Ptolemy Tompkins

Ptolemy Tompkins has been an editor at Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines and is the author of four books. His writing has been featured in Beliefnet.com, Harper’s, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in New York.
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My Life in 8 Words

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Ptolemy Tompkins
Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. I'll have to to go with Heraclitus' line: "Character is fate." Which doesn't mean that I think I have a particularly good character. I just think it's true.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. The psychologist Carl Jung said somewhere that at bottom, everyone's greatest fear is hell. Not the Christian hell, necessarily, but a place of ultimate darkness and negativity. A place that's DOWN, not UP. I think he was right. Well, he was right about me at least.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. Georg Trakl (eccentric early 20th century Austrian poet). Talk about someone who wanted to be in the world but out of it.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Robert Bly

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Marine biologist

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