On Being Blog

Trent Gilliss Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 06:14

The beloved German theologian offers these words of encouragement (and admonishment) on the sacred duty of listening.

Parker J. Palmer Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 06:30

When we live behind a mask, how do we connect and establish trust with one another? Parker Palmer on reclaiming our identity and integrity.

Mariah Helgeson Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 15:04

A compilation of tweets from our conversation on the legacy of Gershom Scholem. It overflows with gems of wisdom you'll be glad you read!

Trent Gilliss Monday, April 21, 2014 - 20:51

This week held many surprises, including a lovely take on the story of Mary Magdalene, our first live event in our new studios, a scene from the Boston Public Library, and chopping wood with, yes, a Finnish axe.

Mariah Helgeson Monday, April 21, 2014 - 06:57

A letter from beloved children's author on living out your joy, in whatever form it takes.

Brittany Deininger Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 06:13

What in our lives can be unraveled? A poem and a reflection on the raising of Lazarus and the miracle after the miracle of the Easter story.

Rory Johnson Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 00:00

Human beings are wired for connection. A commentary on how parallels exist between the “new” seeking in our digital worlds and the ancient seeking via fetish of the Bakongo people of the Congo.

Parker J. Palmer Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 04:35

Parker Palmer offers a light-hearted vignette on the unexpected visitor and welcoming her in — all by way of a metaphor by Rumi.

Trent Gilliss Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 10:25

The ninth of the great British philosopher's list of rules for living and learning. This time, on being truthful.

Trent Gilliss Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 05:16

This week, excellent insights from Howard Thurman and the growing edge of the beginner's mind, a meditation on suffering, advice from Bertrand Russell, and a beautiful photoquote from Yiddish poet Celia Dropkin.

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Latest Interviews

April 17, 2014

"The soul is contained in the voice."

StoryCorps founder David Isay and Krista Tippett have an intimate conversation about their shared love of listening — and the importance of creating spaces to tell our stories to each other. For him, the spaces where two people ask the questions they’ve always wanted to ask of each other are sacred. Listening, he’s learned, is an act of love. Eliciting and capturing our stories is a way of insisting that every life matters.

April 10, 2014

With a master of midrash as our guide, we walk through the Exodus story at the heart of Passover. It's not the simple narrative you've watched at the movies or learned in Sunday school. Neither Moses or Pharaoh, nor the oppressed Israelites or even God, are as they seem. As Avivah Zornberg reveals, Exodus is a cargo of hidden stories — telling the messy, strange, redemptive truth of us as we are, and life as it is.

April 3, 2014

An astrophysicist who studies the shape of the universe, Janna Levin has also explored her science by writing a novel about two pivotal 20th-century mathematicians, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing. Both men pushed at boundaries where mathematics presses on grand questions of meaning and purpose. Such questions, she says, help create the technologies that are now changing our sense of what it means to be human.

March 27, 2014

"Your staying alive means so much more than you really know or that anyone is aware of at this moment."

Philosopher, historian, and poet Jennifer Michael Hecht has traced how Western civilization has at times demonized those who commit suicide, at times celebrated it as a moral freedom. She proposes a reframed cultural conversation, based not on morality or rights but on our essential need for each other.

March 20, 2014

"There's no question about the reality of evil, of injustice, of suffering, but at the center of this existence is a heart beating with love."

South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on how his understanding of God and humanity has unfolded through the history he's lived and shaped.