I might as well confirm your worst fears right here: The end is indeed coming! The bad news is that we all are going to die—no question about it. The good news is that this includes everyone, and so we will be in good company (or bad, depending on your view of your fellow humans) and there is no need to worry about favoritism (necrotism?). Whether the end comes en masse on December 21, 2012, or via earthquake, tsunami, or just from some mundane cause such as sheer boredom, old age, or choking on a chicken bone, we are all certainly in for this rather inconvenient turn of events.Read More
I was raised in a family that—even on good days—greets the world with trepidation. Although I cannot recall being given an explicit pre-natal orientation (“Welcome to Earth. Please watch your step! The inhabitants here are prone to wanton acts of violence. Your body is a biological time bomb which is waiting to be ravaged by viruses, bacteria, and/or a host of different cancers. The most basic law of terrestrial physics is: ‘There is always something very bad waiting to happen to you!’”), I seemed to have picked up the message nonetheless. For us, life is an all-too-brief dash through the great cosmic minefield.
I have to make a confession: I am an inveterate tobacco lover. Some of my fondest memories are of sitting around a fire at night, lost in a smokey haze, surrounded by faces of friends only dimly recognizable, all of us puffing away on cigars or hand-rolled cigarettes. On such occasions, tobacco is nothing less than a sacrament: A divine spirit which is intimately associated with the elemental grace of Fire.Read More
For many eons, our ancestors regularly gathered around the fire. Here they shared the big stories that gave life meaning. Around the fire, they laughed, danced and reaffirmed their bonds to one another. Here they encountered the Great Mystery. Through heart and fire, they found their connection to the deep wisdom of those who came before them. This state of grace is celebrated in the story of Genesis as the Garden of Eden before the Fall. The great march of history from Eden to virtual reality is really a retreat from the warmth of the heart into the coldness of the mind.Read More