My second grandson, Connor Mounts, has just turned 21. I remember how I waited for that fateful day that would confer on me the magic of being an adult. In my case, it meant that I could go with the fanaticism that had seized control of my mind and I was soon off to do my part to change the world with the enthusiasm of a Hitler youth.
That was so long ago. So much has happened since then and here I am, almost 80, bruised and battered by many things that have transpired but infinitely wiser than I was way back then.
There was a time when I believed in reincarnation and thought I had already lived many lives and probably would live many more. That would be fine if we could remember all those lessons and not keep going through the same old crap over and over. It's supposed to be for soul progress and learning, but where is the learning if you have no memories on which to base conclusions and change outcomes?
I no longer accept such fantasies. I don't even think there is such a thing as an immortal soul that operates independently of a physical brain. Our human intelligence, as limited and faulty as it is, resides right there in that marvelous cerebral cortex no other creature has to the same extent. When it ceases to operate, it's curtain down and show over.
Yeah, I know, people have out of body experiences that convince them that they have eyes that see apart from their physical being and brain. But, you know, I've had similar things in dreams where I seemed to be looking at myself. That shows me that it's probably just a dreamlike mental fluke and similar things have been experienced by astronauts in high speed centrifuges.
If I happen to be wrong again, I'll deal with that when I get there. I'm just trying to do the best I can and I'm really totally fed up with the gullibility I once was prone to.
It's "skeptic Al" from here on out!