What god made for fun

Following up on my last post, here’s a quote I recently came across that made me chuckle:

“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”

Alan Watts

I wonder how often we inflate things by attaching a story to it that is much more elaborate than what is actually going on. Fact vs. fiction? In a way, we are sense making machines through stories. It’s how we manage to agree and disagree too, in politics and elsewhere.

This reminds me of my German classes in High School. Each time we’d read a poem our teacher asked us to interpret it. What did the poet mean with this? Inevitably it triggered an avalanche of hypothesis which made me wonder if the person who came up with the poem in the first place could have ever imagined all of this. 

What stories are you adding to your life?


“I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers.

Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”

Oliver Sacks, Gratitude

A fun fact

“It’s one kind of information. And it has its own limitations. I think there are other kinds of information that are valid. For example, the information that comes from your own experience. And I like to point out to people that in all languages derived from Latin, unfortunately not English, the word for experience and the word for experiment are the same. In Spanish, experimentar means both to experience and to experiment. So your own experience is a form of experimentation that produces useful information. You have to check it against other kinds of information. With double-blind studies, this is held out as the gold standard. And many people think this is the only kind of information we should pay attention to. But here’s an interesting thing. You can try this yourself. And it’s an assignment that I give to medical students and doctors.” Dr. Andrew Weil

Discovered via a Tim Ferriss podcast episode with Dr. Andrew Weil. Here you can find the full transcript of the episode.

In ancient times

In ancient times, people lived holistic lives. They didn’t overemphasize the intellect, but integrated mind, body, and spirit in all things. This allowed them to become masters of knowledge rather than victims of concepts…They valued old ways that had been proven effective, and they valued new ways if they could be proven effective…If you want to stop being confused, then emulate these ancient folk: join your body, mind, and spirit in all you do… Allow your work and your recreation to be one and the same…Serve others and cultivate yourself simultaneously. Understand that true growth comes from meeting and solving the problems of life in a way that is harmonizing to yourself and to others. If you can follow these simple old ways, you will be continually renewed.
– Lao Tzu, Hua Hu Ching, 43