“Timeless Change”



Who was it that said? “The only constant is change.” Heraclitus, I believe or so we are told. Seems a likely “fact” and “truth” somewhat lonely in a vast space surrounded by overwhelming uncertainty, relativism, and socially constructed reality. Strange comment that! We often assert that we know with certainty what the past “was”. And so it would be today until we discover a new “scientifically proven” law in physics, or chemistry or medicine, or biology contrary to past “proven” laws. Look at the new work of archaeologists, anthropologists, neuroscientists. Or historians who re-write the myths we have constructed. New evidence is assembled that reveals a revised or new “truth” that validates what skeptical historians had asserted earlier. So is there one universe explained by Big Bang or parallel universes whose origins we can only speculate?

Don’t worry. I won’t try to explain all of what is embedded in that paragraph. I’m neither capable of that intellectual stretch nor would you read much of it were I able to.

What I do hope to do are a number of things readers and commentators might find interesting. First, I want to portray my ideas, patterns of thought, and learning accumulated over 74 years. They keep rolling around in my brain and emotions as I try to make sense of my life now and as I look ahead beyond my lifetime. It all made sense, up to now. Second, I am presumptuous enough to believe that you will relate to a significant proportion of my ramblings that keeps you engaged. You’ll find some or much that you can relate to your life. You’ll discover paragraphs and pages you’ll take issue with. You’ll read statements and assertions that will challenge your assumptions about topics like: where we have come from as a species; where are we today and where are we headed?; what does this mean for our society and world as we know it now and in the next 50 or more years?; what might the next 1000 years look like emerging from radical change and turmoil? Finally, I hope that any responses I receive will challenge my assumptions and knowledge expressed in these writings thus opening new channels of insight, reflection, and learning for me. Also, I invite reactions from readers who find affirmation in their grappling with similar thoughts and feelings as we try to understand the meaning of our lives.

In closing this introduction to my blog, here are some words to explain briefly the title I have chosen. It should be seen as representing a large canvas for me to paint many brush strokes of color, shapes and perspective as the entries unfold. As you read, you have been set in this moment which is part of timeless change. If you re-read all the foregoing, the color, shapes and perspective you had 5 minutes ago may have changed and you are in another moment. All of this was shaped in the “there” that you came from before you sat down to your computer. But I am talking about a “there” which is more than the years of your age. It is the “there” we all share from aeons past. You’ll find there is largely an unfolding of “good news” that portends a hopeful future — barring any major cataclysm. You are in the “now” which includes the past that shapes the “timeless tomorrow”.

I hope you are sufficiently intrigued by what I’ve written so far and by the mystery intended in the title so that you’ll want to return in the days and weeks ahead. But don’t expect this to unfold in a linear fashion from point A to B to C. It will unfold and fold back. A single, simple image followed by a more complex expansive image next. As with all good mysteries, you’ll enjoy inserting your own interpretations of where the entwining threads are headed. And you’ll build your own connections and meanings from your life onto the impressionistic painting being revealed as I pick up brush and select the next paint and image that fancies me in the moment as I look back and forward from each moment I am writing.

Re-drafted, 1/9/2017

Ralph Bates


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