Defying conventional wisdom


WHAT IF YOU LEARNED that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not necessary to end the war with Japan and that both Generals Eisenhower and MacArthur opposed it?

Or that our invasion of Iraq was a violation of the Geneva Convention and, hence, a war crime?

That education and wealth were no guarantors of success?

That fatherhood was not just a responsibility but an astonishing privilege?

Or even that as the body shut down, consciousness expanded?

It’s easy to take the world at face value and assume that what we’re told about “the way things are” is not only accurate—but the way things will always be: War is inevitable; people are naturally violent; our leaders are honest; education and hard work are all you need for success; and the world of the senses is the one that is “real.”

Fortunately, there are people who persist in challenging conventional wisdom, regardless of popular sentiment. Sometimes they’re motivated by outrage over injustice. Just as often, it seems, they feel as if they’re simply pointing out the obvious: life is more than the conventional wisdom would have us believe.

Our interview this month is with Francisco (Pancho) Ramos-Stierle, who was a year shy of earning his Ph.D. in astrophysics when his employer did something so unethical that he could no longer look the other way. He has since lived a life of service and simplicity that redefines what most of us call “success.”

Retired Colonel Ann Wright tells why she resigned her State Department post over our government’s decision to invade Iraq; David Krieger explains why nuclear weapons don’t keep us safe; Anita Moorjani describes how, even as her organs were failing and her body was shutting down, her conscious awareness was expanding; Nicholas Powers encourages all men to examine their hearts and listen to women; William Rivers Pitt delights in the privilege of fatherhood; while Julaina Kleist-Corwin shares how her ex-husband communicated with her after death, and Joanna Zarkadas learns that her love was not enough to save a child.

We also feature short stories—about a lonely baker who is wisely counseled by her ingredients; a soul who is playing the timeless game of life; and about a prisoner for whom death cannot come too soon. Plus, sparkling poetry, Movies You Might’ve Missed, and MOON Shine…all in the July issue.

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(Our fabulous flying pig is from the Flying Pig Youth Hostel in Amsterdam. Check them out if you’re in that part of the world.)