27 January, 2004

On Usefulness

The Tao of Jeffrey is much akin to to the Tao of jeet kun do, and so is as different as it needs to be, but closely resembles the Tao of Bruce, as well as the Tao of any free thinking spirit out there. Take what is useful, discard what is not, and leave with that which is uniquely yours.”  That is my Tao.
The question has been asked whether something that I find to be not useful is useless. Bottom Line Up Front, or BLUF, I say no. I’ll get to why in a second.
But first, I have to define what is useful. Then I can decide if the ancillary holds true. I have no idea if that is a real word; it is now. So, the question I must answer is, what is useful?
A quick list of ideas comes to mind..
  1. Something that is useful should be good for life; kind of a no brainer there, but let us never overlook the obvious.
  2. Something that is useful should be more efficient than other methods; I call it Jeffrey's First Axiom of Creative Laziness
  3. Something that is useful may not be evidently useful at first glance; learn to watch, there is something to learn in every drop of rain
  4. Something which is very useful should give me pleasure, or at least, increase my peace, or, barring that, not disturb my peace. If something is going to disturb my peace to such an extent that I cannot provide myself suitable payoff from the situation, I have to question the usefulness.
    This is the buying the cow theory; I believe you should be willing to buy the cow; i.e. be fully committed. To ANY action; if one cannot commit with one’s entire being, why do it?
  5. Something which is extraordinarily useful should be easy to sell to my peers, subordinates, and leaders. The easiest way to sell an idea is to have it well thought out and have the possible arguments considered in advance. 
  6. The greatest gift of the Spiral of all is the miraculously useful item which also brings happiness, peace, or comfort to anyone else, merely as a side effect of me meeting my needs. Talk about synergy
  7. Above all, remember that none are on identical Paths, and few are even on a tangent at a low QE. It is mighty arrogant of me to decide something is useless merely because it is not useful to me. Refer to concept number 3. I call this the Briar Patch theory, out of respect for Uncle Remus
I believe that all Men are created equal. I believe that the goal of every life is to reach towards the sun, or towards that which gives it sustenance. I truly believe that all life force eventually is received back into the All, and the cycle continues. We are but a drop of rain, flowing to the ocean. Just like light is both particle and wave, we are legion and we are One, we are each Alpha and Omega, just as the tiniest drop of blood contains the DNA sequence to recreate ourselves.
Thou art God, and I am God.
I don’t know as much as my higher self, that part of me that is even wiser than I can become on this plane, just as a child doesn’t know as much as his father. But a wise child listens, and watches his father. A wise father demonstrates and explains. It is through Nature that my Father and Mother do demonstrate to me the rules of Law which all Children must learn. What is useful is easy to define in Nature
But who can say what is useless? One man’s feast is another man’s poison. Hakuna Matata. Life Will find a way. I don’t see the whole picture, because I am busy with the smaller world that I create by paying attention and living in the Now. So just because something is not useful to me, doesn’t mean it is not useful to someone, and they have every right to find it useful as I have to find it not useful. Problems arise when this most fundamental of Liberties is infringed upon.
The bible is oft misrepresented to say that we shouldn’t judge. Such newspeak and double talk is easy to spot if you read the manual. The bible ain’t the only manual I use, but it still has some good stuff in it, if nothing more than ammunition for verbal combat. It also has, as a more practical value, many anecdotes that can be drawn upon to influence the tribe. This has been used for Evil so many times it is horrid to think about.
The Truth, as I see it, is that the act of judging is one of the basic responsibilities of being an evolved being. That is what every religion started out to be, I think, the common denominator in all the religions I have found, they all wanted their followers to be mindful of their actions, and to try to live in harmony. Someone has to judge right and wrong. These people (Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus, Gandhi, Franklin, Adams, and Aristotle, all thought they had the better Tao, and tried to help, and then it got perverted to be a shackle instead of a key.
Now, harmony ain’t the same as peace, but it is synonymous with balance, grok?
The battle over religions is really a battle over the Tao of the prophets, and of the disciples and practitioners. And who wants to think their god is wrong? Specially when you don’t have the freedom to choose which god you follow. That is another fundamental Liberty. I find Liberty useful, and well worth protecting. But it takes a great deal of honesty to place your set of Tao up for dissection, even if it be that you are the M.E., for it is our own Fire that must temper our Blade as well as warm our homes.
Useless is something which does not happen, in Nature. If I think something is, I am missing the neat part about the Mystery, and I should look harder. The answer is there right in front of my eyes. But, the limiting factor is always, and will always be, Time. There just isn’t enough time for everything, so I have to prioritize my energies, and deploy my forces wisely. I may not be able to use something, but I should leave it in good condition for the Other parts of me I may not have met yet.

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