"Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake up and become aware. It does not teach, it points." ~D.T. Suzuki

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Struggle for Life

With Manifold Force
The Struggle for Life

It is the doctrine of Malthus
applied with manifold force
to the whole animal
and vegetable kingdoms.
Charles Darwin

The Struggle for Life

The full title of Darwin's book was
"On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life."

"I should premise that I use the term Struggle for Existence in a large and metaphorical sense, including dependence of one being on another, and including (which is more important)
not only the life of the individual,
but success in leaving progeny."

Charles Darwin
"But the mere existence of individual variability and of some few well-marked varieties, though necessary as the foundation for the work, helps us but little in understanding how species arise in nature. How have all those exquisite adaptations of one part of the organisation to another part, and to the conditions of life, and of one distinct organic being to another being, been perfected? We see these beautiful co-adaptations most plainly in the woodpecker and missletoe; and only a little less plainly in the humblest parasite which clings to the hairs of a quadruped or feathers of a bird; in the structure of the beetle which dives through the water; in the plumed seed which is wafted by the gentlest breeze; in short, we see beautiful adaptations everywhere and in every part of the organic world."
"Again, it may be asked, how is it that varieties, which I have called incipient species, become ultimately converted into good and distinct species, which in most cases obviously differ from each other far more than do the varieties of the same species? How do those groups of species, which constitute what are called distinct genera, and which differ from each other more than do the species of the same genus, arise? All these results, as we shall more fully see in the next chapter, follow inevitably from the struggle for life.
Owing to this struggle for life,
any variation, however slight
and from whatever cause proceeding,
if it be in any degree profitable
to an individual of any species,
in its infinitely complex relations to other organic beings
and to external nature,
will tend to the preservation of that individual,
and will generally be inherited by its offspring ...

I have called this principle, by which each slight variation,
if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection,
in order to mark its relation to man's power of selection."

"But Natural Selection,
as we shall hereafter see,
is a power incessantly ready for action,
and is as immeasurably superior
to man's feeble efforts,
as the works of Nature
are to those of Art."

Charles Darwin
Darwin's Struggle:
The Evolution Of The Origin Of Species (BBC)
"There is grandeur in this view of life,
with its several powers,
having been originally breathed into a few forms
or into one;
and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on
according to the fixed law of gravity,
from so simple a beginning endless forms
most beautiful and most wonderful
have been,
and are being, evolved."
Charles Darwin
A monk once asked Zen master Mu-chou Lu,
"We dress and eat every day,
and how do we escape
from having to put on clothes and eat food?"

Mu-chou replied,
"We dress; we eat."

The monk said,
"I don't understand."

Mu-chou answered,
"If you don't understand,
put on your clothes, and eat your food."

(Ku-tsun-hsu Yu-lu)
Dan Ariely: 
What makes us feel good about our work?
“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.”
Mahatma Gandhi
Love Life Enough To Struggle
© 2013 MU-Peter Shimon

Monday, December 9, 2013

Madiba - Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
was the great grandson of 
King Ngubengcuka
of the Tembu people
had the birth name
which means
pulling the branch
of a tree.
Poverty is not an accident.
Like slavery and apartheid it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.
Nelson Mandela

One of Mandela's Team of International Lawyers Irwin Cotler - Member of Parliment Canada
In the 1980s while still a student,I was into world music and was turned on to Johnny Clegg's music.
I also learned what was happening in South Africa. 

Something clicked. Along with many friends, we went to anti-apartheid demonstrations and free Nelson Mandela concerts. Petitions, letters, you name it.
 Speech in Toronto Canada for the 
Nelson Mandela Children's Fund

After he was free, 
Madiba made many visits to Canada. 

In Montreal in the 1990s,
I had the privilege to be in the crowd
to hear him speak in person. 
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
Nelson Mandela
"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of their skin,
or his background or his religion.
People learn to hate,
and if they can learn to hate,
they can be taught to love,
for love comes more naturally
to the human heart than its opposite"

Like a wise father
Nelson (Madiba) Mandela
has educated us all.

Johnny Clegg and Nelson Mandela sing - Asimbonanga
© 2013 MU-Peter Shimon