The Immortal Oak - The Conscious Universe begins with the author planting an acorn on the grave of his father, respecting his dad's wish that the molecules of his remains be given new life in something meaningful. Marczely doesn't quite know what to say as he plants the seed and then returns to his family watching nearby. But his mind is flooded with the thoughts and ideas of his father as he reflects over their many years together.
Marczely mentions that at the outset, his father perceived this infinite range of interactions as something that precluded a belief in God, or at least a need for a belief in God. As he matured, he began to perceive the role of a God as possible, and even had some dreams, or other metaphysical experiences, which made him see the potential of a loving God, aware of humans and their needs and experiences. And while he never subscribed to a given religious persuasion, he came to understand that whether God existed or not, religious belief played a positive role in the lives of others.
The Immortal Oak - The Conscious Universe is certainly a book that someone could read in a single sitting, but is not one that can easily be dismissed. A thoughtful reading will leave the reader with some important questions about life and its environment. But the broader and perhaps more subtle message is about the influence of a father's beliefs on his children and others within his sphere of influence. As his children listened and pondered their father's belief system, they were forced to consider their own view and how it aligned. That in and of itself is an important message to all of us as fathers.
No life exists without touching others, either through our belief systems as they play out in our lives or through the example we set for others through our attitudes and actions. Fathers can and do play a critical role in the development of their children's thinking and personal philosophies, knowingly or not. Marczely's father taught by both example and precept, and his children knew where he stood and how his thinking developed.
Marczely concludes The Immortal Oak - The Conscious Universe as it started with the planting of an acorn, but in this case one for the following generation. Thus, the allegory continues and the reminder of the role of father as teacher and exemplar continues for yet another round.
The Immortal Oak - The Conscious Universe is a fascinating study of how fathers teach their children and prepare them for adult roles and responsibilities by offering perspective and vision. For some families, that comes in religion and faith traditions. In others, it comes through the absence of such traditions but still in careful consideration about life and its rhythms and cycles. But, in any case, it is an important case study in the importance of a father in a child's life and personal development.