First, greater self-reliance will alter the types of things we wish and pray for. Right now, what we like to call "good causes" are really more like impressive or macho.
Praying is looking far away and asking for some external gift to appear through some external force. Prayers get lost in endless physical and metaphysical mazes of interventions and miracles.
Any prayer that craves a particular thing,
anything less than all good,
Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view. It's the soliloquy of a gazing and joyous soul. It's the spirit of God pronouncing his works good.
But prayer used to reach a private goal is cheap and thieving. It assumes divisiveness, not unity, in nature and consciousness.
When a man is at one with God, he won't beg. He'll see prayer in every action. The farmer kneeling in the field to weed it, the rower kneeling with the stroke of his oar, are true prayers heard throughout nature, though for cheap ends. Caratach, in Fletcher's "Bonduca," when asked what the god Audate might have in mind, replies:
His hidden meaning lies in our endeavors;
Our valors are our best gods.
Another kind of false prayers are our regrets. Discontent is the absence of self-reliance: it's a disease of the will.
Regret people's hardship
if it will help the sufferer;
if not, mind your own business
and the hurt immediately begins to heal.
Sympathy is just as silly. We go to people who weep foolishly and sit down and cry for company instead of giving them truth and health in rough electric shocks, knocking some sense back into their heads.
The secret of success is to take advantage of your own abilities. If you help yourself, you'll always be welcome to gods and men. For you, all doors are wide open; all mouths greet you; all awards are given to you; all eyes follow you with desire.
We love and embrace the self-reliant man
because he doesn't need it.
We eagerly and apologetically hug and congratulate him because he stayed on track and ignored our disapproval. The gods love him because people hated him. "To the persevering mortal," spoke Zoroaster, "the blessed Immortals are swift."
Last Edited: May 03, 2000
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© 1997 Richard Brodie. All rights reserved.