The Social Challenge of Jesus

In Insurrection and Epiphany I tried to explain what was truly revolutionary about Jesus of Nazareth, focusing on his message and revelation of “unconditional forgiveness.” That exact term wasn’t used by him, but the gospel stories about him and the stories he told (called parables) both imply and explicitly declare a new understanding – groundedContinue reading “The Social Challenge of Jesus”

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”

Alone in the Middle of Everything

Because the adventure of becoming somebody requires its own separate workspace, the entire project along with its product, a unique identity named “I” or ego, has prompted two very different judgments on the matter. Conventional religion typically regards the separate ego – conceived as estranged from its proper and original communion with god – asContinue reading “Alone in the Middle of Everything”

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”

Your Triune Nature

Given that truth in mythology is not a matter of factual or historical accuracy but rather the degree in which its stories express and reveal to us the reality of what we are, I’ve been reflecting lately on a persistent fascination of Christian mythology: the triune nature of God. (I’m using the uppercase ‘G’ hereContinue reading “Your Triune Nature”

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”

What Do You Want? (The Pyramid of Human Desires)

Let me start with a bold declaration. Each of us – every human being – wants to be healthy, happy, and in harmonious relationships with others and the world around us. Of course, we pursue many other things, like sex, wealth, power, status, and immortality, but these are only derivative and secondary as compared toContinue reading “What Do You Want? (The Pyramid of Human Desires)”

The Wisdom Code

I agree: It’s hard being you. Your whole life you’ve been trying to figure this thing out, but still you’re left with unanswered questions and pressing concerns. It’s not clear that you’ll be able to “crack the code” before your time is up. It sure seems that humans would have reached a deeper understanding byContinue reading “The Wisdom Code”

Wisdom’s Long Journey

The spiritual wisdom traditions teach that every human being is somewhere in the process of waking up, that we are each emerging from a long, deep sleep. We’re not yet fully awake, most of us, but a new way of being – what Paul Tillich named the New Being – is even now available, andContinue reading “Wisdom’s Long Journey”

Spiritual Exercise

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and feel yourself relax into your body. The “drop” of consciousness into the biorhythms, life-force, and material gravity of your body begins from a place where a lot of your time and attention is invested. It’s a place of chronic anxiety and exhaustion, of curating and managing aContinue reading “Spiritual Exercise”