Bonfire, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A Formal Feeling Comes

“After great pain, a formal feeling comes,” writes Emily Dickinson.  “The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs.” After a great shock or loss or change, a stillness comes. We sit still and receive life without leaning […]

Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch The Prado, Madrid

The Iron Maiden

I think we tend to create inward forms of our own — adopted, that is, from things we encounter outwardly — and then stalk each other with them. This process is writ large on the […]

Sikhs pray at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, 17 Sept 2001/Rajesh Bhambi) Reuters

Invisible Hands

“Service from an army of visible and invisible hands” – The Golden Temple In the “Intelligence” issue of Parabola Magazine, there is a reflection by Neil Patel about a visit to the Golden Temple of […]


Cezanne, "Fruit and Jug on Table" Detail (1890-94).

Verbum Ineffabilis

“Before she could speak, my daughter taught me the language of silent things: fruits, flowers, an oaken chair. I came to understand, through my relationship to this small being, why the word adult forms the […]

CC Coyle, "The Passing of Weary Souls," 1921.

Hearing the Cries of the World, by Mark Nepo

“To view tragedy beyond our feeling of it adds to the tragedy and turns us into dark voyeurs. Yet just as Kwun’s rocking of the lifeless, little boy enabled her to hear and feel the […]

Julian Nyca, "Golden Temple," Wikimedia Commons

Golden Temple, by Neil Patel

The night Nimo, Jay, and I arrived in Amritsar, India, we made a cursory survey of the Sikh Golden Temple, wandering around the outer area and meditating at its river banks. The next morning, we […]

Dr. Joseph K. Dixon, A Native American sends smoke signals in Montana, June 1909, National Geographic Creative.

The Pipe of Reconciliation, by Joseph Epes Brown

The sacred pipe of the Native Americans is a potent symbol of relationship. Through it the human breath sends to all the six directions the purifying smoke that connects the person to the divine and […]




In the autumn of 1971, John G. Bennett inaugurated the International Academy for Continuous Education at Sherborne House, Gloucestershire, England. …

Web Exclusives

Alfred Eisenstaedt, "Children at a Puppet Theatre," Paris, 1963

Gifts for Gifted Children

Each summer I teach creative writing classes at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. It’s a wonderful job for many reasons: my colleagues are uniformly, eccentrically brilliant, I’ve taught at campuses all over the […]

Insight Out: A Review of Pixar’s "Inside Out," by Jess Napp

Insight Out: A Review of Pixar’s “Inside Out,” by Jess Napp

J.M. Barrie once said, “Growing up is such a barbarous business, full of inconvenience… and pimples.” In Pixar’s latest cinematic creation, Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias) is a typical 10-year-old living in a small Midwestern town. She loves her family, friends, hockey and goofing around. …

Spiritual Intelligence, by Gerald Epstein

Spiritual Intelligence, by Gerald Epstein

Intelligence is a quality available to choose, as a function of mind that can live itself through us. In this article, I will focus on spiritual intelligence as understood within the Western Monotheistic traditions. Here […]

Book Reviews

Huston Smith: Wisdomkeeper

Huston Smith: Wisdomkeeper

More than three-quarters of the way through this extraordinary biography (though that label barely captures this book’s breadth and richness) of the scholar of religion Huston Smith …

The Caretakers Of The Cosmos

The Caretakers Of The Cosmos

Ever since human beings discovered that we live in an expanding, evolutionary universe with billions of other galaxies, it has become increasingly fashionable to suggest that human existence is essentially meaningless …

The Third Striving

The Third Striving

The nature of wisdom is necessarily esoteric, because it subsists on a level which both transcends and is internal to, anything we can directly observe. …


Portfolio: Brian English

Portfolio: Brian English

Brian first studied the history of photography and Black & White printing in 1985 with Teacher and Mentor William Abranowicz at Parsons New York City. …

Portfolio: Amanda Means

Portfolio: Amanda Means

Memory of Loss I grew up in a rural environment, close to nature, observing the changes of seasons and weather, the changes of light on the fields, and in the woods. I remember walking through […]

Portfolio: James Whitlow Delano

Portfolio: James Whitlow Delano

James Whitlow Delano has lived in Asia for 17 years. His work has been awarded internationally: the Alfred Eisenstadt Award (from Columbia University and Life Magazine), Leica’s Oskar Barnack, Picture of the Year International, Photo […]



Zen Moments, by Pamela Travers

Zen Moments, by Pamela Travers

We sit on our heels on the tatami, the Japanese woman and myself, telling the stories of our lives. One can do this with a stranger. Too near, and the perspective is lost. Only the […]