The World’s Doctrine: How Nature Teaches Us To Be Human

Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact. – Emerson Most modern religions have doctrine: holy books, sacred scripture, lists of quoted dogma from sainted heads, annals of kings and battles adjudicated by the eternal powers, recipes for weddings and births and deaths, and so on. Beliefs to be memorized. I’ve written at…

Selling Salvation V: An Economy of Spirit

In my last post, I suggested that philanthropism — giving away goods, services, and knowledge, rather than selling them — was a more ethical choice, and one which could be viable even in the modern capitalist world economy.  Many thriving organizations — charities, non-profits, and open-source organizations — give away their work for free, subsisting…

Selling Salvation IV: Philanthropism

In my last post on this topic (Selling Salvation III:  Property and Prostitution) I talked about the ethics of trade — the free market exchange — and suggested that buying and selling anything is inherently, at the deepest level, an act of disrespect. Why? In brief, when you buy or sell something, you’re saying, “You’re…

Selling Salvation III: Property and Prostitution

Suppose you know the Meaning of Life.  Would it be moral sell that information to the highest bidder? A year ago, in “Selling Salvation:  How Much is it Worth?”, I pointed out that the great religious leaders of the past — Jesus, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Mohammed — had given Salvation away for free, to…

On Physical Violence

NO violence — even in self-defense. A few months ago, I mentioned off-handedly that my feelings about violence were close to that of Gandhi and Tolstoy.  Kate Gladstone asked me about this in the comments, mentioning a book called THE RING by Piers Anthony, in which he describes a society in which some people wear…

Selling Salvation II: Setting a Price for Your Product

A glance at the comments on the previous post shows what a complex topic this is; it easily merits a follow-up.  For this article, I’m going to focus on the conundrum facing the individual who is trying to set a price for mediumship/life-coaching/therapy/etc.  The economics are much more interesting than selling physical commodities, or even…

Selling Salvation: How Much is it Worth?

Mercy is calling you, won’t you give heed? Must the dear Savior still tenderly plead? Risk not your soul, it is precious indeed; Oh, if today God should call it away, What would you give in exchange for your soul? (Bluegrass standard; lyrics by FJ Berry) How much is salvation worth? In dollars? No, really,…

Where Do Ideas Come From?

Have you ever wondered whether someone has been stealing your ideas? Maybe you’ve come up with a brand-new way of doing something, a new way of approaching a problem, an idea for an article or resolving some issue at work, or a personal gift you can give someone — and before you get a chance…

Walking to Paradise

A few nights ago I decided to take a walk just after sunset, as part of my plan to enjoy more exercise during my physical manifestation overhaul. There was still plenty of light, and I planned on only being gone about half an hour, so I didn’t need a flashlight or anything like that. I…

Respect for the Dead and the Living

My father-in-law recently had a remarkable experience, one which strongly shows the mutual affinity between all shamanistic religions, as well as the value of religious diversity and tolerance.