Yes … No … Mu

In his 1974 novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig translated mu as “no thing”, saying that it meant “unask the question”. Having grown up in India and being raised a  Hindu … the shades of GREY are part of my thinking. There are no simple YES-NO answers to complex questions. Some times you can say “I don’t know enough” or “unask the question” or “It can’t be answered YES or NO”. No problem with that. There is a third state for a lot of things in life … Mu.

When I lived and worked in US a few years ago … it always surprised me to learn that Americans managed to simplify every issue into two simple positions. You are RED or BLUE. You are Pro-Life or Pro-Abortion. You are with us or against us.

In fact the “cross cultural training” boot camp I went to had a session teaching us how to answer questions as YES or NO.  I never got it … never believed life exists in this over simplified bi-polar paradigm.

In fact, a lot of social and political issues America and American society faces can be traced back to dividing the issue and peoples into simple YES-NO camps. Bush was the most evolved and filtered species of that YES-NO mutation.

All that changed with Barack Obama. I just listed to his speech addressing Muslim people around the world … and he excels at getting his hands around intractable issues … simply because he knows how to not just say YES-or-NO … but also say YES-and-NO, Not-Yes and NOT-NO … and of course my favourite state of them all … Mu

Do I support Obama? Ofcourse Mu.


Author: st

A dad. A partner. A son. A problem solver. A learner. A teacher.

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