God is not a man with a beard on a throne in the clouds

Symbols are often used to help people get an idea of higher, often ineffable, truths.

  • A good story has the ability to transform its readers — it speaks to our psyche, and, in doing so, has the ability to change how we perceive the world.
  • When trying to understand the adherents of the world's major religions, Joseph Campbell advises to try to look at mystical experiences through the lens of the founders. In doing so, we can better understand the context of their messaging.
  • When we talk about God as an old man on a throne in the clouds, when seen as a metaphor, the imagery helps us understand the divine — the beard expresses great age, the throne symbolizes its supremacy, and the clouds signify that it presides over all of us.
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Why sexuality and spirituality belong together

Comedian Pete Holmes details his struggle with faith, sex, and God.

  • Comedian and writer Pete Holmes explains how he lost his faith after a long struggle with what he calls his Christian, puritanical, shame psychology.
  • Holmes found the antidote to internalized shame was 'thoughtless, irrational love'. Love should be as indiscriminate as light, he says. Many people only give conditional love to themselves and others.
  • Sexuality is not a mistake, says Holmes. Pretending to be pure by saying frack instead of fuck, and not seeing R-rated movies and being really "nice" is not what a connection to the divine is about.
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Videos

Eight reasons why comedians make good leaders

After a landslide victory, a popular comedian with no political experience becomes Ukraine's next president. Are comedians really the best leaders?

SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

If you were browsing Netflix's comedy section recently, you might have noticed the Ukrainian sitcom, Servant of the People. In it, an ordinary history teacher is unwittingly elected president of the Ukraine.

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Politics & Current Affairs
Photo credit: Paras Griffin / Getty Images
  • Decade-old tweets by Kevin Hart, directed at gay men, have recently enflamed controversy.
  • 2016 studies suggest that people's outlook and opinions can dramatically change over time.
  • His hosting the Academy Awards ceremony could signal a message of redemption in terms of LGBT alliance.
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Culture & Religion

5 holidays to celebrate this year that aren’t Christmas

Going mad with Christmas cheer? Try one of these alternatives.

Matt Cardy/Getty Images
  • Christmas is an all consuming holiday, celebrated even in cultures where Christianity never took root.
  • However, some people just can't take it anymore. Some of them even invented new holidays as alternatives.
  • While some of the holidays are celebrated half jokingly, they all offer an escape from an often overbearing Christmas season.
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Culture & Religion