Seattle, October 2011

Why that title?

It started with Vinay Gupta on a podcast telling what he described as a Sufi joke.  The joke went something like this:

A man went to his doctor and said “Doctor, I hope I am sick”.  The doctor asked him why he would hope for such a thing, and he replied “Because if I am well, then there is something terribly wrong with the world.”

I say “something like” because I am a terrible misquoter.  Knowing that I often subtly mangle other peoples’ words, I tried to find a source for the quote so I could get it right.  I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for, but along the way I found a Buddhist teacher quoting Jiddu Krishnamurti:

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

After mulling that over for a while, I realised it was a much better fit for what I was trying to say.  I don’t hope I’m sick, but every time I read the news I become more convinced that our society is.  To see that society is sick is to be called to make it better, in whatever small way I can.

Why a blog?

I spent much of Yom Kippur this year trying to make sense of my place in the world; of exactly what it means to say I am called to make things better in some way.  I decided, among other things that have more bearing on the “right livelihood” aspect of this, that I had better try and write more about what I see as so terribly wrong with the world, and how we can all make things better.  I’ll never be the voice of a movement, or anything grandiose like that, but there is value in each of us attendant lords talking about what’s important to us.  I like blogging for this because it gives some space to think things through, and a way to discuss them, without too much pressure to make everything perfect and comprehensive.

Why another blog?

I’ve blogged before but always jumbled up deliberative posts with quick links, photos, ranting and general life updates.  Most of those things are better kept apart from each other.  I have Google Reader to share links worth reading, Flickr to share photos, and the rants and gossip are much more fulfilling over a beer than a keyboard.  That leaves the deliberative posts in need of a space, so here we are.

Why that URL?

Eldan is my name. As much as I rant and rave about the importance of allowing pseudonyms, I haven’t used one myself since the days of borrowing my dad’s CompuServe account. The .co.uk is just a sign of how long ago that was – I registered this domain when I lived in the UK and couldn’t imagine ever moving abroad.