Healing the World Through Consciousness Exploration

An exploration of consciousness confirms that no matter how different the trappings of culture, language, costume, or beliefs, we are the same sort of beings, we want the same things, and we are subject to the same disappointments and joys. In short, an exploration of consciousness has great power to illuminate and inform efforts at tikkun olam.

Is Addiction Really a Disease? A Challenge to Twelve-Step Programs

For most of America, having a disease means having a foreign body assume residence in the biological tissue, multiplying itself and attacking the surrounding healthy tissue. This idea is a direct result of the discovery of microscopy and the bacterial origin of many afflictions. The metaphor here is war, and all good doctors are on the front lines, battling leukemia, eradicating AIDS and other serious illnesses. Sometimes we cause the war ourselves and sometimes we are simply invaded. But where is the infection in addiction? To what can we actually point?

Recognize Palestine! Recognize Israel!

The Network of Spiritual Progressives, Tikkun’s political action arm, is both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine. We are hopeful that UN recognition of Palestine would persuade Israel to freeze its expansion of settlements in the areas that were part of pre-1967 Palestine. We also hope that UN recognition would lead Israel to negotiate in good faith to create a Palestinian state and reach a just settlement of all remaining issues, ensuring security for Israel and Palestine.

Tikkun at 25

Those of us who founded and shaped Tikkun for the past twenty-five years have been solidly committed to supporting the manifestation of the Spirit of God in this world. In our view that means advancing the possibilities of a world based on love; kindness; generosity; individual and collective freedom; mutual recognition; thanksgiving; pleasure; joy; the evolution of scientific knowledge, spiritual wisdom, understanding of self and others, and deep levels of individual and global consciousness; the triumph of social justice; peace; equality; material well-being; environmental sanity; mutual forgiveness and caring for each other; and awe, wonder, and radical amazement at the grandeur and mystery of the universe. Our goal of tikkun-ing the world (healing, evolving and transforming it), has a long tradition in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and in other spiritual and religious communities as well. We are merely one contemporary embodiment of that tradition. The Promise, Successes, and Problems of the NSP
Knowing that people often find that their highest progressive ideals cannot be expressed freely in their various religious communities, or at least not acted upon in those institutions, we decided seven years ago to create the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) to be the educational and activist arm of Tikkun.

Suicidal vs. Life-Giving Religious Narratives

I was invited to reflect here on the topic of “spiritual visions for social healing,” under the general heading of “creating a caring society,” but first, I’d like to turn the topic upside-down to look at religious visions for social suicide.

Yankee Doodle Faced Big Oil

The human race — not for the first time in our history — has lost the sacred sense of self-restraint. We don’t restrain ourselves. And what’s the result? The earth will give forth thorns and thistles, not abundance, and you will have to work with the sweat pouring down your faces to get just barely enough to eat.

How Closed are “Closed Minds”?

When I moved to the University of Missouri after having worked in Boston, I found that approaches to racial and gender equality that worked in New England were counterproductive in our work in the lower Midwest. We asked students to share what they valued in their culture, what nurtured and sustained them. We experienced the joy of expanding circles of deliberation and engagement with those we had formerly seen as prejudiced, closed-minded, and uninterested in learning

A Politics Based on Soul Force

I think that if you’re looking at the world today and you’re not heartbroken and you’re not grieving, you’re not conscious. The question is, if we know that things can be done, what are we called upon to do?

The New Zionist Imperative Is to Tell Israel the Truth

This is an extremely interesting and terrible time for the issue that I work on, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I’d like to think together about some reactions to the flotilla incident and about where we go from here—what are the policy options, the implications for our politics, and, from my perspective, the implications for the American Jewish community.

The Race to Save Civilization

If we look at early civilizations that declined and collapsed, more often than not it was a shortage of food that brought them down. Until recently I had rejected the idea that food could be the weak link in our modern civilization; I now think it probably is.

What It Will Take to Return the Globe to 350

As much as I love the Network of Spiritual Progressives, I am not sure how much of a progressive I am. Seems to me that I spend almost all my time trying to keep things from changing, that in some deep sense I am a conservative—conserving the earth!