G. I. Gurdieff, “Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson”So-and-so-and-so-must-be; do-not-do-what-must-not-be. Mullah’s favorite saying. p. 598
It sounds like a fairy-tale, but not only that; this story of what man by his science and practical inventions has achieved on this earth, where he first appeared as a weakly member of the animal kingdom, and on which each individual of his species must ever again appear as a helpless infant... is a direct fulfilment of all, or of most, of the dearest wishes in his fairy-tales. All these possessions he has acquired through culture. Long ago he formed an ideal conception of omnipotence and omniscience which he embodied in his gods. Whatever seemed unattainable to his desires - or forbidden to him - he attributed to these gods. One may say, therefore, that these gods were the ideals of his culture. Now he has himself approached very near to realizing this ideal, he has nearly become a god himself. But only, it is true, in the way that ideals are usually realized in the general experience of humanity. Not completely; in some respects not at all, in others only by halves. Man has become a god by means of artificial limbs, so to speak, quite magnificent when equipped with all his accessory organs; but they do not grow on him and they still give him trouble at times... Future ages will produce further great advances in this realm of culture, probably inconceivable now, and will increase man's likeness to a god still more.
The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better--but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn't care.I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn't say, 'But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven.' If so, I was going to reply, 'You know what? You're right. Fine.'I believed, too, in the doctors and the medicine and the surgeries--I believed in that. I believed in them. A person like Dr. Einhorn [his oncologist], that's someone to believe in, I thought, a person with the mind to develop an experimental treatment 20 years ago that now could save my life. I believed in the hard currency of his intelligence and his research.Beyond that, I had no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science. But I knew this much: I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe--what other choice was there? We do it every day, I realized. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery.To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be.Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn't fully see, until the cancer, how we fight every day against the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these were the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or cataclysmic millennium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit.So, I believed.
...Daisy doesn't even go to his funeral, Nick and Jordan part ways, and Daisy ends up sticking with racist Tom... you can tell Fitzgerald never took the time to look up at clouds during sunset, because there's no silver lining at the end of that book, let me tell you. I do see why Nikki likes the novel, as it's written so well. But her liking it makes me worry now that Nikki really doesn't believe in silver linings, because she says The Great Gatsby is the greatest novel ever written by an American, and yet it ends so sadly. One thing's for sure, Nikki is going to be very proud of me when I tell her I finally read her favorite book. -Silver Linings Playbook, p. 9
I hold the biscuits in front of his face and he stands up."What do I have to do?" he says."Nothing," I say. "They're for you.""Are they poisoned?" he says."No," I say."Eat one," he says.So I do."Probably the others are poisoned," he says. "Eat a fraction of each."I eat a corner off each biscuit. He looks at the reminders suspiciously, then sniffs them."I'm not sure it's worth it," he says. "How I wish you'd never come. Perhaps you've left the poison off of just those corners."I begin to realize I'll doubt whatever information he gives me."Lick the entire biscuit," he says. "Then give them to me."So I lick each biscuit."Both sides," he says.I lick both sides of each biscuit. I give him the wet biscuits and he cracks them open and sniffs them. Then he puts them in his pocket. "What do you want?" he says. "Now that you've failed to poison me to death.
He draws a line under his conclusions. Says, 'Gregory, what should I do about the great worm?' 'Send a commission against it, sir,' the boy says. 'It must be put down.' He gives his son a long look. 'You do know it's Arthur Cobbler's tales?' Gregory gives him a long look back. 'Yes, I do know.' He sounds regretful. 'But it makes people so happy when I believe them.
We're always taught that God wants us to always only say "I can't do this without You God" , "Whatever your will is God, that's my will too" but God says He is a father, and there is no good father who wants his children to have no will and to think that they can't stand on their own two feet. So maybe what you should be saying is "I can do it" and "I have a strong will, I know what I want." When you think God's left you and wants you to be sitting like a duck, maybe He's actually believing in you, teaching you how to fly.