The Latest

Rocks balancing on a see-saw

In Defense of Balance

Let me give you an example of what I mean by striving for balance between competing concerns.

Let's take two of our big ideas: liberty and society. We all want freedom. I know I do. And yet, if you put me on a helicopter, and then dropped me off somewhere in the middle of the wilderness, I would have all the liberty in the world – but I would gladly relinquish some of that freedom as the price for rejoining human society.

Open Book in fanciful surroundings

Religion, Storytelling and Art

Religion can be thought of as a collection of shared cultural artifacts that provide a sense of meaning about human existence.

Religion attempts to answer “big” questions such as the following:

  • Why are we here?

  • What is our relationship to the world around us?

  • How are we related to one another?

Religious expression can manifest itself in several different ways.

What's Your Story?

Human Nature

What does it mean to be human?

This must certainly be a foundational question for all of us, when contemplating almost any aspect of our existence.

And while any brief answer to this question must admittedly be no more than a starting point for further discussion, I think it perhaps worthwhile to provide such a beginning.

And so, here they are: the primary traits we share that I think make us uniquely human.

Scene from the Garden of Eden rendered in three stained glass panels

The Nature of God

Human records indicate that some sort of belief in a God or collection of gods is a feature of almost all human culture. No matter what the continent or age, a belief in powerful, supernatural beings that somehow influence human existence is a near-constant.

At the same time, though, many skeptics have persistently questioned the existence of such a being, and beliefs about the attributes of God have exhibited wide variation, with such variations often being so deeply held that wars have been fought to advance one sort of belief over another.

Two heads facing each other joined by flows with embedded logic symbols

Reasons for Belief

We often seem to assume that people say things, and come to believe them, because they are true.

It seems to me, though, that people take up beliefs for a whole host of reasons, and the likely truth or falsehood of these statements is often the least of the motivating factors at work.

Here then, are the multifarious reasons why people may choose to believe something.

Ascending series of wood blocks

Developmental Levels

A number of authors and systems of thought espouse one or another series of developmental levels, in fields of study as diverse as psychology, sociology, economics and organizational development. Ken Wilber was the first author I encountered who proposed an integration of these various developmental progressions into a single unifying scheme. However, much of Ken's take on these levels was heavily influenced by the Spiral Dynamics work done by Clare W. Graves, Don Beck and Chris Cowan.