A friend of mine asked me recently why my blog/site is called Only Doing.net, and what's up with the "No starting, no stopping, only doing." tagline.
The name, and the tagline is inspired by a book that's very special to me, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman.
I was first introduced to the book by Ms. Lemon, who I used to be in service to, as her submissive. Her having me read it was easily one of the most significant things that's ever happened to me.
The book is the semi-autobiographical story of Dan Millman, who was a college gymnast at UC Berkley in the 1960's. It's not an exaggeration to say that Dan had everything going for him, at the time.
He was wealthy, smart, good-looking, academically and socially successful. His life was fun. But he was plagued by a terrible dream, that used to wake him up, shaking, in the middle of the night. In it, an awful thing happened to him, and a mysterious old man, with two different color shoes, was there to pick up the pieces, and help him to heal, afterwards.
One night he was so disturbed by the dream that he went for a run, off campus. After a while, he saw a Texaco gas station come swimming up out of the fog, and he decided to stop there to buy himself a late snack.
When he went inside, the old man from his dream was behind the counter. But Dan didn't recognize him. They exchanged pleasantries, and Dan started to leave the station. The old man followed him outside, and sat in a chair by the side of the station. Dan took just a few steps, and turned back to look at him again - but he was gone. The old man was up on the roof of the station!
This freaked Dan out. So he ran away.
The next night, at 3am he came back, armed with questions about what had happened, how it had happened. Every time he asked the man a question, he would respond with a question of his own. This drove Dan crazy, and, insultingly, he called the man Socrates.
Socrates loved it. He laughed, and offered to become Dan's spiritual teacher, to teach him the Way of the Peaceful Warrior.
The Way, as it turns out is a mixture of many things: Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, too. It teaches mindful attention, and staying present. It shows us all the ways we get in our own way. It is a Way I myself have attempted to follow since I first read it.
One of the things that Socrates taught Dan is that life is about traveling, not about starting a journey, nor arriving at a destination. There really are no such things. Socrates tell Dan exactly this in one of my favorite scenes from the movie, Peaceful Warrior, based on the book.
I am grateful for this book, and the wisdom it has brought me in my life.