Headline Jan 27, 2016/ *T H E.. A R T.. O F.. L I F E* .---. { THE ART OF WAR }

*T H E.. A R T.. O F.. L I F E* .---. 


THE ROAD   -to being a better human is long long, and hard,  and lashed with many stones,   -and we all walk it alone!

In Herman Hesse's  Siddhartha, a novel about the spiritual evolution of a young man living in India at the time of Buddha, a young monk has to immerse himself in every experience before he can reach enlightenment.

In  Groundhog Day, the  Bill Murray's character has to be reborn each morning and travel through every variation of despair, nihilism, hedonism, compassion, love and death itself before he can achieve a state of grace.

How long does it take?  Danny Rubin, the writer of Groundhog Day, said he thought his character was reborn every day for ten years   -long enough to learn how to play the piano.''

Harold Ramis, the film's director, said that he thought Bill Murray was reborn for  10,000  years.    

We know in our hearts that it will take a lifetime to  be the humans we want to be. And then some....................

*We crave perfection, enlightenment and an end to all cares  -physical, financial, emotional, spiritual.* 

MACHIAVELLI'S   - The Prince,  the defining text of realpolitik, was written five centuries ago.

SUN TZU'S   -The Art Of War, the most famous book ever written about military tactics,  was first transcribed more than 2,000 years ago.

BUT we do not read  Machiavelli or  Sun Tzu because they wrote wise, gripping narratives about human beings struggling for survival and victory long ago and far away. 

We  read them because we genuinely believe that they have practical things to tell us about our life and work now.

We read Sun Tzu  because we think he will be able to help us when we have a falling out with  Doris  from accounts. We read Machiavelli because we think he has something relevant to say about the man at the next-desk getting promoted ahead of you.

The Art Of War  and  The Prince are artefacts, but they are published, sold and read as lessons in business strategy. 

Sun Tzu became the guru of every middle manager from Sydney to San Francisco when it was revealed that Mike Ovitz, the legendary Hollywood Agent, had a copy of the The Art Of War by the bedside.

But did Sun Tzu ever really help Ovitz?  Maybe. Although when you read a Sun Tzu line such as, -

''With regards to narrow passes, if you can occupy them first, let them be strongly garrisoned and await the advent of the enemy,'' it is difficult to see how much practical help it could have been when Ovitz was negotiating Sharon Stone's residual on Basic Instinct.

*And yet we can't resist the illusion that we might be able to learn what gifted people know. How could I decide that I don't need  How To Be Rich by J Paul Getty? How could I not buy a book  Only Fat People Skip Breakfast.... But at the end, all scholars of self-improvement, ultimately leave me cheated.

Because I do not want the odd helpful tip. Or even lots of unhelpful tips. We all want transformation, revelation and secrets divulged. We want a big bang that changes everything. I want a brand new me.

I want to know how to be much richer, much tougher, much thinner. I want a few tidbits of helpful information then I will buy The Good Food Guide. 

At first glance, the self -improvement industry seems to represent all our basest instincts. It is hard not to contemplate books titles such as  How To Get Rich  and   ''How To Win Dirty''   -and not believe that they are manifestations of all inside us that's greedy, gluttonous and venal.

But perhaps that is too hard, for all we want is to be better humans, and our constant seeking for paths to improvement is a natural, healthy instinct.

It's just that the road to nirvana is paved with many dead ends and wrong turnings. Not to mention books with titles such as  Millionaire Upgrade  me most of have been   how- to books for writers.

The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler. The  War Of Art  by Steven Pressfield.  Story by Robert McKee. But I came to them all with a specific problem, or set of problems, when I was stuck mid-book, and they helped me to fix it.

They are instruction booklets. I took only what I needed and had no expectations that they would give me a career. It is the difference between wanting to know how to change a tyre and wanting to know how to change your life.

For there are never easy answers, never quick fixes. 

Whatever the virtues of their books, Sub Tzu and Machiavelli actually can't help you with Doris in accounts. Only Fat People Skip Breakfast will not stop you being a porker if you do not conquer your oral fixation.

Reading  The Richest Man in Babylon by Gerge S Clason will not clear your overdraft. Captain WE Fairbairn was a highly trained killing machine, but reading  Getting Tough  will not do you much good in a pub fight. The road of live is hard, merciless and overwhelming.  

And then, in my heart of heart, I know that I can learn more from one page of Graham Greene than I can from en entire shelf of books promising to make me richer, tougher or thinner.

But I also know that our desire for more than we have is what dragged us from the trees, and what makes us get out of bed every morning,  -and what drives us on every day and what yet may lead us to glory.

We crave richer. We crave  tougher. We crave peace of mind.
And when is it enough?

It's never enough until your heart stops beating.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders of the free world, Parents, Students, Professors, and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society and the Ecosystem 2011.

''' Fresh Blood  '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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