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I have a degree in philosophy. But I’m not bragging. Far from it. Because if life had a rewind button, there would be a different piece of paper hanging on my Mom’s living room wall. The wall might even be bare. Now, in retrospect, I often wonder how I ended up in the philosophy department in the first place. Aside from smoking too much dope at the time, I suppose I was searching for TRUTH. Unfortunately, I never found it studying philosophy. Most of the ideas felt too complicated. Needlessly complicated. I wondered if some of the so called great philosophers made their ideas impenetrable on purpose; as a way of making their thoughts seem heavier than they really were. Nonsense often passes for depth, politics, law and religion being the most obvious examples.
The university I attended was highly respected for its philosophy department. Unfortunately, the school offered only one class in Eastern Philosophy, the one class I was really interested in. And naturally, I was never able to take the class because it was always full. Eastern Philosophy, particularly Taoism, is a lot like Eastern architectural design… simple, elegant and profound. It’s a different mindset from Hegel, Kant and a lot of the other rock stars of western philosophy.
The most profound TRUTH I ever discovered at university was written on a piece of scrap paper and tacked to a telephone pole outside of the cafeteria. I later found out it was an ancient, Eastern proverb.
To be is to do.
The words struck like lightening. And unlike most of the convoluted crap I’d been studying, the idea was practical and applicable to real life. In fact, it felt particularly applicable to my own life. Procrastination has always been a big problem; procrastination fueled by too much dreaming, too much analysis paralysis, and too little doing. A writer writes. A painter paints. A dancer dances. To be is to do. And it’s just that simple, elegant and profound.
Nothing happens without action.