Tag archives: religion

Altruism, Evolution and Religion?
By Robert Bernstein   |   February 13, 2024

Back in July 2006 I watched a BookTV interview with Francis Collins, talking about his book The Language of God. At the time, Collins was Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute; the massive government project to map the human genome, initiated by President Clinton. Privately funded projects actually reached much of the goal […]

Art, Science, Spirituality Collide in Exhibit
By Scott Craig   |   September 13, 2022

Adam Belt explores the point where art, science, and spirituality converge in an exhibition, “Adam Belt: Wish You Were Here,” September 1 through November 5 at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. Belt, who was born in Seattle and grew up in Albuquerque, began his career as a landscape painter before shifting his interests to […]

What Does the Bible Really Teach About Death?
By Robert Bernstein   |   September 13, 2022

Last year I lost a dear friend I will call “Susan” when she was on a high-altitude hiking adventure. She had spent most of her life in a fundamentalist Christian religion. But in recent years she had come to realize that religion is “just a bunch of made up stories.” When she died far too […]

The Riviera Ridge School
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 21, 2022

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” Shakespeare employed that now famous line in his play Romeo and Juliet to imply that the naming of things is irrelevant. The Riviera Ridge School might beg to differ.  The highly-esteemed independent educational institution that serves […]

By Hattie Beresford   |   June 21, 2022

The quest for the right way to live, the right way to be, and the search for a satisfying and happy life has spanned millennia; just ask Socrates. Between 1663 and 1820 in the United States, besides being a stimulus for emigration from the “old world,” this quest led to the establishment of over 32 […]

Life Purpose?
By Robert Bernstein   |   May 24, 2022

Normalizing Atheism is an active Facebook page I recently joined. It is a surprisingly respectful forum for atheists to “come out” and for religious people to ask questions of atheists. On April 13, someone named Brian C. made this post: “I’ve been pondering something lately: Is it possible to live without meaning or purpose? If […]

Talk Examines White Christian Nationalism
By Scott Craig   |   March 31, 2022

Award-winning scholar and teacher Samuel L. Perry examines the type of white Christian nationalism displayed at the U.S. Capitol attack in a free, public lecture Monday, April 4, from 7-8:30 pm at Westmont’s Global Leadership Center. The talk, “A House Dividing: Why White Christian Nationalism is Everyone’s Problem,” will use data from national surveys and […]

An American Religion
By Richard D. Hecht   |   November 2, 2021

In Ken Burns’ documentary Baseball, he talks with Buck O’Neil, for whom baseball’s Lifetime Achievement Award is named. He played, scouted, and managed for seven decades. O’Neil was the batting and hitting champion of the Kansas City Monarchs in the 1930s and 1940s in the Negro Leagues in its heyday and a teammate of Satchel […]

Risen Again?
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 21, 2021

Recently, when writing elsewhere about some apparently endless troubles, I concluded with the words “How long, O Lord, how long?” I didn’t realize, until somebody informed me, that I was quoting the Bible, where that expression appears several times. I only remembered it from the last line of George Bernard Shaw’s play Saint Joan (first […]

Believing is Seeing
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 25, 2021

As far as believing goes, it’s hard to know what to call myself. I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist, or even an Agnostic. But, to some extent, I admire and envy people who do have strong beliefs — so long as they don’t try to impose them on other people. But there’s […]

How to be a Saint
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   June 17, 2021

Being brought up Jewish, I never learned much about being a Saint. At least one Hebrew prophet (Isaiah) made a mockery of the whole idea of any human claiming to be “holier than thou.” Of course, besides people, virtually every religion — even Judaism — has its holy places and holy objects, to say nothing […]

Can We Discuss Politics and Religion?
By Robert Bernstein   |   December 31, 2020

“If you want to avoid heated arguments, never discuss religion, politics, or whether the toilet paper roll should go over or under.” So said the wise sage “Weird Al” Yankovic. Religion and politics go to the very heart of our deepest values. If we avoid discussing what matters most to us, how can any learning […]

By Steven Libowitz   |   March 26, 2020

Alan Wallace – the founder and director of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies and the motivating force behind the development of the Center for Contemplative Research in Tuscany, Italy – returned stateside due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is spending time in a remote cabin in Colorado for the now-in-progress Contemplative Path Through […]

What About God?
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   February 20, 2020

Some people seem to need a “Supreme Being” in their lives. Others appear to get along quite well without one. If these were only private matters, the world of human society would have been a much less troubled place than it has always been over the past millennia. But unfortunately, such matters are anything but […]

Satsang with Krishna
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 16, 2020

Robin Davidson and Linda Ulvaeus’ Temple of Everflowing Grace have scheduled a Satsang with Krishna, the spiritual leader who has studied the direct and simple message expressed in the nondual Advaita teachings of Shankara, Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj, as well as in the pure Buddhist expressions of nondual realization in Zen, and Dzogchen. The […]

Buddhism Beyond Bodhi Path
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 16, 2020

The Santa Barbara Buddhist Meditation Meetup, which frequently holds its events at the American Buddhist Meditation Temple on Orchid Drive near More Mesa, is branching out beyond that site to include more gathering outside and at other locations. The group will gather for a Half Moon Morning Retreat this Friday, January 17, from 8-10 am, […]

Demystifying Dharma
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 16, 2020

Bodhi Path Santa Barbara is part of an international organization of Buddhist centers and groups founded by Shamarpa (the 14th Shamar Rinpoche) with the expressed purpose of exploring the methods and wisdom of the timeless teachings of the Buddha in order to better understand and work with our mind and emotions. Shamarpa, along with the […]

Rest Assured
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   December 8, 2019

One of the epigrams I have written which I get most requests to quote – particularly from authors of “self-help” type books – says: “Sometimes the most urgent and vital thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.” But not everyone agrees with this philosophy. One of my favorite poets, A.E. Housman, has […]

By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 1, 2019

Inspiration is a very positive word and concept in our culture. Nobody doesn’t want to be inspired. The word, in its origin, conveys a “breathing in” – but not so much of sucking air into your own lungs (though that is never a bad idea) as of being breathed into by some benevolent power which […]

Forbidden Food
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   January 31, 2019

I am thinking of founding a religion in which everything is permitted. It would be the First Church of Anything Goes, and its followers would be known as Any’s. Wouldn’t it be great to have perfect freedom, sanctioned by the Almighty! But I must admit that this idea, attractive as it may seem at first […]