In [educated Afghan women], we all see our own striving for authentic lives. We want to claim an authentic life that contributes to not only our own well-being but also to the well-being of our homes.
It is characteristic of pseudo-Christianity that, while claiming to be justified by God, by faith, or by the works of faith and love, it merely operates as a machine for excusing sin instead of confessing and pardoning it. In other words, the pseudo-Church has become a tool for producing a feeling that one is right and everyone else is wrong - a claim with which we are all-too-familiar in the debased culture of ultimate individual autonomy.
The intermittent fast is a marvelous ritual. By fasting occasionally (in my case, once a month), we put our bodies into the sharp relief of hunger which is a driving force of life. Fasting urges a realization that our biological reality transcends the boundary between natural and supernatural.
In Christian languages, happiness gets a less honorable reputation than joy and well-being. But life would hardly be worth living if there weren’t moments of happiness along the way. A universal framework for well-being is far from universal. Here are four models to help clarify your own understanding of happiness and a bit of the … Continue reading Different Cultures, Different Kinds of Happiness
...quietly observing what the conflict is doing to you before you can ponder the opposite, what you might do to it. Rather than be active, you have to slow down and see what moves in and around you. ‘A lot of it is about listening,’ says Herbert, ‘listening to people, but also listening to yourself to find your balance.’
In the following talk, given May 20, 2021, I was happy to share much of my research on Authenticity as a moral ideal, following the work of Charles Taylor. However, I find that Taylor's work is slightly unstructured. It takes the work of someone with more political training - Hannah Arendt - to provide the … Continue reading Recorded Public Talk: Authenticity in Times of Uncertainty
When I lived in Korea from 2001 - 2006, I quickly made friends with a group of 5 other expats from a number of native English-speaking countries: Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand. We would often go out to a restaurant and eat pizza. In Korea, they put corn kernels on their pizza. In … Continue reading Inarticulate Authenticity
“Often I feel I go to some distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am…Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines…you are forced into direct experience [which] inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience.” Michael Crichton, Travels In the process of … Continue reading Living Abroad and Our Sense of Self
The demand to be authentic is so commonplace that it has lost its meaning. ‘Today, there is little premium placed on being authentic,’ writes the American philosopher Gordon Marino in his moving meditation The Existentialist’s Survival Guide: How to Live Authentically in an Inauthentic Age (2018). The increasing prevalence of social media constructions of ourselves, … Continue reading Performative Authenticity: Mass Society in Real Time
A Political Protest We are faced with numerous cross pressures. We begin to distrust the police. We no longer rely on our traditional religious communities. More and more, the family unit has been showing signs of wear and tear for at least a generation. Moreover, due to a pandemic, the economic machine that keeps us … Continue reading A Battle over Sacred Ground: the Knowledges of Evidence and Faith