ALL THE LIGHT WE CAN SEE

 

 

blue sky and hope

 

In genuine questioning, nothing can be taken for granted as if it were self-evident and apparent for all to see. Those who have been struck by wonder recognize that there is a strange, amazing depth to things that goes well beyond the “truths” of common sense or cultural formation.

The Kali Yuga

Audio: Listen to this post. The Introduction to the forthcoming book The Great Transformation: How Contemporary Science Harmonizes with the Spiritual Life. Like you, I was born in the Kali Yuga, the Dark Age of Hindu mythology, when all the great religious faiths of the world are on the wane. The secular faith in the Nation-State, in grand schemes to institute Paradise on Earth, and in placing transcendent hope in human institutions has been destroyed by history. No theoretical arguments are necessary to show that the goal of a Heaven on Earth is

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The Tragedy of America

Audio: Listen to this post. On the final page of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald captures the tragedy of America with the metaphor of the green light. Daisy always had “a green light that burn[ed] all night at the end of [her] dock,”[1] and Gatsby’s dream of possessing her had “seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.”[2] Yet, the green light of his dream always receded, so Gatsby could never incarnate his romantic vision of his life with Daisy. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future

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God and Wild Strawberries

Audio: Listen to this post. Ten days ago, I received an email from Brian Miller commenting on a recent post of mine, God Said; We Say. The point of the email was the clear and distinct end: “I have heard of many religious people becoming atheists, but it is unusual to find people going in the opposite direction. I would be very grateful if you explained to me your idea of God. I assure you I will pay very close attention to it, and I’m ready to be converted.” Brian is a retired

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The Invention of the Self

Audio: Listen to this post.                       Figure 1. Dürer’s self-portrait at 28 (1500). Alte Pinakothek, Munich.   In 1500, Albrecht Dűrer painted a shockingly original self-portrait that anticipated the era of Modernity that followed. (See Figure 1.) Dűrer paints himself as a unique individual, as the one subject that fascinated him beyond all else. In the self-portrait, he is perfect, his skin bright and unblemished, his beautiful hair with strands that weave in and out, his fur-lined coat suitable for a nobleman.[1] That

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Why America Is Falling Apart

Audio: Listen to this post. As of this writing, the popular votes in the divisive 2020 presidential election are 72,136,589 for Biden and 68, 649,947 for Trump. Twenty-four hours after the polls closed and with no winner of the electoral votes declared, Biden assured the American people that “there will be no blue and red states when we win, just the United States of America;” he emphasized “united.” But what unites the 330,547,745 individuals who call themselves Americans?[1] The citizens of a Nation-State are held together by storytelling[2], by such grand narratives as

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The Fire This Time?

Audio: Listen to this post. To amuse ourselves during the Pandemic Experiment, my oldest grandson Yasu and I started a study group using Teams, the Microsoft version of Zoom. Within a month, our study group expanded to include my wife, our two daughters, our youngest granddaughter, and Yasu’s brother. We were three generations in three states and met three times a week. (I know three appears here as a magic number.) Our seven-member group read three books to grasp the fundamentals of American life: Tocqueville’s Democracy in America for how individualism and equality

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Joey: Part 1

Audio: Listen to this post. Joey An interdepartmental feud PROLOGUE Brianna Smythe took one look at Joey and said to herself, Bingo. There’s my ticket to the Big Time. The young psychologist immediately knew her trip to New Harmony, Utah and the subsequent hassle with the local rednecks over the whereabouts of the cabin that Joey and his great-grandmother lived in were going to pay off in a big way. She observed that Joey established brief eye contact with her and then looked down at the porch floor. The young boy, who was a good

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Joey: Part 2

Audio: Listen to this post. The Old Girl Network to the rescue CHAPTER 11 Without the Old Girl Network, Brianna would have been lost. The New Sisterhood had infiltrated every level of the University. As a result, no aspect of President Harlan’s life was not available on some node of the Old Girl Network. In response to Brianna’s distress call, the New Sisterhood sprang into action. Soon, President Harlan was reading a confidential letter addressed to him by Janet Williams, a professor of journalism. Professor Williams explained that Dr. Smythe had been sand-bagged

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Joey: Part 3

Audio: Listen to this post. The best and the brightest?  CHAPTER 18 Brianna hesitated and then knocked on the door beneath the name “Governor ‘Bud’ Wheeler.” On the other side of the door, the voice of the people shouted, “Come in.” Brianna opened the door and said, “I’m Brianna Smythe, and this is Joey.” Three grinning campaign posters wrapped in red, white, and blue bunting and Governor “Bud,” himself, greeted Brianna and Joey. “Come in, come in,” the Governor said. A campaign smile and a handshake charged toward Brianna and Joey. Governor “Bud”

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Joey: Part 4

Audio: Listen to this post. The wisdom of our tribe nearly kills Joey CHAPTER 26 “Joey, do you know what the word ‘philosophy’ means?” Professor Thayer asked. The man-child shook his head. He had never been in the presence of a Master and was reluctant to speak. “The word ‘philosophy’ comes from the Greek — philia . . . sophia.” Professor Thayer pronounced each root of the word clearly and distinctly. “Philia means love and sophia means wisdom, so philosophy is the love of wisdom. Joey, do you know what ‘wisdom’ means?” Joey answered, “I’ve been told that wisdom

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God Said; We Say

Audio: Listen to this post. On December 24, 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 read in turn from the Book of Genesis as they orbited the Moon. William Anders read, “And God said, ‘Let there be light: and there was light,’” probably for Christians the most well-known passage from the Hebrew Bible, and one of the most ambiguous ideas in theology. At the time of the flyby of Apollo 8, I was an atheist; that God merely spoke and light appeared made no sense to me; that later His Speech brought into existence, the stars, the

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Why Christianity in America Is Subservient to Capitalism

Audio: Listen to this post. The Covid-19 Pandemic has revealed that we no longer have the equivalent of such moral leaders as Martin Luther King, Jr., Caesar Chavez, and Dorothy Day. These leaders in their actions embodied the Gospel of Love and the unshakeable Christian understanding of the human being taken from the Book of Genesis: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”[1] Every Christian denomination holds that in some way God, or Christ, is in each person and

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