If you have a blog that takes comments, you find out a lot about the inner workings of spam. WordPress equips you with a spam filter, but it doesn’t catch all the spam. Some spammers are better at disguising their links in seemingly benign comments like “Nice site,” or “I was looking for information on this subject, this was helpful,” and those comments sometimes slip onto your site.
One giveaway is when you click on the website or name link and it takes you to a site selling…whatever. Insurance is the most common. Another giveaway is when the comment is made to an old post that no one has commented on before. The game for these spammers is to trick the Google algorhythm into ranking them higher, so they will get more hits and, they hope, more sales.
So, when I saw this comment — “Lovely Blog!” — on a boring year-old post about urban sprawl, it had all the earmarks of spam. But then I looked at the website associated with the post: http://sureshg.wordpress.com/. Hmm, a WordPress blog. I hadn’t been aware of any spam being hosted by WordPress. So I clicked. And here is a screenshot of what I saw:
This is an absolutely gorgeous site! How its owner could find mine “lovely” by comparison is astonishing. Every photo on the site — by Suresh Gundappa — is as penetratingly beautiful as this one. Each one is accompanied by a “meditation,” a beautiful, Zen-like prose poem about applying the wisdom of nature to our strange human anxieties. Today’s top post starts off like this:
It seems tension has nothing to do with anything outside you, it has something to do within you. Outside you always find an excuse only because it looks so idiotic to be tense without any reason. Just to rationalize, you find some reason outside yourself to explain why you are tense.
But tension is not outside you, it is in your wrong style of life. You are living in competition — that will create tension. You are living in continuous comparison — that will create tension. You are always thinking either of the past or of the future, and missing the present which is the only reality — that will create tension.
IT IS A QUESTION of simple understanding; there is no need of any competition with anybody. You are yourself, and as you are, you are perfectly good.
This is the way existence wants you to be. Some trees are taller; some trees are smaller. But the smaller trees are not tense — neither are the taller trees full of ego. Existence needs variety. Somebody is stronger than you; somebody is more intelligent than you — but in something, you also must be more talented than anybody else.
Just find your own talent. Nature never sends any single individual without some unique gift. Just a little search… perhaps you can play on the flute better than the president of the country can be a president — you are a better flautist than he is a president.
There is no question of any comparison. Comparison leads people astray. Competition keeps them continuously tense, and because their life is empty, they never live in the moment. All they do is to think of the past, which is no more, or project in the future, which is not yet.
Reading this, and looking at the incredible mountain landscape… it relaxed me! I’ve got a lot going on, as you might know. This has the potential to be a very restless weekend. But somehow, reading this put me at ease.
Mr. Gundappa is, from what I can tell, an investment banker and photographer in India. On a Blogger page he lists his age as 250. What, if any, religious tradition these thoughts come from is not identified, at least from what I can find. It was an unlikely path that brought me to his wisdom, but, ya know, that’s how life works sometimes.