John Ptacek
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  • Milwaukee, WI
  • United States
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My life has been enriched by the teachings of great spiritual leaders. My essays attempt to interpret these sometimes perplexing teachings so that more may be inspired by their wisdom.
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John Ptacek's Articles

Ego Comes Home to Breakup Letter

Posted on May 26, 2012 at 8:11am 1 Comment

Dear Ego,

I’m breaking up with you. No more circular discussions, no more eleventh hour recriminations. We’re through. 

This is not an emotional decision. Actually, it doesn’t feel like a decision at all. We’ve been drifting apart for some time now, and more than anything I’m just acknowledging the distance between us. Whatever kept us together just isn’t there anymore. 

It…

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Gearing up for Revolution

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 7:04pm 1 Comment

Social change. Social justice. Social reform.

Words that leave a vapor trail. They imply action, movement toward a common good. 

But is that what happens when we become warriors for our causes? Are we all better off? 

Or, assuming we’ve won - whatever that might mean - have we simply achieved victory for our side? 

The mystique of revolution as a social enterprise stands on sturdy legs in the…

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Under the Spell of Tradition

Posted on December 2, 2011 at 4:00pm 0 Comments

Tradition was not limited to mirthful formalities on Christmas Eve. Against a backdrop of winking lights, simmering kitchen aromas and Nat King Cole’s wistful caroling, I watched my nieces participate in a familiar passion play that bore only a passing reference to the more sacred one we were celebrating, the one that began with a miraculous birth more than 2000 years ago.



It all started in the kitchen when my oldest niece, nearly 13, piped into a conversation about makeup. “I have… Continue

Minding Mother Nature

Posted on October 23, 2011 at 1:29pm 0 Comments

When you go to a movie, you willingly suspend your beliefs for an hour or two. I’m only asking you to suspend them for a few minutes. This has to do with your happiness, so do pay attention.

You don’t exist.

At least not in the way you think you do.

Oh, you’re a human being, alright, a physical contraption with a sophisticated brain that guides you step by step through your earthly journey. You had a mother and a father and perhaps a sibling or two. You’re married or…

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