?Just what makes that little old ant, think he can move a rubber tree plant??
Well, it?s something do.
Speaking of making mountains out of mole hills, I am reminded of an old Chinese fable that dates from the Warring States Period (403-221 BC), about an old man and a mountain (the story mind you, not the old man himself!). It seems that this old guy, who was reported to about 90 years old at the time, got up one morning and decided that he needed to get rid of a couple mountains because they blocked the view from the front of his house. What he thought he?d see beyond the mountains of course is another story altogether, but one would imagine, just like the bear, it would have been the other side of the mountain. Anyhow, rather than scowling indefinitely in their direction and hoping they?d fade away on their own, he took matters into his own hands and hopped to it. He gathered his family, passed out the shovels, and said, ?Follow me.? God bless him, he was going to make mole hills out of mountains. Day in and day out, he and his sons shoveled away. Now, as you might imagine, it was rather a big job, and as the years went by, it seemed that they were hardly making a dent. It was around this time that he earned the nickname, ?the Foolish Old Man.? One day, after this had been going on for some years, a fella known as ?the Wise Old Man? was passing by, and naturally couldn?t resist admonishing the foolish old man with regard to fruitlessness of his enterprise. The Foolish Old Man, leaned on his shovel, and replied, ?Well, lookie here now, even if I died today, at least the mountain will be a little shorter that when I started, and perhaps if my descendents keep at it for another 100 generations or so, who?s to say they won?t succeed in the end? Besides, what have I got to lose? Just, a couple of mountains, by my estimate.?
Now, of course, the moral of the story is that though your tasks are many and your rewards are few, remember the mighty oak was once a nut like you. That?s a joke, son. No, the real moral of the story is that if you need to do something, for whatever reason (even symptomatic ones), no matter how daunting it may seem, if you?re even going to have half a chance, you do have to start somewhere. This is a rather long way of getting around to your original point, and there is a cop out ending to the story, where the heavens were so moved by the foolish old man?s dedication that a couple of angels were sent down to carry the mountains away in blink of eye, but you know how I just like to go on and on. Anyhow, trying to move a mountain is something to do, and I would imagine, not bad exercise.
With regard to the Taoist/Chi book, people do need hobbies and if they happen to latch on to this or that as a way of justifying their hobbies, well, they could be worse off. Now, naturally, not having actually read this book that your friend sent you 8) , I cannot speak to this particular author?s intentions. From your report, I have no doubt that he had propensity for laying on a bit thick. On the other hand, if his hobby is selling books, he perhaps saw the Taoist tie-in as a sure thing. ?Say, I won?t only show you how to exercise and live forever, I?ll tell you the secret of life itself!? Surely he wasn?t serious. It?s just his way of having fun. Some people do have fun hoodwinking others (and thereby selling more books, which is even more fun). As long as we get the joke, all is fine.
If some folks actively seek the way, and are have high old time actively seeking it, are they not having fun? One must have fun where one finds it. I quite agree with you that everyone should have fun or at least give it a try. Even if, or perhaps better, just because the world spins around us wildly out of control. Artur Schnabel considered himself to be ?an active fatalist.? Then of course there was the Mrs. Kissel, whom Jean Shepherd described as ?the type of woman who would have been playing the piano while the Titanic was sinking.?
Oh, and by the way, have fun.