How To Be Successful

how_to_be_successful

How do you categorize something with the title ‘How To Be Successful’?  Do you file it under ‘Goals’?  I mean, success is all about accomplishment, right?  Or maybe you should put it under ‘Health’.  Good health, to many, is a number one priority in life.  What about ‘Relationships’?  Doesn’t a strong relationship make for a better life?

As we set out to define how to be successful and touch on what I believe makes for a successful human being, we have to keep in mind that success is truly in the eye of the beholder.  So it’s not about a specific prize, a ‘holy grail’ if you will, but the ability to successfully pursue those things in your life that bring you the greatest purpose and satisfaction.

Meet Bill

Bill is a forty something entrepreneur from Chicago, raised in a fairly average home, with average parents and an average lifestyle.  Bill did OK in school and even made it halfway through college.  After two years of hitting the books hard, Bill decided that school had played its part in his life and it was time to move on.  So at the expense of his parents peace of mind, Bill dropped out and started looking for work.

Fast forward by about 20 years and you will see Bill, working in one of his many offices, running his successful international company that he built for the ground up.  To put it plainly, Bill is a wealthy man.  Not just financially, but Bill has managed to maintain good physical health, land the love of his life and still put aside time for his precious children.  Bill is no superman, but he knows what he wants and is dedicated to living that lifestyle that fits his idea of success.  It’s not about fame or fortune, but staying true to his clear vision of what life should be like for him and his family.

Meet John

John, also from Chicago and pushing the same forty year old status, is not so happy in his current situation.  Coming from a similar background, but managing to make it all the way through college, John now finds himself struggling to get by.

About ten years back, John got divorced.  A marriage that was doomed from the start, this relationship defined Johns inability to sense a healthy situation.  From the middle management position that brings him zero satisfaction, to the devastating debt he’s accrued over years of trying to buy his own happiness, John is lost when it comes to defining his desires and properly pursuing them through the necessary channels.  Not only is John not successful, but he’s depressed by the fact that he may only be half way through his lackluster life.

Switching Places

One cold winter morning Bill received a phone call.  It was his accountant and Bill could tell that the news was not the good kind.  “What is it Joe?” Bill asked his CPA.  “I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, Bill, but your company has gone bankrupt.”  “What?!  How can this be?!  There were no signs of this.  Last quarter alone brought us an increase of 15%.  Where is this coming from?”

For the next 30 minutes, Joe explained how some of his employees had been embezzling money from the company for the last 2 years.  They managed to doctor the books so the stolen funds did not seem to be missing.  By the time they were caught, the companies financial infrastructure had been deteriorated and could do nothing but collapse.  Bill was both devastated and broke.

Around that same time, John had found out that after a distant, wealthy relative had passed away, he had come into a small fortune and a large piece of property.  John was elated!  He felt that all his troubles were over and he could finally enjoy life.  He quit his job (burning bridges with his spiteful departure) and moved into his new, much larger, home in the suburbs.  John was finally successful…or so he thought.

A year has passed…

Both Bill and John had now had time to ease into their new situations.  The sting of Bill’s great fall had dulled and John’s new found happiness was starting to dwindle.

Shortly after Bill lost everything, he started working in the same company that John had left.  Coming in as a cashier, Bill quickly moved up the ladder as assistant manager and then manager.  To help lighten his load, Bill’s wife began working part time.  Their kids were in school so they could manage all of this without missing out on the life they previously enjoyed.  Bill valued family above all else and he was not about to let these unfortunate circumstances take away time with his wife and kids.

From the very get go, John had managed to put a massive dent into his new found fortune.  Going on spending sprees, buying all the things that used to seem out of reach, John was determined to debunk the idea that money can’t buy happiness.

He also began hanging out in bars as he hoped to meet Mrs. right.  Using the phrase, “Drinks are on me!” time and time again, John was constantly trying to attract others with his fake confidence and half hidden insecurities.  But when rejection seemed even more prevalent, John slowly found his way back into his discouraged state of mind.

5 years later…

About two years after starting his position as a cashier and then quickly moving up, Bill had learned everything he possibly could about the business he was working in.  Not willing to settle for less, Bill began the process of starting his own company that would sell the same products, but to an International audience.  Before too long, Bill and his family had found themselves right back in their sweet spot, opportunities abound.

John’s situation was not quite the same.  Managing to waste most of is willed wealth in the first 3 years of his obtaining it, John was now looking for work to pay down some of the debt.  With no other choice but to sell his home, John started apartment hunting in the city and crawling back to his old job.  Unfortunately, after his bridge burning departure, instead of re-entering as a manager, John had to start back at the bottom, ringing up customers as he pined over what went wrong.

Interestingly enough, Bill had been the one to buy John’s house in the ‘burbs.  By that summer, there were fresh flowers in the garden, clean cut grass and the sense that a heart transplant had taken place in that home.  Even the neighbors seemed happier as their new next door tenants finally did justice to the beauty of that big old house.

What is success?

People often say that success is a state of mind.  That if you want to be satisfied with life, be satisfied with life.  But this doesn’t deal with the fact that a desired destination requires the proper mindset and discomfort in the current state.  Not that we can’t be satisfied every step of the way, but that if that satisfaction becomes too comfortable, we risk standing stagnant, never venturing forth into the world of possibility.

John was all about comfort.  A man of the moment, he never planned for the future or learned from his past.  John’s vision of success was extremely insignificant as he accepted his new found fortune as a quick fix for boredom and low self-esteem.

While John spent a lot of his time figuring out how he was going to spend his next dollar, he missed out on the big picture.  He couldn’t seem to visualize the pitiful life he lived.  He was oblivious to his lack of relational connection.  He mistook money for a brief moment of fun, while great opportunity floated on by.

Bill, on the other hand, was less interested in when his next lunch break was and more so in the possibilities that were right around the corner.  He fed off the love of his family and never grew restless as he worked hard to pull himself back up.  He enjoyed each moment, but couldn’t help be aware of a much bigger picture.

Where John could see his job as nothing more than a way to pay his bills, Bill was taking every opportunity to learn from his new circumstances.  Neither one was given more from the start, but while John was lost in his own sea of self-medicating escapism, Bill knew nothing more than a healthy, happy life.

To answer the question, ‘How To Be Successful’, we have to see the key ingredient to success.  It’s our mindset that makes or breaks our ability to succeed.  It’s our comfort or discomfort in different circumstances that determines our direction.  Just like John could no more be successful than then sky could be orange, Bill was incapable of settling for less than success.  For Bill, it wasn’t a matter of thinking through each situation and determining which way to fork when following the road to greater opportunity, but instead it was his natural instinct that led the way.  Just like a cat could never be comfortable in water, neither could Bill just sit in a situation that failed to bring him and his family closer to their own personal goals.

10 Keys To A Successful Human Being

I wrote a guest post on this at Pick The Brain called ‘10 Traits of a Successful Human Being‘, if you’d like to go further with the topic, but here are 10 more tips to expand on my points.

  1. Know How To Be Happy: If you don’t know the ingredients of a complicated recipe, I’d suggest that you find them before you start cracking open eggs.  If you are unable to be happy right where you are (not necessarily satisfied, but happy), than you will have a hard time reaching your goals.  Distraction is one of our greatest deterrents to success and few things take away our focus more than being unhappy.
  2. Know How To Motivate Yourself: No one is going to push you harder or more effectively than yourself.  It is up to us to light our own internal fires and push ahead with vigor.  We need to know the ins and outs of our deepest desires, the triggers to our forward motion.  Dreams are made and goals are set, but with out proper self-motivation, we’re dead in the water.
  3. Know how to love and be loved: We assume that because we have feelings, we know how to enjoy a healthy relationship, but anyone who has enjoyed a successful one, knows it’s a lot of hard work.  If we are unable to enjoy those around us, how can we consider ourselves a success.  There are many millionaire misers out there who are no more successful than a homeless person sleeping on the streets.
  4. Know that the steps to success come one at a time: In this hectic 21st century society, it is so easy to be deceived into thinking that taking on the World has to happen all at once.  The fact is, this mentality does nothing more than overload us with busyness.  To be successful we need to be efficient in our pursuit of goals and a deluge of to-dos is not going to get us there.
  5. Know the value of JUST ENOUGH: John never knew exactly what he wanted.  All he knew was that he never had it.  Bill, on the other hand, always new his sweet spot in life and rarely wandered far from this place.  Being successful in life isn’t about how much we have, but how close we are to having JUST ENOUGH.
  6. Know how to deal with negative feedback: Whether it be constructive criticism or hateful slander, we can be assured that our road to success will be bumpy as we endure the blows of those around us.  We can’t afford to be unprepared.  Motivation turns into momentum, but improperly filtered feedback will stop us dead in our tracks.
  7. Know how to relax: As important as motivation, rejuvenation is certainly a key to success.  Knowing how to get a good night’s sleep as well as reaching a relaxed state in the heart of a stressful situation is crucial for both current satisfaction and future destination.
  8. Know how to get out of your comfort zone: One of the greatest deterrents for success is our inability to breach the boundaries of our comfort zones.  Fear of the unknown, coupled with a soft, un-calloused psyche, we see no other option, but to stagnate.
  9. Know how to avoid self-destructing: We often have the perfect plan in our heads as we start our journey of success.  We base our future actions on what we believe is right around the corner.  But what happens when things go much differently?  How do we react when stage 2 can’t happen because stage 1 took us in a different direction?  We must remain flexible and ready to adjust our course when necessary.  We can’t control life, but we can control our reaction to it.
  10. Know that it’s never to late to change your life: Whether we’ve been stuck in a hole all our lives or have just recently fallen into one, there’s no time like the present to dig ourselves out and make the move toward our own brand of success.  To know how to be successful is to know that tomorrow is ALWAYS a new day.

Final Thoughts

John’s vision was anything but robust.  Easily distracted by activities of insignificance, John could never truly know a life of success.  He was condemned by a minute mindset and falsely established idea of happiness.  John wasn’t unsuccessful, he was completely blind to it.

Bill may have seen his days both on the top and on the bottom, but as far as he was concerned, it was all apart of the journey.  Never seeking a definite destination, Bill only desired wisdom, good health and strong relationships with those around him.  For Bill, success was a mindset that turned into a positive physical outcome, not a single action that resulted in riches. You could take away Bill’s achievements, but you could never separate him from his passion for prosperity.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” ~ Albert Einstein

Eric

If you want to delve deeper into this question of how to be successful, I would encourage you to check out these additional articles:

Comments

  1. says

    Eric,

    That was a really great story that puts the meaning of success into perspective. When we focus too often on the pleasures of life that are self-serving and have little meaning, our happiness suffers. It’s easy to fall into that trap because we live in a society that tells us that these shallow pleasures will bring ultimate satisfaction and success.

    Key # 9 is particularly telling. We have to be grounded enough to be able to adjust when life throws us a curveball. I think this starts by working hard on ourselves in good times as well as bad times. It’s just when we feel we have it all figured out that life knocks us down a few pegs…if we’ve set a good foundation in our lives, we should be ready to dust ourselves off and keep moving along.

    • says

      “It’s just when we feel we have it all figured out that life knocks us down a few pegs…”

      Exactly! We can never become complacent in our lives, our jobs, ANYTHING. Content, sure. Complacent or over confident, definitely NOT! Eric

  2. says

    “You could take away Bill’s achievements, but you could never separate him from his passion for prosperity.”

    After reading this, I come to the conclusion that simply put: Bill had wisdom and John lacked wisdom.

    Wisdom can act as a compass to point us in a direction that will bare the most and finest of fruit. John’s compass was sorely lacking.

    Lots of great points in this post. Very inspirational. Really enjoyed.

    I like how you underscore that it’s never too late to be successful, as I think that is a paramount point to include.

    I think wisdom really is at the heart of success. I could certainly use more of it. This post has contributed to that goal.

    • says

      I’m really glad you enjoyed it Bamboo! I figured you might.

      Excellent insight in nailing down my point. Wisdom is a great word…the right word for this. Thanks for adding to this post. Eric

  3. says

    Great article, and I love the stories you weave to illustrate your lessons. I think one of the biggest obstacles to being successful really is the ability to be content with what you have. If you’re not content with yourself and who you are – without necessarily being satisfied – you’re never going to be content. The important thing is to understand and be happy with the place you’re at right now while always constantly pushing yourself to improve, succeed, and grow for the better. The difficulty is finding the balance between constantly pushing yourself to achieve and being content with where you are. Contentment is just a mental state of being, not a reflection of where you are in life; you just have to learn to be content with what you have achieved thus far.

    • says

      Thanks and great point! Being content is no doubt a key ingredient. I find it to be incredibly distracting to always feel uneasy about my situation. Passionate about pushing forward if fine, but unhappy, not so much. Eric

  4. says

    I love your article. It shakes me quite a bit since I associated myself with john in area of buying things that were out-of-reach before, meaning camera. But I believe I am now quite near the happiness of being just like Bill. anyway, great article!

  5. says

    Thanks for this, Eric! I know you like quotes and thought you might enjoy this one.

    Grant to me that I may be made beautiful in my soul within, and that all external possessions be in harmony with my inner man. May I consider the wise man rich, and may I have such wealth as only the self-restrained man can bear or endure. ~Socrates

    • says

      Excellent quote, Janice! It’s so true that if our inside and outside do not match up, we’re doomed to live a frustrated and most likely unsuccessful/unhealthy life. Thanks for sharing that wisdom! Eric

  6. says

    I enjoyed reading your post. Reminded me of the book Rich dad, poor dad :-0)

    Success means various things to each individual. Whatever it may mean… its always hard work, sacrifice and determination that get one closer…

    • says

      It’s funny you say that because I was certainly aware of that while I was writing it. This concept is something I’ve chewed on over the years and the story of Bill and John is just an echo of that subconscious story.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! No doubt, sacrifice and determination are paramount to our success. Eric

  7. says

    Nothing proves a point like a well told story. Fantastic job with that Eric. I have to agree with Bamboo on this, it really amounts to wisdom and direction.

    Writer Dad’s last blog post..April

    • says

      My sentiments exactly. Even in my proof read of this post I was entertained by the tale. Stories and analogies are how I learn best and I assume many share that trait. Eric

  8. says

    Eric, this was a fantastic article. So content-dense and full of tips and ideas. You told the story masterfully.

    “For Bill, success was a mindset that turned into a positive physical outcome, not a single action that resulted in riches.”

    That is why successful people repeat their success over and over. We often say someone has the touch. Everything they do turns to gold. That is not an accident. You nailed it. Successful people think and act differently. Well done!

    Stephen – Rat Race Trap’s last blog post..Harness the Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Changing Your Inner State

    • says

      Thanks Stephen and I would have to say that YOU nailed it! Good for you for pointing out the whole ‘what they touch turns to gold’ mindset. So very true. As you said, it’s no accident. Eric

  9. says

    Fun story Eric…. I agree that outward abundance is a symptom of success rather than its embodiment. If we navigate our paths with the proper goals in place, we’ll enhance our cultivation of success.

    Thanks for sharing and stirring our thoughts!
    Dave

    Do You Dave Ramsey?’s last blog post..Debt is Squalor

    • says

      Thanks Dave! I like the way you put that,

      “…outward abundance is a symptom of success rather than its embodiment.”

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Eric

  10. says

    Thanks for the excellent article. I really enjoyed reading this post. To me success in any endeavor requires that you identify and credit exceptional performance from yourself and others.

  11. says

    Ericccc!!!!!(I couldn’t close my mouth for a while lol!!!),

    I feel dwarfed by your post laugh!!!. I just wrote a post titled ‘Successful People and the ‘D’ Factor. My emphasis was on developing integrity, self confidence, positive networks and focus in a different context. I have learnt a lot from reading this article. It was indeed a great post and JUSTICE WAS DONE to every point raised.

    I have bookmarked and subscribed to this blog. Do have a lovely day

  12. says

    Love the story Eric! Mindset is indeed the most critical component toward success. There’s another quote by Einstein which I love – “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It reflects a favorite principle of mine which I adopt for success, which is to keep changing my strategies (I wrote about in one of my blog articles at http://celestinechua.com/blog/2009/08/not-getting-what-you-want-time-to-change-your-actions/.) If we haven’t been getting results we want with my actions thus far, it’s a huge sign to change our actions, because doing the same things again and again aren’t going to bring us anywhere.

  13. PsyStudent says

    All these statements and rules about being successful are really good points, but one thing that no one mention in any of these websites that I’ve been reading is GOD. God is the reason why we exist, believe it or not it’s the truth. I’m not saying we can’t have our own opinion I’m just telling you what I know, and that is that God is the answer to everything. God said, “Ask and you shall be given.” That’s exaclty what will happen, probably not exactly when you want it to(be specific about what you want), but it will happen. If you have God in your life you will not have to worry about anything, now I’m not saying we not going to worry because we are humans we all get cautious every once in a while, but just know God is there for you through everything. Something that my mother told me is that she realize that nothing is constant her life but God. I know what you all probably saying now, that’s her life but NO THAT’S EVRYONE LIFE, and you will find out sooner or later, hopefully sooner. Always remember that anyhting someone tells you, you heav the choice whether you want to take it or leave it, IT’S YOUR LIFE, YOUR CHOICES.

      • Rev. Charley Townsend says

        Before entering the Ministry I was 35 years in commission sales. I have heard every recording, read every book, been to every seminar on “How to be Successful.” Your message here is spot-on and I congratulate you on your insight and wisdom (especiall for a man as young as you). You have done a good job.
        I will add a dimension that seems to be missing and one that “PsyStudent” brings out. Inner peace cannot come until you have something in your life that is bigger than either you and/or your family or your goals/projects–whatever. I personally beieve that a commitment to Jesus Christ provides that inner strength and peace that it takes to sustain real success. There must be a Bottom-line set of ethical standards by which a person lives (getting to core beliefs) backed by the highest power before any lasting success in living can exist.

        • says

          “I personally believe that a commitment to Jesus Christ provides that inner strength and peace that it takes to sustain real success.”

          I couldn’t agree more. :-) Eric

  14. christine canega says

    Hi Eric, Wow! thank you, surely your a goood person and a man with wisdom, I do agree wirh Rev.Charly Townsend comment.
    MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY,Thanks again

  15. Kyle says

    There is a different approach you can take to happiness and success- one that is less understood but more true. We are animals that have underwent billions of years of evolution. To deny that is equivalent to denying that you ever were a child; though I am not saying our lineage were childlike- they survived and reproduced, hence our existence. The self-improvement industry ignores the underlying truth that we are imperfect and ultimately are struggling to pass our genes on into the next generation, however that is masked in today’s society.

    Self-help is a business, and one must first be aware of that before reading advice from another who makes money writing ‘self-improvement’ articles. Eric, you seem fake- a thin veiner covers your intentions to make money while occasionally providing useful information.

    To understand ourselves, we must understand the environment we evolved in. From the first of the Homo sapiens (around 200,000 years ago) to about 10,000 years ago, humans lived in small nomadic tribes consisting mostly of extended family. The vast majority of our existence was spent in those circumstances. Towns, cities, and the connectedness of billions of people is a recent phenomenon, and as such we humans are not adapted to the problems they pose.

    I invite you to lookup “Evolutionary Happiness” as well as articles on Homo sapiens evolution on wikipedia. Strictly speaking, the success of an individual is measured by his/hers ability to reproduce. However, as I’m sure you are thinking right now, humans have more complex needs than that. And yet, the underlying motivation for much of what we do boils down to our ability to pass on our genes into the next generation. Take a look for yourself, as adaptions to environments that no longer exist makes up the undeniable majority of who we are; and we cannot ignore it, less we live depressed lives.

    • bob says

      THE DARWIN PAPERS

      VOLUME 1 NUMBER 1

      THE UNTOLD STORY
      of
      CHARLES DARWIN

      “There will always be a shadowy web surrounding
      the real Charles Darwin”
      Loren Eiseley(1)

      From The Nebulous Hypothesis:
      A Study of the Philosophical and
      Historical Implications of Darwinian Theory
      © 1996 by James M. Foard
      Editor and Publisher James M. Foard.

      ‘Still Life of Dead Birds
      and Hunting Weapons’
      Willem van Aelst 1660
      Courtesy of WEB GALLERY OF ART
      Emil Kren and Daniel Marx

      “AND NIMROD WAS A MIGHTY
      HUNTER BEFORE THE LORD”

      The Darwin Papers may be freely
      copied and distributed for non profit use
      provided acknowledgement is made
      for material written by the author.
      The Darwin Papers © 2000 James Foard
      © 2000 James Foard

      Read about Darwin’s early school days here

      Read about an encounter Darwin had with
      some unfortunate birds during his voyage
      on the Beagle here

      As human beings have wandered over the face of the earth for thousands of years and gazed up in wonder at the stars in the heavens, we have looked back into our primaeval past and pondered over the meaning of our existence: From whence did life originate, what kind of creature is man, where did he come from, and what lies in his future?

      In seeking to find answers to our origins, men throughout the ages have proposed various theories to solve these universal questions. Over the past century it would seem that one theory that has gained the most prominence is the evolutionary theory. Evolutionists believe that the various diverse forms of life that we find on the earth today all descended from some common ancestor through a process of gradual adaption to environmental conditions. They claim that man is descended from apes, and that all apes were in turn descended from some common mammalian ancestor, while the mammals in turn descended from some common ancestor along with the rest of the vertebrates, and that this process continued back through millions of years until in some remote pocket of time the common ancestor of all life first appeared.

      This was supposed to have been accomplished simply by random chemicals mixing together, helped along a little bit by natural laws.

      Among other explanations, there is the concept that states that man was created supernaturally by an infinite, immaterial, all powerful, intelligent Being; that in some unique way man was created in His image, out of the dust of the ground, and that God breathed into man the breath of life, a divine gift, and that man was made a living soul.

      We find vestiges of this tradition preserved within ancient legends from among various cultures throughout the world, as well as in the pages of the Bible, (2)where the Creator is referred to as the First Cause by the philosophers of antiquity, El Shaddai by the ancient Semitic peoples of the near east, and whom we in the English world refer to as the Lord God, while elsewhere he is called the Great Spirit among North American Indians, and Brahman (the uncreated Creator) by the Hindus. (3)

      But which story is true? Are these ancient stories merely primitive man’s attempts to explain life through fables and storytelling, or is there perhaps something of relevance to their ideas? Is man indeed the creation of a superior, supernatural, all-wise Intelligence who created him with inherent moral and spiritual qualities, or is man simply an animal dwelling among other denizens in this vast eco-system called planet earth?

      Can we discover some clues to this mystery by sifting through the evidence, and if so, then where should we start our enquiry to find answers to this set of intriguing questions?

      It would perhaps be appropriate to begin our search for man’s origin by taking a look at the most notable exponent of the first viewpoint stated above, the evolutionary theory.

      N o study of the science of human origins would be in any sense complete without mention being made of Charles Darwin. He has drawn ovations for over a century from the highest realms of academic, civic, and cultural establishments as the man singularly responsible for originating or at least developing the theory of evolution.

      World famous paleontologist Richard F. Leakey of the National Museums of Kenya, and Glynn Isaac of the University of California, Berkeley, write in the preface to their book Human Ancestors: “Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ articulated an alternative to the myths and allegories that had hitherto been all but universal. This opened a new epoch in human thinking about humanity and established a new realm of scientific endeavor.”

      In their introduction to the book, the editors state: “Just as the voyage of Columbus opened up a new continent for European exploration, so the insight of Charles Darwin made science aware of an uncharted realm. Darwin showed that the living organisms of the modern world were each the end product of a long, long process of change.”(4)

      He has indeed been regarded as the man who opened up a new era in our understanding of ourselves and the universe by many if not most anthropologists and by scientists in various other fields of discipline as well.

      Another typical description of Darwin comes from a noted Encyclopedia article: “The most important figure in the history of the theory of evolution, and one of the most important in the history of Human culture was Charles Darwin.” (5)

      This type of lavish praise for Darwin is not unusual. He is generally associated with scientific thinking, however cloudy the actual basis for this may be. For many, influenced as they are by this association of ideas, they are reminded of Darwin whenever they meet with concepts that correspond to some extent with Darwin’s thoughts on natural and scientific topics. Whether or not this association is actually warranted may be debatable.

      In the estimation of some he has nearly reached the status of a philosopher-sage, while his followers almost regard him as a modern day prophet, like Moses of old, who brought down to mankind his two tablets, The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, as a new revelation on the history of life.

      But how many people are familiar with the real Charles Darwin, and does he deserve such ovations as the preceding tributes would suggest? In as much as no small amount has been spoken and written on the topic of evolution for well over the past one hundred years, let us find out something about Darwin himself.

      To take a look then at the life of this remarkable individual we must turn back the pages of history a little bit, to a rural English village in the early part of the nineteenth century, where the wife of a country doctor was to give birth to her second son.

      * . . . . . . . . . . . . * . . . . . . . . . . . . .*

      C harles Robert Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, the same date that Abraham Lincoln was born, in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. He was the grandson of the noted Erasmus Darwin, a prominent English physician, who had close ties with the Wedgwoods, a prosperous clan of merchants and potters into which both Charles Darwin and his own father eventually married into.

      Unfortunately, Darwin’s family tree was marred by infidelity, untimely deaths, and drug abuse. Erasmus’ first wife, Mary, was Darwin’s paternal grandmother. She died in 1770 at the age of thirty from cirrhosis of the liver brought on by acute alcoholism, combined with a massive overdose of opium administered by Erasmus himself while she was intoxicated. (6)

      Darwin’s maternal uncle, Thomas Wedgewood, abandoned a formal career in 1792 and became an opium addict, dying from an overdose of the drug in 1805.

      Erasmus’ oldest surviving son, Erasmus ll, an uncle on Charles Darwin’s paternal side, committed suicide, possibly due in part to depression and grief over the deaths of his mother and older brother (the first Charles Darwin), and from, as historian John Bowlby put it, “his father’s lack of sympathy, impatience, and frequent unfavorable comparisons with his brilliant older brother.”(7)

      Within four years after his wife’s death Erasmus had sired two illegitimate children by a maid-servant with whom he lived. Later he began an affair with a married woman who eventually became his second wife after the untimely death of her husband. Thus in Darwin’s grandfather’s practice we find unhappy wives dying while being administered vast quantities of opium, and unnecessary husbands dying to make room for Erasmus. The result of this was a large family over which Erasmus ruled, in the words of Anna Seward, like a “tyrant.”

      In her biography of Darwin, Janet Browne also paints a rather unflattering picture of how the Darwin and Wedgwood families accumulated their wealth, which according to her, almost amounted to slave labor: (8) “His [Charles Darwin's] fathers’ fortune was built on the backs of entrepreneurial companies that exploited cheap labor-a family business sense which continued unabated in his own later endorsement of joint-stock railway companies.

      “Both grandfathers also belittled the role of human labor in advancing British prosperity. Though Wedgwood’s employees were in principle free to come and go, they were in practice tied to his cottages, to his insurance societies, and to his wages. In truth, with more than fifteen thousand people living at the Etruia works at the time of Wedgwood’s death in 1795, the site resembled nothing so much as a displaced plantation town with its big house and separate worker’s quarters . . The money-making classes of Britain perpetuated forms of human bondage which seemed to many critics merely a variant of slavery . .”

      Charles Darwin’s father, Robert Darwin, was also a physician of note who built up a personal fortune as a shrewd money-broker and mortgage loan specialist. He married Susannah Wedgwood, the daughter of the same prosperous family of merchant potters with whom his own father, Erasmus, had close relations with.

      One biographer, (9) in discussing Robert Darwin’s business acumen, did describe him as “ruthless.”

      Robert Darwin was a giant of a man, the largest man whom Charles Darwin had ever seen, weighing in at three hundred and thirty six pounds for a six foot two frame. He was so heavy that he had to have a set of stone steps custom built for him to mount into his carriage, while his coachman would check the flooring in his patient’s houses before he entered to determine if they could support his weight . [I]

      He had a prodigious appetite, often carrying provisions of food for a fortnight’s journey stuffed under the seat of his buggy while driving about the countryside as he visited patients, and it is in this capacity that we may gain an insight into the elder Darwin’s personality. Even though he apparently neglected his own family, nevertheless during the course of his rounds as a doctor, Bowlby relates that, “He was keenly alive to the emotional problems of his patients, especially ladies, for whom he became, according to Charles, ‘a sort of Father Confessor.’” (10)

      Darwin’s father apparently struck a chord of discomfort among the young girls of the Wedgwood family. Bowlby wrote of a young girl who had fallen ill during a combined family holiday of the Darwin and Wedgwood families and had been left behind alone with Dr. Robert, quoting one of the Wedgwood girls in relating the event: “Bessy knew all too well how she would feel in that situation and was anxious lest she might risk her health by returning to Maer precipitately: ‘but as I believe she would be left tete a tete with the Doctor she certainly will come away as soon as she can’ (11). . . Dread of being left alone with Dr. Robert was shared by all the Wedgwoods and Allens.”(12)

      One of the Wedgwood girls, in a later recollection of those early years, wrote: “Sad, sad Shrewsbury! which used to look so bright and sunny; though I did dread the Dr. a good deal.” (13)

      Susannah Wedgwood was to become Charles Darwin’s mother. She was often to suffer the blunt of her husband’s frequent outbursts of rage, and she died under slightly mysterious circumstances when Charles was eight years old; circumstances strikingly similar to those under which Charles Darwin’s grandmother had died years before.

      In a scene eerily reminiscent of Darwin’s grandmother’s passing, his mother’s last fortnight on earth was characterized by vomiting and severe gastro-intestinal pain while being tended to by her husband, Dr. Robert, as he administered vast quantities of the opium derivative laudanum to her.

      More than one writer has commented on the enigmatic “wall of silence” built up around the memory of Darwin’s mother by his family. (14) Although his younger sister remembered their mother vividly, Charles seems to have remembered next to nothing about her, and was strangely unaffected by her loss. In fact, he remembered the funeral of a total stranger but did not recall anything about his mother’s funeral. (15)

      Within a day of Susannah’s death the dutiful Dr. Robert was fifty miles away attending one of his patients,(16)which seems rather odd for the grieving widower, since he actually detested the practice of medicine, only becoming a doctor at his own father’s insistence lest he lose his portion of the family inheritance.

      He is on record as saying that the sight of blood sickened him. (17)

      After Susannah’s passing, the Doctor threw himself into his practice, and was frequently depressed and quite irritable, while Bowlby reported that ” the Atmosphere at the Mount was one of never-ending gloom,” with Dr. Robert’s treatment of his household being characterized by “sarcasm and bullying.” (18)

      Charles Darwin once described a rather disturbing portrait of his father, where he referred to a woman possibly driven insane by an encounter with Dr. Robert, or at the very least reduced to a state of abject terror at the mere mention of his name.

      We find recorded in his Autobiography: “My father possessed an extraordinary memory, especially for dates . . . and thus the deaths of many friends were often recalled to his mind . . . . Many persons were much afraid of him . . As a boy, I went to stay at the house of Major B- whose wife was insane; and the poor creature, as soon as she saw me, was in the most abject state of terror that I ever saw, weeping bitterly and asking me over and over again, ‘Is your father coming?’ but was soon pacified. On my return home, I asked my father why she was so frightened, and he answered he [was] very glad to hear it, as he had frightened her on purpose, feeling sure that she could be kept in safety and much happier without any restraint, if her husband could influence her, whenever she became at all violent, by proposing to send for Dr. Darwin. ” (19)

      Darwin’s father also managed the financial accounts of many of his patients, and this leads us to yet another odd tale in the Darwin saga. Darwin related a strange story that was widely circulated around Shropshire of an incident that, though later denied by his father, and supposedly denied by the managing partner of the firm involved, at least according to Dr. Robert, was apparently corroborated by a great many eye witnesses:
      “Mr. E-, a squire of one of the oldest families in Shropshire, and head partner in a Bank, committed suicide. My father was sent for as a matter of form, and found him dead . . . no inquest was held over his body. My father, in returning home, thought it proper to call at the Bank (where he had an account) to tell the managing partner of the event, as it was not improbable it would cause a run on the bank.”

      “Well the story was spread far and wide, that my father went into the bank, drew out all his money, left the bank, came back again, and said, ‘I may just tell you that Mr. E- has killed himself,’ and then departed.” (20)

      Although in retrospect Darwin’s father seems akin to some sort of macabre, spectral figure lurking within the pages of a gothic horror novel, it would be unfair to leave the impression in the readers mind that he was nothing short of a human monster. He did encourage the education of his children, and some writers have even fondly attempted to portray him as a sort of Robin Hood among English physicians, riding throughout the countryside equally loved by rich and poor alike.

      A fter the death of his mother Charles’ eldest sister took charge of raising him. Early accounts of young Charles Darwin during this time describe him as a pudgy, rather thick-set, passive boy. He was afraid to fight the other schoolboys, much given to idle fancies, laziness, and desperate for the attention of his surrounding peers.(21)

      Darwin also had a penchant for stretching the truth when relating some of his childhood discoveries. Sir Gavin de Beer, former Director of the British Museum of Natural History, wrote: “. . . The boy [Darwin] developed very slowly: he was given, when small, to inventing gratuitous fibs and to daydreaming; and he was passionately fond of collecting seals, franks (equivalents of postage stamps), pebbles, and minerals-an important trait in his future as a naturalist.” (22)

      Which of these traits was important to his future as a naturalist, telling fibs or collecting pebbles or both, is not specified.

      In the biographical note on Charles Darwin attached to the publication of his Origin of Species and Descent of Man, the editors state: “His childhood fantasies were concerned with fabulous discoveries in natural history; to his schoolmates he boasted that he could produce variously colored flowers of the same plant by watering them with certain colored fluids.” (23)

      Browne further informs us: “Lies-and the thrills derived from lies-were for him indistinguishable from the delights of natural history or the joy of finding a long-sought specimen.” (24)

      So we see that the boy who was later to distinguish himself with the theory of evolution had a very inauspicious beginning
      As far as the early development of his character, we get an interesting glint of what his personality may have been like from his autobiography, where Darwin tells us: “Whilst at the day school, or before that time, I acted cruelly, for I beat a puppy I believe, simply from enjoying the sense of power; but the beating could not have been severe, for the puppy did not howl, of which I feel sure as the spot was near to the house.” (25) He did admit though that the act “lay heavily on my conscience, as is shown by my remembering the exact spot where the crime had been committed.”(Ibid)

      One can only speculate why, if the puppy was not injured, was Darwin so haunted by the incident for many years afterward, and why he referred to it as a “crime”. Was it the prompting of a guilty conscience that betrayed a more serious incident than he was ready to admit?

      Darwin entered Shrewsbury school in 1818, where he was anything but an outstanding scholar. De Beer informs us: “He was a poor student, and in 1825 his father reproached him, saying, ‘You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat-catching, and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family.” (26)

      This is corroborated in other biographies of him, and in his own autobiography he stated that he felt incapable of learning languages and never understood algebra or mastered higher mathematics. (27)

      Darwin’s college educational career was not much better than his early school years. De Beer states that Darwin “was then sent to Edinburgh University to study Medicine, but that also was a failure . . .”

      Perhaps like Einstein though, he had a more productive intellectual career in later years.

      It is interesting that Darwin could not bear to watch an operation being preformed while in medical school, and for the rest of his life, like his father, he couldn’t stand the sight of blood, nearly becoming hysterical if one of his children accidently cut themselves, (28) and yet while attending school at this time, Browne mentions a strange irony to this: ” He took up shooting in earnest. The resulting bloodbath of animals-partridges, pigeons, rabbits, rats-which he killed with violent pleasure certainly put medicine into perspective . . . He could wield his own kind of power over life and death with a smoking gun. ” (29)

      De Beer writes: “As there was no future for Darwin in medicine, he left Edinburgh in 1827 and was sent to Cambridge to prepare for Holy Orders in the Church of England,”(Enc. Britt, op. cit.) not, by the way, because he had any particular interest in the subject, but his father felt that this would be at least an honorable vocation for him, thus avoiding the scandal of becoming an idle rake. It was widely known during that time in England that studying for the clergy was a last refuge for affluent scoundrels.
      Darwin did little to distinguish himself at Cambridge University either, where de Beer tells us: “At Christ’s College he paid little attention to his official studies and fell in with a set of sporting young men as keen on shooting, riding, and hunting as he was.” (30)
      Although he was not a noted scholar during his college years, he did have an absolute passion for shooting birds during this period of his life. In his autobiography he wrote: “I do not believe that anyone could have shown more zeal for the most holy cause than I did for shooting birds. . .How I did enjoy shooting . . .If there is bliss on earth, that is it.” (31)

      Browne relates: “Every summer and autumn was dedicated to killing birds . . . Dull non-shooting months were passed in studying handbooks about guns and in writing down useful information about the diameter of shot needed for different animals . . . . By 1828, his ambitions had well overrun his elderly equipment. He yearned for a more powerful double-barreled gun with percussion caps .” (32)

      He was to have his new gun; a gift from his father and his sisters meant to be used for his University career was spent on it. Browne informs us: “The same eagerness flowed into compiling an elaborate game book-a record system subdivided into partridges, hares, and pheasants, in which Darwin kept a running total of everything he killed through the season. This sporting ledger was as emotionally important to him as shooting itself . . . The game book, however, had the beginnings of an obsession about it. There was little point in shooting, he thought, if the tally was not taken.” (33)

      We must not be too harsh in our judgement of Darwin on this account, for it has been rumored that in later years Darwin once found a bird that had been maimed from a previous days’ shooting but was still alive, and he was stricken in conscience by the suffering of the poor creature and renounced hunting from that day forth (34).

      Apparently though, he never recanted from his thoughts on the “beneficial” results of a genocidal race war to enhance the march of human evolution. (See also below)

      There is debatable evidence that Darwin ever fully finished his studies in college, he certainly had never matriculated with anything approaching a degree in medicine or any of the strict sciences, but he had somehow managed to obtain the equivalent of a four year college degree in the theology.

      In 1831 Darwin embarked on his now famous five year voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle, having been recommended by Professor Henslow whom he befriended while at college, and it is from his observations of various living things during this trip, particularly from his visit to the Galapagos Islands, that he is supposed to have derived his evolutionary theories about the descent of man and all other forms of life from common ancestors.

      At first Darwin’s father objected to his going on the voyage, fearing that this would slow down his sporadic at best academic education, but he was persuaded by a relative to give his consent and at last he relented.

      As far as Darwin’s educational attainments before he set sail on his journey, de Beer writes: “A few weeks before he served on the”Beagle” he did not even know what science was . . . It was therefore no experienced scientist who sailed on the Beagle but an undistinguished candidate for Holy Orders.” (35)

      Darwin was seasick during much of the early part of his voyage on the Beagle voyage, where we get some account of his feelings for sea life from a letter he wrote to his cousin: “This is to me so much existence obliterated from the page of life,- I hate every wave of the ocean with a fervor which you . . . can never understand.” (36)

      Much has been said by historians of Darwin’s observations of the finches on the Galapagos islands while sailing on the Beagle, but little is mentioned of another incident Darwin had with some less fortunate birds on a different island during his voyage. We have three accounts of an excursion made by Darwin and the Captain from the Beagle to St. Paul’s Rocks between the Cape Verde Islands and the coast of Brazil.

      First we shall read Darwin’s version of the episode: ” We found on St. Paul’s only two kinds of birds-the booby and the noddy. The former is a species of Gannet, and the latter a tern. Both are of a tame and stupid disposition, and are so unaccustomed to visitors, that I could have killed any number of them with my geologic hammer.” (37)

      Browne mentioned the appalling incident in her biography of Darwin: ” Uninhabited except for dense flocks of seafowl, and previously unvisited by any scientific recorder, they were an alluring target for a restless naval man and an eager friend . . . Darwin and Fitzroy had a marvelous time of it, whooping and killing birds with abandon”. (38)

      Fitzroy recorded the bloody scene in his personal narrative as well. According to him, one of the seamen asked if he could borrow Darwin’s hammer to kill some of the birds with, to which Darwin replied, “No, no, you’ll break the handle.” Then, apparently struck by the novelty of this idea, Darwin himself picked up his hammer and began killing the peaceful birds in this manner, as Fitzroy related “away went the hammer, with all the force of his own right arm.” (39)

      Darwin’s disregard for the sacredness of life was not merely confined to animals. We get an unnerving insight into Darwin’s character from an entry he made in his personal ledger during his voyage on the Beagle. While he was journeying through the Argentine pampas in South America there was a bloody slaughter of the indigenous natives taking place, conducted by the rogue General Juan Manuel de Roses, a self proclaimed despot, in 1833. Indian women and children were thrust through with saber and shot down like hunted animals.

      Darwin traveled through the territory as a guest of the General, and he wrote of the war in his diary:
      ” . . . women who appear over twenty years of age are massacred in cold blood while the children are sold into slavery” however he was also able to write on a lighter note: “This war of extirmination (sic), although carried on with the most shocking barbarity, will certainly produce great benefits, it will at once throw open four or five hundred miles in length of fine country for the produce of cattle.” (40)
      Practical man that he was, Darwin could definitely see the positive side of this genocide. Perhaps if there had been electric lighting back then Darwin might have also come up with some novel ideas for interior design with the by-products of this slaughter, as some of his followers in the twentieth century did during the holocaust.

      Desmond and Moore wrote that “Darwin shook a hand soaked in blood” (41) when he struck up his acquaintance with General Rosas, whom he decribed as “a perfect gaucho.”

      While Darwin was a guest of the General, who had loaned Darwin some of his horses to go exploring on during his sojourn in Argentina, he received a correspondence from Fitzroy back on the ship, who desired to know how Darwin’s “campaign with General Rosas” was going.
      Desmond and Moore report: “Well armed, with fresh horses and ruthless companions, he had little to fear from the hostiles. Indeed he was beginning to appreciate the ‘great benefits’ of General Rosas’ ‘war of extermination .” (Ibid, pp. 141)

      I am not stating specifically here that Darwin took part himself in the slaughter of the Indians (although my personal view is that the evidence tends to support it), I will leave this for the reader to judge; however the evidence is fairly irrefutable that he did at least condone it on the grounds that it was an excellent way to make more grazing land for the Spaniards’ cattle.

      In Darwin’s mind it was all fairly simple: “Less Indians => more cattle => healthier Spaniards: Survival of the fittest!” (Although the term “survival of the fittest” was not coined until the 1850′s by another rogue, Herbert Spencer, founder of the modern pseudo-science of sociology and from whose work the communists and national socialists in the twentieth century built their dark machinations with, Darwin clearly had the concept buttoned down in his notes years before)

      Apparently the slaughter of the Indians didn’t weigh too heavily on his conscience, for Darwin boasted when describing his living conditions while riding with Rosas’ men: “I . . .drink my Mattee; smoke my cigar, then lie down & sleep as comfortably with the Heavens for a canopy as in a feather bed.” (42)

      Darwin further wrote of the natives of Tierra Del Fuego, who lived at the tip of South America: “I believe if the world was searched, no lower grade of man could be found.” (43)

      To be fair to Darwin, as in the case with his father, it would not be right to leave the impression in the readers mind that he was the devil incarnate. He was by all accounts a devoted father and husband, and seems to have been a likeable fellow who won friends easily.

      It would also be improper to give the reader too bleak an impression of Darwin’s feelings for his fellow man. After his return home to England, when he published the account of his voyage for public consumption, he reportedly expressed shock and dismay that such events as he found in South America could take place during the auspices of a Christian culture and age.

      Darwin seemed to be a walking contradiction at times. Apparently there was a struggle taking place within him between the cold, methodological champion of “the survival of the fittest” and a man whom A.E. Wilder Smith said should be admired for having strong enough character to have renounced his favorite sport, hunting, when he found a wounded bird, and who supported vivisection on the grounds that (44)”senseless, unnecessary suffering was unthinkable, but that suffering, if there was a reason behind it, must be permissible.”

      Wilder-Smith goes on to say that “One understands and respects him too for having supported vivisection on the grounds that the total community would profit thereby in helping man to reduce pain by the physiological knowledge gained.” (45)

      There were times when he was genuinely sensitive to human injustice and suffering, yet his materialistic views of survival of the fittest ultimately seemed to predominate over his more humanitarian sensibilities.

      After Darwin’s return to England from his trip on the Beagle, he who had formerly enjoyed great, good health, began to show within the space of a year recurrent illnesses that nearly reduced him to the state of a semi-invalid for the remainder of his life.

      Doctors tried a variety of diagnosis for his illness without finding any specific physical cause, but de Beer mentions the following interesting fact: (46) “Recently, psychiatrists have claimed to account for Darwin’s condition by advancing diverse (and contradictory) explanations: that he had ‘poor nervous heredity on both sides,’ or ‘depressive obsessional anxiety and hysterical symptoms’ due to ‘a distorted expression of aggression, hate and resentment felt at an unconscious level by Darwin towards his tyrannical father’; that his work on evolution had killed the Heavenly Father and given him an Oedipus complex; and that his shunning of social life and acceptance of his wife’s ministering care was evidence of his being a neurotic.”

      This is an interesting sidelight into the mind of the man who replaced “creation myths” with objective truth, so we’re led to believe.

      Others have said that Darwin’s chronic illness was related to his being attacked by an assassin bug on his travels, the Triatoma, which causes a disease known as Chaga’s disease, which is similar in it’s advanced stages to lime disease, and there is good evidence that this was indeed responsible for much of his chronic illnesses, but the above opinions as to his mental state are telling.

      Perhaps it may also be of some significance to mention that his cabin-mate for the five year voyage, the Captain of the Beagle, Robert Fitzroy, had been a promising and successful young naval officer before they set off, and even though he enjoyed a distinguished career afterward, during the course of their journey he had the first of his mental breakdowns which eventually led to his suicide.

      When Darwin returned home he married his first cousin, Emma Wedgwood. A few years into the marriage, Desmond and Moore comment on Darwin’s fears of genetic imbalance in his family tree: “Family inbreeding had long worried him. There were now four first-cousin marriages between the Darwins and Wedgwoods, with his and Emma’s own. Of the ten Darwin children, two had died young from natural causes, and the signs were ominous for the rest. George was sick and home from school, Etty languished in bed every morning, Lizzy still behaved strangely, and the baby was not normal.” His fears proved groundless though, seven of his children lived long lives and did quite well for themselves. (47)

      We have just read a brief survey of the man whom many call the father of evolutionary theory. Some of the facts presented here may shock those who have put their trust in him as a guide for a philosophy of life. Can we separate the character of a man from his ideas and beliefs? I will leave this for the reader to judge.

      From his theories that he claimed were developed during his voyage, Darwin eventually wrote his Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, which exploded into the world market over twenty years after his return home.

      World Book noted, (48)”. . .The study of the specimens from the voyage of the Beagle convinced Darwin that modern species had evolved from a few earlier ones. He documented the evidence and first presented his theories on evolution to a meeting of scientists in 1858 . . . Darwin’s theories shocked most people of his day, who believed that each species had been created by a separate divine act. His book, which is usually called simply The Origin of Species presented facts that disputed this belief. It caused a revolution in biological science and greatly affected religious thought.”

      There has been a persistent rumor concerning Darwin that has been repeated by some Christians for over a century, which is that Darwin had a “deathbed repentance” and conversion to Christianity during his last few days or hours on earth.

      This was circulated by a traveling evangelist during the latter part of the nineteenth century, and has been debunked by historian James Moore. His friend Huxley as well as all the surviving members of his immediate family swore to the fact that Darwin never had a conversion in his final hours.(49)

      This does not mean that Darwin did not repent-he may have indeed repented.

      Huxley and Darwin’s family all had a vested interest in keeping the Darwin legend and legacy alive. Huxley was known for his vicious anti-Christian attitude and statements throughout his career. To have admitted to Darwin’s repentance would have discredited nearly everything that he had written in life. It is very telling that evolutionists virtually to a man all vociferously deny Darwin’s repentance, and that should speak volumes in itself.

      Lady Hope did describe details of his room at Down, as well as the position of a summer house seen from Darwin’s window. She also did not claim to have seen him literally on his deathbed, but during the last year of his life while he was in a state of convalescence. James Moore is a secular historian who might have simply discounted the rumor, but he gives credible evidence that she might have indeed visited Darwin. She claimed that Darwin was reading the book of Hebrews, and that was in fact the book in Darwin’s Bible that was left with a bookmark in it.

      Since the Bible says to judge nothing before the time, Christians should refrain from judging Darwin’s eternal state, since Christ died for the greatest as well as for the least of sinners.

      One last rumor that has been circulated about Darwin is that he died a “peaceful death” in his home at Down. For the truth concerning Darwin’s last day on earth, Desmond and Moore, in their excellent historic work on Darwin, describe his last twenty four hours in excruciating detail.

      Beginning late Tuesday night, April 18-19, 1882, they write: “The pain came on just before midnight. It was brutal, gripping him like a vise, tightening by the minute. He awoke Emma and begged her to fetch the amyl from the study . . . Charles, in agony, felt that he was dying but unable to cry out. As he slumped unconcious across the bed, Emma and Bessy returned. They rang for a servant and, propping him up, gave the brandy. It trickled through his beard and down his nightdress on to the quilt . . . Seconds later he sputtered and retched; his eyes flickered open . . .She sent for Dr. Allfrey, who arrived at two o’clock . . .The doctor left at eight . . .Immediately Charles started vomiting. It was violent and prolonged. When there was nothing left the nausea kept on in waves, overpowering him. His body heaved and shuddered, as if possessed by an outside force [italics mine]. An hour passed, then two. Still he gagged and retched. ‘If I could but die,’ he gasped repeatedly, ‘If I could but die.’ Emma clung to him, his skin grey and ghostlike. Blood spewed out, running down his beard. She had never seen such suffering . . .Charles awoke in a daze, and asked to be propped up . . .But the pain was excruciating in any position . . . Rising, he began to faint again . . . He lost conciousness . . .His life ended at four o’clock in the afternoon, Wednesday 19 April, 1882.”(Desmond and Moore, Darwin pp. 662-663)

      Thus ended the life of the author of The Origin of Species. But did the theory of evolution through natural selection really begin with Charles Darwin, as has been stated in the preceding tributes to him, or were there others before him who had already developed it?

      Let us now find out if the theory of evolution itself is as “modern” as most of it’s proponents have claimed it is.

      We will attempt to answer some of these questions in the next two issues of The Darwin Papers.

      1. Loren Eiseley, Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X., E.P. Dutton, New York, 1979, pp.93

      2. I am not equating Jehovah God of the Old Testament with the gods of the surrounding nations, but I am making a point. Although many evolutionists and skeptics, dating all the way back to the 18th century skeptic Hume, have attempted to postulate that monotheism was simply a development from more primitive polytheistic beliefs that grew out of nature worship, rather than being a direct revelation from God, historically we find that just the opposite was the case. Research shows that instead of the endless speculations that evolutionists love to tell of early man seeking to find out what the sources of various natural phenomena were, and then deifying these natural elements, which in turn became a primitive form of religion that finally developed into monotheism, we find that all ancient races and cultures had an original high, lofty notion of one God, the Creator of all things, invisible and omniscient, and that only after the course of many generations did this belief become corrupted and debased into the worship of natural forces under the guise of many gods. Hence polytheism was not the father of monotheism, monotheism was at least as ancient, and probably far older, than polytheism, and indeed probably beginning as a direct Revelation from God, as a quote from Isaac Newton later in this work reveals.

      Even the Hindus, with their polytheistic worship of many hundreds of gods, once had this concept of one, universal, supreme, invisible God, whom they called Brahman. We find that three hundred years before Christ, Megasthenes, a Greek envoy to the court of the Hindu Mauryan Empire, described the early Hindu belief in one invisible Creator, which sounded remarkably like a passage from the Book of Acts, wherein Paul addressed the Greeks concerning the “unknown” God.

      Megasthenes wrote: “In many points their [the Hindu's] teaching agrees with that of the Greeks-for instance that the world has a beginning and an end in time, and that its shape is spherical; that the Deity, who is its Governor and Maker, interpenetrates the whole . . .” (H.G. Rawlinson, India; A Short Cultural History, New York: D. Appleton-Century Co., Inc., 1938, pp.72; quote from Civilization: Past and Present, T. Walter Wallbank and Alastair M. Taylor, Scott Foresman and Company, 1960, pp. 168.

      Only later did the Hindus fall into pantheism and polytheism. The Greeks had also fallen into rampant polytheism, yet still retained the knowledge of the one God when St. Paul addressed the Athenians on Mars Hill: “Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw that the city was wholly given over to idolatry . . . Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, “You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious, for as I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an alter with the inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.”

      “He whom you worship in ignorance will I now declare unto you. God who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands, neither is worshipped by [the work of ] mens hands, as though he should be in need of anything, since He gives life and breath to all, and all things, and has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell in the face of the earth, and the appointed beforehand the times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might seek after Him, and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live, and move, and have our being, as also certain of your own poets have said, for we are also His offspring.” (Acts, 17:16; 17:22-28)

      Paul preached to them on the errors of idolatry, and then of the resurrection of Christ: “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godheaad is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s devices, and the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent: Because he has appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He has ordained, in that He has given assurance to all men, in that He has raised Him from the dead.” (Acts, 17:29-31, The Holy Bible)

      Psalm 96 states that the gods of the nations are idols, i.e. devils, the various lesser deities in later Hindu pagan worship and in the corrupted worship of other nations. After the sons of Noah and their descendants spread throughout the entire earth, the various cultures that developed gradually lost the original Revelation carried down from Adam through Seth and his offspring, and then through Noah and his son Shem and their descendants. Even before the South American Indians worshipped their bloodthirsty sun god, they had the knowledge of an invisible God Who created all things.

      9. Janet Browne, Charles Darwin, Alfred A. Knopf Pub., New York, 1995, pp.8.

      10. Bowlby, pp. 44-45.

      11. Bowlby, pp. 70. His quotation is taken from the unpublished Wedgwood archives in the library of the University of Keen.

      12. (ibid)

      13. Emma Darwin: A Century of Family Letters, 1792-1896, 2 Vols, edited by Henrietta Litchfield, 1915, Vol. 2, pp.184.

      14. Bowlby, pp. 60. Historian Janet Browne also mentioned this mysterious silence on the death of Charles Darwin’s mother.

      15. ibid, pp. 22

      16. The Wedgwood Circle, 1730-1897, pp.181

      17. Charles Darwin, Autobiography, pp.30

      18. Bowlby, pp.57

      19. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, pp. 39-40, edited by Nora Barlow, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, , 1993.

      20. Autobiography of Charles Darwin, Barlow, pp.41

      21. Browne, pp.14

      22. Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 16, pp.1026, 1986.

      23. Darwin, Biographical Note, Great Books of the Western World Series, Vol. 49, Published by William Benton Co., under the auspices of Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952.

      24. Browne, pp. 14.

      25. Charles Darwin, Autobiography, pp.26-27.

      26. Biographical note attached to Darwin’s Origin of Species, Benton edition, also Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 16, 1986.

      27. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin and Selected Letters, pp. 18, Dover Publications, New York, 1958.

      28. Browne, pp.62

      29. (ibid), pp.64

      30. Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 16, pp.1026, 1986.

      31. Darwin, Autobiography and Letters.

      32. Browne, pp.109-110. In light of the very damaging evidence given by Browne concerning the development of Darwin’s character, it should be born in mind that she is not usually counted among his severest critics.

      33. (ibid)

      34. Wilder-Smith, A.E., Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny, Bethany House Publishers, 1975, pp.197.

      35. Encyclopedia Britannica, Vo. 16, 1986.

      36. The Complete Correspondence of Charles Darwin, edited by F. Burkhardt and S. Smith, Vol. 1, pp.491, 1985-1988.

      37. The Voyage of Charles Darwin, Charles Darwin, pp.10, The American Museum of Natural History, The Natural History Library, Anchor Books, Doubleday & Co., Inc., Garden City New York, 1962.

      38. Browne, pp.204. See also the original, Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of H.M.S. Adventure and Beagle, Vol. 2:56.

      39. Narrative of the Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle, by Admiral Fitzroy, 1839. See also Amabel Williams Ellis, “The Voyage of the Beagle, Adapted from the Narratives and letters of Charles Darwin and Captain Fitzroy, pp. 26, J.B. Lippencott Co., Philadelphia and London, 1931.

      40. Beagle Diary, by Charles Darwin, edited by R.D. Keynes, 1988, pp.180-181, pp177; and The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Vol. 1, pp.326, 1821-1861, F.H. Burkhardt and S. Smith ed., Cambridge University Press, University Library, Cambridge, 1983-1984

      41. Desmond and Moore, Darwin, pp. 141.

      42. Charles Darwin, The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Vols.. 1-9, (1821-1861), Cambridge University Press, See also Browne, pp. 256-257 and Desmond and Moore, pp.141.

      43. Beagle Diary, R.D. Keynes Ed., 1988.

      44. Wilder-Smith, Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny, pp.197.

      45. (ibid) pp.217.

      46. Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 16, 1986.

      47. Darwin, by Adrian Desmond and James Moore, Warner Books, 1991, pp.447

      48. World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 33, 1983, Scott Fetzer Co.

      49. James Moore, The Darwin Legend, Baker Books Grand Rapids Michigan, 1994. Huxley also dispelled this rumor, writing on February 12, 1887: “I have the best authority for informing you that the statement which you attribute to the Revd. Mr. Mutch of Toronto that ‘Mr. Darwin, when on his death bed, abjectly whined for a minister and renouncing evolution, sought safety in the blood of the Saviour’ is totally false and without any kind of foundation.” Ibid, pp.117, The Darwin Legend, taken from The Huxley Papers, 8;135-137, 138-139.

      [I] Desmond King-Hele, Doctor of Revolution: The Life and Genius of Erasmus Darwin, Faber and Faber, London, 1977, pp.299-300

  16. John T says

    Great article eric. Very impressive and i really enjoyed reading it. I have read another article in which i thoroughly enjoyed aswell. Maybe you might want to compare yours and it. They are both very good but think in a different way. Nice job eric!

    thanks

    John T

    the other article:…….. http://awrpaveyourwaytosuccess.weebly.com/index.html

    very helpful website and i hope it helps you too

  17. says

    Eric,

    This is very well done. The format you laid your information out in was great. Stories go a long way to helping people get the real picture. I think the advice you give here is very useful and very much spot on. We had a similar article just recently on our site on mental success and it was amazing the feedback we received http://www.topsuccesssite.com/2011/02/12/5-steps-to-achieving-mental-success/.

    I think it is important that people have a chance to learn the principals that you are discussing in your article. I am certainly glad I came across the article and your site. I wanted to just say thanks for the great inisght!

  18. says

    Wow! Nice post!
    A look at what the Bible says about money

    “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom” (Proverbs 23:4, King James Version).

    When it comes to Christian financial planning, many people want to know the Biblical basis for earning and spending money. And, like many things in life, the Bible has provided some insight into how to use money. Prayerfully consider the following passages, and how they might affect you in terms of creating your finances in accordance with Christian principles. The idea is to think about how the Bible directs you in life, and for this, you need to read what the Bible says about money, and then pray for guidance in how to implement its teachings into your life.

    A look at the Bible and what it says about money

    “The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up” (1 Samuel 2:7). Remember that the Lord can help you. Even if you are poor to the things of the world, you may still be rich in spirit. After all, it is important to remember that ultimately the Lord will provide you with what you need, even if it a lesson in how to be content with poverty (see Phil. 4:11-13, King James Version).

    But many of us are blessed with prosperity. No matter how much or how little, it is important to use our money wisely, and keep Christian principles in mind. This is especially important when we have more than others. The Bible points out that part of the blessing of having money is to use it to help others and further the Kingdom of God: “If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother” (Deut 15:7, King James Version).

    “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away” (Matthew 5:42). Just remember not to take advantage by charging outrageous interest (see Ezekiel 22:12 for condemnation of usury).

    The idea, of course, is not that money itself is evil. Money is inanimate and it is a means to an end. And having money doesn’t make you evil, either. The problem is when we live for money, and strive to have more for the sake of vanity, social status or to accumulate material things. I leave you with this parting observation from Job 31: 24-25, 28 regarding how if we are not careful, love of money can replace our love of God: “If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; If I rejoice because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high” (King James Version).

  19. bob says

    Grrrrreat post to a nice post, Dale. As a matter of fact, for those, who seek after our Lord Jesus, your post is the most accurate / to the point / clear/ and wise. Why? Because you are quoting the very word of our Creator, and there is no greater wisdom, clarity and power to address any subject of human life. Human life as a whole, is in every aspect a matter of the heart of any person,whether saved – believer or none – believer. Our Creator is the Creator of all of us, whether we believe in Him or not. He explains in the Bible, that He fashions and searches the hearts of men, some for good and others for evil; so it is the motivation of the heart, that drives man to action . Worldly prosperity is never explained as a sign of special status for humans. Our God may be willing to bless one with wealth and success and the one next to him with very little. The most important thing to God is why we do, say, act what we do, say and act out; so what should matter to us most is where we stand in our hearts are in relation to our Creator, are they right with Him, at peace or are they bend on ‘ making it’- bent for hell. And we always need self discipline and common sense.
    The greatest possible success any person today can achieve is when, after we have lived our lives to the very end and die, and we stand in front of our Maker, and we see Him face to face, when we hear Him say to us: ” well done ‘. I hope that all who read this interesting discussion will hear these very words spoken to themselves one day very soon. Success is what Christ Jesus calls success, not what the world calls success.

  20. says

    eric i must agree that you are filled with the insight and wisdom that comes from God. some writers say that almost everything that is done and said in this world is not new but the way that we have said it and done it(sent the message through those who need it most positively) determines our wisdom and more so every one has a right to an opinion so long as the opinion does not violate some fundamental rules.

    there fore eric i congratulate you for this insight andGod given wisdom and my concern was to learn that having money is not success but being a man of value, and knowing wisdom ,having good health and strong relationship with others have really inspired me. not forgeting also that TOMMOROWW IS AALWAYS A NEW DAY. THANKS

  21. Jonas S. says

    Hi Eric, it is very difficult to me to find the exact words to talk about your great, efficient article. I would just want to say To God be the glory and congratulate you. your reflection is very awesome. I thank so much. Don’t stop keep going. May God bless you more.

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