All posts filed under: Reflections

Concerning the Heart

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Christ / Course Ideas / Reflections

Beauty is witnessed in the heart. In the midst of calamity, when the towers are crumbling, and the temples are crumbling, and the skies are crumbling, still the heart is free. It is quiet amidst the waves. Gratitude may enter us then. Beauty may be recognized. For it is the heart that recognizes its own. Avowed of neither persecution nor vengeance, the heart has a talent for blessing, for insight, and for gentleness. In the […]

In Defense of Polyculture

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Book Reviews / Reflections

There’s a way in which identity politics are a luxury. To engage in them, you at least need a voice. Over the past several months I’ve listened to Sam Harris’s interview with Charles Murray, for instance, his subsequent debate with Ezra Klien of Vox magazine, and a later interview by Harris of Coleman Hughes. These were interesting segments that collectively explore the residual difficulties of speaking about the issue of race in America—among other things. […]

Continued Reflections on Perception

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Course Ideas / Reflections / Science

I wrote last week about the idea that bias is inescapable because the world that we experience is not a fixed reality, but the product somehow of our perceptions. A related idea is that we each experience the world differently because we each have a unique relationship with it. I think that gives an insight the previous statement does not. In any case the word “world” is a difficult study, and here I mean it […]

The Need For Better Questions

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Course Ideas / Reflections

Lately I’ve been listening to a few more podcasts and reading a few more op ed pieces in the media than I ever have before, and one really interesting observation has become clear to me. We are (all of us) biased in ways I think would surprise us were they actually understood. While it may seem obvious, nevertheless this had the feel of real discovery to me. And I think there is a reason for […]

On Intellectual Unwillingness, the End, and the Beginning

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Christ / Course Ideas / Reflections / Science

When I began this series of posts I was frustrated by the particular combination of admiration and frustration I had been feeling—and still feel—listening to Sam Harris’s Waking Up podcast. While I appreciate Sam’s take on many things, what frustrated me was his unwillingness to engage with ideas about the nature of the universe that lay in the unexplored midlands between the polarities of fundamentalist theism and the same sort of scientific materialism. On multiple […]

On Intellectual Unwillingness, Part 4

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Reflections / Science

In an effort to simplify terms, I’m going to describe persons of religious affiliation as “Rafters” and persons of scientific/materialist affiliation as “Plancks.” Recognizing there is a broad spectrum of thought in both of these categories, I’m largely hoping to address certain fundamentalist, dogmatic positions that confound meaningful interaction between these two great pillars of human endeavor. These are the hardened geometries of thought that each side seems reluctant to soften in meaningful dialogue. I […]

A Tap on the Glass

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Reflections

For meditation this morning (for how else would you describe it) I read the last fifty pages of To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. Then I walked the mile to the town library and collected some new pages to consider. On the way back I passed a yellow farmhouse—the tractor and the corn wagon were parked across the street in a field of pending silage—where I heard a knocking hand against glass. I looked up […]

What I Believe and Why, Part 5

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Course Ideas / Reflections

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] When I was a boy who needed to be in nearly continuous motion on long summer days, lest I become bored and try to rappel off the porch using a clothesline, or hitch the family dog to my bicycle so we could pretend we lived in a Jack London novel, I went (briefly) to a summer camp about thirty miles east of Birmingham. I was dropped off […]

What I Believe and Why, Part 4

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Course Ideas / Reflections

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] I realize I’ve been slow in getting to the point. About what I believe. You’ll want a point to all this, I know. Three, four, five parts. At least. You’d be crazy to read it all. It’s clearly a little self-indulgent, but on the other hand I don’t think the what matters so much as the how or why, maybe. The process. The route. I probably can’t actually tell […]

What I Believe and Why, Part 3

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Reflections

[Part 1] [Part 2] When I went to college I entered a time of considerable personal flux. Psychological pressures I’d held at bay by focusing on specific goals came to the fore as the goals themselves began to dissolve. There was a gnawing uneasiness in me that I felt had to be settled before I could state what kind of person I wanted to be, or determine what I wanted to do with my life. […]