Saturday, April 29, 2017

Quote of the Day

Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.

- Alan Watts


Anonymous said...

> I couldn't go back now. I'm on the threshold. I see vast lands of the spirit stretching out before me, beckoning, and I'm eager to travel them.
> What do you expect to find in them?
> The answers to my questions. He gave her a glance that was almost playful, so that except that she knew him so well, she might have thought he was speaking in jest. I want to make up my mind whether God is or God is not. I want to find out why evil exists. I want to know whether I have an immortal soul or whether when I die it's the end.

> How long d'you think all this is going to take you?
> I wouldn't know. Five years. Ten years.
> And after that? What are you going to do with all this wisdom?
> If I ever acquire wisdom I suppose I shall be wise enough to know what to do with it.

Minor extract from "The Razor's Edge" by W. Somerset Maugham

The Razor's Edge is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham. The book was first published in 1944. It tells the story of Larry Darrell, an American pilot traumatised by his experiences in World War I, who sets off in search of some transcendent meaning in his life. The story begins through the eyes of Larry's friends and acquaintances as they witness his personality change after the War. His rejection of conventional life and search for meaningful experience allows him to thrive while the more materialistic characters suffer reversals of fortune. The book was twice adapted into film, first in 1946 starring Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney, and Herbert Marshall as Maugham and Anne Baxter as Sophie, and then a 1984 adaptation starring Bill Murray.
The novel's title comes from a translation of a verse in the Katha Upanishad, given in the book's epigraph as: "The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to "enlightenment" is hard."

I just finished reading this via interlibrary loan, and liked it well enough to buy it for re-reading. It is by no means "the answer" but it asks some good questions and toys with some decent answers.


Michael Wade said...


Very interesting.

I've never read the book but will do so.