This Is Your Life!

Nature took a huge risk in giving our species self-control and free will. Of course, I need to qualify these terms right away, as our self-control and free will are really quite limited. But the degree in which we have these is behind most of what today we celebrate (and sometimes regret) as our distinctly human contributionContinue reading “This Is Your Life!”

Impossibly Human

I spend a lot of time reflecting on the nature of human beings and what we need to be fully human. In that quest is an acknowledgment that humans don’t always live up to their potential – that, in fact, we frequently underachieve or leave unrealized what is in our nature to become. Perhaps dueContinue reading “Impossibly Human”

Becoming Human

The challenge for religion today – one of its many challenges – is to offer an understanding of the human being that is relevant to contemporary life, compatible with our present model of reality, prescient of where our evolution as a species may be leading, and in deep agreement with that stream of enduring insightsContinue reading “Becoming Human”

God Beyond Belief

In his popular lectures on the topic, Joseph Campbell would frequently start out with a definition of mythology as “other people’s religion.” Curiously the assumption of insiders is that the depiction of their god in the sacred stories of scripture came by supernatural revelation, while stories of other deities outside their tradition are quickly dismissed asContinue reading “God Beyond Belief”

The Lullaby of Belief

Look out into the galaxies, into a seemingly infinite darkness splashed and speckled with nebulae and stars beyond number. Cosmologists estimate that our universe is somewhere between 12 and 15 billion years old, born from an energy burst in which the primary structures of matter were forged and then flung, stretching the horizon of space-timeContinue reading “The Lullaby of Belief”

Mystical Faith and the Way to Peace

And now we began to drive through that narrow strait. On one side was Scylla and on the other Charybdis. Fear gripped the men when they saw Charybdis gulping down the sea. But as we drove by, the monster Scylla seized six of my company–the hardiest of the men who were with me. As theyContinue reading “Mystical Faith and the Way to Peace”

What is Post-theism?

The representation of god in myth and belief has served three key functions over the long course of history: as (1) the hidden agency behind the forces and events of nature, (2) the transcendent legitimation of political authority, and as (3) the advancing ideal of our moral development as a species. In some cases, theseContinue reading “What is Post-theism?”

The Only Way of Salvation

Religion is an answer to the problem or dilemma that besets our human condition. Throughout its long history, the answer of religion has changed according to the nature of its problem. Earliest religion was focused on the body and a need for the business of society to stay connected to the provident rhythms of nature.Continue reading “The Only Way of Salvation”

The Creative Life

In our exploration of creative change, it is tempting to romanticize creativity into a free-ranging, spontaneous, and artistic-expressive activity that defies limitations. There is something to this, of course. The “creative life” does seem to stand at the far end of a continuum from the “secure life” where everything is safe and comfortably tucked in.Continue reading “The Creative Life”

Human Being

If language had developed along a slightly different track, in addition to speaking of human beings we might today have acquired the habit of referring to “dog beings” and “tree beings,” even “rock beings” and “cup beings.” This fascinating word, being, is mistakenly regarded as a noun when it’s really more a verb: be-ing, theContinue reading “Human Being”