Albert Camus

Reading As Companionship — A Personal History

Reading As Companionship — A Personal History

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Albert Camus, Archetypes, Ash Wednesday, At-One-Ment, Atheism, awareness, C. S. Lewis, Challenge, Change, Christianity, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, Comfort, community, Compassion, conflict, contemplation, courage, Creator, creator senses, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discernment, doubt, Education, Enlightenment, existentialism, Ezra Pound, faith, Four Quartets, God, Holy Mystery, Hope, Human Condition, Imagination, Intelligence, Jim Cowles, Lent/Ash Wednesday, Literature, Longing, Mystery, Myth, Mythology, Nihilism, Numinous, Philosophy, Poetry, Religion, Secularity, solidarity, T. S. Eliot, Uncategorized, Wholeness
In Shadowlands, the movie about the courtship and marriage of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman Gresham, C. S. Lewis is quoted as saying “We read to know we are not alone”.  I have found multitudes of citations  where people quote Lewis as having said this in those very words, but have so far found no specific source, no book, no article, no lecture, for this remark. But even if Lewis did not say it, he should have.  For in my own personal experience, there have been instances too abundant to count where this proved to be the case with uncanny timeliness.  The following examples do not even scratch the surface. But in virtually all cases of where I have been reminded that I am not alone, this reminder also amounted to a revelation of what I myself thought even at times when I was not aware
Suicide And The Tyranny Of Altruism

Suicide And The Tyranny Of Altruism

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Albert Camus, autonomy, awareness, Broken Heart, C. S. Lewis, Character of God, Christianity, Church, Comfort, community, Compassion, conflict, contemplation, courage, Creator, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, Ethics, faith, faithfulness, God, Grief, Healing, healing moment, in memory of, Lewis, Mystery, Pain and Suffering, Philosophy, Problem of Evil, reflection, relationships, Religion, remembrance, sadness, Suffering, The Divine, Theodicy, Theology, Uncategorized
This “Skeptic’s” column tackles a subject that is both delicate and volatile:  suicide. People who have known me for a fairly long time are well acquainted with a time in my life – during the time in Boston at Harvard and later at Seattle University  during the equally ill-advised quest for the MDiv -- when I was undergoing episodes of very  severe, quite arguably pre-suicidal, clinical depression. So – for the benefit of those people, for “my mariners, souls that have toiled and wrought and thought with me” – I want to emphasize that the following column does not describe me as I am now. Quite the contrary. I am not in crisis. I am not depressed. I am not afflicted with suicidal ideation – a term I came to know all too intimately during the “winter of [my] discontent”. So those of you
Encountering The Holy In Hawaii

Encountering The Holy In Hawaii

Albert Camus, Archetypes, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, Biology, Change, community, Compassion, Creation, Creativity, Einstein, Environment, Epiphany, Evolution, Fear, Hawaii, Letting go, Madame Pele, meditation, mindfulness, Mythology, Nature, Rationality, Science, The Divine, Theology, transformation, Uncategorized, volcanos, Wilderness
I had been reading about Rudolf Otto’s concept of the numinous and studying his classic The Idea of the Holy for a few decades, and it all made perfect conceptual sense. But on our recent trip to Hawaii in April of this year (2018), Diane and I actually experienced the Holy, the numinous, on a very raw and visceral level. In The Idea of the Holy, Otto, who coined the term “numinous”, describes it with the Latin phrase mysterium tremendum et fascinans. Literally translated, that phrase means “the tremble-inducing [tremendum, the same Latin root as “tremor”] and attractive [fascinans, the same Latin root as "fascinating"] mystery [mysterium]”.  Despite the title of his book, Otto makes it clear that the Holy is not only, or even primarily, something about which one entertains ideas. Rath