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The goal's paradox

January 2013

In an episode of Mahabharata, Drona, the greatest master in arms of his time, teaches the art of archery to young princes. Drona has placed a bird made of straw on the top of a tree. He invites his first student to aim at it. "What do you see ?" he asks. The student replies: "I see the bird". "What else?", Drona asks. "I see", the student says, " also the tree, and you". "Leave your arch", said Drona. Then come other princes. They too aim at the bird and are asked the question: "What do you see ?". They reply that they see the bird, and the tree, or the sky, or a cloud. To them, too, Drona tell to stay aside. Finally comes Arjuna, who is to become the best warrior in the world; he aims at the bird. To Drona's question, he replies: "The bird". "Describe it to me" says Drona. " I can't" says Arjuna, "I can only see his eye". "Release your arrow", says Drona. And the bird falls down, hit by his arrow.

Striking example isn'it ? It shows all the strength we get from having a goal as well as the way to reach it. Interesting when related to our quest(s) in life.

However, what about this then?

« When we seek, said Siddharta, it happens easily that our eyes can only see what we are seeking; we do not find anything because they cannot access anything else, because we only think of what we are seeking, because we have set a goal to ourselves and we are obsessed by this goal. Seeking implies having a goal; but finding is being free, open to everything, without any predefined goal. You, O worthy one, are perhaps indeed a seeker; but the goal you have in front of your eyes, and that you try to reach, prevents you precisely to see what is under your nose".

(Hermann Hesse, Siddharta. Translated from the French edition, Grasset- Le Livre de Poche, 2010, p148)

Sounds also right to some respects, doesn't it ?




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