What You Need To Know

We arrive in this world knowing surprisingly little.  Many creatures are born with a basic set of knowledge that helps them survive, but that’s not true for people.  Humans lack instincts for even the most basic needs and are profoundly helpless for a prolonged period of time after birth.  We have to learn what to […]

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A Time to Be Silent

I haven’t been able to write an essay for a while. I could call it an extended case of writer’s block, except that doesn’t explain very much. Who knows what blocks a writer? I could say I ran out of things to say, except that isn’t true. Just ask the classes I teach; they endure […]

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The Game Of Going To Heaven

I saw a bumper sticker on a pickup today. It declared, “In case of rapture, this vehicle will be unmanned.” I suppose it was a warning to all the unfortunate souls who don’t qualify for heaven; his truck is going to become a dangerous moving object when the roll is called up yonder. The righteous […]

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The Laughing Jesus

I’ve been reading The Gospel of Judas. It’s one of the different narratives about Jesus that the early church disliked and discarded. Irenaeus, who lived in the 2’nd century, mentions the book in his long diatribe against false teachings, but it had never been found until showing up in the hands of an Egyptian antiquities […]

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Prayer

For several years, I have said the opening and closing prayers at our college’s commencement ceremonies, a privilege I was granted soon after being hired. I probably appeared a natural choice, being a former pastor and the religion instructor. Or, perhaps more likely, nobody else wanted to do them. Most people don’t like standing in […]

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Our Greatest Enemy

No hate can hurt, no foe can harm, as hurts and harms a mind ill-disciplined.  -Buddha No nation in the history of the world spends more on defending itself than the United States.  According to the Defense Department, the U.S. will expend $687 billion in 2013 on the military, with an additional $54 billion for […]

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Believing Is Seeing

The world is not always as it seems.  We learn to believe particular things, and those beliefs then shape the world that we see and experience.  In ancient times, believing the earth was the center of the universe appeared perfectly reasonable.  If you studied the sky, you could watch the sun rise in the east […]

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What Is Truth?

On the day after his arrest, Jesus was interrogated by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Palestine.  Jesus had been accused of declaring himself a king, and Pilate was amused.  Here stood a poor Jewish man from a rural district in an outback of the Empire, someone without an education, wealth, or even a following, […]

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Seeing Oneness

“Who sees all beings in his own Self, and his own Self in all beings, loses all fear.”  – Isa Upanishad Ninety-six percent of our body consists of four elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen.  The other four percent is a smorgasbord of the periodic table, from sulfur to chlorine to zinc.  Even though we […]

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The Voice That Isn’t Yours

One of the best Christmas gifts I received as a kid was a crystal radio kit.  In 1958, when I was seven, this was an exciting piece of high technology.  A rectangle of hardboard held three small screws connected by wires.  After wrapping a small coil, making a few couplings with bent paper clips, and […]

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