I’m supposed to talk “About me”… Honestly, I’m intensely private, so I regularly feel uncomfortable and out of place in a social media world of presentation and display. I don’t like self-promotion… so this little blurb is weird for me to write.
The main point of this website overall is to present a number of different angles, each connected to further resources, that add up to a coherent perspective to take within the difficulty and complexity of our current time. A perspective that ideally leads into a transformation, of how you think, feel, act, and thus, ultimately, a transformation into how to live with integrity into an uncertain future. Since I’ve been the one studying these different angles/resources (over years; I’m a scholar) and I’m the person who sees their integration as a coherent perspective. you need to know a bit about who I am and where I’m coming from as the background – hence this “About me” component of the website.
I was raised fundamentalist Christian, then became a backpacker for some years, was a Buddhist monk for a very short time, a student for several more years. Now, I’m a university professor of psychology; a scholar and researcher; a contemplative Christian; an executive director of a nonprofit organization committed to spirituality and ecology…
I’m also a person who despairs about the climate crisis we are in and wonders “how to save this beautiful world?” The power of this despair challenges the other established, seemingly stable identities. In each case the deep volatility and challenges of our time and corresponding call to transformation, shakes the stability of those identities and push me – us – towards something new. I don’t know to what I am pushed, exactly. I experience this as frightening and nerve-wracking, as to have one’s identity attacked is to feel one’s very self, existentially, at stake. To quote Augustine as he puts it in his Confessions: “A question to myself am I become!”
In this regard the very small, personal, subjective sphere of “my self in question” seems to be mirroring in miniature the very large, global, objective sphere of the Earth in crisis. Both seem to me a fact. The university system; the life of the mind; Christianity as a religious system; how ecologically destructive, and unsustainable, civilization proves itself to be; the meaning and significance of contemplative spirituality… all are challenged, all are in flux, change, revision, reinvention. All need to transform.
By looking through the courses I teach, lectures and presentations given, publications, and research I do, the hope is you will better appreciate from where the website perspective issues. This is not to impress you or influence you, and definitely not “to convert you”, but to inform and assist you in understanding the perspective, and hence to help you in developing your own.