10 December 1957
Just suddenly, an idea has jelled sharply in my mind. It has been floating around for ages but never have I felt it so keenly as now. Here it is. I’ve been cussing at the “power”, the “creative force” behind all matter living and, say, inert. Long ago, the paternalistic concept of the heavenly father’s loving kindness was critically evaluated within me. The child like image of such a being I decided to put away for good in my attic of fairy tales and Santa Claus.
For quite some time, I have viewed this force as a power which controls life energy – all energy, but lately, of recent months, I have considered it as an unknown power, not at all like the human – our Christian concept. Granted it is the power behind the universe, but certainly not controlled in any way by human wishing our prayers.
I have been viewing this power as a neutral force. If there is any sense, that is human interest in this power, it is not at all as conceived by popular opinion: kindly, benevolent, etc. Just a neutral force one cannot fight against. What it is, why it is, what it wants with the world or its contents, human or otherwise, I’m sure I do not know. Now here’s my new view – Here I’ve been trying to cope with this unknowable power. My attention is all concentrated through training, on this power; one way, or another.
I guess this is the way matters have to be, I’ve told myself, when unhappy. One cannot grapple with the unknown – and doesn’t know what one is grappling with. One can’t punch the air in the nose when dissatisfied. One cannot talk to the wind and explain to the mind ones eight and sorrows. The wind is just the wind – does its own work, whatever that work may be.
History is replete with examples of great human tragedies. Christians have always explained it as the will of God. They tell the story of Job. Well, in many respects, we do have to be Job’s and accept what we cannot change.
But, and here is the crux of this discussion: Very often when we are at odds with one’s version of God – creative force, or whatever you wish to call it, one is actually at odds with human forces as a rule. One has a tendency to accept natural phenomena, one bemoans it and tsk tsk’s over it but what can one do. Such phenomena, too, is difficult to accept. But, we must accept such things, like Job, since we do not know how to control such natural phenomena. We used to accept illness back in the annals of the human race, now we tackle the problem, the illness, with money and research. We do a great deal of the same with other phenomena in the natural sciences.
One field we are only just beginning to open the door to and in this field most of our trouble lies. Often when I am at odds with the face of creation, I’m actually at odds with people. I am at odds with myself, and with the humans around me. Instead of tackling my problems – the human element – I turn to examining the creative force and get nowhere. What I am not realizing is the need to tackle myself, what makes me unhappy, what my relationship with my family is, that makes me unhappy; what impact my social environment is that depresses me. In other words, I now feel recognition of these personal impacts are frequently behind my troubles. Instead of lamenting an unconcerned wind or rain or creative force, I better be more conscious of the people and the ideas around me, the views I have accepted as guide rules for myself. The source of much personal trouble is in this realm. Recognizing it may be a step to better peace of mind.