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The Sun Magazine

Religion and Philosophy

Atheism and Agnosticism

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Death Of A Fisherman

We lived in a place between mountains in the trout lands. The fish dwelt in the chill of eternal movement, slick and lithe and beautiful, in the curve of sapphire rivers twinkling with western sun. This was why we’d moved to Montana when I was a boy — to chase fish, in the church of my father’s religion.

The Sun Interview

Embracing Ignorance

Jack Miles On His Path From Belief To Disbelief And Back

We’re all stuck with ignorance as we move from quandary to quandary. What I want to do is make a case for religion as one of the means to cope with this irremediable human condition.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Beyond Belief

The first instruction was “Find a quiet place.” I went to Inwood Park and seated myself on a large rock, legs crossed, eyes closed. Immediately an airplane flew overhead. I stood up, walked a hundred yards deeper into the park, sat beside a tree, and again closed my eyes. This time I heard traffic from the Henry Hudson Parkway. Over and over I sat down, each time encountering a new distraction. Defeated, I walked home.

The Sun Interview

Beyond Belief

Jacob Needleman On God Without Religion

But if you really give your full attention to nature, it does speak to you. If you’ve ever been out in the woods and suddenly experienced a shock of grief or awe or a sense of belonging to something greater, that’s because nature has spoken to you. That’s why there’s a timeless, universal tradition of experiencing God in nature. It’s one way of recognizing that we’re part of something greater than ourselves.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Go Fly A Kite

I was on a trip back home to northern California — part work, part vacation — and I had a terrible head cold. My research for a magazine article on the wine country north of San Francisco had brought me to a chilly town on the edge of the San Andreas Fault, a place populated by a combination of wealthy tourists, ranch hands, and hippie holdouts.