Wide Angle Vision Part 3: Ignoring the Impacts

While reading The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines for Life on Earth recently, I found myself shocked at how I'd completely ignored the ecological impacts of modern medicine on the environment. The book goes into great detail about how the concentrated chemicals that make up pharmaceuticals end up in our water and air, in some cases excreted from the human body absolutely unchanged. Buhner points to a whole range of environmental problems triggered by modern … [Read more...]

Wide Angle Vision Part 2: Missing The Variables

Dice

A few weeks ago, I saw this video on my Twitter feed. At first, I was excited to see something that would talk about the way that our biases leak into our math, but instead I was annoyed to find that the video actually showed the opposite problem. What I see in this video is a tendency toward the sort of reductionism that gets in the way of broader understanding.We have a woman who studied philosophy in college and was politically active at the time. Now she's a bank teller. Someone says … [Read more...]

Wide Angle Vision Part 1: A Useful Meditation

Photo by Elisheva Sterling. Some rights reserved. cc by sa

This is the first in a multi-part series I'm calling "Wide Angle Vision." It's a series that contrasts reductionist thinking and holistic thinking, considers the place and value of each, and then brings these ideas to bear on some aspect of a spiritual relationship to place.There are many different techniques for meditation. Some involve clearing the mind entirely. Others involve focusing on a single thing to the exclusion of all else. Others involve a discursive flow of thought, a dialog … [Read more...]

Paganism’s Messiah Complex

Red Moths

Or, the Anthropocentrism of Western PaganismOccasionally, within pagan circles, I happen across a troubling component of the western centric world view, and one that I find particularly antithetical to pagan values: anthropocentrism.  The belief that human-persons are the most significant species on the planet, plays out within paganism in subtle and tricky ways.  Most of us would balk at the outright notion that our species is superior, yet I often hear how humans have a divine role as m … [Read more...]

Traveling Toward Birth (Part 2)

passport

A few days later I had another dream. This time we were not in a bus or in a train. This time a little boy and I were on a plane. We were on our way to Thailand. We were looking at pictures in tourist magazines and talking about the things that we would do on vacation. At first the little boy wasn't all that convinced, but as we looked at the pictures and I told him about the things that I've done on vacation in the past, he began to get excited. I read him stories from the magazine, too, and … [Read more...]

‘Big’ people are people, too.

argesar

This piece was originally published on 26th October, 2013, at my personal blog. When asked to think about how religion has changed in 2013, and how that change has affected me personally, this experience immediately came to mind. It's not about Paganism, but it is about people, and place, and community. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Doesn’t this guy look sweet? He’s Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, co-leader of Kagyu Samyé Ling Monas … [Read more...]

Traveling Toward Birth

By William Murphy from Dublin, Ireland [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Two nights ago my dreams were full of bus stations and train stations. I was travelling sometimes alone sometimes with a male companion. Sometimes I would be alone but would know that I had to find the male companion. The companion was sometimes a small child and sometimes an adult. Sometimes he seemed like he was a son of mine, or a grandson of mine, other times I knew that he was just a friend. He was a close friend, though, like family to me.We kept getting lost in the bus stations or on … [Read more...]


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