I’ve not posted for a couple of weeks because of a major problem with my computer. I’m not presently able to afford a replacement. But I asked around for help and my generous brother-in-law has loaned me an old Dell laptop that makes it possible for me to get back online.
At the beginning of the computerless period I felt very lost and at loose ends. But I came enjoy the time offline and saw it as a chance to clear my head and get some perspective. It took a forced retirement for me to get a clear idea that I was spending much more time on line than I had imagined. I’ve spent the increased free time listening to music, reading and watching movies (lots of movies).
Most bothersome to me was the awareness I came to about my emotional state. I had been aware of an angry undercurrent in some of what I was writing. But I wasn’t paying much attention to it: it was just a distant and cloudy sort of partial awareness. In just such a cloudy way I might have tried to justify my anger with something along the lines of, “Well, of course I’m angry. I was born and brought up in pretty well functioning constitutional republic and here’s a crowd trying to stealthily turn it into some kind of one party dictatorship run by a cult of personality.” And, in spite of what political partisans say, anger is one of the most basic human emotions that is normally marshaled by the personality in response to many situations, such as assaults on a vibrant and operational constitution. But my semi-exile from the political domain, increased time spent in meditation and introspection convinced me that more than a normal situational response was going on here.
I came to conclude that a lot of this anger came from fear. There has been more fear in my reactions to life for a while. It has often come up in my daily inventory. I endeavor to believe in an all powerful and loving God. But sometimes my response to events can be little different from what might be expected from a nonbeliever or from someone who did not believe in the goodness of God.
I know that belief is not something decided one day that there after changes all of your actions and reactions. Belief is a daily enterprise. It requires work and watchful care every day. If the daily work is done, small change is built upon small change and the world view that has inspired each small change becomes stronger and more deeply rooted. Belief is not just a decision. It is a commitment. It requires frequent reinforcement and regular self-examination. And ignoring my mild discomfort about anger caused me to give it too much power in my life, power that might have been mitigated by more thorough self-examination.
I would have had to face all of this sooner or later. But a broken hard drive caused it to come sooner.