peace corps

The Pointing Finger Is Not The Moon

I have been reading a lot of philosophy books lately. I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I read a book and am currently reading another book about Buddhism. I am reading The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test which has a heavy philosophical theme throughout. I also spend a lot of time thinking.

Most of the people in my town are Catholic and in most of my classes they pray before beginning instruction. I downloaded several podcasts on religion and philosophy as well.

Well, I was looking at one of my favorite webcomics and was struck.

Perhaps, I have been staring at the fingers for far too long. I have spent little to no time actually trying to look at where they are pointing.

I think a lot of philosophies and religions can be boiled down to one thing.

It’s very simple. And in fact, it’s so simple that it is nearly impossible to fully grasp.

They all seem to be saying that now is the only thing that matters. Because this world we all live in isn’t real anyway. I tend to agree.

This isn’t new or anything. I’m just synthesizing. I constantly think about what good is life if you can’t do something with it?

I think about all of the world religions and philosophies and what that means to me. I mean, let’s say the Eastern religions are true. Well, I better live a virtuous life. Let’s say the Western religions got it right. Well, I better live a virtuous life. Let’s say the Atheists are right. Well, if I only have roughly 70 or so years on this planet then the least I can do is . . . live a virtuous life.

No matter what philosophy I feel like following they all energize me with the same notion. Do something with your time here.

Let’s say I spend my life making money, well after that . . . what do I do? I did it. I reached my goal. I made money. Then what? I could use millions of examples, but I think that’s plain enough.

It seems to me that without examining life much you end up with two main goals. 1.) Live the most comfortable life possible and (2.) Making more humans that will just follow the same pattern of trying to 1.) Live the most comfortable life possible and (2.) making more humans that will just follow the same pattern ad infinitum.

It seems so empty and robotic and shallow and even if G-d isn’t out there . . . I feel like life can be made into something more.

That’s why I fight for ending war, and stopping hunger, and saving our environment, and quenching thirst and ending poverty, and healing sickness, and soothing pain . . . because what else is there to do?

Nothing. That’s what.

I’m ending this post with the words of Alice Walker, “Activism is my rent for living on this planet”

Stop looking at the finger, look at the moon.

Much Love,

Brandon Holly



One thought on “The Pointing Finger Is Not The Moon

  1. Lance says:

    As usual, we seem to share a lot of the same interests! This is my favorite SinFest comic:

    Maybe you can appreciate that!

    And I would say most religions (and often lack thereof) tend to emphasize the golden rule over existentialism. There’s a reason why Nietzsche called Christians nihilists! (Not to say that all are, but there is a large cross section that fit the bill perfectly–yourself excluded!).

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