Category Archives: Humanism

Transcendence Without The Bull

by Lawrence Rifkin MD

A rush of powerful, transforming emotion. A bolt of altered perspective. A love that overwhelms. An unmediated encounter with pure beauty. A profound realization of significance—or insignificance. When a humanist has a “wow” experience, by what name should we call it? Transcendence? Continue reading Transcendence Without The Bull

Wonders, Not Miracles

Galileo Galilei, regarded as the father of modern science

by Lawrence Rifkin MD

As a pediatrician, I have a seemingly endless collection of hilarious stories. A toddler came in for a visit carrying along his security object—a spatula. Later that day, an otherwise perfectly well-adjusted mother admitted to me that she is terrified of cantaloupes. Then I treated a teenage patient who had been camping and made the fateful and unenviable decision to use poison ivy as toilet paper. Continue reading Wonders, Not Miracles

What about Hope?

by Lawrence Rifkin MD

The middle-aged woman in a dark red sweater looked withdrawn and forlorn. I had been answering questions from the audience after presenting a talk called “Humanism As a Source of Inspiration and Meaning.” She raised her forearm just slightly to indicate she had a question. Her question—and my inability to satisfy her with an answer—haunted me for weeks. Continue reading What about Hope?