James Baldwin expressed humanism as well as anyone. Thanks for sharing his lovely statement of the Golden Rule.

Expand full comment
Aug 21, 2023Liked by Samuel Kronen

Beautiful essay, Samuel. Magnificent. You so eloquently write of concerns and the questions I've been considering. Thank you.

I have had Long Covid for over a year now. It stopped me in my tracks. I feel as though I am frozen in time. I only exist outside of society.

Love and wishes for peace to you, fellow traveler, and some day soon...healing for us all. Solidarity.

Expand full comment
Aug 10, 2023·edited Aug 10, 2023Liked by Samuel Kronen

You are one of of my favorite people! I do not wish to express labels in a nod to your post however, David Shields wrote a classic essay titled, "The one thing about life is that one day you will be dead." With suffering, death or hell can already be here, and now, and you do not need be told this! I wish this were not so, but as you said, on any "heroes journey" there is always the descent from the mount of Prometheus. It is that universal arrival from many different paths. I hope you can find a way from that valley to feel human again, and alive, because the pulse of your words alone give life to others.

Proust wrote that neurosis makes the best art and for me, there has always been a gift and true je ne sais quoi to the presence of your voice in your writing. Rogers, Jung, Rumi, Baldwin all have the insight of inner seeing that you have expressed so well. But you connect mystery of paradox and grander things to the peculiar situationship that is being human with lines like, "the universe looking through you." All the mystics have some way of saying this, but I cannot help but always think over that there is no worse voice than the inner critic convincing us to believe our solitude has become loneliness, or that no one would/could/is near us when our light is low (Tennyson, life the fury flinging flame!). With the "alienation" as a symptom of a system that has and continues to ignore those deemed as "other," I can only imagine even better what Arendt was thinking, like you in regards to that, on the "banality of evil." That lots of the unnecessary yin in the "yin yang" comes from systems that were built on the dead legacies of colonialism and that search for meaning in their own lives (at the cost of others) that as Harold Kushner would highlight was, "never enough." Then comes the great challenge to the ego of the western mind in every chapter of life, can one radically accept a state of being as enough in and of itself, while resisting conformity in oppressive systems (the great challenge in 2023)? As the yin and yang pendulum swings? That no doing or achieving or status can ever replace that universal humanism of, "I just am?" In this way, a humanist like you has a seeing that many only see at about age 65+, and some, never. I am enriched by you sharing this seeing. Thank you.

Expand full comment
Aug 9, 2023Liked by Samuel Kronen

You are so welcome Samuel. You write so beautifully. I have been thinking about your piece all day. I love you how developed your ideas of what it is to be human through the examples of yin and Yang, James Baldwin and your redefinition of humanism which I always associate with the “Me Generation” of anything-goes materialism. Your tone is so sweet and kind even as you describe your experience with the medical system. There is no judgement or blame only wisdom. Reading your essay elevated my consciousness - how can greet the other as he or she is? Can I be kind and open as all humans have the capacity to be? I am a pondering these questions as a result of your words. I look forward to the next installment whenever that happens to be.

Until then, take good care of yourself and please know I am sending loving prayers to you everyday.

Expand full comment
Aug 8, 2023Liked by Samuel Kronen

Thank you so much for sharing your journey, Samuel. It was very healing for me to read about your experiences and your reflections on being human. I look forward to reading more of your wisdom and am sending you lots of loving prayer that your life’s journey continues to unfold before you and, importantly, you have more and more moments of feeling well and whole.

God bless you.

Expand full comment

Congratulations on this wonderful achievement of clarity!

The Buddha often referred to life as having a dream-like quality.

I suspect you would greatly enjoy the Mark Cavendish documentary on Netflix.

I would look forward to sending you my company’s acidic cannabinoid product samples to endogenously support your body and brain’s primary (ubiquitous) homeostatic chemical signaling system, the endocannabinoid system, where its deficiency is hypothesized to be leading cause of dis-ease.

Expand full comment
Aug 7, 2023Liked by Samuel Kronen

So glad to see you'll be writing more again... I'm on fixed income but will subscribe as soon as I can...

Expand full comment