Sometimes It Takes A Lie

Sometimes it takes a lie to keep a religion. “It’s merely a game,” they told the priests–”how we fast for days, then cut a tall pole to climb. How we costume and dance. It means nothing, how we chant in circles and bleed chickens. How we climb and fly round and around in air. Come, [Read More...]

Empty Suitcase

The cat snuggles down into my empty suitcase, out to fill for a trip. She   knows something’s up. It’s a bed, she insists. A warm place, even an   instrument of stasis. I let her nestle there, passing on to other   bustling that needs doing, done. That I’ve lived out of a suitcase [Read More...]

Another Reason for the Season

There’s a certain Slant of light, Winter Afternoons – That oppresses, like the Heft Of Cathedral Tunes – Heavenly Hurt, it gives us – We can find no scar, But internal difference, Where the Meanings, are – Emily Dickinson   “Yule” (jul) means “wheel” in Norse. The Norse looked at this time of year, facing the darkest and longest [Read More...]

Images, Imagination, and Iconoclasts

In 1642, during the British Civil War, Protestant troops of Cromwell’s New Model Army celebrated taking the city by looting the cathedral at Winchester. Troops used the stained glass windows for target practice and showed their disdain for monarchy and Catholic saints by smashing open crypts and pitching the bones through the stained glass windows. [Read More...]

Tornados, Typhoons, and Straw Dogs: Giving Thanks With Some Thinking

Thanksgiving American style. The day declared a national holiday for the purpose of giving thanks. Despite the best efforts of those of a theocratic bent, who or what to thank remains open to interpretation. My thanks goes to the universe that just keeps cranking out good things. As the fifth chapter of the Daodejing puts [Read More...]

The Four Yogas and Transcendental Humanism

A group from the local Hindu temple recently contacted me about jointly celebrating the 150th birthday of Vivekananada, the Hindu priest who took the World Parliament of Religions by storm back in 1893 and introduced Vedanta Hinduism to the Western Hemisphere. Vivekananda spoke at the congregation where I serve as senior minister, the First Unitarian [Read More...]

How Sisyphus Got It Right

I have participated in National Novel Writing Month three times now. I have never reached the goal of 50,000 words. Last year I came close, with 42,000. This year I’m not even close, having written only a bit over 10,000. The handy-dandy stats machine on the NaNoWriMo website tells me I’m averaging 760 words a [Read More...]

Morality: It’s About Hopping Out of That Tree

We all make a decision every day, consciously or unconsciously: Am I going to cooperate today? Perhaps the question is cooperation with a partner. Or the kids. Or a neighbor. Or the people at school or work. Are we going to “go along to get along,” as the old saying goes? How much of ourselves [Read More...]

Run Away! Run Away! Fear and the Problem of Progressivism

Let’s face it, progressives just don’t do fear well. Conservatives go to town with death panels and black helicopters, while progressives build arguments. It’s true in religion; it’s true in politics: progressives live in Reasonville while conservatives scare the hell into people. Take, for example, Pascal’s Wager, one of the enduring arguments concerning the god [Read More...]

To Becoming Silent

by Pablo Neruda (translation by David Breeden) Now, let’s all count to twelve, then keep still. For once on this earth, let’s speak in no language. For once let’s stop and not move our arms so much. That would be a fragrant moment, without hurry, without movement; we would all be together in an instantaneous [Read More...]


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