Monday, January 18, 2010

Between Foolishness and Wisdom

I was reading about Ramana Maharshi's life when this passage caught my eye:

'Venkataraman’s elder brother, Nagaswamy, was aware of a great change in him and on several occasions rebuked him for his detachment from all that was going on around him. About six weeks after Venkataraman’s absorption into the Self, on August 29, 1896, he was attempting to complete a homework assignment which had been given to him by his English teacher for indifference in his studies. Suddenly Venkataraman tossed aside the book and turned inward in meditation. His elder brother rebuked him again, asking, "What use is all this to one who is like this?"'

I realized then that I am caught in a transition state like ice on the cusp of melting, or an enzymatic intermediate before it becomes the reaction product. I have been an ardent student all my life. One diploma after another for what reward? One certification after another for what reward? I have been having to study and gather certifications to keep my CISSP certification, but it's all for nothing. IT Security, as any security, is an illusion because information technology is constantly in flux. At best, it's a zero sum arms race or game between attacker and defender where the attackers and defenders win and everyone else loses. In short, it's like the Legal or Financial professions as currently practiced, or the Military and Intelligence professions, or any profession that pretends to aid/protect us from them or us from ourselves, or us from natural disaster. None of these professions are evil, and some enter them for noble reasons, self-sacrifice, justice, common benefit, but the behavior of the majority ruin it for those few for the most part, and leaving the buyer/taxpayer/victim feeling shortchanged in the bargain.

So, here I am always learning new tricks and techniques and knowledge that will become dated, or likely already is dated, since the underlying knowledge, practices, and software are constantly in flux. So it goes for scientific inquiry, IT Security, and practically any human endeavor. Logical analysis, problem reduction, and practical knowledge has its place, but the human world, for the most part defies logical and rational analysis not because it can't be reduced to certain laws and rules, but because the majority of people haven't codified said laws and rules properly (see economics), or they willfully break them for some perceived advantage or gain. If there are no rules to the game, then why play the game or learn new rules? Why not turn one's back on the collective fantasy of others, and turn towards the Real? I'm learning new stuff out of habit, but I haven't been learning about the real me. I've been seeking fulfillment outside of myself, rather than fully looking inward. What a fool I have been because I have seen glimpses of a higher truth. No more. "What use is all this to one who is like this?"


Thats cool John.

My main pleasure in life, besides wine and women, is recognition for the essays I write.
Welcome back!

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