Psychopathology in the 2016 Election

In present-day America we are witnessing the way the ethos of global capitalism and its impact on daily life shapes and nurtures a growing societal-based psychopathology. No matter who wins in November 2016, anger and hate-oriented political movements will be with us until the economic system and its core assumptions fundamentally change. Understanding how this happens is a first step toward healing.

Reflections on Destin’s Backwards-Brain Bicycle


The backwards-brain bicycle, created for Destin Sandlin, the host of a Facebook show called Smarter Every Day, is a regular bike that has been modified so that if the rider turns the handlebars to the right, the bike goes left. And vice versa. The short Facebook film shows the host and several others, in various countries, attempting to ride

the backwards-brain bike and failing. They can’t go four feet without putting a foot on the ground or falling. The point of the film is that the how-to-ride-a-bike algorithm is so strongly fixed in the adult brain that it takes months to retrain the mind to accept the new algorithm.

Elegy for Lillian

Sister Poem

My sister was a Unitarian,

she loved life, the God-given gift of the world. She did not need Paradise to make her a Christian,

thought all religions that promised Paradise

offered a business relationship with a jealous God. She made a funny face at the mention of early martyrs

who preferred to be fresh meat for lions

to living in the world, likely as slaves,

rather than praying for show to the Gods

Trajan or Emperor Augustus. Her Lord preferred His followers deny Him

rather than sacrifice their lives,

He wanted the living to live, love strangers,

their neighbors, the Beatitudes. She certainly thought it wise to hide your Judaism

from the public fires of the Inquisition;

she damned the excommunicators of Spinoza,

believed in doing what you could honorably do

to stay out of cattle cars.

A Gloss on Genesis 1:26

And it came to pass
we multiplied until there was
no room for more of us

How to Read the Rest of This Article

The text above was just an excerpt. The web versions of our print articles are now hosted by Duke University Press, Tikkun‘s publisher. Click here to read an HTML version of the article. Click here to read a PDF version of the full article. Source Citation
Tikkun 2016 Volume 31, Number 4: 57

Alphabet Poem


The difference between my life and yours is this: When I was pulled over once by a cop for running a stop sign, and before he got to my car I’d taken my phone out of my purse to let my kid know I’d be late coming home, what the cop did was warn me not to be digging my hand in my purse with a cop’s face in the driver’s window. The difference between my life and yours is that I put the phone back and sat looking out at the traffic while the cop wrote the ticket, and in the end I got home only twenty minutes later than when I had promised. B

Do you think I’m at peace with this? A woman I know and her dog saw a man shot in the back by a cop at the end of the block they live on, and for no reason. They were walking and suddenly their block became a warfield.

Terra Nova, Tamera, and the Healing of Love: Viable Pathway for a Planetary Tikkun?

For more information about Tamera and The Grace Foundation, visit: www.tamera.organd

IN HIS NEW BOOK Terra Nova: Global Revolution and the Healing of Love, Dieter Duhm refers to “Terra Nova” as the dream of a new Earth free of violence and fear; “a latent reality within the universe as the butterfly is a reality latent within the caterpillar.”1Daring in its ambition, the book is a guide for seekers and activists who no longer only want to fight against the injustice and cruelties of this world, but work towards a credible alternative. Terra Nova paints both a vision of and a pathway towards this new world, offering insight into what could be the ‘fulcrum points’ to free the world from war. A fascinating perspective that has emerged from more than four decades of radical research on building community, healing our collective trauma, freeing love from fear, and establishing models for regenerative autonomy. The Global Dead-End and Our Own Failure

It isn’t easy to seriously talk about global revolution and changing the world in such times where the unchallenged triumph of capitalist globalization has not only managed to intrude into the last corners of the planet, but also shattered much of the ideological certainty of those trying to resist this global insanity. The unprecedented, virtually unlimited ability of the dominating systems to wage new wars, drill for more fossil fuels, destroy more pristine forests, drive more species into extinction, and destabilize entire cultural regions has left a deep resignation in humanity’s collective soul. The dimension of global violence reveals not only the ruthlessness of the current elites, it also shows the inadequacy of the Left and the many other alternative movements, spiritual groups, and therapeutic attempts to respond to this destructive evolution.

Vitamin N For the Soul

“If one steps out on a starry night and observes one’s inner state, one asks if one could hate or be overwhelmed by envy or resentment. . . . Is it not true that no man or woman has ever committed a crime while in a state of wonder?” —Jacob Needleman from A Sense of the Cosmos

“All actual life is encounter.”—Martin Buber

MATTHEW, my youngest son, once asked me if a connection to a higher power is, in fact, an under-utilized sense—one that some people find activated in nature.

A Curriculum of Love

PAUSE FOR A MOMENT and consider a curriculum that extends beyond merely practical schooling, past our standard materially-oriented instruction that fixates almost exclusively on the academic skills that promote professional success. Consider instead a curriculum centered in deep connectedness, a curriculum of love. Where in their unfolding growth do our children learn about what might be the core human experience, from primal bonding within the womb to the final demise when a child weeps at her dying parent’s bedside? Love in multifarious forms pervades experience: love of self, family, romantic partner, friend, pet, community, humankind, the earth, and even the stranger and the enemy that Judeo-Christian tradition exhorts us to embrace. Where is the schoolhouse door that opens to the divine realm of dreams, the contours of grief, the light of intuition, the sense of connection to the rivers?

Towards an Education That (Re)members: Centering Identity, Race, and Spirituality in Education

Why we (re)member

JACQUELINE IS A twenty-one-year-old Black female. She is introspective and soft-spoken, reflecting her modest, humble Christian upbringing where one speaks only when spoken to and lowers one’s eyes in the presence of elders. Her curly brown hair is often straightened or pulled back in a bun and dark- rimmed glasses frame her skin, the color of butterscotch. Often dressed in university apparel, she came to the university from a community college. When we first met, she was a junior studying early childhood education and minoring in sociology.

The Sixth Day of Creation: Dominion and the Factory Settings

Over the past year, I preached a sermon series on the Torah’s seven days of creation at First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn, NY. In this series I lifted up the images of natural beauty and ecological abundance in this passionate text—a text that is too often claimed by (and ceded to) hard-line creationists and climate change deniers. Far from the conservative politics that such voices promote, I see the Genesis text as a call for human humility and environmental stewardship. It highlights the gorgeous and fragile gift we have been given in our planet Earth, celebrates its diversity, and casts humans as merely one thread in its living web. My interpretations in this series are partly my own midrash and partly the insights of traditional commentators. The following article is adapted from a sermon I delivered on the sixth day of creation, the creation of land animals and humans.

Sarah and Hagar: How Reimagining the Torah Story That Jews Around the World Read on the First Day of Rosh Hashanah Can Empower All of Us to Action

THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS to read and interpret Torah and then to share that with others. We can read it literally and stop there. We can see what Torah commentators wrote about these texts over the past two thousand years of conversation among the generations of Jews who treasured these texts even as they re-read them in light of their own developing understanding. And we can look at it from the perspective of what lessons we can take from it—what we can extract from its meaning for how to live and understand life today—undoubtedly placing our own spin on it. It is in this latter way that I am engaging with the story of Sarah and Hagar.