Friday, August 16, 2013

Weekly Quotes

[R]eligions of the West developed as they did for reasons that made sense at the time, but their time has passed.  Our understanding of how we know and of what there is must evolve, and our understanding of God must evolve as well.  (62)

The belief in a God who can and does modify the laws of nature will-nilly makes no logical sense, as if God could, in response to fervent prayer, change the direction of a fierce storm or empty a parking space near the door of the mall when it’s raining.  By the same token, the belief in a God who could rescue innocent sufferers but chooses to stand idly by makes no moral sense.  (73)

Male dominance remains so pervasive in our culture that it rarely needs to be asserted . . . Yes, we need to change our children’s storybooks and toys, but we also need to change the underlying cultural assumptions about how we know and what’s divine.  (74)

. . . I believe this experience of being extensively connected to the universe and utterly dependent upon it is an absolutely necessary aspect of fulfilling human life.  (78)

When people ask me whether I believe God exists, my answer is yes, I believe God exists in a way similar to the way beauty exists, but not in the way a person or an apple exists. . . . God . . . is an experience, akin to our experience of beauty.   (78-79)

(And just in case you didn't understand his meaning the first time, the author thinks you've forgotten five pages later.)

When I say “I believe in God,” I’m saying that I believe in an experience that intimately and extensively connects me to all that is—all that is present, as well as all that is past, and all that is possible.  (84)

(And then four pages later.)

When I say I believe in God, I’m saying that I believe in an experience that transcends myself in this place and this moment.  I believe in an experience that intimately and extensively connects me to all that is—all that is present, as well as all that is past, and all that is possible.  (88)

The reason you teach and you teach and you teach is that this is a very clever way of a running a college on the cheap while giving a false appearance of genuine education.  (129)

You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in.  No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow.  They know it is going to rise tomorrow.  When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.  (134)

It’s not the technology that’s scary.  It’s what it does to the relations between people, like callers and operators, that’s scary.  (137)

. . . You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge.  And if you project forward from that pattern, then sometimes you can come up with something.  (149)

It’s nice to start journeys pleasantly, even when you know they won’t end that way.  (170)

What are we trying to heal?  The athlete knows the day will never come when he wakes up pain-free.  He has to play hurt.  (48)

It’s one thing to lie to ourselves.  It’s another thing to believe it.  (54)

I’m keenly aware of the Principle of Priority, which states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.  (65)

Do I really believe that my work is crucial to the planet’s survival?  Of course not.  But it’s as important to me as catching that mouse is to the hawk circling outside my window.  He’s hungry.  He needs a kill.  So do I.  (65-66)

Nothing is as empowering as real-world validation, even if it’s for failure.  (71)

[The professional] eliminates chaos from his world in order to banish it from his mind.  (77)

I don’t get why I need to prove my love to you by remembering the exact same things you do, the exact same way you do.  It doesn’t mean I don’t love our life together.  (20)

I can’t recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn’t immediately reference to a movie or TV show.  (72)

I guess that’s what husbands are for.  To point out what we can’t see for ourselves, even if it takes five years.  (109)

Marriage is compromise and hard work, and then more hard work and communication and compromise.  And then work.  (121)

The recipe for anxiety in a child is probably some parts inherited, some parts learned, a portion parenting—all stirred by experiences with peers.   (kindle)

As a parent, you’ll need to build your tolerance for doubt and helplessness and be able to forgive yourself for past mistakes.   (kindle)

Just because certain factors play a role in strengthening anxiety, they’re not always negative.  (kindle)

The basics, like sleep and play and quiet time, are essential to everyone’s well-being. (kindle)

Anticipating an event, then scaring ourselves, and then avoiding the event so that we’re no longer scared can become a self-reinforcing pattern that is difficult to break.  (kindle)

The frightening thing is their unquestioning acceptance of whatever is taught to them by anyone in front of the room. . . . [I]t doesn’t occur to them to think.  (69)

I wish I’d had real training instead of a few Ped courses and six months of pupil-teaching.  I feel so inadequate!  (116)

Right now . . .is the critical time in the children’s lives—their last chance to turn into what they will eventually be.  (133)

And that’s it: that’s why I want to teach; that’s the one and only compensation: to make a permanent difference in the life of a child.  (137)

Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents.  For these only gave life, those the art of living well.  Aristotle  (138)

Rather, Siddhartha is a dead man and a living ideal. (kindle)

The sacred is a fine hiding place for the profane. (kindle)

[I]gnorance of the Other engenders fear; fear engenders hatred; hatred engenders violence; violence engenders further violence until the only “rights,” the only law, are whatever is willed by the most powerful.  (kindle)

[N]othing is as eloquent as nothing.  (kindle)

Amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics.  (kindle)


  1. Any personification of God or concept of God as an entity separate from nature doesn't really make sense to me. I have that book Up the Down Staircase but haven't gotten to it yet.

    1. The book is great. My review for it will go up tomorrow. I have read it more than once and every time I find it a delight to read.