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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.


The Very Rev. James Parks Morton (1930-2020)

The Very Rev. James Parks Morton (1930-2020). Photo: Parabola regrets the passing of James Parks Morton. He served for many years on the Board of the Society for the Study of Myth and Tradition, which publishes the magazine, and so was a great friend to us as well as to the…

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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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Margaret Macdonald, The Pool of Silence, 1913, National Gallery of Canada

Parabola Podcast Episode 41: Androgyny

“At the very outset of the journey inwards, there is a crossroads. Signs point in both directions, and I am pulled both ways. I find that I am double. I want something and at the same time I don’t want it; I love and hate the same person. I am light and dark; I aspire…

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On Unknowing, by Pamela Travers

Travers in the role of Titania in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, c. 1924 (Wikipedia) It is not ignorance. Rather, one could say, a particular process of cognition that has little or no use for words. It is part of our heritage at birth, the infant’s first primer. And the…

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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 District News and others. His Scorched Earth: China’s Wounded Environment was awarded 1st place in the…
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Vincent Van Gogh, The Red Vineyard at Arles, 1888, oil, on canvas (Puskin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow)

French Lessons, by Tracy Cochran

Vincent Van Gogh, The Red Vineyard at Arles, 1888, oil, on canvas (Puskin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow)One morning last October, I experienced a moment of grace. It happened as I was walking my black Labrador retriever, Shadow, on one of those warm autumn days when everything looks edged in gold….

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Bob Dylan in concert, Rotterdam de Kuip, June 23, 1978. Photograph by Chris Hakkens

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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The Inner Forms the Outer

Photograph by Lee van Laer Human  beings are peculiar creatures. We can think; and it sets us apart from other creatures, who can think some (consider the honeybee) but not much. Thinking, over the last 10,000 or so years (a rough estimate,) mankind has occupied himself, in the disciplines of science…

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Bosch Decoded: The Esoteric Bosch, Vol. II

Soft, by Tracy Cochran

Odilon Redon, Flower Clouds, 1903 The root meaning of heal is whole. Illness and mishap and even great tragedy can lead us eventually from the pain of isolation to a greater wholeness. There is such a powerful tendency in our spiritual aspiration to climb up out of the mess of our…

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McKay Savage, Close-up of the Buddha head in the banyan tree at Wat Mahathat, Wikimedia
Chantal Heinegg, Christ Pantocrator, Egg tempera and 22k gold leaf on birch panel. Icon of Christ the Savor, based on a 12th century Byzantine prototype.

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 we will explore five forms of intelligence:  1) moral, 2) analogical, 3) intuitive, 4) imaginal, 5) esoteric. Before proceeding, a…

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Into The West, by Tracy Cochran

Photograph by Peter Cunningham The rain was coming down in sheets as I drove down a wooded road in rural Montague, Massachusetts, towards the opening ceremony of the Maezumi Institute, the new training center of the Zen Peacemakers Order. “The End” by the Doors was playing on the car stereo. “The…

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Dance Around The Golden Calf by Emil Nolde

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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Afterthoughts, by James George

Looking back, I see my five years in India as the high-point of my diplomatic life, and my most memorable time in India as the four days in January of 1971 before Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s official visit to India. […]

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Parabola Fall 2017, The Sacred

Part of an Ancient Story: A Conversation with Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (Full Version)

Llewellyn-Vaughan-Lee photographed by Richard Whittaker One August day recently in Northern California, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee sat down with Parabola in to speak about free will and destiny.  The English-born Vaughan-Lee is a Sufi mystic and lineage holder in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Sufi Order and the founder of The Golden Sufi Center. Sitting in…

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Agencies, by Anthony Blake

The idea of a “fall of man” is not confined to Christendom. Krishnamurti in his famous dialogues with physicist David Bohm on “The Ending of Time” asked the question: What went wrong in human life? …

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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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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 my father’s apple orchards in spring — the trees full of blossoms, the hum of bees,…
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The Asklepion at Kos.
Again and Again Anansi Tried To Climb the Tree
James George

To Let the Light In, a Conversation with James George

James George is a retired Canadian diplomat who served with distinction as High Commissioner to India, and Ambassador to Nepal and Iran. Chögyam Trungpa called him “a wise and benevolent man, an ideal statesman,” and the Dalai Lama refers to him as an “old friend.” He has known many important spiritual teachers of the twentieth…

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Golden Temple, by Neil Patel

Julian Nyca, Golden Temple, Amritsar, India, Wikimedia Commons 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 woke up at 3:00 A.M. to get there…

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Sleeping Beauty. Henry Meynell Rheam, pencil and watercolor, 1899

Waking Up Aurora, by Rhiannon Thomas

Sleeping. Louis Sussman-Hellborn (1828–1908) I’ve had quite a tumultuous relationship with fairy tales. The Little Mermaid was always my favorite as a child. Not just the Disney version, where everyone lives happily-ever-after, but the original, where the mermaid feels like she’s walking on a thousand knives and almost stabs the prince to…

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Parabola Podcast, Episode 7: “Ways of Healing”

Story editor Betsy Cornwell explores our current issue, “Ways of Healing,” in PARABOLA Magazine’s podcast. Learn more about this issue or become a subscriber at This episode also includes Kenneth Lawrence’s retelling of the Japanese tale “Kiyotsune.” Please consider supporting this podcast and Parabola Magazine by purchasing a back issue or becoming a subscriber. This…

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Coronavirus: A New Responsibility, by Lee van Laer

Institutions can give the money, but they don’t dispense the compassion. That’s up to us. We need, as individuals and as a society, to take a long hard look this question. We should begin now, because the question is being forced upon us with an urgency that will only become apparent later, after the excitement…

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Gabriele Münter (February 19, 1877 – May 19, 1962), Breakfast of the Birds.