The Art of Winning Without Fighting (A Zen Parable)
Among the warrior’s greatest virtues is an ability to defeat the opponent with a maximum economy of resources.
Stories from the Zen and Sufi traditions that are heard in the West are often enacted by fierce and fearsome warriors who make a fuss with their weapons. These are witnessed by stolid, elderly teachers who observe their displays as a child watches a terrible storm through the window.
One such story tells of a famous warrior who had ridden through countless cities and conquered vast territories without ever having been defeated. Such was the horror he provoked in the people that when they learned that the army of the famous warrior was heading toward their country, everyone left – up to and including the rulers. Empty houses were left with pots still boiling on the stove, such was the flight.
Everyone fled but the Zen master who lived modestly on the side of a steep mountain.
When the army took control of the capital, the famous warrior went to the cabin of the Zen master to see with his own eyes. Coming before him, he saw that it was a simple old man who’d not even stood up to beg for his life. The warrior burst out with insults.
“Old fool!” he said, drawing his sword, “don’t you realize you’re facing a man who could cut you in half in the blink of an eye?”
The teacher remained motionless and replied:
“Don’t you realize you’re facing a man who could be cut in half without blinking?”
When ancient rituals became religion
The emergence of religions irreversibly changed the history of humanity. It’s therefore essential to ask when and how did ancient peoples’ rituals become organized systems of thought, each with their
Seven ancient maps of the Americas
A map is not the territory. —Alfred Korzybski Maps are never merely maps. They’re human projections, metaphors in which we find both the geographical and the imaginary. The cases of ghost islands
An artist crochets a perfect skeleton and internal organs
Shanell Papp is a skilled textile and crochet artist. She spent four long months crocheting a life-size skeleton in wool. She then filled it in with the organs of the human body in an act as patient
A musical tribute to maps
A sequence of sounds, rhythms, melodies and silences: music is a most primitive art, the most essential, and the most powerful of all languages. Its capacity is not limited to the (hardly trivial)
The enchantment of 17th-century optics
The sense of sight is perhaps one the imagination’s most prolific masters. That is why humankind has been fascinated and bewitched by optics and their possibilities for centuries. Like the heart, the
Would you found your own micro-nation? These eccentric examples show how easy it can be
Founding a country is, in some ways, a simple task. It is enough to manifest its existence and the motives for creating a new political entity. At least that is what has been demonstrated by the
Wondrous crossings: the galaxy caves of New Zealand
Often, the most extraordinary phenomena are “jealous of themselves” ––and they happen where the human eye cannot enjoy them. However, they can be discovered, and when we do find them we experience a
Think you have strange reading habits? Wait until you've seen how Mcluhan reads
We often forget or neglect to think about the infinite circumstances that are condensed in the acts that we consider habitual. Using a fork to eat, for example, or walking down the street and being
The sky is calling us, a love letter to the cosmos (video)
We once dreamt of open sails and Open seas We once dreamt of new frontiers and New lands Are we still a brave people? We must not forget that the very stars we see nowadays are the same stars and
The sister you always wanted (but made into a crystal chandelier)
Lucas Maassen always wanted to have a sister. And after 36 years he finally procured one, except, as strange as it may sound, in the shape of a chandelier. Maassen, a Dutch designer, asked the