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Another Perspective

The Burden of Family Legacy

One of the things in life that can be both a burden and a significant obstacle to finding one’s true identity is having ancestors who were super-achievers. These are the folks who set the bar so high that it is difficult to follow in their footsteps. Feeling not good enough is the demon  Read More 
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Revitalizing and Maintaining Sexual Desire

For this blog, I am using a handout I received at a seminar I attended for continuing education credits. It was a workshop presented by Barry W. McCarthy, Ph.D., a professor at American University. I think you will find his research information to be not only informative, but also surprising in some cases.  Read More 
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Meeting God Face to Face

Imagine yourself having a direct, personal experience of God, standing face to face with Him. How would you describe the experience? What words would you use?

An early 20th century German Lutheran professor, Rudolf Otto, tried to answer this question.1 To experience God face to face, Professor Otto wrote, is to have an encounter with  Read More 
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Home Movies

I woke up early this morning and playing on a local station was "Father's Little Dividend." It stars among others, Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, and Elizabeth Taylor (a very young Elizabeth Taylor). It was directed by Vincente Minnelli. It's not a great movie, but it was filmed at the house in which I grew up. Movie moguls at the time were looking  Read More 
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Dreams and Death

Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going -
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.*

To dream that you are dying or that you are already dead is not particularly rare. While these dreams can be very emotionally disturbing, almost without exception they are not predicting your physical demise.  Read More 
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Epiphany Is a Myth

When Bill Moyers interviewed Joseph Campbell about the power of myth, there were two different reactions. The extraverts heard his stories and responded by using the word myth to indicate what is false. The events in his stories really never happened. The introverts responded to Campbell's stories as descriptions of an inner  Read More 
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Escaping Death

I came across this Syrian fable a couple of decades ago and I've never forgotten it. It speaks to our best efforts to escape death.

There was once a beautiful young man whose father was a sultan. The lad lived with his family in Damascus. One day while his father was busy with matters of the palace, the boy came  Read More 
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The Pilgrim's Thirst

The great Spanish poet, Antonio Machado wrote:
It is good knowing that glasses
are to drink from;
the bad thing is not to know
what thirst is for.*

Evelyn Underhill, the exceptional English scholar of mysticism, wrote in an essay on "What is the Spiritual Life?": "So many Christians are like deaf people at a  Read More 
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The Trickster

One of the little discussed features of the psyche is the trickster. My 1972 Funk and Wagnalls' Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend tells me: "Tricksters are found in the unwritten literature of peoples over all the world, and usually many tales or cycles are devoted to their exploits. ...The trickster is  Read More 
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Remembering Rabi'a al-Adawiyya: An 8th Century Woman Mystic

There are many women throughout history whose elevated spiritual lives can inspire our own. When I was researching God and Dreams: Is There A Connection? I came across such a woman that most people do not know. Rabi'a (717-801) was a mystic, ascetic and one of the first Sufis. Like others who  Read More 
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