Zen has a great influence on UNIX or maybe most UNIX professionals believe that they are part of UNIX and their work and hence Zen…
The Heart of Zen is a calm mind that is focused on the Buddha.
I am the Buddha and my life is my work.
The Rootless Root has some wonderful unix koans which is a must read for all professionals. These koans would help find the way. And, if we mock them you’ll will lose merit and be reborn as beasts or MCSEs
This blog has two UNIX koans I like the most.
Master Foo Discourses on the Graphical User Interface
One evening, Master Foo and Nubi attended a gathering of programmers who had met to learn from each other. One of the programmers asked Nubi to what school he and his master belonged. Upon being told they were followers of the Great Way of Unix, the programmer grew scornful.
“The command-line tools of Unix are crude and backward”, he scoffed. “Modern, properly designed operating systems do everything through a graphical user interface”.
Master Foo said nothing, but pointed at the moon. A nearby dog began to bark at the master’s hand.
“I don’t understand you!” said the programmer.
Master Foo remained silent, and pointed at an image of the Buddha. Then he pointed at a window.
“What are you trying to tell me?” asked the programmer.
Master Foo pointed at the programmer’s head. Then he pointed at a rock.
“Why can’t you make yourself clear?” demanded the programmer.
Master Foo frowned thoughtfully, tapped the the programmer twice on the nose, and dropped him in a nearby trashcan.
As the programmer was attempting to extricate himself from the garbage, the dog wandered over and piddled on him.
At that moment, the programmer achieved enlightenment.
Master Foo and the Script Kiddie
A stranger from the land of Woot came to Master Foo as he was eating the morning meal with his students.
“I hear y00 are very l33t”, he said. “Pl33z teach m3 all y00 know”.
Master Foo’s students looked at each other, confused by the stranger’s barbarous language. Master Foo just smiled and replied: “You wish to learn the Way of Unix?”
“I want to b3 a wizard hax0r”, the stranger replied, “and 0wn ever3one’s b0xen”.
“I do not teach that Way”, replied Master Foo.
The stranger grew agitated. “D00d, y00 r nothing but a p0ser”, he said. “If y00 n00 anything, y00 wud t33ch m3”.
“There is a path”, said Master Foo, “that might bring you to wisdom”. The master scribbled an IP address on a piece of paper. “Cracking this box should pose you little difficulty, as its guardians are incompetent. Return and tell me what you find”.
The stranger bowed and left. Master Foo finished his meal.
Days passed, then months. The stranger was forgotten.
Years later, the stranger from the land of Woot returned.
“Damn you!” he said, “I cracked that box, and it was easy like you said. But I got busted by the FBI and thrown in jail”.
“Good”, said Master Foo. “You are ready for the next lesson”. He scribbled an IP address on another piece of paper and handed it to the stranger.
“Are you crazy?” the stranger yelled. “After what I’ve been through, I’m never going to break into a computer again!”
Master Foo smiled. “Here”, he said, “is the beginning of wisdom”.
On hearing this, the stranger was enlightened.
And finally for all those programmers out there. This is a must read.
The Tao Of Programming
Thus spake the master programmer:
It is time for you to leave.”