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heather gold

Hi Sherry,

I just came across your blog while googling and getting ready for my improv sessions this week and wanted to drop a line to let you know that I'm enjoying it.

I particularly enjoyed your post about the lies to law students, your honesty about your fears and paralysis when it comes to writing and your PopTech posts.

I'm pretty familiar with a lot of the PopTech scene from my own time in eye of the Internet needle , esp circa 97-99 but yours is the first report that made me really want to go.

I finished law school in an unorthodox way (left in the middle to work at a film studio and summered at an early multimedia start-up). I never practiced law. I'm now a comedian who often uses different interactive techniques to create a sense of intimacy and connection with the audience.

I've learned much from software programmers and webheads. Giving up some control is a powerful powerful thing. And venturing into the forest has been, from my own small experience, necessary to creating. It's a sign that you are on a path.

You may enjoy the cartoon i wrote while I was in law school: Pate & Joan


I'm currently developing my second solo show which is about law school and the law and my own path. You see it was law school that turned me into a performer. I write with via audience improvs: a performance version of blogging.

I'm trying to recall pieces of my journey and found your blog really helpful for triggering my own memory. As for faith? I've found pursuing your heart (and for me and many head livin' orphans --which is what a purely analytic life will make you--it can take many years to begin to hear it and trust it) leads to faith.

Structured faiths may not appeal right now. My hunch is that they may never fully work for you. Your blog reads like you are someone who is on an earnest quest for you truth. Writing, creating, whether a show, a novel or a life is a messy affair. That's a hard thing for an achievement addict to give up. I should know :-) To put it in analytic terms, you will learn faith by just creating. Because the process is always one of being lost, meandering , then seeing / feeling the connections and then revising with structure and analytic thought. If you begin analytically or with an existing structure (or story or religious organization) then you do not make it your own.

Eventually, my instinct is, that all the spokes lead to the same hub of the wheel. I was virulently anti-religion and faith.

I'm finding it in my own way, but there's nothing like a creative act to show it to you. And in the doing , step by step it just becomes clear. Faith in Self is the thing that is necessary to lay down the words the matter. Despair, misery and failure I've found all very helpful midwives.

Freedom is in failure.

warm regards,


Hi Sherry,

I found your blog by following a link from a mutual friend's blog. Your comments about Harris' talk resonated with me and so I thought I'd share some thoughts.

For several years, I wrestled with the interplay of faith and reason while participating in a discussion group in grad school that was made up of primarily engineers, scientists and a few social scientists. The group was truly a mixed bag with many permutations of faith and scientific explorition embodied in the various participants. We tussled with a range of ideas such as intelligent design, evolution, the origins of morality, etc. and attempted to deconstruct them down to their core elements. And each time we met, I came away increasingly frustrated as I continued to hit the limits of reason.

One day I was finally able to summarize that frustration succinctly. What I realized, which seems obvious in retrospect, is that we all reason forward from a set of personal axioms we hold true. There are things I choose to believe that I cannot defend in any way. There is no evidence I can collect to prove or refute these beliefs.

This was shocking for me, being someone who was fighting vigorously to reject any such beliefs that were not well founded. I was not going to have blind faith in anything. Yet even I, at some level, walk that path. My notions of faith and reason are inextricably intertwined.

The Happy Feminist

I agree with Chris that everyone has some rock bottom truths where they place their faith, "personal axioms" from which they work. Personally, I think its important to be able to rationally justify as much as you can until you get to that point when you realize you are working from faith.

I am willing to bet that what Sam Harris is concerned about is the role of faith in the public (i.e. political) sphere. I think you can minimize or eradicate faith in the public sphere and still make time in one's personal life for "ritual and reverence and mystery." Can't wait to read the book, by the way!

Marcin Tustin

If you want ritual and reverence and mystery, join or start your own mystery cult. Just don't ask me to subscribe to any public policy justified with reference to the shadowy and irrational impulses within your breast.


"I don't have faith; I haven't found an organization that resonates."

faith != organizations

it is the attempt to organize faith that makes it a fool's errand, in my opinion. as the other commenters elucidate better, it is a personal thing.

Chanel Watches

I can’t agree with you more!

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