"My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?" C S Lewis
I do love Lewis, despite not being a Christian myself.
As to his quote, I do this all the time (mostly now in other areas of my life), and it always leaves me feeling frustrated, conflicted, and out of synch with myself and God. And where do I get my ideas? From other people: and not just non-autistic people (who are my default guides to how to live a 'better' life), but also from people who are as out of step with God (or even more so) as I am. The blind leading the blind, indeed.
I compare my "universe" with other peoples', which only serves to confirm my beliefs about myself - that I'm not doing well enough; that I should try harder; that I'd be happy if I did it someone else's way, blah blah blah.
Take, for example, my obsession with the idea of the need for discipline, and more productivity. My personality, my wiring, does not lend itself to consistency - I am, by nature, erratic. I get enthusiastic about something, and want to do it all the time (right now I'm really into posting these quotes - it'll pass, unfortunately). But then, after a while, I lose interest and move on to the next thing (told you it'll pass).
But rather than accepting this about myself, going with the ebb and flow (no-one ever mentions the ebb), trusting that I'll always return to the things which really are my special interests (like writing, and art), and that this is God directing me, instead I compare myself to those people who propagate the idea of self-determination (some of them even talk about "setting an intention" to do something, which makes it sound quite spiritual, but which, on careful examination, often looks suspiciously like self-will to me); who elevate and seem almost to worship the ideas of daily discipline, productivity, and consistency.
Yet I fail, every time, to live up to these expectations and ideas - ideas which seem to be universally accepted as being the blueprint for a happy, successful, and fulfilling life. So, of course, for those of us who fail to follow these guidelines, the natural assumption is that our unhappiness, etc is because we aren't following them, and trying harder to walk this path is the only way to to achieve these goals, and get what we want.
And therein lies my other source of conflict - my relationship with God. As I understand it, I get a choice to either follow God's guidance, or my own; to ask Him/Her/It to direct my life and my thinking (this is where inspiration comes from), or to think for myself (which basically means following other people, because I'm relying on my limited stock of acquired information, nearly all of which originates from them; and which also incorporates my wobbly autistic interpretation of said ideas). So what I want, or think I want (if I even have half an inkling, which I mostly don't), is not necessarily what I need, or what God wants for me.
To me, therefore, if I'm following God, then me deciding what I want to do is in direct opposition to this. The minute I decide I want to be more productive, or more organised, I fall back on my default, narrow-minded understanding of what this means (the one that I have picked up from other people, and which always involves a plan of some sort, even if it's just a mental decision to write or paint every day, for example), and therefore take back control of directing my own life again, rather than turning it over to God to guide me throughout the day.
Being rigid in nature makes it impossible for me to shift focus between any plan for the day that I've made, and trying to let God direct me. Following the plan becomes my obsession.
Along with that, my black or white viewpoint also impedes my ability to see that there might be any alternative interpretations - that there isn't just one way to manifest organisation, productivity, consistency, etc. As my friend Dee frequently jokes, I am actually consistent - consistently inconsistent; I'm also reliably unreliable; and even chaotically organised.
Yet I laugh these things off, and view them as qualities which need to be overcome, because the bar against which I am measuring them is one created by a society which is primarily obsessed with efficiency, productivity, and keeping people under control, and doesn't really allow for creative alternatives. Things which God isn't interested in at all. S/He doesn't want to control me; S/He doesn't want me to follow the crowd. S/He wants me to be free.
So the assumption that the reason I can't find happiness, peace, and fulfilment is because I'm failing to try harder to follow the path laid out by other people, is wrong. The reason I can't find those things is because their path is the wrong one for me: it's too narrow, and it literally leads to unhappiness. Yet I keep insisting on trying to walk down it. And God won't walk down it with me. So there goes my peace, happiness, freedom, and fulfilment, waving to me as I walk away from Him, once again.
"Do you believe in Magic?" asked Colin.
"That I do, lad," she answered. "I never knowed it by that name, but what does th' name matter? I warrant they call it a different name i' France an' a different one i' Germany. Th' same thing as set th' seeds swellin' an' th' sun shinin' made thee well lad an' it's th' Good Thing. It isn't like us poor fools as think it matters if us is called out of our names. Th' Big Good Thing doesn't stop to worrit, bless thee. It goes on makin' worlds by th' million - worlds like us. Never thee stop believin' in th' Big Good Thing an' knowin' th' world's full of it - an call it what tha' likes. Eh! lad, lad - what's names to th' Joy Maker."
From 'The Secret Garden', by Frances Hodgson Burnett
"There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way."
The Dalai Lama
"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."