The Four Legs of Life

A friend asked me if I wasn’t a little apprehensive about my upcoming surgery tomorrow. “Not really”, I replied, “Heck, if my insurance would pay me, I’d do it myself ”. :lol: Of course, if I start to thinking about it, what ‘should’ be, or what I ‘should’ do, stressful feelings emerge. As long as I remember that all I must do is show up and endure, peace remains(*). Isn't stress really just fighting against what is. Now, if what is, is a tiger, then we need all our stress hormones pumping at full throttle. Isn’t ironic how we have succeeded in safeguarding ourselves from many of the dangers we faced in the wild only to replace them by imagined ones.

(*) Well, it also helps that the surgery is a simple hernia operation. :roll:


  • edited December 1969
    The 'legs' of life are: courageousness, watchfulness, fearfulness, and laziness. I'll call 'em legs 'cause I see 'em as the four essential things that allow life get around. They propel all living things to move in what are fundamentally opposing directions: energy giving and energy taking. In economic terms we could call these two spending and saving, I guess.

    To be courageous or watchful, life must spend energy. However, without any brakes on this expenditure, life would quickly burn out. Thus, nature has endowed life with the opposing 'forces' of fearfulness and laziness. They apply the brakes to courageousness and watchfulness until, ideally, the individual reaches optimum balance.

    The degree of '[chref=38]virtue[/chref]' society places on courageousness, watchfulness, fearfulness, and laziness tells us something. The first two are prized while the last two are despised to one degree or another. This is unfortunate, for it chops off self understanding at the knees. Perhaps we don't really want to [chref=43]understand[/chref], but rather just live out our days [chref=8]contending[/chref] with Nature's Way (well duh!). Oh god, I think I could write a book on this, but laziness shall save me from that useless effort!

    Perhaps one question remains; what about desire? I suppose desire boils down to simply being the ideals and rationalizations we '[chref=71]think[/chref]' up to give conceptual form to the four 'legs'. Well, there is another feature that, combined with these 'legs', lets life live – the sensation of pleasure and pain. Hmm... that's two more 'legs' isn't it... 4 legs + 2 legs = 6 legs, making us insects! :shock:

    But seriously, our six legs of life are: courageousness, watchfulness, fearfulness, laziness, pleasure and pain. However, they still sort out under two main categories. Generally speaking, giving (spending) energy is 'painful', taking (saving) energy is 'pleasurable'. For example, eating is pleasurable, working off the calories is painful. Now, obviously work can be very pleasurable, but then is it really work? Perhaps pleasurable work should be called play.

    In the end, pleasure and pain range from the most subtle sensations to the most intense, depending on circumstances. They also usually occur simultaneously in a continuous process of seeking balance. The closer to balance we are, the less difference we will notice between the two. Hmm... "Do I feel good or bad today?" The differences really crop up in thinking, that is why [chref=71]to know yet to think that one does not know is best[/chref].

    Now, I'll quite thinking about this before I find any more 'legs'!
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