An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of October 30, 2011
Written at Mayan Beach Garden Inn 20 km north of Mahahual
on the Yucatán Peninsula's eastern coast just north of the Belize border,
in the state of Quintana Roo, MÉXICO

    REMEMBERING FAHRENHEIT 451

Joe in Washington State was clearing books from his library to sell on eBay when he came upon an old paperback copy of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. Passages in the back were underlined so Joe read them and was inspired to send them to me. The words were spoken by the novel's grandfather, who believed that if you want to leave a legacy behind you must change things by physically doing them:

It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.

There's some truth there, but I disagree that "The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there," and here's one reason why:

The evolution of the Universe shows direction, as outlined with our Six Miracles of Nature described at http://www.backyardnature.net/j/6/.

During the Universe's evolution, first came the physical building blocks, then life, then gene-influenced thought and feelings, and finally -- at least here on Earth among some people some of the time -- inspired thoughts and feelings not genetically influenced.

So, evolution points the way from mere physicality toward unfettered mentality. In terms religious people use, God "wants" inspired thoughts and feelings.

The lawn-cutter's work is important because it's a working out of the mental notion that mowed lawns are desirable. And that idea is of value in human evolution because later people can use it as a steppingstone to gain the insight, perhaps, that lawns ought to be turned into gardens, or simply left to Nature to begin with.

And reaching new insights, encouraged by ever-more-exquisite thinking and feeling, appears to be what the evolution of the Universe is all about. Facebook Icon.