Category Archives: cults

Can Sibling Rivalry Be Ontological?

In the top-floor, high-ceiling, six-room New York apartment where my parents once lived, next to the dining room table and in front of the window, there stood a tall potted plant. It grew and grew, though I don’t recall our giving … Continue reading

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Secrets of the Kingdom

Years ago, I was in the audience to hear a lecture by Columbia Professor of Ancient History Morton A. Smith who was discussing a verse he claimed to have discovered, anciently deleted from the gospel of Mark. In this new-found verse, Jesus … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, beauty, Bible, Biblical God, bigotry, book reviews, books, Christianity, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, Health, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Immortality, Institutional Power, Jews, Journalism, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Love, Male Power, Martyrdom, Masculinity, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Messianic Age, Mind Control, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Mysticism, non-violence, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romantic Love, scientism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, seventeeth century, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Religions, Cultures and Powers

As Jerry and I recover from our everything-that-could-go-wrong-did-go-wrong air travel experience, I’ve been taking this week to assimilate the intensely interesting experiences at the Theology Without Walls meetings in Denver. My reflections nestled around three questions: What did the TWW … Continue reading

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Does Anti-Semitism Have Sex Appeal?

Does Anti-Semitism Have Sex Appeal? Is it sexy to be anti-semitic?  Well, it must be, since it’s a mode of organizing human desire that just won’t quit. In bygone times, when distaste for all-things-Jewish was naively proud of itself, it … Continue reading

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As If We Were Free

As If We Were Free We are just back from the pleasant French city of Montreal in Canada, where Jerry and I gave papers and attended the presentations of others at the meetings of the Eric Voegelin Society, a group … Continue reading

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Putting Order Into History

Putting Order Into History Aviva Zornberg has written another of her inspired books about the Bible, this one suggestively titled, The Beginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesis.   Why read the Bible?  Isn’t it a just collection of stories that … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, Bible, Biblical God, bigotry, books, Childhood, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, Hegel, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Immortality, Institutional Power, Jews, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, memory, Mind Control, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, motherhood, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, Political, Political Movements, politics, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, TV, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Desire and Defamation

Desire and Defamation Defamation tends to obliterate the erotic appeal of the person being defamed.  That’s one reason it’s so infuriatingly irreparable.  It makes the victim seem undesirable.  We are social animals.  We live by each other’s smiles and frowns. … Continue reading

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What’s Unconscious?

What’s Unconscious? In recent columns, I’ve written about the mysterious effects of mind on body and their unpredictable intertwinings.   One reader has left Comments on these columns, twice urging me to read John E. Sarno’s book, The Divided Mind: … Continue reading

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Does God Play Favorites?

Does God Play Favorites? I don’t enjoy competition.  By that, I’m not intending to reject anyone’s marketplace of skills or services.  It’s just my sincere personal confession.   For example, I was a natural athlete as a child.  But later, … Continue reading

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Academic Gossip

Academic Gossip One of the seldom-mentioned pleasures of life in the academy – the House that Plato Built – is academic gossip.  It juxtaposes the life of ideas against real-life — whetting one’s appetite for both! I’m about two-thirds of … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, Biblical God, bigotry, book reviews, books, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courtship, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Hegel, hegemony, hidden God, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, master, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Messianic Age, Mind Control, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, radicalism, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romance, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, terrorism, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, Utopia, victimhood, Violence, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments