A review of a publication dedicated to fusing personal conscience with humanitarian service
“We inhabit a half-dead world which cries out for a renewal of spirit,” writes Ralph White, founder and editor of Lapis, a magazine created in 1995 for the growing numbers who share his desire to see that renewal begin. But how? With the help of psychologists, politicians, educators, artists, and poets writing on a range of current issues, Lapis suggests an answer: We have to begin fusing our abstract principles of personal conscience with concrete acts of humanitarian service.
Eclectic and nonsectarian, Lapis is free to draw inspiration from different traditions, cultures, and ages. Lapis is closely tied to the New York Open Center, a forum for holistic perspectives that White founded 16 years ago, and many of the lectures hosted by the center also appear in the magazine.
The articles are often intellectually rigorous, but they are also richly rewarding. In “Goethe on Science,” for example, author Jeremy Naydler talks of the famous German poet, philosopher, and scientist who two centuries ago sought to meld spirituality and science. In many articles, Lapis demonstrates that a holistic worldview is neither new nor peripheral, but rather a necessary step toward our collective spiritual replenishment.
The magazine’s vision is rooted in a deep commitment to others and the world, as manifested in positive action. In other words, Lapis is less about finding your inner child than about getting it involved. By sharing the wisdom of different cultures, and by honoring the visionaries who have changed the world for the better with their simultaneously introspective and activist inclinations, Lapis offers hope that living meaningfully is simply a matter of being aware while dedicating ourselves to improving self and society alike.