This paper intends to explore my thoughts about the fundamental
spiritual basis of all things. I will use as a basic theme my
experiences with machines and other such inanimate objects, because
I have developed much more confidence in dealing with such, and
because their inherent simplicity compared to life creates a useful
Machines, as I have come to know them, exhibit very often quite
human qualities, and I have found that they seem to respond at
optimum levels when they are treated in a loving manner. Since
machines are much simpler than people, it is easier to do, but
the basics apply to both. This involves sensitivity and response
to need. A machine's needs are in general quite simple, and the
symptoms of neglect are easily noticed. For example, the most
frequently neglected needs of machines are probably lubrication
and cleaning. I think of this especially right now, as I am typing
on a machine, which only recently began to cause me much disappointment
by operating very roughly. At first, I was somewhat angered at
the machine; then, I became angry at the people who may have abused
it. Finally, I realized that I must respond to the machine's expression
of need, by diagnosing the problem and seeking the solution. I
found the problem to be simply a need for lubrication of one part,
but I put oil on all apparent points of friction; the result is
now a "happy" machine and a "happy" operator.
Sensing an inconsistency in a machine's operation is only the
first step in the cycle of sensitivity and response. In order
to even sense a problem, there must be a fairly deep level of
understanding, which must come from a long period of enlightened
experience. The diagnosis and correction require even more sensitivity,
as well as plain knowledge about how to satisfy any of a number
What is needed, ultimately, is a basic respect for the machine.
Once this respect is established, it becomes a very natural thing
to treat a machine gently, sensitively and lovingly. The rewards,
in my experience, are machines which respond faithfully and give
fair warning when they are in trouble and need extra attention.
Of course, there is an added dimension of machine personality.
In fact, there may be some machines which, perhaps because of
poor quality materials or irresponsible workmanship, may never
be able to perform reliably. Even machines such as these should
be treated kindly, and used as much as possible; but they should
be given jobs in proportion to their ability and not depended
upon to work every time. Even when they break, they deserve the
right to be repaired if possible, and if not, then discarded with
This discourse on quality brings forth another point: machines
are created to fill a demand, and if the demand is for cheap,
poorly constructed equipment, then that will be produced in increasing
quantity, flooding the market. The outcome of this would be increased
frustration with the machines, unwillingness to fix them, and
more frequent disrespectful discarding, or even violent destruction.
The logical remedy would be to buy only equipment of highest quality,
made from good materials with careful engineering and workmanship.
Such machines would last much longer, and would be easily repaired.
Given sensitive maintenance as outlined above, they would respond
reliably in all cases of need, and eventually receive the love
Whether machines really have a spirit and soul or not is irrelevant
to the intended purpose of this document. I believe that, in order
to love a human being who is equal to oneself, one must first
be able to love and respect all things of "lesser" being.
It is my hope that what I have written will in some way increase
the understanding people have of machines, and as a metaphor perhaps
lend insight to our human interpersonal relations.