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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.


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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Parabola Fall 2017, The Sacred

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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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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Sheela na gig grotesque, Pixabay license
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.

The Compassionate Warrior, by Elsa Marston

This was the time in his life that Abd el-Kader had intended to devote to peaceful pursuits such as prayer, teaching, and charitable deeds. He might have turned his back on the growing tensions in Damascus: It would not have been unreasonable. Yet he could not escape the world around him, or the role that…

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Steve McCurry, A man during the Indian festival of Holi, Rajasthan, India

Parabola Podcast Episode 26: “Wealth”

This episode of Parabola’s free monthly podcast includes an excerpt from David Ulrich’s Zen Camera on the joys of mindful photography and drawing, as well as Alexandra Haven’s essay on the wonders of ancient Egypt […]

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Learn to Die!, by Alejandro Jodorowsky

Despite acclaim, even adulation, garnered from his theater and film work, including such classic films as The Holy Mountain and El Topo, the author found himself in a state of doubt—of spiritual questioning. …

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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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Already Broken, by Joyce Kornblatt

Although it felt like flight, I knew the fall was wrong: body upended, working to right itself even as it spiralled head-first, it seemed, down. I’d gone over the tiniest cliff, from darkened footpath to an unseen recessed lawn. On my back, I looked up at faces—my husband Christopher, my step-daughter Miriam, a nurse who’d…

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Parabola Podcast Episode 45: Presence

The miracle is that the practice of presence not only enlivens ourselves, but allows us to share that new life with others and also to receive the presence of the Divine. It is the foundation for truth, and it is the genesis of hope. With practice, presence can, in the words of John G. Bennett,…

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Dance Around The Golden Calf by Emil Nolde
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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We Begin Where We Are, by Jan Jarvis

In his book All and Everything, G.I. Gurdjieff presented what he called the “Obligolnian Strivings,” directives intended to instill in the consciousness of those who practice them—said to be engaged in the “Work”—the “divine function of genuine Conscience.”

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Parabola Needs Your Help!

We urgently need your help to carry on. Parabola is a nonprofit, independent, reader-supported publication. In order to publish each issue, we depend directly upon the generosity of readers like you. Without your support, there would be no Parabola. Parabola brings timeless wisdom to troubled times. As a longtime reader of the magazine has written,…

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My Ancestor, by David Guy

In my mid-thirties I found myself in Dante’s dark wood, where my way was entirely lost.  My marriage was falling apart.  My primary mentor, Reynolds Price, seemed to be dying of a weird spinal cancer that was slowly paralyzing him.  My visits to him brought up visits I’d paid to my father in the hospital…

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Zen Moments, by Pamela Travers

Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849), Tea house at Koishikawa. The morning after a snowfall 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 far can be near….

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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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Lascaux Cave Paintings, ca. 15,000 BC

The Unfinished Painting, by Mark Nepo

Lascaux Cave Paintings, ca. 15,000 BC Dreams and art are the smoke signals connecting the one tribe over time. Stories and myths do the same. Often we are so greatly taxed by circumstance that we lose the larger view of time and how we are always related, not only to those…

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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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autobiogrpahy of a yogi

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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To Struggle, by Lee van Laer

The word [struggle] is of unknown origin; and although it is presumed to have come from Scandinavian and Germanic roots (there are no clear parallels or roots in Latin) the connections are uncertain […]

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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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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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Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers