Six Steps to Perfect Humility – No Effort Required

Two Approaches to Humility

Old Rusty Car The Hard One

Real humility is a virtuous ideal embraced by most religions and theologies. There are spiritual exercises and practices designed to engender humility in the individual seeking enlightenment and improvement. Humility is a virtue, a first step, a fundamental principle. Humility is the foundation for charity, piety, discernment, justice, and even faith. Continue reading

When Lambs Lie Down with Lions

 

Bobcat wearing a fedora and smoking a cigarette

Wildlife: Cool? For sure. Friendly? Not necessarily.

Nature Can Be Cruel

Periodically I run into people who claim to be spiritual rather than religious. They believe in a creator, but they do not believe that creator is to be found in any organized church. In fact most of them seem to believe that any form of organized religion is the antithesis of spirituality, and that adherence to the tenets and precepts of a particular faith is one of the surest ways to remove oneself from god’s presence…or to remove god from one’s own, whichever the case might be.

Although I understand where these people are coming from, and what they mean by that, I must confess that I almost always think that they are just making excuses for their inability to embrace their own essence as beings created by the creator they say they believe in.

Usually these irreligionists point to nature as the place where they feel most at peace and most in awe of the god of their understanding. They are not comfortable in church where too many rules and too much ritual and way too many people get in the way of encountering the divine. They see these things as impediments to experiencing the true creative genius of the god they are able to accept. Continue reading

Five Signs You’re Probably Wrong

fireworks displayPost Truth Society

We live in a post truth America. Virtually all the information we get these days is suspect in some way. This blog post is no exception. I write fiction after all, so if I ever get to the truth of something, it is usually through the side door and often by accident. At least I am honest in this regard. You won’t get that accommodation from anyone else, certainly not from your president or your legislators. Continue reading

The Evidence for God

The Best Evidence that God is Real!

fractal black hole artSeeking a more logical cosmology.

I’ve been involved in a lot of discussions lately about the existence of God or, conversely, the folly of faith. Mostly these have been fairly civil dialogues on Soul Pancake or The Great Silent Majority page on Facebook. I recommend either or both to your attention if you think it’s fun to think and write about life’s great questions with people who are willing to listen politely, even to those they consider to be idiots. I’ve distilled much of what I’ve posted elsewhere into this little treatise on why I believe in God and why I do not think this is lunacy. Continue reading

Taking Up Golf after Sixty

Soothe the Soul and Vex the Intellect

Oh dear! I seem to have shanked one into Lord Vader’s BMW.

I’ve spent most of my life avoiding golf. I’ve never been very sports-minded, probably because neither of my parents were. Mom thought sports were trivial, and Dad carried a pronounced and physically limiting limp, the result of being struck by anti-aircraft flak in the belly of a B-17 during World War II. My best, and perhaps only, sporting triumph was a fluke home-run during a pick-up softball game on the last day of 8th grade. As to golf, the prospect of chasing little balls around in an electric cart with a bunch of yahoos in gay-palette pants and silly shoes didn’t hold a lot of appeal for me. Continue reading

The Perfect Martini – Both of Them

A philosophical guide to (and recipes for) the most sophisticated, sublime, and American of cocktails

martini-19324_1280There are probably as many perfect martini recipes as there are martini drinkers—an unusual state of affairs when you consider that the drink has only two basic ingredients. It is hard to imagine that something so simple could have such a wide range of outcomes—from nearly divine to truly appalling.

Conceptually, the perfect martini is a fairly static and well-established thing. In execution, however, perfection becomes mercurial, ethereal, elusive . . . impossible even. Continue reading

Stephen Hawking Shouldn’t Quit His Day Job

Arguably Smart Isn’t Arguably Correct

Earth against a nebula

Curiosity Killed Schrodinger’s Cat!

I watched the inaugural episode of Discovery Channel’s series, Curiosity. In it, Dr. Steven Hawking, noted theoretical physicist, postulated that the immutable laws of nature prove that there is no God. I do not doubt that Hawking is a brilliant man who has contributed vast new insights in the fields of physics and cosmology, but, after watching this show, I have to conclude that he has left a lot of air in these particular postulations, and most of that air is hot. Continue reading

The Examined Life

Marilyn Monroe statue

Iconic Serendipity or Perfectly Staged Temptation?

It’s Good to be Catholic If You Don’t Try Too Hard

The unexamined life may not be worth living, as Socrates suggested, but it sure is easier than second guessing your every motivation. Maybe it’s not exactly what Socrates had in mind, but for the dutiful Catholic a regular examination of conscience is part of the defining regimen. It’s something we do before we go to confession. This means a thorough scrutiny of the things we have done that we shouldn’t have and the things we didn’t do that we should have, as well as the reasons we did or didn’t do them. As you can imagine there is enormous potential for inner conflict in this process. Continue reading