On Being Blog

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.

Peter Han Monday, April 14, 2014 - 05:24

In the debate between scientific fact and religious faith, the author wonders if we, as skeptical people living in an age of science, have the capability believing in myth. Or, do we prefer living in a meaningless world.

Shari Motro Friday, April 11, 2014 - 19:49

How does one leave home in peace? Shari Motro reflects on how we all can find our way back, using the abundant lessons of the relationship between Pharaoh and Moses in the Exodus story. On the other side of it all, forgiveness and gratitude resides.

Trent Gilliss Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 18:27

The eighth of the great British philosopher's list of rules for living and learning. This time, on intelligent dissent.

Mariah Helgeson Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 05:52

Watch this TED talk with Andrew Solomon, who breaks the silence we share around depression and asks of us profound empathy for the vitality within the struggle.

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Latest Interviews

July 3, 2014

For the Fourth of July, a refreshing reality check about the long road of American democracy. We remember forgotten but fascinating, useful history as we contemplate how we might help young democracies on their own tumultuous paths now.

June 26, 2014

We tend to frame our cultural conversation about science and religion as a debate — two either/or ways of describing reality. With mathematician Jim Bradley and philosopher Michael Ruse, we trace a quieter evolution of science and religion in interplay — not a matter of competing answers, but of complementary questions with room for humanity, nuance, and humor.

June 19, 2014

Who knew that we learn empathy, trust, irony, and problem solving through play — something the dictionary defines as "pleasurable and apparently purposeless activity." Dr. Stuart Brown suggests that the rough-and-tumble play of children actually prevents violent behavior, and that play can grow human talents and character across a lifetime. Play, as he studies it, is an indispensable part of being human.

June 12, 2014

The surprising psychology behind morality is at the heart of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s research. “When it comes to moral judgments," he says, "we think we are scientists discovering the truth, but actually we are lawyers arguing for positions we arrived at by other means.” He explains “liberal” and “conservative” not narrowly or necessarily as political affiliations, but as personality types — ways of moving through the world. His own self-described “conservative-hating, religion-hating, secular liberal instincts” have been challenged by his own studies.

June 5, 2014

As the daughter of Johnny Cash, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash describes her life as "circumscribed by music." But, it's through her love of language and quantum mechanics that she's finding new sources of creativity and mathematical ways to think about the divine. The mother of five shares her perspectives on being present, Twitter as a "boot camp for songwriters," and how she wrestles with love and grief through her music.