Questioning Authority

The only sorts of questions to which answers bring a close are no more than requests for information, of one form or another. When that information is given in answer to such a request, the question is closed. In contrast, the question that genuine authority poses to each of us is one we can never close. It must always be held open, awaiting further response. The question that genuine authority poses to us is one that can only be answered with the entirely of our lives.

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The Devil at Noon

What could be more boring than being alone in some hermit's cell in the middle of some vast wilderness, with nothing left to do to divert oneself any longer, the long hours of the afternoon spreading out endlessly before one?Nothing else could even be as boring, surely. Unless . . .

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From Striking Back to Witnessing: The Freeing Power of Words

Jimmy Santiago Baca's story of his imprisonment is, in fact, a demonstration of the total failure of the entire system of which prisons are a part. That is not a failure of that system to "serve" Jimmy or others like him, or the broader society of which they and all of us are a part. Rather it is failure of the system at issue to do exactly what it is designed to do, even if there were never any conscious designers. It is the failure to that system to disempower those to whom it applies itself. 

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