Free Will & The Paracelsian Metaphor of the Field, Seeds & Fruit

People have been grappling with the question of free will for a long time. I recently read a famous 16th Century writer's thoughts on this subject that were illuminating and I explore them in this post. The writer, Paracelsus, was an influential figure in the history of medicine, philosophy and theology in Europe as it emerged into the light of the Renaissance. He has often been compared with his contemporary Martin Luther because of his open defiance of the authorities (in his case primarily in medicine) of his day. And his influence was profound for centuries after his death, resonating even today through the works of people like Carl Jung and Jorge Louis Borges and in the Japanese manga c

#2 of 10 Good Reasons to Meditate (according to science): Sensitivity

#2 More sensitive to beauty and love; more compassionate Meditation habituates the mind to recognize beauty and love and positivity. Scientists have known for some time now that neurons that fire together, wire together. Or as they like to say, the brain is capable of “use-dependent cortical reorganization.” In other words, if you live or work in a fearful, dangerous environment, or if you watch lots of violent video games or movies, your brain will build more connections related to danger and threats and violence. The neurons that activate in a fearful or dangerous situation are present in all of our brains. But when they are stimulated frequently, it is like we are building a path to activ

Life is Great, But Don't Take My Word For It

Painting by Caravaggio depicting the moment when the resurrected Jesus reveals himself. The great masters have consistently told us that there is an end to suffering and that the world is designed in such a way that it continually orients itself to maximize each one of our lives to its individual best. Maybe because most of us don't recognize this truth in our own lives, we ignore this insight. Among many it is almost considered a joke or the falsity of this claim as proof that there is no god. We don't believe it to be true because this is not our experience. I think we could say that the consensus opinion is that life isn't great at all. Quite the contrary. Most would probably say that lif

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