From Having Answers to Having to Answer

Heschel: “How to save the inner [life] from oblivion – this is the challenge we face. To achieve our goal, we must learn how to activate the soul, how to answer the ultimate, how to relate ourselves to the spirit.” The cultural atmosphere of the 1960s, as it relates to religion and spirituality, was galvanizedContinue reading “From Having Answers to Having to Answer”

Letting Go of God

Nietzsche: “Why atheism today? It seems to me that the religious instinct is indeed in vigorous growth – but that it rejects the theistic answer with profound mistrust.” Nietzsche is perhaps best known for his literary persona as the madman, who ran into the marketplace with his lantern looking for God. It’s in that parableContinue reading “Letting Go of God”

Our Predicament

Watts: “We seem to be like flies caught in honey. Because life is sweet we do not want to give it up, and yet the more we become involved in it, the more we are trapped, limited, and frustrated. We love it and hate it at the same time. We fall in love with peopleContinue reading “Our Predicament”

Are We Spiritual Idiots?

Heschel: “Is it not possible that we are entering a stage in history out of which we may emerge as morons, as an affluent society of spiritual idiots?” What is spiritual intelligence? Do “spirit,” “spiritual” and “spirituality” even have a place in a worldview that rejects metaphysical realism as a foundational assumption? If the mythologicalContinue reading “Are We Spiritual Idiots?”

No Wonder

Heschel: “The grandeur and mystery of the world that surrounds us is not something which is perceptible only to the elect. All [of us] are endowed with a sense of wonder, with a sense of mystery. But our system of education fails to develop it and the anti-intellectual climate of our civilization does much toContinue reading “No Wonder”

Overcoming Morality

Nietzsche: “The overcoming of morality, in a certain sense even the self-overcoming of morality: let this be the name for that protracted secret labor which has been reserved for the subtlest, most honest and also most malicious consciences as living touchstones of the soul.” The terms “morality” and “moral” are rooted in the notion ofContinue reading “Overcoming Morality”

Insecurity and Freedom

Heschel: “Freedom is the liberation from the tyranny of the self-centered ego. It comes about in moments of transcending the self as an act of spiritual ecstasy, of stepping out of the confining framework of routine reflexive concern. Freedom presupposes the capacity for sacrifice.” The human being is body and soul. The part of usContinue reading “Insecurity and Freedom”

Why We Do It

Watts: “It has been possible to make the insecurity of human life supportable by belief in unchanging things beyond the reach of calamity – in God, in [the] immortal soul, and in the government of the universe by eternal laws of right. Today such convictions are rare, even in religious circles.” If we lived foreverContinue reading “Why We Do It”

Is the Game Over?

Watts: “Once there is the suspicion that a religion is a myth, its power is gone.” In reflecting on the first part of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, I have already considered the idea that religion is based in or at least largely conditioned by myth – the language, stories, beliefs and judgments we useContinue reading “Is the Game Over?”

The Usefulness of Untruth

Nietzsche: “To recognize untruth as a condition of life: that, to be sure, means to resist customary value-sentiments in a dangerous fashion; and a philosophy which ventures to do so places itself, by that act alone, beyond good and evil.” Nietzsche’s suspicion that all we have is the finite life we are living now andContinue reading “The Usefulness of Untruth”