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I was born in Erie , Pennsylvania in 1946. My father was a single engine fighter pilot who flew with the 14th Air Force in the Hell of the terrible air war in China in 1944, and my mother was a bright, doe-eyed and deeply spirited daughter of German immigrants. He came back from the hopeless brutality and madness of a World War and together in hope and faith for a better world, they made me. The first of four children, we led a nomad, gypsy life while my father was mustering out of the Air Force and through the years while he was working his way up the corporate ladder as an insurance executive. We grew up naïve, complacent and trusting through the affluent opulence and spoiled precocious 1950’s and had no true concept or understanding of the harsh realities of the global world beyond.
Through the turbulent 60’s and the despair and desolation of the decades since, like so many others, I carried the spirit within that my parents in faith and hope had buried deep inside me. We were a generation set aflame with an impossible dream. We truly believed that we could change the world. It is just that in our foolish ignorance we had no idea how monstrously difficult that dream was, or how deep that change really had to be.
I excelled in High School and went off to University tracking that dream. But somehow, all along, my studies inevitably seemed to wander to the fringes of custom, order and tradition, and beyond. And always they seemed to end up in the obscure shadows of the same bewitching enigma. I can recall my first exposure to this enigma in my youth, when I was dissatisfied and disturbed with an elementary school Geometry text which unequivocally stated that, “The whole is equal to the sum of its parts.” And in high school I was inexplicably drawn in simple, curious fashion to the broad strokes of Einstein’s Theories of Relativity. Beyond the inescapable and endemic limitations to our scientific viewpoint of universe that this uncovered, in his words and his life there was an inextinguishable whisper of something intrinsically wrong on a deeper, systemic level to the fundamental scientific approach to universe itself.
Leaving University without graduating and out into the world at large I continued what has become a personal quest. And ever so slowly through the years that whisper gradually became louder, grew clearer…and eventually became a song. Guided by the words of other thinkers and dreamers before me… Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Henry David Thoreau, Plotinus, Lao Tzu, Michael Faraday, Albert Szent-Gyorgi, Russian scientists such as L. S. Vygotsky, I. T. Frolov and A. I. Oparin, Lynn Margulis, Lyall Watson, Mendel Sachs, Jacob Needleman, Rosalie Bertell, R.E. Ornstein, Buckminster Fuller, Aurelio Peccei, Carl Sagan, Mother Teresa, Huston Smith and so many, many more incredible Human beings I finally managed to piece together the puzzle and begin to light the dark enigma.
It is and has always been a common, collective journey. And each of us carry part of the Human dream and pass it on to those yet to come. First, last and forevermore the only quality of excellence and gifted glory about any of us is that we are Human. It is the same magnificence that all of us have buried inside that we demonstrate every day, every second. The courage to live. The faith to believe that somehow it will all work out. That finally hope, love, integrity, compassion and truth will triumph. That hand-in-hand together there is a way out of this mortal agony. That somewhere “the hurting must stop.”
Being Human is a most exquisite and incomparable thing. It has always been so. And it always will be. The dream shining deep inside us will one day carry us all into paradise. Believe in it…and make it so.