A LIFETIME OF LESSONS by Perry Mann

A LIFETIME OF LESSONS
8-1-12

Sexual love is ephemeral. Lasting love is based on ethical, secular and philosophical, political and religious compatibility. Once the excitement of sex is muted, if there is nothing else, it’s the end of wedding bliss and just a humdrum day to day thereafter.

Marriage is for children. Without children a marriage is naturally sterile. Nature does its best to bring children but often her best is frustrated, sometimes properly. But always it’s a loss to the partners. But, another child in a world crowded with children and their parents eating into Earth’s sustainability along with 7 billion other mouths— is a certain and always problem of global concern.

Seek Knowledge with a fervor others seek money. Read all the best that has been written, if not all as much of it as life allows you the time to read. There is no safer path to walk than that laid out by those intellectuals and saints that have walked the path and written of those paths to take and those to avoid. And great literature and poetry are sustenance for the spirit.

Eschew religions. They have no foundation in fact. They do harm as history attests. They do some good. But the basis of their beliefs is mythical. Secular humanism is what one should investigate. It is the future. It is based on science and philosophy and the reason and empathy Nature birthed. Also, question the concepts of Heaven and Hell and an eternal soul and much else that are the bases of Christianity.

Free will is an illusion. It has so been declared so by minds of great intelligence and scholarship. Even Spinoza, a Jewish philosopher who lived 1632-1677, taught it. The concept allows you to forgive all the atrocities that people do and to understand that greatness is Fated. It is the basis of that aspect of liberalism that is empathy. It is the answer to the revengeful view of conservatives’ accountability and responsibility.

Nature is everyone’s Mother. To do damage to Her is the ultimate sin. Neither this nation nor any other nation can long survive without the love and care of Mother Nature. Live near her, protect her, and revere her. Do what you do with the understanding that it should be compatible with Nature’s welfare and her longevity. For all our lives are dependent on the welfare of Her Life.

Work toward a socialistic but democratic political system. Capitalism is a cancer on Mother Nature. It exploits her for profits unconscionably and disastrously. And then leaves garbage of Mt Everest dimensions for mankind to bury. Also, it begets billionaires. Financial obscenities. And malls where people assault one another over an item of sale: Like animals with no God-given conscience. Socialism would help to take from the PRIVATEERS, who rolled dice and captured wealth, and would redistribute the wealth fairly to those who create it. There is no economic freedom for anyone if there is no Nature to exploit. What are capitalists to do with a dead Nature?

Live near Nature. Avoid the city, the corrupt environment created by mankind as a substitute for Nature’s. Live as close as you can with forests, meadows, fields, brooks, streams and all bodies of water, the source of your beginning. And a place where in evening the sun sets before your eyes and at night the heavens are clear and the arc of the stars stuns you for a moment.

Do your best to make your avocation your vocation. Most lives are spent in an occupation they dislike or even hate. No one should have to live that way. But it is not easy to avoid such a life. Never just follow the path of someone close to you that has endured such a life. Capitalism loves those who dress in its harness and pull for the best years of their lives for little while producing much. Don’t settle soon for a work that will take you from youth to retirement in work you do not do with enthusiasm and is a work that does damage for profit to Mother Nature.

Tolerate and love all people everywhere. Tolstoy taught that we should love and be kind to all. He taught that all people had one origin and thus were all kin and should be acceptable in a Grand Union or Peoples’ Union. He dislike the notion that some were worthy of praise and worship and some were not worthy of a good day’s blessing. Read the Sermon on the Mount.

Always remember that the building blocks of nature are miniscule. Remember that all organic and inorganic matter; that is, all life and non-life is reducible to bits of the constituents of the Big Bang including you.

The Right’s belief that without religion humans have no moral guide is nonsense. Anyone close to nature has seen no end of evidence of morality in the animal kingdom. In fact, there would be no animal kingdom or any other kingdom without Nature’s built in morality. Conscience is Nature. The mother of every animal watches over her progeny with care and danger to her life. Morality is not Heaven sent but Nature gifted.

Mankind and all else, flesh and rocks, came from the Big Bang billions of years ago. All that has come from it is kin, all life and all non-life. The kinship now is unquestionable. The question is will enough of mankind recognize that relationship and build on it.

Mankind and all life have a beginning and end. So mankind has from that basis decided that the Universe has a beginning and end. But that conclusion may be wrong. It may be that the Universe just Is and always has been just Is. No beginning and no end. So it will go on into Eternity.

Stay free of debts. Every dollar of debt is a small shackle on your freedom. Creditors interfere with digestion and sleep.

Finally, but foremost, take care of your health, for if health goes— little else matters.

About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to Amazon.com to order my book Imagonna: Peace Corps Memories. I am the eighth generation of my family born in the Big Coal River Valley of West Virginia. My father and grandfather were underground coal miners. I have a chemical engineering degree from West Virginia University (WVU). After training to make sidewinder missiles, I joined the Peace Corps and taught chemistry and coached the track team at a secondary school in Nigeria. Since that time, I was WVU’s first full time foreign student advisor and worked in urban outreach, organic farming, construction labor, and high school teaching. I recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (wvhighlands.org), and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation (ksff.org). I am still on the board of the Labor History Association and the West Virginia Environmental Education Association and recently joined the board of the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. I am active in the campaign to stop the destructive practice of mountain top removal strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains. You may contact me at martinjul@aol.com or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.
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