Tuesday, May 17, 2016
I wrote when I was very young. I remember driving to work once and thinking some profound thought that should not be lost and I had to write it down. I have now been collecting my thoughts on paper for years. My very old writings which I kept in a large notebook are now long lost. Now 72 years old I still write and have many writings that when read now show how my mind has evolved over the years. The story, “Theory” started over 20 years ago. This story describes a cult, or movement called SI or the “Spiritual Intellectualism” movement. In real life, scientist and theologians argued about a similar movement called the ID or “Intelligent Design” movement. Spiritual Intellectualism came about because the fictional writer of this story took the liberty of trying to show how scientific theories, discoveries, and ideas could help understand the religious stories of creation. Intelligent Design tries to explain how the intellect and design of creation is something that only a God could do. Science says creation is random and is the natural results of the laws of nature. No God or Creator is necessary.
The character of my story wrote a very speculative essay called the “Theory of Creation”. He owns that it’s ideas are just theories and speculations of a way a religious person may understand creation from a scientific point of view. He gave himself freedom to put them together in a way which seemed possible and maybe even reasonable, and ended up offending everyone. I find the bible and science vague. The character of the story reasoned, if God made man in his image, maybe this is where we get our ability to conceptualize a God, to be smarter, reasonable, and more inventive than other species. This may be why we possess the character of God, being able to love. His studies of Genetics inferred that our ability to love, hate, and exercise free-will is through our brain and our genetic heritage. The uniqueness of Man may also be the key to our possession of a spirit which may also lie in the complexity of our genetic makeup. As science makes assumptions, so did he boldly write what his years of reading and study said he was free to think.
Science has a history of theories and contradictions. It readily ignores all the “just right” physics of the big bang, the events of Cosmology, the evolutionary driven extinctions, and the coincidences of nature that make our Earth and life possible from the vastly impossible. Science will take questionable evidence and make theories using terms like; possibly, maybe, perhaps, and even, we don’t know, when their theories are not explained or deviate to various degrees from the facts. Still their theories remain intact and are even accepted and stated as fact without the test of differentiating theory from fact.
Religion is not based on evidence, but is the product of faith. The diligent study of the bible or inspiration creates the foundations of a person’s beliefs. Religion discourages speculation about interpretations of the bible. A choice of denominations or specific factors of belief once made inhibit a person’s ability to freely express himself. The bible is the not something to mess with. Difference is the arbitrator of wars and persecution. The judgement is blasphemy, or heresy, and maybe at best censor.
The story was originally to demonstrate the folly of the man of science and the dogmatic, close mindedness of the religious scholar. It would have been much more complex with the additions of the decades of new knowledge and discoveries of science. The new discoveries of science over the decades of my life are incredible. Genetics, evolution, cosmology, physics, and biology all create a multitude of contentious topics for scientist and religious scholars. In spite of all the high intensity discussion about a man obsessed with science, this story tries to include more. It is resurrected because I have a message to tell about how people are lost by others and how life can bring people together. In the end, perhaps this is, “just another love story”.
Once in his youth he lay on his back in the cool grass, gazing up at the blue sky. The sun peeked through the leaves of the large tree he lay under, sending bright flashes of reflection off the leaves
and a brilliant stream of light through the twisted branches. He lay in thought as he often did. On this day he pondered the beauty of abstract ideas and principles. A topic he often contemplated. The abstract ideas were the ill-defined concepts that were the foundations of virtue, like love, empathy, humility, gentleness, kindness, sensitivity, and honesty. These he felt were parts of the beauty of Man, but were became overwhelmed by the practical principles of the real world. In the reality of principles, the foundations of survival were hard work, material possessions, economics, and goals. The survival of the fittest was the person who excelled in the practical, real world and abstract ideas were an annoying distraction. It was then, at a time of his early youth, that he decided that he would focus his life on the virtue of the abstract and make them the reality of his life. It was not a passing whim, but a reasoned, conscientious, priority in his life, but he was not ready for the consequences this decision he would cost him throughout his life.
The practice of abstract ideas was shattered by everyday life. It was a herculean chore to walk through life, sensitive to everyone and everything around you. It was impossible to live up to abstract standards because they were vague and inconsistent and could not stand up to the test of reality. He remembered the girl they laughed at because she was ugly and clumsy. He remembered the feeling of superiority when he beat his colleagues in class. He more than once lost his temper for infringements of his supposed territories, defined by him as his rights to privacy, fair treatment, understanding, sympathy, and most of all respect. He was constantly challenged to bend truth and honesty for expediency, a battle mightily fought and lost.
He was a failure, but he would not give up.
In the process of his struggles in life, he was introduced to religion. Here was a whole realm of existence that seemed focused on the abstract. Here was support and companionship for his philosophy of life. He learned and was inspired and comforted by the teachings of the Christian bible. He was absorbed by the many principles of behavior and thought he learned. Most of all he was impressed with the character of Jesus Christ. Here was perfection in the practice of virtue. Here was complete victory over the ambiguity in Man. The conquest of sin. The idea that we did not have to be slave to the cruelty and malice that presides inside us. The foundation of a bond with God, and that, that God was benevolent and forgiving. It was a message he had long yearned for. He was no longer alone, joining in the fellowship of the Church.
The message seemed to crumble as illusion when he saw the disparity between the principle and the fact. He saw the evidence of self-righteous arrogance and hypocrisy among the church members, making him feel that the fellowship he initially felt was imagined. There was little discernable difference in his Christian and non-Christian friends. Even more troubling was his study of the history of religions. He was confused by the failure of the church, not only to prevent or condemn the cruelties of Man, but also, to be a large part of them. Where God could forgive, he could not. He did not lose his belief in God, but he lost his connection with the church and soon found himself running from religious endeavors.
His struggles remained. His resolve was weakened, but not destroyed. He was strengthened by the character he saw in the person of Jesus and from that day on emphasized the "building of character" in his life and the goal to be Christ-like.
This meant a specific use of free-will. The will to be anything you want to be. He built character by conscious awareness and repetition, tested by consistency. The abstract ideas of virtue had to be a part of him. They had to be a natural part of who he was, not wishful thinking, not grandiose imagery, not unnatural enforced resolutions, but a real part of his persona. He would practice sensitivity by utilizing intense, conscientious perception of the people around him. He soon found he could "see" many things by conscious effort, and became very good at recognizing the neediness in people, missed by most in casual glance. He would continually judge and modify his behavior and thoughts based on what he knew was right, to try to create a natural purity inside himself. He would review and guard against his failures, always looking for underlying principles. He had control over nobody but himself, and he actively, with enormous resolve and energy kept the idea of character as a priority in his life. Slowly, in time, surrounded always by the distractions of life, he put his character together. It was always vulnerable, it was always open to changes, it was not well formed in some areas, but his character existed with the abstract ideas and higher principles as its' foundation.
There were cost. He had become too introverted and isolated. He was perceived by others as impractical and unrealistic. He was perceived as too quiet, too shy, too non-materialistic, too unmotivated, too meek and too laid back about issues. He was always internally his worst critic. He had set his standards high and was forced to constantly work on his own shortcomings. In addition, it was always hard to watch those around him sort of drift through life without recognition or sensitivity for the people and things around them. It was hard to see world events occur with no process except the practical and necessary. The sellout of people and society to the unreasonable pursuit of rules and laws, prejudices, and cold ruthless, dogmatic standards was so demoralizing and painful. When he realized he could do nothing about most of those things, he further built a wall around himself and kept his mind to himself.
In the privacy of his mind, so focused on a standard of living incorporating the principles of love and righteousness, he turned to looking at the mysteries that surrounded the creation of Man and the universe around him. It was a natural pathway for the internalized, constantly inquisitive mind.
Every avenue of intellectual process only brought about more questions. Every piece of knowledge he could accumulate only left frustrating speculation, with no resolve or insight into truth. He studied and turned to the vast pool of human knowledge to try to gather insight. He studied evolution, astronomy, physics, genetics, and the pyschopharmacolgy of the brain to find out more about the details of creation of Man and universe. He studied the various ideologies and theological theories of religions to try to understand Mans' relationship to God and the predictions of the fate of Man after death. Everything became more confusing and complex, and answers were beyond grasp. It was apparent that intellect was a means to conceive of the concept of God, but not to understand Him. It was apparent that the great advances of science could help appreciate the grandeur of creation, but not explain creation. It was apparent that the limited intellect of Man and his finite time, fell far short of what would be necessary for answers. The fact that “HOW” was incomplete and incomprehensible made “WHY” unattainable.
He was faced with the impossible, but compelled, by curiosity and innate in the nature of humanity to question, to continue his search. His intellect existed to search for answers. He needed to give life meaning and purpose and to know and understand the destiny of Man. He needed to define his relationship with God and answer questions about the immortality of the spirit. His character created a need to justify the idea of righteousness and a quest for answers to explain the beauty of creation.
He was armed with a myriad of facts and theories. He had the whole of history of humanities recorded knowledge as a resource. His fear was that even if he could put the pieces together, like fragments of a puzzle, he would create a picture he could not comprehend. He could never be able to discern truth from imagery, or ever trust an idea he theorized from the data at his disposal. To be able to know was an illusion. To search and expect to find truth was a vanity, but he would strive for answers anyway, that was inside him.
After a long while, he discovered that truth would not be found by intellect or imagination. Everything inside him was conditioned, either genetically or by his environment. Nothing inside him could create a new insight into truth. His mind was too limited and programmed. All he needed was answers, understandable and acceptable to him, inspired from a source beyond his own mind, outside himself. He needed inspiration, he needed belief, and for these he needed the ability to trust.
He went to the mountains, and there, in the quiet solitude of his thoughts and meditation he recaptured the bond of Man and God, that existed with his early ancestors. God’s presence was found in the mist of the beauty and majesty of his creation. He had found his inspiration. It was insight into Mans' creation and trust in his relationship to God.
His death had little impact on anyone, because nobody really knew him. It went unnoticed by the world, but after his writings were found and exposed to the world, the world would never be the same.
THEORIES OF CREATION by Raymond Lockwood
There exist the physical world ruled by the laws of Nature.
There exist the spiritual world ruled by the laws of God.
Creation is the harnessing of the laws of nature to suit the purposes of God.
In the beginning, creation was non-existent. All mass that existed in the known universe was compressed by incomprehensible forces of gravitation to a small singular point. The energy that sent all this mass outward to create time, space, and our universe, and the laws of nature that formed our stars and planets, was utilized to create order from chaos. Existence had begun, with all the building blocks available, and the plan of God was started. The creation of order from chaos is observable from our finite scientific data base, accumulated throughout the short history of Man. Science is the discovery of the natural rules governing this order. The formation of stars and planets, including our world, utilized a series of random events and natural laws, along with the timelessness of infinity, to create order from chaos. The formation of our universe, world, life, and humanity is existence, put together by design, to form the end product as we know it now. The architect of this design is our creator, God.
Life, a creation governed by rules of nature, is the ultimate order, observable and pertinent to Man and his destiny. All life is linked by the complexity and design of the genetic code. The diversity and abundance of life on our world is the product of the versatility of this code and the laws governing evolution. The natural evolution of life by genetic inheritance is the cornerstone to Mans' relationship to God.
Man exist as only one species, Homo sapiens, and is unique over the multitude of diverse species in other life forms. Our intellectual heritage, linked to the genetic process of natural selection and reproductive success, is the fundamental bond that we share with God. Mans' intellect allows us to conceptually recognize the presence and significance of God. Along with intellect is the unique genetic predisposition we have for abstract reasoning. Our link to Gods' purpose is predicated by our ability to love, which is the spiritual character of God.
Love and its' expression are the natural design and divine purpose of our genetic inheritance. It is the foundation of our existence that signals the uniqueness and purpose of the creation of Man by God. It is the reproductive success of genetic mutation, involving the behavior predilection for evil in early Man, that created the ambiguity of character that has plagued our history. The natural order and design of Mans' character of love was corrupted by the unnatural introduction of evil. The heritage of humanity has since existed as a battlefield of Good verses Evil.
The products of evil are not tools for the success of the human species. The rule of nature is disrupted by the destructive power of evil. Survival and the continued dominion of Man on Earth is predicated by the existence of his ability to love and take care of all life around him. The salvation from death of our species, and perhaps, of all life on Earth is contingent on our benevolence, which exist only in our communion with God.
Free-will exist only in Man and is a wonder of creation that separates us from the controlled instinctual behavior of the rest of the animal kingdom. Mankind's behavior is dictated by free-will and the internal exercise of free-will determines our identity and character. Our external conditioning influences our behavior, but does not have ultimate control and ability to subjugate us. Our ability to have choice, through free-will, is our heritage of freedom. The righteousness of our character is modified by our recognition and response to the abstract principles of love, which is God's gift to humanity by his creative genetic design. The willful exercise of our predisposition for love is our hope of survival. Our hope of union with God also exist within humanities genetic predisposition to discovery and willingly surrender to the precepts of Gods' love.
The purity of God demands the control over the evil character inside us, which is now also, a genetic part of all Man. His redemption lies with our free-will. The ability to chose good over evil. The ability to acknowledge Gods' existence, to recognize Gods' plan of salvation, and to accept his truth without intellectual proof, are all a matter of each individuals free-will. These are the keys to an individuals victory over evil.
The spirit also exist within the complexity of our genetic makeup. The domain of the spirit is a part of our genetic makeup, linked to the behavior that predisposes the expression of spiritualism in Man. The potential of that spiritualism is behavior that links us to love, the character of God. Love is the behavior that is our hope to escape from the finite bonds of the physical world. It is within the spiritual world of God that His promise of salvation and immortality lie.
As we were given intellect and the ability to love, we were also given a predilection for existence in spirit, beyond our physical existence. We can see and understand, within the limits of our knowledge, the fact of existence and creation. However, although, we can see the fruits of the spirit, we can never understand or see the spirit. Its' existence in our life is a measure of our Faith. The immortality of the spirit exist as a predisposition because its' survival is mandated by acceptance through free-will, or choice exercised as Faith, to acknowledge God beyond physical evidence or proof.
The vastness and the beauty of creation, with it's seemingly infinite complexity of design, are evidence of Gods' presence. The means and scope of God's creation is beyond our intellectual comprehension and we cannot unlock it's mysteries, but in our quest, our science continually uncovers a physical world of limitless possibilities. Our intellect is our means to discover, appreciate, and recognize the wonders of this physical world and, more importantly, conceptualize it's creator. The bond of Man to all life is through his genetic inheritance. The bond of Man with God is through the natural genetic design that predisposes his ability to love. This was given to early Man and marks the creation of Homo sapiens. This was corrupted by the introduction of evil by genetic mutation. The foundation of evil in Man is distortion of our intellectual process by the deceit of immorality, laying the seeds of doubt and malicious intent. Nevertheless, the presence of God remains prevalent throughout the history of Man through the character of love and God's intervention of our destiny. Our conquest over the nature of evil and our union with God lies in our freedom to find, within ourselves, acceptance, through Faith, of our creator. This is the ultimate meaning and purpose for Man.
"They have distorted the Truth. They will destroy the foundations of our religion. They must be stopped before more damage is done to the faithful people of the world”, said the religious leader to his followers.
"The fundamental beliefs of our religion are at stake with the claims made by the followers of the so-called "Spiritual Intellectualism". Their claims are in direct conflict with the precepts of our time tested beliefs. The doctrine we have long known and so many have laid down their very life for, is being denagrated by false teachings. Our history is filled with the sacrifice and heroism of martyrs, who have died for the integrity of our beliefs. We cannot make a mockery of those lives for a doctrine of nebulous theories. Our scholars find no theological basis for belief in any of the claims proposed by the SI sect. They cannot be allowed to continue spreading their lies any longer", said the theologian.
“We have seen the very foundations of the balance between the State and Religion disrupted by the introduction of the controversial theories by the SI organization. The government cannot tolerate the chaos and disorder this movement is causing. We urge all our citizens to refrain from violence and let us handle the few people involved in this movement. We have alerted the proper departments within government to take swift and effective action. Legislation to stop those behind the development and spread of this travesty to a law abiding society will be strictly enforced. We will do all within our power to support our respectable religious leaders and their congregations", said the politician.
"We cannot allow our faith to be jeopardized by these heretics. They will corrupt our children with their lies.
God will not allow this. They must be destroyed at all cost! They must be wiped from the face of the earth before they corrupt the foundations of our beliefs", said the religious fanatic.
It had started out simple. An article called "Theories of Creation" was published by a small group of people. A group of students at a small college were enthusiastic about the intellectual and scientific basis of the writings and started a study group around the topic. They were joined by others and small debates became large hot issues. When certain religious organizations got wind of the activities, the controversies were glamorized and exploited by the media. The moment of sensationalism started a movement that quickly gained momentum. To make matters worse, the scientific community became very defensive and vocal. When the movement was given the name "Spiritual Intellectualism" by the media, it became a world event. Sides were drawn. None could have predicted the harsh reality that would come to past.
"There have not been many philosophers in the history of Man", said his father. "Each life seems so short and so full of distractions that the individual seldom has time or makes effort to search for life's meaning and purpose. We are forced by the pressures of survival to put practicality over abstract values and principles. We live in the reality of everyday existence, and die in the finite blink of an eye, relative to the time we have on Earth. We draw our own conclusions to our own ideas of the meaning and purpose of life and bring those thoughts to the grave with us".
This was a rare moment. Jonathan's father never said much and always seemed out of touch with the world. His father was soft spoken and hard to hear, so many did not make the effort. His father seldom expressed strong opinions because he always gave too much credit to opposing views, and so, often took neutral ground. Hence, few placed much value in his opinions or even pursued his opinion. His father did not assert leadership or authority, and so, was deemed irresponsible and timid. The world his father lived in was not the same world as the rest of mankind, and he was not much noticed. Jonathan had the privilege of knowing him.
"Why is it so important to know"?, asked Jonathan. Jonathan was aware this talk was a rare moment of intimacy.
"Because we have intelligence and knowing will help us formulate our own life", his father replied.
"What the hell is he talking about"?, Jonathan thought. "I don't understand"? He said.
"If Man knew why he existed and for what he existed, the way he lived his life may change. To not try to know makes life and the values in life senseless and we just live and die in vain", his father responded, wondering if his son heard him or really cared. "Understanding to some degree what meaning and purpose is to our heritage as Man warrants seeking out answers and reasons to justify our creation".
"I never knew my father was so out of touch with life", Jonathan thought. "Does he really think like that? I wondered why he was always so absorbed in thoughts and never taught me much about baseball".
"Dad, is this really the things you spend your time thinking about?" He asked.
"I guess I do." his father answered. "I spent too much time thinking about all these abstract things. I know it, but for some reason that is a choice I made in life. It has not been a waste of my time because I think the world is too caught up in realities. That may be why things are so out of hand in the world as I see it today".
"And you think that knowing why we exist will help the world"? Jonathan asked, knowing he had diverted from the issues his dad was sharing but was still thankful he was even talking to his dad.
"Much of the beauty of Man is in his abstract ideas, like love, integrity, honor, and things like that. Reality has a way of bringing out the worst in Man. We lie and cheat to survive. We murder and bomb cities to survive. We get greedy and want power. We lose our principles because they get in our way. If we can live to a higher purpose, like knowing what our creator had in mind when we were created, then maybe, just maybe, we could live together better and treat each other better", he said wondering. He had hoped that some of the lessons he had learned in life would rub off on his son.
"Yeah, we are sort of caught up in things aren't we"?, Jonathan responded. “This is really some deep thoughts in my father”, he thought. "Do you really think that answers exist"? He said.
"They exist but they may be beyond man's intellect or ability to understand. Still, we should try. I always have.", he had given his son a key to himself with this response. “Was his son even interested”? He thought.
"Yeah, but who has time?", the son answered, not having given the idea much thought himself. It had intrigued him that his father thought like this because his father had always kept thoughts to himself, but he had missed the subtle message his father gave of his strong desire to share.
The conversation ended like this. It was one of the few times Jonathan had a deep one on one conversation with his dad. The episode hung in his mind like an old photo of locked in memories. He had missed the content of the conversation, but was moved by the fact that his dad had attempted to share the intimacy of his thoughts with him. However, it was the content of this talk that would come back and consume his life in later years. Meanwhile, Jonathan had better things to do.
Jonathan and his brothers were really influenced by his father, although they didn't realize it. Their daily life was run by their mother and their daily living was surrounded by her. His influence was very subtle in their lives and it wasn't until he died and they read what he was really about that they realized and became appreciative of who he was. It was when they read his writings that they saw the character of the man they had lived part of their lives with and had not really known. It was because of his writings that he became a major influence on them in thier later life and was to be a major part of their destiny.
The subtle influence of Jonathan's dad on his kids was the product of his quiet, peaceful nature. He was always in such quiet control that Jonathan and his brothers received very little discipline from him. His perspective about things was broad minded and reasonable, and he handled situations calmly and gently, never with anger or violence. He gave them their freedom, and encouraged and nurtured the parts of them that was a reflection on their character. He spent little time telling them what to do or how to act, but took great interest in their world and all the parts of their life. The brothers grew up very independent and free-willed. They had the freedom to take responsibility for their own lives and it gave them the self assurance to chose and act for themselves.
Their mother was also a product of his father’s subtle influences. Her respect and admiration for her husband was apparent. She was the only one who really knew who and what he was, and she defended him as best she could from the misunderstandings that surrounded his actions and motives. She saw his beauty and was hurt by the shortsightedness shown to him by the world around him. She was the product of the abuse of the world before she had met him. She had been brought up in a strict, controlled home and seemed always victim to people telling her how to act and feel. He had liberated her with the same freedom he gave all around him. It was because of the abundant room and respect he gave her that she was able to find herself on her own terms. She was always grateful to him and attributed the peace she had found within herself to him.
This pair provided the best of care for their kids.
When Jonathan was 24 years old his father died. It was then that his mother decided to make sure that his kids would get to know who their father really was. She approached them shortly after his funeral.
"Your father once said that the beauty of life is in the abstract principles, not in the practical realities in life. He coveted these abstract concepts all his life and believed the value in Man lies with these concepts and their relationship to the character of God.", their mother said.
“He spent a lot of time thinking about these things, and I believe, even trying to live up to these concepts", she continued. Jonathan remembered when he had once tried to talk to him about his thoughts and he had written him off.
"He wrote down some of his thoughts, and I think you owe it to him and his memory to at least read some of them. Still, its' up to each of you.", she said. It was obvious she would never be over his death, but the firmness of her request made each of them know the importance of their decision to her.
"Thanks mom, I really want to read them". Jonathan said sincerely, his brothers also immediately assuring her of their willingness also.
To their surprise, she handed them a folder full of typed and handwritten pages. She was ready and was visibly moved by their quick acquiescence.
"He didn't date or have order in his writings. They're sometimes hard to read, but if you struggle through them I promise you, you will know your father better", she said.
Jonathan looked at her. He could see that this was really important to her because it brought a part of her husband back to life. She was truly his soul mate and Jonathan wondered about all the things he didn't know about each of them. He had taken for granted the naturalness of their love and respect for each other. Jonathan also had not know of the deep loss he felt for his dad until that moment. He knew he would honor them both by making a point of her request.
They didn't know until later what an impact their commitment would play in their life.
The writings revealed an invisible side of their father. They were ideas and concepts dealing with his search for answers to his life and philosophies. There were notes on scientific theories dealing with astronomy, genetics, evolution, and the biochemistry of the brain. There were writings about religious concepts and about the history of Man and his struggles with abstract principles, like love, beauty, character, integrity and free-will. There were examinations of the concepts of righteousness and malice, and the battle that exist within humankind and in individuals. They were the writings of a man searching for meaning and purpose, not only for his life, but for humanity. They reflected a man searching for truth, armed only with his intellectual process and a willingness to make an effort that consumed his life. They reflected a man of reason, attempting to create himself from his philosophy, "it is within us to become the best we can be".
The brothers learned about their father from these writings. His obsession with an idea he came to early in his life, "that the beauty in Man lies in abstract principles, not in the practicalities of life", was a reoccurring theme that drew him away from the reality of every day life. His character and actions were a validation to his philosophies. A philosophy was not valid unless it was lived, and he struggled to make those abstract principles become a part of him.. They could see him because he was able to make the things he thought as beautiful a part of himself.
They knew now why their mother wanted them to read his writings. Their father was a quiet, humble man, and the world could not see or recognize who he was. The finer qualities within a person are not easily seen, like kindness, gentleness, honesty and sensitivity. Their father was all of these and more, but was buried in the noise of the world. By the standard of survival in today's society, he was judged timid, unrealistic, too easy-going, irresponsible, and unmotivated. Beauty unseen, beauty unappreciated.
His latter writings focused on his search for meaning and purpose in life. He felt that if we could answer the question of what we are, we might be able to get insight into why we exist. If we could know why we exist, then we could live our lives with focus. The vanity of meaningless repetitive wars and religious beliefs, prosperity and poverty, health and disease, and life and death may be resolved. The value and quality of life could become better with answers. It was a quest worthy of effort.
After a time, the brothers discussed his writings. They were all greatly affected by what they read and each had spent considerable time on them. Jonathan and Paul, who was two years younger than Jonathan, and Jason, the baby of the family, being born five years later, rarely spoke of deep issues among themselves. Their ages and maturity level were too different for them to ever find common grounds for discussion. All were well on the way with their lives. Jonathan and Paul deeply entrenched in college, and Jason just starting. It seemed the first time they had interacted with each other as equals and the intimacy they shared with their dad's writings created a profound sense of brotherhood.
"It's really weird", said Jason, who always had something to say about everything, "I would have never guessed dad was so deep".
"I know", said Paul, who was always the most quiet of the three. "He was pretty impressive, the way he explained and thought out everything".
"Mom said that he didn't share his writings with anyone, even her", Jonathan added. "She always knew he was deep and to himself, but even she didn't read all his writings until after he died"
"But she really knew him pretty well, didn't she"? Jason responded, not entirely sure after what Jonathan had said.
"She said she knew him, but not about all his philosophies and ideas about life and creation. He really did all that thinking for himself. It was his way to know and improve himself", Jonathan said. He was closest to his mom, especially after the funeral. She had spent time talking about his dad to him a couple of times. The writings had really drawn all of them closer together.
"What did you think about his theories of creation"? asked Paul.
"Incredible!", Jonathan quickly commented.
"They are kind of scary, too. I wonder how he came up with them? I saw his notes and he really studied a lot, but they don't really give clues that could lead up to those theories. I also didn't know dad was so religious", Jonathan added. He had seen his father's religious character, but his father didn't go to church and was very quiet about his faith and beliefs. Still he could tell from his writings that his father had a natural, unquestioned faith in God.
"You know, it's weird, but I think a lot of his writings kind of lead up to his theories. The creation stuff has a different tone than his other type writings. They seem to come from nowhere but contain the elements of his studies. I wish he was here to explain them to us". Jason said. He was as mystified by those theories as the other brothers were.
"Dad had written that answers to questions would not come by intellect or imagination, but by inspiration. Maybe that was it. Maybe he sought inspiration to resolve his life's quest for truth"? Jonathan responded
"You know, maybe we should show them to someone"? Jason asked. "What do you think"?
"I guess so"? Jonathan responded. "What about you, Paul"?
"Okay". Paul quickly added. "Maybe a minister or something"?
The innocence of that conversation could never forecast the turn of events that were to come to past. Coupled with the naive and innocuous manner in which they pursued the topic, was the purity of their intent to discover more about their father. Each pursued separate paths for opinions of their dad's theories, each with differing and astounding repercussions.
Jason was excited to share his dad's theories of creation with his bible study group. He knew from experience that it would spark some pretty energetic debate. He was surprised to find it did more than expected.
"That's garbage", said Jim, one of his most outspoken friends of the group. "There is absolutely no biblical foundation for most of the writings. It is a lame attempt to put together modern science and biblical precepts".
"But I find it interesting", said Barbara, with characteristic opposition. "It's really hard to just forget your intellect and blindly believe unbelievable stories. Read it again!".
Jason read it again. The group listened more intently, trying to capture the complex essence of the writings.
The group consisted of Jason's friends from high school and church. They were all about his age between 19 to 21 years old. All were interested enough in religion to be part of the weekly meetings. Barbara, Joanne and Christy were the only girls, surrounded by Jason and five other guys Jason hung out with. The group was cemented by Jim and Christy, whose solid religious background kept the group in focus, and more importantly, together. Though the others did not share Jim and Christy's deep commitment to their Christianity, they were still extremely interested and involved to various degrees.
"Wait, a person can't just throw around theories about creation and not take the bible and our fundamental beliefs into account. These things contradict what the bible says and are dangerous". Jim responded, immediately after the second reading. This time it was obvious that he was somewhat shaken by what he heard.
"Is it all that contradictory? I mean, I believe in evolution and genetics and don't think they contradict the bible. I agree I don't understand a large part of it, but I like the fact that it acknowledges God the creator and asserts the necessity for Faith". Jack said. Jack was always the skeptic on many issues, but the definite intellectual of the group.
"Where is Jesus? Where is Adam and Eve? Where is Genesis"? asked Christy. "Still, I like the parts about surrendering to God's love and acceptance through Faith. Where did you get this"?
"My dad wrote it", Jason responded. Not sure about acting with pride or embarrassment over the issue.
"My dad was very religious, and these writings are intellectual theories he wrote before he died. I am not defending or condemning them, they are theories, his ideas. I think they are very insightful in some ways". Jason added, deciding on the offensive.
Against the judgement of Jim, the group went over the issues in the writings one by one. The diversity of opinions was unbelievable. Nobody could have predicted this response. The group lost their unity and was polarized by the needs of the individuals to have their diverse opinions heard. Everyone seemed to have opinions. Everyone quickly formed, either a strong offensive or protective defensive stand. The most prevalent phrases were, "That's not in the bible", "maybe that could be true", "The science seems sound", and "Where did he come up with that"? It could have been fun and interesting, but emotions were too intense and the group broke up frustrated, exhausted, and definitely stimulated.
Paul took the writings of his father to a minister. He was cautious and reluctant as he approached the subject because he knew he carried a loaded gun. He, personally, was open-minded about his dad's theories, but anticipated a strong reaction from his minister, whom he respected as a firm, somewhat conservative leader of his church. The reaction was more than he expected and like Jason he was required to spell out each aspect of the writing, repetitiously.
"My dad was always into studying science and was a very humble Christian person", Paul stated, defensively. "My brothers and I were not aware of his writings until after he died. My mom insisted we read them out of respect for him. And we did. I was wondering if you could give me your opinion about one of his writings, called, "theories of creation”?
"I'd be happy to", replied Pastor John Ellison. He knew Paul as a quiet, friendly, polite and respectful young man, who was not very active in church but was usually there. Paul and his brothers were part of the church, but he didn't think he ever met their father. The youngest, Jason was fairly active with the youth group, but he had not seen Paul's mother or older brother for a long time.
"Thanks", Paul said and immediately started to read.
"My brothers and I never really knew my dad thought about such things", Paul said to break the uncomfortable quiet that followed his reading. "This may not have been such a good idea", he thought.
Pastor Ellison was stunned. He had no idea he was getting into this type of thing. He was a committed Christian almost all his life. He studied the bible well and preached with authority. He was comfortable in his role and felt the security of his beliefs. He knew he needed to respond cautiously, and for this youngster before him, clearly.
"You said your father was a Christian, didn't you"? He spoke after a moment.
"Yes, I think from this and his other writings, that he was a very strong Christian, with a strong belief and faith in God.", replied Paul.
"I can see some of that, but he seems to also be very scientific, and there has always been some dissension between the bible and science. I would tend to want to be very careful about theories that try to combine the two. Could you re-read some of his writings and we'll go through it more in detail"? Pastor Ellison responded. He was actually getting pretty excited about the prospect of matching his theological expertise with these seemingly very erudite, controversial theories.
"First of all is that these theories are not very biblical. Creation is stated very differently in Genesis and your father's accounts of creation are more scientific and very speculative". He continued, as Paul read specific segments of the writing at request.
Paul could see the minister picking up momentum as he spoke. He remained silent and only read when requested, without giving his opinions, or challenging anything the minister said.
"The link of Man to God through genes is pure nonsense. There is absolutely no indications in the bible about this or the possibility of this. He also goes even further by interpreting the fall of Man to sin by genetic mutation. And then, to link spiritualism to behavior, controlled by what he calls "genetic makeup" is pure speculation.", the pastor was on a heated roll.
"I think these theories are unfounded and contradictory to Christian beliefs. I think they may be dangerous and, maybe, they should be destroyed before damage is done. In any regards, I don't care to hear more", Pastor Ellison concluded. He was now visibly shaken, though he was trying very hard to down play the emotions that ran rampant in his mind. "My God, he thought. "Where did he come up with these ideas"?
"Thanks, pastor", responded Paul, anxious to leave. No way did he wish to respond to the anxiety he could see in the minister. He politely thanked him again and said he would think about what he had been told.
The experiences of Jonathan was quite different from Jason and Paul. He shared his father's writings with his friends in college. Jonathan was not well suited for the freedom of college life. His friends were classmates, which shared the intensity of study and class projects together. Their relationship was centered on their common ground of their major in science, being, mainly, the undergraduate classes of biology, chemistry and physics. There was little social interactions in this small group, of what could be termed scientific nerds.
He first shared the writings with his roommate, a shy, introverted, intellectual competitor in all his classes. This was not a topic or type of personal sharing they ever did. Jonathan was uncomfortable, but really wanted to know the opinions of his classmate, Jerry.
"Jerry, you know when my dad died, my mom made us read some of the things my father used to write about. He wrote this one paper on theories of creation that was pretty far out. My dad studied a lot and was pretty deep and I wondered if you'd be interested in hearing about his theories? They're pretty scientific, but also religious", Jonathan said. "How about I get you a beer and read them to you"?
"Sure", responded Jerry. He was pleased to have an opportunity to get to know Jonathan a little better. Jonathan had always been a quiet, reserved type. Very hard to get to know. He certainly had never spoke about his dad before.
"Its pretty complex, but short", Jonathan responded, wondering if he was asking too much of his friend, or if his friend would think his dad ridiculous. He began reading, slowly.
"Now that's really something", his friend replied, after Jonathan had finished. "Did your dad really write that? I don't think I ever heard anything like that before. What kind of man was your dad, a minister or something?"
"No", responded Jonathan, rather pleased at the obvious interest. "He was just a guy who worked all his life as a car mechanic. He was a great father, but kept pretty much to himself".
"He sure was deep", Jerry said.
"Yah, I guess so. I really didn't find out until I read his writings, after he died. I remember he once tried to talk to me about things, but I didn't listen much", Jonathan continued. He was embarrassed that he had not known his father better, when he was alive. He would have loved to talk to him now.
Jonathan read the writings again at Jerry's request and they discussed all the aspects and implications in a very intimate fashion. Jerry's interest intensified the more they got into the fashion his dad had interwoven religion and science. He shared with Jonathan his skepticism of religion, but said he was still open and ready if he could get beyond doubts. It was the greatest of time they shared together, for they both shared their beliefs and feelings. They began to know each other for the first time.
"You know, some of the others may be interested in your father's writings. Would you be willing to let them hear it"? Jerry asked after a time.
"Yah, but it's a little awkward. You set it up and tell them beforehand what their getting themselves into so they can say no easily, okay”? Jonathan cautiously responded. The dice were thrown.
The group of classmates got together, rather eagerly, to Jonathan's surprise. Jerry had spread the word quickly to their friends about a discussion to take place in the library's conference room. The topic: "A Theory of Creation" by Raymond Lockwood.
Jonathan was taken aback by the proceedings. He had supposed an informal discussion with his friends, much like the great talk he and Jerry had shared. Instead it was more like a presentation, with his friends and a few others he didn't really know. His friends had brought friends, and others had heard and were interested. Still, in his shyness, Jonathan was intent on making sure this did not get blown out of proportion.
"I'm sorry, Jon", said Jerry, knowing Jonathan did not want this much response. "I only told a few, informally, and I didn't expect this either".
"I guess its too late now", Jonathan said with resignation. "Could you make some copies of this paper for whoever asks"?
The discussion started. About 15 of them. Most were close friends, but the others were intimidating to Jonathan. He wanted just a friendly discussion of opinions, not argument, and certainly, not judgement. After he had read his fathers's writings the first time, it was apparent he was going to get more than opinions, arguments and judgments. He found that tampering with a person's basic beliefs was a very intimate and emotional experience, and emotions ran high that day.
"I thought this was going to be about creation, not God", said one of Jonathan's friends. "A lot of us here don't believe, or don't know much about religion. This stuff isn't science, it's theology". Jonathan recognized him as one of the top students in many of his classes.
"But it is about creation", argued another classmate. "The modern concepts of creation are an integral part of the paper, but God is acknowledged as the creator. I think it's pretty neat the way the two are integrated into a somewhat coherent theory".
"But it doesn't fit in with the pure scientific views on creation by adding the element of God, nor does it fit in with the biblical accounts of creation by adding current scientific facts", said somebody.
"It's not coherent, it's against the concepts of creation by God, as I've always believed them. I think his theories are nonsense".
"I've always tried to believe the bible, but things like evolution and the new discoveries about the universe and it's creation have always confused me. A lot of these ideas make more sense".
"I think this is about a man who tried to make sense out of science and religion".
"I think this may be about a man who is just adding confusion and controversy to an already confusing issue in the bible".
"But it is an attempt to try to understand Man and God’s creation on an intellectual, scientific basis. Some of it seems kind of way out, but at least someone tried. The author seems very religious and scientifically knowledgeable”.
"No, no, no, this is heresy"! the shout stilled the quickly building dialog.
Jonathan was disturbed by the controversy his dad's writings had caused. He wanted to discuss the theories not argue the topic of science and religion. He had been naive to expect reasoned intellectual dialog. He was getting an unwanted, ever progressive, heated argument. He tried to slow things down He tried to keep things in perspective.
"Hold on, listen. My dad was a very religious and intellectual man. He studied a lot about science and other things. I don't think he ever meant his writings to be shared, but were probably just a way he tried to explain things for himself. Remember, he wrote them as theories", Jonathan spoke up, much louder than he usually spoke. This was startling to those who knew him better.
It didn't work. The conversation again rose to heated comments with emotions and frustrations elevating. Ideas and opinions were in abundant supply. The group tore into the writings and into each other with reckless disregard. In the mist of this chaotic atmosphere, were a small minority of 3 or 4 who said nothing, but just listened. Among these few were the seeds of blowing this small meeting to proportions not imagined by any in the group.
"It was five years ago", Jonathan stated. "It was shortly after my dad died, my brothers and I talked to a few people about his writings. There was some controversy, but it seemed to have died down. After my brothers and I talked, we decided to drop the matter".
"Didn't you know that the matter wasn't dropped"? the reporter persisted. "Your dad's writings were passed on. How did that happen"? The reporter was from a small liberal paper and had been assigned the task of looking into the origins of the "Spiritual Intellectualism" movement. He had traced Lockwood's paper to his son.
"I think I did it", said Jonathan, realizing that he had given copies of his dad's paper to a few who had attended his discussion. He didn't give the matter much thought at the time. He briefly explained to the reporter about the responses he and his brothers had got.
"A few people asked for copies of my dad's paper after we had discussed it in a small meeting with a group of my friends. A few people I didn't know were also there", Jonathan continued. "I didn't think it mattered much".
"Was a Jenny Richards there"? the reported asked. "She seems to have talked to others and passed on copies of the paper. From there, someone printed it on the internet. That's all it took for the word to spread. Didn't you know this"?
"No, I was busy with college and had put the matter on hold. I remember my brothers and I had felt pretty intimidated by the discussions we had about my dad's writings and we decided to keep things to ourselves from then on", Jonathan said.
"Probably smart", the reporter quickly responded. "But nevertheless, they did get exposed and in a big way. Many people picked up on the writings and responded. Over the years, dialog about your dad's theories have created quite a stir, not only in religious circles, but in the scientific community as well".
"An organization called "Spiritual Intellectualism" or "SI" for short got started. They were immediately confronted by other organizations, mainly religious groups, but also a few outspoken scientific organizations and even politicians. The situations starting to get pretty ugly now", the reporter explained. He could tell that Jonathan didn't have a clue about what was going on.
"You've got to be kidding", Jonathan interceded. "I have studied my dad's writings and I know he just wanted to somehow try to make sense out of the facts he knew about science and the beliefs he had about God. I know he wouldn't have wanted people to take his ideas and turn them into controversies, or especially have them get out of hand. This is ridiculous"!
"Regardless", the reporter responded. "That is exactly what seems to be happening".
Jonathan had heard enough. He dismissed the reporter and called his brothers.
Jonathan and his brothers had all gone on to college. They had grown closer through their fathers writings, but did not keep close touch with each other. Jason had gone into the ministry and now had a small church in a small suburban community, not far from home. Paul had graduated and taken courses in physical therapy. He was married with a small son, the only nephew, and worked in the medical center near their mother's home.
Jonathan was the one who shared his father's interest in science. He had gone on to graduate in genetics and was specializing in behavioral genetics. The intimacy of the profound revelations in his field of study drew him closer to realization of the implications of his dad's theories. As he had read and studied about his father's search for answers, he was also caught up in the same questions and mysteries, and had formed a bond with him that kept his father very much alive in his mind.
Jonathan was like his father in other ways. As he studied his father's writings and came to know him better, he formed a deep respect and admiration for the man he had not known, while he was alive. In his writings, his father had written about principles and he had incorporated them into his life. In his writings, his father had written about character and had worked to form his character along the lines he reasoned as beautiful. In his writings, his father had defined a way of life, patterned after the concepts of righteousness and his religious beliefs and had actively pursued that life. The recorded struggles, frustrations, and failures only made his dad more real and his accomplishment more astounding. Jonathan took his father's writings to heart and modeled his life after him, as best he could.
"Jason, call Paul and come to my place. We need to talk." Jonathan solemnly said. His tone was an instant alert to Jason.
"What's up, Jon", responded Jason. "You sound serious, is something wrong?"
"Yah, I just talked with this reporter and he said that dad's writings about creation are causing problems. We need to talk. Come over as quickly as possible", Jonathan stated, not hiding his rising anxiety.
When his brothers came to talk, Jonathan described his conversation with the reporter. He could not hide the anxious premonitions he felt. The brothers responded with the same contagious alarm that Jonathan conveyed. Jason had heard the term "spiritual intellectualism" before, but had not related it to his dad's writings, or given it much thought. Paul was like Jonathan and was surprised that the innocent inquiries of their past were still around and had gained any attention. He also had misgivings about what they may have started, but it was Jason who showed the most reaction.
"Did he say what religious organizations"? Jason asked. He had suppressed his personal thoughts of his dad's theories all through his college seminary classes, but well knew the religious history of mankind and the malicious forces of tampering with beliefs.
"No, I didn't ask", responded Jonathan. "I just wanted to talk with you guys after I had heard what was happening. I instinctively didn't want to discuss things with a reporter".
"What do think is going to happen", asked Paul. He had also suppressed his father's writings in his life. His interest had focused on work and family, and he, like the others was forming a growing picture of apprehension and concern. His thoughts were on the preservation of his world.
"We know dad wrote his stuff for himself", answered Jason. "He certainly didn't want this kind of thing to take place, and neither did we. There must be a way to try to keep this in perspective".
"I told that to the reporter", responded Jonathan. "But I don't think it's in his or our hands. We better see how far this as gotten, fast. You guys need to know that I was the one who pasted out the copies of dad's writings, I'm sorry".
The brother's alarm was soon justified when they found out what was happening behind their backs. The internet had a complete copy of Ray Lockwood's "Theories of Creation", available to anyone. The group of "Spiritual Intellectualism" had sprung from the "talk rooms" and dialog generated on the internet, from which the term was coined. The "SI" groups had evolved, initally in colleges, but was gaining momentum in other intellectual circles. The movement was strongly criticized and condemned by many religious organizations, initially the "creationist" and eventually into the more conventional religious groups. The seed they had planted was germinating
The brothers were appalled at the reactions, but could not have been ready for what was to happen when the media took over.
The cool, still night was disturbed by the muffled whispers of men, dressed in dark clothes, quietly moving in the darkness of the moonless sky. Each carried a deadly bottle, filled with gasoline and soaked rags. On a signal, they ignited and threw their bottles through windows of the small house before them and ran to the waiting car. The quiet of the night was shattered, the darkness lit by the flames, scourging rapidly throughout the house.
The crash of shattered glass woke the elderly lady. Startled by the noise, she lay still, immobilized by the quickness of events. Her senses immediately alerted her to the sounds and smell of fire. As she moved to the bedroom door, she was met by the sickening heat of the fire that raged throughout her small house. Flames and such intense smoke and heat reached out to her. She collapsed to be further fuel for the liquid fire.
The war had begun. The innocence and naivety of Jonathan and his brothers were completely shattered with the death of their mother. They had tried hard to stay out of the controversies and arguments that raged around them. They had learned their lesson well when the reporter that Jonathan had spoken to wrote of the Lockwood's involvement with their dad's writings and exposed them to the world. The small article was picked up and spread throughout the media network. The small news of a relatively small group became big news and "Theories of Creation" was public and exploited. The Lockwood family was forced to resist the inquisitive hoards. At first, it was impossible to hide from the media hounds. The family's only defense was that they really were not a part of the SI group, or a part of the theories of their dad, at all. After a while, the news lost interest in them, because they were not interesting, and life became easier.
The shocking death of their mother drove a spike into the hearts of the Lockwood brothers. They had become victims and were forced to respond and survive. Their naive innocence had destroyed their lives and they were force to hide their identity within the vastness of the world. The brothers and their families each scattered to protect themselves and their families, vowing to never lose each other, or to mention their father, or his writings, to others.
However, the worldwide exposure was rapidly turning the issues into a war. Sides were being drawn, even for those who had no real opinion. To remain neutral, or open, was not acceptable by many. Factions within the religious community defended their beliefs by being intolerant to any stand on spiritual intellectualism, except total rejection. Scientists, who were only concerned with pure science and not religion, were faced with the same condemnations as the SI groups. If you were not outspoken against the "theories," you were against them. If you were open to any aspect of the writings, you were against them. If you defended the writings, or were connected with the SI in any way, you were the enemy.
The pressurized political community and the consolidated religious community quickly squashed the "SI" movement. The organized strength of the opposition met no groups of resistance. None could or would defend "theories" against the outrage of the strong resolve of the religious leaders and the compliant public servants, the politicians. Even the "free" media could not withstand the concerned public pressures to keep the issue open and reasonable. The assassination of the one lone member of the Lockwood family was a symbol of the ultimate repercussion of resistance, and none would dare realistically seek out vindication for its injustice. The Spiritual Intellectualism movement soon disappeared from public notice and was soon lost to the continuous trauma of world events.
In time, the Lockwood family rejoined the world. They were not the same.
For years, Jonathan was besides himself about the death of his mom. He blamed himself and could not resolve the issue of his guilt. His brothers were concerned, but were unable to reason or convince Jonathan of his innocence or lack of responsibility for the malicious acts of a few. In some ways the total responsibility Jonathan took, and the arguments they used to try to placate Jonathan, helped them come to terms with their own issues. However, they could not reach Jonathan and he, ultimately, needed to come to grips with his problems on his own. Time became the great healer. It was a band-aid not a cure. The effects of the incident were to form his life.
Jonathan resembled his father. He was tall and lanky and, like his father, had strongly chiseled features of character and experience on his face. More significantly, he was like his father in other ways also. His experience with his father's writings had molded his persona. He had incorporated into his character the same inquisitiveness and philosophies that he had learned from his father's many writings. He shared his father's love of science and exploration into the issues of human mysteries and the same passions as his father had, stirred within him. His need for justification of the fate of his mother spurred him to even greater, more energetic resolve to seek out some kind of understanding of the issues that he had exposed to the world.
Jonathan grew to understand his father. He recognized the beauty of his father's quest for answers and developed a deep respect for the time and efforts his father made to try to find some kind of resolution to the mystery of humanity's value and purpose. The collections of facts and concepts of both science and religions had led to the writing of the "theories of creation". Jonathan now understood what his father was attempting to do. He was using his reason to try to come up with a viable explanation for the nature of Man and his relationship to God. His father was a man of deep faith, but believed that the foundations of that faith incorporated, rather than negated, the use of reason and evidence. The open-minded attitudes of the inquisitive scientist could not be accepted by the narrow-minded, ritualistic, dogmatic theologian. Likewise, the magnificent, scientific breakthroughs in theories and discoveries of the scientist could not invalidate the beauty of spirituality and righteousness found in theological tradition. His father had created a "theory" for himself. It was the beginning of his way to understand God as he learned more about Man and the magnificence of the creation around us. It was a theory that would grow and change as his father learned more. Always new wonders of discovery lead to more enlightenment into the nature of God and his creation. The least reasonable thing he could do was to let his intellect and reason lead him further from God. The utter complexity of science explained the divinity of creation.
The writings laid a foundation for Jonathan's own growth. He was forced to look deeply into his own philosophies and motives for living. He was not about to run away from his father's ideas and insights into living with purpose and pursuing knowledge as an adjunct to faith. The mysteries of existence drew him into a whirlpool of questions and quiet mental introspection. The extraordinary task his father had pursued became a part of him. It was a truth he could not ignore. It was a path he was compelled to follow. Jonathan labored and found the serenity of character his father had always displayed. He, like his father, struggled and failed, and struggled again and again, to be who he wanted to be, and to live his life to a higher set of ideas, the abstract principles over the practical reality. And like his father, he also became a very solitary person, always seemingly outside of world events and social conformity. It seemed the price to pay for spending so much time in thought and contemplation. It created a beauty within him, but also left an emptiness, felt by the need to share and to quench the loneliness he felt. That painless, intrusive ache was always amplified by his remembrance of the time his father had tried to share his thoughts with him. Jonathan resolved not to let opportunity escape him again. He honed his ability for perception and sensitivity, so as to, not miss the importance of a moment. In his current life style Jonathan had plenty of time to himself. He took time to think, to be sensitive to the people and events around him, and to pursuer answers to the questions his father and he had made their life's purpose. Jonathan no longer had just the same physical carriage of his father, he also was like his father in character. The realization of this likeness was a source of great pride to Jonathan.
"Man has a strong tool for survival", Jonathan stood before a huge assembly of his peers addressing them with the confident manner of a seasoned speaker
"We possess intellect and the ability to reason, but we squander away this gift on our petty vanities, our consistent need for conformity and social acceptance, and a displaced sense of self survival. Our genetic heritage gives us the intelligence and the free-will to create our own identity, unique to ourselves, and use our ability to process and discover, and even to believe, so humanity can grow and succeed as a species. Perhaps, that unique genetically designed heritage of intellect will help us find our place in the history of the world, and allow us to be part of the destiny of the universe. Thank you".
Jonathan had given the audience the key to all his philosophy. It was presented to his audience as his father had at one time given him the opportunity to share his thoughts with him. An opportunity he had lost due to his lack of focus on a message too subtle and masked for him to realize it's importance. He gave a brief, daring message. Now Jonathan knew as his father probably did, that nobody could hear his masked plea to share his innermost thoughts. He too had sent a message nobody could hear.
Jenny sat in the back. She had come to hear this man who was in some way a part of her life. She had come to hear Jonathan Lockwood, the son of Raymond Lockwood.
She did not understand most of Jonathan's presentation. He had talked of the affects of certain biochemicals on brain function and had inferred that the gene that expressed those proteins was unique to the human genetic map. He was deeply engrossed in the relationship of certain types of human behavior, unique to Man, that was now defined to be genetically linked. The larger implication of his presentation was that Man's ability for some of the higher ideas, like kindness, generosity and, maybe even love, were linked to the biochemistry of the brain and to specific sites of the human gene. In the process of the strict scientific protocol of data and evidence, much of that implication was lost in a sea of complicated scientific nomenclature. Nevertheless, Jenny found herself both excited and intensified by Jonathan's data.
The manner in which Jonathan ended his presentation was not missed by Jenny. He had struck her with a warm feeling of enlightenment, much like the first time, when she had heard him read his father's writing on the "Theory of Creation", so many years ago. It was a recognition of the father, in the son. He had confirmed a hope she had held onto with the tenuous belief that their was more to Jonathan's father's writings then she had known. It was an affirmation to the struggles she had endured to maintain the integrity of her beliefs against the ridicule and logic of the masses, against the social and legal pressures she faced, against the arguments and censor of her friends and family, and against the persecution by the religious community. She had fought her battles with the dignity and resolve that she had always had. She was her own person and gave nobody the rights to her thoughts.
Jenny could barely still the rush of emotions she felt pounding in her breast. She knew Jonathan was like his father. Her mind cried out, "he is like his father, he is like his father, he is like his father". It was a wonderment she could not contain. A single tear, an outward sign of the emotions raging inside her, escaped, symbolizing the years of frustrations and quiet perseverance she had endured. This was more important because it was beyond Jenny's nature to make an outer display of her inner self. A tear that represented a joy she felt, gathering like a balloon, ready to burst. She was frozen to her seat.
The crowd was dispersing, slowly, with noisy, undefinable, non-communications in the distance. Jonathan gathered his papers, lingered behind. He moved methodically, with a posture of non- recognition of himself, or of his place of former prominence. He approached Jenny without a glance.
There are moments that define a life, capturing time, and making the memories of the moment a spectacle in a lifetime of banality. There are moments of such richness that it's fullness will be a standard throughout a life. Such was the moment when Jonathan looked up and saw Jenny.
"Dr. Lockwood, could I speak to you", Jenny stammered. She had seen him coming, ambling nonchalantly down the aisle, moving to her. The necessity to have the opportunity to talk with him created an unexpected anxiety and urgency in her that was out of proportion for the moment and caused of an out of character panic to her. She knew how to stop him.
"Dr. Lockwood, I knew your father and was hoping you could spare some time to talk to me about him"? she quickly lied.
Jonathan's gaze moved to Jenny. He was startled by the mention of his father. He stared at the face of Jenny, immediately captivated by her eyes. Her eyes captured the importance of the moment, revealing an undisguised plea for recognition, but also betraying the boldness and challenge in her request. His mind raced with questions. "My father? my father?, who could possibly know my father in this setting?, she could hardly know my father at her age? who is she?, what connection could she have with my father"? Jonathan was intrigued and helplessly replied, "Of course, what do you know of my father"?
"Could we find someplace to talk"? Jenny responded, ignoring his question.
"My name is Jennifer Conners, I heard your presentation. It was excellent.", Jenny continued, having hooked him and was now reeling him in.
"There's some quiet places near the lobby where we could talk", Jonathan responded. He knew he was being held in check and could hardly wait to question this girl, but knew he would find out about her in time, his patience strained. He quickly and silently led the way.
The prevalence of commonplace events compel a modifying of intensity of emotions to preserve energy and sanity. Jonathan was good at modification, however, all possibility of just another discussion of his expertise in behavioral genetics was lost by Jenny's mention of his father. Jonathan was thrown on alert and his honed senses were activated. He could not ignore the intensity of the moment. He saw Jenny.
Jenny, too, was caught up in the intensity of the moment. Her mind racing to figure out her next move. She was sweep up by the melodramatic turn of events. Her life had focused on her need to know and understand things about existence and meaning. She had been deeply affected by the writings of Jonathan's father, which validated the freedom of reason she had given herself, but was unable to expose. His writings had become a focal point for her to explore and freely expand her own realm of reason and reasonableness. The boldness of the writings gave her license for bold speculations, requiring only reasonableness, not proofs or confirmities. She had been held in check by the mass hysteria that followed publication of the "theories", but, though beaten down, was not out. This coming moment was her attempt to negate the loss of freedom, and the feelings of isolation and loneliness she felt, and to recapture the sense of validation and definition for her life. The moment meant everything.
They sat in a pair of comfortable chairs near the lobby, oblivious to their busy surroundings.
Now face to face, the importance of the moment captured them in a progression of events that was essentially beyond their control, but they both somehow knew would define the rest of their lives. Jonathan was caught in an ambiguous maze of thoughts of his deep, intimate relationship with his father, and his writings, and the guilt associated with the tragedy of his mother. Jenny was filled with both apprehension and hopeful anticipation that she could find out more about Jonathan's father, and the connection between them, and maybe make sense out the profound affect the writings of Raymond Lockwood had on her life. Neither could mask the torrent of emotions inside them.
Jenny, quickly assessing the situation and Jonathan. She knew it was no time to play around with fancy manipulation of words. The penetrating stare of Jonathan was not intimidating to her, but was flattering in it's intimacy and amplitude. Their was no denying his interest and investment in the moment, his eyes betrayed a racing, alert, inquisitive mind, body poised and confident, but also, tense and ready.
"Dr. Lockwood, I know of your father and your family", she said.
Jonathan saw Jenny and could easily interpret the hopefulness and neediness she conveyed in her aggressive, direct behavior. Her face was brilliant with admiration, and Jonathan felt an immodest sense of pride in the unsolicited acknowledgment. He was startled by the lack of inhibition in his own response, that was very out character to him. He had a sense of the immensity of the moment because of the unique affect everything this girl said had on him. There was an instant connection to each other and he found himself extremely alive to her.
"Ms. Conners, did you really know my father?", asked Jonathan, knowing that she certainly could not have known him.
Jenny had never met anyone like Jonathan. He listened with such intensity, and even more intriguing, was the bold way he stared, seemingly taking in every aspect of her, engulfing her. His communication was at a level she had never experienced, and it created an intensity and intimacy that was both flattering and alarming. Who was this man? His confidence and gentleness in his eyes gave her a sense of comfort, and made it okay for her to express herself with a truth and depth she seldom let escape her. He had a sincerity that seemed to say to her, "talk to me, I'm listening, I care what you say, I'm investing myself in your words".
"Dr. Lockwood, I know of your father through his writings, and I know what affect his writings had for you and your family. I'm so sorry about the way things turned out.", Jenny cautiously replied.
Jonathan expanded his perception, which was a technique he had practiced and developed over many years. He knew from experience the effort and extension of himself he would have to expend to consciously maintain focus and awareness. He had learned he could walk into a room and by force of mind take in all aspects of the environment, people, and events occurring around him. It was an extremely powerful tool, which gave him a sort of one-up-man-ship on the rest of, what he thought of as, unconscious people around him. His father had worked on developing sensitivity to others. Jonathan had taken it a step further and had worked on developing his ability to perceive his environment through an extreme conscious effort, using his perceptions as a means to understand the reality he "saw". The problem was he saw too much. Too much was always happening and he could not respond to all the real and petty incidences, emotions, and needs he perceived. The world was too full of sadness and trauma, too full of shortsightedness and insensitivity, too needy for someone to take the time to give a hand, or even understanding, to silent cries for help. And so, Jonathan was forced to turn off and overlook the pains he "saw". The intensity of mind required was like speed reading, a tool that required too much energy to use with consistency. The reality of knowing too much about a person through this developed ability of perception was like Jesus in a colony of lepers being overwhelmed by frustration, regret, and helplessness. In his need to survive, he used his talent sparingly, as when he had a compelling sense of need to capture the moment, like now.
Jonathan could see the apprehension in Jenny. She had expressed both knowledge and regret in her comments about his father and family, but he could also sense the feeling of her connection to Jonathan in regards to his tragedy. The persistent message he received from her, as seen in the bold frankness of her comments, inferences of commonality, and subtle looks of excitement, anticipation, inquisitiveness, and hopefulness, was that she needed to know of his father. She had some kind of connection with him that was not simplistic and incidental, but was intense and important to her.
"Thanks, it was such a long time ago, I appreciate your feelings.", Jonathan replied softly. "Ms. Conners, nobody really relates me to my father, how did you know?", Jonathan continued. "I really thought with so much time passed and my distance from my father's writings, nobody could make the connection."
"I didn't know for sure if you were related to Raymond Lockwood, I just came hoping for the connection. I was at your college when you first spoke of his theories of creation, but as you know, that was so long ago and you and your family disappeared for a time. I thought it was you when I saw you but wasn't sure until hearing your last statement in your presentation", Jenny replied, again cautiously and extremely aware of the microscope she was put under.
The intensity of his presence was startling. Jonathan focused on the words and expressions, both the verbal and non-verbal communication. He could get inside her head and almost replay the thought processes occurring with every choice of word and pause. "Nobody can listen like this", thought Jenny, "I am like an open book to this man. He reads my thoughts as easy as he hears my words".
This was the effect Jonathan knew his ability of perception caused. He could not read her thoughts, or even second guess her, but he could catch the magnitude of her expressions. She was intimidated and flattered, and showed no fear or lack of confidence in the apparent exposure of herself. On the contrary, it was like a magnet had drawn them together creating an intimacy neither had ever felt before. The amazement to Jonathan was, as he watched her, she looked back at him.
She did not talk about his father as he had expected, but about herself, with a boldness and frankness suited to the moment they had created together. The special effect of the moment was not in the few words they had spoken, but in the unspoken recognition and awareness of the importance and impact of the moment and the respectful latitude they both knew they had. They had developed trust in a magical manner.
A DAY AND A NIGHT
"Dr. Lockwood, I am a person who has spent her life trying to understand and figure out what life is all about. I always asked "why?" to everything when I was young and drove my dad nuts. When I was young I was interested in astronomy and studied it in college. Everything I learn seems to open up new mysteries to me, and for some reason I am driven to want to know as much as possible. This obsession, or drive, or compulsion, or whatever you call it, has always been a part of me, and has made me feel very different and alone in the world. The time I heard your fathers' writings I felt a strange sense of companionship with him. Until then, none of my friends, family or the world around me seemed to care about the things I constantly thought about". The sense of comfort that Jonathan and her had created had given Jenny license to open her soul to him.
"She is like my dad", thought Jonathan. "I have created this drive in me, but she, like my father, had always had it"
"My dad was very much like you, I guess that it was the basis for him writing his theories in the first place", Jonathan responded. "Where did your curiosity and thoughts lead you"? asked Jonathan, wanting to get to know this girl better and avoid talking about his father for now.
"I guess I am strange", replied Jenny. "Girls are supposed to play with dolls and worry about boyfriends and later, husbands. I was a weird child and woman. I was too introspective and analyzed everything. I wanted intellectual conversation, not frivolous girl talk and everyday discussion of practicalities. I hungered for deep, meaningful conversation about life and the meaning of life, about religions, about the significance of science to understanding the nature of creation. I never really ever found interest by others, and so, keep to myself. I got some pretty weird responses from others."
Jonathan remembered his response to his father. He certainly understood her frustration. She spoke with the unspoken hope that Jonathan could hear and understand her words. The humble magnificence of this plea touched Jonathan and he would not lose this opportunity as he had with his dad. "Listen, Ms. Conners, I understand that yearning and hope for someone to talk with. My dad was like you, and I will not let you down", Jonathan said.
The directness and insight Jonathan gave Jenny caused a stir in her breathe, like a sigh of relief. She was excited and exhilarated by his words. "Dr. Lockwood, what was your relationship to your father"? she questioned, really needing to know to find out exactly what Jonathan had meant when he said "not letting her down".
The directness of Jenny's question both surprised and pleased Jonathan. Their conversation had started where most never get to. The necessary intimacy of his exposure to her was not lost to him and he carefully answered. "I was not like my father, I became like my father. He once tried to discuss things to me and I was not ready or open to him then. Now I would give my right arm to have the opportunity to talk with him. I am extremely proud to be my father's son", Jonathan confessed.
"Your father must have been something special to write what he did", replied Jenny. "He was extremely bold in his "theories" and, to me, they expressed the courage of an independent man trying to make sense of his ideas of God and creation. I loved his reasoning and willingness to make speculations and conclusions".
Jonathan was astonished by Jenny's assessment of his father. She had linked his mind to his character and revealed her knowledge and insight into his writing. "What would she think if she could read all the things his father had wrote:?, he thought.
"Ms. Conners, were you part of the SI movement"? Jonathan asked, a little astonished by the directness of the question, but wanting her to confirm the obvious.
"Dr. Lockwood, I was very much a part, and to some extent still am. I'm sorry because I know what that means to you and your family, but your father's "theories of creation" had more impact on me than I could probably explain to you. I was part of a cell and was also victim to the mass hysteria that occurred at the time, many year ago. I was arrested, expelled from college, and watched for many years by so-called, higher authorities. I felt like I was on the run for many years, but never sold myself out to social, religious, and even legal pressures. Even after all these years, I am still very intimidated by what happened".
"Thank you for your openness and your trust. I think I'm also intimidated by what happened, but am putting it behind me, as much as possible. I would like to know more about you, and will tell you more about my dad. Would you be able to go to lunch with me so we could talk more"? Jonathan responded.
Jonathan and Jenny talked, through lunch, and then through dinner, and then through a long night; both mesmerized by the ease in which they revealed themselves to each other. A process neither had experienced with anyone before. The magic and intensity continued, and both talked of themselves and their lives with a freedom and closeness born of mutual respect, and listened to each other with intensity and eager interest.
The majority of life is isolation. This can even occur in a crowded room or in the mist of noisy activity, indeed, many are lost in a mass of company. Likewise, a person is left alone with his innermost thoughts and seldom has opportunity, or makes effort to share; having felt the sting of indifference and insensitivity that encompasses a cold world. Jonathan and Jenny experienced a sensitization to each other and a magical time of mutual trust. This was a time when they could empty their souls in revelations about themselves, their intimate experiences and the emotional mix that came with them. The openness and freedom they gave to themselves was a contagion, that warmly grew to engulf them both.
Jenny talked of her life, her sad broken marriage, her frustrations with a search for someone to share her ideas and philosophies with, her pain from the sense of injustice she felt from the narrow-mindedness she encountered, and her loneliness after her experiences with SI. She spoke in terms of her feelings, and about the nature of the relationships in her life, and about the things important to her; never really aware that she had never really talked about herself to anyone.
Jonathan also was able to reveal himself in the comfort of the serenity of the time-space they had created. He told her of his relationships with his brothers and parents, revealing his opportunities lost to youth. He surprised himself by revealing his inability to create a meaningful relationship with any of the girls he dated and explained the feelings he felt about, what he termed, the deficit of "enough". He was always left feeling a void, or missing element, even in the girls he found interesting and attractive. Jonathan also told Jenny of his struggles to define his life, about the quest for a life of principle, and the failures wrought by practicalities. He spoke of religion, and character, and about the things that were important to him, never really aware that he never talked about himself to anyone.
The stillness of late night pervaded their lives. The timelessness of their fascination with each other was broken by the sudden awareness of their surrounding environment. Neither knew of time, but the awkwardness of intimacy shared in a vacated hotel lobby brought them back to the reality of the rest of the world.
"Jonathan, can I see you before I leave for home tomorrow? Maybe breakfast?, asked Jenny. "I have something I need to tell you".
"I'm leaving tomorrow also, how about the hotel restaurant at 8", answered Jonathan. "I can't tell you how much I enjoyed our talk".
"Me too, I'll see you then, thanks", replied Jenny, now for the first time without words.
They both walked away, carrying with them the fullness of their experience and a sense of the wonder of it all.
The night was short for Jonathan and Jenny. Both were so alert and alive in mind, they lay awake and contemplated the conversations and impact they each felt, before succumbing to mental exhaustion. It was in the quiet solitude of their darkened rooms that they first recognized the beauty of their experience. They had shared a unique revealing of their inner selves, and had found a refreshing respite from their long tortured minds.
Beauty is a relative term, easily defined visually, by art and nature lovers, and by the commercialized physical definitions defined by society. Beauty is not so easily applied to events or the evaluation of a person's character. Beauty seen beyond sight as a perception of a sense of the values in a person and righteousness is possible by closely looking for it. The measure of quality in beauty is the discovery of a beauty that overwhelms and encompasses your senses, and is a rare and precious commodity. This was the beauty Jonathan and Jenny saw in their experience with each other. The awareness of the beauty each saw grew as they realized the nature of the person each had experienced. Jonathan and Jenny had been given freedom from the walls they had never allowed anyone to cross before. They had come to know each other intimately. This had planted seeds within their consciousness which grew to an appreciation and respect for each other. These thoughts took place for each of them, alone in the night.
"Good mornings, Jonathan", said Jenny to Jonathan, who had a pot of coffee for her.
"Good morning, Jenny", said Jonathan, trying to hide the emotional rush her presence caused him.
There were moments of awkwardness, because each knew what had transpired between them and wondered if that reality would turn to fantasy in the morning light. Now things were different inside them. Though unspoken or acted upon, they were very attracted to each other, and neither could overcome the shyness and inexperience that were part of their character. The bond they had created rescued them from themselves.
"Jenny, I think I have to tell you how amazing last night was to me. I couldn't stop thinking about it last night and I would not have believed such a night possible for me. You are truly a very special person and I'm glad we met", Jonathan said, disturbed that he was so awkward at words that really expressed his feelings.
"It was like that for me too. I am so used to keeping my thoughts to myself. I never would have imagined anyone could hear me and share with me like you did", replied Jenny, feeling like she could never fully tell him the impact their time together had on her.
She was quite surprised by the new emotions inside her and way she felt drawn to Jonathan. It was new ground for her and she wondered if the moment was past and they would never see each other again. The thought was intensified by the things she had to tell Jonathan in the brief moments left before the returned to their separate lives.
"Jonathan, I need to tell you something before we both leave. I owe the truth to you and hope you will understand", Jenny said, flushed with the fearful anticipation that she would destroy all the wonder and magic of the night before.
"My maiden name is Jennifer Richards, and I was the one who first put your dad's writing on the Internet", Jenny quickly retorted. "I also am still a part of a SI group that has sort of gone underground."
Jonathan remembered the name as the name mentioned by the reporter, who had alerted him to the SI, long ago. He was trying to evaluate his feelings about her disclosures, but was lost instead, in his feelings for Jenny. He was admiring the honesty and the courage it took for her to reveal her secrets. He had turned his feelings from himself to her and realized the depth of the bond he shared with Jenny. His guilt had been to himself, and over time, he had come to terms with it. He had never blamed the SI groups or the person who started the movement. It was the reality of the media's unconscionable exploitation to create sensationalism by controversy, and the narrow-mindedness of individuals that an unreasoning society creates and reinforces, that Jonathan felt was the real cause of his family's tragedy. He realized that it didn't matter and he desperately needed Jenny to know this.
"Jenny, listen carefully", Jonathan softly answered, after a brief time.
"My mothers' death was the result of religious fanatics, not you or myself. I had to learn that and I hope you don't feel any guilt about what happened. My mother died because my father wrote his ideas, and my brothers and I read them, and showed them to others. The media exposed them to the world and the world rejected and condemned them. It was a zealous few who took action. To me it is a tribute you pay to my father with your interest and risk for the sake of his ideas."
Jenny was mesmerized by Jonathan. He had gently spoken to her and removed a burden from her, only he was capable of doing. She had needed his forgiveness, instead she was given the gift of sensitivity and understanding. Jonathan seemingly knew her mind and fears and seemed intent on soothing and comforting her. He had not shown even the slightest hesitation or doubts in his vindication of her. To the contrary, he was more intent on making her world okay, and being sure she was relieved of her burden. The beauty of Jonathan brought a tear to Jenny's eye.
Jonathan interpreted the tear he saw as one of relief. He was so glad she understood and would not carry the burdensome guilt, as he had for so long a time.. He saw Jenny as such a remarkable young woman and had never met anyone who had captured him like she had. She looked at him now, and through misty eyes, he caught the sense of her appreciation. He gently reached out to brush away her tear, his hand instead, softly brushing her cheek, and down to trembling lips, lightly touched by his fingertips.
Jenny was stunned. It was as if she had waited a lifetime for such a touch. The coldness of the world dissolved in the warmth of Jonathan's touch. She had judged Jonathan as a kind, quiet, gentle man but the feel of his hand on her face was of a man of passion and sensitivity. Her body was awakened to that passion and quivered with desires she thought she had long ago relinquished as foolish fantasy. It was just a touch, but to Jenny it was everything.
Jonathan saw her shiver. He had reached out to her, an impulse, a necessity, to display the affection and sweet emotions boiling inside him. All his life he had lived isolated inside himself, and never reaching out to others. His feelings were always internalized and safely out of view of inspection. His touch was beyond his conservative nature, a tear he never allowed himself to release, a cry for help, unspoken. The beauty of Jenny released him. It was just a touch, but to Jonathan it was the voice inside him, crying to be heard, pleading recognition, needing response.
Silence can sometimes be a source of communication more profound then the loudest sounds. In the quiet interlude of a touch, love was born.
"Jenny, I have always been, pretty much of a loner", Jonathan spoke softly. "I have kept my thoughts and ideas to myself, never feeling secure or safe enough to share with anyone. Or maybe never trying to share with anyone. You, somehow, have changed all that and I don't want to intimidate you, but I would really like to see you again. I have to leave soon, but could I call you sometime"?
Jenny also had to leave soon, but also was very aware of how special what had happened between the two of them was. She responded eagerly, "I would like that very much. You have given me so much in the short time we had together and I would very much like to see you again". Jenny was aware of the feeling of "need" that remained unspoken by her, but she retained the dignity of composure, while an emotional storm rage inside her.
The awkwardness of their departure was a reflection of their internalization and usual non- display of emotions. It was a natural part of their character and soon the necessities of the real world closed in on them. However, both knew this was not the end, but the beginning.
One plus one equals two, however, the union of Jenny and Jonathan added to much more. Both became much more than they were alone because of the other. The respect they gave each other created a validation, producing the freedom and courage to face themselves and life, and find a quiet peace and confidence within themselves that was a sanctuary from the loneliness and insecurities they had harbored all their lives. Their union melted the feelings of frustration and futility that had plagued their single existence and gave them the resources to grow and to become more than either ever would, or could have, alone. It was maturity, born of a bond and a growing love, that now nurtured and sustained them.
In his arms, Jenny felt safe.
"I would not have believed I could find something like this", Jenny spoke, secure and serene in the moments Jonathan and her created together. "I think that most people sell themselves short and never will find what we have".
"Maybe what we feel is not even close to a normal relationship", Jonathan responded. "I have always seen a shallowness and restlessness in the relationships that I know of".
"Me too", Jenny replied, thinking of all the people she knew and not able to come up with many good relationships, much less, great ones.
Jonathan had not been able to get the meeting of Jenny from his mind and had actively sought her out. They had met again, rekindled the rapport that had captured them at the conference, and had continued down a path that led to their predictable commitment to each other. It was the first time Jonathan had ever been so aggressive and assured of his path. It was also the first time Jenny had ever been so sure of anyone and had opened up and let herself be so vulnerable. They had met when both had felt alone and sure that nobody would ever understand or be capable of sharing the things that were important to them. Jonathan was resolved to continue the explorations of the mysteries his father had written about, and Jenny was sure nobody could share her passion for explanations to questions that had plagued her all her life. To each, the existence of the other was a wonder beyond their hopes and expectations. The bond of mind was a key to unlocking their hearts, and the resulting attraction and passion that grew between them was, at once, a miracle and a divine gift they both recognized. Without question, without doubt, Jonathan and Jenny had found each other, and the world they previously faced alone, with insecurity, they faced together, with conviction and anticipation.
"You know, people really face life alone. Nobody can feel what you feel, or experience the things that happen to you. Your thoughts and ideas are mostly just kept inside, and you really only live with yourself. My dad was pretty close to my mom, but everything he was into was only his. My mom and all of us, his sons, never really knew him at all. I, also, was following that path and was resolved to that loneliness and isolation in my life. I didn't even have a person like my mom to share with. You, Jenny, are something I could not have imagined happening to me. Nothing in my experience, even the books I read or the people and experiences I know of, could have prepared me for our relationship. I think there is something truly unique about us", Jonathan spoke, with a softness and depth that Jenny had come to love and expect.
"I don't think I doubt the uniqueness of what we have, Jonathan", Jenny replied, slowly and thoughtfully, measuring words and reason. "People are protective, like I was, and even when shields are down, they still lack the trust necessary to open up and really relate or communicate at extremely meaningful levels. I'm also think some things are always too personal to share and people can't jeopardize those personal things to others, because they fear nobody could understand them. I think your father was a very private person, and your mother was not like him at all. He had nobody to talk with so he wrote down his thoughts. Your father didn't have what we have, maybe not many do".
"I wish my father had had me, but he didn't", Jonathan said, immediately drawn into melancholy memories
"You still picked up his legacy, Jonathan. I'm sure he is very pleased about that", Jenny responded.
When they had met, Jonathan and Jenny each saw an important part of each other and had surrendered a protected, private part of themselves to create the initial moments they shared together. Now they knew each other better and the richness of their character drew them even closer.
Jonathan saw the courage and honesty in the way Jenny faced life. She had stood alone in her search for answers, not compromising the persistent drive inside her to learn, to understand, to seek knowledge, to strive. It had come at high cost; her lost childhood, her marriage, her education, even her very freedom, for a time, were losses she endured without wavering from the truth of her identity, indeed, she was an exception in perseverance and strength. Her mind was a wonder of inquisitiveness, never succumbing to hopelessness and pessimism, but always joyously aware, like on a profound journey. Her insights and perceptions were brilliant and reflective of the way she gathered information and processed life. Jonathan loved the way she thought. She had so much to offer an unreasonable world, but to Jonathan she was in the image of his father, and he had the privilege of her.
Jenny saw the miracle of integrity in Jonathan. She saw the beauty of a person that is lost in a cold and insensitive world. Jonathan had willfully and effectively honed his character to reflect the principles and abstract ideas that are the foundations of righteousness. The quiet and simple manner in which he gave kindness and respect were astounding to Jenny, the observer. As she had noticed when they first met, and now even more so, Jonathan's sensitivities were always to the other person, in complete disregard of self or consequences. He was devoid of maliciousness and his views were often unrealistically generous and forgiving. The most endearing quality that sweep Jenny off her feet was Jonathan's gentleness. It was so much a part of him that everything about him was characterized by the gentle way he approached life. People were fragile flowers to be treated with care, never with lack of sensitivity or kindness. Actions were reflections of character and demanded accountability and reasonableness, never thoughtlessness or overreaction. She had never been around anyone like Jonathan before and was always appreciative of his presence in her life.
There could be no shallowness, lack of gratitude, or taking for granted in Jonathan's and Jenny's relationship. Love and intimacy was validated and reinforced by the consistency of effort and watchfulness they each gave to the well-being of the other. Their interest in each other broadened the already strong bond of friendship they shared. Diversity and differences of opinions were pleasant challenges to spark lively conversations. Jonathan and Jenny were not a normal relationship and their union was a spark that would grow to a blazing fire.
Life isn't suitable for human reason. It is so complicated with the events of everyday existence that little time or energy is left for contemplation and speculation. The mundane tasks of survival taxes life and the mind is always distracted from efforts to process the meanings and purpose of life, toward the necessity to react to the stresses of life. This is the reason that the world has so few philosophers and men of vision. In the brief span of a human life, very few have the focus, perseverance, or the opportunity for intense, abstract thoughts. Jonathan and Jenny each had focus and perseverance, and their union afforded them opportunity to share and explore the mind of the other. The depth and scope of their dialogue was wondrous.
"Creation on the scale of the universe is beyond imagination", Jenny once related. "The state of our knowledge is so advanced now that I cannot grasp how Man can ignore the wonder and grandeur of creation. I can look out at night and see the stars and wonder at the mysteries my eyes see from my limited vision. To know what is beyond, the billions of stars of our galaxy, and the millions of distant galaxies, I am painted a picture of an unimaginable magnitude in addition to my sight. This creation is what bonds me to the magnificence of God".
"I know what you mean, Jenny", responded Jonathan. "I too see God in my vision of the stars. I also am caught up in some of the mysteries that are closer to home, like the creation of life, and of Man. One of the most wondrous concepts to me, is that we are made up of stardust. All the elements on earth, and within us, are created from the nuclear fusion that occurs with the death of some stars, the super nova. To think that all life on earth is from the elements that makeup the building blocks of the molecules in the genetic code is staggering when you consider the source of those elements being from the stars. The complexity and order of life is my bond to the magnificence of God".
"I know", Jenny replied, now caught up in the process that always set her mind alive and excited. "It always astounded me that we see so much order in the mist of the chaos in the heavens. Our science is only the discovery and utility of laws of order, and our mysteries can be defined as the natural laws we haven't discovered yet".
"You know, I've studied the field of genetics and found that the human genome is so complex that it seems beyond the grasp of humans to ever understanding even the simplest functions that the genes control. Then to realize that human functions are controlled by an even more complexity of structure in the proteins, that the genes express, adds an even higher level of complexity to the equation. It is such a challenge to human intellect, that it really humbles Man, and shows us the ineptitude of our minds. In this sense, it seems clear that we may not ever be capable of ever understanding most things", Jonathan added.
"But we still try", responded Jenny. "Maybe as we understand more, or at least find out how little we know, we can find the place of Mankind"?
"You know trying is the purity of science. It is one of the things that I see as a high credit to humanity, that we explore and discover for the sake of curiosity. ", Jonathan stated, at the same time realizing how much of science is corrupted by commercialism.
"We also search for ways to improve life and health through science", added Jenny. "Although a lot of the initiative is for profitability". Seemingly reading Jonathan's mind.
"Jenny, you also are one of the wonders in my universe. I don't really know if we were destined to be together, but I think that the way we both spent time thinking about the same things, sort of driven in a sense, and now finding each other, means something", Jonathan said in a tone that was somehow romantic, intimate, and profound.
Jenny responded with a familiar like-mindedness.
"I know it means something Jonathan", she replied. "I've felt such a sense of destiny in our relationship, and now, even more so, knowing how you think and what you believe". "You have filled a void inside me and rescued me from my own isolation in mind and spirit. I live in eager anticipation of what will become of us".
"You know, my father planted the seeds that are a part of my whole career and the way I think, and he played a part in your life also. It was also him that brought us together. That's quite amazing when you think about it. My dad lived his whole life looking for answers. It was his legacy to me. Maybe that is part of our destiny?", Jonathan responded thoughtfully.
"Jonathan, I always sought answers, which I kept to myself. I did this because I had to, and wanted to. I never thought the intensity of my search, or my life's quest could be shared. I sensed, and now know, your father was like me. If this is something we can share together, I think it could really be something", though spoken softly, these words of Jenny's screamed out to Jonathan.
And so, began the journey of Jonathan and Jenny together.
Enthusiasm is a spark that ignites action. That flame of action takes fueling and maintenance, like any fire. Together Jonathan and Jenny labored and kept their fire alive, each being sustained and feeding upon the enthusiasm of the other. Their life was now driven toward the collection of data, turning the progress of science into an explanation of the wonders of creation. As they found more and more facts, they discussed and examined their implications into the reality of the existence of a creator. It was not long before they discovered that the questions were not of the existence of God, but were beginning to focus on the nature of God. It was strange to the two highly analytical minds to find themselves more and more driven to looking at their faith and beliefs. Here lie the strange mysteries of spiritualism and salvation. This was the parts of Jonathan's fathers' more speculative theories. It became a realization to both Jonathan and Jenny that the mysteries of Man's relationship to God are beyond the proofs of science, and that, science is just the beginning toward understanding a meaning and purpose to life. This was startling to both of them.
"You know, it has become so easy to see that something created the universe and life on earth. I wonder if everybody looked at the facts science has discovered, why it isn't obvious to everyone?
If everyone believed in God, wouldn't that make a difference”? Jonathan said one day.
"But everyone doesn't know the facts, or even cares to look, and even if they did, there could never be enough proof for the hardcore skeptics. We have spent a lot of time and effort collecting facts and data, and even with our strong predispositions of belief, we still required more and more proofs to validate our beliefs. While it really should be enough to see the stars and nature, we wanted more. And we're a bit more driven than most, wouldn't you say”? responded Jenny.
"A lot of the proofs that are more definitive are pretty new, even within the last few years. And we seem to know more and more at a very fast pace. Maybe the general public has no way of really knowing? Science communicates very slowly, or not at all. Would if all people knew that the universe is about 18 billion years old and the, essentially scientifically accepted theory of the big bang means that there was a definite beginning, and that the complexity of the initial makeup of matter, and even the force of the big bang itself, had to be just right to form the stars and galaxies. Would if people knew that the mathematical probabilities of complex circumstances to form things like the earth, and even more amazing, like life, are essentially impossible, especially within the time frame of the age of the earth. Would if the so-called skeptics were forced to look at the vast mass of data and proofs in science that show that there must have been some plan, and therefore, planner of the creation of the universe, the earth, life and Man. Don't you think we already know enough to placate even the most hardcore skeptic, atheist and agnostic”? Jonathan said.
"I would think so", responded Jenny, quickly and also feeling Jonathan's sense of frustration. "But some very knowledgeable, smart people still don't believe. And I'm not sure the general public will ever take the time, show the interest, or exert the effort to find out. It's just not important to them, in the realm of their daily existence. With us it's different, probably because we're different".
Jonathan and Jenny often discussed their ideas and thoughts from the vast pools of data they accumulated. They read everything they could that seemed related to discovery of the wonders of creation. It was not long before it was obvious to both of them that the significance of their studies led them deeper and deeper into areas beyond their own expertise. Cosmology and genetics were just parts of the mystery surrounding creation. The relationship of understanding the way the human body works in health and fails in disease, the theories of evolution and extinction of species, the balances of nature involved in the development and survival of life and of the supporting and sustaining ecosystems, the studies on brain function and intellect, and even the history of Man, all added substance to the support of the order involved in God's creation. It was a wonderful journey to both of them, for they shared the evidential insight to the existence of God and the wonder of his creation. It was much more than the wonders of the heavens and earth that their ancestors saw and believed. Their evidence was much more than they preconceived would be convincing, for they were left without doubt. Science had confirmed to both of them that all of existence, including the existence of Homo sapiens was by Divine plan.
"It isn't enough, is it?", said Jonathan one day. "It was so exciting to discover how science has become so technologically advanced and sophisticated that it reveals the purposefulness and the intricate details of how everything was formed. Even with many mysteries still in existence, it is impossible for me to not easily see the Divine intervention that make us possible. But I think now that the reason my dad turned from the analytical processes of science to the mystical theories of spiritualism is because science doesn't explain why we exist, only that we exist and are creations of God".
"I know what you mean, Jonathan", responded Jenny, as always in tune with Jonathan's thoughts.
"It helps to know we are products of God, but a large void is left. What are humans to God? What are we here for? And why are we here? That's why your father turned his thoughts to spiritualism and his own faith. But don't forget that he still proposed theories that were somehow related to a rational scientific process. Didn't he relate the existence of evil to genetic mutation? And he also proposed a link to the existence of the spirit somehow tied to our genetic inheritance. His willingness to speculate on such controversial and unprovable ideas was a large part of what I admired most about him".
"Speculative is certainly the defining word", replied Jonathan. "I always wondered if dad wasn't going too far out with his thoughts. I do know that he was always thinking and trying to put ideas together. I think he wanted to form explanations that would give answers with some satisfaction to himself. If he had not written them down they would have been lost. Other than his theories and his other writings, my father really was very much to himself. He didn't have a Jenny to share with, did he?"
"No he didn't", responded Jenny, warmed by the sudden intimacy.
"You know my father wrote about integrity and character, and ability of the human mind to reason, and about the nature of love, and about God and Jesus. I loved the way he thought things out and seemed to incorporate his principles into his life. To him, all these things were related to discovery of meaning and purpose to life. In the end, I believe his thoughts were all geared toward validation of his faith. Maybe that is the way all our studies and data should evolve into. It certainly is a challenge", said Jonathan.
"You know we know a lot more than your dad did. There have been amazing breakthroughs in the scope of scientific discovery since your dad died. We have not focused on our beliefs and faith much in our analytical approach to discovery. It sure could be interesting and ,for sure, challenging, to study in terms of our religion and destiny in relationship to God. I'm ready", responded Jenny, enthusiastically.
The journey of Jonathan and Jenny had turned in a significant direction. In the backs of their minds lie the memories of the consequences to Jonathan's mother and to Jenny from the publication of the "Theories of Creation- by Raymond Lockhart".
The analytical mind set of a scientist is not well suited for acceptance of data not collaborated by concrete proofs and evidence. It becomes a problem to accept non-conclusive, unprovable concepts and rely on such a nebulous system of beliefs to establish faith. Unanswered questions, ill-defined explanations, and lack of objectiveness are the vehicles to a persuasive doubt, that invade the honest attempts of rational men to try to believe the unbelievable. The shrouds of mysticism, cultural ritualism, and ambiguous terminology cloud the reason of rational thought. Jonathan and Jenny had each been brought up in a Christian home and had faced their own private skepticism and doubts that jeopardized their own independent thought. Surprisingly, they had both ran and returned to a personal acceptance of God, and even more profoundly the salvation through Christ. They found they had somewhat similar views; they shared a strong dislike for the dogmatic moral and ethical rules of religions, an embarrassment for the diversity of theological interpretations among the various sects of religions, and a feeling of disgust at the history of the atrocities done in the name of God. Their mental independence had brought both of them to a very liberal, non-denominational commitment to their faith. With these similarities lay the foundation to their like-mindedness in their quest for their study of man's purpose in relationship to God's creation. Their dialogues were very direct and honest.
"It is such a mystery in the way Man has searched for answers about creation", noted Jenny. "All the different religions are filled with attempts to intellectually explain our existence. It seems that very few were based on sound rationality, but rather, seemingly fanatically believed, unprovable stories and explanations for observable nature. How do these religions have so much power and control over thinking humans"?
"I know", responded Jonathan, in the same mood and frame of mind as Jenny. "We have uncovered so much data about the way religion has controlled, distorted, corrupted and been the cause of so many lives lost, that it is so hard to understand that their claims and actions are done in the name of God. It certainly points out one disturbing fact, that is, the power of belief. Many of Man's wars, the persecutions, the human sacrifices, and the subjugation of free-will are inflections religions have made on Man. Their limits are boundless".
"What happened to the SI, and your mother would certainly attest to that", retorted Jenny, lost in a vast pool of thoughts about the sufferings of Man.
"Yah, we're certainly part of the victims", said Jonathan, lost in melancholy.
"Why do the various religions feel they have to be right? Why are they so dogmatic and seemingly narrow-minded? It seems to me that the religious communities always fight new ideas, and, even scientific facts, to maintain their so-called domain. Why can't ideas grow with new discovery and the human rational mind accept controversy and grow from it”? added Jenny quickly, sensing Jonathan's digression into memories she would rather not think about.
"I think the thing we have to face is that most humans don't think for themselves. We are social animals and are drawn into groups becoming communities of like-mindedness. I wonder what the various religious fractions in the world would think if we called them all cults? The Buddhist cult, the Muslim cult, the Christian cult", the inflictions of Jonathan's voice rose as he conveyed his anger.
"They sold out their individuality, they sold out their reason, they sold out their free-will, they sell out their own moral standards to become part of a group”, Jonathan continued, seemingly drawing strength from his anger. “I really wonder if we are not all so conditioned that independent thought doesn’t really exist. We are products of our culture, of our social environment, of our religious exposure, of our parental upbringing, and even of our human genetic makeup. We are already defined, molded, and packaged for our place in society. Does it really matter what we think, Jenny”?
I think it does”, replied Jenny, with the softness and gentleness that immediately stopped Jonathan in his tracks. “I haven’t changed. I still have so much I want to, at least, try to understand about myself and about God’s plan for us. To seek answers was a part of your father, and it’s a part of me, and I think you too. What we have done so far has really been exciting to me. We pooled daata, and searched out facts, and really could see our belief in a Creator, or God, grow from concept to fact. I know neither of us doubts the facts of creation. But this new thing, this idea to try to understand our relationship to God, that really hits home. To try to understand my beliefs with an intellectual process, using reason. That’s a real challenge.”
“I know”, replied Jonathan.
Throughout the history of Man there have been many beliefs. Man has always tried to explain nature and events through beliefs. His search for answers to impossible questions is the breeding ground for solutions by creation of beliefs. It is the nature of Man that when he cannot know, he believes. He can circumvent the need for evidence by theological interpretations and abstract reasoning. It is a wonder and a tragedy that this vain use of Man's intellect has been empowered to cost so many lives and has the ability to subjugate his freedom and free-will. Regardless of the cost, it is an inherent part of the nature of Man that he strives for answers through beliefs. This is because he finds "Hope" in his beliefs, and the power of this Hope is demonstrated by the way tradition and fear have eliminated facts that have interfered with his beliefs. The belief is preserved, the evidence, all but eliminated. Any weakness in belief is noted as a weakness of a person's faith, a heretic severely dealt with. Hence, beliefs sustain themselves and thrive within the community of the faithful. The ancient problem is that there are so many beliefs, and they all can't be right. This was the ambiguous arena of conflict that Jonathan and Jenny had taken up as their challenge.
"You know, we both have no doubt about the existence of a creator of the heavens, earth and life. And we both have a belief in the Christian religion. I don't think either of us is of a predisposition to believe blindly in things, so let's see what our intellect and reason can discover about our belief system", replied Jonathan one day.
"I don't think many accept the existence of God like we do, Jonathan, and so, maybe we are a step ahead of the many others who just "believe" in God. I also think that our willingness to explore our beliefs in the light of new discovery is unique and significant", answered Jenny.
"I think that the fact that we will expend the energy and effort into trying to understand our beliefs is also very significant", added Jonathan, remembering that his dad had spent so much of his life thinking about the meaning and purpose of life.
"You know, I think a good place for us to start with is going back over some of my dad's writings", continued Jonathan. "He wrote about so much, but somehow they all seemed related. It would be interesting to me to know what you thought of them".
Jonathan and Jenny had not read Raymond's writing for quite some time. When they started reading they were surprised by the complexity in the way Jonathan's father processed things. His writings spanned periods from his youth to his final days, but they were very repetitive in the way they always focused on certain major themes. It was apparent that he wrote for himself, to organize his thoughts, and as a means to process and discover where his reason would take him. In his writings was freedom; the freedom to speculate and come to reasoned conclusions, unharnessed by social convention and protocol, the freedom to look at realities without making excuses or rationalizations; and the freedom to use his intellect and imagination without censor or limits. Raymond was a man, searching for truths about himself, his God, and the world all around him. The amount of effort, energy, and the amazing perseverance he showed in sticking with his writings throughout his life, were a reflection of his character. Jonathan and Jenny got to know him well through their examinations of his writings.
"There's one thing that's fairly clear from your dad's writings" said Jenny on one of the many nights they discussed their ideas. "He faced the fact that he would probably never really know the answers to a lot of the questions he wondered about, but he never gave up and always believed that the purpose of intellect was to seek and discover as much as possible".
"It was a mission for him", added Jonathan. "He wrote about so many things, trying to process, through reason, a way of life. I think it's very interesting that he integrated his beliefs with science and never saw a disparity between them. What he seemed to be trying to do was use the foundations of scientific data to support and lead the way to validation of his beliefs".
"And his "Theories" were an attempt to explain unanswerable questions with reason", replied Jenny, getting excited about her and Jonathan's similar quest. You know, we know more scientifically than your father knew in his day, do think we could continue his work"?
Jonathan and Jenny pursued their task with renewed enthusiasm, sparked by Raymond's writings. Together they possessed a deep pool of information, the outcome of their lifetime of inquisitiveness and gathering trivial facts. To draw on science to support and create ideas about the nature and possibilities of their beliefs was both enlightening and intriguing to them. It also created the same wall Jonathan's father came to and wrote about. The answers were not supportable by scientific evidences, and, therefore, could at best be mere speculation. Regardless, like Raymond, Jonathan and Jenny trod on.
"It's a paradox", said Jonathan one day in frustration. "A belief is a matter of free-will, not evidence. There are many that know more about the bible and don't believe, and others that know next to nothing that have an unshakable belief. Ultimately, it is a commitment, made from hope and faith, not fact and evidence. From this viewpoint it may be frivolous to collect supportive evidence. It's like saying, I won't believe until I am convinced by evidence".
"But belief should not be blind", countered Jenny. "Our belief in the creation of the universe and life was validated to us by the evidences of science we collected. We don't have any doubts about a creator because we know his creation. Our reason, supported by scientific facts, strengthened our faith in God, the creator. We no longer contemplate that, or fight bouts of doubt because we have used our intellect to come to the conclusion of God's creation. I know we may not understand God's plan, or our spirituality, or immortality, but that is the challenge and task we have taken on. It is our inherited intellect that will help us conceptualize and maybe discover who we are and why we are here"?
"You know it is so easy to get caught up in the semantics of religions. It's like what happened when my brothers and I showed others my dad's writings. They related everything to what they were taught or narrowly believed. They were unable to use new discovery and thoughts to redefine their "stood the test of time" beliefs. I know now my dad did not try to present new ideas as being divine inspirations, but was just presenting ideas that incorporated modern science into how God may have worked. Would if the bible had said, "on the 10th billion year, God created DNA, upon which all life was formed". If the bible had been written today, maybe it would have said something like that", responded Jonathan, soothed again by Jenny's impeccable logic.
"And would if the bible had said, "on the first day God said, let there be a big bang", and the universe was created", added Jenny, in tune to the mood.
"Seriously", interjected Jonathan, his mind reeling with creative imaginings. "There is so much we know about ourselves and life now. The mapping of the entire human genome, all 30-40,000 genes, was a milestone to understanding how we work. But we also mapped the entire gene sequence of the fruit fly and even a mustard seed. As different as we are to these, about 10% of our genes are similar to the fruit fly and even 100 genes of our genes are homologous to the mustard seed. All life is related. And all life on earth is based on DNA. Dad wrote about genetics in his writings and inferred that our character is a creation of God, imaged with love. Evil was a mutation. Our work with behavioral genetics and the biochemistry of emotions certainly add dimension to his theories. I think you're right Jenny. Our intellect and science can help us conceptualize who and maybe why we exist".
"The big bang theory was not as well accepted in your dad's time and discovery in the field of genetics has really exploded also. One thing that's clear to me is when God said "let there be light" and there was, it is entirely explained by the big bang. Light could not exist in the singularity. It would be like one gigantic black hole, with unimaginable gravitational forces that would easily exclude the existence of light", added Jenny.
"You know, we are doing what dad did", exclaimed Jonathan, now sparked with enthusiasm. "He tried to define his beliefs with scientific data. He was always excited and enthusiastic about new discovery and to him it opened up new and exciting possibilities for understanding and conceptualizing his beliefs in God. He was not the skeptical scientist, nor the narrowly defined theologian. He was free to think for himself and utilize his intellect to reason out his concepts of the relationship of Man and God".
"It was the freedom and courage he took to form new ideas that first overwhelmed me", said Jenny, now as usual, perfectly in sync with the conversation. "That and the fact he was responding to questions I always had and kept to myself. He made a marriage of science and his faith".
"There are a couple of big differences between us and my dad", said Jonathan, trying to grasp the profound quest of his father. "He was alone in his thoughts and kept to himself. We share each other in purpose and support. I wonder if my focus and enthusiasm could sustain itself alone. I think you could have, but not me. You were more like him in curiosity and drive. I was inspired by him, after his death, and later by you".
"I don't know?, responded Jenny. "I had pretty much given up in despair after the SI thing until I met you. We are each others inspiration", Jenny responded, suddenly gaily.
History is a compilation of human events, without the excuse of mundane diversions of life events factored in. Hence, human achievements seldom have regard for the facts of life, like health, poverty, wars, or politics. For Jonathan and Jenny, their diversion was in the nature of the birth of their son, Raymond Jr. The peace and continuity of their profound discourses were broken by distractions from little Raymond. Parenthood was a reward of love, but had a price.
"You know, we just don't talk together as much", lamented Jenny after a time.
"We will", assured Jonathan, with a sigh, while watching cartoons with his son.
And they did. But not with the same intensity and vigor they previously shared. The process was broken, but not the desire. Each spent what time they could on thought and data, but not together as much, and not with the same mutual integration of understanding. It was troubling, but each recognized the unilateral priority. And both knew it was just for a time.
Raymond Jr. was recipient of the profound intimacy of his parents. They shared a life.
"Jenny, I want Raymond to know my father and what we are doing", said Jonathan. "I missed the opportunity when I was younger. I don't want him to".
"You didn't fail your father, Jonathan. Don't forget you have carried on your father's legacy. Raymond will not miss out, if he's interested. I'll make sure of that", responded Jenny, knowing full well that this was her great wish also.
And so, Raymond Jr. was brought up with the mission of his parents in mind. His curiosity was nurtured and his every question created an excitement and opportunity for his parents. As he grew up he learned that his questions drew attention and soon it was a significant part of his nature. Eventually, he was included in their discussions. He struggled to grasp their words and was given long, patient explanations of everything by them so he could understand. His childhood was spent with many long nights gazing at the stars with his mother, and playing with his chemistry sets and microscopes with his father. He was brought up with the toys of science.
Raymond Jr.'s education was also in religion. At first his exposure to religion was traditional. The children's books, videos, and Sunday School attendance were early initiations into Christianity. He readily learned the stories and sang the songs along with the others. He learned before he could question, and established an identity with Christianity at an early age. That this would play out as it will as he grew up was not what his parents had in mind. Their mission was to provide Raymond Jr. with the tools of theology to broaden his education of religions, and to teach him a concept of Creation, that they had labored to learn and understand. When Raymond Jr. asked questions, as had become his nature, they spent the same time on long, patient explanations to help him understand.
Their unique influences produced a unique child, an inquisitive teen, and a person, like unto themselves, a person with a drive to know and understand. Raymond Jr.was like his grandfather.
I hope the non-literary aspect, misspelling, multiple English errors, and poor sentence structures of this story did not distract you too much. It is after all a non-commercial endeavor.
Raymond Jr. was to be my masterpiece of intellect, fusing science and religion with reasoned, rational thought. My abstract goal to finish this story succumbed to the practical fact of not having the resources of time and energy to write in the face of the challenge of surviving the realities of daily life. Does the practical always defeat the beauty of the abstract? In any case, my story ended at what was supposed to be the beginning.
Now everything is as “it should be”, and my age and energy bend to the will of God. My great testimony in life is the path that God gave me to find His plan of salvation. My life no longer searches for the evidence and proof of insights into meaning and purpose, but dwells on the Hope that is sustained by my Faith. I am forever thankful that science helped me “see” the glory of God and helped assure me of the revelation of His grace through his son, Jesus Christ. As I spent my life seeking, so was I found.
My idle life of retirement gives me more time to research and write, but now I find I write very repetitiously and the spark of originality and boldness may be gone. I have posted some of my writings on a blog named, “scienceofgodscreation.com” and have a few in “authorsden.com” under my name Gordon Hisayasu. If energy allows I will continually type some of my old and newer writings on my blog. The fate of this story is still not resolved.
Now known as “Gramps” (with no Raymond Jr.)
Who is Raymond? 5-6-16
The ideas of Raymond cry out for explanation. He is too bold and renegade with the freedom he uses to try to make some sense out of the bible and science together. Simply put, he is just making up ideas that might explain how science could be used to explain some of the unanswered questions they poise to religion. It definitely freely uses the concept that science “could be” used to understand some concepts in the bible. It is a modern attempt to use discoveries of science to try to bring some sense to concepts like evil, the soul, and death, etc. It is like looking for WIMPS.
Raymond is a man who is using his intellect and reason to help find answers. Not the answer, but ideas that help explain or provide a rational basis for his understanding of life and God. He found out early and definitively that science does not have absolute answers, but it does provide insight into existence and creation. Religion provides choices that can give comfort to understanding the mysteries of existence, especially adding meaning and purpose, which are areas science seldom explores or enlightens. I believe in God because I see the incredible creation around me, made more immense with scientific discovery. The sense that the complexity and intellect of creation is divine becomes clarified by the act of faith and hope in a creator. A man of science cannot help but be impressed with the beauty of design in our cosmos, our world, and our life. Every aspect of science I study becomes more and more complex, mysterious, and wondrous. The God I worship is matchless.
So how does a man try to explain things, at least to himself? I will not ever desert my faith and belief (even in Jesus). I know that science can cause confusion and be contradictory, but if viewed as a positive reality of God’s creation, science can be inspirational. Now unanswered questions can be approached from an attempt at reasonable, rational, intellectual, knowledgeable, thoughts and theories. That is what Raymond attempted.
He separated the worldly laws of nature from the spiritual laws of God, clearly understanding. God created both.
He saw the same genius that created life from the inanimate in the existence of our identity in his design of genetics.
He speculated that the principles of religion regarding good and evil of humans was a part of the behavioral characteristics of man, inherited and designed by the ingenious design of human genetics.
He speculated that a spiritual world beyond the finite carnal existence of man exist by God’s purpose and design to reside in man. The spirit of Man and it’s retention is the mechanism of immortality.
The sovereignty of God controls the purpose, meaning, and fate of creation. Science and discovery expose parts of this if we have the eyes to "see".
Raymond’s thoughts were safe when kept within himself. The fear of exposure to criticism by science and religion was strengthened and supported by the hope of guidance by God’s Spirit. The growth of science should be a tool for us to understand God better. The gift of intellect can be a vehicle for inspiration and the glorification of a God who created a world our ancestor could not have imagined existed. On bent knee we can say “God is Great”.