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What are your beliefs, and why?

By Robin Loving Rowland

In this age of broadening spirituality, by which I mean it seems we can each believe whatever suits us rather than be ill fit by someone else’s beliefs, a couple of good questions for many of us are just what do we believe, and why?

Sophia Fahs was an editor, author and teacher whose teaching and writing focused on a method of experiential learning that she hoped would enable children to develop their own ideas about spirituality. She said: “Some beliefs are like walled gardens. They encourage exclusiveness and the feeling of being specially privileged. Other beliefs are expansive and lead the way to wider, deeper sympathies. Some beliefs are like blinders, shutting off the power to choose one’s own directions. Other beliefs are like gateways opening wide vistas for exploration.”

Which beliefs do you choose? And, again, why?

Rev. Dr. Farley W. Wheelwright just published his first book entitled Twice-Told Tales —at age 97—in which he put forth 21 essays to help us figure out what we believe, and why. Wheelwright writes of social, political, ethical, spiritual and scientific matters to help us find our own true courses.

His chapter titles include “What Makes a Good Person?” “Rethinking the Work Ethic,” “Clear Thinking,” “In Search of Spirituality,” “Discovering Spirituality,” “Get Angry but Get Over It” and “Alternatives to Despair.” These and others of Farley’s essays are powerful enough to be housed at the Harvard Divinity School Library.

On the biology of belief, he discusses scientific research on the evidence of neurological process that has allowed us humans to transcend material existence and connect with the deeper, more spiritual part of ourselves.

On spirit, he quotes a definition that is it the animating or vital principles in humans that give the breath of life, explaining that there is more to life than political, economic, even physical laws can explain.

Wheelwright possesses a bachelor’s degree in theological studies, a master’s degree in divinity, a doctorate in ministry and a doctorate in clinical psychology. He was a close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and president of the Unitarian Universalist Peace Fellowship.

Wheelwright’s book may be purchased in his hometown of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, by contacting him at The 200 pesos he asks for the book will be a donation to the local school for the deaf. It also is available at

Wheelwright doesn’t preach as much as look at as many facets of a question as he can, and then he shares them for us to make our own decisions. Enjoy this outstanding and wise thinker’s latest contribution to the understanding of our place in the world.


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