Content Tagged ‘Eckhart Tolle’

Memoir pro & con

June 5, 2015 | 16 Comments

Learning the blogging genre

July 17, 2013 | 13 Comments

At a writing conference recently, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in years, the author of many books. I was surprised at lunch when he began to lecture everyone at our table about the wrongness of the Iraq war. Talk about preaching to the choir—there probably wasn’t one soul at the confab who thought the war had been justified or who wasn’t sickened, at some level, by its tragic waste of blood and treasure.

I realized that my friend’s gauche presumption, inadvertently condescending whatever your view of the war, was inseparable from him as a writer. I saw that he’s an autodidact, which means a self-taught person. Someone who lectures himself about the truth he has come to. Which pretty much defines writers, however many teachers have helped them along the way. They’re seekers. But there’s in this autodidact condition an even darker root, didactic, which describes someone who lectures others.

In other words, I saw my own tendencies writ large. A strategy of much nonfiction writing, it seems to me, involves taking the curse off didacticism by witnessing about what’s true for you in the form of story. What I’ve just tried to do by telling a little story about my friend instead of saying didactically, Don’t lecture others.

[Read More]

A narrative of our human nature

April 24, 2013 | 6 Comments

Humans’ “emotional fossils,” the rise of ego & the hand of God: pondering life after Charles Darwin, Carl Jung & Eckhart Tolle I asked my friend, mentor, fellow seeker, and writing posse member John Wylie to discuss the fascinating book he’s writing, qua narrative nonfiction. This also is a test of sorts to see if its exciting ideas are comprehensible to lay readers who may be totally unaware of the battles raging in the field of evolutionary psychology over what amounts …

[Read More]

Spiritual affinities: Tolle, Rilke, Woolf

April 5, 2013 | 5 Comments

Spiritual Affinities. I’m pleased to have a guest post today at Daisy Hickman’s Sunny Room Studio on the spiritual insights and strength I’ve drawn from a number of thinkers, especially Eckhart Tolle, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Virginia Woolf. They’ve given me “fragments to shore against my ruins,” as T.S. Eliot put it in his poem “The Waste Land.”

[Read More]

Reading Rilke again at Eastertide

March 29, 2013 | 8 Comments

Spirituality, authenticity & Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet. A work of art is good if it has grown out of necessity. In this manner of its origin lies its true estimate: there is no other. — Letters to a Young Poet As a broody kid, growing up in a Florida beach town and grieving my family’s exodus from our farm in Georgia, I found a library book by a guy about his hobby farm. I loved it, probably sensing …

[Read More]

Christopher Hitchens, God & me, pt. 3

January 4, 2012 | 16 Comments

O sages standing in God’s holy fire As in the gold mosaic of a wall, Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre, And be the singing-masters of my soul. Consume my heart away; sick with desire And fastened to a dying animal It knows not what it is; and gather me Into the artifice of eternity. —William Butler Yeats, “Sailing to Byzantium” III. Reading the Bible recently, the thick New English Oxford study edition I’ve toted around for …

[Read More]

Christopher Hitchens, God & me, pt. 2

December 29, 2011 | 13 Comments

An aged man is but a paltry thing, A tattered coat upon a stick, unless Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing For every tatter in its mortal dress, Nor is there singing school but studying Monuments of its own magnificence —William Butler Yeats, “Sailing to Byzantium” II. The late Christopher Hitchens was like that dread baptismal tank. I cowered before him. Sure, I admired his courage and his skillful prolificacy—I saw him as a great if often …

[Read More]