Standing Rock: A Change of Heart

Posted on Dec 2, 2016
Standing Rock: A Change of Heart

  I am told by Native American friends active at Standing Rock that the elders are counseling the Water Protectors to undertake each action prayerfully and to stay off the warpath. I would like to explain why this advice is not only spiritually sound, but politically astute as well. I would like to translate it […]

The Election: Of Hate, Grief, and a New Story

Posted on Nov 10, 2016
The Election: Of Hate, Grief, and a New Story

This essay has been translated into German as well as Spanish and French.   Normal is coming unhinged. For the last eight years it has been possible for most people (at least in the relatively privileged classes) to believe that society is sound, that the system, though creaky, basically works, and that the progressive deterioration of everything […]

This Is How War Begins

Posted on Nov 7, 2016
This Is How War Begins

  This essay has been translated into German.     “Their stupidity is amusing.” “Stopping Trump is essential. Anyone who says otherwise is either foolish or blinded by privilege.” “People should get hated for voting for Johnson because he is a moron.” “Are Trump supporters too dumb to know they’re dumb?” “Hillbots have complete inability […]

Mutiny of the Soul, Revisited

Posted on Mar 14, 2016
Mutiny of the Soul, Revisited

Over the years, I’ve probably received more mail about Mutiny of the Soul than any other essay I’ve written. The idea of the article has been hugely validating for many readers: that depression, ADHD, anxiety, etc. aren’t chemical malfunctions of the brain, nor spiritual malfunctions of the mind; rather, they are forms of legitimate rebellion […]

A Restorative Response to MH17

Posted on Jul 23, 2014
A Restorative Response to MH17

  Aren’t they awful? Aren’t they appalling? How could they? They must be monstrous, evil, inhuman. The only way to deal with such people is to stand up to them, destroy them, send them a message, take a stand, deter them, show them it isn’t acceptable, hold them to account. Any other response is soft, […]

Gateway drug, to what?

Posted on Apr 1, 2014
Gateway drug, to what?

  You’ve probably heard about those addiction studies with caged lab rats, in which the rats compulsively press the heroin dispensing lever again and again, even to the point of choosing it over food and starving themselves to death. These studies seemed to imply some pretty disheartening things about human nature. Our basic biology is […]

Disorderly Conduct

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

  Last weekend I decided I would get the kids outdoors for a little time in nature. The Susquehanna River was frozen over, with the most remarkable ice formations. Even though the water is not deep in this part of the river, ice somehow piled up several feet. The photograph above is of a chunk […]

De Kringloop van Terreur

Posted on Jan 16, 2014
De Kringloop van Terreur

In de nasleep van terreuraanslagen verkondigen politici graag dat “We ons niet laten intimideren”. Daarmee lijken ze te bedoelen dat we ons niet angstig terugtrekken, maar de terroristen uit zullen roeien, ze berechten en ter verantwoording roepen. “Laat daarover geen misverstand bestaan”, zeggen ze dan. Er wordt hard en doortastend optreden beloofd, waarmee verhoogde beveiliging […]

Synchronicity, Myth, and the New World Order

Posted on Dec 15, 2013
Synchronicity, Myth, and the New World Order

This essay has been translated into Chinese. Looking out upon the horrid ruin we seem to have made of the planet, in spite of the kind hearts and good intentions of the vast majority of human beings, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that some nefarious force has hijacked civilization, driving it towards ends […]

Latent Healing

Posted on Jan 7, 2013
Latent Healing

The purpose of this essay is not to instruct the reader on the fallacy of the technological fix. We can assume that by now the environmentally conscious person has seen through the delusion of applying technology to remedy the problems that have been caused by previous technology. It is obvious that a new pesticide won’t […]

The Sojourn of Science

Posted on Oct 7, 2009
The Sojourn of Science

This essay is an excerpt from The Ascent of Humanity. Scientific thought is essentially power thought—the sort of thought that is to say whose purpose, conscious or unconscious, is to give power to its possessor. —Bertrand Russell At its purest, the purpose of science is to better understand the world; or, we could say, it […]

Reuniting the Self: Autoimmunity, Obesity, and the Ecology of Health

Posted on Dec 10, 2008
Reuniting the Self: Autoimmunity, Obesity, and the Ecology of Health

This article is Part 1 of a two-part series. Read Part 2 here. Medical diseases have a cultural dimension: the ill health of the individual reveals the ways in which the surrounding culture is not whole. The twin epidemics of our time, obesity and autoimmunity, are symptoms of a deep infirmity in our civilization. They have […]

Reuniting the Self: Autoimmunity, Obesity, and the Ecology of Health (Part 2)

Posted on Nov 10, 2008
Reuniting the Self: Autoimmunity, Obesity, and the Ecology of Health (Part 2)

This article is Part 2 of a two-part series. Read Part 1 here. What is a human being? A human being is a nexus of relationships: the sum total of the connections among his or her cells, organs, and inner ecosystem; connections to other human beings that define the psyche; connections to the rest of […]

Mutiny of the Soul

Posted on Oct 7, 2008
Mutiny of the Soul

A Croatian translation of this article can be found here,  a Finnish version here, and a German version here. It is also available in Hungarian.   Depression, anxiety, and fatigue are an essential part of a process of metamorphosis that is unfolding on the planet today, and highly significant for the light they shed on the […]

The Age of Water

Posted on Sep 10, 2008
The Age of Water

For tens of thousands of years, fire has defined our civilization. It is fire that has allowed us to smelt metals, to purify chemicals, to power cars, trains and airplanes, to pave over the earth and travel to the moon. Without fire there would be no silicon chips, no pharmaceutical drugs, no plastic toys, no […]

Pain: A Call for Attention

Posted on Mar 10, 2008
Pain: A Call for Attention

This is Part 3 of the series “Miracle of Self-Creation.” Click here for Parts 1 and 2.   “A Bodhisattva is averse to causes; an ordinary person to results.” — Chinese Buddhist saying When I speak of the power of attention to create self and world, people immediately assume I will offer a repackaged version […]

The Miracle of Self-Creation, Part 2

Posted on Feb 10, 2008
The Miracle of Self-Creation, Part 2

This article is Part 2 in a series. Read Part 1 here and Part 3 here.   If we are to end the war against the self, the struggle to be good, and the war against nature that goes along with it, we must instead trust nature. First and foremost that means to trust our […]

The Miracle of Self-Creation

Posted on Jan 10, 2008
The Miracle of Self-Creation

This essay is Part 1 of 3. The other two can be found here and here. What should I do? What must I do? What can I do? We allsense the possibility of a more beautiful state of being, a more joyful stateof being for ourselves and the world. Indeed, we have all heard about […]

The Deschooling Convivium

Posted on Dec 11, 2007
The Deschooling Convivium

The Deschooling Convivium: Leaders’ Handbook by Charles Eisenstein The Deschooling Convivium is a project dedicated to undoing the habits of the classroom, habits like looking to authority for answers and instructions, following a program determined by someone else, needing to be right, addiction to meaningless praise, conditioning to dull, trivial work to obtain external rewards, […]

Who Will Collect the Garbage?

Posted on Jun 27, 2007
Who Will Collect the Garbage?

I had a conversation today about the beautiful world that I believe will be born out of the converging crises of our age. One characteristic of this world will be that each person will have recovered a very basic, simple birthright: to wake up in the morning excited and happy about your work for the […]

You’re Bad!

Posted on May 7, 2007
You’re Bad!

I had a conversation with my brother yesterday about Thom Hartmann’s Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight. John is a farmer with sophisticated literary tastes and a refreshingly unconventional. earthy perspective on the issues of our time. Since he doesn’t use the Internet or read newspapers or magazines, the echo chamber of public discourse cannot distort […]

The New Epidemics

Posted on Dec 9, 2005
The New Epidemics

This article has been translated into Portuguese. Did you know that right now, we are in the midst of a disease epidemic that is already at least 100 times more prevalent than the feared polio epidemic of the 1950s? Most people don’t know it. Their ignorance testifies to the novel character of this disease, the […]

Grades: A Gun to Your Head

Posted on Oct 7, 2005
Grades: A Gun to Your Head

Sometimes for fun I will suggest to my colleagues, “You know, we should abolish grades at Penn State.” Usually, not imagining that this quixotic suggestion is in earnest, they offer a flip reply, and I’ll leave it at that. When I persist, though, the most common response is something like, “If there were no grades, […]

The Great Robbery

Posted on Aug 9, 2005
The Great Robbery

The sullen, resentful, rebellious teenager is a figure so universal in our culture as to have become a cliché. Whether it takes the form of a brooding, barely-controlled rage, or explodes outward as violence, or turns inward as depression, anger is a near-universal characteristic of modern youth. What we hesitate to acknowledge, though, is that […]

The War against the Self and the World

Posted on Jun 10, 2005
The War against the Self and the World

Control is a central theme of The Ascent of Humanity. Whether we speak of the technologist dream of perfecting our control over nature, or the spiritualist dream of perfecting human nature, the basic strategy is to encourage the good and control the bad. Just as the technological answer to a problem is to fix it […]

The Ethics of Eating Meat

Posted on Jun 28, 2002
The Ethics of Eating Meat

Most vegetarians I know are not primarily motivated by nutrition. Although they argue strenuously for the health benefits of a vegetarian diet, many see good health as a reward for the purity and virtue of a vegetarian diet, or as an added bonus. In my experience, a far more potent motivator among vegetarians–ranging from idealistic […]