From Romanticism to Political Correctness: Modernity and Emotional Illiteracy

Emotions are part of our very being; we are our emotions, at least to the extent that we are egos. Like music or a river, they tend to have a certain temporal continuity, changing and flowing one into another. Thoughts, by comparison, are more like bubbles, rising to the surface and bursting. Unregulated thoughts lead, through […]

Initiation, Individuality, and the Alchemy of Danger

One of the most interesting entries found within the pages of Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai is as follows: The Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to either / or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance. To say that dying […]

Spiritual Evolution; Waiting for the Higher Meme

In their book Spiral Dynamics, Beck and Cowan color code and thus simplify the categories of psychologist Clare Graves. Graves posited a theory of development based on people’s responses when asked to describe their idea of a successful person. The colors are Beige, Purple, Red, Blue, Orange, Green, Yellow and beyond. They apply both phylogenetically […]

Metaphysics, Ethics, and Living in an Uncertain World

The nature of ultimate reality is not provable on the rational level. It might be possible to experience it directly as part of a mystical experience. Or we might read reports by mystics and try to decide whether to believe them or not. But, without having had post-rational experiences ourselves, we are left with merely […]

Rendering Darkness and Light Present : Jean Gebser and the Principle of Diaphany

Jean Gebser (1905-1973) was a German poet, philosopher, and phenomenologist of consciousness. He is best known for his magisterial opus, The Ever-Present Origin (Ursprung und Gegenwart, 1949-1953), in which he articulates the structures and mutations of consciousness underpinning the pivotal shifts in human civilisation. Gebser’s key insight was that as consciousness mutates toward its innate integrality, it […]

Faith, Knowledge, and the Decline of the West

In December, the president annually sends all faculty and staff a calculatedly inoffensive “Winter Holidays” greeting, via email. For what it is worth, for many years I have regularly received an unambiguous “Merry Christmas” message from a long-distance colleague at the University of Tehran, under the auspices of whose department I had the good fortune, […]

The Naked Android: Sex, Death, and Immortality in the Age of AI

Alan Turing invented the ideational basis of modern computers with his concept of a universal machine. The machine had a write/erase head and a strip of paper that represented an infinite memory. The strip of paper contained instructions to move forward, move back, or stop; to write, or to erase. Exactly what the machine does […]