Search Results for “science” – Perspectives & Possibilities

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Science and Spirituality: Bridges or Barriers to God

Most religions preach that both science and spirituality are barriers to God. Science creates doubts, and spirituality offers an alternative path that doesn’t require contributions to the church coffers or preachers’ egos. While some spiritual paths may take you off into the weeds or into mountain caves, others offer legitimate ways to tap into higher power, higher purpose, and higher energy.

(Left: Title: Shoes taken off of the Jews-Holocaust Museum | Author: rpavich | Source: rpavich | License: CC BY 2.0) (Right: Berlin Holocaust Memorial)

The Menace of Mendacity

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. —Albert Einstein There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. —Buddha Truth is not a trivial thing. Words matter. Being accurate requires curiosity, diligence, and rigor. I know that everyone has a different idea about what is truth. Much of the debate started when Pontius Pilate asked Read More

Title: Cnidaria, MultiView Light Sheet Microscopy (3 of 4) | Author: Helena Parra | Source: ZEISS Microscopy | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Evolution of Consciousness

My wife sometimes accuses me of selective engagement. She says I am much more open to conversation with people whom I find physically attractive, intellectually stimulating, emotionally responsive, or spiritually evolved.

Guilty as charged. As it turns out, the idea of selective engagement goes back 500 million years.

Title: _MG_3044 | Author: Hugh Letheren | Source: Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Courage and Creativity

It’s scary to be outside the margins of “normality.”

As any person (whether they they think of themselves as creative or not) knows, introducing newness goes hand-in-hand with disruption of established rules and expectations. But if we can find the courage to break out of rigid structures, we may be rewarded with finding a clearer path to joy, meaning, and purpose.

The Fragility of Freshness

“If you can’t smell the fragrance, don’t come into the garden of love.”  –Rumi “Let me not die while I am still alive.” –Hasidic prayer   Knowing when to cut your avocado is a tricky task. One day too early and the fruit inside is too hard. One day too late, and it turns brown and mushy. Finding optimal freshness is a challenge with fruit and with life. I hate it when my strawberries get Read More

Title: Window of St. Mary’s Cathedral in linz | Author: Magdalena Sick-Leitner | Source: Ars Electronica | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Sin and Spin

There is no greater sin than desire, No greater curse than discontent, No greater misfortune than wanting something for oneself. Therefore he who knows that enough is enough will always have enough. —Tao Te Ching, Chapter 46 It seems to me that religions focus too much on sin; and politics focuses too much on spin. They may both be guilty of the sin of spin and the spin on sin. Religions specifically call out the Read More

Walter De Maria, 360˚ I Ching/64 Sculptures, 1981. © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Bill Jacobson Studio, New York.

Ethereal Threads and Cosmic Fabric

“Creative interpretation of the world: Art. Personal beliefs trumping objective facts: Lunacy.” —Brian Greene. When you are swimming upstream in a powerful current, it’s not only hard to think about anything other than surviving, it’s also difficult to raise your head up to look around. This river we are swimming in has a mighty flow, and we are hanging on by a thread—perhaps an ethereal thread or a vibrating string as you will see later. Read More

Does one size fit all? Title: Generic Luncheon Loaf | Author: Nikol Lohr | Source: sugarpants on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Meditation and Mindfulness

What’s the difference between mindfulness and meditation?

The traditions in Asia have language that is much more precise in capturing the nuances of different practices and states of consciousness, and all of this gets lost in translation into English using one catch-all generic bucket word, “meditation.”

Photo of Dhaka, Bangladesh | Credit: Pujohn Das

Stories and Songs

Research indicates that the best way to raise funds for a group is to share a story about one individual member. Narrative is powerful and empowering, yet it strikes me how different each of our stories can be: The scope of our hope, the depth of our love, the beauty of our grace, and our experience of justice vary greatly by simple circumstance; for example, being born on one side of a wall or the other.

"Chess in the rain," by Kelvin Pulker

Imagination and Identification

One of my favorite writers is Philip Roth. I loved all of his books, but American Pastoral tops the list. The book seems eerily relevant now. In American Pastoral, Roth follows the life of a successful Jewish businessman and high school star athlete from Newark, New Jersey, whose upper middle class life is ruined by the domestic social and political turmoil of the 1960s when American went “berserk.”

facade | Author: mitchell haindfield | Flickr | | License: Attribution 2.0 Generic

Bubbles, Beliefs, and Behaviors

I grew up in a bubble. It was a very common bubble for a lot of folks in our country: Mid-western, white, Christian, republican, working class, conservative, and rural. I had very little understanding about the lives of people outside my bubble and no awareness that I was even in a bubble.

My first bubble was burst in 1968 when I served in Vietnam with Army Intelligence.

Animal Locomotion; Eadweard J. Muybridge (American, born England, 1830 - 1904); 1887; Collotype; 17.8 x 39.4 cm (7 x 15 1/2 in.); 84.XM.628.49. Courtesy of The Getty Museum

Thinking about Thinking

My wife often asks me, “What were you thinking?!!!” My response is usually, “I have no idea!”

But thinking about the way we think is a crucial part of making our lives, and the world around us, better.

[ C ] Chuck Close - Dalai Lama (2005) | Credit: cea+

Helping or Hurting

It’s Day One after the election of 2016. I feel sick and scared. Who better to suggest a remedy for our spiritual malaise and existential crisis than the Dalai Lama? In a recent article in the New York Times (November 4, 2016), the Dalai Lama and Arthur Brooks co-authored a column: “Behind our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded.” It seems like an odd couple to me, but their message is profound. They point out Read More

Image from page 295 of "Bell telephone magazine" (1922) | Source: Internet Archive

Pain and Empathy

Pain may not be your friend, but it may be your partner. And pain may be the path to empathy.

"Pinwheel tesselation, version 2, backlit," by Eric Gjerde

Vision and Values

As an executive coach I often facilitate life-line and development planning workshops. The life-line exercise encourages people to share the significant events and important people in their life and how those people and events helped to shape their values. I challenge participants to be as open and transparent as they can be, and I ask them to risk sharing what may be outside their comfort zone. In spite of these guidelines, most people stay in Read More

Health, Helping and Healing

As I get older, I realize that most problems and opportunities are multi-dimensional. There are many sides to every issue and many layers to every person. Things seem more complex, nuanced, and grey these days…

Title: November 24, 2015 | Author: David Gabriel Fischer | www.thezendiary.com

Truth, Honor, Integrity, and Sensitivity (THIS)

My dad was a man of honor. If he said he was going to do something, you could bank on it getting done. He was also a very talented man. He constructed two family houses pretty much by himself. He built me a small car from scratch. He invented aluminum two-by-fours for houses. I never saw him treat anyone with anything but decency and respect. Most importantly, he stood by his principles, and his word was gold.

Stepping into the moment

Deepak Chopra describes stepping into the moment as those rare times when our mind is in the present – it becomes silent or generates the vibration “aah.” He suggests that present moment experiences reflect gaps in our perpetual, inner dialogue. Meditation is a way to enter that gap directly. Robert Carkhuff, whose groundbreaking work in helping and human relations led to a revolution in interpersonal skills training , writes that the “immediacy” response is one Read More

Credit: annajasinski on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thinking and Believing

Believe me—Daniel Kahneman got it right: we are more likely to find stories that support our beliefs than seek out evidence in the pursuit of truth. Kahneman is a professor emeritus at Princeton University who wrote the best selling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. His work is focused on the psychology of judgment and decision-making for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. His findings challenge the assumption of human rationality. Clearly, Read More

Lithograph by Emily Bellingham, 2009. http://www.siteesite.com

Mathematics and Metaphysics

 “Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.” “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” —Bertrand Russell I used to love algebra as a kid. It’s such an elegant language. And it’s based on a beautiful principle: you can do anything to one side of an equation as long as you do the same Read More

Meeting Barack Obama

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Every morning in my daily meditation, I give thanks for the earth, water, the sun, air, the time I have on this planet, the knowledge I have access to, the vastness of space, the healing energy of Light, my ability to think and process, sounds that I hear, love that I feel, hope that I cling to, the senses that let me experience the world, my sexuality, and my roots. Yup, starting the day with Read More

"New Technology" by Flickr user Byron Stormweather

Machines, Money, and Meaning

“And every sand becomes a Gem reflected in the beam divine” -William Blake In 1909, E. M. Forster published a series of short stories in his book The Eternal Moment. The first story is entitled “The Machine Stops.” This chilling masterpiece concerns the role of technology in our lives. Written over 100 years ago, when technology was in its infancy, it is more relevant today than it was then. With an uncanny prescience, Forster wrote about Read More

Mirror Pond at Belton House, by Flickr user Rich Bamford (https://www.flickr.com/photos/myrialejean/)

Awareness with Acceptance

Call it serendipity. Call it luck. Call it random events that just happened to be connected. Call it anything you want, but I just experienced a strange coincidence that boggles my mind a bit. I had been thinking about a new post (yes, that’s what I do with most of my free time) about the notion of awareness and acceptance. Incidentally, my process for writing posts is to latch onto an idea from something I have read, Read More

"The Sad Hulk," by Thomas Hawk

Connect, Create, Collaborate

I recently attended a week-end workshop on Calm Clarity conducted by Due Quach (pronounced Zway Kwok), a Vietnamese boat refugee who grew up in a drug infested and gang ridden inner city and then went on to: graduate with honors at Harvard, complete a Masters Degree at Wharton, work for one of the most prestigious consulting firms in the country, scour Asia for the most enlightened spiritual sources, and create the Calm Clarity organization which Read More