The Understanding and its Relation to the Practice of Psychotherapy

Many psychotherapists may be described as 'understanding', and in the most enthusiastic possible terms. But this does not preclude the fact that it is precisely their lack of understanding which constitutes the most vital aspect of their work with clients. In a casual—that is to say, non-psychotherapeutic—dialogue, the exchange proceeds as follows. A person offers… Continue reading The Understanding and its Relation to the Practice of Psychotherapy

Sufism: the God of the mystics

Mystical belief Kabbalah. Gnosticism. Sufism. These are all disciplines which are known as the 'mystical' sects of their religions. What does it mean for a set of beliefs to be 'mystical'? In one sense, these beliefs are religious in the typical way: they posit the existence of God, they make a distinction between the sacred… Continue reading Sufism: the God of the mystics

The unique challenge of being a woman president

When it comes to gender and presidential candidates, my position is simple: genitalia should be a minor factor at best. In an ideal world, people would create the necessary distinction between gender and competency, judging a man and a woman’s merits equally. But for many Americans, part of a woman candidate’s appeal is precisely her genitalia. They… Continue reading The unique challenge of being a woman president

The soul in Plato’s Phaedo and in the Quran

The Phaedo is the most famous curtain call in all of philosophy. It documents the final days of Socrates' life, spent in rigorous dialogues with his friends and fellow thinkers. It is a testament to his own conviction that the contemplative life, dedicated to the pursuit of truth, is the highest good—even in the face… Continue reading The soul in Plato’s Phaedo and in the Quran

Privilege, power, and Steven Crowder’s ‘Change my mind’ segment

What does it mean to be privileged? This question has dominated American politics. Democrats call for higher taxes on the basis that the rich should pay their fair share — a measure they hope will even out the gap between the "haves and the have-nots". And for young liberals particularly, rallying against privilege in all… Continue reading Privilege, power, and Steven Crowder’s ‘Change my mind’ segment

The rise of soft-supremacy on the political right

After Steve King's horribly-phrased remarks on white supremacy, an overwhelming majority of conservatives have come out against him. He was promptly removed from his assignments, and the House of Representatives even passed a resolution disavowing his comments. But this incident has raised an important question: how complicit are fundamental conservative talking points in the phenomenon… Continue reading The rise of soft-supremacy on the political right

Ibn Arabi on free will

The source: Futuhat al-Makkiyah Sufi scholar and mystic Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi's life can be divided into two eras; the first spent in his birthplace Andalusia, and the second spent traveling around the East. His major work Futuhat al-Makkiyah, or the Meccan revelations, is a culmination of thought influenced by his Eastern tour, where he performed the Islamic pilgrimage… Continue reading Ibn Arabi on free will