I think the center of my faith is an absolute certainty of good. Like everyone else, I get low and there are times when I feel as if I have my fins backwards and am swimming upstream in heavy boots. But even in these dark times, even though I feel cut off, perhaps, and alone, I am aware - even if distantly - that I am part of a whole and that the whole is true and real and good.
I have never had any difficultly in believing in God. I don't believe in a personal God and I don't quite see how it is possible to believe in a God who knows both good and evil and yet to trust in him. I believe in God, Good, in One Mind, and I believe we are all subject to and part of this oneness.
It's taken me time to understand words like "tolerance" and "understanding." I have given lip service to "tolerance" and to "understanding" for years but only now do I think I begin to understand a little what they mean. If we are all one of another, and this, though uncomfortably, is probably the case, then sooner or later we have got to come to terms with each other. I believe in the individuality of man, and it is only by individual experience that we can, any of us, make a contribution to understanding.
I've always been a bit confused about self and egotism(自负) because I instinctively felt both were barriers to understanding. And so in a sense they are.
I used to worry a lot about personality and that sort of egotism. I noticed that certain artists - musicians, for instance - would allow their personalities to get between the music and the listener. But others, greater and therefore humbler, became clear channels through which the music was heard unimpeded(畅通无阻的). And it occurred to me, not very originally, that the good we know in man is from God so it is a good thing to try to keep oneself as clear as possible from the wrong sort of self. And it's not very easy, particularly if you are on the stage!
I am one of those naturally happy people even when they get low soon bounce back. In minor things like housekeeping and keeping in sight of letters to be answered I am a Planny-Annie. That is to say I get through the chores in order to enjoy the space beyond. But I do find that, believing in the operation of good as I do, I cannot make plans - important ones, I mean - but I must prepare the ground and then leave the way free as far as possible. This, of course, means being fearless and isn't fatalistic, because you see I believe that when I am faithful enough to be still and to allow things to happen serenely, they do. And this being still isn't a negative state but an awareness of one's true position.
Friends are the most important things in my life - that and the wonder of being necessary to someone. But these things pass and in end one is alone with God. I'm not nearly ready for that yet, but I do see it with my heart's eye.
I don't understand it entirely, but I believe there is only now and our job is to recognize and rejoice in this now. Now... Not, of course, the man-measured now of Monday, Friday, or whenever, but the now of certain truth. That doesn't change. Surely everything has been done - is done. Our little problem is to reveal and enjoy.
Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc(肆虐) on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.
Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. "Are you a good farmhand?" the farmer asked him.
"Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man.
Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work.
Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, "Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!"
The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."
Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away.
The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.
MORAL: When you're prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear.
Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm.
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