Šis skyrelis man pats asmeniškiausias. Išsakau užmojį, prie kurio visą gyvenimą vis naujai grįžtu. Papasakosiu, kaip gilioje vaikystėje pasiryžiau viską žinoti ir tą žinojimą gražiai taikyti. Šį užmojį suprantu kaip savo sandorą su Dievu, ko trokštu iš gyvenimo. Ne Dievas man prabilo, kaip pranašui, ne jis pas mane atėjo, o aš, savo noru, ėjau pas jį su savo reikalu. Štai mano užmojo ištaka, ir manyčiau, joje aptiktina, kas manyje šventa ar pražūtinga, prasminga ar beprasmiška.
Kiek daug man žmonių yra aiškinę, iš aukšto, kad tai neįmanoma, viską žinoti. Ir jų galiu paklausti, ar jie nors vieną dieną skyrė, rimtai pabandyti?
Ir jūs suprasite iš mano knygutės, jog manau man pasisekė, ir nors tuo tarpu žinau ne viską viską, tačiau manau, pagavau esmę, Dievo požiūrį, iš kurio viskas išplaukia, o tai, kad jis svarsto ar jisai būtinas? ir jisai nebūtinas, tuo pačiu ir būtinas, ir visa iš tai išplaukia. O kas mums svarbiausia, tai amžina branda, amžinas mokslas, amžinas gyvenimas, kurį išsako susipratimas, jog Dievas nebūtinai geras.
Ir visgi supratau, kad ne tai svarbiausia mano gyvenime, kad Dievas apie mane sprendžia pagal tai, kaip rūpinuosi kasdienybės reikalais.
Tačiau man atrodo, kad man ir mums kiekvienam duota galimybė rūpintis savo gyvenimo visuma, duotas sąmoningumas, laisvė pačiam spręsti. Tai dovana iš Dievo. Ir manau svarbu ja naudotis, ar geriau ja naudotis, negu kad nesinaudoti. Tad prieštarauju tiems, kurie teisinasi, jog nebūtina dėl to sukti galvos, užtenka, kad Dievas už mus spręstų. Aš nesutinku, manau, mum davė laisvę, kad ją pilnai priimtumėme, ir atsisakytumėme jos tiktai pilnai ją priėmę. Gal tai svarbiausia, ką noriu pasakyti.
Aš reiklus sau, nes aš nenoriu pasitenkinti savimi, kokiu esu, bet noriu gyventi tuo, kuo būsiu, tai juk ne gyvenimas, o amžinas gyvenimas. Ir būdamas reiklus sau, ir jausdamas tapatumą, vienumą su visais, nors ir labai skiriasi mūsų aplinkybės, tačiau manau, iš vieningumo, lygiai taip pat reikia nors kiek reikalauti iš kitų, iš jūsų visų.
Gal kiekvienas mane supras, mano užmojį. Gal tai mūsų visų, aš taip viliuosi.
Acknowledge my assumptions Conversing with: unknown I wish to assume as little as possible. Thus I note the assumptions that I do make. I assume the possibility of God rather than reject that possibility. I assume the possibility of others. By recognizing these as assumptions, I do not take them for granted, but allow that they are simply assumptions, which may be wrong and may be questioned.594 T-0
Appreciating that I am happy As a child I realized that I was very happy, I was very blessed, and as far as I could see, I would always be happy, for certainly I had the means to be. I had a mother and a father, wise and loving. We lived in a wonderful time and place, the utopia of the Californian suburbs of the 1970s, where for miles and miles around all of the people lived more or less the same, with their needs met and each family having a little something more, and people living ever more comfortably in a society that was ever more just. I had a brilliant mind that, as far as I could tell, was limitless in its potential. I was a very good child, able to keep myself safe and busy, keen to do the right thing, as if I had a good seed and it could not be otherwise. I also had enormous will, an exacting conscience, and a fierce ambition to apply myself, especially my mind. I would always have people who cared about me. I appreciated the many aspects of my happiness and, consequently, I could consider, were they my doing?1298 R-1
Appreciate my circumstances Conversing with: good fortune I was born to a loving family. All of our needs were met. Furthermore, we lived in Southern California, where the people around us for miles and miles were also doing fine, it seems. I was instinctively good. I had a fantastic mind. My future seemed bright and unlimited. I appreciated that this was not my doing, that others did not have that, and that I could have easily been born as a different person in different circumstances. Thus, early on, I considered that I must apply myself, my talents and my opportunities on behalf of all.706 T-0
Appreciating that I could have been born anybody As a child, I realized that I was profoundly happy, but that it was not of my own merits. I could have been born in Cambodia, defenseless and left to die or be killed. Therefore I thought that my happiness, gifts and talents were not meant simply to serve me, to keep me happy, but rather, to serve absolutely everybody, for I could have been anybody. How could I serve us all? What would others want me to do?1300 R-1
What would others want me to do for us all? As a child, I appreciated that I could have been born anybody. How could I serve us all? What would others want me to do? Even though I could not ask them, yet I understood that I could imagine what they would have me do, but especially, if they understood my situation. Ultimately, I decided that the best thing I could do would be to know everything and apply that knowledge usefully. As I did that, I kept mindful of others around the world, thinking how my thoughts might be fruitful for them, imagining them rooting for me, and even allowing me to get some rest and relaxation. As an adult, I have even met such people and we've actually helped each other.1301 32-0
What encompasses everything? Conversing with: everything As a child, I wondered how to apply myself. What was most important? I valued knowledge and I thought it was the key to all things. I thought it was important to know as broadly, deeply and generally as possible. I thus chose my quest to know everything and apply that knowledge usefully. Similarly, we can arrive at our deepest value in life by asking, what value includes all of our other values?1221 B1-1
Respect seriousness Conversing with: importance When I was little, our mother pulled us aside one day and briefly taught us about God and Jesus and how to make the sign of the cross. I appreciated that she was very serious and that there must be something real to it if she was so. I couldn't dismiss her utmost seriousness. God must be at least a possibility.771 B1-0
Keep my mind as open as possible As a child, perhaps five-years-old, appreciating the concept of God, and of believing in God or not, I wondered if such a concept might interfere with my thinking. But I asked myself, which would close more doors in my thinking, to accept God or to reject God? I realized that to not reject God was to accept God as a possibility, and thus keep that more or less open either way, whether God was real. Although to accept God as a possibility was, I thought, to accept God as a reality, in that God is real, first and foremost, as a concept. But to reject God was to close that door completely. And so I chose to accept the possibility of God.1225 C2-0
Gal jau tada, gal kiek vėliau - kada sužinojau, jog senelis Kapačinskas nėra mano tikras senelis, betgi buvo kitas, senelis Kulikauskas - kaip ir kodėl užjaučiau bedievius - senelį Kulikauską - žinau, kad jis doras žmogus, nes senelė jį labai mylėjo - jį užjaučiu - jį sušaudė naciai - ir užtat manau, kad Dievas juo pasirūpins - tad ir jisai išgelbėtas - tad turi sutapti mumyse kalba - vidaus kalba - vieninga tiesa - sąvokų kalba - kurią supranta visi geri žmonės, kas tik nori ją suprasti. Užtat ir myliu tiesą, nes ji visiems prieinama, kas tik nori priimti.
Discard the unessential Conversing with: my depths We can ask ourselves, what is truly essential, and discard everything that is not, so that what remains is indeed essential. Descartes doubted everything, and was left with doubting. Kant imagined removing all objects and being left with time and space. 590 B1-0
What must I believe? Conversing with: my ability to believe As a child, I pondered, what must I accept and believe so that I don't go astray in my thinking? and think evil things? I thought I should believe, as Jesus teaches, to believe God, and then also, to love my neighbor as myself, and for good measure, to believe that Jesus is God.1222 B1-0
What does everything depend on? Conversing with: all that follows Jesus taught that the whole law and the prophets depends on "Love God with all of your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" and "Love your neighbor as yourself".1220 B1-1
Existential conversation with God How should I apply myself? Conversing with: God I think of an "existential conversation" with God as one where I don't presume to hear directly from God, but rather, link up my existential situation with God's existential situation, and walk through conclusions based on that.548 B2-0
What would be fair Conversing with: God As a six-year-old child, I engaged God in an existential conversation. I wished to apply myself to know everything, partly for its own sake, and partly to make good use of that knowledge. I was concerned that to seek such knowledge I would need to think freely, which could be very dangerous and lead me astray. I thus offered that, if he let me think freely, even think that God doesn't exist, then on my part, I would always believe in him. 609 B2-0
What would be reasonable As a child, I had made an offer to God, which seemed reasonable, and I felt God's presence, and I wondered if I should have a sign to confirm this understanding. But then I thought it would be wrong to ask for a sign, to look for a sign, to demand a sign, as I might invent a sign, or depend on a sign, and be lead astray. So I told God that my sign would be that I have no sign, and that if he ever meant otherwise, he would give me a sign.1223 B2-0
Choose what is most comprehensive Conversing with: my point of departure I was finding it useful to ask Minciu Sodas leaders, staring with Franz Nahrada, about their "key concept", and better said, their "deepest value" in life. I thought I should formulate my own as well, and finally did, as I was engaging a young man in Lithuania about that. I found it difficult to do. As a child, I had greatly valued honesty, of saying what you truly think and feel, of never lying under any circumstances, not accepting any excuse for that. I also valued knowledge and learning. I thought that the truth was key for all other values to be true. In surveying my values, I realized that it was not knowing the truth or having the truth but living by truth that expressed what I felt important. Life was more than truth, but truth could and must be my key to live my life with integrity. 719 C4-1
mano vertybė - gyventi tiesa
parodyti tiesą, kad ji būtų apčiuopiama, būtų jos modelis
Ievos vertybė - tiesa
Making explicit my circumstances Conversing with: complete stranger As I appreciate that I can assume practically nothing about others, and recognize the difficulty of communicating with anybody, yet I can leverage my limitations. I can suppose that they may likewise have such difficulties; that I know primarily about myself and primarily my own limitations; that I can hope that they do likewise; and that any attempt to communicate will leverage those limitations; and the structure of our effort, the message C from A to B, will be both the content and the form of our initial communication; and that this is a "constructive hypothesis" which we can apply, and to the extent it is by some miracle fruitful, we can build upon.615 T-0
Recognize that I have nothing better to do Conversing with: causes Why do I want to know everything? Why am I organizing the kingdom of heaven? The most relevant answer that I have found is simply that I have nothing better to do.796 20-0
Selecting thoughts Conversing with: my own attention There are so many things to think about, to occupy myself with or be distracted by. I try to focus on those thoughts that build towards a greater purpose. For this reason, I very much enjoy my quest "to know everything and apply that usefully". I take note of any thought that might contribute towards that, but especially, deep ideas, profound ideas, foundational ideas. I thus imprint them in my mind. I often write them down. I look for them whenever I find my mind drifting towards shallow concerns. This helps me conclude what I truly care about.636 C2-1
Survey existing knowledge Conversing with: what is known As a child, when I started my quest to know everything, I was keen to learn all that what was already known, starting with history, starting with the beginning, the Mesopotamians. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any books on them. So then I read about the Ancient Egyptians. In college, I was excited to be able to learn on a deeper, more serious level, but I had to give up the idea or reading everything and knowing it as it was presented. Yet even when I worked independently, I would try to survey relevant fields. My friend Shu-Hong Zhu made me a list of books relevant for decision making and emotion, and in one book I learned of a study of the emotions that mothers interpreted in faces of babies, namely: content, sad, excited, surprised, frightened, disgusted. I then thought through a model of these as emotional responses based on cognitive expectations.722 1-1