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P O O L    S H O O T E R

The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Royal Pain in the Neck

Since last summer
I have had a major pain in the neck,
just on the right hand side,
with very tight muscles in my neck
and right shoulder.

Therapists have not helped,
but they agree it is probably pool related
and made worse by sitting at the computer
for long periods of time.

Advil helps with the pain,
but I shouldn't be taking that stuff long term.
I'm doing all sorts of exercises for
stretching and strengthening the muscles,
but so far, the pain persists.

But what of it?
Pain exists in every life.
We are born to suffer, all of us, in some way.
It is how we learn.

The Stoics knew this best,
and believed in the power of free will, and virtue.
Consider these words of philosopher Bertrand Russell:

In the life of the individual man, virtue is the sole good;
such things as health, happiness, possessions, are of no account.
Since virtue resides in the will,
everything really good or bad in a man's life depends only upon himself.
He may become poor, but what of it? He can still be virtuous.
A tyrant may put him in prison,
but he can still persevere in living in harmony with Nature.
He may be sentenced to death, but he can die nobly, like Socrates.
Therefore every man has perfect freedom,
provided he emancipates himself from mundane desires.

In this case, "mundane desires" includes
the desire to live without pain.

If the game had been around at the time,
the Stoics of ancient Greece
would have been great billiard players.


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