Of Mice and Men

Bob enters a maze and works his way through to find a piece of cheese. Every day he restarts from the same place and works his way through to the same location to get the cheese. After a while he can navigate that maze with his eyes closed; and usually does.  A while later, Michael enters the maze, and ends up following Bob to the cheese; day after day.  Over time, a few more mice enter the maze and follow Bob and Michael through to the cheese.  Let’s call them the BMs, for short.

Recently, Steve entered the maze. One of his favorite squeakings is: “Stress and chaos yield truth and clarity”. Steve initially follows the same path as the BMs, but he pushes the boundaries and finds a partition that opens to reveal a corridor with a piece of cheese at the end; the cheese morsel being similar in size to that off of which the BMs feed.  But Steve has this one all to himself.  Steve tries to tell the others that there may be more such possibilities within the maze, but they ignore him and continue to feed on their one common morsel.

Steve grows rapidly, having that entire piece of cheese all to himself, while the others barely survive, sharing their measly morsel. Eventually, Steve grows so tall that he reaches the ceiling of the maze. And guess what? The ceiling is all cheese, from which the morsels have been falling. Steve eats through the ceiling and escapes the maze. What he sees, standing on top of the maze, is a near infinite number of mazes surrounding him; with a near infinite number of different types of cheeses covering them. But Steve is not surprised, because he has been through many such mazes in the past; similar to this one, but with different types of cheese.

50 years ago, when Steve gave his valedictory speech at the School for Exceptional Rodents, he talked about personal obsolescence. He warned his classmates that if they did not continue to strive to improve themselves mentally, physically, and psychologically, that they would wither and die prematurely, becoming zombies. When Steve went to his 25th high school reunion, he found himself in the middle of a zombie horror movie, where most of the mice from his past had not grown personally by any detectable amount. They still had the same isolated cliques, and still talked about the same people and things.

Steve has had several epiphanies during his lifetime that have formed his philosophy. Maybe he will type some of them out with his tiny rodent fingernails, as time permits. One such epiphany had to do with the meaning of life.  It does involve God, which is interesting since Steve is an Atheist, but the full treatment of that will have to wait for another time. Suffice it to say that it involves perfection, that Steve’s God is perfection itself, and that the purpose of life is to become God like. Those that follow that path reach Nirvana: a state of contentment that cannot be described, and that cannot be believed without being experienced. It is Heaven on Earth, which also includes an unshakable level of self-awareness and self-confidence. It took Steve, once he got started, nearly 40 years to form his philosophy. But it is never too late to start. Every small improvement brings you closer to Nirvana. So, start pushing boundaries and get out of that maze.