While New Age wisdom would have us believe that peace, silence, and release of tension are what we need in order to hear the call of the spirit, there are other more dramatic paths to awakening. For example, the life-and-death intensity of war can have all kinds of catalytic effects on the psyche. Case in point: John Healey, a veteran soldier who was working as a military contractor in Iraq, one day while protecting a convoy on a dangerous road to Baghdad, found himself accidentally pointing the crosshairs of his rifle at a car transporting children. He says he suddenly heard a snap inside and “literally time stopped. . . . I saw nothing, no one, there was only a vision of formlessness.” That experience marked a turning point that is detailed on the new blog “Awakening of a Foot Soldier,” as well as in a forthcoming book of the same name. And while only time will tell if Healey’s awakening has conferred wisdom as well as grace, this one-time military man says that he has gone from being a soldier in the “army of ego” to fighting in the “army of God.” With public opinion turning strongly against the war, Healey’s extraordinary story and subsequent transformation into a passionate peace activist is sure to turn some heads and, hopefully, inspire more than a few to turn toward the spirit.
Are you tired of the stale formulas and endless partisan rancor of cable news? Do you find yourself wishing for a little more originality and context when it comes to politics than left, right, and center? Welcome to bloggingheads.tv,
the newest attempt to bring real depth and authentic dialogue to current events and geopolitical analysis. Okay, it’s not your normal blog, but it may just be the future of political punditry. The brainchild of author Mickey Kaus and evolutionary thinker Robert Wright, bloggingheads.tv uses a simple formula—short video dialogues between two contemporary thinkers on current events. Initially, Wright and Kaus were the main protagonists of the experiment, but the site has expanded to include all manner of interesting commentators—journalists, authors, political theorists, and others—chosen, thankfully, not for their affiliation but for their insight. The discussions can certainly vary in quality, but more significantly, they transcend the sound-bite structures of television, and one comes away informed and provoked rather than manipulated and spun.
Dubbing himself an extreme seeker and off-road spiritual aspirant, Robert Godwin has a way with words, and his words have a way of describing the spirit. Trained as a clinical psychologist, Godwin has a free-ranging pen and his blog covers a lot of territory, but he particularly shines when his mind roams over the nature of evolution—both cosmic and cultural. Inspired by Whitehead, Wilber, Teilhard de Chardin, Aurobindo, and others, Godwin’s revelatory “adventure in consciousness” is lighthearted even as he reveals how humans reflect the cosmos they live in and why to know ourselves is to peer into the structure of this mysterious universe. Some might take issue with his politics (he eviscerates the left and calls liberals adolescents), but there is plenty here to keep your mind on higher matters and your spirit aloft.