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  • 2020-10-21 9:47 AM | Thomas
    The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.

      --Vincent van Gogh, painter (1853-1890)

    (142:4.2) The Master saw that his host was bewildered at his friendly attitude toward art; therefore, when they had finished the survey of the entire collection, Jesus said: "Because you appreciate the beauty of things created by my Father and fashioned by the artistic hands of man, why should you expect to be rebuked? Because Moses onetime sought to combat idolatry and the worship of false gods, why should all men frown upon the reproduction of grace and beauty? I say to you, Flavius, Moses' children have misunderstood him, and now do they make false gods of even his prohibitions of images and the likeness of things in heaven and on earth. But even if Moses taught such restrictions to the darkened minds of those days, what has that to do with this day when the Father in heaven is revealed as the universal Spirit Ruler over all? And, Flavius, I declare that in the coming kingdom they shall no longer teach, 'Do not worship this and do not worship that'; no longer shall they concern themselves with commands to refrain from this and take care not to do that, but rather shall all be concerned with one supreme duty. And this duty of man is expressed in two great privileges: sincere worship of the infinite Creator, the Paradise Father, and loving service bestowed upon one's fellow men. If you love your neighbor as you love yourself, you really know that you are a son of God.

        Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade, he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of which date from the last two years of his life. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterised by bold colours and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. He was not commercially successful, and his suicide at 37 came after years of mental illness, depression and poverty.
        Born into an upper-middle-class family, Van Gogh drew as a child and was serious, quiet, and thoughtful. As a young man he worked as an art dealer, often travelling, but became depressed after he was transferred to London. He turned to religion and spent time as a Protestant missionary in southern Belgium. He drifted in ill health and solitude before taking up painting in 1881, having moved back home with his parents. His younger brother Theo supported him financially, and the two kept a long correspondence by letter. His early works, mostly still lifes and depictions of peasant labourers, contain few signs of the vivid colour that distinguished his later work. In 1886, he moved to Paris, where he met members of the avant-garde, including Émile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, who were reacting against the Impressionist sensibility. As his work developed he created a new approach to still lifes and local landscapes. His paintings grew brighter in colour as he developed a style that became fully realised during his stay in Arles in the south of France in 1888. During this period he broadened his subject matter to include series of olive trees, wheat fields and sunflowers.
        Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions and though he worried about his mental stability, he often neglected his physical health, did not eat properly and drank heavily. His friendship with Gauguin ended after a confrontation with a razor when, in a rage, he severed part of his own left ear. He spent time in psychiatric hospitals, including a period at Saint-Rémy. After he discharged himself and moved to the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris, he came under the care of the homeopathic doctor Paul Gachet. His depression continued and on 27 July 1890, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a Lefaucheux revolver. He died from his injuries two days later.
        Van Gogh was unsuccessful during his lifetime, and he was considered a madman and a failure. He became famous after his suicide and exists in the public imagination as a misunderstood genius, the artist "where discourses on madness and creativity converge". His reputation began to grow in the early 20th century as elements of his painting style came to be incorporated by the Fauves and German Expressionists. He attained widespread critical, commercial and popular success over the ensuing decades, and he is remembered as an important but tragic painter, whose troubled personality typifies the romantic ideal of the tortured artist. Today, Van Gogh's works are among the world's most expensive paintings to have ever sold, and his legacy is honoured by a museum in his name, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which holds the world's largest collection of his paintings and drawings.

  • 2020-10-14 10:53 AM | Thomas
    The most wonderful of all things in life, I believe, is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a glowing depth, beauty, and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing, it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident.

      --Hugh Walpole, writer (1884-1941)

    (83:8.5-8) Nevertheless, there is an ideal of marriage on the spheres on high. On the capital of each local system the Material Sons and Daughters of God do portray the height of the ideals of the union of man and woman in the bonds of marriage and for the purpose of procreating and rearing offspring. After all, the ideal mortal marriage is humanly sacred.
        Marriage always has been and still is man's supreme dream of temporal ideality. Though this beautiful dream is seldom realized in its entirety, it endures as a glorious ideal, ever luring progressing mankind on to greater strivings for human happiness. But young men and women should be taught something of the realities of marriage before they are plunged into the exacting demands of the interassociations of family life; youthful idealization should be tempered with some degree of premarital disillusionment.
        The youthful idealization of marriage should not, however, be discouraged; such dreams are the visualization of the future goal of family life. This attitude is both stimulating and helpful providing it does not produce an insensitivity to the realization of the practical and commonplace requirements of marriage and subsequent family life.
        The ideals of marriage have made great progress in recent times; among some peoples woman enjoys practically equal rights with her consort. In concept, at least, the family is becoming a loyal partnership for rearing offspring, accompanied by sexual fidelity. But even this newer version of marriage need not presume to swing so far to the extreme as to confer mutual monopoly of all personality and individuality. Marriage is not just an individualistic ideal; it is the evolving social partnership of a man and a woman, existing and functioning under the current mores, restricted by the taboos, and enforced by the laws and regulations of society.

        Sir Hugh Seymour Walpole was an English novelist. He was the son of an Anglican clergyman, intended for a career in the church but drawn instead to writing. Among those who encouraged him were the authors Henry James and Arnold Bennett. His skill at scene-setting and vivid plots, as well as his high profile as a lecturer, brought him a large readership in the United Kingdom and North America. He was a best-selling author in the 1920s and 1930s but has been largely neglected since his death.
        After his first novel, The Wooden Horse, in 1909, Walpole wrote prolifically, producing at least one book every year. He was a spontaneous story-teller, writing quickly to get all his ideas on paper, seldom revising. His first novel to achieve major success was his third, Mr Perrin and Mr Traill, a tragicomic story of a fatal clash between two schoolmasters. During the First World War he served in the Red Cross on the Russian-Austrian front, and worked in British propaganda in Petrograd and London. In the 1920s and 1930s Walpole was much in demand not only as a novelist but also as a lecturer on literature, making four exceptionally well-paid tours of North America.
        As a gay man at a time when homosexual practices were illegal for men in Britain, Walpole conducted a succession of intense but discreet relationships with other men, and was for much of his life in search of what he saw as "the perfect friend". He eventually found one, a married policeman, with whom he settled in the English Lake District. Having as a young man eagerly sought the support of established authors, he was in his later years a generous sponsor of many younger writers. He was a patron of the visual arts and bequeathed a substantial legacy of paintings to the Tate Gallery and other British institutions.
        Walpole's output was large and varied. Between 1909 and 1941 he wrote thirty-six novels, five volumes of short stories, two original plays and three volumes of memoirs. His range included disturbing studies of the macabre, children's stories and historical fiction, most notably his Herries Chronicle series, set in the Lake District. He worked in Hollywood writing scenarios for two Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films in the 1930s, and played a cameo in the 1935 version of David Copperfield.

  • 2020-10-11 5:01 PM | Thomas
    There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.

      --Leo Tolstoy, novelist and philosopher (1828-1910)

    (28:6.20-22) The Secret of Greatness and the Soul of Goodness. The ascending pilgrims having awakened to the import of time, the way is prepared for the realization of the solemnity of trust and for the appreciation of the sanctity of service. While these are the moral elements of greatness, there are also secrets of greatness. When the spiritual tests of greatness are applied, the moral elements are not disregarded, but the quality of unselfishness revealed in disinterested labor for the welfare of one's earthly fellows, particularly worthy beings in need and in distress, that is the real measure of planetary greatness. And the manifestation of greatness on a world like Urantia is the exhibition of self-control. The great man is not he who "takes a city" or "overthrows a nation," but rather "he who subdues his own tongue."
        Greatness is synonymous with divinity. God is supremely great and good. Greatness and goodness simply cannot be divorced. They are forever made one in God. This truth is literally and strikingly illustrated by the reflective interdependence of the Secret of Greatness and the Soul of Goodness, for neither can function without the other. In reflecting other qualities of divinity, the superuniverse seconaphim can and do act alone, but the reflective estimates of greatness and of goodness appear to be inseparable. Hence, on any world, in any universe, must these reflectors of greatness and of goodness work together, always showing a dual and mutually dependent report of every being upon whom they focalize. Greatness cannot be estimated without knowing the content of goodness, while goodness cannot be portrayed without exhibiting its inherent and divine greatness.
        The estimate of greatness varies from sphere to sphere. To be great is to be Godlike. And since the quality of greatness is wholly determined by the content of goodness, it follows that, even in your present human estate, if you can through grace become good, you are thereby becoming great. The more steadfastly you behold, and the more persistently you pursue, the concepts of divine goodness, the more certainly will you grow in greatness, in true magnitude of genuine survival character.

    (56:10.12) Goodness is the mental recognition of the relative values of the diverse levels of divine perfection. The recognition of goodness implies a mind of moral status, a personal mind with ability to discriminate between good and evil. But the possession of goodness, greatness, is the measure of real divinity attainment.

    (139:9.6) James Alpheus especially loved Jesus because of the Master's simplicity.

    (155:6.12) And that is just the reason why I have so often taught you that the kingdom of heaven can best be realized by acquiring the spiritual attitude of a sincere child. It is not the mental immaturity of the child that I commend to you but rather the spiritual simplicity of such an easy-believing and fully-trusting little one.

    (195:10.2) The beauty and sublimity, the humanity and divinity, the simplicity and uniqueness, of Jesus' life on earth present such a striking and appealing picture of man-saving and God-revealing that the theologians and philosophers of all time should be effectively restrained from daring to form creeds or create theological systems of spiritual bondage out of such a transcendental bestowal of God in the form of man.


        Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. He received multiple nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906 and nominations for Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902 and 1910 and the fact that he never won is a major Nobel prize controversy.
        Born to an aristocratic Russian family in 1828, he is best known for the novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), often cited as pinnacles of realist fiction. He first achieved literary acclaim in his twenties with his semi-autobiographical trilogy, Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth (1852–1856), and Sevastopol Sketches (1855), based upon his experiences in the Crimean War. Tolstoy's fiction includes dozens of short stories and several novellas such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886), Family Happiness (1859), and Hadji Murad (1912). He also wrote plays and numerous philosophical essays.
        In the 1870s Tolstoy experienced a profound moral crisis, followed by what he regarded as an equally profound spiritual awakening, as outlined in his non-fiction work A Confession (1882). His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him to become a fervent Christian anarchist and pacifist. Tolstoy's ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You (1894), had a profound impact on such pivotal 20th-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Tolstoy also became a dedicated advocate of Georgism, the economic philosophy of Henry George, which he incorporated into his writing, particularly Resurrection (1899).

  • 2020-10-07 11:57 AM | Thomas
    When I listen to love, I am listening to my true nature. When I express love, I am expressing my true nature. All of us love. All of us do it more and more perfectly. The past has brought us both ashes and diamonds. In the present we find the flowers of what we've planted and the seeds of what we are becoming. I plant the seeds of love in my heart. I plant the seeds of love in the hearts of others.

      --Julia Cameron, artist, author, (b. 1948)

    (2:5.10) But the love of God is an intelligent and farseeing parental affection. The divine love functions in unified association with divine wisdom and all other infinite characteristics of the perfect nature of the Universal Father. God is love, but love is not God. The greatest manifestation of the divine love for mortal beings is observed in the bestowal of the Thought Adjusters, but your greatest revelation of the Father's love is seen in the bestowal life of his Son Michael as he lived on earth the ideal spiritual life. It is the indwelling Adjuster who individualizes the love of God to each human soul.

    (56:10.21) Love is the desire to do good to others.

    (134:4.1) The brotherhood of men is founded on the fatherhood of God. The family of God is derived from the love of God—God is love. God the Father divinely loves his children, all of them.

    (193:1.2)  The acceptance of the doctrine of the fatherhood of God implies that you also freely accept the associated truth of the brotherhood of man. And if man is your brother, he is even more than your neighbor, whom the Father requires you to love as yourself. Your brother, being of your own family, you will not only love with a family affection, but you will also serve as you would serve yourself. And you will thus love and serve your brother because you, being my brethren, have been thus loved and served by me. Go, then, into all the world telling this good news to all creatures of every race, tribe, and nation. My spirit shall go before you, and I will be with you always."


        Julia B. Cameron is an American teacher, author, artist, poet, playwright, novelist, filmmaker, pigeon fancier, composer, and journalist. She is best known for her book The Artist's Way (1992). She also has written many other non-fiction works, short stories, and essays, as well as novels, plays, musicals, and screenplays.
        Julia Cameron was born in Libertyville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and raised Catholic. She was the second oldest of seven children.[ She started college at Georgetown University before transferring to Fordham University. She wrote for The Washington Post and then Rolling Stone.
        She met Martin Scorsese while on assignment for Oui Magazine. They married in 1976 and divorced a year later in 1977; Cameron was Scorsese's second wife. They have one daughter, Domenica Cameron-Scorsese, born in 1976. The marriage ended after Scorsese began seeing Liza Minnelli while the three of them were working on New York, New York. Cameron and Scorsese collaborated on three films. Her memoir Floor Sample details her descent into alcoholism and drug addiction, which induced blackouts, paranoia and psychosis. In 1978, reaching a point in her life when writing and drinking could no longer coexist, Cameron stopped abusing drugs and alcohol, and began teaching creative unblocking, eventually publishing the book based on her work: The Artist's Way. At first she sold Xeroxed copies of the book in a local bookstore before it was published by TarcherPerigee in 1992. She contends that creativity is an authentic spiritual path.
        Cameron has taught filmmaking, creative unblocking, and writing. She has taught at The Smithsonian, Esalen, the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, and the New York Open Center. At Northwestern University, she was writer in residence for film. In 2008 she taught a class at the New York Open Center, The Right to Write, named and modeled after one of her bestselling books, which reveals the importance of writing. She continues to teach regularly around the world.
        Cameron has lived in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, and Washington D.C., but now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  • 2020-10-04 11:37 AM | Thomas
    In the cellars of the night, when the mind starts moving around old trunks of bad times, the pain of this and the shame of that, the memory of a small boldness is a hand to hold.

      --John Leonard, critic (1939-2008)

    (156:5.8) Do not become discouraged by the discovery that you are human. Human nature may tend toward evil, but it is not inherently sinful. Be not downcast by your failure wholly to forget some of your regrettable experiences. The mistakes which you fail to forget in time will be forgotten in eternity. Lighten your burdens of soul by speedily acquiring a long-distance view of your destiny, a universe expansion of your career.

    (156:5.13) God-knowing individuals are not discouraged by misfortune or downcast by disappointment. Believers are immune to the depression consequent upon purely material upheavals; spirit livers are not perturbed by the episodes of the material world. Candidates for eternal life are practitioners of an invigorating and constructive technique for meeting all of the vicissitudes and harassments of mortal living. Every day a true believer lives, he finds it easier to do the right thing.

        John Leonard was an American literary, television, film, and cultural critic. For Life and The New York Times he wrote under the pen name of Cyclops.
        John Leonard grew up in Washington, D.C., Jackson Heights, Queens, and Long Beach, California, where he graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School. Raised by a single mother, Ruth Smith, he made his way to Harvard University, where he immersed himself in the school newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, only to drop out in the spring of his second year. He then attended the University of California at Berkeley.
        A political leftist, Leonard had an unlikely early patron in conservative leader William F. Buckley, who gave him his first job in journalism at National Review magazine in 1959. There, he worked alongside such young talents as Joan Didion, Garry Wills, Renata Adler and Arlene Croce. Leonard went on to be Drama and Literature Director for Pacifica Radio flagship KPFA in Berkeley, where he featured a then-little-known Pauline Kael and served as the house book reviewer, delighting in the torrent of galleys sent him by publishers. He worked as an English teacher in Roxbury, Massachusetts, as a union organizer of migrant farm workers, and as a community organizer for Vietnam Summer before joining The New York Times Book Review in 1967. In 1968, he signed the "Writers and Editors War Tax Protest" pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War.
        The paper promoted him to daily book reviewer in 1969 and made him the executive editor of the Times Book Review in 1971 at the age of 31. In 1975, he returned to the role of daily book reviewer, championing the work of women writers such as Maxine Hong Kingston and Mary Gordon. He was the first critic to review Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison and the first American critic to review Nobel Prize-winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez. From 1977 to 1980, Leonard wrote "Private Lives," a weekly column for the Times about his family, friends, and experiences.
        Leonard was a voracious critical omnivore, writing on culture, politics, television, books and the media in many other venues, including The Nation, The New York Review of Books, Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Playboy, Penthouse, Vanity Fair, TV Guide, Ms. Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Newsweek, New York Woman, Memories, Tikkun, The Yale Review, The Village Voice, New Statesman, The Boston Globe, Washington Post Book World, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, American Heritage and Salon.com. He reviewed books for National Public Radio's Fresh Air and wrote a column for New York Newsday called "Culture Shock." He hosted WGBH's First Edition, and reviewed books, TV and movies on CBS Sunday Morning for 16 years. Leonard taught creative writing and criticism at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. He told the story of Japanese author Kōbō Abe in every one of these venues.
        Leonard wrote extensively about television in his career – for Life and The New York Times, both under the pen name Cyclops, for New York Magazine from 1984 to 2008, and in his 1997 book Smoke and Mirrors. In addition, he authored four novels and five collections of essays.
        Leonard was co-literary editor of The Nation with his wife, Sue Leonard, from 1995 to 1998, and continued as a contributing editor for the magazine. He wrote a monthly column on new books for Harper's magazine and was a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review and The New York Review of Books. Leonard rated highest among literary critics in a 2006 Time Out New York survey of writers and publishers. He received the National Book Critics Circle's Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
        Leonard died on November 5, 2008, of lung cancer, aged 69. He was survived by his mother, Ruth, wife Sue, two children from his first marriage – Salon.com columnist Andrew Leonard and Georgetown University history professor Amy Leonard – and a stepdaughter, Jen Nessel, who heads the communications department at the Center for Constitutional Rights, as well as three grandchildren: Tiana and Eli Miller-Leonard and Oscar Ray Arnold-Nessel.

  • 2020-10-01 10:54 AM | Thomas
    Time is the fairest and toughest judge.

      --Edgar Quinet, historian (1803-1875)

    (28:6.9-10) The Import of Time. Time is the one universal endowment of all will creatures; it is the "one talent" intrusted to all intelligent beings. You all have time in which to insure your survival; and time is fatally squandered only when it is buried in neglect, when you fail so to utilize it as to make certain the survival of your soul. Failure to improve one's time to the fullest extent possible does not impose fatal penalties; it merely retards the pilgrim of time in his journey of ascent. If survival is gained, all other losses can be retrieved.
        In the assignment of trusts the counsel of the Imports of Time is invaluable. Time is a vital factor in everything this side of Havona and Paradise. In the final judgment before the Ancients of Days, time is an element of evidence. The Imports of Time must always afford testimony to show that every defendant has had ample time for making decisions, achieving choice.

        Edgar Quinet was a French historian and intellectual.
        Quinet was born at Bourg-en-Bresse, in the département of Ain. His father, Jérôme Quinet, had been a commissary in the army, but being a strong republican and disgusted with Napoleon's 18 Brumaire coup, he gave up his post and devoted himself to scientific and mathematical study. Edgar, who was an only child, was usually alone, but his mother (Eugénie Rozat Lagis, who was an educated person with strong, albeit original, Protestant religious views) exercised great influence over him.
        He was sent to school first in Bourg and then in Lyon. His father wished him on leaving school to go into the army, and then enter a business career. Quinet was determined to engage in literature, and after a time got his way when he moved to Paris in 1820.
        His first publication, the Tablettes du juif errant ("Tablets of the Wandering Jew"),which appeared in 1823, symbolized the progress of humanity. He became impressed with German intellectual writing and undertook translating Johann Gottfried Herder's Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit ("Outlines of Philosophy of the History of Man") learnt German for the purpose, and published his work in 1827, and obtained through it considerable credit.
        At this time he was introduced to Victor Cousin, and made the acquaintance of Jules Michelet. He had visited Germany and the United Kingdom before the appearance of his book. Cousin obtained for him a position on a government mission in Greece, the "Scientific Expedition of Morea", in 1829 (at the end of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire), and on his return he published in 1830 a book on La Grèce moderne ("Modern Greece"). With Michelet he published a volume of works in 1843, denouncing Jesuits and blaming them for religious, political and social troubles. He also became acquainted with and a lover of the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1838. Quinet wrote several lectures praising Emerson's works which were published with the title of Le Christianisme et la Revolution Francaise in 1845.
        Hopes of employment that he had after the July Revolution were frustrated by his reputation as a speculative republican. Nonetheless, he joined the staff of the Revue des deux mondes, and for some years contributed numerous essays, the most remarkable of which was that on Les Épopées françaises du XIIème siècle, an early, although not the earliest, appreciation of the long-neglected chansons de geste. Ahasverus, his first major original work, appeared in 1833—it is a singular prose poem.
  • 2020-09-23 2:07 PM | Thomas
    It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.

      --Thomas Paine, philosopher and writer (1737-1809)

    (3:5.10) Is the love of truth and the willingness to go wherever it leads, desirable? Then must man grow up in a world where error is present and falsehood always possible.

    (56:10.13) The recognition of true relations implies a mind competent to discriminate between truth and error. The bestowal Spirit of Truth which invests the human minds of Urantia is unerringly responsive to truth—the living spirit relationship of all things and all beings as they are co-ordinated in the eternal ascent Godward.

    (153:2.11) By this time there was much murmuring in the synagogue, and such a tumult was threatened that Jesus stood up and said: "Let us be patient; the truth never suffers from honest examination. I am all that you say but more. The Father and I are one; the Son does only that which the Father teaches him, while all those who are given to the Son by the Father, the Son will receive to himself. You have read where it is written in the Prophets, 'You shall all be taught by God,' and that 'Those whom the Father teaches will hear also his Son.' Every one who yields to the teaching of the Father's indwelling spirit will eventually come to me. Not that any man has seen the Father, but the Father's spirit does live within man. And the Son who came down from heaven, he has surely seen the Father. And those who truly believe this Son already have eternal life.

        Thomas Paine was an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary. He authored Common Sense (1776) and The American Crisis (1776–1783), the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, and helped inspire the patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Great Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era ideals of transnational human rights. Historian Saul K. Padover described him as "a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination".
        Born in Thetford in the English county of Norfolk, Paine migrated to the British American colonies in 1774 with the help of Benjamin Franklin, arriving just in time to participate in the American Revolution. Virtually every rebel read (or listened to a reading of) his powerful pamphlet Common Sense, proportionally the all-time best-selling American title, which catalysed the rebellious demand for independence from Great Britain. Common Sense was so influential that John Adams said: "Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain". The American Crisis was a pro-revolutionary pamphlet series. Paine lived in France for most of the 1790s, becoming deeply involved in the French Revolution. He wrote Rights of Man (1791), in part a defence of the French Revolution against its critics. His attacks on Anglo-Irish conservative writer Edmund Burke led to a trial and conviction in absentia in England in 1792 for the crime of seditious libel.
        The British government of William Pitt the Younger, worried by the possibility that the French Revolution might spread to England, had begun suppressing works that espoused radical philosophies. Paine's work, which advocated the right of the people to overthrow their government, was duly targeted, with a writ for his arrest issued in early 1792. Paine fled to France in September where, despite not being able to speak French, he was quickly elected to the French National Convention. The Girondists regarded him as an ally. Consequently, the Montagnards, especially Maximilien Robespierre, regarded him as an enemy.
        In December 1793, he was arrested and was taken to Luxembourg Prison in Paris. While in prison, he continued to work on The Age of Reason (1793–1794). James Monroe, a future President of the United States, used his diplomatic connections to get Paine released in November 1794. Paine became notorious because of his pamphlets. In The Age of Reason he advocated deism, promoted reason and free thought and argued against institutionalized religion in general and Christian doctrine in particular. He published the pamphlet Agrarian Justice (1797), discussing the origins of property and introduced the concept of a guaranteed minimum income through a one-time inheritance tax on landowners. In 1802, he returned to the U.S. When he died on June 8, 1809, only six people attended his funeral as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity.

  • 2020-09-16 7:26 AM | Thomas
    Mistakes are the portals of discovery.

      --James Joyce, novelist and poet (1882-1941)

    (48:6.35) From them you will learn to let pressure develop stability and certainty; to be faithful and earnest and, withal, cheerful; to accept challenges without complaint and to face difficulties and uncertainties without fear. They will ask: If you fail, will you rise indomitably to try anew? If you succeed, will you maintain a well-balanced poise—a stabilized and spiritualized attitude—throughout every effort in the long struggle to break the fetters of material inertia, to attain the freedom of spirit existence?

    (130:4.11) Error (evil) is the penalty of imperfection. The qualities of imperfection or facts of misadaptation are disclosed on the material level by critical observation and by scientific analysis; on the moral level, by human experience. The presence of evil constitutes proof of the inaccuracies of mind and the immaturity of the evolving self. Evil is, therefore, also a measure of imperfection in universe interpretation. The possibility of making mistakes is inherent in the acquisition of wisdom, the scheme of progressing from the partial and temporal to the complete and eternal, from the relative and imperfect to the final and perfected. Error is the shadow of relative incompleteness which must of necessity fall across man's ascending universe path to Paradise perfection. Error (evil) is not an actual universe quality; it is simply the observation of a relativity in the relatedness of the imperfection of the incomplete finite to the ascending levels of the Supreme and Ultimate.

    (156:5.8) Do not become discouraged by the discovery that you are human. Human nature may tend toward evil, but it is not inherently sinful. Be not downcast by your failure wholly to forget some of your regrettable experiences. The mistakes which you fail to forget in time will be forgotten in eternity. Lighten your burdens of soul by speedily acquiring a long-distance view of your destiny, a universe expansion of your career.

        James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist, short story writer, poet, teacher, and literary critic. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde movement and is regarded as one of the most influential and important writers of the 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in a variety of literary styles, most famously stream of consciousness. Other well-known works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). His other writings include three books of poetry, a play, his published letters and occasional journalism.
        Joyce was born in Dublin into a middle-class family. A brilliant student, he briefly attended the Christian Brothers-run O'Connell School before excelling at the Jesuit schools Clongowes and Belvedere, despite the chaotic family life imposed by his father's unpredictable finances. He went on to attend University College Dublin.
        In 1904, in his early twenties, Joyce emigrated to continental Europe with his partner (and later wife) Nora Barnacle. They lived in Trieste, Paris, and Zürich. Although most of his adult life was spent abroad, Joyce's fictional universe centres on Dublin and is populated largely by characters who closely resemble family members, enemies and friends from his time there. Ulysses in particular is set with precision in the streets and alleyways of the city. Shortly after the publication of Ulysses, he elucidated this preoccupation somewhat, saying, "For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal."

  • 2020-09-09 9:26 AM | Thomas
    A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against its government.

      --Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

    (149:3.2) The religious leaders at Jerusalem were becoming well-nigh frantic as a result of the recent conversion of young Abraham and by the desertion of the three spies who had been baptized by Peter, and who were now out with the evangelists on this second preaching tour of Galilee. The Jewish leaders were increasingly blinded by fear and prejudice, while their hearts were hardened by the continued rejection of the appealing truths of the gospel of the kingdom. When men shut off the appeal to the spirit that dwells within them, there is little that can be done to modify their attitude.

    (153:3.3) Then one of the Jerusalem spies who had been observing Jesus and his apostles, said: "We notice that neither you nor your apostles wash your hands properly before you eat bread. You must well know that such a practice as eating with defiled and unwashed hands is a transgression of the law of the elders. Neither do you properly wash your drinking cups and eating vessels. Why is it that you show such disrespect for the traditions of the fathers and the laws of our elders?" And when Jesus heard him speak, he answered: "Why is it that you transgress the commandments of God by the laws of your tradition? The commandment says, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and directs that you share with them your substance if necessary; but you enact a law of tradition which permits undutiful children to say that the money wherewith the parents might have been assisted has been 'given to God.' The law of the elders thus relieves such crafty children of their responsibility, notwithstanding that the children subsequently use all such monies for their own comfort. Why is it that you in this way make void the commandment by your own tradition? Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, saying: 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. In vain do they worship me, teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.'

    (167:4.2) Jesus had almost given up hope that the Jewish leaders at Jerusalem would ever accept the kingdom, but he still loved his people, and there now occurred to him a plan whereby the scribes and Pharisees of Jerusalem might have one more chance to accept his teachings; and he decided, his Father willing, to make this last appeal to Jerusalem the most profound and stupendous outward working of his entire earth career. The Jews clung to the idea of a wonder-working deliverer. And though he refused to stoop to the performance of material wonders or to the enactment of temporal exhibitions of political power, he did now ask the Father's consent for the manifestation of his hitherto unexhibited power over life and death.

    Edward Paul Abbey (January 29, 1927 – March 14, 1989) was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues and criticism of public land policies. His best-known works include the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, which has been cited as an inspiration by environmental and eco-terrorist groups, and the non-fiction work Desert Solitaire.

  • 2020-09-06 9:24 AM | Thomas
    Death is a friend of ours and he that is not ready to entertain him is not at home.

      --Francis Bacon, essayist, philosopher, and statesman (1561-1626)

    (55:2.5) Many fusion candidates may be assembled in the spacious temple at the same time. And what a beautiful occasion when mortals thus forgather to witness the ascension of their loved ones in spiritual flames, and what a contrast to those earlier ages when mortals must commit their dead to the embrace of the terrestrial elements! The scenes of weeping and wailing characteristic of earlier epochs of human evolution are now replaced by ecstatic joy and the sublimest enthusiasm as these God-knowing mortals bid their loved ones a transient farewell as they are removed from their material associations by the spiritual fires of consuming grandeur and ascending glory. On worlds settled in light and life, "funerals" are occasions of supreme joy, profound satisfaction, and inexpressible hope.

    (87:2.5) Long and frequent periods of mourning inactivity were one of the great obstacles to civilization's advancement. Weeks and even months of each year were literally wasted in this nonproductive and useless mourning. The fact that professional mourners were hired for funeral occasions indicates that mourning was a ritual, not an evidence of sorrow. Moderns may mourn the dead out of respect and because of bereavement, but the ancients did this because of fear.

    (126:4.2) "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the meek, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to set the spiritual prisoners free; to proclaim the year of God's favor and the day of our God's reckoning; to comfort all mourners, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy in the place of mourning, a song of praise instead of the spirit of sorrow, that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, wherewith he may be glorified."

        Francis Bacon also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. His works are credited with developing the scientific method and remained influential through the scientific revolution.
        Bacon has been called the father of empiricism. His works argued for the possibility of scientific knowledge based only upon inductive reasoning and careful observation of events in nature. Most importantly, he argued science could be achieved by use of a sceptical and methodical approach whereby scientists aim to avoid misleading themselves. Although his most specific proposals about such a method, the Baconian method, did not have a long-lasting influence, the general idea of the importance and possibility of a sceptical methodology makes Bacon the father of the scientific method. This method was a new rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, the practical details of which are still central in debates about science and methodology.
        Francis Bacon was a patron of libraries and developed a functional system for the cataloguing of books by dividing them into three categories—history, poetry, and philosophy—which could further be divided into more specific subjects and subheadings. Bacon was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he rigorously followed the medieval curriculum, largely in Latin.
        Bacon was the first recipient of the Queen's counsel designation, which was conferred in 1597 when Elizabeth I of England reserved Bacon as her legal advisor. After the accession of James VI and I in 1603, Bacon was knighted. He was later created Baron Verulam in 1618 and Viscount St. Alban in 1621.
        Because he had no heirs, both titles became extinct upon his death in 1626, at 65 years. Bacon died of pneumonia, with one account by John Aubrey stating that he had contracted the condition while studying the effects of freezing on the preservation of meat. He is buried at St Michael's Church, St Albans, Hertfordshire.

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