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Monday, April 11, 2022

47. Oppression




The Lines

Bottom. [6] From the very beginning, it is important that a man see that adversity is an inner struggle, not an outer condition about which he can do nothing. What is essential is how the man handles it. If his character is strong, he faces the situation but remains true to himself. He does not let the problem affect who he is, where he stands, what he aspires to. If his character is weak, he is crushed by adversity. He withdraws from life and is overcome with sadness and depression, which only makes his situation worse. This comes from a mistaken mind set that allows his inner person to be shaped by outward circumstances. A weak man becomes a looter when civil order breaks down, whereas a strong man retains the same moral stand no matter what occurs around him. Similarly, a man must develop a firm inner constitution based on the principles of rightness, not on an unthinking response to whatever happens to him. That is what enables him to stand firm in the face of adversity.

2. [9] A man has a sense of ennui. His material existence is satisfactory, but he is overcome with the drabness and meaninglessness of his existence. He feels trapped by dull routine, with no way out. But when an opportunity arises to work with a powerful and influential man, he asks himself if he is equal to the task? He has lived so long in a dull, boring routine he is not sure he is capable of the vigorous demands that would be placed upon him. He can take on these new responsibilities, but it is essential that he prepare himself mentally and spiritually for the task. He is rusty, and needs to bring himself up to speed. He can do this by reading materials related to this new opportunity, brushing up on some of the recent ideas on working with others, participating in religious and social activities, etc. It would be a big mistake if he were to accept this move without some preparation beforehand. His awkwardness and sluggishness would cause him to fumble around and make many mistakes. But by brushing up on his interpersonal skills, he will do alright.

3. [6] The man is adrift in a sea of difficulties. Nothing seems to work for him, and he remains frustrated and unhappy. Every attempt he makes to better his situation only runs into more difficulties, although these problems could be resolved if he were able to deal with them carefully and sensibly. But that is not his nature. He attempts things that he should be able to see are impossible to achieve. He turns to foolish endeavors that could help no one to succeed and only serve to waste his time and resources. His pointless, poorly organized efforts mean that he has neglected home and family, and they are no longer available to comfort him. The result is, his thoughtlessness and carelessness has brought him to misfortunes that cannot be avoided. His whole life is a disaster.

4. [9] A man is well-off and wants to be a benefactor of mankind, but instead of acting forcefully and with careful planning, he dabbles around and proceeds clumsily, making a mess of things. Naturally, he runs into all kinds of problems and difficulties. Others who are more adept at such things than he try to help, and he feels compelled to follow their advice, even if that leads him in to a new series of problems. In spite of it all, however, things finally work themselves out. His good intentions and his honest wish to help other people keep him on track and serve as a guidepost, and surprise of surprises, he is able to accomplish what he set out to do.

5. [9] A man who is really well-intentioned and wishes to do something to help his fellow man runs into nothing but difficulties. Everyone, whether above him or below him, turns on him and makes life difficult for him. Those in authority who would normally be expected to give him some guidance and assistance do not want to be bothered with him. Nevertheless, the man looks within for his strength and does not give up. He dedicates himself to what he sees as his calling, and remains faithful to his principles. Ever so slowly he is able to make some headway and to accomplish his goals.

Top. [6] The man has been beset by difficulties for a long time, but those problems are gradually beginning to lessen, and he could easily break out of his state of despair, if only he would do so. Nevertheless, he is fearful. He has been spooked by the past. He looks at all the difficult times he has been through and believes that any attempt to move forward now will only bring him more of the same. But on this he is wrong. As soon as he realizes that the situation truly has changed, that the time of difficulties if now past, and that he is free to move ahead, then he will be able to take vigorous steps to accomplish his long-sought goals and to overcome all the difficulties that have for so long weighed him down



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