There are rewards in keeping open minds
When you come right down to it, there are just two basic things in creation we must contend with. They are intelligence, and ignorance, otherwise known as reality and unreality. The more intelligence you have, the better your life.
The more ignorant you remain, the more problems you will have, fighting the city hall of reality. Intelligence is understanding reality. Ignorance is meaningless mentality. It is surprising how many of us pursue unreality in looking for shortcuts to happiness. We are born ignorant, and we progress, depending on how we are led to believe, as we tackle the job of growing into maturity, but we all have our own self-generated, ignorance.
The seed of ignorance is a belief in our own mentality. The die has been cast as we were taught, before we developed understanding. But how can an intelligent mind, believe that the amazing, organized, cooperation of all the laws of the universe, complete with the miracle of intelligent life, be a meaningless accident?
Organization always has purpose. It’s never accidental. It takes intelligence to have organization. If life is just here today and gone tomorrow, purpose, or meaning, do not exist. Why should anyone refrain from thievery, murder, rape, or anything else, if it gives them what they seek for satisfaction, and they can get away with it? What does it matter in the long run? Many shallow minds accept this. A belief in God is the first realization that we are all together in the same boat. We did not create ourselves. Our babies are born ignorant, but their earliest awareness looks to us for guidance with a hunger for learning.
We send our children to school to learn. We spend large sums of money training them to make a decent living. In my school days there were instructors who expressed many unqualified opinions. Of course teachers of science could not do this. I recall a college English instructor who’s main reason for teaching seemed to convince her class that William Shakespeare was homosexual. She pointed out any clue she thought meaningful. But it didn’t change his dramas. It’s been a long time since I sat in a classroom, but I get the impression that opinion now rules over facts in some colleges.
In the 1940s, Adolf Hitler upended civilization with World War II. His enthusiasm was to convince Germans that they were a superior people, destined to rule the world. We are fortunate indeed that he failed. Of course all the people of Germany didn’t believe him, but enough did, to bring the world to its knees in desperation.
Teaching false propaganda, is one of the worlds worst crimes, because it undermines the intelligent pursuit of life by compliant students. It also betrays a search for control, rather than enlightenment of students. To do so unknowingly is one of life’s tragedies.
We are born ignorant, but as small children we are very eager to learn. Somehow we know it’s our destiny to learn.
I’m sure that many people think of Albert Einstein as an atheist, because many scientists have been, but he once said: “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, words that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love, that exist just as light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when a man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold when there is no heat, or darkness when there is no light.”
Man is the only creature who can be evil, because he is the only creature who can forsake his own intelligence. He calls his ignorance Satan, a power he cannot control. Those most entrenched in evil, are those who seek power over others, whether by direct robbery, or by scamming the innocent. We can be taught respect for the truth, but we can also be taught, “What does truth matter?” Seeing others as deplorable makes it easier to care less about their well being.
The current urge, to get while the getting is good, to care only about one’s own welfare, and not taking society as a whole seriously, is basically an egotistical, criminal, and ignorant outlook. It is the inevitable, and fatal result of a belief in nothing but self, but self cannot exist alone. May God bless you, and America.
Richard Westlund is a Collins resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org