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ENTROPY

That word signifies a law of the universe — the tendency of all things to decompose, to fall apart, to decay. Eventually, of course, it means the end of the universe itself. We get a glimpse of it in the fall (this is not just physics, it’s biology as well) amid the splendor of the dying maple leaves. It poses a question.

That question was articulated by Leonard Mlodinow, the physicist and screenwriter: “…if the natural tendency of the universe is disorder, then where does the order of life come from?” Einstein loved simple answers to complicated questions, and this one comes from a seven-year-old — “Isn’t God the author of life?” He designed life’s questions to be understandable to the simple. Why not everybody?

Sometimes when we consider the complexities of life, we wonder, what can the uneducated make of it? That may be why Einstein looked for the simplest answer.

The Future

We are in the midst of a pandemic the likes of which the world has not seen, and China, not to mention Russia again, is clamoring to dominate the world.  Then there’s a backward civilization, centered in Iran, that wants to become a nuclear power, though it has little chance of being anything more than another Pyongyang.  What do we do with this?

I am relying on the knowledge of human nature bequeathed to me by our Western Civilization and living a somewhat solitary life of prayer, and if possible, good deeds.  It is a small contribution, but I’ve seen prayer work, and I believe there is an echoing realm in this universe that magnifies not just a quantum quark into a nuclear explosion, but a humble prayer into a mighty deed.

And you don’t want to believe it? But bad situations have been resolved in the past. You know the source of the solution?

Slavery

We all have to make adjustments to things that happen to us without our participation.  One of these things is the fairly recent slavery of the blacks.  I am not black, but I no doubt have ancestors much further back in history who were made slaves by Caesar.  They had to get over it.  Eventually, they had the help of Christianity, brought from across the Channel by Irish monks.

What were we going to do, with these monks talking about a man who said, “Love your enemies”?  Today, the descendants of the Helvetians get along fine with the descendants of the Romans.  I have cousins who married men with names like Ferrari and Fumagalli.

The point I’m making is that you make sure your sense of justice is not a sense of revenge.  Revenge is not a feeling encouraged by Christ.  I was taught revenge was wrong from the time I went to school, and I’m glad somebody taught me the Way of Jesus.

Last Supper

I didn’t know this, but the Last Supper was a Passover meal without the ritualistic lamb.  Christ was the sacrificial lamb demanded in the Exodus.  The start of the New Testament was a second Exodus.  I love to hear about the relation between the Old and New Testament.

I’m getting my things in order.  What with our pandemic, you never know when this earthly life will end on short notice.  As a matter of fact, you never knew before this, either.  My father died of lukemia in the old Manhasset Medical Center, a disease he acquired washing watch parts with benzene.

Hey, the coronavirus can’t be transmitted through water.  I can still drink the Jericho Water District water.  Nick Bartilucci kept that disctrict A+.

Dementia

Old age brings with it some undesirable accompaniments, not least of which is some degree of dementia.  I recognize that in my forgetfulness, and I have the standard response, I accept it.  So do those with far worse cases of it, and I wonder that we do not see many cases of

                        Do not go gentle into that good night,

                        …but rage, rage, rage at the dying of the light.

Those lines (Dylan Thomas) depict someone who mourns his loss of action, and wants to deal with it in a decisive manner.  We soon learn.

After a full life, possibly even with children and grandchildren, that’s not the way to treat the Lord whom you’ll see soon enough.  My present memory may fade, but I still have vivid memories of some loving moments, like the time I got the standing ovation from the football team and students in the MacArthur High School auditorium.

Helping Themselves?

The   saying, “God helps those who help themselves” must not be taken in a selfish way.  God is spirit, and when he helps us, it is as a spirit, inspiring our mind with ideas to help ourselves.  If you have differences with your daughter, straighten them out and she’ll invite you to a dinner worth years of trial.

In our younger days, my brother Rudy and I hiked a section of the Appalachian Trail.  We were in a section far from stores or houses, and our canteens were empty.  We prayed for a solution.  The skies looked cloudy, so we were inspired to spread a poncho at our evening campsite, with a collapsible bucket under the center opening for one’s head.  Well, lo, it rained that night and filled our bucket to the brim.  We had steaming oatmeal for breakfast that morning.  You have to know how a prayer could be answered.

The word spiritual can mean mental, something you ought to be alert to at your age!

Science vs. Faith

Christof Koch.  He was a scientist, once a Catholic, working on consciousness.  Then, he said, he was overcome by science, and dropped his faith.  What a mistake!  To let something so dependent on human reason make you drop and lose a gem worth so much!

Science depends exclusively on human reasoning, and now, we’ve found out, the universe is not dependent on human reasoning!  We’ve found QM (Quantum Mechanics) which makes our human reasoning look like child’s play.  We have to grope our way through it, learning as we go.  One stunning word we use is “entanglement.”  That describes what it does to our brains, figuratively.

What is wrong with a brain that cannot see into the universe beyond its own reasoning power?  Don’t those people see what I see, a Father who decorated his halls with all kinds of living things, and things we suspect of having consciousness?  Don’t they know, if it goes it got a push somewhere?

Unexpected Help

He didn’t want to be in a hospital.  He didn’t want to be in a rehab.  But he’d lost a good amount of his blood through a bladder ailment and had to be injected daily with an antibiotic.  So he said, “Get me out of this Day-Care!”  He was in his eighties, my little brother, and his children did not know what to do with him.

Today my other brother, Sylvan, checked up on him, an arduous task.  My little brother had been reconciled, in a way, to his role in Western Civilization.  He had gotten up in the night and run an errand for one of his fellow detainees (gotten a glass of water?) though he could barely make it to the bathroom himself.  He had admitted to himself that, though locked up in a “Day-Care,” he was a brother of Jesus Christ.