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Goodness Cover 300HWinter 2014: Goodness

“What I’m coming to lately is an end of life conviction that there is more to consciousness than what is produced in my little head, or yours,” says James George in a heart-opening interview in this Winter 2014 issue of Parabola. The word good is descended from the Indo-European ghedh, which means to unite or join. All of the offerings in this Goodness issue resonate with this ancient meaning. There is an echo of the call to come together, within ourselves and as a people, in the words of Brother Priyananda, a disciple of Yogananda; in an essay about ancient and contemporary ways to help heal our wounded warriors; in an exploration of the deeper meaning of fairy tales. In the words of Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, writing of the crucial need to save real seeds: “In every seed lie the components of all life the world has known from all time to now.” Parabola Cover: The Good Samaritan (detail), 1896, Maximilien Luce (1858–1941)

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3rdstrivingKeith A. Buzzell, Fifth Press
(www.fifthpress.org), 2014. pp. 160 $25 paper

Reviewed by Joseph Azize

What is a tradition? Specifically, what is a wisdom tradition? If it is not a present, effective reality, it is, surely, merely a five-syllable phrase, a curiosity, an entry in a catalogue. To speak philosophically, a wisdom tradition is an organic presence which guides and inspires those who enter its stream. Like a river, it carries them on to the common sea, yet the sailors can follow different branches and proceed in any number of vessels, at diverse speeds. The flood bears each boat on the swell, yet the crew must navigate and steer. A wisdom tradition is an esoteric current of ideas and methods bound within the banks of its historical form although both its source and its destination are beyond history (thus Wisdom speaks of her pre-existence in Proverbs 8:22-31). (Read More...) 

Articles from the Winter Issue: Goodness

From Bad to Good PDF  | Print |

You can get here from there
by Patty de Llosa

Let’s call him Joe. When I stopped to chat with him on the street one hot summer day, he was sweeping up New York City’s detritus, dressed in the familiar blue pants and shirt of Ready, Willing & Able. Joe told me he got out of prison four months ago. “I’ve learned my lesson,” he said dolefully, “but once I got out, the situation was pretty dismal.” That’s when he turned to the Doe Fund, as tens of thousands of homeless men and ex-cons have done since 1990. 

To Let the Light In PDF  | Print |

A Conversation with James George

Jim-George-1James George is a retired Canadian diplomat who served with distinction as High Commissioner to India, and Ambassador to Nepal and Iran. Chögyam Trungpa called him “a wise and benevolent man, an ideal statesman,” and the Dalai Lama refers to him as an “old friend.” He has known many important spiritual teachers of the twentieth century and has a long-standing commitment to environmental issues. A founder of the Threshold Foundation and president of the Sadat Peace Foundation, he led the international mission to Kuwait and the Persian Gulf to assess post-war environmental damage. He is the author of Asking for the Earth and The Little Green Book On Awakening. He lives with his wife, Barbara Wright, in Toronto. I had the good fortune to spend a long weekend retreat in May with Jim and Barbara in Boulder, Colorado. In spite of the intensity of the weekend, Jim graciously agreed to a conversation and we met in his home at the foot of the mountains. At age ninety-six, Jim is lucid and sharp, like a translucent diamond radiating the wisdom and experience of a well-lived life. —David Ulrich

Without Pause PDF  | Print |

Mark Nepo

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 2.58.04 PMThey say the legendary hitter Ted Williams could see the seams of the ball as it came out of the pitcher’s hand. All of his practice, swinging the bat for hundreds of hours, enabled him to discern in half a second that the pitch coming was a curve and not a fastball. This shows us the true relationship between practice and living. All practice is preparation for the integrated act of unrehearsed living. All practice yearns for a chance to apply itself in real time. Here are two indispensable teachings about the integrated practice of living. They come from the life and work of the gifted Irish writer Oscar Wilde and the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven.

Healing the Wounds of War PDF  | Print |

Edward Tick

Goodness-Tick01-6bIn contrast to our modern situation, traditional and indigenous peoples had extensive spiritually and communally based warrior medicine, practices and lineages. They lived immersed in and part of nature and its processes, conceived of themselves not as independent agents but as members of interdependent communities, and stood in wonder before a living cosmos. They considered soul and spirit to be life forces that were essential to preserve and protect those most endangered by warfare and violence. Their guidance of warriors through the life cycle, interpretations and treatments of trauma, and orchestration of the return journey were spiritual, communal, nature-based and practical. And their guidance was extensive, specific and designed to bring spirit back into their warriors’ souls.

Maidens & Monsters PDF  | Print |

The Deeper Meaning of Fairy Tales
Betsy Cornwell

Goodness-Cornwall-Article02-5Don’t stray from the path.
Don’t disobey. Don’t eat the apple,
the gingerbread house,
your stepdaughter’s heart.

Cinderella slaves for years for her heartless stepfamily; Beauty offers her life to the Beast at her father’s request. A new queen, locked away in her king’s dungeon, tries desperately to spin straw into gold to earn his affection. Or: the youngest prince is the only one to listen to the wise man, share his bread with the crone, cut off the white cat’s head. The soldier waits loyally for ninety-nine nights outside the selfish princess’s bedroom, then leaves on the final, hundredth night. Theseus kills the Minotaur. Fairy tales, we are told, abound with morals.


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