[Dr. Stelle’s history of early Mukulian civilization, The Sun Rises, describes an attack by a hoogwar, the ancestor of our modern jaguar, on two young men of that time. For today’s Lemurians “battling a hoogwar” has come to mean grappling with one of the difficult challenges in our lives.]
One Sunday morning after the housework was done, I sat down at the computer to work on a task I thought would take about fifteen minutes. An hour and a half later I was still correcting, rewriting, and feeling pitiful because I was still such a klutz on the computer. (At 75, I don’t pretend to be computer savvy, but I keep trying.) Several times I was sure my document was just as I wanted it, but every time I printed a copy, there was another glitch I had missed. To add exasperation to impatience, the printer gobbled up one page and refused to do any more.
Realizing I was slipping into terminal “poor me” mode, I shut off the computer, went outside and walked around the house admiring the sunshine and the fact that the dogs, at least, were behaving themselves, then went back in to try again. That in itself was a minor victory.
I am not computer friendly, and they are not friendly to me either. We have a longstanding adversarial relationship. All I ask is that they perform as I want them to, but they, with little less than fiendish persistence, continue to be extremely picky about how they insist I am supposed to give them my instructions. So doing anything on a computer has pretty much become my Waterloo. I would rather handwrite a letter upside down under water than go through the agonies of composing one in front of that disapproving screen.
As I worked up the courage to try again, I thought of something I’d read about Albert Einstein. While working on his Unified Field Theory, which absorbed him for over thirty years, he studied quietly for hours at a time – which, for a scientist, may be much like meditating.
When blocked with a problem, Einstein stayed calm and serene, moving down different mental paths until he found a way around the roadblock.
I went back to the computer more focused and aware of the pitfalls I’d fallen into earlier. Maybe battling a hoogwar was an overly dramatic way of thinking about this, and made it seem harder than it needed to be. Hurrying hadn’t worked, so slow and steady was the plan, checking and rechecking along the way. During the period I was gone, the computer and printer seem to have talked things over, tossed out whatever I’d fed them that they didn’t like, and now were uncharacteristically eager to get the thing done the way I wanted it.
In a very small way, I had triumphed by establishing my own calm serenity, as our philosophy tells us we’ll need to do often with the many upsetting incidents that can arise in our daily lives. I may not be as far along as Dr. Einstein, but I sure felt much better as I finished my job and turned off the computer that morning.
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