torsdag 29 december 2011


While meditating you don't have to unleash your full potential, live the life of your dreams, fulfill your destiny, awaken the power within, or discover your true self.


Photographs. 1: From St. Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. 2: Link

söndag 18 december 2011

The Snowman

Merry Christmas, everyone! Here's a very silly Christmas story from us, emptiness-style!

Hello there, Mr Snowman!

Hello, Maker!

How are you? A bit chilly today, isn’t it?

I’m fine, thanks. Yeah, rather cold!

Mr Snowman, let me ask you a personal question. Winter’s over soon. Are you afraid of dying?

Dying, what’s that?

You know. Melting away. Ceasing to exist.

Ah! No, I suppose I’m not.


Why would I be?

Well, because, when you melt away, that’s the end of your existence.

I think I know what you mean. But, thing is, I don’t really think like that.

What do you mean?

I don’t think that I am a snowman.

But you are.

Maybe to you. Maybe to some others. But I don’t think so. I look at my reflection in an icicle and I see nothing there. And since I don’t see any snowman there, it would be rather strange to assume that I—a snowman—could melt away and die. I mean, what then is there to melt away? So, yeah. That’s kind of how I think!

But you are a snowman. I mean, just look at you. Three balls of snow, a hat, that nice blue scarf, a carrot, and pebbles for eyes — clearly a snowman!

Well, if I am a snowman, when do you think I became one? Any particular point in time?

Yes, of course. When we assembled all the things and put them together.

I see. But at what exact time was I born? If I exist, as you claim since you say you can see me, there must have been a precise time when I was born. So, was it when you put the middle-sized ball of snow on top of the large ball of snow?

No, of course not. Then there was only two balls of snow on top of each other.

Okay, so maybe when you put the smallest snowball, that is, what you call my head, on top of the other two snowballs?

No, Mr Snowman. You didn’t exist at that time. There was just three stacked snowballs. You were born when we put in the carrot and the pebbles. That’s when!

In what order did you put them in?

Uh. I think the pebbles first, and—

—The left one first, or the right?

The right one first, I think.

So when you placed the right pebble into the top smallest snowball, was that when I was born?

I think... No. Then there was just three snowballs and one pebble assembled together.

And when you put in the left pebble, was that when I, the snowman, was born?

Erm... well. Yes, I think so! You were born at that time!

Ah! But what about my nose, the carrot. Didn’t I need that? What about this fancy hat, and the scarf?

No, you can do without those things and still be a snowman.

I see. So, what if you were to remove my left eye right now. Would that make me die?

No, of course not.

But you said I was born at the moment when you inserted the left pebble. Wouldn’t it then be so that if you removed the left pebble which gave birth to me, that left pebble also has the power to make me die?

No. Then you would only be a snowman without a left eye. You would still be alive!

What if you removed the right pebble as well. Would that make me die?

No, no. You would only be a blind snowman!

But how could this be? You said I could not exist when no left pebble where put into the top smallest snowball. And then I started to exist when you put the left pebble in. But now, even though you remove the left pebble so that there is no left pebble, I can still exist? How?

Because now you have your nose, your right eye, your hat, and your scarf as well. I can recognize you as a snowman.

But you’ve said I could exist even without the nose, the right eye, the hat, and the scarf. Since I according to you was born exactly when the left pebble were put in, then I must depend on that one for my existence. Therefore if we go by what you said, we shouldn’t be able to take it away. I would die.

Hmh. But Mr Snowman, it would be crazy to assume that just because you take away the left pebble, you would die!

Yes, that is my point. Just as it, to me, seems a little crazy to assume that I was born exactly when the left pebble was put in. You see, this is one reason why I don’t think that I am a snowman. I just can’t find a moment when I was born. And that’s why I also can’t find a moment when I will die. Because if you’re not born, how could you die?

But how can you even speak to me if you’re not born?

Hmh. Think about, say, monsters in a nightmare. Even though they are not thought of as real, they can still be said to be able to perform functions. Like scaring you, for instance.

I’m not sure I agree with all this!

Haha, nevermind! How about instead of worrying about existence and non-existence we play a winter game together?