Friday, May 02, 2014

Weekly Quotes 2014 #13

There are five key ways in which we can bring self-compassion into our lives:  (1) physically, (2) mentally, (3) emotionally, (4) relationally, and (5) spiritually.  Each area offers numerous practice options.  (102)

Many of us find it hard to forgive ourselves when we make mistakes.  We extend no mercy to ourselves.  One way to forgive oneself is to ask, “What would my best friend say?” . . . By taking the more benign perspective of others, we can extract ourselves from our ruminations.  (107)

Kindness in relationship means that our actions are guided by the wish to help others and refrain from harming them.  The Dalai Lama calls this “wisely selfish” because it inspires people to be kind to us in return.  (108)

When you know how it feels to feel good, and think you deserve it, a red flag will go up when you’re harming yourself and you’ll probably stop what you’re doing.  (113)

Savoring is a variation on mindfulness.  When we savor, there’s the intention to enter fully into the experience, rather than cling to it or drag it out.  The goal of mindfulness is not to get “hooked” by positive or negative experiences—to let things be just as they are, fully and completely.  (115)

Artificial sweetener on a salad . . . supposedly tastes wonderful . . . in place of dressing . . . I have my doubts but . . . (253)

Quoting Samuel Johnson:   Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult.  (254)

It’s easier to complain than to laugh, easier to yell than to joke around, easier to be demanding than to be satisfied.  (259)

[P]eople’s  assessments are very influenced by other people’s assessments.  (269)

Studies show that distraction is a powerful mood-altering device, and contrary to what a lot of people believe, persistently focusing on a bad mood aggravates rather than palliates it.  (274)

[I]n my judgment the translations available to most English readers are based on the wrong text, and having the wrong text makes a real difference for the interpretation of these books.  (127)

The mere question of numbers of manuscripts supporting one reading over another . . . is not particularly germane to the question of which reading in our surviving manuscripts represents the original (or oldest) form of the text.  (129)

Manuscripts are to be weighed, not counted.  (225)

[I]ntrinsic probabilities—probabilities based on what the author of the text was himself most likely to have written.  We are able to study, of course, the writing style, the vocabulary, and the theology of an author.  When two or more variant readings are preserved among our manuscripts, and one of them uses words or stylistic features otherwise not found in that author’s work, or if it represents a point of view that is at variance with what the author otherwise embraces, then it is unlikely that that is what the author wrote—especially if another attested reading coincides perfectly well with the author’s writing elsewhere.  (131)

The second kind of internal evidence is called transcriptional probability.  This ask, not which reading an author was likely to have written, but which reading a scribe was likely to have created. . . .  This is premised on the idea that scribes are more likely to try to correct what they take to be mistakes to harmonize passages that they regard as contradictory, and to bring the theology of a text more into line with their own theology.  (131)

Dishonesty is a state in which I am mesmerized by my words and disregard my senses. 

By approaching my problems with “What might make things a little better?” rather than “What is the solution?” I avoid setting myself up for certain frustration.  My experience has shown me that I am not going to solve anything in one stroke; at best I am only going to chip away at it.

Today a friend wrote me, “Do you think you are a mistake just because you made one?”

There is no such thing as a mistake. There is only what happens.

As long as I am thinking I am not fully present.

It is acceptable to tell a story without people knowing all the details of what led up to it.  (54)

People tend to worry about the middle of the story and think the ending will take care of itself.  It won’t!  Plan it out ahead of time.  It is the focus of the entire story.  (57)

A common mistake among storytellers is the story ends and they keep talking.  (58)

Most stories are told using only the senses of sight and sound, leaving out taste, smell, and touch.  Sight and sound are necessary, but they are lighter.  The last three are heavier and make the greatest impact on your listener.  (70)

Stories impact lives.  When you increase your ability to draw people in the heart f your story, you are increasing the impact your stories will have in their lives.  (73)

Such a person believes . . . that the Bible is the inspired word of God and that only those who accept the divinity of Jesus Christ will experience salvation after death.  (viii)

I have little doubt that liberals and moderates find the eerie certainties of the Christian Right to be as troubling as I do.  (ix)

Even the most progressive faiths lend tacit support to the religious divisions in our world.  (ix)

[M]ore than half of our neighbors believe that the entire cosmos was created six thousand years ago.  (x)

Consider:  every devout Muslim has the same reasons for being a Muslim that you have for being a Christian.  And yet you do not find their reasons compelling.  The Koran repeatedly declares that it is the perfect word for the creator of the universe.  Muslims believe this as fully as you believe the Bible’s account of itself.  (6)


  1. Ah, The Happiness Project is on my own bookshelf as is the Sam Harris book. Nice selection, today.

    1. I wrote a review for The Happiness Project:

      I like the idea f it very much. I know a lot of people who want to make changes in their lives but do not like making new years resolutions but Rubin's approach is something I think would appeal to anyone. The specifics of what she does each month may not be universally applicable but the concept is a good one.

      The Harris book is provocative. Definitely made me think, anyway.

  2. Enjoyed your weekly quotes! When I get some more time I would like to read some of the books I haven't read.

    1. You can probably tell that I've still catching up on quotes for books I finished quite a while ago but better late than never. Sometimes the quotes are ones that I love or appreciate because I agree with what it says. Other times, the quote is not something with which I agree but made me pause and think, even if it was only to think, "Well, that's just dumb." :)