Set yourself free


The author, Mark Edward Jabbour, age nineteen, crossing East Maroon Creek, fifty years ago today.

It was August of 1969 and I was camped on the east fork, across the water from the paved road, via my 1946 Willy’s Jeep. I was spear fishing wild trout. It was summer break between my freshman and sophomore years at Colorado State University. I was majoring in Anthropology. You could say I was researching the paleolithic lifestyle.

When I returned to civilization, the then small town of Fort Collins, Colorado, my parents had departed, Colonel Jabbour, USAF, for Korea and Mom, Mrs. Ruth E. Jabbour to southern California, San Diego County. I probably wasn’t  ready, really, to be on my own without family nearby. My brother Jack had also left, for graduate school at UCLA.


Oh-well. I was a confident boy, if not yet a man. The purpose of this post (aside from promoting the sale of my books) is to emphasize that IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW OR PREDICT THE FUTURE; however, some people are better than others regarding likely outcomes, and some people are better at survival than others. I thought I was.


Continuity of self

Fast forward fifty years. I’m still here alive and well, writing books, which would have been unpredictable fifty years ago. I no longer fish (in any manner) but am pretty good at survival and predicting what happens next. In many ways, I’m pretty much the same person I was then.


The author forty years later (2009) in the Wild Basin, Colorado.

Those two skills are related (correlated) – survival and the ability to predict what’s going to happen next, in the short term. Some things change rapidly and some don’t, at least in the short term – the short term meaning in the immediate future, not in evolutionary terms.  In evolutionary terms short means tens of thousands of years.

Human nature apart

We humans haven’t changed much since we became “human” (highly social, smart, upright walking primates, see Why Sex Matters) some 40-60 thousand years ago. We are a species apart from other animals mostly because of awareness – in that we are aware of the past and worry the future. Also known as self-conscious(ness). Human beings dream and talk about the present, past, and future, not only to ourself but to others as well. We’ve named  this “communication”. No other animal has a name for that. They just do it, but without words, writing, or pictures. Our four-legged “friends” can make sounds, smell, touch, and leave signs, but only in an immediate, proximate way.

Not only can we talk, we also draw, write , take photographs, film and video (keep a record of) that which happens, and then interpret that according to what we believe, which sometime changes – what one believes but not what happened. Belief being: Some thing or idea one thinks is true, but without scientific evidence to back it up. At best, there is circumstantial happenstance (coincidence or correlation) to support the belief. Mostly, we are born into the belief structure of our parents, tribe, and culture, and that either works for us, or not. By “works” I mean satisfies our needs and wants, our desire.

We humans are simultaneously inside and outside of our own and others minds. And yet have no idea what the future has in store for us, individually or collectively. Fifty years ago no one – not scientists, philosophers, politicians, astrologers, priests, etc. – predicted the world we now live in, the world of 4th and 5th generation communication technology wherein one can communicate with anyone, anywhere, anytime, with just the tap of a few keys. In addition, one can find out any known knowledge instantly, if one knows what question to ask. But, the answer one gets may not be accurate, complete, or without prejudice. The answer and interpretation may in fact depend on belief, prejudice, and confirmation bias.

Reading can help

And but so: I accurately predicted Donald Trump’s triumph in 2016, and wrote of it.

Point being: No one has any idea what the world, our world, will be like fifty years from now. And if  you believe that it, this world, this planet, is doomed? I say act accordingly, or maybe talk with someone who believes a little differently than you, let them talk, and listen.

If this intrigues you … check out my website and order my books – hardback, trade paper, and ebook. They just might set you free.


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