Author: Jacob Nordby

Jacob Nordby

An open letter to Christians from a former believer

I grew up as deeply Christian as one can be — and not just because I was raised in it. I was a true believer, deeply committed to walking through life under the guidance of the Bible.
I’ve read the Bible several times and memorized large sections of it, many of which I can quote to this day. I’m not your enemy.
I appreciate the spirit you take into the world. And, you bear responsibility for what is being shoved into the world under the name, “Christian.”

Jacob Nordby

Rats in a Cage Experiment Breaks Our Ideas of What Causes Addictive Behavior

We created a society where significant numbers of us can’t bear to be present in our lives without being on something, drink, drugs, sex, shopping … We’ve created a hyperconsumerist, hyperindividualist, isolated world that is, for many of us, more like the first cage than the bonded, connected cages we need.

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. And our whole society, the engine of it, is geared toward making us connect with things not people.

Creative Cure

Standing in the Middle: Navigating the Woke Culture Wars with Courage and Grace

I’d like to take a minute with the whole “woke” thing. Like so many words that have been crammed into meanings to become wedges and weapons, woke acts as a trigger for many.

I saw a guy at the airport wearing an anti-woke t-shirt. His presence felt heavy and angry — this could have been projection on my part and I don’t think that was entirely the case.

My heart hurt for him as it does for so many men of my generation.

The ground is shifting beneath our feet profoundly. Those of us on board with the shakeup of outdated-but-familiar ways of being have still experienced a lot of discomfort as we’re required to take ownership of how imbalances have benefited us and propped up a sense of self that is now required to change as wrong things are righted.

Jacob Nordby

Our Inner Uglies and Why We Can’t Afford to Hide from Them Any Longer

In individual psychology, there’s an experience called by different names, but the more poetic and evocative term is “shadow work.” This is a process during which a person begins to face the denied, disowned, rejected, and suppressed parts of her or himself—and integrate them.

The psyche cannot be whole or healthy without engaging in this process in some way. A person must gradually begin to invite their orphaned parts home and welcome them into the inner family or they will always struggle with a sense of falseness or feel lost at odd times. If left unintegrated, these orphans often become saboteurs, thwarting a person’s best efforts to create a life they desire.

Jacob Nordby

How to Cast a Vote for the World You Want

I didn’t vote for a long time. There was a reason for this. It wasn’t apathy. I saw that the political process had become a cynical game played by powerful forces that did not submit to the rules, but made them for those who believe in such things. These forces mock the constitution, use elections as events to manipulate common people, and consolidate their power by profiting from turmoil. I’m talking about how the heartfelt emotion—the passion—of sincere people is tabulated, sorted in spreadsheets, and used in big data algorithms to predict outcomes that are not meant to serve humans.

Jacob Nordby

The only sanity in a world gone mad

There’s a phrase you might have heard or thought quite a few times this year: “… in a world gone mad.”

If you’ve been awake at all, you’ve probably muttered something like this for at least several years.

But the world has always been mad. What’s going on right now just reveals a deep level of insanity that has always been there, seething beneath the surface of what we refer to as “normal.”

Jacob Nordby

What Is The American Dream Now?

This land of ours is a laboratory. We are all involved in adding chemicals, turning up the heat under test tubes and otherwise messing around to see if a theory called Human Freedom can be viable.

Jacob Nordby

What fresh f*ckery is this?!

Pros and Cons of the Outrage Culture

Feelings of outrage are natural. We live in a world unlike anything humans have experienced before. The massive rise of technology and social media means that we can be aware of situations in real-time. We can be triggered by videos and photographs of atrocities from around the world just seconds after they occur—sometimes even as they occur while people live-stream the events from their mobile devices. We are more aware of outrageous situations and our brains are bombarded by them from nearly every angle. It’s not just the newspaper or the nightly news anymore.

This gives rise to a situation in which our brains are on high alert, looking for the next bit of news to trigger a familiar feeling: outrage. It turns out that outrage can be addictive.

Jacob Nordby

The inner medicine of sketchy, half-baked creativity

By now you’ve probably heard from many experts telling you how to make the most of this strange time. It can be overwhelming sometimes—especially for those of us who are caring for children and others at home. It can feel like just too much to move in the direction of something creative with anxiety, various kinds of stress, and distractions creating so much static in the air right now. It’s a psychological fact that when faced with fear, uncertainty, and too much unfamiliarity, the nervous system tends to move into “freeze” and this often means that we tend to engage in numbing behaviors rather than act in more usual, resourceful ways. The idea of engaging in a big creative project might feel like “the impossible task.”