quotes

The Soul Game

[This is a chapter from a currently-unpublished book I’m writing on meditation and mindfulness.]

As a spiritual being, one possible way to think of life here on Earth is as a “game” that serves as a training ground for the soul. It’s a game like other games, so it has many levels, and they get harder and harder as you progress. So in this case, the better you become at the game of spirituality — the Soul Game — the harder the levels become.

To help set some rules for the game, let’s say that it has fifty levels. The first time you play the game you’re born here on Earth in Level 1. Hopefully you score some points and move up, so maybe by the time it’s “game over” for your first lifetime, you’ve passed Level 9 and you’re playing on Level 10. Maybe you get a brief break in between lifetimes, but the next time you’re born you start right where you left off, at Level 10.

This brings me to a very important rule: Once you start playing the Soul Game, you’re strapped in for eternity. (That was clearly mentioned on page 52 of the End User License Agreement.) Once you’re in the game there are only two ways out:

You have this one life alvin January 8, 2020 - 7:56pm

As a guy who’s been unconscious seven times and had ten operations, I like this, “You have one life” quote. Take it from me, when your lights go out, one of the main thoughts you’ll have is, “I wish I had done <fill in the blank>.”

(The quote appears to be by Beardsley Jones, and the image was put together by tinybuddha.com.)

Quotes about work and Zen (practicing Zen at work) alvin December 28, 2019 - 7:28am

For many years I struggled with how to combine two of my main interests, Zen and work. I have read that the Zen mind is the mind before thinking, so it seems like Zen and work must be totally unrelated. Over time I came to understand phrases like, “When working, just work.”

This article contains a collection of quotes that have been helpful to me in understanding the relationship between Zen and work. Please note that I don’t wrap each quote in double quotes, and I also try to attribute each quote to the correct author/speaker. If you’re interested in how to combine Zen and work, I hope you’ll find them helpful.

“I think your heart grows back bigger”

“Okay, well, here’s my story, here’s what you need to know. I’m just divorced and I had my heart broken badly by a woman that I really loved. But I think your heart grows back bigger. You know? Once you get the shit beat out of you, and the universe lets your heart expand that way. And I think that’s the function of all this pain and heartache that we all go through, you know, you gotta go through that to come out to a better place and that’s how I see it, anyway.”

One of the many great quotes from my favorite movie of the now, Must Love Dogs.

To be a programmer is to develop a carefully managed relationship with error

“To be a programmer is to develop a carefully managed relationship with error. There’s no getting around it. You either make your accommodations with failure, or the work will become intolerable.”

~ Ellen Ullman (via this tweet)

This quote makes me think of all those years of exception-handling with Java. I never knew there was a better way to handle errors, so I developed a strategy of letting my exceptions bubble up to the controller level (as in model/view/controller), where I would deal with them. These days I know I can use Option/Some/None in Scala, as well as Try/Success/Failure.