Making Community Work

Most of my blog posts on the topic of community make a case for seeing it as a social organism, as something that emerges, grows, flourishes, and dies, just like other living things. I typically focus my reflections on how not to interfere with or undermine its organic process, suggesting that we see ourselves moreContinue reading “Making Community Work”

Becoming Whole

In his important work The Birth of Tragedy (1872), Friedrich Nietzsche interpreted the dynamism of ancient Greece as a tension between two principles, which he saw represented in the gods Apollo and Dionysus. Apollo, the celebrated solar god of light, logic, and the visual arts, stood in mythologic opposition to Dionysus, the equally celebrated (butContinue reading “Becoming Whole”

Living From the Center

One of the more serious consequences of stress – by which I mean not our response of “stressing out,” but the sheer pressure, commotion, demands and distractions of everyday life – is in the way it causes our attention to close down on what we think we can manage. Problems come as this collapsed perspectiveContinue reading “Living From the Center”

From Wonder to Conviction

In the title of this post I have summarized the path of humanity to our final extinction as a species on planet Earth. It won’t be for a lack of convictions that our self-destruction comes, but rather due to an incapacity for wonder. I might also have titled this post “An Apology for Wonder,” whereContinue reading “From Wonder to Conviction”

Taking Back Our Light

We all have to negotiate a reality that isn’t always interested in our personal happiness or human fulfillment. Distracted, absent, or abusive parents, a dysfunctional family system, and a larger society that operates under the spell of what Charles Tart called a “consensus trance,” conspire to make our journey of self-actualization complicated, to say theContinue reading “Taking Back Our Light”

Out of Depression

The most significant accomplishment for any human being is to become fully human. That may sound redundant to some, and like a downgrade to others, but those who are most in touch with the human adventure have long insisted that we are still a long way from the evolutionary ideal of our species. And they’veContinue reading “Out of Depression”

Talking To Ourselves

For the past 100 years or so, we’ve been coming to terms with the idea that the meaning of life, the world we inhabit, and we ourselves are constructs of language. Not long ago we believed that meaning was “out there” to be discovered in external reality, like a hidden treasure buried in the natureContinue reading “Talking To Ourselves”

And So It Goes

It’s been a while since I’ve reflected on what makes grownups act like children, but with the US presidential campaigns kicking into high gear, this seems like a good time. Our conventional idea of an “adult” is a person who is rational and reasonable, reflective and responsible, who is emotionally centered, well-adjusted, and gets alongContinue reading “And So It Goes”

The Design Failure in Education Today

When students do poorly in school and end up failing out, educators reflexively pin the problem on the students themselves. Most students don’t really care. Many of them don’t have the discipline it takes to succeed. Some are probably just not smart enough. Problems with motivation, self-discipline, and intelligence are the three most common diagnosesContinue reading “The Design Failure in Education Today”

Quality Teaching

It’s not a surprise to anyone that our education system is in trouble. Many of us have been its victims, and there’s a fresh generation of youngsters in the process of getting their curiosity, imagination, and natural talents sterilized in school right now. Increasingly schools have been saddled with the responsibility of child rearing, interveningContinue reading “Quality Teaching”