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104 When one size does not fit all

Three degrees In Article 89 a monkey, a dog, and a chicken try to get through a fence. The monkey finds a hole in the fence, the dog follows the monkey, and the chicken stubbornly bangs against the fence. Plato used the myth of the metals to assign attributes to different people. Today we will perform the exercise using the collection of animals: invent, follow, and deny. Degrees In my upbringing, heaven includes three degrees: the highest for enlightened people, the middle for faithful followers, and the lowest for practitioners of willful rejection. Pondering this theme has taught me that …

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97 Helpless, clever, enlightened – which are you?

Just like you A woman approached a stranger in a narrow hallway. Just as she swerved right the oncoming woman swerved left. They simultaneously switched directions, putting them again on a collision course. The teller of this tale spontaneously blurted out “I wonder how Emily Post would feel in a situation like this,” whereupon the stranger replied, “She would feel exactly as you do. I know because I’m Emily Post.” Sometimes in this blog we have a zig-or-zag dance where neither of us knows quite where the other party is going. When that happens, I feel exactly as you do. …

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56 If not self, who?

When I was in early grade school, the most popular political satirist was Al Capp. In his comic strip Li’l Abner, the neighborhood youth in Dogpatch built a spaceship. The government was not able to do that because of all the red tape. One of the last articles in my Ernstraud Magazine described neighborhood cooperation. A tree dropped a large limb that completely blocked traffic past my house. I set about sawing off branches and in fifteen minutes four neighbors with saws had joined me. The street was clear in half an hour. No city bureaucracy could have beat our …

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