Wednesday, July 02, 2008

In the absence of inspiration

I'm re-reading this great spiritual book, Search for Serenity, from 1959, by a dude named Lewis F. Presnall. I love this book. I think the following is one of the best pedestrian descriptions of surrender that I've ever read (forgive the default masculine pronoun ... it was the Fifties after all):

"One who has the habit of success is like a man who walks down a corridor or hallway, along which there are doors on both sides ... If [a door] swings open, he can take a peek inside and see if it is the room he wishes to enter. But if he comes to a door which does not respond to a gentle push, he does not stand there and batter futilely at it with his fists. If it does not open easily, he knows it is either not the door that he should enter or it is not the time to go through it.

To take this attitude toward life, one must have a belief in the goodness of the universe ... The man who believes that he designs his own future in his own limited wisdom will never be content ... There must be the conviction that the purposes of one's life are best served when he is going along the lines of the mainstream of the universe. He must know that if he thinks right and stays relaxed, trying to do his best each day, that the universe will provide the best he is capable of receiving."

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