August 18, 2016
We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world.
Holy wars are not fought over [Hinduism and Buddhism and Taoism] because verbalized statements about reality are never presumed to be reality itself.
You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it's going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it's always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.
'Peace of mind isn't at all superficial, really. It's the whole thing. That which produces it is good maintenance; that which disturbs it is poor maintenance. What we call workability of the machine is just an objectification of this peace of mind. The ultimate test's always your own serenity. If you don't have this when you start and maintain it while you're working you're likely to build your personal problems right into the machine itself.'
What you have to do, if you get caught in this gumption trap of value rigidity, is slow down-- you're going to have to slow down anyway whether you want to or not-- but slow down deliberately and go over ground that you've been over before to see if the things you thought were important were really important and to... well... just stare at the machine. There's nothing wrong with that. Just live with it for a while. Watch it the way you watch a line when fishing and before long, as sure as you live, you'll get a little nibble, a little fact asking in a timid, humble way if you're interested in it. That's the way the world keeps on happening. Be interested in it.I have to admit, this passage was usefully timed in my reread; it's very applicable to software debugging.
The next one is important. It's the internal gumption trap of ego. Ego isn't entirely separate from value rigidity but one of the many causes of it. If you have a high evaluation of yourself then your ability to recognize new facts is weakened. Your ego isolates you from the Quality reality. When the facts show that you've just goofed, you're not as likely to admit it. When false information makes you look good, you're likely to believe it. On any mechanical repair job ego comes in for rough treatment."Gumption Traps" are willpower dampers. Unfortunately soon after he states "Anxiety, the next gumption trap, is sort of the opposite of ego." which means he's not thinking of the ego-protecting anxiety produced by having a "Fixed Mindset"... we get anxious because we want to protect our delicate egos.
The hippies had in mind something that they wanted, and were calling it 'freedom,' but in the final analysis 'freedom' is a purely negative goal. It just says something is bad. Hippies weren't really offering any alternatives other than colorful short-term ones, and some of these were looking more and more like pure degeneracy. Degeneracy can be fun but it's hard to keep up as a serious lifetime occupation.