Symbols

Symbols sometimes meet needs that realities cannot. Whether there is a heaven or not, the symbol of “heaven” motivates people to do good, evokes hope, inspires determination. Whether there is a god or not, the symbol of “God” meets people’s emotional needs, makes people feel loved, hopeful, cared for, connected to the universe.  On the…

Holidays

Love turns hollow days into holidays.

Falling in Love

It is not true that we can only fall in love with someone once; we can do so many times with the same person, even without falling out of love with them.  There are no limits on the possible depths of love.

The Links Between the Leaders

The Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Krishna, Moses, Baha’ullah and Guru Nanak all had many important things in common: they all breathed, ate, drank, pooped, taught compassion and wisdom, slept, meditated, and tried to show us that there is more to life than we are usually led to believe.

Benefits and Harms are Bound up Together

In every curse, a blessing lurks, in every blessing, a curse.  The very thing that benefits us can simultaneously harm us; the very thing that hinders can help.

The Role and Power of Philosophy

Just as, through our daily actions and character we embody particular ways of being human, so, in our philosophical inquiries, do our discourses express our particular view of philosophy (or “philosophy of” philosophy). From as early as Plato and up through Descartes, philosophers have drawn attention to the fact that rigorous philosophical thinking is both…

Literature and Philosophy

Literature can provide a forum for giving abstract philosophical ideas concrete expression; in E.J. Pratt’s “The Truant,” for instance, we are shown a war of wits between a figure emblematizing science taken as absolute authority, the Great Panjandrum, and an embodiment of humanism and free will, the Truant. As they argue, the philosophical standpoints they…

A Wonderful Writing Tip

The best piece of writing advice I ever received was that my writing should aim to have “more verbs, fewer heavy nouns — more specifics, fewer abstractions — more explanation, fewer assumptions.” —February 15, 2009

Circularity

A Definition of Circularity: Circularity (n.): See “Circularity.” —February 16, 2009

Greatness

It seems to me that the great men and women of history share a key trait, namely,the keen ability to be both passionately reasonable and reasonably passionate. —March 16, 2009