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    arizona wildfire

    As the World Burns

    The headline says it all: "Buddhists in dark as fire draws near." Thirty-nine Buddhists living at the Diamond Mound Retreat Center, near Bowie, Arizona, are...

    Myth and Insight

    The animal spotted me jogging up the path in the park. It stopped and turned about 75 meters ahead, and then again at 50...

    The Spiritual Is Political

    We live at a time of tremendous transition, when the old order has collapsed, but the illusion that the good old days will return...

    Emptying the Mind, Expanding the Heart

    At the only sandy ‘beach’ in Lower Park, a big group of parents and children frolic in the water. It’s a lazy summer afternoon...

    An Exploration of Faith

    The word ‘faith’ has two distinct, and very different meanings. On one hand, it refers to a belief system, as in, ‘I have faith...

    A Vision For the Village

    As I passed, they sounded like they were speaking Russian. But the three middle-aged men in the café gave me a funny look (funny,...

    A Briefer History of Time, and God

    One of the hottest topics in pure science is the question of what came before the Big Bang. Philosophically, the question is nonsensical, because...

    Matters of Life and Death

    A slender hawk--a kite--its fanned tail feathers translucent in the slanting rays of the late day sun, hovers over a sycamore downstream before alighting...

    Suicide Isn’t Painless

    Having essentially lost my 20’s to depression, and felt the pull of suicide many times during those dark years, I understand how someone can...

    A Different Order of Consciousness

    There is a completely different order of consciousness than we usually know. Most of us have experienced it sometime in our lives, at least...

    What the Self Fears Most

    A prominent national writer, who said in 2010, “America is almost a rogue state,” also derided the only alternative. “Trying to love all of...
    May hailstorm

    A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

    I grew up on the Great Lakes in the American Mid-west, and recall some tremendous thunderstorms. But the unprecedented late-May deluge here in northern...

    Creation Is Not the Big Bang

    Though the sky is clear overhead and sunshine bathes the land, clouds have banked up against the foothills, with the look of an impending...

    Murder Beyond Man

    Overlooking a long section of the creek (which has become a small raging river after an unprecedented mid-May storm in California), I heard a...

    Women In Black

      I lived in a gentrified section of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco for a while in the 1980's, about ten years after the hippie movement...

    A Nation of Narcissists

    ‘Narcissistic’ is a word being heard a lot in America these days. Someone even wrote to me in the past week saying, without a...

    Dialogue With a Reader

    A reader wrote with a question that goes right to the heart of remaining inwardly alive in a dead culture: “In the negation of...

    Currents Past and Present

    Martin LeFevre It’s the warmest day of the year so far. But the creek that runs through town, with its adjacent parkland on either side,...

    Of Pets and People

    A strong wind advisory for late morning and all afternoon is all the prompting needed to get out on the bike for a ride...

    What Is Hell?

    Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com There’s a scene in a classic Paul Newman movie, “Hombre,” in which two men look down from a shack where they’re trapped...

    The Transmutation of Man

    Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com A boyhood enthusiasm for America’s early space program, plus a rebellious religious nature that led to so-called mystical experiences, matured into a...

    Creed Is Chaos

    Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com The poppies are in full flower on a day that feels like the very pinnacle of spring. It’s sunny and mild in...

    A Meditation On Jesus

    Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com Raised as a Catholic when the Mass was in Latin, I was compelled to go to church six days a week (five...

    Black Narcissus

    Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com The best film I’ve ever seen with religious themes is “Black Narcissus.” Filmed in 1947, it deftly delves into the clash between...

    The Religious Impulse

    Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com To a large degree, religion is a straw man for atheists. Even as people “cling to guns and religion” (to borrow a...

    A New Human Being

    Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com   When the Cro Magnons encountered the Neanderthals in Europe over 40,000 years ago, it was a clash between primitive human consciousness, which...

    Directly Experiencing the Sacred

    Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com The wind blew hard and rain threatened when I reached the stream on the outskirts of town. Dark, lowering clouds swirled around...

    The Movement of Life and Thought

    Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com Flocks of sparrows land in groups of 15 or 20 in the shallows across the stream. One group flies down from the...

    Beyond Belief

    Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com   We met at one of the 50,000 Starbucks (5 in this small city alone). She was a Christian from Africa, but she...

    Things Are Heating Up

    Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com As the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown in Japan, as well as the upheavals in the Arab world attest, cosmic intelligence is...
    muir woods

    The UN Comes Up to the Mark

    Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com. On March 11, I visited the little known birthplace of the United Nations--Muir Woods on the Marin Peninsula near San Francisco. This...

    Across Oceans and Centuries

    Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com.   On a gray and chilly afternoon without a car, I have to give myself a nudge to get out on the bike...

    The Need For Enemies

    Ending the Rule of Evil

      The situation in North Africa continues to worsen, with the ‘international community’ literally operating on the margins, rather than working for a speedy resolution...

    Redefining ‘The Singularity’

    “The Singularity,” Time Magazine states with turgid certainty, “will be the most important thing to happen to human beings since the invention of language.”...

    Supra-Cultural Philosophy

    An international conference on Inter-Cultural Philosophy was held recently in Costa Rica. It drew philosophers from around the world, including China. I don’t know...

    Global Revolution?

    The core philosophy of the United Nations, the highest expression of vaunted “international community,” is dead-ending before our eyes over the crisis in Libya....
    The Death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David, 1787

    Questioning Together

    By Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com. Perhaps the most difficult thing for people to do, no matter what their cultural background, is to question together. It’s strange that...

    Censorship by the Right and Left

    By Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com. I am perhaps one of the few columnists on the Net that bears the dubious distinction of having been censored by...
    theory of mind, meditation

    Theory of Mind

    By Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com. As the term is normally used, ‘theory of mind’ refers to “the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, desires, intents, knowledge, etc.—to...
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