Individual progress, worldly good

If the entire universe consisted of everything as it is now, except that there was no life of any kind … anywhere. Could there possibly be such a thing as meaning or purpose?

What difference does anything mean to a stone, a few grains of sand, or a puddle of water? While inert materials exist, they have no reason, or self volition. They are like the tools in the workman’s tool box. They may have use, but not within themselves. Could there be anything meaningful in such an atmosphere? There would, however, still be order. There is order in the expressions of energy in atomic structure, and planetary orbits. Only mayhem can exist without order. Order, organization, and the resulting productivity, are products of intelligence. Intelligence gives meaning to any existence.

Enter life … the manifestation of intelligence! Intelligence is the source of life. Whether animal or vegetable, all life has a degree of intelligence. It grows, reproduces, and modifies its environment. An apple seed sprouts, becomes an apple tree, producing an abundance of apples, with more seeds. The bee pollinates apple blossoms. Who taught him to do that? Who taught the robin to select a safe spot, and how to build a nest?

Materials are things like mud or stone. Energies are heat or electricity. These things, like a stone, have no intelligence, no controlling will, or power. They have no purpose, and nothing has any meaning to them. Sound like anyone you know? (OK, wise guy)

We don’t seem to fully realize that intelligence rules everything. It is the most powerful thing there is. It is the fountain of order. It compromises with nothing. Intelligence is never wrong. It has no time for ignorance. You cannot hold intelligence in your hand, you cannot smell it, or taste it, but it exists, and governs. Intelligence, is the most spiritual thing we easily recognize. We are proud to identify with it. We are aware of it by its potential in our minds. We know it when we see it, but we didn’t invent it. All life of any kind exists as a a form of intelligence. Life is the only thing which is self motivated to modify its environment for its own satisfaction. Even the most primitive forms of life, like moss on a stone, seek and modify its environment. A stone may modify the environment, but it has no purpose of its own.

When we look out at the world, and the tremendous progress in the pursuit of intelligence which has been made by humankind over the generations, does anyone truly believe that mankind is the originator of his own intelligence? Let’s get real.

As children we are eager to learn, but by the time we get our drivers license, many of us think we’re smart enough. We feel we are ready to go out and live. Life is just one adventure after another. It’s our trial and error period. Because our potential for intelligence is unlimited we, make many mistakes, especially in out formative years,

Other creatures cannot function beyond their specified intelligence, and cannot therefore become evil. We humans can become evil or saintly. How we develop depends a lot on how we are introduced and educated in our formative years. We often fail to properly educate our children.

Now in the 21st century, there can be no doubt that the entire universe is controlled by unchangeable, cooperating, laws. Humanity has come to understand these laws. We become distracted by the lure of personal power, and too often try to manipulate reality for our own personal advantage.

The most rewarding power anyone can gain, is the power to understand and control themselves. That’s expressing intelligence. We are each unique, and the only one responsible for what we are. When we can correct ourselves, as easily as we can correct others, we shall begin a new journey in understanding. May God bless America.

Richard Westlund is a Collins resident. Send comments to