important because there are a million books like that. There are a million books like that because there are a million people who believe they know the truth.

Oprah Winfrey writes a column for her magazine every month called “What I Know For Sure.” Whenever I pick up her magazine in the checkout line, I marvel at the notion that at least once a month, she knows something for sure. No wonder she “makes bank,” as my daughter says.

So if these people really know the truth, then why don’t they all agree? Not only do they not agree, but some will argue vehemently about the rightness of their positions. Some will even kill each other.

The Tao Te Ching teaches, “Wise men don’t need to prove their point. Men who need to prove their point aren’t wise.” I must be very wise, because not only do I not need to prove my point, but I’m not sure I even have a point to prove.

You can’t organize truth. That’s like trying to put a pound of water into wrapping paper and shaping it. –Bruce Lee

Related post The Way of No Way

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