Spiritual Evolution and the Law

One way to view the inexorable march of biological evolution is as the development of the neurological capacity necessary to recognize this universal inner presence more and more fully. And not just in humans.

Featured Poet: Chana Bloch

Selections by Philip Terman

Swimming in the Rain

Swaddled and sleeved in water,

I dive to the rocky bottom and rise

as the first drops of sky


find the ocean. The waters above

meet the waters below,

the sweet and the salt,


and I’m swimming back to the beginning. The forecasts were wrong. Half the sky is dark


but it keeps changing. Half the stories

I used to believe are false.

A Response from the River Jordan

The myth of Sisyphus may imply that the best that we humans can expect is that, when tired from endlessly rolling the rock back up the hill, we may gather together at the River Jordan and weep. I wish Peter were right, but I still doubt that it is possible to overcome the otherness of the Other, except briefly, randomly, undependably.

The Weighing of the Heart in the Hall of Truth

Heaven’s not for bodies, at least not my perfect one,

and mirrors in heaven still lie as on earth, and still disgust.  

Heaven’s not for past or present or future. It’s not everything that should have happened but didn’t.  

Dead faces there don’t bristle with hope, there’s no whiskery

feeling of some pointful life to which you never got around.  

God’s so dark in heaven, like that car in the rear-view last night

with no headlights on.

The Other Art

We, the young, pretty ones, could easily find or fake the generosity to jolly those luckless oldsters along. We could cheerfully shake their hands (only a little appalled by their soft grips, papery skin, delicate bones, faintly mildewed smell). We could chat with them, ask how they were getting on., and we found ways to look interested in their answers. We listened, even if the answers bored us. Silently, however, we relegated the oldsters’ thinking and experience to the Irrelevant pile.

Hinduism and Honoring Creation

To create a present and a future which is Earth-honoring and just to all marginalized and outcast beings, those of us who identify as Hindus must act as wise and determined servants in re-discovering the ecologically-sound wisdom embedded in our collective human history and experience.

Social Justice, the Environment, and Sikhs

As Sikhs, we are called upon to treat all of humankind as brothers and sisters … and to take action against the gross injustices suffered by our brethren. This means that we must ensure that they do not bear the burden of climate change alone.

Patty Hearst and the Twinkie Murders

In 1975, I covered the trial of heiress Patty Hearst for the Berkeley Barb. She had been kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) and was forced at gunpoint by her abductors to participate in their robbing a bank.

A God That Could Be Real

Unconscious evolution of God-ideas is inevitable, but conscious evolution of God-ideas has been harshly discouraged. This must change, or else we’ll never be able to bring our best knowledge into the process of rethinking God for our time.

The Disfigured Self: What Hannah Arendt Got Right

The great question that lurks at the heart of all Holocaust study, it seems to me, is the question of the self: What would I have done if I had been there? Arendt is unique in making that question present for us, and while Strangneth professes to be in dialogue with Arendt’s book, she does not wrestle with its argument in more than a superficial way.