Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.
Bertrand Russell Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.
This pretty much describes my “ruling passions,” but I would add love of the world, distress at not just the suffering of mankind, but all sentient beings. And fearlessness when confronting injustice and the people who are destroying the natural world for personal gain. Sex, music, cannabis, and golf have also been big forces in my life. Also as Gandhi said about himself, truth is my religion. Like Reinhold Messner, I shit on flags, but I also shit on money and God (by which I mean institutional religion). Flags money and God are responsible for most of the evil and killing in human history. Here’s some verses I penned on a napkin this morning while driving to Ottawa to get a visa for Mali, where I will be in a few weeks, inshallah (God willing).
When all is said and done,
when we are dead and gone,
only the truth remains.
So it’s a crime to keep it hidden.
When the faithful are really living by the teachings, whether Buddha, Christ, Jehovah, Allah, it is a beautiful thing, a pure life. “All the systems are good,” a Mauritanian taxi driver once told me as we drove through the park. “The problem is with the human heart.”