Where Science and Divine Meet
Alexander finds his calling as a pediatrician. He finds working with children to be easy and rewarding. Dealing with demanding and opinionated parents can sometimes be more challenging, but he makes it work. In general, he is mindful to try not to sweat the small stuff, and finds that overall, his American journey is a smooth one.
On occasion, he equates being a doctor with being a “shepherd of the wind”, in that it is impossible to control patients, who often go off and act in self-destructive ways, despite the best efforts of their physicians. He muses on whether all human endeavors and societies are self-destructive in the end, and whether progress is ultimately futile as a result.
This potentially bleak worldview is tempered by his devout belief in a higher power that created all life and watches over it from somewhere beyond. Humans were brought into being and gifted with minds in order to bear witness to all of creation, and thus validate it in some way. He believes in angels sent down to give people tasks or duties, though this, it makes him question whether this means we are able to forge our own paths, or if freewill is merely an illusion. He explores that interaction between free will, destiny and creativity and how each might contribute to guiding a person’s life.
Pondering the existence of things beyond the scope of what can be scientifically observed and explained, he believes that there is a room in science for the divine. He outlines other, more strictly terrestrial schools of thought, but points out how even some of history’s most celebrated empirical minds have acknowledged the possibility, and even the likelihood of forms of existence outside of the natural world. Human consciousness has a physical component, but there is also something more, some “qualia”, in metaphysical parlance, that exists above and beyond the organic clockwork machine that comprises the body.
Alexander points to a so-called “Age of Treason,” in which humans as a society seem to currently trend to act against what might be considered our innate natures, creating strife and division. He sees good leadership as being in the service of others, rather than for self-advancement or personal advantage, and places a high premium on clear communication, while decrying the pitfalls of excessive and misguided control.
Looking back on his formative years, he points to his mother, father, and maternal grandmother as being the most instrumental figures in his life. His mother is a gentle guiding light throughout his life. His father, who is some twenty years her senior, sadly passes away when Alexander is only a teen. Before that, however, he is a Navy man and a humble hardworking farmer; a simple practical man who instills in his family a strong work ethic. His mother’s mother is also a practical woman, but she combines practicality with a strong spirituality that has a profound effect on Alexander.
After years of treating others, Alexander begins to suffer from medical issues of his own as he ages. He experiences painful kidney and gallstones, enduring persistent pain, and eventually, undergoing medical procedures to alleviate the situation. Chest pain also reveals a partial arterial blockage, though fortunately he avoids having drastic bypass surgery.
Contemplating the topic of mortality, he wonders about the inevitable moment when each of us will one day “cross the bar” at a time and place ordained by a higher power. Nonetheless, he does believe in fighting back against death when it is not yet one’s time. He points to anecdotal evidence of various near-death experiences as signs that there is indeed something beyond our natural reality.