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poached| Garret Keizer on Living in the Moment 17 May 2008

Posted by EDITOR in Spirituality.
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The Buddha told a parable about a man pursued by a hungry tiger. The man fled for his life to the edge of a cliff, where he found a vine hanging to the ground below. Without a minute to spare, he grabbed the vine and began to climb down – only to discover another tiger on the ground below, leaping up at his feet. As he hung there wondering what he was going to do, he noticed that two mice had begun to gnaw away at the vine. Beside him a single wild strawberry grew in the cliff face. He picked and ate it. “How sweet it tasted!” said the Buddha.

I know of no more succinct expression of the meaning and value of momentary pleasure in this mortal life. But it’s a far cry from Strawberry Fields Forever. After the mice do their work, the only thing that’s going to taste sweet is the man. And the last thing he’ll want to find in the moment of his mauling is eternity.

– Garret Keizer, “World Enough and Time,” Harper’s Magazine, October 2003

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1. VARANGALI - 18 May 2008

Salam EDITOR:

Thanks for posting this – Keizer is probably my favorite living author.

Quick question: Keizer is skeptical of “carpe diem,” suggesting that we look at the long-term; insofar as life is a collection of moments, how do we infuse meaning in each moment while keeping our eyes on the (afterlife) prize?


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