My Swan Song It’s time to write my swan song—this is my last post, but this blog with its Blog Index on the left will remain available.   I look back with nostalgia on heady blog discussions in years past with readers from every corner of the country. My posts were primarily essays on religions and spirituality involving research and careful thought rather than quick impressions of the moment. I like to provoke thinking, to challenge conventional beliefs and question accustomed patterns of thought.   Comments from readers show the same love of ideas. Intriguing statements came from atheists. Besides mocking foolish literal beliefs, they seem to share my yen for thinking about large, metaphysical questions—Where does everything come from? What is life about? Who and what are we? Why do we exist?   Various brands of religion and spiritual systems have grappled with these questions, and my posts reflect on them. In them I repudiate Christian teaching that violate

Scientists Teilhard and Bohm   Scientists experiment on physical reality or what can be seen all around us, what our external senses can feel or touch. From the first moment I encountered quantum mechanics in the 1990s, I thrilled to it as the key to joining spiritual reality with physical reality, mind with matter, internal with external.  Subsequently, I found many authors who corroborated my spiritual interpretation of quantum mechanics, but no physicist . . . until I discovered David Bohm.  Physicist David Bohm, whose scientific credentials are unimpeachable, wrote a textbook called,  Quantum Theory, which was widely used to inform physics students. Einstein praised its clarity, and it remains a classic on quantum theory. Most significant for me, Bohm found scientific evidence of a hidden order in what appears to be simply chaos or random chance. He called it the “implicate order.” Most of science deals with "explicate order," and some scientists even deny the exist

Hope is not naïve I am going to quote myself, that is, my op-ed in the  St.Cloud Times  on the last Sunday of September. It again proclaims hope, continuing the theme in my recent blog posts: Never before have so many white Americans noted the unfairness to Hispanic immigrants who work outside, while smoke and record temperatures keep more fortunate people inside. Never before such awareness of racial injustice, of income inequality, of all suffering, fellow human beings. Bruce Lipton says, “The chaos we’re in is a necessary stage in human evolution.” I believe this. Hope is necessary and it is realistic, not naïve. Now that President Trump is in the Walter Reed Medical Center being treated for the coronavirus, have we reached the apex of our country's chaotic year? We can't know what will happen, but it tells me more insistently that we can trust unseen forces to sort order out of the chaos that, to many, seems to be engulfing us. It will not bury us. St

Virginia Woolf & Tulsa Massacre Response to Virginia Woolf & Tulsa Massacre, August 13, 2020 Readers of "Virginia Woolf & Tulsa Massacre" ( below ) joined me in admitting ignorance about the massacre—white Americans killing 300 African Americans. Samples: Carol: After all my years of studying history (elementary, secondary, undergrad and grad levels) I have to admit that I was woefully ignorant of the treatment of blacks . . . If we who have had what we thought was a “solid” education have such blank spaces in our knowledge, I am not surprised that many Americans are ignorant of the terrible things done to people of color. Lois Thielen: The fact is, so much history is buried or not accurate or biased.  Think back to our school history books.  They were basically propaganda. I try to do better in my own writing of history. Poet Larry Schug: Thanks, Jeanette.  It amazes me to learn of the history we were not taught. . . . We writers have a special obliga

St. John Lewis

JULY 22, 2020 “Donald Trump is not my president,” said John Lewis. I rejoiced because that is how I felt. I felt validated hearing it from a person of unquestioned integrity—John Lewis. The words “president” and “Trump” do not fit together as one phrase; the office is respectable; the current holder is not. I hate saying or writing “President Trump.” It seems wrong. Some years ago I turned on the radio to an interview that struck me as unusually fine and wondered who the inspiring speaker was. Ever after, I have recognized John Lewis’s voice after hearing only a few words. Lewis preached love and forgiveness. Nothing remarkable about that, but John Lewis modeled them in remarkable ways.  Elwin Wilson  physically attacked Lewis when Lewis was marching for civil rights. Wilson was gleeful in his frequent attacks on Negroes. Lewis forgave him.  Trent Lott   declared that civil rights turmoil could have been avoided if racist Senator Strom Thurmond had become president. Lewis forgave


Racism in  Catholic history, June 24 Guest columnist John Chuchman thought a bit about Catholic Church history. In the 15th century,  the Catholic Church became the first global institution  to declare that Black lives did not matter.  In a series of papal bulls  beginning with Pope Nicholas V's Dum Diversas (1452)  and including Pope Alexander VI's Inter Caetera (1493),  the church not only authorized the perpetual enslavement of Africans  and the seizure of non-Christian lands,  but morally sanctioned the development of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.  This trade forcibly transported  at least 12.5 million enslaved African men, women and children  to the Americas and Europe  to enrich European and Catholic coffers.  It also caused the deaths of tens of millions of Africans and Native Americans over nearly four centuries. In the land area that became the United States,  the Catholic Church introduced African slavery in the 16th cent

Grandparents saving the world

Grandparents can be a powerful force for building a stable society. My appreciation for this rose when I watched my sister-in-law Marilyn, a master grandma, at work. She was hosting me for a few days and apologized that she had to babysit her granddaughter. I looked forward to it because I’d already pegged her as a master grandma. I had heard her telling stories about her grandchildren and enjoying their personalities. She watches them interacting together and vying to get their way. Traits of each are astutely displayed in her accounts—the introverted scholar wearing glasses, the more physical ones, the feisty ones, the ones needing certain types of attention. Grandma’s love for them is unquestioned, impartial, and immense, but she’s no pushover. Her knowledge of child psychology comes out in stories of adults giving in to child pleading, with the sure result of future trouble. Aella, nearly two, the youngest and only girl, is not intimidated but establishes her place among her