The Meaning of My Life, 1976

from my journal for February 22, 1976

very black mood last night.  feeling like my life was like a sketch that has gone wrong and should be abandoned, torn up, so that a new start could be made.  So I went to Trudi, and talked about it, and about ‘religion’ and self-actualizing and the necessity for faith in the ultimate workings of the universe, in the meaning of one’s own life.

Because of course, the meaning of my life is most likely not at all what I would think it is.  My problem all along has been pride: its a very arrogant and egotistical attitude to demand immediate tangible rewards, to want to see the good that one has done, instead of just accepting, humbly, the good that one does just by being there, the good that one does without ever knowing about it, and that requires a sort of humble faith in the universe instead of an arrogant demand that one’s questions be answered.  Which is why I have to start doing zazen again, and discipline myself to some kind of schedule.  Not because I really understand why I’m doing it, or why it works, but because my life falls apart without it, without some discipline performed in the light of ‘religious’ or devotional necessity.  (necessity? was that the word?  I got distracted and lost it)

Comment while typing 1976 in 1989
It amazes me now that I thought it was “pride” that wanted immediate tangible results, that could not accept “the good that one does just by being there”.  That’s not “pride”, that’s the result of growing up in an alcoholic family where I was given no support or praise for being myself: how could I possibly relax into understanding that all by myself, without any accomplishments, I’m OK.  I’m still struggling to get that one now.  And how does one develop faith in the workings of the universe, when it appears to resemble an alcoholic parent — capricious, malicious, and willful.   Jan 89.

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