WHY I AM RELIGIOUS AND NOT “JUST” SPIRITUAL

“Religious experience is absolute; it cannot be disputed. You can only say that you have never had such an experience, whereupon your opponent will reply: ‘Sorry, I have.’ And there your discussion will come to an end. No matter what the world thinks about the religious experience, the one who has it possesses a great […]

HILLS OF GRAY: MY ÜBER VISIT WITH MOM

It’s February but when I woke this morning and parted the drapes in my darling room at the Motel 6 on Gosling Road in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (for I am visiting my childhood from L.A.), I thought of one of my father’s favorite poems: “Snowbound,” by John Greenleaf Whittier. “The sun that bleak December dayRose […]

HOME IS THE PLACE WHERE, WHEN YOU HAVE TO GO THERE, THEY HAVE TO TAKE YOU IN

I’ve arrived in my home state of New Hampshire for a two-week stay. One of my first stops was the Portsmouth Pier, where my brother Geordie docks his fishing boat, the Ocean Pride III. There’s something about driving the roads, and especially seeing the ocean, that has a huge tranquilizing/nostalgic effect on my psyche. Actually, […]

THE RELIGIOUS GENIUS AT MY TABLE

A couple of years ago I finally got around to reading The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James. I enjoyed it immensely, paying special attention to the chapter on conversion. I heavily underlined  the pages on “The Value of Saintliness.” But no passage delighted me more than this one, from the chapter entitled “Religion and […]