While walking down a busy street the other day I felt reminded of leaf cutter ants. Leaf cutters leave their jungle nest each day and embark upon harvesting; climbing into the branches of shrubs and trees they systematically chop leaves apart and carry the bits and pieces back home. There the cut-up pieces… Read the rest
Our American culture famously celebrates freedom of expression. Freedom of speech is invoked as a catch-all justification for the most hateful of sentiments; the ACLU, defender of the First Amendment, has gone to court to protect the right of Nazi’s to march publicly while displaying swastikas and… Read the rest
Those who refer to MAGA Republicans are mistaken. MAGA is not Republican. MAGA is right-wing anarchy. Historically, anarchists have been associated with the political left-wing; indeed, there are avowed left-wing anarchists. However, the left- and right-wing meet at their extremes, and both … Read the rest
The word “woke” is getting lots of airtime these days. The GOP uses it derisively as an insult, indicating that woke is synonymous with leftist attitudes and beliefs about family, religion, patriotism, gender, and politics. In other words, that woke means liberal, and liberal means celebrating difference,… Read the rest
While headed to our town’s historic one-screen movie house the Sebastiani Theatre to see Barbie, in walking meditation I purposefully inhabited the mystery of multiple selves: my biological self whose feet touch the ground, my imaginary self as an idea, and my quantum self as a waveform traveling … Read the rest
My wife and I just went to the movie Oppenheimer, about J. Robert Oppenheimer, “father of the atomic bomb.” It’s well worth seeing, but prompted me to write about the other Oppenheimer, Robert’s brother Frank.
I met Frank Oppenheimer in the mid-seventies. He interviewed me for a job at the Exploratorium… Read the rest
According to the Big Bang theory, before the “bang” our universe was an infinitesimally small, non-dimensional singularity, a monad of the most basic and original substance or what the spiritually inclined call The Demiurge, The One or The Divine. From that perfect symmetry of wholeness emerged … Read the rest
In a recent essay about how consumerism is ecocide, I introduced the topic of “enough,” that unless humanity can stem its seemingly insatiable desire for more, we’re doomed. In response, a reader asked me to explore “enough,” what it is, who gets it, and who decides? Answering these questions necessitates… Read the rest
Are you a Stoic or an Epicurean? Maybe you’re a Cynic, or a combination of all three. However you think of yourself, it’s likely that you hew to one philosophy or another, even if you know next to nothing about any of them.
The origins of western thought are rooted in the philosophy of Ancient Greece. In the… Read the rest
As per usual, we’re rushing into adopting new technologies without considering the true costs or ramifications. The explicit order, that which is intended and achieved, masks the presence of the implicit order, that which is unintended and remains hidden for a while. In the case of new green energy… Read the rest
Is today’s anti-woke movement just a continuation of the anti-hippie movement that began in the 1960s? At that time, the collision between Flower Power and Pentagon Power split America into two cultural camps that have been at odds with each other ever since.
The divisions in our nation were clearly… Read the rest
The recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm that a web designer is entitled to refuse to create a website for a same-sex couple’s marriage on religious grounds is problematic. Not only were there no actual clients who requested the web designer’s services, no services were denied. The court’s… Read the rest
I have written before about the challenge humanity faces in overcoming its predatory nature. Briefly stated, as animals we must regularly obtain life-supporting energy; we do this through predation, that is by securing and consuming plants and animals. Ours is a life-eat-life world, a predatory… Read the rest
In a previous column about consciousness, I proposed that it is a matter of degree, stretching from the microscopic to the macroscopic, from the sub-atomic to the super-massive, and everything in between. In the smallest, single-celled organisms, consciousness appears as simple awareness, which… Read the rest
Seventy-five million Americans voted for Donald Trump in 2020 and remain fiercely loyal to him, this despite, or rather because of, his bad boy behavior. Trump’s appeal lies not in his grasp of difficult policy issues nor his ability to think clearly; to the contrary, his clumsy buffoonery, inarticulate… Read the rest
We love stories. As far as we know, human beings are the world’s only story tellers, although it’s possible that songs of the Humpback Whale may, in their way, be stories. The stories we tell are narrative, which is to say, with words that convey events and images. Even though film and video now dominate… Read the rest
Yesterday was one of those remarkable days. It suddenly hit me: I AM THE UNIVERSE. Now this realization might strike you as trite or simply intellectual, but for me it felt momentous, a truth I experienced right down to my gut.
I’m not saying I run the universe or that it’s mine. If I am the universe, then … Read the rest
All major religions include esoteric and exoteric expression. Esoteric is the inwardly manifesting, mystical dimension of religious experience sometimes referred to as the great work, secret realm, transcendence, or liberation. As such, it is beyond rationality, full explanation, conceptualization,… Read the rest
Now that the age of AI – Artificial Intelligence – is upon us, so are fears of being replaced. Workers in disciplines as varied as medicine, engineering, law, and scientific analysis are running scared, and they should be.
History teaches that any new groundbreaking technology disrupts… Read the rest
Neurological function varies and past conceptions of “mental disorders” unfairly placed some people in pejorative categories. With increased understanding, “retarded” gave way to “handicapped” which yielded to “disabled” and finally to “neurodivergent.” Appreciation of differences in neurological… Read the rest