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3 " ...he asked, "Where are you today, right now?"Eagerly, I started talking about myself. However, I noticed that I was still being sidetracked from getting answers to my questions. Still, I told him about my distant and recent past and about my inexplicable depressions. He listened patiently and intently, as if he had all the time in the world, until I finished several hours later."Very well," he said. "But you still have not answered my question about where you are.""Yes I did, remember? I told you how I got to where I am today: by hard work.""Where are you?""What do you mean, where am I?""Where Are you?" he repeated softly."I'm here.""Where is here?""In this office, in this gas station!" I was getting impatient with this game."Where is this gas station?""In Berkeley?""Where is Berkeley?""In California?""Where is California?""In the United States?""On a landmass, one of the continents in the Western Hemisphere. Socrates, I...""Where are the continents?I sighed. "On the earth. Are we done yet?""Where is the earth?""In the solar system, third planet from the sun. The sun is a small star in the Milky Way galaxy, all right?""Where is the Milky Way?""Oh, brother, " I sighed impatiently, rolling my eyes. "In the universe." I sat back and crossed my arms with finality."And where," Socrates smiled, "is the universe?""The universe is well, there are theories about how it's shaped...""That's not what I asked. Where is it?""I don't know - how can I answer that?""That is the point. You cannot answer it, and you never will. There is no knowing about it. You are ignorant of where the universe is, and thus, where you are. In fact, you have no knowledge of where anything is or of What anything is or how is came to be. Life is a mystery."My ignorance is based on this understanding. Your understanding is based on ignorance. This is why I am a humorous fool, and you are a serious jackass. "

Dan Millman , Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives

14 " People had always amazed him, he began. But they amazed him more since the sickness. For as long as the two of them had been together, he said, Gary’s mother had accepted him as her son’s lover, had given them her blessing. Then, at the funeral, she’d barely acknowledged him. Later, when she drove to the house to retrieve some personal things, she’d hunted through her son’s drawers with plastic bags twist-tied around her wrists. “…And yet,” he whispered, “The janitor at school--remember him? Mr. Feeney? --he’d openly disapproved of me for nineteen years. One of the nastiest people I knew. Then when the news about me got out, after I resigned, he started showing up at the front door every Sunday with a coffee milkshake. In his church clothes, with his wife waiting out in the car. People have sent me hate mail, condoms, Xeroxed prayers…” What made him most anxious, he told me, was not the big questions--the mercilessness of fate, the possibility of heaven. He was too exhausted, he said, to wrestle with those. But he’d become impatient with the way people wasted their lives, squandered their chances like paychecks. I sat on the bed, massaging his temples, pretending that just the right rubbing might draw out the disease. In the mirror I watched us both--Mr. Pucci, frail and wasted, a talking dead man. And myself with the surgical mask over my mouth, to protect him from me. “The irony,” he said, “… is that now that I’m this blind man, it’s clearer to me than it’s ever been before. What’s the line? ‘Was blind but now I see…’” He stopped and put his lips to the plastic straw. Juice went halfway up the shaft, then back down again. He motioned the drink away. “You accused me of being a saint a while back, pal, but you were wrong. Gary and I were no different. We fought…said terrible things to each other. Spent one whole weekend not speaking to each other because of a messed up phone message… That time we separated was my idea. I thought, well, I’m fifty years old and there might be someone else out there. People waste their happiness--That’s what makes me sad. Everyone’s so scared to be happy.” “I know what you mean,” I said. His eyes opened wider. For a second he seemed to see me. “No you don’t,” he said. “You mustn’t. He keeps wanting to give you his love, a gift out and out, and you dismiss it. Shrug it off because you’re afraid.” “I’m not afraid. It’s more like…” I watched myself in the mirror above the sink. The mask was suddenly a gag. I listened. “I’ll give you what I learned from all this,” he said. “Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love. "

Wally Lamb , She's Come Undone