Fernando Pessoa on Finding Peace Amid Uncertainty and Disquiet

“Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, sea-shores, and mountains,” Marcus Aurelius wrote in his Meditations. “But this is altogether a mark of the most common sort of men, for it is in thy power whenever thou shalt choose to retire into thyself.” Two millennia later, Fernando Pessoa (June 13, 1888–November 30, 1935) … Read more

What Is and What Should Be: Albert Einstein on the Dichotomy of Science and Religion and the Essential Qualities of a Pious Person

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space,” Albert Einstein wrote in a beautiful letter of consolation to a grieving father. “He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving … Read more

Spiritual Journaling: Christina Baldwin on Bridging Our Inner and Outer World Through Writing

“We call spirituality a journey and speak in metaphors of travel, yet many of us never leave the neighborhood. The journal becomes the metaphor made real, a travelogue of the mind,” writes Christina Baldwin in the opening chapter of her book Life’s Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Practice. “On days when I’m not sure what the … Read more

Excuse Me, I Have Work to Do: Mary Oliver’s Uplifting Calibration of Perspective in Her Poem ‘I Go Down to the Shore’

Excuse Me, I’ve Got Work to Do: Mary Oliver Reads Her Poem I Go Down to the Shore

“I love the stillness of early summer evenings downtown … the entire stretch along the quiet docks all of this comforts me with sadness when on these evenings I enter the solitude of their ensemble,” Fernando Pessoa wrote while finding calm amid uncertainty and disquiet. “In this moment of seeing, I suddenly find myself isolated, … Read more