Things I’ve been reading

A Point of View: Can religion tell us more than science?

Myths aren’t relics of childish thinking that humanity leaves behind as it marches towards a more grown-up view of things. They’re stories that tell us something about ourselves that can’t be captured in scientific theories.

Just as you don’t have to believe that a scientific theory is true in order to use it, you don’t have to believe a story for it to give meaning to your life.

Myths can’t be verified or falsified in the way theories can be. But they can be more or less truthful to human experience, and I’ve no doubt that some of the ancient myths we inherit from religion are far more truthful than the stories the modern world tells about itself.


Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced

Now, you want to become acquainted with a woman you see in public. The first thing you need to understand is that women are dealing with a set of challenges and concerns that are strange to you, a man. To begin with, we would rather not be killed or otherwise violently assaulted.

“But wait! I don’t want that, either!”

Well, no.


The WORST way to start a home bar (and how to do it right)

I didn’t just start a home bar. In one night I purchased 20 bottles of liquor that I had either seen/tried/heard of, all which I assumed would make for good cocktails. No such luck. Not only was I completely out of my element, but my ignorance was so extreme that one or two of those bottles were so bad that they are still in my possession TO THIS DAY.


Leisure: what we are here for

“The vacancy left by absence of worship is filled by mere killing of time and by boredom, which is directly related to inability to enjoy leisure; for one can only be bored if the spiritual power to be leisurely has been lost.” Worship is in a sense pointless. It is not a means to an end, it does not produce anything: “the act of worship sets up an area where calculation is thrown to the winds and goods are deliberately squandered, where usefulness is forgotten and generosity reigns”.


The Pride of Busyness

Because to Lee, like so many of us, work had become the way he measured his value.

So we push ourselves harder and harder. We sleep less, we work more and we do indeed accomplish a great deal.

But in the process we begin to forget how to sit,

and think,

and breathe,

and pray,

and read for pleasure,

and have a real conversation with a friend, or family member or spouse

and savor a drink for its flavors and complexities, not its ability to chemically induce either wakefulness or sleep.

Here’s the dirty little secret of the gospel of busyness: It promises us a full and satisfying life, but, in the end, it makes our lives emptier. It uses us for what we can contribute, and in the process we live less, feel less, even love less.


Relig-ish: Hear Our Prayer

I do not feel a particular allegiance to the governance of this nation. I don’t pledge. I often feel like a stranger here. But I do experience the power of Place and the way deep calls to deep when we are in the land of our birth. I am a part of this place, and it is a part of me. That is why I am experiencing such discord–for we are not living the way of the cross.

We execute. We bully. We deny entire nations the right to exsist. We throw around our power in ways that are not in service to others.


The Heresy Of Silence – QuakerQuaker

In a sense, those who practice the prayer of interior silence view scripture as a vast and extended metaphor or allegory for the experience of inward silence. This contrasts with a rationalistic approach to scripture, which is non-metaphorical, and views allegory as a kind of betrayal of scriptural truth as allegory and metaphor undermine the necessity for a literal interpretation of scripture.