This collection of writings may be of interest to
a) those who know me,
b) those who once knew me and wonder how I “went bad”,
c) those who thought they knew me but didn’t know I was interested in anything except physics, math, and astronomy, and
d) possibly others.
The individual writings, which span a 55 year period (as of 2023), are in a variety of formats: essays, articles, chapel talks, letters to the editor, Op Ed pieces, blogs, and several web sites. Each piece stands on its own, written for a specific occasion with no thought of building toward a larger work. Any coherence as a body of work emerges only in retrospect.
I have changed along the way. I grew up in a loving, apolitical, nominally Republican, religiously conservative, Protestant home. I evolved into a politically progressive, religiously liberal Quaker, and an activist for peace and social justice. The changes came about incrementally, not through rebellion. The writings are not about this changing worldview, but they echo it.
Recent times have changed the political landscape. People I initially saw as progressives have pretty much all caved in to the Democrat party. Meanwhile, the Democrat party has become a war mongering, corporatist party with totalitarian tendencies, a lot like the Republicans. Recent changes in my political affiliations have more to do with the changing landscape than changes within me. I see the way forward for human values in politics as formation of new alliances among populists from both dominant parties and independents. I am hopeful that new alternatives may emerge.
On a personal level, one of the most significant recent influences has been the “discovery” of the literature on the topic of near death experiences, or NDE’s. Recognizing the vast testimonial evidence that consciousness can be experienced to exist apart from the body is a “game changer” in my understanding of life, the supremacy of love as what gives meaning to life, and the possibility of living life without the fear of death, and therefore without fear. This is not a religious belief system. It is an extended perception of the larger reality that is not exclusionary with respect to belief systems.