Brian McLaren – Recognising Our Biases

Brian McLaren

People can’t see what they can’t see. Their biases get in the way, surrounding them like a high wall, trapping them in ignorance, deception, and illusion. No amount of reasoning and argument will get through to them, unless we first learn how to break down the walls of bias. . . .

Confirmation Bias: We judge new ideas based on the ease with which they fit in with and confirm the only standard we have: old ideas, old information, and trusted authorities. As a result, our framing story, belief system, or paradigm excludes whatever doesn’t fit.

Complexity Bias: Our brains prefer a simple falsehood to a complex truth.

Community Bias: It’s almost impossible to see what our community doesn’t, can’t, or won’t see.

Complementarity Bias: If you are hostile to my ideas, I’ll be hostile to yours. If you are curious and respectful toward my ideas, I’ll respond in kind.

Competency Bias: We don’t know how much (or little) we know because we don’t know how much (or little) others know. In other words, incompetent people assume that most other people are about as incompetent as they are. As a result, they underestimate their [own] incompetence, and consider themselves at least of average competence.

Consciousness Bias: Some things simply can’t be seen from where I am right now. But if I keep growing, maturing, and developing, someday I will be able to see what is now inaccessible to me.

Comfort or Complacency Bias: I prefer not to have my comfort disturbed.

Conservative/Liberal Bias: I lean toward nurturing fairness and kindness, or towards strictly enforcing purity, loyalty, liberty, and authority, as an expression of my political identity.

Confidence Bias: I am attracted to confidence, even if it is false. I often prefer the bold lie to the hesitant truth.

Catastrophe or Normalcy Bias: I remember dramatic catastrophes but don’t notice gradual decline (or improvement).

Contact Bias: When I don’t have intense and sustained personal contact with “the other,” my prejudices and false assumptions go unchallenged.

Cash Bias: It’s hard for me to see something when my way of making a living requires me not to see it.Conspiracy Bias: Under stress or shame, our brains are attracted to stories that relieve us, exonerate us, or portray us as innocent victims of malicious conspirators.

(Brian McLaren, Why Don’t They Get It? Overcoming Bias in Others (and Yourself) (Self-published: 2019), e-book., as quoted by Richard Rohr)

Morgan Housel – I Have A Few Questions

They’re relevant to everyone, and apply to lots of things:

Who has the right answers but I ignore because they’re not articulate?

What haven’t I experienced firsthand that leaves me naive to how something works? As Jeff Immelt said, “Every job looks easy when you’re not the one doing it.”

Which of my current views would I disagree with if I were born in a different country or generation?

What do I desperately want to be true, so much that I think it’s true when it’s clearly not?

What is a problem that I think only applies to other countries/industries/careers that will eventually hit me?

What do I think is true but is actually just good marketing?

What looks unsustainable but is actually a new trend we haven’t accepted yet?

What has been true for decades that will stop working, but will drag along stubborn adherents because it had such a long track record of success?

Who do I think is smart but is actually full of it?

What do I ignore because it’s too painful to accept?

How would my views change if I had 10,000 years of good, apples-to-apples data on things I only have recent history to study?

Which of my current views would change if my incentives were different?

What are we ignoring today that will seem shockingly obvious in a year?

What events very nearly happened that would have fundamentally changed the world I know if they had occurred?

How much have things outside of my control contributed to things I take credit for?

How do I know if I’m being patient (a skill) or stubborn (a flaw)? They’re hard to tell apart without hindsight.

Who do I look up to that is secretly miserable?

Morgan Housel is a partner at Collaborative Fund and a former columnist at The Motley Fool and The Wall Street Journal. Author of the book The Psychology of Money.

[Source, here. Thanks to Ruxandra Taleanu for the link.]

Eugene Peterson: In Between The Man and The Message

One of my heroes.

A reflective look into the life and beliefs of pastor and author Eugene Peterson. Executive Producer Don Pape. Directed by Greg Fromholz. Produced by Emma Good and Nathan Reilly.

Richard Rohr – When Things Fall Apart


The word change normally refers to new beginnings. But transformation more often happens not when something new begins but when something old falls apart. The pain of something old falling apart—disruption and chaos—invites the soul to listen at a deeper level. It invites and sometimes forces the soul to go to a new place because the old place is not working anymore. The mystics use many words to describe this chaos: fire, darkness, death, emptiness, abandonment, trial, the Evil One. Whatever it is, it does not feel good and it does not feel like God. We will do anything to keep the old thing from falling apart.

This is when we need patience, guidance, and the freedom to let go instead of tightening our controls and certitudes. Perhaps Jesus is describing this phenomenon when he says, “It is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:14). Not accidentally, he mentions this narrow road right after teaching the Golden Rule. Jesus knows how much letting go it takes to “treat others as you would like them to treat you” (7:12). Continue reading “Richard Rohr – When Things Fall Apart”

Courtney Martin – Wrap up the Year with Seven Reflection Questions

Courtney Martin is a columnist with On Being

Please take some settled quiet time one of these days, before the end of the year and try to respond these seven questions. It may do some good to you. They are serious ones, so, prepare for a rough ride. Here are the questions:

1. What was one of the moments I was most proud of this year? What does that tell me about what I want to spend my energy/time/money on next year?

2. Who really enriched my life this year in a big way? Who is someone I am wanting to get to know better in the year ahead?

3. It was a year of resistance for many people. What did I resist most effectively? What did I surrender to? Continue reading “Courtney Martin – Wrap up the Year with Seven Reflection Questions”

Tommy Preson Phillips – My 4 Rules For Responding To Nasty Emails

Scot McKnight published on his blog on Patheos these useful suggestions, coming from one of his students. Here are the 4 Rules:

  1. Wait 48 hours before responding
  2. Do not defend yourself
  3. No negativity!
  4. Look for substance

Read HERE the arguments.






David G Benner – Knowing Oneness

David G Benner shares with us today a wonderful reflection of the essential human thirst for oneness in Christ. This will sound quite familiar, even if, possibly, more holistic and challenging, for those acquainted with the Eastern Orthodox concepts of theosis or deification, and with the classic universal Christian concept of mystical union.

I will let you read the entre text on Dr Benner’s blog, but here is, as a teaser, a beautiful prayer rooted in the indigenous Lakota concept of Mitakuye Oyasin – in English, “all my relations.” Enjoy!

To the Creator, for the ultimate gift of life, I thank you.

To the mineral nation that has built and maintained my bones and all foundations of life experience, I thank you.

To the plant nation that sustains my organs and body and gives me healing herbs for sickness, I thank you.

To the animal nation that feeds me from your own flesh and offers your loyal companionship in this walk of life, I thank you.

To the human nation that shares my path as a soul upon the sacred wheel of Earthly life, I thank you.

To the Spirit nation that guides me invisibly through the ups and downs of life and carries the torch of light through the Ages, I thank you.

To the Four Winds of Change and Growth, I thank you.

You are all my relations, my relatives, without whom I would not live. We are in the circle of life together, co-existing, co-dependent, co-creating our destiny. One is not more important than the other. Each evolves from the other and yet each is dependent upon the others. All of us are a part of the Great Mystery.

Thank you for this Life.

Read HERE the entire post.




Richard Rohr on ‘Incarnational Mysticism’

Years ago, someone asked if I could sum up all my teachings in two words. My response was “incarnational mysticism.” The first word, “incarnational,” is Christianity’s specialty and should always be our essential theme. We believe God became incarnate. The early Fathers of the Church professed that God, by taking on human flesh, said yes to all that was physical, material, and earthly. Unfortunately, Christianity lost this full understanding.

Many Christians are scared of the word “mysticism.” But a mystic is simply one who has moved from mere belief or belonging systems to actual inner experience of God. Mysticism is more represented in John’s Gospel than in the three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) which give us the basic story line of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. In fact, the primary reason many are not moved or attracted to John’s Gospel is because they were never taught the mystical mind. Continue reading “Richard Rohr on ‘Incarnational Mysticism’”

Socrate si Xantipa | ISTORII REGĂSITE

Source: Socrate si Xantipa | ISTORII REGĂSITE

Cu Socrate, desspre intelepciune matrimoniala.

Anne Lamott – 12 Truths I Learned from Life and Writings

Here is the transcript of this insightful talk. Continue reading “Anne Lamott – 12 Truths I Learned from Life and Writings”

Melania Medeleanu – Cum sa-ti gasesti vocea. Calatorie de la soaptă la strigat

Un discurs fabulos de consistent. Multumim, Melania Medeleanu.

The Problem of Goodness – Freelance Christianity

Source: The Problem of Goodness – Freelance Christianity

Goodness is perpetuated by individuals while evil, more often than not, is perpetrated by groups.

7 Ways To Live Out The Gospel in a Post-Truth, Post-Fact Culture – Carey Nieuwhof

Culture is changing rapidly before our eyes. Here are 7 important ways for Christians to live out the Gospel in a post-truth, post-fact culture.

Source: 7 Ways To Live Out The Gospel in a Post-Truth, Post-Fact Culture – Carey Nieuwhof

Here are Carey’s suggestions:

1. Anchor yourself to what’s true
2. Stop the spin
3. Confess your role in it
4. Embrace love
5. Keep some distance from your political positions
6. Love people who oppose you
7. Hope

Not easy. But who says living in truth should be easy?

Wisdom and the Mind of Christ | Dr David G Benner

Source: Wisdom and the Mind of Christ | Dr David G Benner

David Benner on accessing the mind of Christ

Phileena Heuertz – Active Contemplation in Response to Socio-polticial Upheaval


My dear friend Phileena Heuertz has just published on the website of her organisation, Gravity Center, a reflection on the way in which a comptemplative stance could help Christians in the US (and I would say, anywhere in the world) get some perspective ‘from above’ on the messy world in which we live.

Here is summary of her suggestions, which she gathers under the acronym ACTION:

Be (A)lert.

Be (C)ourageous.

Be (T)houghtful.

Be (I)nquisitive.

Be (O)pen.

Be (N)ourishing.

Rear HERE the entire text.

Andrei Plesu – O „piatra de poticnire“ pe tema libertatii


Nota: Nu stiu cum mi-a scapat acest exceptional text al lui Andrei Plesu din Dilema, despre riscurile libertatii. Redau aici doar primele paragrafe ale textului, si paragraful final, care mi se pare genial, si care exprima mult mai bine decit as fi putut-o face eu vreodata, propriile mele framintari si convingeri legate de ;roblema libertatii. Sper ca acestea vor fi suficiente motivatii ca sa cititi intregul text pe situl revistei.

* * *

Una dintre cele mai frumoase teme ale teologiei creștine este tema libertății acordate de Creator omului, așa încît din alcătuirea sa (gîndită „după chipul și asemănarea“ Autorului) să nu lipsească un atribut esențial: dreptul la alegere și inițiativă. Nu există „persoană“, în sens deplin, fără liber arbitru, fără autonomia deciziei și fără răspunderea propriilor decizii. Dumnezeu nu ne vrea „gata programați“, ființe teleghidate, care fac „ce trebuie“ pur și simplu pentru că nu au, în codul lor de fabricație, altă variantă. Dumnezeu nu vrea să dialogheze cu niște roboți, într-o lume „perfectă“ prin monotonie. Din punctul de vedere al Creatorului Atotputernic, această „concesie“ făcută libertății umane este un sacrificiu, o autolimitare. Un fel de a-Și atenua „atotputernicia“. Cu alte cuvinte, Dumnezeu renunță la ceva din „absolutitatea“ Sa, pentru a lăsa spațiu liber de manifestare creaturii Sale (incluzînd posibilitatea greșelii, a orgoliului și, la limită, a apostaziei). Dumnezeu lasă, deci, o șansă paradoxală derapajului, erorii, impurității, ne-iubirii, ne-credinței. Cîți suverani sînt capabili de așa ceva? Continue reading “Andrei Plesu – O „piatra de poticnire“ pe tema libertatii”

“Un om minţit încontinuu adună frici, iar un om fricos se va teme şi de evrei, şi de musulmani, şi de Soros, şi de Bruxelles”

Filosoful Ciprian Mihali vorbeşte într-un interviu despre fenomene contemporane, cum ar fi corectitudinea politică, post-adevărul sau hipsterismul.

Source: “Un om minţit încontinuu adună frici, iar un om fricos se va teme şi de evrei, şi de musulmani, şi de Soros, şi de Bruxelles”

Despre postadevar si corectitudine politia, cu domnul Ciprian Mihali.

This Is the Truth About a Post-Truth World (Maybe) | UnTangled

The Oxford English Dictionary’s 2016 Word of the Year was post-truth, an adjective describing “circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to …

Source: This Is the Truth About a Post-Truth World (Maybe) | UnTangled

This is Kelly Flanagan at his best. A must read.

Seven Harsh Truths that Will Make You A Stronger Person

We all entertain all sorts of beliefs about people, depending on our natural inclinations or of our life experiences. It often takes a hard experience to test these convictions and prove their validity.

Here are a few harsh truths about life which, when accepted, will save you lots of disappointments.

1. Nobody is actually too busy to respond to you

2. Everyone puts their own interests first

3. It’s impossible to keep everyone happy

Continue reading “Seven Harsh Truths that Will Make You A Stronger Person”

Parker J Palmer – Does My Life Have Meaning?


Parker wrote today on his Facebook wall:

Last week, my friends at On Being — Krista Tippett’s extraordinary public radio program — posted a short piece I wrote titled “The Big Question: Does My Life Have Meaning?”

In case that’s a question that interests you — not re. my life but your own! — clicking on the image below will take you to that essay (and the lovely poem at its heart).

If you want to “Like” and/or comment on it, please come back here to do so. Thanks!

Here is the text published on the On Being website. If you have never browsed through it, you should do. It is absolutely amazing. Continue reading “Parker J Palmer – Does My Life Have Meaning?”

Parker J Palmer – Lost in the Wilds of Your Life


Ever been lost in the wilderness — or in the wilds of your own life? Me too! Because I get outwardly and inwardly lost from time to time, this poem by David Wagoner means a great deal to me.

A couple of years ago, I got lost hiking alone on a poorly marked mountain trail at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, where I was on a ten-day silent, solitary retreat. It was starting to get dark, I panicked and began to run. Just the right thing to do when you have no idea where you’re going, don’t you think!

Then I remembered the wisdom in this poem, stood still, and listened. I could not tell you what I was listening to, except that it was something both in me and around me. After five minutes or so, as my fear subsided, that something told me to turn around and walk slowly back up the mountain, looking to the left as I climbed. That’s how I found the trail I’d missed in my fearful run down.

For me, that story and this poem have all kinds of implications for those times when I’m inwardly lost. I’ll spare you the long version of what I mean! I’ll simply say, with the poet, “Stand still. The forest knows/Where you are. You must let it find you.”

by David Wagoner, from Collected Poems 1956-1976

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. you must let it find you.


(Source, On Being.)


Parker J Palmer

is a columnist for On Being. His column appears every Wednesday. He is a Quaker elder, educator, activist, and founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal. His books include Healing the Heart of Democracy, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life, and Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation.



11 quotes Saint Augustine Essential for Our Christian Life

A beautiful image gallery inspired by 11 quotes from Saint Augustine in his work The Confessions. May these words keep inspiring us as much today as yesterday in our search for the truth, which is nothing other than the search for God.

Source: 11 quotes Saint Augustine Essential for Our Christian Life

Some great truths to ponder for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Certainty, Faith and Love | Dr David G Benner

The real danger of dogmatism and certainty is that they do not leave space in the soul for love to take root and grow.

Source: Certainty, Faith and Love | Dr David G Benner

I found this older post by David Benner o be most appropriate advice at the neginning of a new year. Here is just a quote:

‘Physicist Neils Bohr is famous for saying that while the opposite of a correct statement is a false one, the opposite of a profound truth is often another, seemingly contradictory, profound truth. No where is this more true than in the case of spiritual truths.  But in order to grasp the larger truth – or better, to be grasped and held by it – it is essential that we be prepared to hold the tension associated with the two apparently contradictory elements.’


John O’Donohue – At the End of the Year

year's end

The particular mind of the ocean
Filling the coastline’s longing
With such brief harvest
Of elegant, vanishing waves
Is like the mind of time
Opening us shapes of days.

As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.
Continue reading “John O’Donohue – At the End of the Year”

Ion Creanga despre prostia omeneasca

Cum zice la Scripturi, ‘prostia este lipita de inima omului’. Dar, cum credea Steinhardt, nu se poate ca cineva sa fie crestin si sa fie prost. Sau se poate, totusi?

Desi am cam fugarit de aici pe cei care ar putea face obiectul acestei povesti veridice, se mai aciuiaza cite unul, din cind in cind, mai ales cind apare vreun scandal. Asa incit, ca la sfirsit de an, ofer aici un prilej de meditatie. Multumesc ‘ieseanuluil’ Ion Creanga.

Tom Nichols – The Death of Expertise


‘Today, any assertion of expertise produces an explosion of anger from certain quarters of the American public, who immediately complain that such claims are nothing more than fallacious “appeals to authority,” sure signs of dreadful “elitism,” and an obvious effort to use credentials to stifle the dialogue required by a “real” democracy.’

This, unfortunately, is true not only for the American public, but, increasingly also for the European cultural milieu.

Tom Nichols is an expert, and he dares to tackle this matter directly. In an article published by The Federalist, he suggests’ some things to think about when engaging with experts in their area of specialization.’

Here they are: Continue reading “Tom Nichols – The Death of Expertise”

Richard Rohr – We Do Grow, Change, and Evolve

As a preacher and teacher, I know that I can say one thing and it will be heard on as many as ten different levels, depending upon the inner psychological and spiritual maturity of the listener. Thomas Aquinas said the same in one of his foundational principles of philosophy: “Whatever is received is received according to the mode of the receiver.” We now call this “developmental psychology.”
I can give what I think is a lousy sermon, yet a humble woman will come to me after mass in tears of gratitude for the beauty of something that spoke to her deeply. She may not be highly educated, but she is spiritually evolved. Another “smart” but cognitively rigid person will hear the same sermon and is only convinced that I am a heretic. Mature people can make lemonade out of lemons. Immature people can turn the sweetest lemonade tart and sour. It’s always interesting after Mass to hear what people heard me say, and how different it is from what I thought I said. I’ve learned just to accept their understanding as a sign of where they are on the spiritual/human journey. [1] I am quite sure this is what the evangelists are referring to when they frequently say Jesus “knew their thoughts” (Luke 6:8; 9:47). You can actually be trained in “reading souls” and recognizing where people are coming from and headed toward. I doubt if you can be a good spiritual director or educator without some foundational knowledge of stages of consciousness and development.

Continue reading “Richard Rohr – We Do Grow, Change, and Evolve”

Andrei Plesu – Problema raului: O piatra de poticnire – Conferinta Edictum Dei

Felicitari prietenilor de la Edictum Dei. O initiativa superba.

Maria Popova – Nine Life-Learnings


For nine years now, the wonderful Maria Popova is sharing with us her Brain Pickings. I have received infiinite joy and wisdom from reading her pieces and sometimes digging further into the ‘wells’ she takes us to. Tis is truly life-changing for me. Thanks a lot, Maria.

Here are nine life-learnings that Maria is sharing with us after these years of intellectual and spiritual delight.


  • Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.
  • Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone.
  • Be generous.
  • Build pockets of stillness into your life.
  • When people tell you who they are, Maya Angelou famously advised, believe them. Just as importantly, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.
  • Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.
  • “Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.”
  • Seek out what magnifies your spirit.
  • Don’t be afraid to be an idealist.


Read HERE what she means by these nine things. Enjoy!

Friedman’s Theory of Differentiated Leadership Made Simple

Dr. Jonathan Camp discusses the book A Failure of Nerve by Edwin Friedman, who owes many of his ideas of leadership to Murray Bowen (1913-1990), a pioneer of family therapy. Central to Bowen’s family systems theory is the concept of differentiation, or the ability of a person to maintain a strong sense of “self” within the family. The anxious family system is composed of emotional triangles, in which two conflicting members try to diffuse the anxiety between them by bringing in a third member. But this only heightens the anxiety of the system. A well-differentiated person is able to resist the lure of emotional triangles, which causes the family system to mature by influencing others to take responsibility for themselves. In A Failure of Nerve, Friedman applies Bowen’s family systems theory to organizational leadership.

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