Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me.

It’s not your birthday, Stanley, it’s my birthday.

Yes, but we’re all one so your birthday is my birthday. Your birthday steak is my birthday steak.

No it’s not, Stan. What is this, socialism Zen? I don’t like steak and I never eat it on my birthday.

Chocolate cake? Hamburger? I’m not fussy.

You know, Stanley, Bernie often says that each of us tends towards a particular side of things. Some tend to live life out of their daily discriminating experience, involved with the many different forms of existence, with little sense of anything else. When that’s taken to an extreme, we say they always “know.” Others prefer to live out of concept-less unity, where everything is equal and same, undifferentiated or labeled, sometimes referred to as True Self. When that’s taken to an extreme, we say they always “no,” meaning they always say there’s no real self, there’s no-doing, no-seeing, no-hearing, no smelling. Bernie says we all tend to gravitate to one or the other. Right now, Stan, I think you’re gravitating to the second. You follow me?


See these horses, Stanley?

What horses?

Exactly. When you were a lot younger, Stan, the minute you saw horses you’d pull against the leash, whimper and bark, trying to get to them. Maybe you didn’t know they were “horses,” but you were aware they were some live things with a strong scent, enough to get you riled up and react. You knew there was something there, you were a “knower.” Now, you don’t acknowledge anything’s there, certainly not horses.

What horses?

So now you’re a “no-er.” Got it?


Only I suspect you’re not a real no-er, Stanley.

How do you know?

I suspect you’re aware something’s there, but your ears and eyes are no good, and you’re old and arthritic, and whatever it is in front is much bigger than you are, so you ignore them. Ignoring something is not coming out of no-self. It’s not a “no,” and it’s not a “know.”

So what is it?

It’s ignorance, Stanley, plain and simple.

Oh, yeah? What do you call not liking steak? And what are you doing?

I’m taking out my apple. Oh yes, I forgot, if we’re all one, then my apple is your apple. You want an apple, Stanley?

An apple? That’s what you get for your birthday instead of steak?

It may have something to do with my name.

Nah, give it to the horse. If we’re all one then it’s his apple too.