This site has been around since 2008 or so when I was doing a fair amount of political writing. Most of that work – while ongoing – is no longer online. In 2010 and 11 I began to write about A Course in Miracles, a sort of new age fringe of Christianity with which I had become involved. I am deeply grateful for ACIM and the teachers I encountered there. It confused me in ways that demanded clarity.
And the clarity came! But, by and large, it didn’t come until I began thinking about nonduality – first from a religious or spiritual perspective, then from a more rational or scientific perspective. You could also think of this in terms of “first person / third person” or “subjective / objective.” In any case, the so-called rational (or third-person or objective) perspective was exponentially more helpful to me. Please note that I did not say that perspective was “right.” In general I hold with Seng-Ts’an:
If you want to get the plain truth,
Be not concerned with right and wrong.
The conflict between right and wrong
Is the sickness of the mind.
But it’s true that the “oneness” to which so many religious thinkers, practitioners, and salespeople pointed only became tangible as – and to the extent that – I set religious/spiritual thinking – and my overall insistence on right/wrong – aside.
Those are perhaps dubious statements – to profess an experience of oneness, to suggest that religious/spiritual thinking obstructs those kinds of experiences, to suggest that all religious/spiritual thinking is unhelpfully wedded to a right/wrong moral binary, and to profess to have set religious/spiritual thinking aside.
What, exactly, is oneness? Or experience (as a noun and as a verb)? What is thinking? What is religious thinking? Is it different from spiritual thinking? How? How do I know what is helpful and what is not? Aren’t right and wrong essential to the existence of just, sustainable and creative communities? And so forth.
My answers to these questions are in the nature of an ongoing collective process – a dialogue, if you like – which I neither began nor will end, even as I am deeply, even intimately, implicated in it. This site reflects a kind of thinking out loud with respect to those questions and the answers they bring forth. I want to clarify to the extent I am able what it means to be alive, helpful, happy, free, creative, just, etc.
It turns out that peace – inner and outer – and the justice upon which peace is founded are possible. Happiness is possible. Joy and love, it turns out, are natural and so – yes – possible.
This is not to deny the hard work involved in learning new material, bringing it into application, undoing the pernicious effects of old learning and conditioning and so forth. It is hard. Nondual experience is not always consistent with our expectation. It doesn’t always track the mythology and imagery we’ve used to describe it. But still. A gentler, happier and more fructive life is available.
It starts with thinking out loud together. To that end, I’m glad you’re here.
Photographs are generally from around the homestead and are not necessarily related to the post in which they appear. Home is where I am most productive; perhaps the images attest accordingly.