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Compare 03/19/2013

Monday, March 18, 2013    
Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.
 --Ralph Waldo Emerson, (1803-1882)

P.1101 - §7 (100:7.3)  But the Master was so reasonable, so approachable. He was so practical in all his ministry, while all his plans were characterized by such sanctified common sense. He was so free from all freakish, erratic, and eccentric tendencies.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.
    Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. Following this ground-breaking work, he gave a speech entitled "The American Scholar" in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence".
    Emerson wrote most of his important essays as lectures first, then revised them for print. His first two collections of essays – Essays: First Series and Essays: Second Series, published respectively in 1841 and 1844 – represent the core of his thinking, and include such well-known essays as Self-Reliance, The Over-Soul, Circles, The Poet and Experience. Together with Nature, these essays made the decade from the mid-1830s to the mid-1840s Emerson's most fertile period.
    Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, never espousing fixed philosophical tenets, but developing certain ideas such as individuality, freedom, the ability for humankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. Emerson's "nature" was more philosophical than naturalistic: "Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul."
    His essays remain among the linchpins of American thinking, and his work has greatly influenced the thinkers, writers and poets that have followed him. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was "the infinitude of the private man." Emerson is also well known as a mentor and friend of fellow Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau.
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Compare 3/18/2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013    
Music is a strange thing. I would almost say it is a miracle. For it stands halfway between thought and phenomenon, between spirit and matter.
  --Heinrich Heine, (1797-1856)

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Compare 03-15-2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013    
To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars
at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life.
  --John Burroughs, naturalist and writer (1837-1921) Read More


Wednesday, March 13, 2013    
Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.
  -Heraclitus, philosopher (500 BCE)

(128:6.11) The children were always welcome at the repair shop. Jesus provided sand, blocks, and stones by the side of the shop, and bevies of youngsters flocked there to amuse themselves. When they tired of their play, the more intrepid ones would peek into the shop, and if its keeper were not busy, they would make bold to go in and say, "Uncle Joshua, come out and tell us a big story." Then they would lead him out by tugging at his hands until he was seated on the favorite rock by the corner of the shop, with the children on the ground in a semicircle before him. And how the little folks did enjoy their Uncle Joshua. They were learning to laugh, and to laugh heartily. It was customary for one or two of the smallest of the children to climb upon his knees and sit there, looking up in wonderment at his expressive features as he told his stories. The children loved Jesus, and Jesus loved the children.

Heraclitus of Ephesus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Asia Minor. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom. From the lonely life he led, and still more from the riddling nature of his philosophy and his contempt for humankind in general, he was called "The Obscure" and the "Weeping Philosopher".
Heraclitus is famous for his insistence on ever-present change in the universe, as stated in the famous saying, "No man ever steps in the same river twice". He believed in the unity of opposites, stating that "the path up and down are one and the same", all existing entities being characterized by pairs of contrary properties. His cryptic utterance that "all entities come to be in accordance with this Logos" (literally, "word", "reason", or "account") has been the subject of numerous interpretations.
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Compare 03/11/2013

Monday, March 11, 2013    
To prejudge other's notions before we have looked into them is not to show their darkness, but to put out our own eyes.
  --John Locke, (1632-1704)

P.1094 - §4 (100:1.2)  Some persons are too busy to grow and are therefore in grave danger of spiritual fixation. Provision must be made for growth of meanings at differing ages, in successive cultures, and in the passing stages of advancing civilization. The chief inhibitors of growth are prejudice and ignorance.

P.1774 - §5 (160:1.13)  Prejudice blinds the soul to the recognition of truth, and prejudice can be removed only by the sincere devotion of the soul to the adoration of a cause that is all-embracing and all-inclusive of one's fellow men. Prejudice is inseparably linked to selfishness. Prejudice can be eliminated only by the abandonment of self-seeking and by substituting therefor the quest of the satisfaction of the service of a cause that is not only greater than self, but one that is even greater than all humanity--the search for God, the attainment of divinity.

    John Locke, 1632-1704, English philosopher, political theorist, and founder of Empiricism.
After studying medicine at Oxford,Locke served the Earl of Shaftesbury as a physician, and followed him toFrance in 1675. There he spent four years studying Continental philosophy, especially that of Descartes.
    On his return, Locke worked with Shaftesbury to block the succession of James, Duke of York, later James II, from thethrone -- a controversial issue since the Restoration of Charles II. They were unsuccessful, and both were forced to flee England: Locke lived in Holland from1683 until James II's overthrow in 1689.
    In the following year appeared Locke's most important work, An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. The central concern of the Essay is epistemology, the means by which we come to knowledge. Locke argued against the idea of "innate ideas,"arguing instead that the mind is analogous to a blank slate, atabula rasa, on which the senses make impressions: the importance of such experience in his philosophy is the origin of the term empirical.
    Sensory experience, though, provides only one kind of idea,sensation; reflection, the other, is the mind's combination and comparison of the various sensory impressions. As a result, one has no direct knowledge of the physical world, but only of the ideas (whether sensations or reflections) produced by them. Locke devotes much of his Essay to the relationship between ideas and objects. His philosophy was a development of Bacon's methods, and provided the first systematic account of an empiricist philosophy and psychology.
    His most important political work also appeared in 1690, the Two Treatises of Government; there he argues that the function of the state is to protect the natural rights of its citizens, primarily to protect the right to property. Though he challenged Thomas Hobbes on the nature of primitive society --for Hobbes it was "nasty, brutish, and short," while for Locke it was more rational, tolerant, and cooperative -- he agreed with him on the origin of the social contract, an implicit agreement between everyone in a society to respect a legal authority, a supreme sovereign, so as to enable the pursuit of happiness.
    During the next few years of relative retirement, Locke continued his involvement in political affairs, and hosted many important visitors, including Sir Isaac Newton. In 1693 he wrote an influential tract, Some Thoughts Concerning Education.
    Locke's influence on the philosophy and political thought of the eighteenth century was without rival. His Two Treatises of Government,by advocating the removal of a ruler who fails to live up to his end of the social contract, made him an important figure among the intellectuals of the American war of independence.
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Compare 03/08/2013

Thursday, March 07, 2013    
Even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation, facing a fate he cannot change, may rise above himself.  He may turn a personal tragedy into a triumph.
 --Victor Frankl (1905-1997)

P.999 - §5 (91:6.2)  Prayer has turned many an irritable and complaining invalid into a paragon of patience and made him an inspiration to all other human sufferers.

Viktor Emil Frankl, MD, PhD (26 March 1905 – 2 September 1997) was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. Frankl was the founder of logotherapy, which is a form of existential analysis, the "Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy". His best-selling book Man's Search for Meaning (published under a different title in 1959: From Death-Camp to Existentialism, and originally published in 1946 as Trotzdem Ja Zum Leben Sagen: Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager) chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate which led him to discover the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. Frankl became one of the key figures in existential therapy and a prominent source of inspiration for humanistic psychologists.
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Compare 03/07/2013

Thursday, March 07, 2013    
A sound mind in a sound body, is a short but full description of a happy state in this world.
  --John Locke
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Compare 03/06/2013

Tuesday, March 05, 2013    

Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feeling for the strength of their argument. The heated mind resents the chill touch and relentless scrutiny of logic.
   --William Ewart Gladstone, (1809-1898)

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