From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment, often evoking in them cognitive dissonance and other changes including low self-esteem. Using denial, misdirection, contradiction, and misinformation, gaslighting involves attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim’s beliefs. Instances can range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents occurred, to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.

The term originated from the British play Gas Light (1938, but originally performed as Angel Street in the United States) and its 1940 and 1944 film adaptations (both titled Gaslight). The term has been used in clinical psychological literature,[1][2] as well as in political commentary and philosophy.[3]


Ingrid Bergman in the 1944 film Gaslight

The term originates in the systematic psychological manipulation of a victim by her husband in Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 stage play Gas Light,[4] and the film adaptations released in 1940 and 1944.[5] In the story, the husband attempts to convince his wife and others that she is insane by manipulating small elements of their environment and insisting that she is mistaken, remembering things incorrectly, or delusional when she points out these changes. The play’s title alludes to how the abusive husband slowly dims the gas lights in their home, while pretending nothing has changed, in an effort to make his wife doubt her own perceptions. He further uses the lights in the sealed-off attic to secretly search for jewels belonging to a woman whom he has murdered. He makes loud noises as he searches, including talking to himself. The wife repeatedly asks her husband to confirm her perceptions about the dimming lights, noises and voices, but in defiance of reality, he keeps insisting that the lights are the same and instead it is she who is going insane.[6]:8 He intends on having her assessed and committed to a mental institution, after which he will be able to gain power of attorney over her and search more effectively.[citation needed]

The term “gaslighting” has been used colloquially since the 1960s[7] to describe efforts to manipulate someone’s perception of reality. The term has been used to describe such behaviour in psychoanalytic literature since the 1970s.[8] In a 1980 book on child sexual abuseFlorence Rush summarized George Cukor‘s Gaslight (1944) based on the play and wrote, “even today the word [gaslighting] is used to describe an attempt to destroy another’s perception of reality.”[9]


Gaslighting involves a person, or a group of persons, the victimizer, and a second person, the victim. It can be either conscious or unconscious, and is carried out covertly such that the resulting emotional abuse is not overtly abusive.[10]

Gaslighting depends on “first convincing the victim that his thinking is distorted and secondly persuading him that the victimizer’s ideas are the correct and true ones”.[1]:45 Gaslighting induces cognitive dissonance in the victim, “often quite emotionally charged cognitive dissonance”,[11] and makes the victim question their own thinking, perception and reality testing, and thereby tends to evoke in them low self-esteem and disturbing ideas and affects, and may facilitate development of confusion, anxietydepression and in some cases even psychosis.[1]:33–34 After the victim loses confidence in their mental capacities and develops a sense of learned helplessness,[12] they become more susceptible to the victimizer’s control.[1]:34 Victims tend to be people with less power and authority.[13]:7

The role of either victimizer or victim can oscillate within a given relationship, and often each of the participants is convinced that they are the victim.[14] When a group of people acts as the victimizer, gaslighting does its damage through the group members’ “small, often invisible actions that have power through their accumulation and reinforcement”.[15] Gaslighting has been used by individuals and groups for “attaining interpersonal and social control over the psychic functioning of other individuals and groups”.[1]:6

The illusory truth effect, a phenomenon in which a listener comes to believe something primarily because it has been repeated so often, may occur to a victim during gaslighting.[12]

Psychoanalytic explanation

In a 1981 article, psychoanalysts Victor Calef and Edward Weinshel argued that gaslighting involves the projection and introjection (the “transfer”) of psychic contents from the victimizer to the victim.[14] The psychic contents include affects, perceptions, impulses, resistances, fantasies, delusions, conflicts. The authors explored a variety of reasons why the victims may have “a tendency to incorporate and assimilate what others externalize and project onto them”, and concluded that gaslighting may be “a very complex highly structured configuration which encompasses contributions from many elements of the psychic apparatus”.[14]

Later, psychiatrist Theodore Dorpat described this “transfer” of the victimizer’s unconscious psychic contents as an example of projective identification.[16][1]:5–6, 40 For projective identification to be most effective, the victim would be unaware of being gaslighted. It becomes destructive when the victim as well identifies with the contents of the “transfer” (what has been projected). These effects however are cancelled when the victim becomes capable of disbelieving and disidentifying with the negative introjects that result from projective identification.

In personality disorders

Sociopaths[17] and narcissists[18] frequently use gaslighting tactics to abuse and undermine their victims. Sociopaths consistently transgress social mores, break laws and exploit others, but typically also are convincing liars, sometimes charming ones, who consistently deny wrongdoing. Thus, some who have been victimized by sociopaths may doubt their own perceptions.[17] Some physically abusive spouses may gaslight their partners by flatly denying that they have been violent.[2] Gaslighting may occur in parent–child relationships, with either parent, child, or both lying to the other and attempting to undermine perceptions.[19]

In psychiatry

Gaslighting has been observed between patients and staff in inpatient psychiatric facilities.[20]

In a 1996 book, Dorpat claimed that “gaslighting and other methods of interpersonal control are widely used by mental health professionals as well as other people” because they are effective methods for shaping the behavior of other individuals.[1]:45 He noted that covert methods of interpersonal control such as gaslighting are used by clinicians with authoritarian attitudes,[1]:xiii–xxi and he recommended instead more non-directive and egalitarian attitudes and methods on the part of clinicians,[1]:225 “treating patients as active collaborators and equal partners”.[1]:246

In romantic relationships

In interpersonal relationships, the victimizer “needs to be right” in order to “preserve [their] own sense of self“, and “[their] sense of having power in the world”; and the victim allows the victimizer to “define [their] sense of reality” inasmuch as the victim “idealizes [them]” and “seeks [their] approval“.[6]:3

The psychological manipulation may include making the victim question their own memory, perception, and sanity. The abuser may invalidate the victim’s experiences using dismissive language: “You’re crazy. Don’t be so sensitive. Don’t be paranoid. I was just joking! … I’m worried; I think you’re not well.”[3]

Psychologists Jill Rogers and Diane Follingstad said that such dismissals can be detrimental to mental health outcomes. They described psychological abuse as “a range of aversive behaviors that are intended to harm an individual through coercion, control, verbal abuse, monitoring, isolation, threatening, jealousy, humiliation, manipulation, treating one as an inferior, creating a hostile environment, wounding a person regarding their sexuality and/or fidelity, withholding from a partner emotionally and/or physically”.[21]

Gaslighting has been observed in some cases of marital infidelity: “Therapists may contribute to the victim’s distress through mislabeling the [victim’s] reactions. […] The gaslighting behaviors of the spouse provide a recipe for the so-called ‘nervous breakdown‘ for some [victims] [and] suicide in some of the worst situations.”[19][22]

In their 1988 article “Gaslighting: A Marital Syndrome”, psychologists Gertrude Zemon Gass and William Nichols studied men’s extramarital affairs and their consequences on their wives.[22] They described how a man may try to convince his wife that she is imagining things rather than admitting to an affair: “a wife picks up a telephone extension in her own home and accidentally overhears her husband and his girlfriend planning a tryst while he is on a business trip.” His denial challenges the evidence of her senses: “I wasn’t on the telephone with any girlfriend. You must have been dreaming.”[22]

Rogers and Follingstand examined women’s experiences with psychological abuse as a predictor of symptoms and clinical levels of depression, anxiety, and somatization, as well as suicidal ideation and life functioning. They concluded that psychological abuse affects women’s mental health outcomes, but the perceived negative changes in one’s traits, problematic relationship schemas, and response styles were stronger indicators of mental health outcomes than the actual abuse.[21]

Psychotherapist Stephanie Moulton Sarkis explained that it takes “a certain amount of cognitive dissonance to remain connected to a gaslighter” and that “the healthiest way to resolve cognitive dissonance” in such situations involves “leaving or distancing yourself from the gaslighter”.[13]:24–25

Signs and methods

As described by Patricia Evans, seven “warning signs” of gaslighting are the observed abuser’s:[23]

  1. Withholding information from the victim;
  2. Countering information to fit the abuser’s perspective;
  3. Discounting information;
  4. Using verbal abuse, usually in the form of jokes;
  5. Blocking and diverting the victim’s attention from outside sources;
  6. Trivializing (“minimising”) the victim’s worth; and,
  7. Undermining the victim by gradually weakening them and their thought processes.

Evans considers it necessary to understand the warning signs in order to begin the process of healing from it.[23]

The psychologist Elinor Greenberg has described three common methods of gaslighting:[18]

  1. Hiding. The abuser may hide things from the victim and cover up what they have done. Instead of feeling ashamed, the abuser may convince the victim to doubt their own beliefs about the situation and turn the blame on themselves.
  2. Changing. The abuser feels the need to change something about the victim. Whether it be the way the victim dresses or acts, they want the victim to mold into their fantasy. If the victim does not comply, the abuser may convince the victim that he or she is in fact not good enough.
  3. Control. The abuser may want to fully control and have power over the victim. In doing so, the abuser will try to seclude them from other friends and family so only they can influence the victim’s thoughts and actions. The abuser gets pleasure from knowing the victim is being fully controlled by them.

An abuser’s ultimate goal, as described by the divorce process coach Lindsey Ellison, is to make their victim second-guess their choices and to question their sanity, making them more dependent on the abuser.[24] One tactic used to degrade a victim’s self-esteem is the abuser alternating between ignoring and attending to the victim, so that the victim lowers their expectation of what constitutes affection, and perceives themselves as less worthy of affection.[24][verification needed]

Role of gender

Sociologist Paige Sweet, in the context of the social inequalities and power-laden intimate relationships of domestic violence, has studied gaslighting tactics that “are gendered in that they rely on the association of femininity with irrationality”.[25]

According to philosophy professor Kate Abramson, the act of gaslighting is not specifically tied to being sexist, although women tend to be frequent targets of gaslighting compared to men who more often engage in gaslighting.[3] Abramson explained this as a result of social conditioning, and said “it’s part of the structure of sexism that women are supposed to be less confident, to doubt our views, beliefs, reactions, and perceptions, more than men. And gaslighting is aimed at undermining someone’s views, beliefs, reactions, and perceptions. The sexist norm of self-doubt, in all its forms, prepares us for just that.”[3] Abramson said that the final “stage” of gaslighting is severe, major, clinical depression.[3] With respect to women in particular, philosophy professor Hilde Lindemann said that in such cases, the victim’s ability to resist the manipulation depends on “her ability to trust her own judgements”. Establishment of “counterstories” may help the victim reacquire “ordinary levels of free agency”.[26]

Psychotherapist Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, who observed gaslighting to be present in about 30–40% of the couples she treats, says that “Gaslighting is as likely to be done by men as women”[27] and that “as far as we know, the genders are represented equally”.[13]:27 She explains further that we tend to think gaslighters to be mostly men because “men are often more reluctant (perhaps embarrassed) to talk to someone about a female partner who is being emotionally abusive”.[13]:27

In parent-child relationships

This section contains too many or overly lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. Please help improve the article by presenting facts as a neutrally worded summary with appropriate citations. Consider transferring direct quotations to Wikiquote(April 2020)

Children at the hands of unloving parents may become victims of gaslighting. Maternal gaslighting of daughters has received particular attention. In a section titled “Lying, Gaslighting, and Denial” in her best-seller Mothers Who Can’t Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters, therapist and author Susan Forward writes: “A severely narcissistic mother’s anger, criticism, and thoughtless dismissal of her daughter’s feelings are painful and destructive. And every daughter clings to the belief that if only her mother could see that behavior and its effects, she’d stop. Daughters try again and again to hold up a mirror, hoping that this time, things will be different. But severe narcissists stay true to form, responding to any confrontation with drama followed by deflection and a focus on your shortcomings. When that doesn’t produce the desired results, they turn to what may be their most frustrating and infuriating tool: denial. Confrontation makes them feel cornered, and when that happens, they can’t and won’t validate your experience or acknowledge their part in it. Rather, they rewrite reality and tell you that what you saw, you didn’t see, what you experienced didn’t happen, and what you call real is actually a figment of your imagination.” [28]:32-33

But both mothers and fathers may gaslight children. Psychologically abusive parents often put on a “good parent” face in public yet withhold love and care in private, leading children to question their own perceptions of reality and to wonder whether their parent is the good person everyone else sees or the much darker person that comes out when child and parent are alone. Manipulative parents may also “pit children against each other; … play favorites but persuade the unloved child it’s all his or her fault for not being more gifted, prettier, and otherwise more lovable.”[29]

In politics

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Columnist Maureen Dowd was one of the first to use the term in the political context.[30][31] She described the Bill Clinton administration’s use of the technique in subjecting Newt Gingrich to small indignities intended to provoke him to make public complaints that “came across as hysterical”.[31][32]

In his 2008 book State of Confusion: Political Manipulation and the Assault on the American Mind, psychologist Bryant Welch described the prevalence of the technique in American politics beginning in the age of modern communications, stating:

To say gaslighting was started by the BushesLee AtwaterKarl RoveFox News, or any other extant group is not simply wrong, it also misses an important point. Gaslighting comes directly from blending modern communications, marketing, and advertising techniques with long-standing methods of propaganda. They were simply waiting to be discovered by those with sufficient ambition and psychological makeup to use them.[33]

Journalist Frida Ghitis used the term “gaslighting” to describe Russia’s global relations. While Russian operatives were active in Crimea, Russian officials continually denied their presence and manipulated the distrust of political groups in their favor.[34]

Journalists at The New York Times MagazineBBC and Teen Vogue, as well as psychologists Bryant Welch, Robert Feldman and Leah McElrath, have described some of the actions of Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential election and his term as president as examples of gaslighting.[31][35][36][37][38] Journalism professor Ben Yagoda wrote in The Chronicle of Higher Education in January 2017 that the term gaslighting had become topical again as the result of Trump’s behavior, saying that Trump’s “habitual tendency to say ‘X’, and then, at some later date, indignantly declare, ‘I did not say “X”. In fact, I would never dream of saying “X”” had brought new notability to the term.[30]

Gaslighting is utilized by leaders and followers of sectarian groups to ensure conformity of any potentially deviating members.[39]

In the workplace

See also: Workplace bullying

Gaslighting in the workplace is when people do things that cause colleagues to question themselves and their actions in a way that is detrimental to their careers.[40] The victim may be excluded, made the subject of gossip, persistently discredited or questioned to destroy their confidence. The perpetrator may divert conversations to perceived faults or wrongs.[41] Gaslighting can be committed by anyone and can be especially detrimental when the perpetrator has a position of power.[42]

In popular culture

The 2016 mystery and psychological thriller film The Girl on the Train explored the direct effects gaslighting had on the protagonist (Rachel).[31] During her marriage, Rachel’s ex-husband Tom was a violent abuser and victimizer. Rachel suffered from severe depression and alcoholism. When Rachel would black out drunk, he consistently told her that she had done terrible things that she was incapable of remembering.[43]

Gaslighting was the main theme of a 2016 plotline in BBC‘s radio soap opera, The Archers. The story concerned the emotional abuse of Helen Archer by her partner and later husband, Rob Titchener, over the course of two years, and caused much public discussion about the phenomenon.[44]

For several months during 2018, gaslighting was a main plotline in NBC‘s soap opera Days of Our Lives, as character Gabi Hernandez was caught gaslighting her best friend Abigail Deveroux after Gabi was framed for a murder Abigail had committed in the series.[45]

In March 2020 the Dixie Chicks released a song titled “Gaslighter“, the title track from their forthcoming album Gaslighter, a reference to gaslighting[46] inspired by lead singer Natalie Maines‘ divorce from actor Adrian Pasdar.[47]

More at:

The Sonnet Man: Hip Hop Hamlet, To Be Or Not To Be

Deborah Voorhees Shear Horror Hamlet is an official Selection of 2015 Shakespeare film festival in Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespeare Film Festival in Stratford England, 2016 Elsinore Shakespeare Conference in Denmark, in the second round of the Harlem International Film Festival, will be included in a German documentary titled Wahnsinnswerke Hamlet on channel 3-Sat and has been added into the curriculum of BookheadEd Learning, LLC. Brooklyn hip-hop artist Devon Glover raps Hamlet’s “To Be Or Not To Be” soliloquy, first in Shakespeare’s language then he translates it into today’s speak. The Sonnet Man travels the world rapping Shakespeare’s sonnets and teaching children of all ages the Bard’s words. This music video has been created by director and editor Deborah Voorhees of Voorhees Films, which produced the quirky indie film Billy Shakespeare. For more information go to,, and The Sonnet Man’s show is produced by Broadway producer/playwright Arje Shaw, music produced by Daniel Lynas and background vocals by Daniel Lynas and Melissa Guttman.

Book: “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”

Concerning the Spiritual in Art

Concerning the Spiritual in Art

by Wassily Kandinsky

A pioneering work in the movement to free art from its traditional bonds to material reality, this book is one of the most important documents in the history of modern art. Written by the famous nonobjective painter Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944), it explains Kandinsky’s own theory of painting and crystallizes the ideas that were influencing many other modern artists of the period. Along with his own groundbreaking paintings, this book had a tremendous impact on the development of modern art.

Kandinsky’s ideas are presented in two parts. The first part, called “About General Aesthetic,” issues a call for a spiritual revolution in painting that will let artists express their own inner lives in abstract, non-material terms. Just as musicians do not depend upon the material world for their music, so artists should not have to depend upon the material world for their art. In the second part, “About Painting,” Kandinsky discusses the psychology of colors, the language of form and color, and the responsibilities of the artist. An Introduction by the translator, Michael T. H. Sadler, offers additional explanation of Kandinsky’s art and theories, while a new Preface by Richard Stratton discusses Kandinsky’s career as a whole and the impact of the book. Making the book even more valuable are nine woodcuts by Kandinsky himself that appear at the chapter headings.

This English translation of Über das Geistige in der Kunst was a significant contribution to the understanding of nonobjectivism in art. It continues to be a stimulating and necessary reading experience for every artist, art student, and art patron concerned with the direction of 20th-century painting.


Thomas Aquinas on God’s love

All artists love what they give birth to — the poet loves his poems, the potter her pots, the painter her paintings — how then could God, who is the artist of everything, hate anything?
— Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas (1225 – March 7, 1274) was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. An immensely influential philosopher, theologian, and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, he is also known within the latter as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis. Wikipedia

How to Overcome Racism

Rabbi Michael Lerner By Rabbi Michael Lerner | June 10, 2020 (

Protest for Justice, March for Peace

Dan Gaken

Protest for Justice, March for Peace

Many Americans have begun to understand that overcoming racism requires a transformation of the systems and teachings and structures of our society. Yet few have been willing to articulate exactly what changes are needed. Building on the platform of Black Lives matter, we at Tikkun, our movement for a society based on love and justice (see the book Revolutionary Love: a Political Manifesto to Heal and Transform the World), and our interfaith and secular humanist welcoming Network of Spiritual Progressives, put forward the program below as a starting point for discussion about what it would mean to change our societal arrangements to support the dismantling of racism in the 21st century. If after reading this article below you want to engage in a discussion of it, join our zoom based Torah study this coming Saturday morning where we will discuss these issues as part of the analysis of the assault on Moses for having a Black wife (or lover)–info for that at

Our anti-racist program includes creating an educational system and transforming media and the legal system so that undermining racist ideas and practices becomes one of their central goals. We will provide material support and champion those institutions and social practices that are most successful at fostering respect and caring for previous targets of racism. And we will foster education and public policies that help people understand why racism is counter to their interests and why solidarity with Black and Brown peoples and other groups that have been systematically excluded, marginalized, and targets of violence actually serves their interests and values.

If we want a loving and caring society that truly values the lives of Black and Brown peoples, and all people of color, we need to recognize and come to terms with how our country was founded and the impact of the past policies on the present. We also need to acknowledge and transform present day policies and practices that are discriminatory. The issues addressed in our Path to a World of Love and Justice are all relevant to the issues of institutional and individual racism in our society. Without a fundamental challenge to the economic and political practices of capitalist society there will always be some groups left out or left far behind, and those people will be encouraged by the most wealthy and powerful to find a scapegoat in some “other,” so it is unlikely that racism can be eliminated without this larger transformation. But, on their own, the policies we’ve suggested in the other parts of our program and even the emergence of a powerful transformative movement aimed at the goals of the New Bottom Line are inadequate to address the harm and trauma with which Black and Brown peoples live.

Even while celebrating those who have taken to the streets to protest racism, we are simultaneously witnessing at this time in history a continuation of the pervasive fear of black bodies and a denial that black lives matter; this is coupled with a rise of white terrorist and hate groups that no political party challenges, increasingly brutal and often racist police forces influenced by right-wing extremist worldviews, and the impotence of the news media and police to unveil the existence of underground hate groups that are becoming more visible and vocal. Today, blatant racism and violence, particularly against African Americans, Native Americans and Latin Americans, are manifesting in the form of extrajudicial police violence and killings, a school-to-prison pipeline that has resulted in more African American people in jails than were enslaved in the past in our country, the dumping of toxic waste and chemicals in communities where Black, Brown and low-income and poor white people live, unequal educational opportunities beginning before children even start kindergarten, and so much more.

Manifest destiny and American exceptionalism justified the genocide of Native Americans and deadens protest against present racist policies that keep Native Americans on reservations. These principles still inform and drive domestic and foreign U.S. policy resulting in oppression and violence at home and abroad. America’s ruling elite continues to use war to expand territory, to gain access to resources, and to increase its power. The military industrial complex leads to profits for private industry at the expense of the safety and welfare of Black and Brown communities at home and abroad.

Racism, however, is not only a structural problem built into the economic, political, and cultural heritage of our societal institutions, but also a psychological issue. It becomes particularly prominent when large numbers of people are alienated and in pain because they feel “dissed” by the society in which they live. They experience this pain because they buy into the ideology of the competitive marketplace with its insistence that we live in a meritocracy in which we “create our own reality” and hence we have no one to blame for the pain in our lives but ourselves. The resulting painful self-blaming is often dealt with through alcoholism, drug abuse, or other forms of addiction, but the pain remains.

In response to that pain, reactionary movements or leaders come forward and tell people that the reason for their pain is because of some “Other” (primarily African Americans or Latino/a, but also refugees of every sort, Muslims, LGBTQ people, feminists, Jews, or even all liberals or progressives). As Tikkun editor-at-large Peter Gabel puts it, racism and other forms of “othering” allow people to develop a “false self” in which they imagine themselves as worthy and powerful through seeing themselves as members of an idealized “white race” that provides them with a substitute sense of worth and value covering over their inner emptiness and sense of valuelessness. Yet because this sense of collective value is what Gabel calls “false” or imaginary, many people feel constantly under attack from an imaginary demonized “other” which in the historic context of the U.S. is African-American people, Latin, Muslims, Jews, or immigrants or refugees who they imagine are “taking over” and trying to recreate the experience of humiliation that already gives many white people deep pain and has led to the highest rate of suicides among middle aged white men. To undo this dynamic will take fundamental transformations in the way we organize our society so that people no longer feel humiliated. To move in this direction, we will need millions of people to be trained in empathic communication so they can help others dismantle their inner self-blaming, recognize that their alienation is caused by the values and daily operations of the competitive marketplace, and mobilize people to change that economic system. The Network of Spiritual Progressives offers such a training in what we call “prophetic empathy” on zoom (info and signing up to get information about the next training at

Institutional racism is maintained also by the largely unconscious assumption of white supremacy that is internalized by many white people in white dominant societies around the world, though particularly in the U.S.. Overcoming the racism embedded in U.S. educational, legal and other systems requires white people to actively commit to becoming aware of the white supremacy that permeates their lives, exposing it, understanding how it diminishes the humanity of white people, and seeking to undo it.

We believe that the system of racism, sold to whites as “privilege,” actually hurts white people, divides them from people of color who are badly needed as allies to overcome poverty, homelessness, unfair distribution of wealth, and also demeans their own humanity and creates fear and distrust throughout their lives. No—this “privilege” of whites is actually a curse. We must not participate in a general demeaning of white people in this society or ignore the ways in which their lives have been negatively impacted by living in a society that uses racism to pit groups against one another. We refuse to perpetuate divisions based on race, class, gender, or ethnicity. We recognize that unity amongst all peoples, badly needed to overcome the variety of oppressions and distortions of living in a society based on selfishness and greed, cannot be fully achieved without dismantling racism. The vision of “a caring society” put forth in Rabbi Lerner’s book Revolutionary Love, would lift up all peoples. That requires not only a change in consciousness, but also a fundamental transformation of our economic and political systems. Keith Ellison, Attorney General of the State of Minnesota, who indicted the 4 policemen in Minneapolis who murdered George Floud, indorsed Rabbi Lerner’s book this way: “The caring society is the only realistic path for humanity to survive, and in Revolutionary Love Rabbi Lerner lays out a powerful and compassionate plan for building that caring society. I love this book. Please read it and join with others to build the movement that can enable these ideas to reshape our society that so badly needs this vision.” (To read the endorsements by Gloria Steinem, Cornel West, Medea Benjamin, Ariel Dorfman, Riane Eisler, Henry Giroux, and others, go to

Yet the transformation needed cannot be achieved by attempting to recreate socialist forms that speak to economic equality but miss the deeper transformations in how we relate to each other, to the Earth, and to our own inner development as loving and caring human beings. To address these systemic problems, we believe we need a New Bottom Line so that all our institutions are determined “successful” or “productive” or “rational” based on whether they prioritize the well-being and needs of the people who live in our country and the world and the planet itself, rather than whether they maximize money and power. And, in addition, we need to engage in specific activities and adopt particular policies that address the problems that constitute or unconsciously perpetuate racism.

  • Reparations for slavery and the past destruction of Native American populations.
  • A guaranteed income for every adult in this society sufficient to pay for healthy food, housing in healthy living conditions, clothing, energy bills and transportation, and a “living wage” for all working people.
  • Global and Domestic Marshall Plan that re-directs monies from our Gross Domestic Product to communities that have suffered from unfair distribution of resources and wages, including white, black and brown working class people in the U.S. and around the world, and also “undocumented” workers and all migrant laborers who work in our fields, hotels, etc. who have then been deported to their native lands, separating and devastating families.
  • Equal funding for all public and private childcare centers, preschools and schools no matter where they are located in the U.S. or the income level of the families that are served by those schools. If wealthier parents are allowed to provide better schooling, better paid teachers, more options for study and for individualized attention at the schools which their children attend, their children will inevitably have greater resources than those who have gone to less funded schools. If parents know that the schools serving the poorest communities set the standards for what their own children will be offered in public and private schools, they will have a stronger incentive to make sure that all schools have these same benefits that are now primarily available to school districts with higher incomes and private schools partially financed by wealthy parents.
  • Higher level salaries for teachers who teach in communities with lower average incomes than the wealthier communities to ensure that all schools have highly qualified teachers.
  • Required courses at every level from 4th grade through college that explain to students the legacy of slavery, discrimination, classism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and their ongoing impact on the lives of all of us today. Such courses will teach techniques to address racism, empathic communication, and insights that help in overcoming racism.
  • Media must dedicate at least one quarter of their prime time viewing to shows that aim to creatively challenging racist practices, prejudice and biases.
  • Create a truth and reconciliation commission to generate a highly visible public tribunal to put our country on a path toward truly facing and healing the legacy of slavery and the treatment and slaughter of Native Americans, and the ongoing discrimination we see today.
  • To help ensure that schools become learning environments for all children rather than school-to-prison pipelines for some, we support the adoption of restorative justice as a primary form of response to wrongdoing in schools and in the criminal justice system as a whole.
  • Funding for jobs, education, and housing for people being released from prison.
  • In recognition that many police departments have unequal policing that results in the loss of liberty and life for black and brown peoples all over this country, every community that has a police force which has faced significant numbers of complaints about systematic abuse or profiling of African Americans or other minority groups must establish a publicly-elected police review commission that has the power to fire both individual police and replace the leadership of that police force, and the ability to impose heavy civil fines or criminally indict police and police leadership for violating the civil rights of people within their jurisdiction.
  • Mandatory training for police officers in anti-racism, bias and prejudice and comprehensive screening and vetting of applicants to help ensure that police officers are not racist. Mandatory training in de-escalation and nonviolent responses when conducting stops and arrests.
  • Any surveillance equipment that police departments request must be reviewed by a civilian board that includes members of the communities that are and will be impacted. If body cameras are used, any tapes from those cameras must be made available to family and community members when an officer’s actions are in question.
  • A wholesale rethinking of policing including demilitarizing of police forces, reducing and eventually eliminating higher levels of surveillance, and creating more transparency, accountability and transformative and restorative policing and justice models.
  • Full access, guarantees and protections of the right to vote for all peoples through universal voting registration, automatic voting registration, pre-registration for 16-year-olds, same-day voter registration, voting day holidays, enfranchisement of formerly and currently incarcerated people, local and state resident voting for all undocumented people, and a ban on any disenfranchisement laws. Criminalization of all attempts by government or private organizations which seek to prevent people from voting, or from voting by mail, or by not providing adequate voting places for people of color or poor people, or undermining voting by mail, or who come up with other ways to prevent voting by people of color or other disenfranchised populations.
  • In recognition that poor and disempowered communities often bear the brunt of environmental devastation and destruction, we promote the Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that, among other things, mandates that all corporations with incomes of greater than $50 million a year have to prove, once every five years, a satisfactory history of environmental and social justice to a jury of ordinary citizens who can hear testimony from people throughout the world who are impacted by that corporations practices.
  • These are places to start. We must also encourage public celebrations of communal solidarity and caring for others not yet fully part of our communites. Through music, dance, art, rituals, and other paths that speak to the heart, we shall create a new ethos of caring across all racial, gender, religious, and national lines and unite the human race to take on our most serious challenge: repairing the environment from two hundred years of abuse.


Rabbi Michael Lerner

Rabbi Michael Lerner holds a Ph.D. in philosophy (1972) and a second Ph.D. in psychology (1977), is editor of Tikkun, executive director of the Institute for Labor and Mental Health, rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-Without-Walls in Berkeley, chair of the international Network of Spiritual Progressives, and author of 12 books, most recently Revolutionary Love published by the University of California Press (more info about this book at Lerner was recently described by Professor Cornel West of Harvard U. as “one of the most significant prophetic public intellectuals and spiritual leaders of our generation” and Keith Ellison, Attorney General of the State of Minnesota, says: “The caring society is the only realistic path for humanity to survive, and in Revolutionary Love Rabbi Lerner lays out a powerful and compassionate plan for building that caring society.” Talking about his book Revolutionary Love, Gloria Steinem, a founding editor of Ms. Magazine, says “Michael Lerner takes the universal qualities wrongly diminished as ‘feminine’—caring, kindness, empathy, love—and dares to make them guides to a new kind of politics that can challenge the cruelty, competition, and dominance wrongly elevated as ‘masculine.’ Revolutionary Love opens our minds and hearts to a fully human way of living and governing.”

Cornel West: What It Means to Be Human

Ed Mays This talk is an edited for Free Speech TV version of the Collins Distinguished Speakers’ Lecture given April 26, 2019 at the University of Oregon titled “Race Matters…A Timely Discussion on the Fabric of America. ” The increase of racist incidents in Baltimore, Ferguson, Charlottesville and nationwide, alongside movements such as Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock, has made the need for conversations on race in the United States today one of continued urgency. Dr. Cornel West published the book ‘Race Matters’ in 1993 following the Los Angeles riots, which examined the crisis of black leadership in the United States. “We need to take a critical look at ‘We the People’ through the lens of these complicated issues and make connections about the deep questions of quality of life in this country,” he said. Cornel West is currently Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University, with a joint appointment in the Harvard Divinity School and the Department of African and African American Studies. He is an ardent political activist, a keen social critic, and a prolific writer. Author of 20 books, his publications include Race Matters (1993); The Future of the Race (1996), written with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; and The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto (2014), written with Tavis Smiley. Thanks to the Collins Fund Camera by Pirate TV contributor, Todd Boyle *************************** Pirate TV is a 58 minute weekly TV show that provides the book talk and lecture content for Free Speech TV. Pirate TV challenges the Media Blockade, bringing you independent voices, information and programming unavailable on the Corporate Sponsor-Ship. These posts are for YouTube and are usually longer than the broadcast versions. You will notice that I don’t monetize my videos. I’m irritated by constant interruptions as I’m sure are you, and I would like to have a say over sponsorship. If you would like to pitch in to support this work, consider a donation:… or PayPal:


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the culture of ancient Greece and later of the Greco-Roman world at large, the term paideia (also spelled paedeia) (/paɪˈdeɪə/;[1] Greek: παιδεία, paideía) referred to the rearing and education of the ideal member of the polis or state. It incorporated both practical, subject-based schooling and a focus upon the socialization of individuals within the aristocratic order of the polis. The practical aspects of this education included subjects subsumed under the modern designation of the liberal arts (rhetoricgrammar, and philosophy are examples), as well as scientific disciplines like arithmetic and medicine. An ideal and successful member of the polis would possess intellectual, moral and physical refinement, so training in gymnastics and wrestling was valued for its effect on the body alongside the moral education which the Greeks believed was imparted by the study of musicpoetry, and philosophy. This approach to the rearing of a well-rounded Greek male was common to the Greek-speaking world, with the exception of Sparta where a rigid and militaristic form of education known as the agoge was practiced.

The idea of paideia

The Greeks considered paideia to be carried out by the aristocratic class who tended to intellectualize their culture and their ideas. The culture and the youth were “moulded” to the ideal of kalos kagathos, “beautiful and good.”

Greek paideia is the idea of perfection, of excellence. The Greek mentality was “to be always pre-eminent”; Homer records this charge of King Peleus to his son Achilles. This idea is called arete. “Arete was the central ideal of all Greek culture.”[2]

In the Iliad, Homer portrays the excellence of the physicality and courage of the Greeks and Trojans. In The Odyssey, Homer accentuates the excellence of the mind, or wit, that was also necessary for winning. Arete is a concomitant of what it meant to be a hero and a component of warfare that was necessary in order to succeed. It is the ability to “make his hands keep his head against enemies, monsters, and dangers of all kinds, and to come out victorious.”[3]

This mentality can also be seen in the Greeks’ tendency to reproduce and copy only literature that was deemed the “best”, in the Olympic games, and in literature, with competitions in poetry, tragedy, and comedy. “Arete” was infused in everything the Greeks did. The mentality of arete can be stretched even further to the competing paideias of the Greek philosophers Isocrates and Plato, who both created highly influential schools in Greece. Although both rejected the current polis education, their rivalry of rhetoric and science for leadership in the realm of education and culture became one that they could not overcome.[4] In AntidosisIsocrates was compelled to defend himself against accusations that education makes people depraved, a charge that Socrates and Plato openly discuss in Republic. In Isocrates introductory speech Against the Sophists, it is clear that he has Plato‘s ‘prospectuses’ Gorgias and Protagoras, before him, and is deliberately trying to set up his own ideal of paideia in contrast to theirs.[4]

In modern discourse, the German-American classicist Werner Jaeger, in his influential magnum opus Paideia (3 vols. from 1934; see below), uses the concept of paideia to trace the development of Greek thought and education from Homer to Demosthenes. The concept of paideia was also used by Mortimer Adler in his criticism of contemporary Western educational systems, and Lawrence A. Cremin in his histories of American education. Later in 2013, as a theoretical extension to the Contact hypothesis, the application of the concept of Paideia to cultural heritage management was introduced by Dr. Fabio Carbone, an Italian Scholar, that suggests cultural awareness of local communities (know yourself) will lead to a more effective intercultural dialogue with others and reduces prejudice and hostility towards tourists.”[5]

The golden mean

The Greeks described themselves as “Lovers of Beauty”, and they were very much attuned to aesthetics. They saw and appreciated beauty in nature. They noticed a particular proportion called the golden ratio (roughly 1.618) and its recurrence in many things. They spoke of the need for balance as the golden mean—choosing the middle and not either extreme—and believed that beauty was not in the superficialities of color, light, or shade, but in the essence of being, expressed in structure, line, and proportion.

The Greeks sought balance in all aspects of human endeavor and experience. The Golden Mean is the cultural expression of this principle throughout the Greek paideia: architecture, art, politics, and human psychology.

Isocrates’ influence

Isocrates helped in making Athens one of the leaders in Greece through his paideia. Isocrates‘ goal was to construct a practice of education and politics that gave validity in the democratic deliberative practice while remaining intellectually respectable.[6] He wanted to elevate his Athenian audience to the level of philosophia by making them apply, in particular, a principle of intellectual consistency to their lives. The fundamental aspects of his paideia was achievement of consistency on the individual, the civic, and the panhellenic level.[6] Isocratean paideia became crucial to the survival of the polis through the identification of rhetorical with political excellence and the elevation of the Isocratean audience to the status of philosophy.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Psychonautics (from the Ancient Greek ψυχή psychē “soul, spirit, mind” and ναύτης naútēs “sailor, navigator” – “a sailor of the soul”)[1] refers both to a methodology for describing and explaining the subjective effects of altered states of consciousness, especially an important subgroup called holotropic states, including those induced by meditation or mind-altering substances, and to a research cabal in which the researcher voluntarily immerses themselves into an altered mental state in order to explore the accompanying experiences.[2]

The term has been applied diversely, to cover all activities by which altered states are induced and utilized for spiritual purposes or the exploration of the human condition, including shamanismlamas of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition,[3] sensory deprivation,[1] and archaic/modern drug users who use entheogenic substances in order to gain deeper insights and spiritual experiences.[4] A person who uses altered states for such exploration is known as a psychonaut.

Etymology and categorization

The term psychonautics derives from the prior term psychonaut, usually attributed to German author Ernst Jünger who used the term in describing Arthur Heffter in his 1970 essay on his own extensive drug experiences Annäherungen: Drogen und Rausch (literally: “Approaches: Drugs and Inebriation”).[1][5] In this essay, Jünger draws many parallels between drug experience and physical exploration—for example, the danger of encountering hidden “reefs.”

Peter J. Carroll made Psychonaut the title of a 1982 book on the experimental use of meditationritual and drugs in the experimental exploration of consciousness and of psychic phenomena, or “chaos magic“.[6] The term’s first published use in a scholarly context is attributed to ethnobotanist Jonathan Ott, in 2001.[7]

Definition and usage

Clinical psychiatrist Jan Dirk Blom describes psychonautics as denoting “the exploration of the psyche by means of techniques such as lucid dreamingbrainwave entrainmentsensory deprivation, and the use of hallucinogenics or entheogens“, and a psychonaut as one who “seeks to investigate their mind using intentionally induced altered states of consciousness” for spiritual, scientific, or research purposes.[1]

Psychologist Dr. Elliot Cohen of Leeds Metropolitan University and the UK Institute of Psychosomanautics defines psychonautics as “the means to study and explore consciousness (including the unconscious) and altered states of consciousness; it rests on the realization that to study consciousness is to transform it.” He associates it with a long tradition of historical cultures worldwide.[8] Leeds Metropolitan University is currently the only university in the UK to offer a module in Psychonautics.[citation needed]

American Buddhist writer Robert Thurman depicts the Tibetan Buddhist master as a psychonaut, stating that “Tibetan lamas could be called psychonauts, since they journey across the frontiers of death into the in-between realm.”[3]


The aims and methods of psychonautics, when state-altering substances are involved, is commonly distinguished from recreational drug use by research sources.[1] Psychonautics as a means of exploration need not involve drugs, and may take place in a religious context with an established history. Cohen considers psychonautics closer in association to wisdom traditions and other transpersonal and integral movements.[8]

However, there is considerable overlap with modern drug use and due to its modern close association with psychedelics and other drugs, it is also studied in the context of drug abuse from a perspective of addiction,[2] the drug abuse market and online psychology,[9] and studies into existing and emerging drugs within toxicology.[4]


The San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi) has been used for healing and religious divination in the Andes Mountains region for over 3000 years.[10]

These may be used in combination; for example, traditions such as shamanism may combine ritual, fasting, and hallucinogenic substances.

Works and notable figures

See also: Psychedelic literature

Aldous Huxley (1894–1963)

Timothy Leary (1920–1996)Two iconic psychonautical researchers and advocates of the 20th century.

One of the best known psychonautical works is Aldous Huxley‘s The Doors of Perception.[11][12][13][14] In addition to Ernst Jünger, who coined the term, the American physician, neuroscientist, psychoanalyst, philosopher, writer and inventor John C. Lilly is another well-known psychonaut.[15] Lilly was interested in the nature of consciousness and, amongst other techniques, he used isolation tanks in his research.[16]

Philosophical- and Science-fiction author Philip K. Dick has also been described as a psychonaut for several of his works such as The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.[12] Another influential psychonaut is the psychologist and writer Timothy Leary.[13] Leary is known for controversial talks and research on the subject; he wrote several books including The Psychedelic Experience. Another widely known psychonaut is the American philosopherethnobotanist, lecturer, and author Terence McKenna.[17][18] McKenna spoke and wrote about subjects including psychedelic drugs, plant-based entheogensshamanismmetaphysicsalchemylanguage, culture, technology, and the theoretical origins of human consciousness.

More at:

Drawing on Walls: An Wondrous Illustrated Homage to Keith Haring, His Irrepressible Art of Hope, and His Beautiful Bond with Children

By Maria Popova (


Growing in Bulgaria, one of my most cherished objects was also one of the first fragments of American culture to enter our home after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of the Iron Curtain — a small square desk calendar in a clear plastic clamshell, containing twelve illustrated cards, each vibrantly alive with tiny black-contoured figures dancing in various jubilant formations amid a festival of primary colors. I would look up to savor its mirth between math equations and domestic disquietudes. However gloomy a day I was having, however sunken my child-heart, these figures would transport me to a buoyant world of sunlit possibility. I knew nothing about their creator beyond the name on the back of the clamshell: Keith Haring (May 4, 1958–February 16, 1990). I knew nothing about the bittersweet beauty of his courageous life, nothing about the tenacious activism behind his art, nothing about the enormous uninterrupted chain of human figures bonded in kinship, which he had painted on the remnants of the very wall whose collapse had placed this miniature monument to joy on my desk.


Nearly three decades later, having traded Bulgaria for Brooklyn by some improbable existential acrobatics, I encountered Haring’s work again in a magnificent mural he had painted for a young people’s club in New York City in the final year of his twenties, not long before his death, which my friends at Pioneer Works had resurrected and brought to our neighborhood. The same rush of irrepressible gladness poured into the grownup heart from twenty-five-foot wall as had poured into the child-heart from the five-inch calendar. I grew attuned to the echoes of his sensibility bellowing down the corridor of time, reverberating strongly in the work of established artists in my own community.

Long before he moved to Brooklyn in pursuit of his own calling, poet Matthew Burgess had a parallel experience of Haring’s world-expanding art, which he first encountered on the cover of a Christmas record at fourteen, living behind the Golden Curtain of suburban Southern California as a budding artist and young gay man trying to find himself. “For those of us who grew up before the internet became ubiquitous, a bright fragment from the outer world can feel like an important discovery — and a call,” Burgess writes in the author’s note to what became his serenade to the artist who opened minds and world of possibility for so many.


A decade into teaching poetry in public schools, Burgess encountered Haring’s work afresh in a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum. After mesmeric hours in the galleries, he wandered into the museum bookshop and went home with a copy of Haring’s published journals, which he devoured immediately. On its pages, he realized that the special native sympathy between children and Haring’s art is not an accident of his line and color but at the very center of his spirit. In an entry from July 7, 1986, Haring writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngChildren know something that most people have forgotten. Children possess a fascination with their everyday existence that is very special and would be very helpful to adults if they could learn to understand and respect it.

Having previously composed Enormous Smallness — the wondrous picture-book biography of E.E. Cummings, another artist who so passionately believed that “it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are” — Burgess was impelled to invite young people into Keith Haring’s singular art and the large heart from which it sprang. And so Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring (public library) was born — a splendid addition to the most inspiring picture-book biographies of cultural heroes.


Burgess’s tender words, harmonized by muralist and illustrator Josh Cochran’s ebullient art, follow the young Keith from his childhood in small-town Pennsylvania, drawing at the kitchen table with his dad and dipping his little sister’s palms in paint to make her a mobile of handprints, to his improbable path to New York City.


One fateful day, home for the holidays from Pittsburg, where he had gone to study commercial art but had grow disillusioned with the prescriptive form, hungry “to be spontaneous and free,” Haring chanced upon The Art Spirit — Robert Henri’s 1923 masterwork, which would go on to influence generation of artists as sundry as Georgia O’Keeffe and David Lynch. “Rise up if it kills you,” Henri had written to O’Keeffe’s best friend. “I’m for the person who takes the bit in his teeth & goes after what he believes in.” Henri’s book — an invitation, an incantation, to “do whatever you do intensely” — invigorated the young artist to take the bit of his own talent and unexampled creative vision in his teeth and go toward that intensity.

After hitchhiking across the country with his treasured copy of The Spirit of Art, he went to New York City.


At twenty, he enrolled in the School of Visual Arts. (Cochran, whose illustrations bring Haring’s life to life in a rare acrobatic triumph of honoring another artist’s art in art that is both deliberately referential and thoroughly original, now teaches at the School of Visual Arts — a lovely testament to Robert Henri’s conviction that “all any man can hope to do is to add his fragment to the whole.”)


One day, he foraged some rolls of paper lying in the gutter between the bustling New York sidewalk and the bustling New York street, and spontaneously “began making bigger and bigger pictures.”


Burgess writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngKeith especially liked painting on the floor by the open door where the sunlight poured in.

People passing on the street would stop to watch or talk with him about what he was making. Keith loved it!

He didn’t believe that some people understand art while others don’t — or that art should be hidden away in galleries, museums, and private collections.

Keith wanted to communicate with as many people as possible. “The public has a right to art… Art is for everybody.”


Tracing Haring’s inviting self-discovery on vacant subway billboards and graffiti-populated walls, Burgess affirms this credo by spontaneously breaking into his own art-form — the delightful surprise of the book’s sole verse:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngMaybe it makes them smile,
maybe it makes them think,
maybe it inspires them to draw
or dance or write or sing.


Meanwhile, we see the bower of the young artist’s imagination grow decorated with the experiences of a life fully lived — he falls in love, starts a club in a church basement on St. Mark’s Place with his friends, discovers the vibrant graffiti culture of Alphabet City, listens to his boyfriend’s music as he paints and they cook together.


Like artist Agnes Martin and the astonishing array of employments by which she sustained herself as she revolutionized art, he takes a series of odd jobs to survive in New York — bike messenger and sandwich-maker and gallery assistant in Soho and wildflower picker in Jersey and always, always his favorite: drawing with children at a Brooklyn daycare.


All the while, he keeps drawing on walls, savoring that small, enormous moment when a stranger pauses mid-stride in this unstoppable city for a colorful moment of unbidden wonder. Burgess writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngFor Keith, this was what art was all about — the moment when people see it and respond.

At last, four years after leaping into the glorious uncertainty of life as a young artist in New York City, his big breakthrough came — a major solo exhibition at a Soho gallery. It tipped a Rube Goldberg machine of opportunities and invitations, making the world his canvas — from the wall of an Italian monastery to the Berlin Wall to the wall.


Burgess writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngBut no matter how busy he became or where in the world he went, he always made time for children.

Keith understood kids and they understood him.
There was an unspoken bond between them.

And since children often asked him to draw on their t-shirts, skateboards, and jeans, he always kept a black marker handy.


In the remaining seven years of his life, as the art world grew to lavish Haring with recognition and plaudit, his drawings would come to cover the walls of orphanages and hospitals and daycare centers. When he spent five days painting the wall of a Chicago high school together with its 500 students, one walked up to him and said, with that special way children alone have of seeing into the heart of things and naming what is there without self-consciousness or pretense:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngI can tell, by the way you paint, that you really love life.

Not long after that, Haring’s vivacity was stamped with the four letters that would spell certain death for so many young people of his generation. But even his AIDS diagnosis didn’t stifle his exuberant love of life — it only amplified it. Burgess quotes Haring’s diary:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngI appreciate everything that has happened, especially the gift of life I was given that has created a silent bond between me and children. Children can sense this “thing” in me.



Keith Haring painting a wall at the Palaexpo Museum in Rome, 1984. (Photograph by Stefano Fontebasso de Martino; featured with permission.)


Drawing on Walls radiates that singular thingness with its sensitive, courageous homage to an artist whose short life cast a widening pool of light on so many, rippling across space and time. Complement it with Maya Angelou’s lovely verses of courage for kids, illustrated by Haring’s contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat, and with the picture-book biographies of Wangari MaathaiMaria MitchellAda LovelaceLouise BourgeoisE.E. CummingsJane GoodallJane JacobsJohn LewisFrida KahloLouis BraillePablo NerudaAlbert EinsteinMuddy Waters, and Nellie Bly, then revisit E.E. Cummings — the subject of Burgess’s first picture-book biography — on the courage to be yourself.