Let me apportion my time and energy in proportion to the power I have to influence the outcome. I have no influence on the stars, so there is no possibility of my improving my condition or that of other humans or life itself by my giving any of my time or effort to change them. I have enjoyed modern astronomy and humanity’s exploration of the stars, and it has improved my relationship with reality, but I have been the one to change, not the stars. Likewise I have no power to influence the number Pi, so why should I worry my brain past what I can ever reasonably hope to need or use? 3.14 has always been sufficient for my needs, even though I have known the sequence 3.14159 since my youth. Some of my friends have learned Pi to 100 places, but its usefulness to them seems to have been limited to bragging rights.
How can I offer a prayer to the natural verities of existence except for it to continue as it has done, as it is doing, and as it will continue to do? That is the reality I exist within, and I have no option on that level, so my best behavior is to submit to its behavior. Thus the beginning of The Lord’s Prayer – Our Father which art in Heaven is a good beginning of a prayer if one defines those terms to mean Heaven as the totality of existence, and Father as the processes moving through the realities of Heaven. Hallowed be thy name is fine too if we think of that phrase as the comprehensible mental link we need to think with about these relationships. The anthropomorphizing phrase Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven asks only that things continue as they have done, are doing, and are probably going to do if my thoughts and actions don’t somehow corrupt my local reality. Give us this day our daily bread, is a clear statement for letting reality proceed as it has been doing, or we wouldn’t be here. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, and its variations, throws some responsibility for volitional action upon us, and this is the procedure for creating the habit of forgiving our own debts to ourselves. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil is a request of our own godly inner-self to keep us on a good path in compliance with the heavenly reality defined above. But of course that reality is the one that we are already totally immersed within and can never hope to escape, so this whole prayer is aimed at the same thing the Stoics were living and teaching at the same time as Jesus was saying his prayer. To live tranquilly with one’s own self and in contentment with the rest of the world. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever. The world we totally live within is absolute, and we will live better if we acknowledge its dominance and choose to accept its limitations and opportunities. To seek to live in another world of projected fantasy is that temptation to which we are specifically guided away from. It is the evil from which we may choose to be delivered. Amen.