Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on June 5, 2020

Dr. Cornel West is an author, social critic, and democratic intellectual. He is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. He is well-known for his assertion that "Justice is what love looks like in public."

In the week following the death of George Floyd,

Posted by Frederic Brussat on May 22, 2020

In his May 7, 2020, opinion column for The New York Times, the visionary David Brooks states that all young adults should have the chance to serve those around them — especially now during the coronavirus pandemic. He describes those just graduating from high school or college, or taking a break from college: "This is a passionate, idealistic generation that sees the emergency, wants to serve those around them and groans to live up to this moment."

There are many opportunities to serve . . .

Posted by Frederic Brussat on April 21, 2020

I often return in moments of questioning to a quote from Arundhati Roy: "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Roy is an Indian novelist, activist for anti-globalist movements, and a vociferous critic of U.S. capitalism and foreign policy. African-American activist Cornel West has called her "one of the few great intellectual revolutionaries in our time."

Now as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world . . .

Posted by Frederic Brussat on March 2, 2020

Americans are not moving as much as they did in the past. They are staying in the same house for years on end. Henry Grabar reported in an article on Slate that just 11% percent of the U.S. population changed residences in 2017, down from 12% in 2013 and 13% in 2006. Not only are people not moving from state to state, they are not moving from house to house locally.

What are the reasons behind this phenomenon? . . .

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on February 7, 2020

The word of the year for 2019 is "Climate Emergency," according to Oxford Dictionaries. Last year, that honor went to "Toxic."

Climate emergency is defined as "a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it."

Katherine Viner, editor-in-chief of The Guardian . . .

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on October 16, 2019

We were introduced to the wonders and pleasures of slime when we visited the home of Elizabeth and Olivia, a friend's granddaughters. As videos of people shaping slime played on the TV set, they gave us a first-hand (and fingers) experience with it.

Slime is a long-lasting fad that shows no signs of fading away.

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on February 28, 2019

The civil rights movement stands out as one of the most remarkable and meaningful in American history as African-Americans rallied for social, legal, political, and cultural changes putting an end to segregation and prohibiting discrimination. Although committed white believers marched with their black brothers and sisters, many had no involvement in the movement. And today, many of its successes are under attack.

According to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights . . .

Posted by Frederic Brussat on January 14, 2019

Tim Wu's excellent opinion piece last fall in The New York Times, "In Praise of Mediocrity," has stuck with me because he talks about why people don't have a hobby — and I am one of those people. (Of course, I do for a living what a lot of people do in their leisure time: go to movies and read books.) Wu is a law professor and the author of The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads.

Whereas in the past people enriched their lives with hobbies, many today are working long hours . . .

Posted by Frederic Brussat on January 4, 2019

This article in Psychology Today by Susan Krauss Whitbourne caught my attention because in 2018 I found myself using the word "toxic" more than usual. It seems that this has been true for many people around the globe. That is the reason why the highly regarded Oxford English Dictionary (OED) chose "toxic" as its number one word of 2018.

Instead of just referring to a life-threatening chemical or environmental situation, the word has expanded to modify more abstract ideas such as masculinity, relationship, and culture. The Oxford English Dictionary saw a 45 percent increase in the number of times that "toxic" was looked up on its website last year. According to those behind this selection the word reflected "the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year."

Looking back over the negativity of public discourse, the widespread incivility on all levels of society, and the seeming refusal of citizens to treat one another with mutual respect, we are not surprised that toxic was singled out as a descriptor of the year.

So what is the challenge embedded in this choice? In many ways, it reflects our shadow side – those parts of ourselves we find to be despicable, unworthy, and embarrassing on both an individual and a cultural level. It's clearly time for us to do shadow work which involves both bringing those realities into the light (which choosing toxic as the word of the year clearly does) and taking responsibility for our part in perpetuating them. Ask yourself, what is toxic in my life? And how can I correct that?

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on July 23, 2018

Marion Woodman, a psychoanalyst, best-selling author, and popular explorer of the varied stages of female identity and growth, died on July 9 in London, Ontario. She was 89.

In the early 1970s, after a career as a high school English and drama teacher, Woodman changed directions by attending the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich. She ended her training in 1979 and set up her own practice in London, Ontario.

She discovered many uses and applications for Jung's mythical archetypes as she worked with clients squaring off with patriarchal thinking, addiction, depression, eating disorders, and perfectionism.
In a series of books and audio tapes (Leaving My Father's House: A Journey to Conscious Femininity, Sitting by The Well) Woodman excelled in her learned and liberating teachings on wholeness and the depths of feminine identity.

In 1998, she and Robert Bly put together a book ...

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About This Blog

Spiritual literacy is the ability to read the signs written in the texts of our own experiences. It is recommended and practiced in all the world's religions. Whether viewed as a gift from God or a skill to be cultivated, this facility enables us to discern and decipher a world full of meaning. More

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