The Infrastructure of Life

Posted on September 19, 2017 by Robert Ringer


While it’s true that we live in a rapidly changing world, it’s important to recognize that the daily changes we witness are changes in form only.  The real substance of our universe, and of life itself, is comprised of universal principles.  These principles, also known as axioms, truths, or natural laws, form the infrastructure for the stage of life on which each of us performs.

When the weather changes dramatically, as we’ve seen with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the universal principles (euphemistically referred to as “science”) that cause such radical changes remain firmly in place.  Likewise, the economy may change, but no matter how much mischievous politicians try to manipulate it, the free-market principles that underlie the workings of the economy do not change one iota.

Even technology changes on a daily basis.  However, our vanity blinds us to the reality that all new technology does is rearrange atoms.  Video games and smartphones aside, the laws of molecular structure are the same today as they were in prehistoric times.

While all this may sound like an academic discussion, it most definitely is not.  On the contrary, it has everything to do with the nuts and bolts of how you live your life on a day-to-day basis.

The truth be known, any civilized religion has built into it — at least through implication — the sanctity of universal principles.  That’s because universal principles are omniscient and omnipotent.  (Whether they are omnibenevolent is a subject for debate and beyond the scope of this article.)  My focus here is on the importance of living your life in harmony with universal principles as the best way to retain your sanity and equilibrium in an increasingly insane and unstable world.

Everyone is familiar with George Santayana’s famous words, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  Even a casual student of history is painfully aware that, notwithstanding how far mankind has advanced technologically, we continue to make the same mistakes today that our ancestors have made throughout history.

Nevertheless, when idealistic lads and lasses bid farewell to their clueless profs at Princeton, Harvard, and Yale, they have learned virtually nothing about the lessons of history.  Worse, the pudding heads who were in charge of teaching them have likely perverted the lessons of history to ensure that these future leaders of our society will make the same mistakes as their predecessors.

The great Thomas Sowell explained it even better than Santayana when he said, “Everything is new if you are ignorant of history.  That is why ideas that have failed repeatedly in centuries past reappear again, under the banner of ‘change,’ to dazzle people and sweep them off their feet.”

If you guide your actions in accordance with what you see and hear around you — particularly on television — you’re likely to spend your life in a state of waking dreams.  On the other hand, given that you have been blessed with a human brain, you have the capacity to make a conscious decision to refuse to join the lemmings that obediently and enthusiastically follow ignorant, corrupt politicians and “save the world” advocates over the cuckoo cliffs.

My advice is that you neither try to predict the future nor allow the madness of the crowd to discourage you.  Instead, relentlessly focus on the infrastructure of life and base your actions on universal principles.

In other words, concentrate on those things over which you have the most control, and rely on universal principles to work their magic for you.  To the extent you do so, you will have a much better chance of leading a prosperous and meaningful life — during both good times and bad — because universal principles will never desert you.

Charlie Dickens was right on target when he said, in the very first sentence of A Tale of Two Cities:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

In other words, in substance (as opposed to form) today is pretty much like any other time.  Before Kim Jong-un there was Kim Jong-il, and before Kim Jong-il there was Kim il-sung.  Different names and different faces, but that’s about it.

Life is an endless loop of the best of times and the worst of times, and grasping this reality on a spiritual level is an important key to finding freedom and happiness in an unfree world.

Remember, crises come and go, but only one time in history is the world going to come to an end — and you won’t be around to remember it happening anyway.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

62 responses to “The Infrastructure of Life”

  1. TheLookOut says:

    Another great insightful article Robert. Thanks for the grounding.

  2. Rick Harmon says:

    …To which I say, in a battle between human will and Mother Nature, always bet on Mother.

  3. Rick G. says:

    About."different names and different faces" in government, reminds me about how dictatorial governments in some countries (as was the case in Vietnam) come and go, but life for the peasants who toil in the fields of these third world countries remains the same throughout. Now that I think about it, it could apply here in this country. Having gone through many presidential administrations, everyday life for the people seems to go on as it always has uninterrupted.

    • Donna Scott says:

      Those who live through it, time and time again, willfully, play the game knowing in the end, they lose, there can only be one winner! Win or lose, makes no difference if you only play by a corrupt set of rules!

      • Jim Hallett says:

        That is true, Donna. Life does not really change – except for the WORSE – when viewed from the aggression of the State. Its criminal overlords care nothing about anyone or anything – except their own power. It does one good to focus on those things that one can control, and know that universal principles outweigh any of the junk that immoral men impose. Keeping a low profile vis-à-vis the State is a prudent measure, and know that each of us controls our own happiness – it is an INSIDE JOB – and NOT dependent on circumstances, because, as RR pointed out, these do change and are often unpleasant, so to avoid being pushed and pulled by every event, comment, challenge, etc. makes for a depressing and traumatic life of fear and anxiety. It is not Pollyana, but rather a realistic understanding that each individual has been gifted with the power to transcend and overcome EVERYTHING that comes their way – not necessarily CHANGE circumstances, but overcome and transmute them into something good.

  4. Scott theczech says:

    I shall ruminate on this one, because I want to fully absorb its wisdom and truth. In reading the Bible and other selected ancient texts, I've concluded that human nature doesn't change. Those same behaviors that get us in trouble are still with each of us to varying degrees; envy, jealousy, anger, fear, vengeance etc. The mindful individual remains vigilant when confronting those things in others, and himself. Your kind reminders about working on that which one can control, keeping things in proper perspective, and working with the basic universal principles is invaluable!

    • Phil says:

      The more I read the Bible, and other older religious texts, the more impressed I am regarding how clearly they expose universal principles regarding human behavior.

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  5. RealitySeeker says:

    The above article reminds me of the saying, "some things change, some remain the same".

    One change is "Rocket Man" has become Nuclear Rocket Man. What remains the same is how the slow-witted public doesn't deduce what they should stockpile as insurance… Of course, those who are pushing 70 or 80 don't have to personally worry about the future because their time above ground is mostly behind them. But the future of mankind is something to contemplate, especially if you have children and grandchildren; however, I agree that the sweet juice of life should be freshly squeezed on a daily basis.. So balance is the key..

  6. Mike says:

    Great timing for this. I'm feeling a lot of uncertainty about our future with all the chaos surrounding us. Although I believe in bedrock principles I needed this reminder for having faith in them. Thank you.

  7. Kevan Rowlee says:

    Sharing on my Facebook wall.

  8. TN Ray says:

    Sounds like Ecclesiastes chapter 1: …."what has been is what will be" ….and, "there is nothing new under the sun". BTW is the infrastructure photo Thorncrown Chapel in the In Eureka Springs AR ? AIA Design of the Year 1981.

  9. Steve Victor says:

    Why does RJR have to bring religion into it? Why not write: “The truth be known, any civilized society (or culture) ….”

    • Incal Tom says:

      Religion governs individual behavior, and throughout history has acted as a moral influence and thus a civilizing influence. Religion has been valued because where it's embraced, it attenuates humanity's natural antagonism toward outsiders, making the spread of civilization possible. It also answers implicit human yearnings for answers to the big questions.

    • Paul Herring says:

      Religion has many faces. What we're seeing today is the rise of Islamic jihadism. While not having read the Koran, I've met many fine Muslim people who are nowhere near embracing extremist views. It's often called fundamentalism, but it isn't that. Many jihadists, if not all of them, have apostatised from true Islamic teachings. Some are simply stone age people who've been hoodwinked into doing what their agenda-based mullahs tell them to. Bad news all round.

      On the other hand, Robert speaks of “universal principles”. Principles don’t just appear. Someone has to be the originator of them and that someone is God. As RJR says those universal principles never change. That’s because God doesn’t change. You can read that in the Bible at Malachi chapter 3 verse 6.

      Finally, religion figures in any discussion of the whys and wherefores of life which naturally involve humans, because humans have been hard-wired that way. We have a spiritual dimension which can’t be ignored without harm to the individual who chooses to. Again, consult a Bible at Matthew 5:3. There it says, according to one translation: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need since the kingdom of God belongs to them”.

      It’s no surprise then that we see the unravelling of our taken-for-granted way of life. Robert spoke of ‘the end of the world’ in his final comments here. It will end, but not the world per se, but the world of humankind which has chosen to leave God out of their lives.

      • Jim Hallett says:

        The spiritual principles that undergird religion are unchanging and can be relied upon without fail. Organized religion – any of them – have perverted many of those principles and used fear and shaming to convert people, so I am VERY leery of many "fundamentalists" when it comes to religion because they operate with the theology they adhere to (which is fine, btw, for them to run their life), and assume that any other take on things – including much in the Bible – must be erroneous, since it does not align with THEIR theology.

        • Paul Herring says:

          Nicely put and pretty much spot on, Jim. Yes, unprincipled, organised religion has failed so dreadfully to uphold the truthfulness of the Bible and in turn this has brought religion in general into disrepute. More specifically and more importantly, organised religion has brought great reproach on the name of the true God, Jehovah. This it’s done by its non-support of the principles which underpin morality.

          It’s no surprise then that the Bible itself says at Revelation 18:24 these words: “Yes, in her was found the blood of prophets and of holy ones and of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth.” Strong indeed, but deserved.

  10. larajf says:

    Somewhere along the line with your teaching and Bob Proctor,I realized that it didn't matter who was in office or what they were doing. People can still make money no matter what. So I keep working on getting better at not caring and focusing on doing what I can do best to help others and make money off of it. It's a work in progress,what can I say.

    • Jean says:

      You're absolutely correct about the presence of opportunity and the ability to build / create wealth regardless of who is in office. The reality of Soviet Russia was that many people (who were considered "criminals" in that society) earned money by taking advantage of the government's failures. Farmers would sell their excess production on the black market, rather than turning over all of their production to the government for redistribution. Those who had access to tools and equipment would do side jobs when government agencies failed to provide needed services. Entrepreneurs existed and benefited society even under the most severe totalitarian regime; this is the lesson that today's SJWs really need hammered home.

  11. Randy Burkhardt says:

    Thanks Robert…for always telling it like it is. Your wisdom is always appreciated. RBB

  12. Pitch says:

    The impeccable Billie Holiday recorded a song in September 1940 that pretty well sums up
    "The Infrastructure of Life."

    "The same old story
    It's as old as the stars above
    The same old story
    The same old story but it's new to me!"
    I happen to be one of those that is pushing 80; so, my atoms most likely could be rearranged at any given moment. I have many things to be thankful for and one is getting to know Robert Ringer through his thoughtful, insightful and articulate prose.

  13. Angedur says:

    Not much wisdom in public efucation, as in epic fail. More like Lord (or is it lard with obesity and weight issues a commonality now adays) of the Flies, peer pressure trying to overide individuality, the grouprhink of, we know whats best for you. Sickening.

  14. Robby Bonfire says:

    Thank you for having the courage to use the word "Mankind." Political Correctness is the death knell for the human race the planet.

  15. Paul says:

    Once again, I have to ask Ringer: If you're so worried about the collapse of the US and Nuclear War as you indicated in your books in the past, why are you residing in Annapolis, MD, a mere hour from the seat of government? I think we all deserve an answer.
    Anything, just say "I actually live in Brazil but just keep my PO Box in Annapolis" or something like that…

    • Paul Herring says:

      I'm not looking for an answer from RJR, Paul. Robert has to live somewhere and our world had become a global village so we can't live anywhere out of the reach of calamities man-made or otherwise. All good.

  16. Bruce Fraser says:

    "A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh, the world will always welcome lovers as time goes by —- the fundamental things apply as time goes by (principles)
    "It is still the same old story, a fight for love and glory, a case of do or die, the world will always welcome lovers as time goes by"
    A great song –As Time Goes By — from the great movie Casablanca still shows us the significance of history and how we must learn from it. The speech by Bogart to Bergman at the ending scene at the airport still resonates today some 75 years later about our values in "this crazy world". Our most powerful principle, Love, has been beaten down by society and government. But it can grab you at any time by a song or a scene from a movie, and not the garbage special effects crap movies of today. The fundamentals of life are embeded in our psyche but not practiced until needed. Love, honor, integrity, compassion are just some of the needs we value but never use except for Richard Blaine (Bogart) knowing the sacrifice to be made and learning what is important and more valuable than money or power — the need to practice real fundamentals and to be at peace with our neighbors.

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