Hit and myth

Our human experience is fundamentally emotional, and emotions are fundamentally confusing. The stuff of imagination and subconscious life, emotions are primordial, which means not subject to the whims of logic or reason. From the standpoint of brain development, logic and reason are newcomers… Read the rest

Cloud Nine

How funny it is that everybody’s talking ’bout The Cloud! English lexicon has caught up with the reality of human consciousness: we have always had our heads in the clouds.

Human beings float in a boundless sky of mental and emotional ambiguity from which we extract concepts and string … Read the rest

Cause and blame

We conventionally view causality moving from “Point A” to “Point B,” a straight line through which we can trace each step and assess responsibility. Even if we move from points “A” to “D” we still think in terms of lines of responsibility, which pass through points “B” and “C.” The framework of our legal… Read the rest

Signifying nothing

When the economy collapsed in 2008 it was widely blamed on poor home loan lending practices. People who should have never received loans to purchase a house due to their inability to repay those loans once the introductory low-interest rate period ended were granted loans anyway.

It is true that in the… Read the rest

Ordinary madness

By all accounts, particularly his own, poet Charles Bukowski was a miserable wretch. I attended one of his readings in my youth, and from the mini-fridge next to his stool on stage, he extracted beer after beer; as the evening progressed he ended up falling-down drunk and unable to continue.

But Bukowski… Read the rest

What weather type are you?

My father-in-law used to answer, “Fair to partly cloudy,” when I asked how he was. By this time he was in his late 70’s and not in the best of health, but I suspect he’d been a “fair to partly cloudy” guy his whole life.

I certainly know people who spend a lot of time “Overcast,” a gray cloud hanging above their… Read the rest

Masculine and feminine

A powerful urge towards wholeness and unity drives human behavior, while at the same time an equally powerful urge towards independence and autonomy is also at play. In general terms, such forces may be categorized as the feminine and masculine principles.

In its healthy aspect the feminine… Read the rest

Life’s puzzle

Like scattered pieces of a jig-saw puzzle life often seems a jumble, its meaning unclear and divided into separate bits. Examining it, a few pieces here and there may fit together easily, forming portions of an overall picture, but often the complete whole eludes us, pieces missing, lost or not quite… Read the rest

Know thyself?

What is self, and how will you know if you know it? are unanswered questions that have been the subject of endless discussion, from esoteric religious thought to reductionist scientific rationalism. Who is looking, and who is found? Even asking such paradoxical questions seems to require multiple… Read the rest


In their present form people have been knocking around this planet for something like 200,000 years and over that span of time many conclusions have about people have been made.

Such conclusions are by no means consistent or logical. Different cultures have arrived at their conclusions about people… Read the rest

The contextual self

We live in a “me” world, where attention to self is a daily preoccupation. “I want this and you want that” is the basic functioning of contemporary society and we routinely go to sleep each night expecting to greet our “selves” the next morning.

Our sense of self is contingent, however. First there must… Read the rest

Stuff happens. Now what?

The answer is…more stuff! The continuity of existence is existence itself – an unbroken timeless non-event in which nothing is actually ever the same, and thus never changes. In essence, nothing happens continuously.

This conundrum notwithstanding, from time to time most of us would like … Read the rest

A guide to difficult times

We tend to classify events into those that are good and those that are bad, the reference point being our own well-being. When things happen that we don’t like, when the world seems terribly unfair, we wonder why bad things happen to good people, good people like us. In the midst of terrible hardship such… Read the rest

Row your boat

Perhaps it really is true everything we need to know we learned by first grade. The songs we sang as children, “Row Your Boat” for example, actually contained surprising wisdom. It’s a rather simple four-line song, easily dismissed:

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily,
Read the rest

The celebrity of nothing

I have no Facebook page. I do not post tweets on Twitter. My cell phone number is a secret, and I don’t blog. All this is true despite the fact that I have been in the website development business for 13 years and working with new technology is my daily occupation.

I help my clients with all of the above, and … Read the rest


In New York, where I grew up, the differences between the seasons were dramatic and obvious, each bringing sweeping changes in temperature and color. The whiteness of winter was broken by early spring crocus flowers poking yellow heads through the snow; verdant summer green yielded to fall’s palette… Read the rest

The power of choice

The earth is hiring, dear one,
And you got the job.

What is the job of being human? The job of being squirrel seems quite straightforward: climb trees, find nuts, bury nuts, and make baby squirrels that can find and bury nuts. Ants seem to have a pretty clear job, too: dig holes, crawl around… Read the rest

This statement is false

Much of the conflict in the world is about who knows the absolute truth. Attachment to a particular truth often leads to disagreement, bloodshed and violence perpetrated in the name of one truth or another. This is not a recent development; the history of human culture is replete with examples from every… Read the rest

Bumps in the road

We tend to think of life in Euclidian terms, that is to say, straight lines between points A and B, negotiating space and time using the geometry of fixed shapes. Sure, we negotiate curves every once in a while, but even those we like to describe as smooth, dramatic arcs in an otherwise straightforward … Read the rest

84,000 degrees of happiness

It is commonly accepted that all human beings wish to be happy, but what is happiness, exactly? The framers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence believed that along with life and liberty, the pursuit of happiness was a primordial right of all people, yet they made no mention of nor defined what constitutes… Read the rest

Speaking with silence

On retreat in the mountains of Colorado, amid alpine Ponderosa pines gnarled and majestic, aspens shivering in an afternoon breeze, sudden gusts of wind, torrential rain, thunder and lightening followed by crystal clear blue skies, I sat in silence for 14 days with 90 others. The silence was not total,… Read the rest

This truth is false

The scientific method requires that to be called truth, theory be confirmed through experiment and yield quantifiable and replicable results. Without such, theory will simply remain theory and will fade into obscurity.

When it comes to quantum mechanics (dealing with the very smallest forms of … Read the rest

Life among the brokenhearted

Like many other medical patients confronting mortality, I have had to come to terms with my broken heart. No doubt our modern American lifestyle has made its contribution to heart disease – super-sized portions, trans-fat and processed foods, refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, lack of exercise,… Read the rest

The world as it is

It seems just like any other ordinary day, when Wham! My father suddenly ends up in the hospital – seriously anemic. As soon as he is doing better and things begin to feel normal again, Wham! My sister gets thrown while white-water rafting in Thailand, cracks her helmeted head into a rock and suffers serious… Read the rest

Of art and the sacred

Only a space remains where the enormous Bamiyan Buddha of Afghanistan once stood

People have been arguing about art for a very long time. The cave paintings in Lascaux, France, are reported to be over 20,000 years old, and no doubt they stimulated considerable dialogue, “It looks more like an ox than … Read the rest

Who’s not weird?

Go ahead and answer this question if you can, but if you are like everyone else I’ve asked and are honest about it, you won’t be able to come up with anyone. Turns out, everyone is weird.

When I use the word weird, I don’t mean people who eat worms, wear their underpants on backwards, or… Read the rest

The tyranny of normal

The physical sciences are all about observation, measurement and statistics. Our “scientific method,” in fact, requires the ability to repeat, measure and verify results; lacking that ability, a hypothesis cannot be “proven.” Despite the fact that on an individual level, human beings are far too… Read the rest

Flexibility and firmness

Upright between gusts,
Bamboo sways in a strong wind.
A robin sits undisturbed
Amid shifting shadows.

We are surrounded by the successful combination of flexibility and firmness, and equally witness the failure of one without the other. As in most things, finding balance and equilibrium between … Read the rest

On cultivating kindness

As I do two or three times a week, I called my dad in the other day to chat. I am among those extremely lucky 59-year olds who still have a dad. My grandfather died in his 60s when my father was in his early 40s. It’s been just wonderful to have my father around so long. Still vigorous at 88, he walks a mile or two … Read the rest

The sweet mystery of life

Once upon a time, well before the cell phone, there existed a surprising mystery to life. This mystery included a nagging uncertainty about things, yet, conjoined to this uncertainty was the majesty of faith. As long as there have been people on this earth, life has required faith. I am not particularly… Read the rest

The myth of adulthood

I recently attended my fortieth high school reunion. I lived in the same small town for the first 18 years of my life; consequently I’ve known a number of people at the reunion since nursery school and kindergarten. Being 3,000 miles away from my birthplace in New York, I’ve lost touch with most of those… Read the rest