Piglrims landing in Massachussets
I’ve always suspected that twins would be the most sensitive –at a distance– to each other’s feelings, desires, thoughts…
This reminded me of my intellectual travel through my college and post-college years.
I am a “child of the 1960s”, that agitated generation that was among the first affected by court decisions that declared that America was no longer a “Christian” nation. It had been culturally Christian since the Pilgrims landed, something even the never-“Biblical” Time magazine recognized once upon a time in an edition that the Bible had been the dominant force shaping the cultural and political landscape from the time of the Pilgrims.
But in my first class in high school, the teacher first thing he said was, Let us get one thing clear, right now, he said, the Bible is wrong, period. He didn’t say it like that of course, what he said was that we were created by “evolution”, nothing more, it’s a fact, period, and he would not tolerate dissent.
What a clueless know-it-all idea! I’ve learned since then that the same group of religiously and fanatical Darwinists accuse believers of claiming to “have the corner on truth”!
That was the first volley in the attack on my simple childhood faith and by the time I had gone through my years of college I was not only atheist, but had been a mild agitator in my own right against the Vietnam War and against capitalism.
But thank God my mind did not shut down in stupor like some of my peers.
Because I knew about phenomena like the twins article at the aforementioned link, I began to think about the related science. High school-level physics tells us electronic impulses generate electromagnetic fields, and high-school biology tells us that our nervous systems depend on constant firing of electric charges in combination with chemistry.
One plus one is two, but the next question was, why was research into the obvious possibilities at absolute zero??
It became evident over time that the reason was that the group of people who would be the researchers had decided it was “unscientific” and just refused to go there. Actually there was a subtext there too: such things were “religious”, “spiritual”, too hot to touch for “science”. After all, “science” supposedly proved all religious ideas wrong. Pressed on it, they might invoke “lack of evidence”, by which they really meant, they were not interested in exploring any evidence.
That was the unspoken context of government education. Still is. Genesis One is wrong, goes the narrative, and Christians were among the worst abusers of power of history, blah blah blah. Now, after talk radio was unleashed from the “Unfairness Doctrine”, and a few years of Internet free speech market, the word is out, that it is okay to recognize the obvious: That the worst abusers of all history have been the officially atheist Marxist regimes of the 20th century and even the 21st century. The worst abusers of the last half of the 20th century in second place are some of the Islamic nations, though not necessarily all of them, and historically they were not so consistently totally brutal as the atheist regimes.
Okay, anyway, on goes my story. Undeterred by the lack of interest by “scientists” in following the confluence of physics and biology where it would lead, I decided to see what materials were out there about ESP (“extrasensory perception), “psychic” phenomena, and other things beyond the “edge” of science. “Tachyons” were already a subject for science fiction, a major hobby interest of mine as well.
I remembered prophecy as a real thing from my Dad’s sermons. I couldn’t find stuff on these subjects except the ones that tended on the “spooky” and crazy stuff. The most promising was an experiment at Stanford University (I think it was) that found they could get people to control the type of brain waves enough to type on a remote keyboard.
Prophecy, what is also called “premonition” or “clairvoyance”, was another thing to think about. This led to memories of sermons about prophecy from childhood days.
I had read one of Isaac Asimov‘s multitude of writings, where he had talked about Bible prophecy and concluded for you that it was all a bunch of nonsense. Self-fulfilling or vague he said.
Not an expert, but I knew that was wrong, vaguely remembering some of the things from earlier. That is now a blur, but ever since then I’ve learned of thousands of very specific predictions in the Bible and outside the Bible.
So that led me to do some research in the Bible, though I was still atheist, thinking there might be something there to learn about growing some ability in this area or find out more about these phenomena.
It led to thinking about everything again.
Hats off to my very liberal Geography teacher in high school, Cleveland High School in St. Louis, we all loved that guy. He emphasized at every turn that we should all think for ourselves about all things. He provoked us in political discussions too, and moderated class discussion about how to decide our vote in elections. He explained why he voted a straight Democratic Party ticket, but he was not a demagogue about it and he didn’t call dissenters names, and he made us feel that we would not be ostracized or humiliated if we dissented.
What a contrast with the religiously Darwinian fanatic, the Biology teacher.
So not necessarily just because of that Geography teacher, my mind began to wander outside the strictures pounded into us by government education, that we were not to take the Bible as history.
Boy oh boy what a ride it was after that.
I decided that the truth was the goal, no matter what it looked like. As in, open your mind to the truth even if it looks like a narrow truth.
Once that closed-minded barrier broke, following facts, science, history, and logic where it led, it became a road back to a lonely faith. Lonely because it was faith in God but all my peers were now steeped in the anti-faith indoctrination, and did not very open then to reason or rationality.
Other things were going on in my life too at the same time, other slow-forming epiphanies.
I was also getting sorely disillusioned with the fellow anti-war demonstrators and fellow leftists. None of them were much interested in my desire to join forces with the unions to overthrow capitalism. Unions were middle class by then. I remember some of the construction worker wildcat strikes in the news when I was a kid in the 1950s, and remember thinking that the hourly pay they were demanding was astronomical.
And working Americans at the time were heavily patriotic, too. We called them “hard-hats”, and in the early years they were furious over anti-war demonstrations. At one point, there was a pro-war march about half a million strong through central St. Louis, my home town.
But it didn’t take too much to see through the elitist leftist leaders. During those days, Pacific Gas and Electric raised the rates in the area for electricity, and their members, union workers, went on a wildcat strike, demanding they roll back the rates as their top demand!
At the time, a student body leader known as a leftist, led a group of us to something I think he needed to do for academic credits. It was a study of poor people of some theme or another. We went to East St. Louis, on the other side of the river, and went down to the riverbanks of the Mississippi River, and he did his oral interview with a black fellow there who was tending to a few hogs he had there.
About a hundred feet downriver there was a big electric tower, and there were two hard-hats there, remember, these were workers for PG&E. I suggested hey, look, these are the workers we need for revolution, let’s go talk to them. These rich kids –it was an expensive Ivy League university (I was there on 100% scholarship and loan)– starting with the “leader”, could not have snorted any more pig-like than the pig farmer’s hogs when he spit out his epithet: “hard-hats”.
That was my disillusion with that movement. Plus, with seeing the capitalists behind every bad thing happening, why did the Communist “alternative newspapers” treat the JFK assassination like it was nothing to think about, ho-hum?
Then there was rock music. A friend who was a “Trotsky” Communist who also loved the Beatles told me he thought there was a subtle pro-revolution (of the violent kind) message in the Beatles song that seemed to denounce violence for changing the world, which to us seemed a contrast to another one (“A working class hero is something to be”).
Wow. I was at my favorite group the Rolling Stones for singing about everything BUT revolution. Even “fighting in the streets” seemed to be for biker gangs, not us. So after that tidbit about the Beatles, I put on the headphones and started listening to all the Rolling Stones records my radical sociology professor had, because I was renting a room from him at the time.
It was a frustrating few weeks looking for a hidden revolutionary message, until finally one song’s “message” became clear, an exhortation to overdose without care, a message to welcome that “monkey on my back”.
The disillusion became outrage. From there I listened to the other albums I had liked so much. Jefferson Airplane told you “your mind is a thoroughbred” –if you could get through “baby you’re dead”, stroking the ego into eugenics, breed the race. Then there was “The Band”, telling us out loud we were puppets on a string, if you could undo the subtle psychology of the lyrics preceding that used association tricks to sublimate the conscious.
Some readers by now are thinking, Yeah, I knew that. Others are going, Wow, that’s right! Some others stopped thinking back at “monkey on my back”. But then there are psychologists saying “Yep. Light hypnotic state”.
My disillusion turned into frustration because none of my friends thought it was any big deal.
Shortly after that, my college years were over, and I moved my pre-induction draft physical to where the U.S. Statistical Abstract said there were the most medical deferments, North California. I had friends already in Berkeley, California.
The day after the doctors failed me in the exam for medical reasons, I met some street missionaries from the street missionaries that lit fire to the Jesus People movement and spent the afternoon with them.
A couple of months later, I returned to California from St. Louis to join this movement to change the world.
And that’s how it can be done. One heart at a time. You can’t wave a wand and impose goodness and light and “democracy” on people who are not used to it, even if they yearn for the freedom that comes with a republican form of government. East Germans went through a lot of pain when they merged with their richer cousins of the West. Russia went through some pains with the partial privatization of their economy.
And the “Arab spring” is turning into an “Arab caliphate” ruled by mullahs of the Muslim Brotherhood, thanks to meddling. Better to support the Christians behind the Muslim Wall, and show them the God of love, and the life of resurrection, that wins hearts and minds to the truth.
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