Marty Kaplan: What matters to me & why

Posted: March 14, 2015 at 6:47 am

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I began making a list of what matters to me. Intellectual curiosity. Climate change. The First Amendment. My family. Giving back. One friend said to me, I know what Id say: Money. Another friend told me: Those talks can be surprisingly honest.

That got me thinking. Whats the most honest answer I could give?

Right then, I knew. I had to come out. I had to say a three-letter word, beginning with G.


For an academic, saying something good about God can be one of the last great taboos. So lets break it. Im talking about my relationship with God and no-God. You know that campaign, It Gets Better?

Well, my message is, It Gets Different. Sometimes you dont even see the difference coming. I sure didnt.

It was tooth-grinding that got me back to God.

I didnt know I was on a spiritual path at the time. I began meditating for the same secular reason that millions of others have taken it up: stress reduction. I couldnt face wearing a night guard to protect my teeth from stress, and the alternative I stumbled onto was meditation. I thought I was just learning a practical technique, picking up a little mind-body medicine. If meditation could help people facing terrible things, like cancer, why not me and my molars?

I got more from mind-body medicine than I bargained for. I got religion.

Stress, a defining disorder of our era, may yet turn out to be helpful to our species, serendipitously leading a ragtag band of agnostics and secular humanists, the nonbelievers and the lapsed, clench-jawed baby boomers and frazzled millennials, to reconsider their verdict on God.

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Marty Kaplan: What matters to me & why

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March 14th, 2015 at 6:47 am