Tuesday, April 30, 2013


This link tells the story of the overvaluation of tulip bulbs in Holland, back in the day. On Howard Street alone, there are several shoe stores. Customers associate the shoes with a star athlete or entertainer, and they become coveted trophies. There are stories of people who have killed or been killed in efforts to obtain these shoes. 

These are still just shoes, right? Good shoes should be good to our feet, end of story. It would be nice that they look good, but the rest of it has no substance other than what we give it. Seven shoe stores are doing business on Howard Street! And, yet, Shi lao's restaurant of nourishing and well prepared food closes. At least Shi lao doesn't need to worry that someone will approach her with a weapon and threaten, "Give me all your beef and broccoli!" (I’m assuming, of course, that most shoe stores don’t barter in carry-out.) Except that, like any thief, a criminal acts out of desperation, jealousy, or laziness...and always self-preserving fear.

I don’t get it. If I were to wear Shi zu’s black shirt, that won’t make me a better practitioner. If I were to get his back tattoo, it would not help me to use less effort to throw a strike or do my jumping jacks. 

Fashion doesn’t make people better as much as it makes them feel like they’re “keeping up,” but with what? An illusion inside another illusion? I’m sure that whoever said, “Clothes make the man,” was a clothing salesperson trying to make a buck...maybe an artist whose words everyone else took waaay too seriously. 

If someone wants to appreciate (even collect) shoes, then so. Value will always be a point of contention among egos, and we will always have ego in the world. There are new ones being born every second of every day. But to have the shoes and all they represent without the personal substance to obtain them--or better yet, to transcend their symbolism--is just...part of the path, I suppose. [I was going to say sad.] After all, it’s not just shoes: it’s houses, cars, even common flowers.

If not for the ego--that aspect of us that is, for all intents and purposes, merely the starting point of any human's journey through life--we wouldn't have inventions, ambition, emotion, greed, fear, and all those crazy aspects that permit us to revel in liberation from them. It’s a mixed blessing of sorts...but should we expect anything less from life??  

(I think (not).)  ;)


  1. Man I cannot say how you are. People do crazy stuff for nonsense. It goes back to what Shi Zu said about people undervaluing the Martial Arts but they are willing to pay a large sum of money for video games, shoes, parties and all.

  2. I do have some anthropological insight into this mystery. If I get an opportunity in the next day or so, I'll make a philosia video about it, because what I have to say is going to take a lot of words, and I don't feel like typing it all out

  3. Don's going on a blog post rampage, I like it, keep it coming, interesting stuff. Usually I don't read anything outside of Osho b/c I know it's all bullshit but reading this blog is something of great value to me, I allows me to get to know you all on a much deeper level.

  4. It is all a matter of ego, people want to portray a image of themselves that is not the true one. The same reason people will go without eating but still have the money for a expensive watch or in this case a pair of shoes. People are not comfortable with who they are so they have to be someone else. They want society to see them as someone important. It is sad that people can let themselves get this low in life, but who I am to judge, I am sure I am guilty of the same thing at points in my life. When I was younger and dumber I spent all kinds of money to impress people that really were not worth impressing, and all I have to show for it is literally nothing.


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