Life as a Sack of Potatoes

Reality is a difficult concept to grasp, partly because it has been used in several confusing and even conflicting ways. Difficult or not, reality is one of the most important concepts to keep clear because it is a metaphor for the media, the soup, in which life takes place. Pieces of that reality enter our consciousness through our senses where they become transformed onto meaningful images or processes in the brain. I use a couple of metaphors here because no one knows yet exactly how the brain makes this wondrous move to add meaning to the meaningless objects that enter our consciousness. Without being able to make that step, humans… Read More

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Thoughts of Repentance on Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is over and I am left with my thoughts of the day. This day is the culmination of 10 days of reflection on the beyond-the-world, the world, and one’s place in it. It is a trying time for me because of the omnipresence of God, a figure for whom I have little or no belief. I thank Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman for giving me a way to get through this period and other times I spend in my Temple. While he was visiting our Temple a few weeks ago in preparation for the Jewish Holidays, he offered a way for skeptics and non-believers to take in the liturgy and… Read More

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Bigger Is Not Better

Michael Pollan wrote an [article](http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/09/magazine/obama-administration-big-food-policy.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0), previewed today in the NY Times, about big agriculture and the failure of the Obama administration to act to rein in its excesses. For those interested in the specifics, you should read the article. I am referring to it primarily as an example of a more general problem: the excessive, uneconomic, undemocratic power of the corporate sector. Pollan’s story has a plot that can be found in many cases outside of the food sector: pharmaceuticals, military armaments, commercial banking, retail, drug stores, office supplies, air travel, online retail, online travel accommodations, beer, and more. But here’s one I am sure you never would have included:… Read More

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Care and Politics

The Jewish New Year is upon me. It is a propitious time to restart writing posts to this blog. I have finished a draft of my book and now have recovered some time to do this. I have thought about what would be the most appropriate subject to begin again with. The main book themes are flourishing, complexity, and care. Care, or, better, the lack of it, in the immediate political campaign strikes me as most relevant at this moment. Care for both worldly and transcendent phenomena is central as part of any movement toward flourishing. Care, as I write, is a way of acting that focuses, as does human… Read More

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