HOST: Most of the essays sent to us come as text via the Internet, but this one was delivered in person, by hand, on an audio cassette. The sentences, such as they are, came to us by ear. They might be a little hard to understand on the page, but by ear the meaning can be felt. Here is Dennis Downey with his essay for This I Believe. DOWNEY: I believe in genes and a forward flow of time and in all things visible and invisible. Smaller than a light microscope sees, a gene is a genie (is a ghost) is one-half of each of us given by one-half of each parent. Each of us comes from two parents each of whom came from two parents each of whom came from two parents in an endless criss-cross of streams of time and persons going backwards And each of us is as in our own incarnation a soul inside a body for some reason a fire a flame a soul what we desire (that we desire) Lighter than flesh, the soul is the glow of us. The soul is the particular glow that the genes make when they make. It's the soul that stands the body up and gets it moving forward. Every body's soul is on a journey. I believe we live in a solar system that we go around a sun, the Sun and that the Sun is a giant ball of flame. I believe that most of the energy for everything on earth comes from the sun except for the energies of the earth itself because the earth itself is also on fire. Inside. In the center. At its core. We know this from volcanoes. That there is fire going on inside of the earth. We stand on an earth that is a boiling ball of iron on fire in space spinning at its core as it circles a source of sunshine. And each generation is short. A mutation. first we're a child then an adult then a parent in turn to a child then an old person (hopefully) with change constant change all around us all ways through out who wears what who's in charge what music sounds good I believe that a book is a box. Because a book carries something from some one person to another And because it is used (and can be used) to carry ideas across time. Which is how ideas build up. And each of us is not only our own lives unwinding forward but also a part of (and in service to) the larger life of the tribe which in turn is in service to the larger life of the species which in turn is in service to a larger life source lost in a bath of stars that is a galaxy scattered in the huge-ness of the universe. We are not lost when we die. We never go away. Why would we go away? When we're gone, we come back.