On Being Blog

Mariah Helgeson Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 19:50

In this photoquote of the day, Annie Dillard reminds us to ride the "monsters down deep."

Mariah Helgeson Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 10:23

Join us at 1:00PM (CT) today for a live video stream of our inaugural live event at On Being Studios. It's sure to be a rich discussion about science and religion between two great thinkers.

Parker J. Palmer Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 09:10

Parker Palmer turns to a famous Mary Oliver poem to remind him to be grateful for the "family of things."

Trent Gilliss Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 03:50

Our executive editor's weekly roundup of all things beautiful and intriguing. This week, an esoteric essay on the Antarctic, magical photography from Iran, and an engaging narrative on the process of dying in India.

Mariah Helgeson Monday, May 5, 2014 - 06:15

A mesmerizing collaboration between Memphis-born street dancer Lil Buck and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. A moment of transcendence that stops you in your tracks and begs to be noticed.

Rosalie Murphy Sunday, May 4, 2014 - 12:10

When an aspiring journalist attends a meditation resort in India for a class assignment, she finds herself in an awkward role. Her commentary on experiencing Osho dynamic meditation and finding comfort in her Roman Catholic faith.

Mariah Helgeson Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 11:58

If you didn't know it, Krista's a Trekkie. And so was one of our guests. A meeting of two Trekkie minds makes for an endearing few moments between interviewer and interviewee. Listen in.

Parker J. Palmer Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - 05:52

A vexing question receives a profound answer. And Parker Palmer asks: "What task is calling you — at home, at work, in the larger world — that you need to embrace even though it's impossible?"

Trent Gilliss Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 05:55

Wandering about offers signs about honor and honesty, sunset yoga on the Ganges, ways to live and uncover an undivided life, and behind-the-scenes looks of our work. Our look into this week's gems and delights.

Jason Anthony Sunday, April 27, 2014 - 07:38

In this final installment of a four-part meditation on the interior emptiness of the East Antarctic ice cap, the author and explore reflects on the impossibility of intimacy in the presence of impermanence.

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Latest Interviews

July 10, 2014

One of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history, W.E.B. Du Bois penned the famous line that "the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line." He is a formative voice for many of the people who gave us the Civil Rights Movement. But his passionate, poetic words speak to all of us navigating the ever-unfolding, unfinished business of civil rights. We bring Du Bois' life and ideas into relief for the 21st century — featuring one of the last interviews the great Maya Angelou gave before her death.

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.