Stephen Dunn imagines the loneliness of the visionary who captures a radical truth but is unable to communicate what he has seen and understood to his fellow prisoners.
Jorge Luis Borges – Poem Written in a Copy of Beowulf
The Argentine writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges once wrote: “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
The Better Way to Catch a Snake
The Discourse on Knowing The Better Way to Catch a Snake (the Alagaddūpama Sutta) is a Buddhist teaching about not clinging to views.
The Dexterous Butcher – Zhuangzi
Zhuangzi's story of the dexterous Cook Ding who teaches a lord a profound life lesson through the workings of his knife.
What We Have Forgotten – Einstein on Science and Religion (Part 1)
Albert Einstein called for the scientific method to be accompanied by a deep humanism often grounded in religious practice. He argued that the role of religion would be to set into the emotional life of humans the means and ends of their rational endeavors.
Know for Yourselves – The Kalama Sutta
This well-known extract from the Kalama Sutta quotes a teaching from the Buddha in which he advises his audience - a group called the Kalamas of Kesaputta - about how to know their own spiritual paths, given the noise of the competing philosophies and teachers that would frequently present themselves in their communities. Bombarded by… Continue reading Know for Yourselves – The Kalama Sutta
Chuang Tzu: How To Find What You Already Know?
With great power also comes great responsibility, but not always great wisdom. Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu, whose writings form one of the pillars of Taosim, took a dim view of much of human activity and the accumulation of power and knowledge, recommending instead the cultivation of a kind of wisdom in tune with the Tao,… Continue reading Chuang Tzu: How To Find What You Already Know?
Aldous Huxley on Cleverness and the Perennial Philosophy
Aldous Huxley published The Perennial Philosophy in 1945, just after the end of the Second World War, sending into a divided world a much needed work of unification. His book is grounded in the idea of the 'philosophia perennis', the idea that all religions in the world have in common the human yearning to experience the… Continue reading Aldous Huxley on Cleverness and the Perennial Philosophy