Perception Without Judgment

“Phenomenology” is the study of “phenomena.” In ordinary language, a “phenomenon” is “a happening.” In technical philosophical vocabulary, a “phenomenon” is “a happening in someone’s consciousness.” It’s a thought, a perception, an emotion, a dream image. German philosopher Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) coined the term “phenomenology” so he could share his method for studying his own consciousness. The essence of his method is very simple: Learn to recognize the difference between […]

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Love

Been thinking about love lately. Some new experiences have glowed in my body. In a way, these recent experiences seem familiar. Like the way I felt when I held my infant children, full of amazement that something so precious could come my way. Or the way I feel when I see my husband smiling at me with a secret reminder that putting his arms around me is the peak of […]

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Foosteps of Mashiach

Sometimes, when I’m not well, I feel a great mass of anxiety in my chest. And I imagine: if I could just punch myself hard enough in the right place, I could break up the mass, and it would dissolve and all the pieces of anxiety would fly away. But I don’t punch myself or hurt myself in any way, because my thinking isn’t disordered. I know that the body […]

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I Just Called to Say “I Love You”

Friday morning I was waiting for the bus on Fraser Street in front of a convenience store. Gradually, amid the urban hum, I became aware of a human voice screaming curses. A young man stood at the pay phone in the convenience store parking lot, yelling into the phone. I imagined a voice at the other end, reasoning with him, consoling him. Soon, I thought, he would quiet down, and […]

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Shadows on the Cave Wall

Recently someone I know asked me for some information about myself. I had only a vague general idea about why she was asking. But, in my thoughts, I made up a mini-story about the questioner’s benevolent motive, and gave her the information. Later that day, my friend said he had also been asked for the information. My friend had less background knowledge about the questioner than I did. So he […]

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