The word narrative is bandied about a lot today, so that it’s almost become a cliché. But cliches are born from insight. In this case, it is about the power of the stories that we tell about ourselves, each other, and the world to cohere us in a common purpose.
Political & Social
Thoughts on Avengers: Endgame Two-thirds of the way through the interminable Avengers: Endgame, I leaned over to Stella and whispered, “They say a shared ordeal makes a marriage stronger.” Gaping plot holes, characters that were more like self-caricatures, scenes that seemed as if they were grafted in from another movie, and concatenations of vapid one-liners […]
Over the past decade I’ve watched with alarm the widening polarization of the body politic across Western societies (and to some extent globally). As commonly recognized, the public is split into irreconcilable political factions who disagree not only on the interpretation of events, but on what events even took place. They have seemingly separated into two disjoint realities, each with its own facts, authorities, histories, and narratives.
This essay originally appeared in Tikkun. In George Orwell’s 1984, there is a moment when the Party announces an “increase” in the chocolate ration – from thirty grams to twenty. No one except for the protagonist, Winston, seems to notice that the ration has gone down not up. ‘Comrades!’ cried an eager youthful voice. ‘Attention, […]
Fifteen years ago when I began writing books, I had high hopes that someday I would be “discovered” and that “my message” would thereby reach millions of people and change the world for the better. But I began to ask myself, “Why are you doing this work? Is it because you hope to become a celebrated intellectual? Or do you really care about serving the healing of the world?” The experience of failure revealed my secret hopes and motivations.
Imagine a worldwide archipelago of land-based institutions of learning, sanctuaries of alternative technologies of earth, mind, matter, and body that are marginal or absent within conventional universities.