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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Thousand Years Later

The electrical transformers now in place seem as congruent with the land as a pizza parlor would be. . . . Akcil is an Iron Age settlement once removed. It emanates from the rock and shares its roughness. It has no connection with modern events or thinking. Its people live in stone huts of the approximate comfort of chicken coops; a thousand years have not changed the way they marshal their animals and haggle with the soil.

Peak Experience

The problem has to do with our senses, and with the curiously impoverished view of reality that we hold. . . . Wine, mescalin, pot — all these chemical ways of solving the problem tend to let us down half the time.

Understanding Pain

(Part Two)

Do not blame God for humanity’s predicament.

Do not blame human beings either.

We just happen to be participating in a peculiar local distortion of reality. The planet Earth is as near to a mistake as the law will allow.

*NOTE: Original copies of this issue are no longer available. Unbound, laser-printed copies will be provided for print orders.

Readers Write

Discipline

Discipline. Now there’s a loaded word if there ever was one. The synonyms given in my dictionary read: “train, form, educate, instruct, drill, regulate, correct, chastise, punish.” There certainly is a spectrum here: from the ultra-violet side of training, forming, educating, cool colors, easily accepted, moving (a little uneasily) into drilling, regulating, correcting — the middle zone — and then finally into the hot, infrared danger zone of chastisement and punishment. Without warning, this one word which we have heard all our lives presents us with enormous conflict. Most of us would agree that we would like to be educated; how many would agree — or admit — to the desire to be punished or chastised? That which would aid us in our daily tasks — the helping hand — turns out to have a whip in it. It is a veritable Rorschach of a word, delineating our character, whether we like it or not, by our emotional reactions to it.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
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The best politics is right action.

Gandhi

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