This Christmas, Try to be More Judgmental

One of my favorite expressions, which Google finds to be of disputed provenance, is "Be hard on yourself, but easy on others." Most of us naturally tend toward the opposite. In my case, I give myself unlimited hall passes for things much worse than I condemn others for. I have done this all my life, I’m frightfully good at it, and I doubt I will ever stop. This comes to mind because 2017 has been the worst year of my life. Four people very close to me died within a few months of each other (the last two, 10 days apart), with a fifth passing away just before Christmas 2016. As one does at times like these, I cast about for guidance and inspiration, which brought me to the works of 18th-century philosopher and scientist Emmanuel Swedenborg. During his later years, Swedenborg claimed to have visited the afterlife, including both Heaven and Hell, and wrote prolifically about what he saw there. This may seem bizarre, but Swedenborg’s books are...(Read Full Article)