Neither seek nor avoid, take what comes.
Now I am all about living in the moment, which is pretty much my personal mantra, but neither seek nor avoid? Come on, that's extreme! I am all for counting your blessings and finding bliss in what you have, but I don't think that we should just settle. Life, the world, everything around us is in constant movement, if we just stop seeking and avoiding, we will more than likely just stand still and nothing will progress. Seeking is what makes us hungry, it's what makes us discover and invent, it's what changes us and motivates us. Sometimes not seeking a better option or looking around for new ideas is really just demonstrative of a lack of motivation, and that's definitely not a virtue in my books. How are you supposed to grow if you are not supposed to seek? That's called marinating my friends, and it's not ideal. And how does a person just stop being curious anyway? It's human nature to be curious, and I don't think that it is 'unzen' to want to look around sometimes.
And what about not avoiding? I have even bigger issues with that one. Obviously one should always avoid a head on collision with a truck or getting an addiction to crack, and I am aware that the Swami wasn't being that literal when he said 'don't avoid', but there are a lot of other things that one should avoid in life in that it would be just plain stupid not to. Like avoiding unnecessary conflict, harsh words, arguments and being involved in any kind of shitty talk about other people. Also it's definitely a good idea to avoid being rude, ignorant, racist, sexist, insensitive...shall I go on? If you just go into everything in the world blindly or without a care for anyone else because you're on the 'neither seek nor avoid, take what comes' life mantra, odds are you're just asking for trouble and trouble will find you, and then you'll just have to accept that too! If the human race didn't avoid sometimes, there would be constant war and unrest in the world, sometimes avoiding trouble or danger is not only smart it's extremely wise and necessary to getting along.
I just cannot abide by Swami Vivekananda's questionably sage theory if I am being honest because I actually believe that in certain circumstances, taking what comes without question or without using your common sense is really stupid and will only lead to disaster. We are supposed to seek, we are supposed to learn from our mistakes and therefore avoid what we know is disastrous, and we are not meant to just blindly take whatever is dished out to us, because we all deserve better than that.
I am certainly no Swami, but if I was asked to give my version of the that inspirational quote to be put into a daily zen calendar it would probably say something a little more like this:
Seek what you need to feel sated, avoid what is unnecessary and unkind, and don't take anything too seriously or for granted.
Release Date: 1954
Running Time: 207 mins
A Japanese action- adventure film co-written, edited and directed by Akira Kurosawa. Seven Samurai has truly stood the test of time and is still regarded as one of the most highly influential, remade, reworked and referenced films in cinema. I must admit that I felt completely bound to see this film because it kept turning up on so many people's must see lists, I knew that I must have been missing something important, and I was because this is an amazing period action movie, that deserves at least one viewing in everyone's life time.
Set in 1586 during the Warring States Period of Japan, a village of local farmers hire seven ronin (masterless samurai) to combat a group of thieving bandits that have been ravaging their crops and terrorizing their families for years.
Seven Samurai is not reliant on gore or effects to depict it's action scenes, there is a real sense of cavalry and style being used here that really enhances the overall effect of the film. As one of the only movies on Rotten Tomatoes to get a full 100% certified fresh rating, this film has just the right mix of everything to keep you interested and engaged, and at over three hours running time, that's really saying something!
FINAL SAY: Danger always strikes when everything seems fine.
4.5 Chilli Peppers