Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Stuck in the middle with you

"We are all just kites floating in the wind." ~Shivas Irons, "Golf in the Kingdom," by Michael Murphy

A main differance between western and eastern philosophy lies in perspective of "the journeyman." Western philosophy sees the journey as taking you somewhere; a physical location that leads you to transcend your former reality. The American cowboy is a "floating kite." The high-school graduate heading to college fits this model.

Eastern philosophy (Chinese Tao, Hindi Upanishads, etc.) view "the journey" as knowledge attained from the inside moving outward. According to these philosophies, the ability to transcend does not come because you seek it out. It will not come from books you read, or lecture halls you sit in at University. The ultimate existence is innately connected to people. The unlocking of this potential starts not when you seek it out through outer forms of knowledge, but by searching your inner being.

Here I stand, somewhere in between. My path has led me to the other side of the world. But my transcendence comes from mastering my innermost fears and anxieties, while roaming through a zen state in nature. Or otherwise known as finding inner tranquility and happiness that yeilds low scores on the golf course.

So whether you play golf or not, the object of hitting the ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible is the most superficial and inadequete description of this game we all play.

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