23 January 1957
Another title for an article.
“When an argument occurs” – Certain influences are taking place. Here’s how it goes.
Opposing views concerning a subject appear, whether between two people or two dozen million people. Here is what is happening: Joe says Jim is a quote sonofabitch”. Okay. Jim says, “The hell I am, you’re the sonofabitch”.
What’s the matter? What is the problem? Why the contrariness of views? Why does Joe call Jim a “sonofabitch”? (Someone up always brings it into an open argument and this is necessary – the mounting feelings and emotions roused may have been festering with irritation or causing discomfort for a long time).
The peaceful resolving of the conflict can only be intelligently appreciated by first getting at the “cause” of the argument. The reasons given by the opponents might be most any idiotic rationalization. The argument would never have flared up if the causes were apparent. So, the constructive method toward solution is to try to pinpoint the problem. Who knows or can analyze all the causes for touchiness in man or beast? But, in practical day-to-day contact, everyday problems of this kind which can call for everyday workable solutions, the everyday surface of the argument needs to be examined.
When Joe say Jim is a sonofabitch (on the surface) what he says: I follow him up on this lathe on second shift. He leaves the machine dirty – or he never replaces what he should replace. Whatever it is. What he means is Jim is giving him a “hard time”. Jim is making it hard for him to do his job. He is not respecting him as an individual.
OKeh! Joe – Now, Jim, why do you snap back with the attack that you’re not a sonofabitch, Joe is? (Mind you, the argument cannot even get off the ground unless Jim snaps back at Joe who starts the verbal attack to the problem).
So, then you get the story out of Joe. Joe didn’t replace or do whatever Jim was accusing him of, but actually it might have started with a simple disregard of Joe’s “rights”. Jim might’ve started the process quite innocently. We are not keenly aware of the “rights of others” in our present a mass society. All I mean when I say “rights of others” is we are not particularly conscious of others – we generally are mostly conscious of ourselves.
Now the problem shapes up.
Jim, too, stated the “argument” or opposition with Joe because Joe was more conscious of the process called “rights of others”, “respect for each other” – better known as the “awareness of the fact that we are not alone in this world”. The world was not made just for us to tread upon. So, Jim just was careless about Joe’s right to be recognized as an individual.
Once the problem is analyzed, it is easy to see how it became compounded into an “explosion”.
Jim neglected to recognize Joe had some rights. Joe was goaded by these actions to become aware of himself – his rights. He decides he needs revenge. He does something he knows will irritate Jim because Joe is conscious of Jim as an individual. In that conscious look at Jim he can quickly pick out what makes Jim conscious of Jim as an individual. So, he irritates him by stepping on Jim’s toes.
This is a deliberate process, but Joe does not know consciously what is happening. He finally prods Jim enough, so Jim is aware of Jim’s identity as an individual. Then Jim starts going through the awakening identity of himself [that] Joe went through. They keep committing acts against each other until they are both conscious of each other – and blazing mad. It is quite a feat to become conscious of yourself and conscious of the other guy too! Most of us are neither very sharply or distinctly. So, an “argument” occurs. And all the whole thing is about is: respect for your own identity and consciousness and respect for the other person’s identity. It has to be both for a complete and harmonious solving of the problem. Most problems, especially everyday differences, don’t need this involved analytical process. But what I have written here is the complete problem in its most elementary, raw, real character or flavor, as I see it. It is an out of focus view between the inner world and the outer world – our personal life and the rest of creation.
“Hell” is when there is no knowledge of, or understanding of something – a feeling, an object, I need, a want, a necessity, etc. And trying to face the mixture of two opposites together when neither can change.
“Heaven” is when the knowledge and understanding is there and used as a basis of mutual cooperation.
The dictionary says:
chastise: to correct by punishment as the parents chastise the child.
chastity is a Christian virtue.
I say: punishment, punishment; it’s all a case of knowing and doing what’s what. Our troubles come from the fact that no human being really knows what’s what, but we all think we know it all and are willing to kick anyone in the teeth if anyone asks us to prove it. We are afraid of producing proof because too often we can’t because we pretend to be what we are not. Some things we are, a lot of with things we think we are, are not at all likely imagine. There is only one perfect knowledge of all things, and that is the knowledge behind what created us in the first place, the source of our being, our existing at all. And I don’t mean being born to her physical father and mother into a physical world.
Physical: relating to nature or natural science; material as opposed to moral or spiritual. Comprehensible is against incomprehensible – fact versus fiction. Understandable as against unable to understand or grasp human mind.
And we are only given to understand what we are capable of understanding – which is a very good thing. If we try to understand what is not for us to comprehend all we can draw is a blank. “Comprehension” is “out of stock”.
We can get mad at ourselves for not understanding. We can weep, pretend we know, get neurotic, anything we like, but there are some knowledges that are “out of stock” for us. Some knowledges come sooner, some come later. But knowledges never come to us unless we are ready for them and until and only if the master creator the master designer makes them available to us human beings, collectively or separately.
We can only do what our Creator asks us to do at the moment – even though we think it means: only doing what human beings ask us to do.
Actually, we are not just on the “human team”, we are lots of teams perhaps and we don’t know what: the natural world about us “team”’ the “universe” around us “team”; perhaps other kinds of teams we don’t even know about. How do we know? We didn’t originate the plays and rules of living or existing as presented by the incomprehensible Master Creator – we just do what is in us to do, spending our energy in the realm of recognizable and understandable activity and so-called “facts”, “knowns”, no matter how simple or sophisticated they are or seem to be.