Origins in science evokes serious questions and for many experts more than enough confusion. For this blog it refers simply to an idyllic past of youth growing up around and upon the banks of the River Moy in the Western regions of Ireland. A simple life lived in the simplicity of its flowing waters from its origins in Lake Pontoon under the shadow of the Nephin Mountain, meandering through the small town of Foxford, down through my home town of Ballina, into the mouth of Killala Bay, and into the Atlantic Ocean. Historical sights of ages long past evident in its geologic layers of ruins as it wound and twisted its way down the along its banks quietly overpowered in the vagueness of our memory. A distant fog of past monuments like St. Muredach’s towering Cathedral, Rosserk Abbey or Moyne Abbey that were fairytale beacons to local consciousness, history, faith and identity.
It was the flowing waters that first moved the mind to think about Heraclitus never being able to step into the same water twice. In calm and rapid flowing currents, I waded out with my bamboo fishing rod hoping to catch a salmon or trout. The flow however, seemed to pass quickly by my old Wellington boots and never to be seen again. The foolishness of such ontic understanding of change like the flowing waters of time. Such changing waters did not provide stability for this young kid but the assurance that I was standing on the wet solid bed, stable in balance, dry within my waders and comfortable in my fishing. Heraclitus rushing by as if a Buddhist Maya illusion did not affect me for I was sure I knew that the stability of a solid ground beneath my feet was real and present. Little did I realize that I would live with the solid understanding the ground beneath my feet as a way of looking at the world. Little did I know that I would have to become educated to be so stupid to believe in the cult of change. Aristotle showed us that in the categories of our mind we can ask legitimate questions on freedom, meaning and reality. From the boundaries of our mind we frame what is real, from the limits of our languages we can be understood and from the physical limitations we enter the future and knowledge. It is in knowing the boundaries underneath ones feet we can grasp the rules of reality and where true knowledge emerges.
The focus on so-called “change” in education has led to window staring, book and page dancing, game playing and hoping that the “Holy Spirit” will endow one with a reasonable thought. Limitations free the mind and close off the idea that the mind is like an empty can with no top or bottom just the forever flowing stream of time. Living in a world were I have taken possession of the notion that it is I who live Ex-Nihilo, I do not give but shape all that is. Life does not understand truth nor will know reality nor freedom, but only destruction. Here lies the fault where boundaries are seen as jail bars to knowing Truth, Goodness and Beauty by postmodern hubris ridden academia. Limitations in the mind for understanding are not shackles, but rather open the mind to meaning and freedom. Chesterton once remarked that if you remove a boundary post at least ask why it was put their in the first place. The experience of the ages might just have a little more wisdom that radio NPR in their daily research reporting on neuro-research from Universities across the country.
Another event that stands out in past memories from the waters of the Moy, was a dusk evening in the midst of Summer. One evening the small rowing boat Jack and I owned for our fishing adventures, was located not far from a large cruiser. We were close enough to see that the owner was drinking and stumbling around on the upper deck. e We found the occasion to be quite humorous, but there were more important issues to focus on, such as the big salmon and especially the one that always seems to get away. Suddenly, we heard a splash and knew immediately what it was. The individual had fallen over board and was now struggling, shouting in the water drunk and unable to swim. Jack was first in the water as he had lifesaving skills and had previous experience with this type of activity. By the time I got there Jack had him to the boat rails and was getting ready to lift him out of the water. It took the two of us and a lot of struggle, one pushing him up and the other pulling him up so as to get him on deck. We got him into his cabin and Jack made sure he was breathing and alive before we left to inform the “Garda.”
When we arrived home that evening, tired and fishless, we kept the tale to ourselves. We were no heroes for we knew we were not to be out in the boat nor fishing in the first place. We also knew, even then, this is how policemen and soldiers live each day of their lives in service to the community. There was another lesson to be learned in this event. In the dim recesses of the evening we came face to face with our hunger and search for life and truth through simple actions and decisions in the value of life itself and in the way one lives that life.