healing moment

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
Gladly Grasping The Glories Of Greyness

Gladly Grasping The Glories Of Greyness

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, body, Change, Character of God, Cherry picking, Christianity, community, Compassion, contemplation, courage, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, Discernment, empathy, Epiphany, faith, God, Gratitude, Healing, healing hands, healing moment, Hope, Human Condition, image of God, Intentional Living, mindfulness, Pain and Suffering, Present Moment, Religion, T. S. Eliot, Theology, Uncategorized, Waiting
The latest (3 January) issue of Forbes references a Washington Post op-ed by Prof. Laura L. Carstensen, professor of psychology and the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. professor in public policy at Stanford University, on the semiotics of aging started me reflecting about what I want to be called, and what I do not want to be called, now that I am pushing 70. (I will be 69 in April of 2018.) Words matter. And – over time measured in multiple years – certain words / terms have become increasingly patronizing because I have, over that same interval of time, come to think of myself more and more, not as middle-aged, but simply as old. Prof. Carstensen is right: By failing to identify with “old,” the story about old people remains a dreary one about loss and decline. Language matters: We need a
“Cosmic Consciousness”, “Born Again”, And John Chapter 3

“Cosmic Consciousness”, “Born Again”, And John Chapter 3

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Archetypes, At-One-Ment, awareness, Change, Christian Church, Christianity, Church, contemplation, Cosmology, critical judgment, culture, God, healing moment, Hebrew Scripture, Holy Mystery, Hope, Human Condition, Imagination, Jesus, Longing, meditation, mind, mindfulness, Mystery, Numinous, paradox, Present Moment, Religion, Scripture, spiritual growth, spiritual practice, The Divine, Uncategorized, vipassana
Most of the time, I think that people who live in Christian cultures – both Christians and non-Christians – would mightily profit from a moratorium on reading, commenting on, and preaching about certain biblical doctrines and ideas. Which doctrines and which ideas? The list is far too long to even list, much less annotate.  So instead, I will pick a specific example: being “born again”.  I make bold to assert that we would all be better off if, for perhaps a generation or so and per impossibile, Christians stopped talking about being “born again”. We – meaning “all inhabitants of a Christian-dominated culture” – think we know what the New Testament means by the phrase “born again”. We don’t. In fact, we have, at best, only the palest and most emaciated notion of what the term means, th