GSOT translates as “the grand scheme of things.” This phrase from ordinary speech, spoken by a friend during a thoughtful conversation years ago, points toward some coherent meaning in life that may be approached without total dependence either on science or on special revelation. I honor both science and revelation, but each begins with an arbitrary starting point. I believe that the search for GSOT should start pragmatically from where we are, grounded in everyday life.
As a child I was the absent-minded day dreamer. In very simple terms I fumed that time had robbed me of little toys I lost. I questioned self and others after seeing human-like robots in a movie. As education proceeded, I began to write essays with a readership featuring myself, my mother, later my father-in-law, and a few friends and other family members. Some twenty years ago I wrote an unpublished book that contrasts scientific and personal truth. It still awaits revision, but I’ve kept an offshoot from it on this site, 3 blogs called Subsidiary Questions.
The main series of posts, more than 50 prepared by now, have been written since the mid-2000s. They will try to explore how you and I come to our beliefs about the world and our place in it. If you choose to read them, you will find the ideas converging around a strong focus on the will – but not the will as objective fact or hypothesis, a concept deservedly repudiated. I believe the will requires personal context – my will, your will, or our will. What does it mean to me to make important choices in my life? What does it mean to you, or to us?
My fulfilling career has been in academic medicine, specifically atherosclerosis and lipid disorders. I’m still working, cherishing the contact with patients, many of whom have become friends, and enjoying the opportunity to contribute in some measure to progress in the field.
With my wife Susan I’ve taught Sunday School in moderate Baptist churches for almost 30 years, but religion is not the primary focus here. I’m going to leave it to others more qualified to write about religious matters, including our son Morgan Guyton who has a new book and a very active blog on patheos.com.