Here are a few of my favorite essays that are available free online. I’ve tried to sort them out by topic—this may or may not have succeeded, as I find it much easier to come up with ideas than to sort them.
Facing Fears, Building Bridges:
I’ve always had a slightly unusual view of the world and my place in it. Sometimes I think this reflects salutary insights on my part and faithful following of God’s direction. Sometimes it reflects my own distorted thinking and excessive anxiety. I wrote about both in “Leadings and Anxiety,” published in the Quaker periodical Friends Journal in 2014, https://www.friendsjournal.org/leadings-anxiety/
In the process of learning to cope with my own idiosyncratic irrational fears, I learned something about how to understand and maybe work toward healing those irrational fears which are current in our culture.
“Freedom from Fear,” published by The Mindful Word in 2013, looks at that.
“Talking with Those People: Constructive Conversations on Controversial Issues,” published on Off The Grid News in 2013, offers suggestions for bridging divides. It hasn’t gotten any easier since then—or any less necessary.
Screen-Time and How We Think:
I’m still trying to understand how our fascination with glowing screens enriches and impoverishes our lives. I don’t know the answers, but I think there are important questions we often don’t take time to ask. Two views of this are online. “Connected?”, published on Uisio in April 2016, comes at the question from the perspective of personal and social health:
“Screen-Free Week and the Still Small Voice,” published on the Sojourners blog in April 2013, comes at it from a faith persepctive.
Literature, Economics, Faith, Justice and Mercy:
I read Les Miserables when I was a teenager learning French. I found it fascinating. I read it again in my thirties, after living and working in a Catholic Worker community where questions of poverty and justice were painfully immediate. I saw the questions-and a lot of semi-satisfactory answers—thrown into painful relief by the story. (The real story, that is, NOT the sugar-watered musical version.) My piece about that appeared on Uisio in February 2016:
I went through pretty much the same process with King Lear. The results of that went up on the Christian Shakespeare blog in summer 2016 as “Show The Heavens More Just:”
And a lighter-hearted traipse through Shakespeare and religion followed soon after, on the same site, in Antigonus and the Bear: A Cautionary Reflection on the Power of Prayer.
...I thought I would have another section on self-directed learning, but the free-to-read places that published my articles on that subject have gone offline. I do have a book on the process of learning things by doing them, rather than paying experts for instruction, up on Amazon. N.B. This was a work for hire and I am not responsible the cover, the subtitle or the introductory sales pitch. As this site shows, I am not very good at sales pitches and might have done worse. But despite the cover this book is not particularly about learning bodybuilding. I’m not sure what the idea was there.