August 14-B, 2022

Boone Fork Cascade 03 08/08/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Julian Price Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
The way I imagine it 
is to say that
our DNA is equivalent 
to a seed's epicotyl.

Whether or not that is accurate,
both terms "DNA" and "epicotyl"
are words denoting mysteries
no one comprehends.

How does the stuff that comes 
encoded in our DNA, 
in a plant's epicotyl,
get there?

I have not conducted the experiment,
but I have read of it from several sources,
wherein it is established 
that chicks fresh from the egg,
scurry for cover
if the shadow of a hawk moves over their pen.
But not if the shadow 
moves over it backwards.

How does that information get to be stored
in the chicks DNA?

Experiences trigger something akin to a memory
of an experience the chicks have never had.
How does that work?

Here's one for you:
It would work if the chicks had had the experience
in an earlier life,
and their DNA is a storehouse of important data.

The mechanism by which the data 
gets into the DNA is yet to be determined.

Which is the way it is with everything
that is stored in the DNA.

DNA has been doing its thing(s) for a long time.
It knows what it is doing.
It has always known what it is doing.
The same thing goes for the epicotyl.
How do they know?

Do you see how large words like "know" and "knowing" are?
And how "experience" is related to both words?
And "intention"?

We toss these words around as though they are commonplace,
which, of course, they are,
and they also are "mysteries without any clues"
(Bob Seager).
All real mysteries have no clues.
And we have to let them be as they are.

So much of our life comes down to,
"I do not have a clue"!

We have to stop pretending
that we know what we are doing.
And be stunned into silence.
And stunned by what the silence reveals.
More mysteries without any clues.

If we start with being as clueless as we are,
there is a good chance that we will
respond more appropriately to what
is being asked of us,
than if we think we know what we are doing
and force our way through life
to goals we think are important.

What does thinking know?
What does thinking think it knows?
How different are the answers
to these two questions?

Live to know what you know.
And what you don't know.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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