My Father Who Art in Heaven

By: Robert Bruce Baird

I took one university course before discovering I was entitled to go into a Master's Program at York University if I got over 75%-ile on the GMAT. With ten years successful business experience and by testing out of the Baccalaureate Level course (CLEP test). This one course was Logic. The professor got his doctorate by doing a thesis on 'Giving and Do-Gooders'. On the day of the final exam I brought him a one page premise in support of 'He who is least selfish, is MOST selfish.'. He read it while we wrote the exam, which I finished early enough for him to tell me all the things that were wrong with my premise. My best point in retort was 'Why didn't you consider this possibility?' He was incensed and threatened like a lot of people who deal with my 'know-it-allness'. After all, he had achieved his esteemed doctorate and I was just 29 in a first year B.A. class.

So why was I wrong? Why did it upset him so much? What could I possibly have known that made him avoid me like the plague when I saw him at the racetrack (horses, and he didn't even acknowledge a wave) a couple of weeks later? How could I see something he hadn't even considered or that his thesis guides hadn't brought up? What value is there in an education where 'do-gooders' are diminished by egoists who don't even observe that humanity has higher aspirations than mere selfish recognition in the mode of such arcane and abstruse ideologues and pedagogues as Hegel? I quoted Van Dyke's poetry and Gibran (maybe the poetry and its' heart touching rather than intellect enchanting appeal was the cause):

"There are those who as in yonder valley, the myrtle breathes its fragrance to the air. These are the children of GOD, and through them he smiles upon the earth!"

My sense of 'Brotherhood' was offended by his narcissistic pessimism but I smiled in the confidence that I was right. That annoying look of pomposity that comes from actually learning and being interested with an open mind rather than a sheepskin from fools who 'think' they are wise men. It could easily be said that this is arrogance and it has been said more than once. The reader may think that and if they have read this far in this book they are entitled to have that opinion of me. For myself I know I am a 'fool'. THE SOUL is another matter indeed. Yes, I know there are many who give in expectation of return or in hope of building fences that obligate and manipulate others to recognize their specialness. The white picket fences of fantasies have confronted my search on more than one occasion.

That was an unnecessary and obvious observation that I didn't feel warranted anything more than a mere stipulation to its veracity. It was his whole thesis though buttressed by other 'me-too' scholars who can wend words and vacillate like moths to a flame or deer in the headlights of oncoming vehicles. I diminished its import as a stage like puberty in the becomingness toward ‘bliss’ that comes from giving without need of return.

In fact the return of a favour isn't something I would want as much as passing it along to others in need. But, there have been times when I know I've given and seen others try to negate either the gift or me, so maybe I haven't always been so truly motivated at those times. As a child I had always valued true sharing and the model my father created in his simple and wondrous gift of friendship and respect to myself and my three brothers. He never felt any need (I could see, to the most part) to control or form us in his image vicariously or otherwise. He loved to hear us call him 'JIM'! It truly was unusual and people often remarked on that fact.

No higher position in his cosmogony than enabling and learning from and WITH us! He was a soul who participated without prejudice in the many wonders nature (God) provides us all.

In the end, I knew LOVE was there when I 'let a bird go free'; if 'it returned' of its own accord and strong volition with hopes of adding to what I knew or sharing what it had helped others to learn - that infrequent treasure is the essence of what makes me proud. I knew it is not just in this world that we receive benefits or karmic reward. History is full of examples of those who gave openly being persecuted by those who take! Jesus, Socrates and Tesla were becoming even greater guides for my pursuit.

I was finding more than I ever thought there was in the words of Shakespeare and loved Victor Hugo's appreciation of the bard when he talked about 'glimpsing the waves of the marvellous'. I had no anthropomorphed or other entity that I could demand a hearing from in my prayers. No following, no cult, not even a desire to belong to most of the human race. I was wealthy in matters material. My goals had been met in most of the driven ways we seek recognition and it was only for those I wanted to share it with that I derived benefit. I spent money like a bandit waiting to be caught. Women had shown me things that I could never have learned in books. I had been able to know others thoughts and dreams when I was close to them. They were in tune with me on many occasions in the same way. My father had told me such things were possible. He called it 'the pixie-mind' and told me he loved how women could flit from topic to topic knowing each others feelings and not having to beat a subject to death with intellect. I had much more to learn - and was eagerly awaiting all that life would bring. Still - very much in stillness - I knew my life had ‘quickened’ and taken a firm stand on the path towards Love and giving with no expectation of return. How could I accept his thesis that do-gooders pursue only self-gratification or Hegelian recognition?

Twenty years passed before I read Aristotle's 'Nichomachean Ethics' and saw my 'contribution dynamics of day to day life' were therein contemplated. He had written this book in honour of his father, whose ethics had inspired him. Maybe that means society had screwed his father up a little in the matter of women too, I can't say it comes through in this book and I know that lots of people have wanted to put these words into the mouth of great men so others would follow. My father had failed to find his equal in love and my mother was a schizophrenic. He never implicated to us that this was the way of women and it was a great sorrow to him that we might be negatively inclined towards women as a result. It did happen to my oldest brother in some weird ways that I cannot trace to my father. My own placement of women on a pedestal was no doubt partially due to a lack of a good female role model or trusted friend (that a sister might have supplied).

Like fine porcelain objets d'art, I marveled at their depth and beauties as if on a pedestal by the gods they had been placed. 'Jim' was long dead when I began to write in earnest in order to attempt to express the Joy of LEARNING he had encouraged in me. All the marvels, mysteries, experiences and loves of life (except having children) had been mine. I knew my writing skills were rudimentary at best. Big words and the gift of the gab are not all it takes. With little hope of capturing the essence in style, I proceeded to do what Jim could easily have done. His wit and style, his writing skills were plentiful. I had encouraged him to take this as his purpose before his life ended. There had been two years during which our time together centered on his impending demise in the physical form. That was due to my 'occult' study of things like palm and face reading (chirogamy and physiogamy). It was clear to me that he would die around the age of 65. Unless, and it is a big word, just like 'IF'. Free will can over-ride the confluence of forces that create action if that free will is properly constructed with RIGHT THOUGHT. The best construct for me has always been helping others and giving. Thus I felt it would be for him. If he devoted himself to the path of giving to all of society the many things he knew that few apprehended. He was a truly educated man and could have been a Renaissance man if he had not devoted himself to our upbringing.

He said he had poor eyesight and had no desire to cheat fate. He was also quite unconvinced that such concepts had a high degree of fact and likelihood. Like me, he had always doubted and knew the value of such skepticism. He liked the idea of a spiritual cosmology that had a plan, purpose and consciousness in collective dimensional layers that harmonize. He knew I was not a follower and that my psychic experiences had been real for me. We all try to fool ourselves with massive rationale and wishful thinking. He did not accuse me of this, but he may have thought it - it was good to talk about his life and prepare myself. Saying how much he meant to me and my brothers for many times was a balm for my soul. There were so many things to thank him for and none of them were easy for him to listen to. In the end it was enough to honor his freedom and accept his choice to take whatever happened in stride. We put him in the ground the day after he turned 65.

He had a note in his wallet that gave me as the person to call in the event he died. I am the third born. He knew I knew what to say and that my story of where he was going was real and good. He had been given a clean bill of health to work after his retirement age just a couple of weeks earlier, before he went to the cottage for his vacation. He died of a heart attack and had crawled up from where he was working on the dock, as near as we can figure. He loved that place as much as he loved us. Years earlier he had visited me in Miami and we had time together as he thought about what he would do when he retired. His time in Miami Beach led him to say it was an ‘elephant graveyard’ that could not be his ending place. I stopped foretelling death!

Success is not my goal and no one should emulate me, it is a lonely and painful existence to be blessed with such insight. The gifts carry a heavy responsibility and separate me from those who I most enjoy. There is always the need even if I don't want to, to reach out and help someone. Being outside the materially focused 'reality' and trying to change the world like Don Quixote can also become something of a bore, when all the little things one does are crushed in the mendacity of despair and disbelief that allows the ego to deny its soul. No, I expect NO recognition and I know there is hope to see and learn for humanity. In the end if my writing has an impact it will make me have to do things that will take me away from the constant proof of ancient lovers of life that I do enjoy honoring in these words. It matters little what others think (I take a lot of pride in what they do.) because I know my soul will suffer less and enjoy more, the fruits of all I have learnedArticle Search, wherever I go.

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