About the Author
I believe that who I am comes from my parents and my environment. If anyone is curious, this is my background.
My parents are both from Czechoslovakia, now the Slovak Republic. My mother was born there and moved to Montreal, Quebec when she was little. My dad was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. When he was little, he returned to his family's farm in Slovakia. He was able to return to America before World War II commenced. He served in the Army and was severely injured in North Africa during a campaign with General Patton. My parents met because my dad had relatives in Montreal, where my mother lived. They were married in 1945.
I am one of six children. I was born in Milwaukee and when I was 8, my family moved to Cudahy, a Milwaukee suburb in Wisconsin. My parents are serious believers in the Catholic religion. We all went to Catholic grade schools and a brother and sister attended Catholic high schools. I am a graduate of Cudahy High School.
My dad worked two jobs during part of my childhood - which I understood later since there were 8 in the family to support. Several years, my mom worked part-time during the Christmas holidays. I certainly learned to respect hard work. Before I graduated from my grade school, I already had a goal to get through college.
When I was about 9 or 10, I got a little 3" telescope for Christmas as my parents knew I was already fascinated in astronomy. I took time looking for features on the moon and trying to find the planets. I took all the science and math I could in high school (several courses in both physics and chemistry and four years of math including calculus). The only high school extracurricular activity I actually participated in was the chess team - I played almost daily (during lunch) my senior year. Outside of high school studies, I read about anything that interested me. I read about such things as handwriting analysis, astrology (I am a Pisces), science fiction (I read many books by Isaac Asimov and one of my favorite books was Dune, Alistair MacLean was another favorite author ), and much history - both world and American (knowing how we got to where we are helps understand where we will or might go). After high school, I eventually graduated from Milwaukee School of Engineering with a BSEET, including a computer science major and a math minor.
During my college years, I was also trying to learn more about why things are the way they are, and how did our religions evolve the way they did? In my book store visits, I discovered two authors that had a great influence on my life and my future studies - Immanuel Velikovsky (catastrophism) and Alan Watts (Zen).
I had a religious experience when I was 21, when I was deeply interested in Zen. The experience capped my change in perspective from my Catholic upbringing to the philosophies of Zen and Tao. As I continued to learn more of philosophy, religion, mythology, history and science, I felt that religious experience bought everything into a context that made it all clearer. I now had a 'big picture' that illuminated all that followed.
I was married to my wife for over 20 years and we have two adult children, a son and a daughter.
Two events prompted me to create this web site in May, 2000. First, the action in Kansas to make the teaching of evolution optional . The second was my viewing on television the 1999 hit movie, The Matrix. In it, everyone's 'reality' was actually all computer generated. Each person was a participant in their own lives but the Matrix controlled the environment. In a way, that passive participation is also how a person's life within a Catholic upbringing can be perceived. I describe that perception in my page titled Matters of Religion.
Other events in the subsequent years resulted in a broader horizon. I had the occasion to visit both Germany and Taiwan in the span of less than a month in early 2001. The incredible events of 9/11/2001 made me question whether God blesses America.
This site began as an endeavor to describe the ancient myths and their relation to our planets. It has grown to include my thoughts on the meaning of life and my answer to that philosophical question: who am I? (or: why are we here? and also its associated question: where are we going?)
I have added a little more personal information about my own religious experience in the page about my life.
The original version of this web site was created in 2000 That free site ended when Yahoo closed geocities. In 2004 The domain cultureandreligion.com was obtained, as well as a site development tool.In 2004 another topic was added about my life (added 12/2004, updated 08/16/2018)
That initial page layout from 2004 was finally changed in June, 2018, affecting all pages.
On 9/22/2013, I wrote a new home page that better describes the intent of this web site at that time. The original home page from 2004 is still here.The home page was enhanced again in June 2018 when all the Topic Groups were given better descriptions of the group’s intent.
In late 2016 my brain cancer (GBM) was removed. I posted a topic about the cancer and its treatment (added on 02/14/2018).
In mid 2017 I was told complications from my GBM were a big problem. At the time I put some thoughts about life in a possible obituary. I am still here a year later
Disjointed I suspect some readers with get the impression the sequence of topics and their timing are disjointed so this topic explains that state. (added on 08/04/2018).
created - May 2000
last change - 8/04/2018
Here is the list of topics in this About Me Topic Group.
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