Tag Archives: truth

12-Step Program for America: Step 4

By Jim Selman | Bio

Read the rest of the 12-Step Program > Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

We’ve been drawing an analogy between the state of affairs in the governance of our country and the various kinds of addictive conditions we face as individuals. Specifically, we’ve been saying the ‘system’ is broken, we’re out of control and we need to find something larger than the political gridlock driven by special and self-interest groups we’re witnessing in Washington.

In watching the final hours of the healthcare debate, I was heartened when one

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Harold’s Story – Part 2

By Stuart J. Whitley | Bio

Einstein is supposed to have said that the most important decision we ever make is whether the world is a good place or a bad place. I don’t believe that we consciously make that decision—we are taught to believe it, one way or the other, and the most difficult lesson of all to unlearn is that we live in a hostile universe. There are just too many confirmatory events that tend to erode our courage to think differently.

Current strategies in intellectual discourse talk

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Positively Stinking Thinking

By Jim Selman | Bio

Julia Baird has a nice piece in the September 25th issue of Newsweek called “Positively Downbeat”. She’s commenting on Americans’ obsession with being happy and the billions we spend to learn “the secret”. It’s all about quick and easy fixes for life’s dilemmas and the not-so-small industry of consultants, motivational speakers and authors that are standing in the wings to offer answers and potions. She rightly points to the grand daddy of all self-help offerings, “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale and its latest incarnation “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne as archetypical examples of this genre.

I am not against the intentions behind our quest for happier and richer lives. Like millions of others, I can nod my head in agreement with most of the wisdom contained in these offerings.  I have been a self-help junkie myself in the past. But as I get older, I have learned that I am not my ‘thinking’ and the little voice in my head is not always my friend. Most recovered alcoholics and addicts will tell you that it was their ‘thinking’ that took them to their

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Tradition and Heritage

By Jim Selman | Bio

I was listening to a lecture today on the philosopher Martin Heidegger. He is pretty difficult to understand at the best of times, even though I have been a student of his thinking for many years. The lecture today spoke of the distinction he made between ‘tradition’, which he felt was a bad thing, and ‘heritage’, which he thought was a good thing. In fact, he felt heritage was essential to understanding the true nature of ‘Being’.

I won’t pretend to grasp it all

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Musing on Beliefs

By Shae Hadden | Bio

I was in an interesting conversation recently about how we can interact with people who hold different beliefs than ours. The question posed was, “How can one be with someone whose beliefs are the antithesis of our own?” An important inquiry to engage in, considering that a clash of beliefs is at the heart of most conflict and strife between people.

Responses from the group varied from escape (“We can’t be with them at all, so we leave”) and avoidance (“We can’t

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Love in Truth

The Pope’s Love in Truth, his third letter to the bishops of the world, is written in the context of the current global economic crisis. The Pope views the current crisis as an opportunity for us to discern and to create a new vision for our future. In his latest encyclical, he doesn’t focus on specific systems of economics or reconstructing the global economy. Instead, he reminds us that our markets are shaped by our culture, and that it is up to us to focus on the common good

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Emotional Maturity

I was in a discussion yesterday with a bunch of guys and we got onto the topic of emotional maturity. A bunch of middle-aged guys talking about emotional maturity is kind of like a bunch of ladies discussing jock straps—there is a probability that we don’t know what we’re talking about. Nonetheless, it was a great conversation because we all in different ways acknowledged that this area is a seriously neglected aspect of our development.

It isn’t that we aren’t aware of our emotions

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The Facts of Life

By Shae Hadden | Bio

One of my New Year traditions is to clean up some of the papers that have accumulated around me over the past year. Yesterday, I came across these “Facts of Life” that someone had given me and thought they were worth sharing. Unlike the ‘facts of life’ we normally think about (like ‘the birds and the bees’, death and taxes), these seem fitting for the beginning of a new year, especially since they actually challenge us to look at ourselves and others in a whole new way.

We are human beings. We make assessments of ourselves and others. These assessments are usually more or less grounded, but they are never ‘true’. We live

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Forget Me Not

Memory is an interesting and strange phenomenon. I think (as most of us do) that what I remember is more or less what happened. This came home to me a number of years ago when I was dating a woman I had dated twenty years previously and whom I had not seen in the intervening period. We ‘connected’ like old friends and more or less fell into the kind of comfortable conversation that old friends do. As we began to recall our earlier relationship (which was pretty intense and lasted for more

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Poetic Memory III

By Stu Whitley
Bio

This is the third post in a four-part series. 

What may be demonstrated as a biological truth is intuitively understood as we grow older. We become less egocentric, more aware that the world has many centres of the universe besides our own, and that in some mysterious way, these centres are all linked. In the mature adult, we recognize as poets have before us, that we are round people on a round earth, cognizant of being interwoven in a circular web of connection with all human beings, which is among other things to understand interdependency, forgiveness and the nature of healing. Hugo wrote: “We are never done with conscience. Choose your course by it…it is bottomless, being God.” And what is conscience if not memory? Memory, that is, linked to consequences. No one can divine the future with any exactitude. Yet we are capable of discerning the truths that help guide us to it; I believe that those truths are at least in part found in our collective memory.

On the other hand, I am dismayed by the thought that the lessons I think I’ve already learned, and learned well, must incessantly be reconsidered and learned yet again, as if unremembered. All my life so far, particularly as one who is trained and experienced in the machinery of the law, I have understood the need to hew to certainty and precision. It has been expected of me, if for no other

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