One of the most essential, yet difficult, skills we must learn in order to navigate life well is discernment. In other words, good judgment--knowing who and what to trust. We ask ourselves: What do I know? What do I believe? How can I be sure what is “real” and what is not, what is “true” and what is not? How will I know the difference? And as soon as we start to ask these questions, we quickly discover we have myriad other questions in need of answers: what is safe, what is good, what is balanced? Indeed, what is “reality” and what is “truth”? I unexpectedly waded deep into these … [Read more...]
The Light Shines Through Many Windows
I got to thinking recently about belief systems after listening to a radio interview with writer and director Kenneth Lonergan (about his film Margaret, now out in an extended DVD version). What caught my attention was his description of himself as a “committed atheist,” and more particularly his explanation of why. In his view, all religions are creations, stories, myths, that are constructed as a way of trying to understand something that is not comprehensible. In other words, we create belief systems to help us wrap our minds around things we can not understand. Things like why are we … [Read more...]
Indiana Jones, Winston Churchill, Coincidence and Synchronicity
What are coincidences? How do they happen? Why do they happen? What do they mean? Coincidence, as commonly defined, is when two or more events happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection. But this definition only considers events that are causally related. Synchronicity, a term coined by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung in the 1920s, recognizes that concurrent events may be connected by meaning, rather than cause. Synchronicity is when two or more events that appear not be connected, and are unlikely to occur together by chance, in fact do occur together in a way … [Read more...]
Whatever Happened to Summertime?
Remember when summer used to be a time when we slowed down? Days were longer and often more lazy? It was a time when taking it easy, or at least easier, was expected and accepted. Where did that go? I have been noticing over the last few weeks how many people are not taking down time, even in the summer, and how stressed we are. Everything moves faster now—that is the price of technology—and we have become so accustomed to this acceleration that we don’t slow down like we used to. We are on a trajectory that hurtles forward on its own momentum much of the time. The problem with too much … [Read more...]