Friday, August 09, 2013

Weekly Quotes



Even if the pain and suffering on Earth serve some divine purpose or cosmic good, it’s not a purpose or good that I wish to serve during my brief stay on this planet.  An all-knowing God would know better.  An all-powerful God would act better.  Contrary to the testimony of the Bible, the evidence abounds that God is neither all-knowing nor all-powerful.  (42)

We don’t yet know enough about the book of nature to know what we don’t know.  (53)

You and I each have before us a unique collection of materials—the circumstances of our birth, our talents, our past relationships, the skills we have developed, and the mistakes we have made.  Within the limits imposed by those materials, we are free to build the future in whatever way we choose.  We live at the intersection of prologue and possibility.  (60)

[R]eligious faith and practice at their best can help liberate us from the limitations of the past and help us construct a more promising future.  Religion is about transformation—about making good on our desire to become better people and make our world a better place.  (61)

The history of God is the history of the roles human beings needed a god to play in order to bring coherence to human history and human life.  (69)


The true system, the real system, is our present construction of a systematic thought itself, rationality itself and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory.  If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government.  There’s so much talk about the system.  And so little understanding.   (88)

Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive.  (103)

He felt that institutions such as schools, churches, governments and political organizations of every sort all tended to direct thought for ends other than truth, for the perpetuation of their own functions, and for the control of individuals in the service of these functions.  (106)

The range of human knowledge today is so great that we’re all specialists and the distance between specializations has become so great that anyone who seeks to wander freely among them almost has to forego closeness with the people around him.  (121)

He became aware that the doctrinal differences among Hinduism and Buddhism and Taoism are not anywhere near as important as doctrinal differences among Christianity and Islam and Judaism.  Holy wars are not fought over them because verbalized statements about reality are never presumed to be reality itself.  (126)


Resistance . . . told me I shouldn’t seek to instruct, or put myself forward as a purveyor of wisdom; that this was vain, egotistical, possibly even corrupt, and that it would work harm in the end.  That scared me.  It made a lot of sense.  (30)

The fundamentalist (or, more accurately, the beleaguered individual who comes to embrace fundamentalism) cannot stand freedom.  He cannot find his way into the future, so he retreats to the past.  He returns in imagination to the glory days of his race and seeks to reconstitute both them and himself in their purer, more virtuous light.  He gets back to basics.  To fundamentals.  (35)
Self-doubt can be an ally.  This is because it serves as an indicator of aspiration.  It reflects love, love of something we dream of doing, and desire, desire to do it.  If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer?  Am I really an artist?” chances are you are.  
The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident.  The real one is scared to death.(39)
Remember our rule of thumb:  The more scared we are of  work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.  (40)

The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference.  (42)

Gifts of Gratitude

Quoting Buckminster Fuller:  When I got myself out of the way, people started listening.”  (67)

What if this is heaven, and we can’t accept it?  (87)

Time slips by when you are not the one dying.  (101)

Occupying Wall Street won’t be effective unless we first occupy our own souls. (158)

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