Monday, 2 February 2009


I was on the Political Compass site yesterday - interested to see where my views landed me...
(.. the answer to that was that they land somewhat close to those of the Dalai Lama)
I then went on to check out the same political compass on Facebook. Reading the wall discussions there it suddenly struck me how much of political discussion starts from a position of selfishness - particularly prevalent in the American 'Liberal' position which, to me at least can be summarised as "I want the freedom to not give a s*** about anyone else."

I was reminded of an old parable about heaven and hell. There are many versions it seems, used by everyone from the Pope downwards.. I found mine here... and it goes like this..

Once upon a time, in a temple nestled in the misty end of south hill, lived a pair of monks. One old and one young.

'What is the difference between Heaven and Hell?' the young monk asked his learned master one day. 'There are no material differences,' replied the old monk peacefully.

'None at all?' asked the confused young monk. 'No. Both Heaven and Hell look the same. They both have a dining hall with a big hot pot in the centre. In it there are some delicious noodles boiling, giving off an appetizing scent,' said our old priest. " and there are people sitting around the pot in just the same way.'

'Each diner has a pair of meter-long chopsticks to eat with." the zen master went on. 'but in Hell, no matter how hard they try, people always fail to get the noodles into their mouths,and they are all starving'.

'But isn't it the same for the people in Heaven?' asked the junior.

'Not at all. In Heaven they each feed the person sitting opposite them. That is the difference between Heaven and Hell.' said the old monk.

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