Riverside Shrine

Since moving to our new riverside neighborhood, I’ve been in the habit of leaving small memorial tokens – leaves, pieces of bark, twigs, etc. – on this tree stump along the river pathway. Very occasionally, there’s been evidence that others are likewise leaving items on the stump, though their purpose is unknown to me. This … Read moreRiverside Shrine

The “Radical Ritual” Series

In 2017, Burning Man’s theme was “Radical Ritual,” and the Burning Man Philosophical Center project produced a series of essays and interviews exploring the place of ritual in modern society. Here’s a section from Larry Harvey’s introductory essay: Is Burning Man a Religion? “The practical needs and experiences of religion seem to me sufficiently met … Read moreThe “Radical Ritual” Series

“One life: imagining a radical acceptance of death”

My new article for OnlySky explores the philosophy of radical death acceptance via the nontheistic religion of Cavesword imagined in Gore Vidal’s 1954 novel Messiah, tracing the concept back to the garden-school of Epicurus and then to the bohemian counter-culture surrounding the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: The humanist point of view is centered on the … Read more“One life: imagining a radical acceptance of death”

“Where is the Duende?”

Where is the duende? Through the empty archway a wind of the spirit enters, blowing insistently over the heads of the dead, in search of new landscapes and unknown accents: a wind with the odour of a child’s saliva, crushed grass, and medusa’s veil, announcing the endless baptism of freshly created things. – Federico Garcia … Read more“Where is the Duende?”

“Start Your Own Religion” (Timothy Leary, 1967)

An excerpt from this classic of the ’60s counterculture: How to Start Your Own Religion First, decide with whom you will make the voyage of discovery. If you have a family, certainly you will include them. If you have close friends, you will certainly want to include them. The question, with whom do I league … Read more“Start Your Own Religion” (Timothy Leary, 1967)

Death of the Endless (“The Sandman”, 2022)

Gaiman has written of his Death character that: The mythology of “Sandman” (…) includes in it seven entities who are not gods, who are not worshiped, but are essentially more powerful than gods, because gods die when they are forgotten, but the Endless are always there, and one of those seven is Death. (…) I … Read moreDeath of the Endless (“The Sandman”, 2022)