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The Gurdjieff Foundation of Illinois has generously assembled a free searchable index for Parabola magazine readers. The index will allow rapid and in-depth access to any topic/author/title covered by over 40 years of Parabola‘s publications.


Becoming Part of It, by Joseph Epes Brown

Roland W. Reed, Alone With the Past, The Life and Photographic Art of Roland W. Reed, Afton, MN: Afton Press. In terms of interconnections, a dominant theme in all Native American cultures is that of relationship, or a series of relationships that are always reaching further and further out; relationships within…

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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 …

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The Ladder of Heavenly Unity, by Sister Joanna

Continuing Orthodox monasticism’s oldest unbroken tradition, Sinai monks still liturgize, shoeless, over the roots of the Burning Bush. On the holy ground where Moses was commanded to remove his sandals—together with all earthly logic—monks turn diversity’s polarizing forces to unity: some of the ways St. Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai (Egypt) brings Byzantium’s patristic spirit…

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Photography Credit: Emil Ivanov, The Rosette Nebula

Parabola Podcast, Episode 30: Together

Story editor Betsy Cornwell shares editorial director Tracy Cochran’s “Fusterlandia” and Elizabeth Napp’s “An Education in Peace,” as well as some wise words on leadership from Octavia Butler, in this episode of Parabola Magazine’s free monthly podcast.

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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 …

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Virgin and Child in Majesty, 1150–1200, Made in Auvergne, Walnut with paint, gesso, and linen

The Prayer of Saint Francis

Virgin and Child in Majesty, 1150–1200, Made in Auvergne, Walnut with paint, gesso, and linen Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is discord, union; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where…

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The Iron Maiden

Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, The Prado, Madrid 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 social and political landscape;…

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Free, by Paul Reps

Paul Reps (1895–1990) was an American artist, poet, and author best known for his pioneering book that helped introduce Zen to the West, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. Parabola is honored to have the opportunity to […]

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To Go Beyond Thought, an Interview with Karen Armstrong

One bright spring day, Parabola met with Karen Armstrong  in her suite at the Parker Meridian hotel in Manhattan.  The petite, friendly 62-year-old British ex-nun, arguably the most influential commentator on religion in the English-speaking world, was on tour to promote her latest bestselling book.  Lauded by critics as “magisterial” and “magnificent,” The Great Transformation…

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Truth and Perception, by Mickey Lemle

All movies are an illusion. We think we are seeing motion but in fact we are seeing twenty-four still pictures every second. Half the time the screen is actually black. Yet movies seem so real, and some have the potential to reveal great truth. […]

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A Holy man in meditation (from Wikipedia)

Unity of Spirit

A conversation with intuitive and healer Laura Day Ivisited Laura Day in her apartment in Tribeca in lower Manhattan to talk about intuition. Since her early twenties, Day has been internationally famous for her uncanny ability to know things immediately, without the aid of research or reasoning, accurately seeing the outcome of even arcane events….

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Parabola Podcast, Episode 9: “Spiritual Practice”

“Often I have come across stern pronouncements directed at people like me: One cannot dabble, say the priests and scholars. Spirituality is not a tasting menu. “New Agers” who borrow a bit of this religion and a bit of that, while discarding the parts they don’t like, will never have anything but a shallow and…

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Parabola Podcast Episode 50: FIRE

Story editor Betsy Cornwell shares excerpts from the Fall 2021 issue of Parabola Magazine, Fire, including the lead essay by Sufi master Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, “Fire Season.” Read the full issue by subscribing to Parabola. Parabola Magazine · Parabola Podcast Episode 50: Fire

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Parabola Podcast Episode 44: The Search for Meaning

How do you get people to trust life? You have to trick them. They won’t jump into the water, so you have to throw them in.Alan Watts, “How to Reach Where You Already Are” Story editor Betsy Cornwell shares excerpts from Parabola Magazine’s “The Search for Meaning” issue, which is available as a free PDF…

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Hands, by Robinson Jeffers

Inside a cave in a narrow canyon near Tassajara
The vault of rock is painted with hands,
A multitude of hands in the twilight, a cloud of men’s
palms, no more,
No other picture. […]

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Verbum Ineffabilis, by Anita Doyle

Cezanne, Fruit and Jug on Table, Detail (1890-94). “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 root of adulteration and adultery. Watching her, it became…

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Andrei-Rublev, The-Old-Testament Trinity, 1422-–-1427, Moscow, Tretyakov Gallery
Seeking Verity

Seeking Verity, by Tracy Cochran

Verity climbed down from the scaffold and stood with me, looking up at his work. I murmured something about how otherworldly the statue looked. “I look for something other when I carve them,” he said. “They’re not connected to this world. They’re in another place, in their heavenly robes.” I was wearing the clothes of…

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Lee van Laer

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 country, from Los Angeles to the U.S. Virgin Islands, and since the program is a sleepaway camp, the mood is…

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Jacob Needleman
Reflection Nebula from NASA

The Night I Died, by Tracy Cochran

New York City At Night, ca. 1935 from Wikimedia Head down, hugging a grocery bag, I hurried past gutted buildings and empty lots, back to my ex-boyfriend’s apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. It seemed like a good idea at some point, having dinner together as friends. But the little Spanish market on…

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The Challenge of Artificial Intelligence, by Jeff Zaleski

Mike Licht, Cydippe with Acontius’s Apple iPhone, after Paulus Bor The toy company Mattel has announced the release in Fall 2015 of “Hello Barbie,” the first Barbie doll to feature artificial intelligence. Through the toy’s wireless transmission of a child’s voice (“Hello, Barbie!”) to offsite computers, which will wire back a…

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Photograph © Bruno Zanzottera
Sheela na gig grotesque, Pixabay license

Parabola Podcast Episode 47: The Golden Rule

Parabola Magazine · Parabola Podcast Episode 47 The Golden Rule Story Editor Betsy Cornwell shares excerpts from the Winter 2021-2022 issue of Parabola, “The Golden Rule,” including this year’s grand prize winner of the Poetry of the Sacred contest from the Center for Interfaith Relations.

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Finding the Path, by Tracy Cochran

Among the tasks or “yogi jobs” a participant can volunteer for during silent retreats at the Insight Meditation Society, a Buddhist meditation center in rural Massachusetts, the most resonant in every sense is that of bell ringer.

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Edgar Degas, The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, model executed ca. 1880, cast 1922, The Met FI