When things no longer make sense

Back in the beginning of the 80’s, someone pegged me as a ‘utopian anarchist.’ (I was holding office for the Dutch Social Democrats, and the remark was intended to point out that my beliefs were a bit too far off in left field.) There was a lot of truth to…

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We shall overcome… someday

If my grandfather’s family hadn’t fled antisemitism in Europe in the early 19th century and built a new life in the United States, I wouldn’t be here now. This new country promised freedom from oppression and equal opportunity for all. Even then, it was a promise that could not be…

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The Loss of Innocence

We learn the story as children: how Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of knowledge and became afraid. They lost the Garden, where all life was perfect, and there was no pain in the world. A stronger metaphor for the loss of innocence in our lives can hardly be…

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Shadows of the Truth

A video went viral on social media channels showing a polar bear supposedly being friendly to a dog. (“Awwww, how sweet!”) However, anyone with any knowledge of predatory behavior could tell you that this is a predator toying with its prey. People see and hear what they want to see and…

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Simplicity and complexity

“For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken When a friend recently quoted this to me, it stopped me in my tracks. I’m one of those people who likes to counter complexity with common sense. If a problem seems too complex, it…

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Tracing the thread

After reading the last article I posted (Art & Soul), a friend remarked, “This is very different from the things you’ve written before.” I was a bit taken aback. To me, the development of my thoughts and insights proceeds in a very logical, understandable way. But maybe not for everyone.…

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Parents and orphans

I don’t always keep my promises to myself. I think many of us don’t. I would like to eat only healthy foods, drink less coffee, exercise more, spend less money, and all the other things that my rational mind says are good and sensible. I would like to be good…

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Not going anywhere

After neglecting my journal for more than six weeks because I no longer saw the value of doing the writing, I had an interesting dream I’m mentoring a young woman, but I have this feeling we’re going nowhere. So I “forget” to make a new appointment for about two months.…

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Breathe!

I came across a concept in David Abram’s wonderful book on language and perception, The Spell of the Sensuous, that I had heard before, but was now given extra depth and dimension. Our word “psyche”, which is now used for all things involving the state of our mind or spirit,…

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Listening carefully

crescent moon

One of my favorite David Whyte poems begins like this: “Sometimes if you move carefully through the forest breathing like the ones in the old stories who could cross a shimmering bed of leaves without a sound, […]” I find this quality of being quietly present in the world very…

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