On this 9th Father's Day coinciding with a Summer's Solstice I have a lot of light hours to reflect on my writing and my friends in the Southern Hemisphere have ample hours of darkness to have nothing better to do than read my blog! As this is the first Father's Day / Summer Solstice double header since I began writing Inverted Alchemy, I thought I'd use this week to reflect on two topics which converge for me around my father.
For those of you who don't know him, my Dad, Aaron E. Martin, is first and foremost a teacher. There are few people who have mastered the art of conveying knowledge in such a way as to enthrall students rivaling my Dad's capabilities. In subjects ranging from the minutia of mathematics to the cosmic grandeur of the boundless celestial expanses in astronomy, my Dad constantly embodied a passion for the transmission of that which is known in a form that placed it in the life of the learner.
My Dad is the embodiment of generosity. I don't recall a moment in my life when my Dad's passion and compassion for the well-being of others didn't equal or transcend his own. When I was young, my three brothers and I shared our home and our Dad with many young men who - as Dad's students - needed shelter, mentorship, or a home away from the massive obstacles that life had placed in their path. Our "big brothers" ranged from recovering substance abusers to young men from broken homes who never knew in their own life the love of a Dad. On holidays - I remember most often at Thanksgiving - my Dad would find those who did not have a place to celebrate the holiday and bring them home to the feast that Mom prepared. In Integral Accounting parlance, my Dad lives on the gnosis ordinate - the dimension of alchemy where knowledge and well-being live in dynamic flow.
These two attributes - passion for teaching and generosity - have infused the lives of my brothers and me. When Ebola struck West Africa, my brother Dan generously and selflessly jumped at the chance to parlay his work at CDC to join the front lines seeking to eradicate this horrible humanitarian crisis. My brother Jim has turned his research into the infinitely complex cosmology of the nature of matter, energy and transitional structures at the smallest and subtlest levels expressing the wonder of crystalline order in various states of matter. My brother Tim rappels out of the ceiling of his Earth Science class to teach middle school students a love for the Earth carrying on Dad's love for the Love of Learning. In short, my Dad's legacy is very much alive and well animating the generation of men he ushered into the world.
As I reflect on the events of this past week - the Federal Open Market Committee meeting to discuss the economy and interest rates, the massacre of worshippers in Charleston, the Jack Brewer Foundation Impact Investor Conference where I spoke, the torrential rains and parched droughts across the world, and Pope Francis' Encyclical on Climate - I was overwhelmed with the inventory of ideas that I had to reflect on in this week's blog. And as I mused on these seemingly disparate topics on this Solstice Father's Day, I was fascinated by why these things all seem to perfectly inter-relate in my mind while they seem to be so disconnected in the minds of others. It wasn't until last night when I was watching the twenty year-old film Powder that it dawned on me why I see connections where others see dissociated particles.
We live in a world where we've mistaken value for that which we denominate (from the Latin roots "to name" and "to set away from"). The FOMC tries to support the illusion of serving a public good - facilitating employment and monetary flows - while it in fact is the sanctioned collusive mechanism to enrich its stakeholders. While banks are felons for rigging foreign exchange, the Fed has been rigging interest rates for years legally because it acts as its own law by virtue of a century of negligent public abdication. Racism - one of the most insidious denominations in our culture - is reviled when a young shooter guns down worshippers in a church but is celebrated as patriotism when Muslims are in the scope of a U.S. sniper or drone. We know that generosity is a value worth celebrating but we parasitically extract energy and matter from the Earth in such reckless abandon as to extinguish from present and future generations that which we view as "physical" or "natural" and therefore subject to our dominion. Our impulse to name and separate - that which we've mistakenly called education, value, and belief - when it fully metastasizes becomes a cancer that robs our economies, kills the "other", and gouges the earth and belches poison into our skies so that we cannot see the stars that my Dad taught me to love.
My Dad's generous instruction allowed me to see the edges of consensus "knowing". I often tested the boundaries of this view but, without his involvement, I may never have developed the capacity to breach those mythical limits and become the person that I know I'm here to be. On this Father's Day and Solstice, I trust that the balance of my days are marked not with the impulse to denominate and separate but rather to embodied the quantum entanglement in which the greatest and least are equivalently served. This, in the final analysis, is the ultimate acknowledgement of that which my Father entrusted to me.