Sunday, September 16, 2012

Not Zen 23: Complexity

A pair of scientists sat in their break room. One of them played with a puzzle toy.

"I enjoy these little enigmas," she said. "You'd think I'd be tired but, actually, I enjoy working to my best capacity. What is it in me that makes me seek out complex games? I like Daoism but everyone says that a busy, full life is antithetical to the Dao. I try to stay busy but I still enjoy the Dao."

"It's true that some people say a busy life goes against the Dao." Her friend peeled his orange. "But isn't the Dao itself more complex than it's usually portrayed? It's the river of life and, as one would expect, it has calmness in its currents and it has turmoil, too. It's difficult and it's simple."

"Is that supposed to be a paradox?"

"No," he replied. He tossed orange peels in the trash. "It's only supposed to sound like one. I think you've noticed an important question. Many religions deal with the need for simplicity. But not many pay attention to the attractions of complexity."

"Why is complexity attractive?" She put down her puzzle toy.

"Do you enjoy stretching your muscles?"

"I suppose I do."

"Does it feel natural?"


He reached out for the puzzle toy. "I think stretching your mind must be natural."

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