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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

Summoning Venus

An Interview With Thomas Moore On Sex And The Soul

The goal of our sexuality — especially in our thinking about lovemaking — should be to evoke the spirit of Venus. That’s really what it’s about. It’s not about the modern idea of people trying to communicate with each other. Nor is it just instinct, nor biology. In The Soul of Sex, I set out to write about sex in a way that was not biological, not psychological, and not sociological. I came to the conclusion that summoning the spirit of sex — which the Greeks called Aphrodite and the Romans called Venus — is still what sex is about, and is what we need to do in today’s world.

Undermining Democracy

Noam Chomsky On How The U.S. Breeds Inequality At Home And Instability Abroad

Researchers find in their polls that the attitudes of the poorest 70 percent of Americans have essentially no effect on policy. Those people are disenfranchised. It doesn’t matter what they think. Political leaders just don’t pay any attention to them. As you move up the income scale, you see a little more influence. By the time you get to the top, attitudes and public policy are very similar, because the few at the top are the ones who design the policy. They essentially get what they want. You can’t call that democracy. It’s some kind of plutocracy.

The Long Goodbye

Katy Butler On How Modern Medicine Decreases Our Chance Of A Good Death

It’s an interesting philosophical conundrum: Which self do we honor? The fully capable, legally responsible person I am right now, who says I don’t want any artificial barrier preventing the natural death that might await me? Or the less-aware self that I might become at a later date, who might say, “No, no. Keep me alive”?

The Moral Universe

Barbara Kingsolver On Writing, Politics, And Human Nature

This isn’t about “paper or plastic” or some vision of self-congratulatory parsimony. It’s about replacing material gratifications with spiritual ones. I don’t know how much carbon I’m offsetting with my choices. I just prefer to be a good animal rather than one that fouls its nest.

High Plains Drifter

Poe Ballantine On Writing, Madness, And His Journey From Vagabond To Family Man

My point is that good writers are after the truth. We’re trying to draw the blood from real life and use it to make the words come alive, and that kind of alchemical process can be, you know, hazardous. But if you don’t get into trouble, if you don’t gamble, if you don’t present a sticky situation, if you’re not facing a monster, then you’re simply not going to be interesting, from a commercial or an artistic point of view. If you want to make a difference and stand out, you’re obliged to sound the depths.

Beginner’s Mind

Sy Safransky On God, LSD, And The Magazine He Founded

The Sun has always been bigger than me. Wiser than me. Steadier than me. One of the satisfactions of publishing it for all these years is that I’ve gotten to see what happens when like-minded people work together toward a common goal.

A More Perfect Union

Esther Perel on Intimacy, Infidelity, and Desire in Long Term Relationships

People come to me because their spouse isn’t making them happy. I don’t think any of our grandparents would have considered that a reason to seek therapy. A passionate relationship in which we ask for novelty and mystery from the same person we look to for security and stability — that is a grand new invention in the history of humankind.

Sisterhood

Sister Louise Akers Challenges The Church Patriarchy

The writings of the Church fathers take a misogynistic view of women. Saint Jerome, for example, said that women are a “pathway to hell,” and Saint Augustine viewed women as intellectually inferior and as a moral threat to men. This view of women was consistent through the Middle Ages, when Thomas Aquinas wrote in Summa Theologica that women are “misbegotten males.”

A Mindful Marriage

Kittisaro And Thanissara On Celibacy, Sex, And Lasting Love

Being outside of the monastic community gives us the freedom to offer interfaith workshops and to include practices from other traditions. Also, because we, as a married couple, experience challenges that one doesn’t experience in the monastery, we have more empathy for the struggles of our lay students. We all need to work on those sharp edges that come up, especially in marriage, and to be more patient, gentle, and compassionate with each other.

Something Missing In My Heart

Daniel Ladinsky On The God-Intoxicated Poetry Of Hafiz

To any fully enlightened soul there is only God, or divine light and infinite knowledge. Any perfect poet — and I feel both Rumi and Hafiz were — experiences existence non-dualistically. They live as one. I don’t think they would see any difference between themselves. Any difference we might see is due to our transitory and distorted perception. Rumi, Hafiz, you, me — these are just costumes that came to life when the Beloved wiped his lips with us for whatever drunk, wild reason.