Applause and You

There is little else more seductive than the applause of your peers.

To be looked upon with a mixture of awe, reverence, admiration and perhaps even jealousy.

As social creatures our sense of identity depends a lot on what others think of us.

Left unchecked it turns into a trap, a little ruse of our ego to deceive us.

Any recognition is good in principle, but to be drunk on it and forget what brought us here is an error.

Be wary of applause, as you would be of a boisterous drunkard who might go off at anytime. Keep your distance.

Your accomplishments driven by effort and diligence is beautiful on its own.

The adoration of half-wits is a blot upon your spirit. Do not yield.

Conviction

A poem by Taylor Mali, set to video by Ronnie Bruce. To say any more would be redundant, so just watch this.

(via V3im.com)

My Greatest Engineering Challenge

Putting man on the moon, sending a probe to the remote edges of our solar system, instrumenting the planet, reversing global warming, finding a cure for cancer and AIDS and every other scientific endeavor that engages our collective attentions are worthy problems as candidates for the title of Greatest Engineering Challenge Ever.

But all these pale into insignificance before the one true problem, at least according to me. That is the problem of purpose, that has confounded, baffled and defeated all but a handful of us since the first animal pondered cause and effect.

Problem of purpose forks into the following trinity of questions – Who am I, what am I here for and what do I become. Questions that have been mistakenly considered as axioms and resisted honest investigation.

As someone attempting to comprehend and practice the methods prescribed by Buddha, I have come to realize this emphatically – Introspection is a path littered with inner conflict. The notions and ideas that make up the sense of self are all placed in doubt. Self-identity is no longer a given. In the place of a homogeneous entity there is a mass of influences and impulses. It is a time of great confusion.

Contrary to general perceptions this decomposition of the sense of self and the analysis of its constituent parts seems to share an intimate affinity with the scientific method that is characteristic of modern sciences. And the elegance of this endeavor lies in the fact that the experiment and the experimenter are one.

We work on our own selves and help re-make ourselves anew. The methods and techniques of our experiments have an exactitude that is more unforgiving than a programming language compiler that barks a warning at the least deviation from the required syntax.

Of all that life churns out in its fevered imaginations, and of all the trials and tribulations I have had the opportunity to confront, this is my greatest engineering challenge ever.