Joseph Perry Essays and Stories

Open Source Love: What is Open Source Love? A parable, a metaphor, an inside joke? All these and more.
Love, the Kernel of Natural Law: Here we find ourselves, whatever our childhood experience, searching for meaning, for spiritual food and drink, for relationship, for love.
Love the One You're With - Revisited: Remember CSNY singing: If you can't be with the one you love, then love the one you're with.
As Yourself: Love says love your neighbor as yourself. Or, do unto others as you would like them to do to you. Because we are the same.
The Dark Side: Sorry about the title—it's a little dramatic. There really isn't a dark side to love. But there are dark things that keep us from love.
Cold Hard Love?: It's been said that you don't have to feel anything to show love. A corollary to that is you don't have to like someone to behave in a loving way toward them. I think the influence of that kind of teaching has done a lot of harm.
Love is First: Love is first, last and everywhere in between. Love is our business, our pleasure, our arts and sciences, our dream and reality. If we do not have enough love we usually look for more. If we think we have less love now than we did before we go seeking where we think we lost it.
Love is Everything: About seven years ago, maybe eight, I went to a coffeehouse to hear some songwriters. Mark Gershmel was there and he sang a song that touched me deeply.
Agape and Eros: Mortal Enemies?: What is eros and is it as evil as we have thought? The different ways the word has been used range from "self-interested desire" to "biological life-force" to "unbridled lust."
When Does Love Stop Loving?s: Does love stop loving? No. But lovers stop loving because they stop believing.
Faith, the Proper Response to Love: Being loved alone isn't enough for a relationship—one must respond to that love with faith. I believe you love me and so faith completes love. You see that I believe and your love grows stronger.
Surprise! You are Loved: What would surprise and delight you more than anything? For me it would be to learn I am loved. For to be loved gives me a solid place to stand. It lets me feel life is worth living.
I Believe Because I Love: because my religion is a matter of the heart it's a love-relationship, and a very powerful one. It's not a financial matter, not an intellectual one, not even primarily a moral or ethical matter. It began with love and it grows by love.
Intentional Love: I see my friend Harry about once a year. We get together on purpose and spend a little time when he is in town. This last time he told me when we parted, "I love you—deeply." I like being loved, and especially by someone I think so highly of.
Consciousness Overflow: Yesterday I saw a notice posted on the bulletin board at work announcing a lecture in Flynn Auditorium at Vanderbilt. It was to be about consciousness. "The Problem of Consciousness in Philosophy, Religion and Science." A Templeton Lecture by Christof Koch
As Seriously as Our Shredded Dignity Demands, Part One: This morning after checking my email and my ebay I sat down in front of the television with coffee and got pulled in by a British movie about a socially backward government functionary and a quiet younger lady with whom he was attempting to socialize.
As Seriously as Our Shredded Dignity Demands, Part Two: I have been hungering mightily for a sense of significance. My faith says it is there but my day to day existence claims it is not. Whether we are overworked or underworked we are susceptible to the gremlin of meaninglessness.
As Seriously as Our Shredded Dignity Demands, Part Three: For me the habit of rising late in the morning, turning on the television and sitting there ‘bone idle’ is just about the guiltiest-feeling things one could do. According to my anxious conscience, non-industriousness is one of the most shameful sins.
The Omnipotent Coworker: We all have co-workers; we have many kinds of co-working relationships. Some of our work relationships are supposed to be egalitarian, most are not nonetheless. Now, we believers have a Co-Worker who is omnipotent and we are in a whole new league.
The Beautiful Dead: The image of the beautiful dead is an old one. We see it in the tombs of Egypt and in the poetry of Greece. We hear it in old Irish ballads. It is beautiful and sad. And we want to touch it.
How Do I Know I am Lovable: How do I know I am lovable? A lady brought it up at Wednesday night prayer service this past week. She said, "You are lovable; don't let anyone tell you that you are not."
God is Never a Third Party: As for God, he is never a third party when he is present in the religious consciousness; this is precisely the secret of the religious consciousness.
Who Could Make Up Such an Idea: God cares for you. Who could make up such an idea? Unless it were true, no one could possibly invent such a concept. Where would it come from? Upon what evolutionary model could they have patterned such a myth?
True Statements about Love: Some statements about love which I think are true (Not necessarily in order of importance) One—Love is not a feeling, but love has feelings.
William Blake is Always Timely: William Blake's Poison Tree. I love the first stanza by itself. The other three are like poison icing on the poison cake.
Thoughts on Passages from John Donne: A Holy Sonnet, No Man in an Island, and the benediction from Death's Duel. This is where I live day to day.
Noise: an essay about Thomas Traherne and the way in which every one of us has ceased to be like little children.
Lies: I believe that each of us has found it impossible to accept ourselves and we have been willing to do almost anything to hide our true selves.
Flow: Love comes from God and flows to others as we allow Him to. We fail but we must get up and keep on.
Hesitant About Reunions: An account of the an important reunion and my ambivalence leading up to it.
Resurrection Lilies: A favorite flower and some life lessons the might be learned from it.
The Richest Man in Town: George Bailey and I have a lot in common.
A Humble Man: The memorable morning I saw Jason Parchert performing at the airport.
The Old Road and the Older Road: A little bit of nostalgia.
Lilies, Lilacs, Love and Anxiety: Springtime on Berry's Chapel Road and all the ramifications.


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