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Thoughts on How to Grow

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” (Bertrand Russell)
There is an epidemic sweeping all the great nations of our world. It’s commonly called “Old Man’s Disease.” It can be seen and heard in all variety of places – airports, restaurants, ball parks, and particularly in the chapel. It usually starts with exaltation to the wonderful way things used to be and finishes with a declamation or even damnation of the way things are now becoming. This ailment is brought on by a mesmerizing array of disjointed observations about offensive music, disgraceful fashion, lack of a disciplined work ethic, and the general disappearance of filial piety. Ironically, suffers of this malady commonly overlook the fact that if these conditions were actually so they would be entirely culpable given that they were charged with the raising and enrolling the succeeding generation in what is good, glorious and true. The fundamental dynamic of growth is that the old is unseated by the new, whether by choice or by force. The wise are rejuvenated with the emergence of the nascent and act to make opportunity and provision for it.
The concept of the Self is a strange thing indeed for it holds together the random chaos of disorderly events vying for our attention. It is the mysterious centerpiece of our wholeness for without it we have no organizing principle or platform upon which we may reanimate ourselves. When taken too far, we inflate the Self and create a delusionary state of superiority where our ignorance begets confidence and false prospicience. Conversely, the highly acute and capable often over recognize the limitations of their abilities and are frozen with fear. A sublime balance of intuition and cognition are required to move forward towards progress with both talent and technique.
Increasingly science is putting Man back into a situational context. Our children have become the green police enforcing the local laws of reduce, reuse and recycle. They have been enlightened regarding their symbiotic relationship with nature – The Biosphere, the Gia Hypothesis and the Bretherton Diagram. Inversely, some limited agency over our sovereign destiny is being returned to us for safe keeping. Consider the field of Epigenics that suggests that our attitudes and lifestyle may yet have some bearing on our genetic disposition. Perhaps our essential function is to be the equilibrium for the opposing forces that encircle us and this is why we seek to steady the ever changing. Like a hologram where the smallest sliver of image can be clipped and within that fragment all can be seen in its entirety, we contain the universe but are not the totality of it. We are the integrators; the growers; the stewards of the better and new.
 Jeff DeGraff
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