On the Meaning of Life

“In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.” – Marc Chagall “The meaning of life is that it stops.” – Franz Kafka “Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life…

Positive Loving Kindness: Using Opposites to Banish Negativity

A few weeks ago, I posted the text and instructions for a meditation designed to find purpose and direction through cultivating loving kindness, in the grandest old Buddhist tradition. In my experience, the meditation is a great way to quiet the needy voice of the ego so that Spirit can speak, restoring the connection to…

Lughnasadh 2007: Embodiment of Sunfire

This Lughnasadh has been a quiet one for our family, but one with some very interesting revelations for me personally. Our Family’s Lughnasadh Our usual mentor, Ellen Hopman, was away in Tennessee leading a large gathering, so the six of us tramped into the woods to do our own little thing. It turns out that…

Review of Life on Purpose

Earlier this month I was presented with the opportunity to read a new book called Life on Purpose — Six Passages to an Inspired Life, by Dr. Brad Swift. Swift’s story is an inspiring one: twenty years ago he was a successful veterinarian, with no apparent problems in his professional or personal life, but he…

The Purpose of the Universe

In 1997 I was in graduate school, and I was coming to that dreaded point where you have to decide on a dissertation topic. I enjoyed linguistics, and there were dozens of topics I could have chosen; but whenever I asked myself, “Is THIS what I want to study the rest of my life?”, I…

The Meaning of Hand

First, let me reiterate exactly why it’s probable that the word “hand” used to mean something different. 1. As explained in the previous post, the word for hand in the various languages descended from Proto-Indo-European are a very mixed bag, and do not derive from a single common ancestral word. The word for hand in…

Taboos in Proto-Indo-European

Words are potent and dangerous magic spells. Well, maybe a word like “toothpaste” isn’t particularly magical, but most words carry some power to them; and some words are so powerful that using them in casual conversation can have terrible unintended consequences. For example, there are any number of words — single, individual words with simple,…