No one next to you, no one in front of you, yet you keep talking


A theological implication of evolution: If creatures, including human beings evolve, to increase their chances of survival, is it not true that we are our own creators? One example: According to my Concise Encyclopedia: “Merychippus [an extinct proto-horse that was endemic to North America during the Miocene period, 5 to 23 million years ago] […] developed longer limbs to escape from predators.”

By the way, there are 4,000 different species of simple single cell organisms such as bacteria; 50,000 complex single cell organisms such as amoebas; 100,000 species of fungi such as mushrooms; 400,000 species of plants; and 2 million species of animals.



What is my writing about? At first glance it appears to be nothing more than questions that one man asks about his own life to give it more meaning and value – with answers that seem to be applicable only to him. However, I believe if everyone – or at least more people than are currently the case – ask the same or similar questions about their own lives, the world would be a better place. I believe there would be less suffering, and that people would live more fulfilling, and more productive lives.

[14/10/2015: Difficult to determine how many people do ask themselves the questions to which I refer. It also wouldn’t help if you asked yourself some important questions and you come up with answers that make sense for you, but they ultimately cause more suffering to other people.]


I was wondering why I was so much more convinced of who I was, and about my role and value and place in the world in July 2004 than I am right now. I think the reason is definition of success. In July 2004 I defined success as the ability to live a certain life, and to do a particular kind of work. In 2004 I was able to live that life, and to do the kind of work I had wanted to do.

For the past year or so success has (understandably) once again been measured in financial terms. “When my projects are finally completed …” and “When I have more money in the bank …” have become hackneyed phrases. Then comes a time when my mood is a bit off, and I am forced to face the facts: 34, produce a lot of text, publish nothing; number of EFL projects of which only a few copies of one book have been sold; dream of other places, new furniture, more money… and in the meantime I keep on hacking away.

Maybe a little unfair, but at least I know where it comes from.

Perhaps this is then a good time to ask: How do I define success today, 7 February 2006?

Success, to me, would be to bring about a life where I can spend the hours that make up each day as I see fit. And, unfortunately, financial success is a vital part of that life.



Frightening new possibilities – maybe I should get in touch with old feelings brought on by the hot sun and poverty and shame to put things into perspective.

Another thing: the root of many evils is not money, but low self-esteem, uncertainty about who you are, and uncertainty about your place in this world.


Seven-year-old Judy of “talking to the eraser” fame walked up to my desk late this afternoon and as if to inform me of something I urgently needed to know, said: “Zìyán zìyǔ.”

I didn’t quite get what she was talking about. She then explained it in simple Mandarin, gesturing for emphasis: “No one next to you, no one in front of you, and yet you are having a conversation.”