All posts tagged: Identity

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. […]

The Sellout, Satire At Its Finest

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Book Reviews

In his landmark paper “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” philosopher Thomas Nagel suggested that an organism is conscious when there is something that it is like to be that organism. It’s a beautiful definition, I think, and one that can be expanded to all sorts of questions of identity. What is it like to be American? To be a farmer? To be an art critic? To be a woman? To be Latino? […]

On a Scale of One to Ten

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Poetry

We’ll never know what it’s like to exist forever in a condition of perpetually transforming joy and goose-bump inducing discovery if we don’t consider it a very real and inevitable possibility. It does sound pretty out there, but so don’t NASCAR races to German Shepherds. If we don’t consider it a very real and inevitable possibility, we’ll likely take something perfect and beautiful just as it is, something like space exploration or boat building or […]

Just Right

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Course Ideas / Creative

“I feel better.  But I did that thing again, didn’t I, Hafiz?” “Yes.” “How come we both know what I’m talking about, but we can’t explain it?” “The horses giving chase always get mud in their eyes.” “That was easier than I thought.  But giving chase to what?” “To whatever you think is over there.”  He waved his hand limply towards the distance, indicating that somewhere along the periphery of my mind there were these […]

On the Great Marriage

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Christ / Course Ideas / Reflections

The description I love best is that each of us is an intersection of matter and spirit, the above and below, the eternal and the present, of knowledge and mystery.  I am tired of materialism—so very tired of its laborious absurdities, the dead ends it tries to pretty-over, the delicate faculties of the human being it would all but silence.  Even so, I would not discard logic or rational thought.  I would simply hold them […]

Breath Incarnate

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Reflections

Peace taken up by the flesh has a rhythm to it.  A field of frozen grass and falling snow, mixed with true inhabitants, will ripple with tongues of steam.  Life will move in and out of itself, and possibilities will disperse from their smoky origins, drift into the branches of trees at the field’s edge, and nestle into nooks beneath the boughs. We share a breath that’s always breathing– here and there and all at once– a […]

Something Stupendous

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Poetry

At the center of every human being, something stupendous is happening– something deadpan naked beautiful, a trembling madness, a high outcropping of multiplying swooning cliff diving lovers. I don’t know what it is, but I think it might be related to the fact that the sky is peppered with drums so vast their beats shake galaxies out of the darkness like dust from the Beloved’s rug, that it’s full of light transmissions, secret messages, and the odd comet, […]

Intersections of Everything

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Book Reviews / Course Ideas / Science

Earlier this week I discovered Ka’s invitation to write a few blog pieces around favorite quotations.  The challenge was framed as three posts, each built around one quotation, or as one post with three quotations.  I realized quickly it would be enjoyable to find a few quotes that I like, and to share them and explain my enthusiasm for them, but then found it was quite a difficult task to narrow down my selections.  I […]

A Clock Makers Convention

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Poetry

At the clock makers convention we arranged ourselves neatly around a life-sized cutaway of a gravitational escapement, observing the pendulum bearing the maker’s seal that swung to and fro behind a nest of hypnotic linkages, together recalling amidst polite chuckles and knowing nods the virtuous marriage of metallurgy and time-keeping. Not too many really understood what we did… Not too many could even fathom the significance of what was on display… Pretty cool, eh? said the gentleman […]

An Insight… A Cliché… A Knowing…

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Christ / Course Ideas

I’ve been thinking lately about things I have no business thinking about, like how to reconcile the capital-‘S’ Self from A Course of Love with what I’ve glimpsed of the Buddhist teaching of anatta, or no-self.  Let me say right at the outset that this is not purely an intellectual exercise.  One of the great miracles of starting this blog has been the dialogue with people whose words, and possibly (though it remains hard to […]