A Philosopher asks: DOES GOD EXIST?


I’ve long been deeply interested in reality. I don’t care much about political correctness, or about social niceties: “just the facts.” A favorite children’s story which I caused my parents to visit numberless times is The Emperor’s New Clothes. Awkward issues don’t generally stall me; so I’m delighted to share a newly minted article here from the journal Philosophy Now which argues compellingly for the existence of God, written by Professor William Lane Craig. If you enjoy this essay, you might also find this book by Alvin Platinga of interest. For those who want something lighter on the topic, a movie by Ben Stein, EXPELLED  is fun and stimulating.




A stray dog (a shepherd, no less!) found his way into a
nativity scene and curled up for the night. He was
adopted by a member of the church.  (~from NonDualHighlights #5119)

Here’s a link, written by an atheist, for those who cannot yet believe. 

For many years we have made our own Christmas cards. Here’s a link to another couple who did likewise, long before us.

My (daily) Christmas prayer:

One thing have I desired of the Lord, and that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

Christmas scene from Yucatan:


Dancing in Santa Lucia park, Merida

Some very wacky photo greeting cards.

COMMUNITY: Bah, Humbug?


Below is a link to my outline for a lecture I’m giving today at Merida English Library, around 12:30. 

   COMMUNITY • Bah, humbug?

As a video size-limit here prevents me from embedding a portion of today’s event (and, oddly, I’m also unable to upload it to Youtube)  anyone who might care to ponder the issues addressed is invited to contact me. There is about 23 minutes of good quality digits available for viewing. 

After some discussion the group in attendance said it would be useful to attempt another meeting specifically focused on addressing the needs and perils of growing Merida English Library. Interested parties can be in touch thru this blog. We will also attempt to reach out to the membership for participation. I guess this constitutes the initial formation of an ad hoc library committee. Please sign up if you care about the survival of this important institution. Additional discussions will address specific improvements rather than metaphysical approaches.


HOLY SMOKE! Is “community” failing?


Mount Etna vortex ring. Photo by Tom Pfeiffer/Barcroft Media

Things seem so polarized! Our discourse has become so coarse. It is even palpable here in an expat community. What happens if community fails? What can we do to shore up our institutions?

I’ve asked to speak at Merida English Library as part of the ongoing Saturday morning lecture series. My talk will be happening this Saturday, (winter solstice!) December 21, about 12:30 pm. This public event is open to anyone. (Perhaps there will even be usable video for posting on youtube.) Here’s the invitation which will be rolled out early this week. I promise my presentation won’t be smarmy.

COMMUNITY: Bah, humbug?

I’m an idealist. I love community. When it flourishes, we all thrive. When it fails, we all struggle and suffer. Building a better ant hill benefits us all. I’d love to celebrate community together with you at this holiday season – with any and all who might be so inclined – on Solstice Saturday, December 21, at 12:30, at MEL – shortly after Debi Kuhn’s lecture on composting. (Debi’s will be a cool act to follow, as composting recycles that which is out of energy into that which can nourish.)

My presentation will be upbeat and positive. It will include some readings, and a sharing of thoughts and observations on how we might do community better. Afterwards, there will be an “open mic” for others to share in a similar fashion. Suggestion: bring a poem, a quote, a verse; sing us song – or, bring sheet music if you’d like us to sing along with you. Bring an instrument, or a platter of cookies to pass, or whatever might contribute to goodwill and sharing. Most importantly, bring your spontaneity and love. Ultimately community is working together. Let’s do this!

Eric Chaffee






WHY MERIDA? (How we came to be here)

220px-RickBayless_in_SanFrancisco-1The guy in the picture above, who looks a lot like me before my hair and beard turned white, is responsible for our first visit to Merida. He’s Chef Rick Bayless, who is famous for his Mexican cooking on PBS-tv (and at his restaurants in Chicago).

Mary and I were watching the show one day, and he was broadcasting from Merida. We looked at each other and agreed that we needed to visit this city. That plan came about in December of 2009. We’ve come back numerous times. Earlier this year we bought a house here. So, there you have the short version of our retirement-destination story.




We’ve spent too many winters in Buffalo. Five weeks ago we arrived in Merida to spend our first night in the home we bought here in February, after selling our small farm up north. We finally feel as though we’ve arrived. (It took a full week to drive here; and five more to settle in.)

Every day is demanding, with volunteer activities, a small construction project underway, language studies, and the adjustments to a new culture. But today was special. I finally was able to finish the prep work necessary to fill the above ground pool. Friends came by to help this morning, when I couldn’t unscrew the filter housing to install a fresh element. 

Once it was topped up, Mary and I went for a swim; and I was able to pluck a mandarin orange off a branch at the edge of the pool. Here we are in a city, but our backyard is lush with greenery – and sufficiently private to skinny dip! Life is good.


“The Cheese Stands Alone”


Wikimedia photo by Dominik HundhammerMünchen 

I remember being very disgusted upon first learning of yogurt. Eating bacteria! Yet if it weren’t for bacteria, our guts would become impacted. Having a healthy gut culture is vital. And they are everywhere. Somewhere I read that there is a higher count of bacteria in a teaspoon of dirt than the human population of the entire planet.

A friend has shared a cheese making story which might contribute to that disgust which we all should divest ourselves of. Human cheese! I’m amused, yet not tempted. Would you like some whine with that cheese?