The Secrets of Life and Living

Education Environment Health and Wholeness Personal Development Relationships Spirituality What Your Father Should Have Taught You Worldview

My father’s degree was in Mechanical Engineering. He always told me I need to pay especial attention to biology and physics because therein lay the building blocks of the world; the building blocks of life.

Another installment of What Your Father Should Have Taught You.

I you understand physics and biology, my father said, it would give me the basic understanding to make sense of the world and the way it works and to begin to get some sense of people. He grew up on a farm and he never emphasized our superiority over the animals. Instead he quoted the Book of Job from the Bible when it said ‘who are you to say that you are better than the animals. That the soul of man goes up and the soul of animals goes down.’ It goes on to point out the wonders of the animals that God has made throughout creation. Can you soar like the eagle? Hunt like a lion? Strong as a bull? Everything has its time and its own glory.

My Dad was always sensitive to the feelings of others and of animals. Still, he was not a vegetarian. It didn’t translate into some touchy feely idealistic view of life. He was, above all, a realist. He taught me to respect the animal that gave up its life so that we could live – as the native Americans are said to have done. But he said that everything gains life from something else. Either animals or plants must die so you can live. It was the way of things. It happens throughout all of nature and we, although some like to think differently, are a part of nature. We spent a lot of time watching nature videos (“Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and the Wonderful World of Disney – back when Disney was still living up to Disney’s ideals). And he never failed to point out how animals hunted and survived and that we hunted and survived in our own ways as well. We had to hunt for a job, for a spouse, for a place to live, and so on. He always emphasized that we were a part of nature and not above it.

I guess that goes back to his emphasis of physics and biology.

Maybe it was my Dad’s teaching about nature and physics that caused Lieutenant-Commander Montgomery Scott’s proclamation that he couldn’t change the Laws of Physics to be so significant to me. It seems that a lot of people think that we are above nature. Some will point to the Bible where man was given “dominion” over the Earth in Genesis. Sometimes I think the Bible should have never been translated into vernacular. It gets changed. Just as “Thou shalt not murder” has become “Thou shalt not kill” in our poor translations of the Bible, so has “Man was given Stewardship over the Earth” been changed to “Man was given dominion.” Why do our errors in translation always give humanity the broader edge? I have found that most people don’t have a clear understanding of the Bible – as my father did. Instead they know parts. It is a very complex book with the descriptions of many people an how they lived in relationship to the God they understood. It has a lot to say about nature too. Its called “Wisdom Literature” and is part of every living religion. It is those parts that talk about life. Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and portions of other books. My father always emphasized the wisdom of the Bible along with Physics and biology. Integrating them was key to learning the secrets of life. We could learn them by watching animals and nature too.

“Watch the animals and they will teach you. Ask the birds and they will tell you.” – That’s in the Bible too. Whatever God is its the same God that the animals and nature understand. Perhaps they even understand it better than we do. In their own way.

Today, youth (who have a larger energy footprint then my Dad probably had over his entire life -he was born in 1919,) want people to give up flying, driving, or anything else that doesn’t inconvenience the demonstrators but the well greedily charge their electronics off of coal fired energy plants. They will use electronic cars and computers built with rare earths mined by slaves in Asia and Africa but going electric will save the planet – they either don’t know or don’t care about the slave labor. My Dad on the other hand, didn’t engage in public demonstrations but he was very aware of how the world worked. Maybe it was a trait of everyone who lived through World War II. He did, however, plant thousands of trees in his lifetime, care for the soil and animals, garden, and teach his children to respect life. He more than made up for his “carbon footprint,” not because it was a fad, but because he understood physics, biology, and ecology, and he believed the Bible when it said we were stewards of the Earth. And he did what he thought was right…always.

Biology and Physics teach you the fundamentals of existence. Cause and effect. The way things interact. What is necessary for life. It is not something tangential to humanity it is integral to our existence. But people who want to play God forget this.

“The United States can guarantee good weather for the Olympics,” as can other modern nations. But, contrary to their insistence they cannot control the weather. Although most people didn’t pay attention I noticed that ensuring that there were sunny skies for the Olympics in Atlanta included getting the clouds to dump their rain on Tennessee. I watched as Tennessee was flooded and communities destroyed, people died, but the Olympics had clear weather and billions were made. If people remembered basic biology and basic physics (or if they read and understood the Bible even,) they might realize that everything was a trade off. Even the good weather. If scientist claim they can control the weather then they also caused the flooding and deaths – but they won’t mention that – nor take responsibility for it.

If you do A then C is likely. If you do B then D. While life is infinitely more complex than A or B, and so are the consequences, there always are consequences for our actions or inaction.

Cause and effect and human responsibility these are the secrets to living.

Physics, Biology, and the Proverbs of ancient civilizations are the easiest way we can learn them – unless we want to suffer our way through the lessons ourselves. My Dad always advocated learning from the mistakes of those who went before us so that we can skip those.

That was a key point my father made too. We can learn from the mistakes that others made, not only in their actions but in their inactions and failure to act before problems became too great. Inaction can be as big a mistake as taking the wrong action. But nothing is permanent, most everything can be fixed. “He who knows what is right to do, and does not do it, for him it is sin.” That’s in the Bible too.

Everything is cause and effect. All life is a struggle to survive, thrive, and reproduce and then to protect your family. Everything we do of consequence comes down to that….LIFE. I don’t think my father would be pleased with today’s society. There are too many people who say they care but enable policies that destroy life, destroy families, and destroy knowledge that was gained by humanity over thousands of years in complex experiential learning of trial in error. Today, too many discount the wisdom of previous generations, knowledge that people literally died to obtain – in some cases, thinking that they with only twenty or thirty years experience at life are superior to Aristotle, Caesar, Alexander, Cicero, Hegel, or even Christ. They have nothing to learn from these great minds. And, apparently, concerning their insistence that gender is a myriad of rainbows (despite the fact that virtually all of creation is binary,) they didn’t learn anything from biology or physics either.

But you don’t have to live in ignorance. The knowledge of books are still out there. As you know I favor books because I have found too many accounts online being changed (updated is the popular word)…its harder to change books. Maybe that’s why so many tyrants have had to burn them. I say again, what I have said so many times. Buy books, build a library of something other than fiction – largely of books written before 2000 (there have been, after all, more years of knowledge before 2000 than there have been afterward,) and buy a dictionary that was written before 1965 and buy it. 1960S are before they started large scale changing of words and history. Buy books, a dictionary, and learn physics and biology, and read the proverbs. That’s a good start to learning the secrets of life and learning.

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