Friday, March 6, 2009

Bad Economy...May Be...May Be Not

Last weekend I was checking my 401K and was shock to realize how much my wife and I have lost during this market downward spiral. Then a friend said to me that while he was worrying about his retirement, he learned that an astroid almost hit the earth. I looked at him and said, well if not the bad market, then the astroid, or else the earthquake. How finite we are. I mentioned this to my students and we all agreed, there is something about our finiteness that becomes meaningful only in relation to that which is infinite. So I'm reminded of Lao Tzu and the concept of li...while we sit down doing nothing, the sun shines, the plant grows, the water flows. Thinking about the economy in the light of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu's perspective is rather comforting and reminds me of one of my favorite stories.

A farmer had only one horse, and one day the horse ran away. The neighbors came to comfort over his terrible loss. The farmer replied, "Maybe, may be not." A month later, the horse came home bringing with her two beautiful wild horses. The neighbors came to congratulate for his good fortune. "Such lovely strong horses!" The farmer replied, "May be. May be not." The farmer's son was thrown from a horse and broke his leg. All the neighbors came to console. Such bad luck! The farmer replied, "May be. May be not." A war broke out and every able-bodied was recruited except the farmer's son because of his broken leg. The neighbors came to congratulate the farmer. "May be. May be not?" replied the farmer.


  1. I like that story as well.... an don't forget the famous king of Lydia (King Croesus)

  2. I do not know the story about the famous king of Lydia...kindly send me the story. Thanks.

  3. Dr. Siroj, I pray you are well. I did not know where to post regarding Archaic man so i figured I would just go in here and just write something since all you wanted was traffic...Smile... No, on a serious note I have read the "Maybe Maybe not story". I actually used it as a appendix on my Master's thesis coz it touched me so much. So yes, some "bad things" that happen to us are blessings in disguise...I love the simplicity of the man's thinking yet with sophistication.

    When it comes to the archaic man, I agreed STRONGLY with one statement:"every civilized human being,whatever his conscious development, is still an archaic man at the deeper levels of his psyche..."

    I mean wow! What a true statement. I see alot of "us" act and I say "act" because we are putting on a show for others to see...I see alot of us as intellectuals, professionals, cultured, sophisticated in who we are and what we say, where as being SIMPLE MINDED would get us further and bring out the essence of who we are. I see "us" fight our archaic and primal ways which cannot leave us eventhough we may want to leave them. They are deeply engrained in our DNA...That is who we are and who we will always be...PRIMAL!! Ahhhh the struggle of man...If he could just let go, let loose and let God be God!!
    Caroline Nyairo (Mental Health and Spirituality Class)