A note from a friend that I don't want to forget but also don't want to remember


Well, yeah, here's the content:


Good cheer, dear Zenso. What is interesting to me now in my reading in Stoicism is the difference of opinion on the subject of precepts, axioms, truthful cliches, maxims. Some of the old guys believe that we should have thoughtful sayings handy, others believe that they are traps - leading to reductive (or stale) approaches to new situations. I don't know - I have a stack of 3x5 cards with such thoughts on them, and I shuffle them occasionally.

A situation that may or may not be cognate is - talking to Claudia, who is probably a good therapist - she is going to a workshop on the Enneagram - if I remember correctly, it is a protocol where there are four major personality types, and, of course, subgrouping. My unfounded reaction is that this is maybe restrictive, and, if not, so filled with distinctions that it becomes a project that loses sight of what is immediately in front of us. Marcus Aurelius says don't bother with discussing what a good man is, just be one.

The chart is not the patient, the map is not the territory.

The pithy saying isn't what is in front of us in the eternal Now. You know more about this than I do, and it is a characteristic of my demographic that we repeat ourselves, but I like the order of the belts in some martial arts - the white belt for beginners, the black belt for the masters. But after the black belt, they give you a white belt. We are told to just pay attention. As my favorite philosopher, Yogi Berra said, when somebody asked him what time it is, he said, "Now."

I send your family my agnostic blessing, in the eternal Now. Jim


Thank you, Jim. And good cheer back to you.

***Jim is friend, neighbor-of-the-earth always, and fellow manifestation of the crazy mysterious wonderful issitry. Our relationship defies borders of any sort (including those typically set between people like "high" number of years between respective ages). I look to him for new thought projects, conversation I am fond of, and guidance --- and call him - as affectionately as I know how - "Master". There are only a few in my story who I refer to like this (him, Jim; and Jay. Actually they are the only ones).