All a coincidence, or part of a cosmic plan? The Modern’s Man Dilemma.

From hundred and one million little things I have to do today, from hundreds of books lying on my shelves, from many of those I have started reading and left unfinished as the interest wore out for the time being, from few of those that have sparked my interest just lately, I chose to read Carl Jung’s lecturers on Nature, Technology and Modern Life, edited by Meredith Sabini in a book titled The Earth Has a Soul. But, I am not surprised at all about the fact that I choose to reread this book lately and especially that I choose to read it this morning, feeling inside me an urge to get to the bottom of some matters which I was not even faintly aware of, until I stopped reading for an hour or so to drive my son to school. Well, nothing of this nature surprises me anymore.

I learned to live with this sense of urge and satisfy my curiosity, because I know now that at some point down the line things will connect and they will make perfect sense to me as why I made those decisions, as why I was prone to certain choices while dismissing the most obvious ones. Hence, the same thing that occurred over and over in my life it’s now more like a pleasure that builds up the suspense rather than a source of self-criticism, and guilty feelings coming as the result of the anxiety produced when trying to make sense of things all at once. Unfortunately, even the simplest life matters are so deep and complicated that one has to wait and be patient to realize the big picture. Being a small being, with a limited vision and imagination, human lacks this patience, and so easily becomes subject to anxiety, guilt and self-criticism. I consider myself to be the most impatient person in the world, but somehow, there are moments where I find myself rather calm and logical than jumping into conclusions or actions, despite the pressure from circumstances or other people.

Others looked at me as bundle of contradictions, to myself I feel comfortable with every decision I make, at least for the moment I do. But sooner or later, like every other human being I fall into others’ pressure, and become subject of their judgment which then makes me doubt my previous decisions and even blame myself for making them. Yet, as time passes, and after so many sleepless nights, trying to figure out what I did wrong, why I did wrong, and how to fix my previous mistakes, the day comes and I realize that all my efforts to fix the past decisions, and all those sleepless nights I wasted, and all the headaches triggered by overthinking and anxiety were all so useless and waste of energy, because decisions were made accordingly; I just was not able to see the big picture then. I was limited then, when I made such decisions, as there were others who judged me and forced me into second guessing myself. However, as it often happens with every other human being, when further facts start surfacing and matters become clearer day after day, our consciousness calms down in regards to those previous matters, and self-criticism and guilt feelings should therefore stop bothering us. Yet, somehow they still continue to exist. Now this self-criticism and guilt is no longer triggered by the previous decisions we made, which we previously thought were wrong; instead this new self-criticism targets the old self-criticism, the fact that we doubted and second guessed ourselves, our decisions, and perhaps our abilities. But, could all be part of a big plan? If so, then no one should sweat things so much. Shouldn’t doubts and this self-criticism stop being a source of guilt, and rather become a source of curiosity, a source that will drive us to learn the truth about the matters instead of beating ourselves up as why we made certain decisions at certain times?

From my personal experience I learned that all seems like a plan, and I learned that I do not need to call myself an idiot all the time I think I made a mistake, because sometimes those stupid and silly mistakes turned out to be the best things that ever happened to me, while other times did not effect anyone. Hence, all seems like a plan. But, again, one would feel very bad if one would think of themselves as mere puppets that are played according to this plan, therefore having no say on matters and no merits either. Well my friends, this is part of personal growth. You must learn to accept that you are significant and insignificant at the same time, in the role that you play in the matters of universe. It is indeed hard to swallow the fact that we must accept that destiny exists, hence you cannot change it, yet this destiny will not come to fulfillment if you do not make a decision with your own free will to execute this cosmic plan. Because of our limitations to see the cosmic plan or understand it, we then use common sense to make decisions, which many times prove to be wrong and not according to this plan; hence, getting ourselves into more trouble than we thought as we applied common sense. On the other hand, those who do not apply common sense indeed are such a pain for themselves and the rest of us who may have to deal with them on daily bases. We call them idiots. I run into such idiot this morning as I was coming back home after dropping my son at his school.

I was in the underground garage and as the elevator opened up I saw this man rushing out of the elevator, speaking something in some language I did not understand, and I realized that there must be other people in that elevator, therefore I must wait for them to come out before trying to get in. But to my surprise my eyes could not catch in my view any such person until I looked down and saw two little children trying to catch up with their dad. At first I saw this little girl who I cannot say was more than three years old, holding the elevator door, as if another person was about to come out, while looking toward her father and yelling something at him. The father seemed to be yelling back at her in a sense of urgency, that I assumed he was saying something like, hurry, we are late. Sensing the girl’s hesitation to leave the elevator I decided to wait before trying to get in, and just then I saw this little boy barely walking, more like wobbling, trying to get out of the elevator and almost out of breath, because either he was scared that he was the last one out of the elevator or he was trying to run but he could not because he could barely keep his balance while wobbling. And I thought to myself, what an idiot that father was. What idiot would get out of the elevator and leave his kids behind as if they were two adults and therefore he expected from them to understand that they must rush? What idiot could would not understand that children have shorter legs than him, and especially this little boy that could not even stand on his feet without double guessing his sense of balance? Well, this idiot lives in my building and calls himself a father. He thought it was more important to carry little backpacks on his shoulders than picking up his son and getting out of the elevator faster that way, instead of yelling at his kids. This idiot of a father had no common sense that elevator door could close at any time before the little boy would make it out. And if this little boy would have been stuck inside the elevator if the door closed before he made out, then this little boy would have been scared for life, and terrified of the fact that he was left behind, if such incident had to occur. But, thank goodness it did not happen, at least not today.

One must ask, was it pure coincidence that the little boy made it out of the elevator safe and sound? Was it because of his big sister who was just one year or so older than her brother and who actually had more common sense than her father by keeping the elevator door open until her brother made it out? Or was it all part of a plan that these kids were not meant to face such horrors in their lives even though their father is a complete idiot and lacks common sense? You can now argue whichever way you want. And it made sense to me why this morning I decided to read that book, which by pure coincidence I stopped reading on page 98 last night, to just start this morning with that sense of urge on page 99, which covered Jung’s lecture on Archaic Man. In this lecture, Jung analyzes the fact that just as modern man tries to make sense of things by using concepts well accepted by science or that make sense to the modern man, presuming these concepts and ideas as clear and logical conclusions, in the same way, the primitive or archaic man make sense of things using other forms of symbolism, like witches and sorcerers, which for them are as valid and as true as the concepts that modern man uses to derive conclusions.

In fact, reading Jung’s lecture, one can argue in favor of archaic man because at least archaic man always had an answer to every phenomenon, while the modern man does not always have answers, and when modern man does not have an explanation for things, the modern man calls them “pure coincidence.” Hence, today, the fact that the little boy did not get stuck in the elevator and did not get lost in the elevator going up and down the building, today this incident did not happen because it was a pure coincidence, despite the fact that common sense tells us that it was very likely to happen. But, the archaic man would have had another explanation for this, and he would have said that some wizard, or some good invisible energy from earth prevented the incident from happening and saved the son from such trauma. A man of evil intends would use the vulnerability of archaic man for believing into supernatural and invisible forces and would therefore easily manipulate the archaic man into believing and naming such invisible forces as angels and demons, rather than witches and wizards. And that is how religion was born. On the other hand, the man of science that has more common sense than archaic man and understands the intentions of the evil man, a.k.a. the man of faith, he opposes these two by presenting “valid” facts. However, once man of science runs out of facts, he calls events mere coincidences.

The man of science can even use statistics and he calls them facts, and rubs them in your face, in case you want to contradict them, therefore, completely “forgetting” or ignoring the fact that statistics are a mere exhibition of what happened in the past but is never a guarantee for what may happen in the future. Because, based on such statistics, this little boy will barely make it to grade one without an accident that may cause his life with a father that completely lacks common sense that even a three year old was more capable than him realizing what needed to be done at that moment. So, where would modern man stand at this point, when in fact none of the extremes seem to have figure out the matter of coincidences and random events that do not fit the predictions based either on common sense, statistics, or laws of nature. The primitive man at least had an answer that had nothing to do with faith or religion, because this archaic man instinctively believes in his connection with nature, earth and universe. This archaic man never doubts such connection, while the modern man, fused by science has convinced himself that he is just a little speck in the universe.

Modern man has convinced himself that nothing matters more than himself, because once you become aware of your insignificance in this enormous space called cosmos, once you become aware that you live on a ball called earth that seems gigantic to you but so small compare to other planetary objects, then you become aware that anything can happen to you, at any time, any second. You start becoming aware and believing that you are vulnerable and unprotected from random incidents of nature and of other humans. The moment that you believe that everything is a coincidence, and therefore you can be easily screwed by others, then you will start thinking of ways to prevent such randomness from hurting you. The modern man will start making plans, his own plans that take no one else in consideration but himself. The modern man would want to survive in this chaos that he believes science is correct about and has presented enough facts about such randomness and the insignificance of our planet. In such frame of mind, that of a victim, the modern man makes his individual, selfish plans. And we all know that when a person makes plans while in the panic mode, his future decisions and actions will lead this man to self-destruction rather than saving himself from the random incidents that has he was planning to prevent in the first place.

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