Although progress is not inevitable, therefore, there is the possibility of a virtuous circle, of increasing liberation from nature, increasing knowledge and wealth, increasing freedom, and increasingly high standards of private and public mores.
Explore the depths of your "self." Hone your mind and your spirit. Excavate the best version of yourself. Keep digging -- there's a lot down there (or "up there" if you prefer). It's the task of a lifetime. Be creative -- you can create wonders.
My sense of the meaning of Shavuot, a Jewish holiday that begins in the evening on May 14, has been deeply transformed by an ancient teaching from the Nag Hammadi library, a collection of Gnostic texts.
Pagels attempts not only to explain the Bible's mysterious last book but also to place it in a narrative about conflict and suppression in early Christian history. The book features vivid historical imagination, along with helpful explanations and provocative, sometimes dubious, judgments.
As we celebrate Pride Month and the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising by LGBT bar patrons fighting back against the police, who were trying violently to arrest them, I wonder why more liberals and progressives don't seek to learn about a fascinating ancient theology called Gnosticism.