The Loneliest One

The loneliest one is not the one who knows he is alone in the world. To know one is alone is actually the beginning of emancipation, and has little in common with the dread hopelessness of being truly alone. Awareness of loneliness has the power to make one at home in the earth, to integrate…

Nostalgia for the Savage Life

I often find myself wishing I were living the savage life. I use savage in the old sense to mean pre-civilized man. The savage had many advantages that modern man will likely never have, or even conceive of. For example, the ability to see the full night sky. Modern lighting has made this spectacle nearly…

Novocaine for Nihilism

Nihilism is a tricky mode of existence. How does one continue existing, in an existence one finds thoroughly meaningless, when one’s very being demands love and relationship with others to survive? Dostoevsky has a scene in the Brother’s Karamazov where a man, an elder of an Orthodox monastery, explains how the more he “loves humanity…

Is Atheism a Religion?

In political discourse (if such a thing still exists) one often hears various religious groups claim that atheism is just another religion and therefore the removal of God from the public square is the same as instituting yet another religion, atheism. Though I understand this sentiment, the fact is atheism is anything but a religion.…

Presentness

“The present contains nothing but the past,” says the great Henri Bergson, “and what is found in the effect was already present in the cause.” Is this true of the human psyche? Is our present state of mind merely an aggregate of our total experiences and affects from birth to the present? It may be…

Christianity makes guilt inevitable and shame impossible

George Kelly defined guilt as: “A perception of one’s apparent dislodgement from his core role structure.” This “core role” develops out of our relationships with significant others whom we construe ourselves in certain ways: loving, responsible, secure, etc. It seems to follow that any religious paradigm which casts human beings as essentially good makes guilt…