Sitting in the executive members’ lounge of the Toppled Bollard, watering hole of the Rutland elite, I came across an article with the headline, “Trump most likely isn’t Putin’s puppet. Game theory indicates that he’s probably either worried about his own legitimacy or just deluded.”
And that made me think of the time when the President looked directly at the sun without dark glasses, etc, during a total eclipse. So much for the weeks of lecturing people that this is exactly what they should not do.
Which brought me to the thought that the eclipse of the moon tonight will start before the moon rises over the UK, and it will be the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century, so by the time of maximum eclipse at 9.21pm you might be able to see it on the horizon in the south east. The total eclipse lasts until 10.13 and the show finishes at 11.19.
Now according to Zen traditions the poet Ryokan Taigu, who had very few possessions and lived a simple life, was once visited by a thief who, upon seeing how little there was to steal in the poet’s house, became rather annoyed.
The poet, seeing the man’s frustration, pressed such possessions as he had upon the thief, for he knew he had still in his possession the one thing that mattered – the ability to look up and see the beauty of the moon.
The point being that beauty is there for us all to behold, but only a few can see it and appreciate its beauty because they are distracted by worldly concerns.
From this comes the understanding that we all of us already have all we need but we are often unable to use it because of distractions from the multiplicity of the images, sounds and interruptions of the world around us.
The reality is that within everything we can see and hear there are possibilities, and when we start being able to experience and grasp these possibilities, then whatever creative work we seek to undertake (such as writing an advert) we do it better.
We become aware of the possibilities, and that is always the starting point.
I know that to many people such a philosophy sounds like hippy mumbo jumbo and that staring at the moon won’t put food on the table. But I suspect that the only reason I can write advertisements that sell better than those written by some others is because I do try to stop and observe the world around me in a different way from the way others see the same world.
But never fear. For if looking up at the moon tonight doesn’t do it for you there is also a book of mine with the very modest title “Creating brilliant emails and websites that sell products and services to schools” which can work as an alternative
Unfortunately unlike the monks of ancient days I still find money helpful, so it will cost £14.95 for a downloadable edition, which means you can print it out or keep it on your computer and make notes around it as you go (which is what I recommend).
You can read more about the book online here, where you can also order the book. Or you can call 01604 880 927 and pay with a credit card. And just to reassure you, there is not a lot of moon gazing in the book – although at one point I do suggest the benefits of staring out of the window on a train journey and writing down all you see