“The more complex civilization becomes, the more difficult will become the art of living. The more rapid the changes in social usage, the more complicated will become the task of character development. Every ten generations mankind must learn anew the art of living if progress is to continue. And if man becomes so ingenious that he more rapidly adds to the complexities of society, the art of living will need to be remastered in less time, perhaps every single generation. If the evolution of the art of living fails to keep pace with the technique of existence, humanity will quickly revert to the simple urge of living — the attainment of the satisfaction of present desires. Thus will humanity remain immature; society will fail in growing up to full maturity.” The Urantia Book (1772.4) (160:1.3)
Driving to David’s house in south Houston was uneventful but I worried about the return journey. I took the path Google Maps suggested (more on them later) which took me onto the Sam Houston Parkway south. It was OK except that there were three toll booths along the way with tolls totaling about four dollars. Some of the booths would not be manned after 7:30 PM; you needed some electronic card to escape the Tollway after hours. Since I had no card I was afraid that on the way back I would be trapped like Charley on the MTA (if you are not an old fogey you may need to look up the Kingston Trio Song about Charley).
David said the number of people attending his study group varies widely and he did have several chairs set up. We read Paper 160, Rodan of Alexandria but due to our discussions we only read through section 2, The Art of Living. The above quote is from the portion we read and it seems that our civilization is in danger of becoming “immature,” if it is not already that way. By the way, Alfonso was waving when the picture was taken, that is why his hand is blurry. Alfonso also offered to guide me through the complexities of South Houston to a freeway from which I could find my way back, thank you.
I found the Anahuac National Wildlife Reserve by looking at the map and thinking that it looked interesting. The reserve is a large (34,000 acres) flat marsh with a narrow road going through it. The Snow Geese were difficult to photograph since everything was flat and there were no elevated platforms from which to look out. There was one loop in the road alongside a canal where I saw five or six Alligators; the one below was on the same side of the canal as I was and I took the photograph while sitting in the Monster looking straight down on this four foot long gator. By the way, I did my undergraduate study at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, which has the Alligator as its mascot; perhaps I should take them this one, anybody have a rope?
The journey to Conroe Texas, north of Houston was somewhat adventurous thanks to Google Maps, which suggested I take the Sam Houston (him again) Parkway north to I45. When I got onto Sam’s Parkway the sign stated that it was a toll road and that cash was not accepted (Charley again). To spare you a long story, I arrived at the meeting in Conroe forty minutes late. After they squeezed the cars in the driveway together a bit so I could park the Monster, I was able to join them in their Barbeque dinner.
It was when I saw the dining room table in Ralph and Linda’s house that I knew I was truly in Texas. Each chair was about the size of the throne of King Henry VIII and there were seven of these thrones around the table with room to spare. Ralph said he did not even have all the leaves in the table; I should have taken a picture of the table. During the meeting we read from Paper 140, The Ordination of the Twelve, starting at section 8, Thursday Afternoon on the Lake.
“The apostles never ceased to be shocked by Jesus’ willingness to talk with women, women of questionable character, even immoral women. It was very difficult for Jesus to teach his apostles that women, even so-called immoral women, have souls which can choose God as their Father, thereby becoming daughters of God and candidates for life everlasting. Even nineteen centuries later many show the same unwillingness to grasp the Master’s teachings. Even the Christian religion has been persistently built up around the fact of the death of Christ instead of around the truth of his life. The world should be more concerned with his happy and God-revealing life than with his tragic and sorrowful death.” The Urantia Book (1614.5) (143:5.11)