As part of my PoF studies, I want to ask myself how the main themes of Chapter Two are expressed in my own character.
How do I oppose Nature in thought, word and deed? I can answer that for two of my friends, but it's not so easy to answer for myself.
My friend Ellen, a tiny fireball of a farmer, wields her will like a flaming sword against all the climate-enhanced entropy of the semi-tropical island where she lives. She seems to get smaller every year, as if in the working of her loving purposes into the world she burned off more of her own physical substance than all that fresh cream and coconut could replace.
Ellen doesn't understand why anyone would ever require coffee, or a computer. And woe betide the slow-sitted person who doesn't instantly grasp the relevant parts of her lightning-fast demonstration of some small but crucial household chore!
My friend Rachel is in some ways Ellen's exact opposite. In all her long life she has never learned how to cook. Her opposition against Nature takes the form of extreme compassion for all living things, including each individual in the trail of tiny ants that periodically invade her condominium.
The world is not as Rachel wants it to be, because suffering exists, and because certain old people, who were the shining lights of their generation, are passing out of the world, to be replaced by callous, empty-headed, greedy philistines. Rachel is like Ellen, however, in the way that she burns up her own body in her work, which is now the devoted care she gives her bedridden mother, who is one of those shining lights about to go out.
I can see my friends' opposition against and their unifying with Nature, partly just by contrasting them with myself, which is easy because I have a contrary disposition. When someone is a buzzing bee, like Ellen, I turn into an elephant. When someone else is compassionate toward a whole trail of ants in her sink, I show my impatient, practical side.
Perhaps this almost compulsive tendency to polarize a situation gives a contrary person the experience of many points of view. You have to grasp something of the other person's point of view and thinking, in order to oppose it. This gives you a kind of flexibility just to facilitate your obstinancy. But this grasping can be almost unconscious, due to its semi-compulsive nature.
I've been learning to become more conscious of this grasping, in order to appreciate more fully the other person's point of view, without having to oppose it all the time. My next step is to learn how to see the world through their eyes, and try to think with their thoughts.