We shall never hope to solve the mystery of the tote pump though we shall doubtless spend many years in the process. Indeed, though we may be handy and though we be men as well, these twin attributes do nothing to clear the fog surrounding the true meaning of the tote pump. It is almost as if the fabric of reality had been designed to keep this meaning from being made manifest in our knowing. And if that is the case then we must come to terms with existing in this state of not knowing. The Buddha told us long ago that life is suffering (dukkha).


And might we say that trying to know the true nature of the tote pump is really an attempt to know ourselves and our true nature. For as much as we inhabit these bodies and experience these egos can we really say that we know them? Do we make our heart pump blood through our veins? Do we make the hair spring forth from our scalps? No, these things simply happen and yet at the same time we have the sense that we are some how responsible for their happenings.

There is the tendency to take the off ramp of caring when one reaches this point. That is to say that when one finally realizes that the struggle is futile to then collapse in a state of learned helplessness. But this is not a desirable outcome either. If we cannot know the answer we must learn to accept that state of affairs. Not necessarily to give up in defeat but rather to cease the struggle entirely. In other words it is the struggle (the dukkha) that is the problem and its solution is to cease struggling. Only then (ironically) will we come to understand the true nature of the tote pump.

The Mysterious Tote Pump
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