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#32 The Call What does the word "call" really mean? We use it in dozens of contexts… we make phone calls, or purchase a calling card for the telephone; after working hard, we call it a day; police dispatchers says, "Calling all cars, calling all cars…" you might answer a knock at your door, only to find Avon calling; and Emmy-Lou is doing the calling at tonight's square dance. There's the call of the wild, Nature calls, and sometimes women hear their biological clocks ticking, calling out to them that time is running out to have children. In Christianity, church bells peal their notes Sunday mornings, calling the faithful to worship and in the Muslim faith, the Imam stands on the balcony of the mosque's tower, singing loudly across the neighborhood, calling Mohammed's sons to prayer...

 

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#13 The Future The past is done, gone and finished; we can't ever go back. The present holds more possibilities for us, though... we can make choices every moment of our lives in the present. But what about the future? To what extent can we influence it? Is it possible to go back to the future?

 

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#24 Beauty of the Peoples There's a wonderful joke that gets right to the heart of differences between peoples. It's a description of heaven and hell, in which heaven is described as a place where the police are British, the mechanics are German, the cooks are French, the lovers are Italian, and it's all organized by the Swiss. However, in hell the police are German, the mechanics are French, the cooks are British, the lovers are Swiss, and it's all organized by the Italians. Are these nationalistic descriptions mere stereotypes? Well, yes and no...

 

 

 

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#19 Autumn Ancient Kabbalah says that the seasonal conditions of the world are landmarks for the spiritual growth we should be experiencing during that season. Specific times of the year are predisposed to hardship, and other times are predisposed to renewal and joy. What, then, is the spiritual meaning of Autumn?

 

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Playlists

#35 Meaning It seems increasingly we hear people say, "That's not what I meant!..." Why is it so hard for us to understand each other? And is it possible to intentionally mean one thing, but unintentionally--and simultaneously--mean something very diffeent? What if you get some meaning out of a book or movie that the artist didn't intend... is the meaning you came upon still valid? And, no pun intended, is there a deeper meaning to all this?...

#34 Humor The word "humor" comes from Latin, and it literally means "liquid." In fact, our words "humid" and "humidity" come from the exact same root as does "humor." Have you ever heard the expression that someone is in a good humor or a bad humor? Ancient physician-philosophers believed that four liquids entered into the makeup of our bodies, and that our temperament or mood was determined by the proportions of these four fluids, or humors, in our body. The word "temperament," by the way, actually means "mixture." You needed all four humors in a proper balance or mixture in order to maintain good health. But if the humors were out of balance, problems appeared...

#33 Truth The document that defined a new America back in 1776, the Declaration of Independence, says that certain truths are self-evident; they're justified simply by their very existence. For instance, the fact that the sun rises every day is self-evident. Other truths are thought of as being absolute; we say it's the gospel truth. Sometimes we say the truth is unvarnished, plain, naked, simple or sober. There's stretching the truth, twisting it, rewriting it, uncovering it, or shutting one's eyes or ears to it. We hear phrases like she speaks the truth, and we sometimes come to the moment of truth, when truth comes to light. And we've heard it said that the truth is often stranger than fiction...

#32 The Call What does the word "call" really mean? We use it in dozens of contexts… we make phone calls, or purchase a calling card for the telephone; after working hard, we call it a day; police dispatchers says, "Calling all cars, calling all cars…" you might answer a knock at your door, only to find Avon calling; and Emmy-Lou is doing the calling at tonight's square dance. There's the call of the wild, Nature calls, and sometimes women hear their biological clocks ticking, calling out to them that time is running out to have children. In Christianity, church bells peal their notes Sunday mornings, calling the faithful to worship and in the Muslim faith, the Imam stands on the balcony of the mosque's tower, singing loudly across the neighborhood, calling Mohammed's sons to prayer...

#31 Privilege It's been said that we have to earn our privileges. Yet some people are born into very privileged circumstances while others have to struggle to make ends meet everyday. How is such privilege earned?...

#30 Intention Have you ever heard the expression, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions?" What does it actually mean? And have you ever experienced a "Freudian Slip"? What was it that you really intended to say?...

#29 Power In the original Star Wars film, Obi-wan Kenobi, a Jedi Knight, says: The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together. Think about this for a moment… one power stream that binds everything in the galaxy--including us--together...

#28 Silence Silence: it can be used as a powerful force for social change, yet can also give us the mental space we need to collect our thoughts and listen to our inner souls speak. Silence has been used as a gesture of respect, as in "a moment of silence," and our laws recognize silence as a natural right for human beings: the "right to remain silent." What's so special -- perhaps even sacred about silence?...

#27 Death & Butterflies There was a study done in the United States in the 1990s which sought to determine what people's top fears were. Snakes, spiders and heights certainly ranked high on the list, but, ironically, death was only the #2 fear. The number one fear of most Americans was speaking in public! So, as comedian Jerry Seinfeld said about this study, if you were at a funeral, more people would prefer to be IN the casket than delivering the eulogy! But what do butterflies have to do with all this?....

#26 Wonder To me, a sense of wonder is inseparable from childlikeness. We call childhood the "wonder years," and we sometimes say that someone has a "childlike sense of wonder." What do the words "wonder" and "wonderful" really mean?...

#25 Movement Have you ever had the feeling that you, like Billy Joel, were running on ice, spinning your wheels, so to speak, but not getting anywhere? Imagine, if you will, one of those amazing plate spinners from the Chinese circus… the performers that keep many, many plates in the air spinning on top of tall sticks. The motion keeps the plates suspended, but the performer has to run from one stick to another just to keep things from crashing down. But how is movement different from motion?..

#24 Beauty of the Peoples There's a wonderful joke that gets right to the heart of differences between peoples. It's a description of heaven and hell, in which heaven is described as a place where the police are British, the mechanics are German, the cooks are French, the lovers are Italian, and it's all organized by the Swiss. However, in hell the police are German, the mechanics are French, the cooks are British, the lovers are Swiss, and it's all organized by the Italians. Are these nationalistic descriptions mere stereotypes? Well, yes and no...

#23 Resolution The Dali Lama once said that 'world peace is possible," and I wonder to what extent "resolution" is the key… Of course, on a societal level we need to resolve disputes between countries and people. But I don't think that's what will lead to true peace... What will?

#22 Beginnings Beginnings come in all shapes and sizes: some are monumental… like the beginning of the universe was. Others are simply momentous, like a new birth, or a wedding, or buying one's first car or house. Some beginnings have precise starting points: like the beginning of a new year, the start of a school semester, or the moment you decide to quit smoking and throw out the pack of cigarettes in your shirt pocket. And other beginnings are amorphous and difficult to pinpoint, like the dawning of a new age or epoch in history, or when precisely you fell in love with your partner. But most importantly, whatever form the beginning takes, it's an opportunity for personal growth.

#21 The Gift Gifts come in all shapes and sizes... and some gifts are intangible things. Gift giving is central to most religions and all cultures. What is it about gifts that tickles our sense of anticipation and excitement?

#20 What Makes Something A Classic? When one thinks about classical drama or literature, Shakespeare's name comes to mind pretty quickly. Why? Why is some art gone tomorrow, yet other art lasts for centuries? In fact, what determines classic French cuisine or a classic automobile? What makes something a classic?

#19 Autumn Ancient Kabbalah says that the seasonal conditions of the world are landmarks for the spiritual growth we should be experiencing during that season. Specific times of the year are predisposed to hardship, and other times are predisposed to renewal and joy. What, then, is the spiritual meaning of Autumn?

#18 Music & the Psyche "Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast" as the old saying goes... but is it just folklore, or does music really have the power to affect our psyches physiolgically and spiritually? And if so, how does this work?

#17 Animals Sure, many animals can run faster than us, or see better at night... and a dog's sense of smell, or an eagle's sharp sight puts our senses to shame. Did you know, though, that dolphins can "see" with sound? And did you know that in spite of over 200,000 human lives lost in the tsunami in Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, almost no animals perished? Why????? What do animals know that we don't?

#16 Purity We can find purity in nature, but can we ourselves ever be truly pure? And even if we could, why would we want to be?

#15 Nature Say the word "nature," and images of flowers, trees and soft, furry creatures come to mind. Mother Nature can be nourishing, but she can also be vengeful. The ancient world viewed nature as being comprised of the elements fire, earth, air and water, elements which influenced all aspects of life... But what does Nature mean to us today?

#14 Friendship Will Rogers once said that he "never met a fella I didn't like"... Some people seem to have lots and lots of friends. But how many of those relationships are real friendships? And what really IS friendship?

#13 The Future The past is done, gone and finished; we can't ever go back. The present holds more possibilities for us, though... we can make choices every moment of our lives in the present. But what about the future? To what extent can we influence it? Is it possible to go back to the future?

#12 Creativity Some people say, "I'm just not a creative person." But is that really true? And is creativity restricted to the arts, or can economists or police officers be creative people? Most importantly, though, what exactly IS creativity, and from where does it come?

 

#11 Water Our bodies are 70% water, as is our planet... We can live without food for a month, but would perish in 72 hours without this liquid elixir of life. Water is certainly necessary for our survival... But did you know that water holds even deeper messages for us?

 

#10 Joyful Activity Why do some people whistle while they work, and yet others always dread Monday morning? And how can we get more enjoyment out of seemingly mundane tasks?...

 

#9 Responsibility Of course, we're responsible for our actions... But did you know that we're responsible for everything we say and write, too? And why do some people have a more highly developed sense of responsibility than others?

 

#8 Freedom The struggle for freedom is as old as humankind. But slavery isn't the only bondage holding us down... Freedom is as necessary to our spirits as air is to our bodies. Why?

 

#7 Woman & Man Why do women and men have soooooooo much trouble communicating with each other? Sometimes, it seems as if we're on different planets... and yet, we are drawn to each other, and need each other. What's going on?

 

#6 Fatherhood What is really meant by the word, "Fatherhood"? Can only a dad be a father, or is the notion of "fatherhood" something to which any man can aspire?...

 

#5 The Quest Why do we have such a strong urge to travel to the farthest reaches of our galaxy as well as to the very depths of our psyche? What are we hoping to find?...

 

#4 Generative Power There's a magic moment in a young person's life as they start to enter adulthood... and it's not physical; it's spiritual. That's generative power kicking in...

 

#3 Recognition Have you ever had an "aha" moment? Or have you thought that something "big" is about to happen, but you didn't know what? Then you've entered the world of recognition...

 

#2 Marriage Ask ten married couples to define "marriage," and probably seven of them will first ask, "Do you mean marriage as it is, or how it's supposed to be?" What really IS marriage, then?

 

#1 Paradise From the original Garden of Eden to the tropical paradises of today, what is it about "paradise" that triggers a deep-seated longing within us?

 

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