Reflections on Death: A Personal Letter to a Friend

Dear ****, I know that you are going through some really difficult things right now.  The pain of losing a loved one hurts in a way that it can be hard even to express. I can relate a bit to the pain of losing someone we care about.  In the span of two years, all…

Honesty

Honesty relates not to how things actually are, but to the extent to which what we communicate corresponds to what we actually believe. Even if my beliefs about things are are objectively skewed and invalid, if I communicate my skewed beliefs to others, I am being honest.  In fact, if, when asked, I communicate, not…

Treating all of Nature as a Thou

Martin Buber said that the most fulfilling relationships are not I-It relationships, in which we relate to the other as an object, but I-Thou relationships, in which we holistically relate to the whole being of the other that we are encountering.   Joseph Campbell recalls this idea in The Power of Myth, where he writes…

On Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles

By subtitling his great novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles “A Pure Woman,” Thomas Hardy made the then radical claim that the victims of rape retain their purity.  Tess’s is a heart-breaking tale, but a wonderfully inspiring one.  The novel speaks to the determination and power of the human will to survive, to the trials of…

A Dialogue on Myth

Adam Pearson: Literally, I must reject heaven, hell, and reincarnation. Metaphorically, I can accept heaven, hell, and reincarnation. Brett Graham Fawcett: You could wring (and people have wrung) symbolism out of damn near everything. Adam Pearson: Very true, and I have no problem with that at all. Brett Graham Fawcett: For example, werewolves I’ve heard…

Words for the Hero’s Journey

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” –Martin Buber “We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us — the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to…

Everyone Deserves to Have their Voice Heard

Today, I had a wonderful talk with an old homeless man. At the end of it, he looked at me almost with tears in his eyes and he said “You know what, I love you, man. Everyone either ignores me or yells at me. You took the time to actually listen to me and that…

On Letting Go

Experience has consistently shown that “let go” is not helpful advice.  We only ever let go when we are ready.  Not only can others not tell us to let go when we are not ready, but we cannot even tell ourselves to do so. When we are ready, we let go.

Events and Interpretation

According to Biblical tradition, David’s son Qohelete once said that “all things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean… I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the…

Consciousness and Identity

Consciousness should not be made into “a drug”; it is the bare condition of all experience and is to be understood in relation to the objects with which it is bound up.  But there is something more fundamental to be realized, the final key to the riddle of identity which, when its answer is sought in…