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  • 2024-06-10 11:48 AM | Thomas
    Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.

      --Saul Bellow, writer, Nobel laureate (1915-2005)

    (160:4.12) Train your memory to hold in sacred trust the strength-giving and worth-while episodes of life, which you can recall at will for your pleasure and edification. Thus build up for yourself and in yourself reserve galleries of beauty, goodness, and artistic grandeur. But the noblest of all memories are the treasured recollections of the great moments of a superb friendship. And all of these memory treasures radiate their most precious and exalting influences under the releasing touch of spiritual worship.

        Saul Bellow was a Canadian–American writer. For his literary work, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the 1976 Nobel Prize in Literature, and the National Medal of Arts. He is the only writer to win the National Book Award for Fiction three times, and he received the National Book Foundation's lifetime Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 1990.
        In the words of the Swedish Nobel Committee, his writing exhibited "the mixture of rich picaresque novel and subtle analysis of our culture, of entertaining adventure, drastic and tragic episodes in quick succession interspersed with philosophic conversation, all developed by a commentator with a witty tongue and penetrating insight into the outer and inner complications that drive us to act, or prevent us from acting, and that can be called the dilemma of our age." His best-known works include The Adventures of Augie March, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog, Mr. Sammler's Planet, Seize the Day, Humboldt's Gift, and Ravelstein.
        Bellow said that of all his characters, Eugene Henderson, of Henderson the Rain King, was the one most like himself. Bellow grew up as an immigrant from Quebec. As Christopher Hitchens describes it, Bellow's fiction and principal characters reflect his own yearning for transcendence, a battle "to overcome not just ghetto conditions but also ghetto psychoses."Bellow's protagonists wrestle with what Albert Corde, the dean in The Dean's December, called "the big-scale insanities of the 20th century."This transcendence of the "unutterably dismal" (a phrase from Dangling Man) is achieved, if it can be achieved at all, through a "ferocious assimilation of learning" and an emphasis on nobility.

    Photo portrait of Bellow from the dust jacket of Herzog (1964)

  • 2024-05-27 1:27 PM | Thomas

    Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate.
      --Hubert Humphrey, (1911-1978)

    (9:1.8)  The universe of your origin is being forged out between the anvil of justice and the hammer of suffering; but those who wield the hammer are the children of mercy, the spirit offspring of the Infinite Spirit.

    (66:5.13)  The college of revealed religion. This body was slow in functioning. Urantia civilization was literally forged out between the anvil of necessity and the hammers of fear.

    (70:12.6) If men would maintain their freedom, they must, after having chosen their charter of liberty, provide for its wise, intelligent, and fearless interpretation to the end that there may be prevented:
         1. Freedom of the person. Slavery, serfdom, and all forms of human bondage must disappear.
         2. Freedom of the mind. Unless a free people are educated—taught to think intelligently and plan wisely—freedom usually does more harm than good.
         4. Freedom of speech. Representative government is unthinkable without freedom of all forms of expression for human aspirations and opinions.

    (71:8.4) 2. The freedom of social, political, and religious activities.

        Hubert Horatio Humphrey Jr. was an American politician and statesman who served as the 38th vice president of the United States from 1965 to 1969. He twice served in the United States Senate, representing Minnesota from 1949 to 1964 and 1971 to 1978. As a senator he was a major leader of modern liberalism in the United States. As President Lyndon B. Johnson's vice president, he supported the controversial Vietnam War. An intensely divided Democratic Party nominated him in the 1968 presidential election, which he lost to Republican nominee Richard Nixon.
        Born in Wallace, South Dakota, Humphrey attended the University of Minnesota. In 1943, he became a professor of political science at Macalester College and ran a failed campaign for mayor of Minneapolis. He helped found the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL) in 1944; the next year he was elected mayor of Minneapolis, serving until 1948 and co-founding the liberal anti-communist group Americans for Democratic Action in 1947. In 1948, he was elected to the U.S. Senate and successfully advocated for the inclusion of a proposal to end racial segregation in the 1948 Democratic National Convention's party platform.
        Humphrey served three terms in the Senate from 1949 to 1964, and was the Senate Majority Whip for the last four years of his tenure. During this time, he was the lead author of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, introduced the first initiative to create the Peace Corps, and chaired the Select Committee on Disarmament. He unsuccessfully sought his party's presidential nomination in 1952 and 1960. After Lyndon B. Johnson acceded to the presidency, he chose Humphrey as his running mate, and the Democratic ticket won a landslide victory in the 1964 election.
        In March 1968, Johnson made his surprise announcement that he would not seek reelection, and Humphrey launched his campaign for the presidency. Loyal to the Johnson administration's policies on the Vietnam War, he received opposition from many within his own party and avoided the primaries to focus on winning the delegates of non-primary states at the Democratic National Convention. His delegate strategy succeeded in clinching the nomination, and he chose Senator Edmund Muskie as his running mate. In the general election, he nearly matched Nixon's tally in the popular vote but lost the electoral vote by a wide margin. After the defeat, he returned to the Senate and served from 1971 until his death in 1978. He ran again in the 1972 Democratic primaries but lost to George McGovern and declined to be McGovern's running mate. From 1977 to 1978, he served as Deputy President pro tempore of the United States Senate.

  • 2024-04-24 3:32 PM | Thomas
    I hold that gentleman to be the best-dressed whose dress no one observes.

      -Anthony Trollope, novelist (1815-1882)

    (195:10.13) And the genuine lovers of truth will be slow to forget that this powerful institutionalized church has often dared to smother newborn faith and persecute truth bearers who chanced to appear in unorthodox raiment.

        Anthony Trollope was an English novelist and civil servant of the Victorian era. Among his best-known works is a series of novels collectively known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, which revolves around the imaginary county of Barsetshire. He also wrote novels on political, social, and gender issues, and other topical matters.
        Trollope's literary reputation dipped during the last years of his life, but he regained somewhat of a following by the mid-20th century.


  • 2024-03-23 9:36 AM | Thomas

    If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. 
      --Derek Bok, lawyer and educator (b.1930)

    (71:3.1) The political or administrative form of a government is of little consequence provided it affords the essentials of civil progress—liberty, security, education, and social co-ordination. It is not what a state is but what it does that determines the course of social evolution. And after all, no state can transcend the moral values of its citizenry as exemplified in their chosen leaders. Ignorance and selfishness will insure the downfall of even the highest type of government.

    Derek Curtis Bok is an American lawyer and educator, and former president of Harvard University.

  • 2024-02-29 9:09 AM | Thomas
    There is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others.

      -Michel de Montaigne, essayist (1533-1592)

    (48:6.25)  Here you are face to face with true friends and understanding counselors, angels who are really able to help you "to see yourself as others see you" and "to know yourself as angels know you."

        Michel Eyquem, Seigneur de Montaigne commonly known as Michel de Montaigne, was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance. He is known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. His work is noted for its merging of casual anecdotes and autobiography with intellectual insight. Montaigne had a direct influence on numerous Western writers; his massive volume Essais contains some of the most influential essays ever written.
        During his lifetime, Montaigne was admired more as a statesman than as an author. The tendency in his essays to digress into anecdotes and personal ruminations was seen as detrimental to proper style rather than as an innovation, and his declaration that "I am myself the matter of my book" was viewed by his contemporaries as self-indulgent. In time, however, Montaigne came to be recognized as embodying, perhaps better than any other author of his time, the spirit of freely entertaining doubt that began to emerge at that time. He is most famously known for his skeptical remark, ''Que sçay-je?" ("What do I know?", in Middle French; now rendered as "Que sais-je?" in modern French).

  • 2024-01-31 7:53 AM | Thomas
    To bear up under loss, to fight the bitterness of defeat and the weakness of grief, to be victor over anger, to smile when tears are close, to resist evil men and base instincts, to hate hate and to love love, to go on when it would seem good to die, to seek ever after the glory and the dream, to look up with unquenchable faith in something evermore about to be, that is what any man can do, and so be great. 

      --Zane Grey, author (1872-1939)

    (26:5.3)  But long before reaching Havona, these ascendant children of time have learned to feast upon uncertainty, to fatten upon disappointment, to enthuse over apparent defeat, to invigorate in the presence of difficulties, to exhibit indomitable courage in the face of immensity, and to exercise unconquerable faith when confronted with the challenge of the inexplicable. Long since, the battle cry of these pilgrims became: "In liaison with God, nothing—absolutely nothing—is impossible."

        Pearl Zane Grey was an American author and dentist. He is known for his popular adventure novels and stories associated with the Western genre in literature and the arts; he idealized the American frontier. Riders of the Purple Sage (1912) was his best-selling book.
        In addition to the success of his printed works, his books have second lives and continuing influence adapted for films and television. His novels and short stories were adapted into 112 films, two television episodes, and a television series, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre.

  • 2024-01-15 11:16 AM | Thomas
    Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.
      --Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968)

    (195:10.17) Even secular education could help in this great spiritual renaissance if it would pay more attention to the work of teaching youth how to engage in life planning and character progression. The purpose of all education should be to foster and further the supreme purpose of life, the development of a majestic and well-balanced personality.

    To be great, you have to be willing to be mocked, hated, and misunderstood. Stay strong
      --MLK

    (154:6.9) It is forever true that all who may think they are misunderstood or not appreciated have in Jesus a sympathizing friend and an understanding counselor.

    (171:4.2)  And so will they mock the Son of Man, even spit upon him and scourge him, and they will deliver him up to death. And when they kill the Son of Man, be not dismayed, for I declare that on the third day he shall rise. Take heed to yourselves and remember that I have forewarned you."

    (140:9.3)  Some of you will be put to death, and before you establish the kingdom on earth, you will be hated by many peoples because of this gospel; but fear not; I will be with you, and my spirit shall go before you into all the world.

    (176:1.1)  For a time you may be hated by all men for my sake, but even in these persecutions I will not forsake you; my spirit will not desert you.

    If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.
      --MLK

    (171:7.10)  And it behooves the Master's followers in all ages to learn to minister as "they pass by"—to do unselfish good as they go about their daily duties.

      Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister, activist, and political philosopher who was one of the most prominent leaders in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. A Black church leader and a son of early civil rights activist and minister Martin Luther King Sr., King advanced civil rights for people of color in the United States through the use of nonviolent resistance and nonviolent civil disobedience against Jim Crow laws and other forms of discrimination in the United States.
        King participated in and led marches for the right to vote, desegregation, labor rights, and other civil rights. He oversaw the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and later became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). As president of the SCLC, he led the unsuccessful Albany Movement in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize some of the nonviolent 1963 protests in Birmingham, Alabama. King was one of the leaders of the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and helped organize two of the three Selma to Montgomery marches during the 1965 Selma voting rights movement. The civil rights movement achieved pivotal legislative gains in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
        The SCLC put into practice the tactics of nonviolent protest with some success by strategically choosing the methods and places in which protests were carried out. There were several dramatic standoffs with segregationist authorities, who frequently responded violently. King was jailed several times. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director J. Edgar Hoover considered King a radical and made him an object of the FBI's COINTELPRO from 1963 forward. FBI agents investigated him for possible communist ties, spied on his personal life, and secretly recorded him. In 1964, the FBI mailed King a threatening anonymous letter, which he interpreted as an attempt to make him commit suicide.
        On October 14, 1964, King won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In his final years, he expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and the Vietnam War. In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People's Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by national mourning, as well as anger leading to riots in many U.S. cities. King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2003. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a holiday in cities and states throughout the United States beginning in 1971; the federal holiday was first observed in 1986. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, and King County in Washington was rededicated for him. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in 2011.

    Portrait of King wearing a suit

  • 2024-01-06 11:12 AM | Thomas
    Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.

      --E. B. White (1899-1985)

    (71:2.1-8)  Democracy, while an ideal, is a product of civilization, not of evolution. Go slowly! select carefully! for the dangers of democracy are:

            1. Glorification of mediocrity.
            2. Choice of base and ignorant rulers.
            3. Failure to recognize the basic facts of social evolution.
            4. Danger of universal suffrage in the hands of uneducated and indolent majorities.
            5. Slavery to public opinion; the majority is not always right.

        Public opinion, common opinion, has always delayed society; nevertheless, it is valuable, for, while retarding social evolution, it does preserve civilization. Education of public opinion is the only safe and true method of accelerating civilization; force is only a temporary expedient, and cultural growth will increasingly accelerate as bullets give way to ballots. Public opinion, the mores, is the basic and elemental energy in social evolution and state development, but to be of state value it must be nonviolent in expression.

        The measure of the advance of society is directly determined by the degree to which public opinion can control personal behavior and state regulation through nonviolent expression. The really civilized government had arrived when public opinion was clothed with the powers of personal franchise. Popular elections may not always decide things rightly, but they represent the right way even to do a wrong thing. Evolution does not at once produce superlative perfection but rather comparative and advancing practical adjustment.


        Elwyn Brooks White was an American writer. He was the author of several highly popular books for children, including Stuart Little (1945), Charlotte's Web (1952), and The Trumpet of the Swan (1970). In a 2012 survey of School Library Journal readers, Charlotte's Web came in first in their poll of the top one hundred children's novels. In addition, he was a writer and contributing editor to The New Yorker magazine and a co-author of the English-language style guide The Elements of Style.


  • 2023-12-30 11:57 AM | Thomas
    All that separates, whether of race, class, creed, or sex, is inhuman, and must be overcome.

      -Kate Sheppard, suffragist (1847-1934)

    (194:3.14) Before the teachings of Jesus which culminated in Pentecost, women had little or no spiritual standing in the tenets of the older religions. After Pentecost, in the brotherhood of the kingdom woman stood before God on an equality with man. Among the one hundred and twenty who received this special visitation of the spirit were many of the women disciples, and they shared these blessings equally with the men believers. No longer can man presume to monopolize the ministry of religious service. The Pharisee might go on thanking God that he was "not born a woman, a leper, or a gentile," but among the followers of Jesus woman has been forever set free from all religious discriminations based on sex. Pentecost obliterated all religious discrimination founded on racial distinction, cultural differences, social caste, or sex prejudice. No wonder these believers in the new religion would cry out, "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

        Katherine Wilson Sheppard was the most prominent member of the women's suffrage movement in New Zealand and the country's most famous suffragist. Born in Liverpool, England, she emigrated to New Zealand with her family in 1868. There she became an active member of various religious and social organisations, including the Women's Christian Temperance Union New Zealand (WCTU NZ). In 1887 she was appointed the WCTU NZ's National Superintendent for Franchise and Legislation, a position she used to advance the cause of women's suffrage in New Zealand.
        Kate Sheppard promoted women's suffrage by organising petitions and public meetings, by writing letters to the press, and by developing contacts with politicians. She was the editor of The White Ribbon, the first woman-operated newspaper in New Zealand. Through her skilful writing and persuasive public speaking, she successfully advocated women's suffrage. Her pamphlets Ten Reasons Why the Women of New Zealand Should Vote and Should Women Vote? contributed to the cause. This work culminated in a petition with 30,000 signatures calling for women's suffrage that was presented to parliament, and the successful extension of the franchise to women in 1893. As a result, New Zealand became the first country to establish universal suffrage.
        Sheppard was the first president of the National Council of Women of New Zealand, founded in 1896, and helped reform the organisation in 1918. In later life, she travelled to Britain and assisted the suffrage movement there. With failing health, she returned to New Zealand, after which she continued to be involved in writing on women's rights, although she became less politically active. She died in 1934, leaving no descendants.
        Sheppard is considered an important figure in New Zealand's history. A memorial to her exists in Christchurch. Her portrait replaced that of Queen Elizabeth II on the front of the New Zealand ten-dollar note in 1991.

  • 2023-11-20 12:40 PM | Thomas

    對上以敬

    對下以慈

    對人以和

    對事以真

    To our elders, be respectful, to our juniors, be kind. By respecting others, we elevate our own mind, and live in harmony with each other.

      --venerable Master Wei Chueh (1928-2016)

    (107:3.4-5) 1. Always to show adequate respect for the experience and endowments of their seniors and superiors.
                      2. Always to be considerate of the limitations and inexperience of their juniors and subordinates.

        Wei Chueh was a Chinese Bhikshu (Buddhist monk) from Taiwan. He is the founder of the Chung Tai Shan monastery and Buddhist order. Wei Chueh is often credited for reviving the traditional teachings of Chan Buddhism.
        Wei Chueh was born in 1928 in Yingshan County, Sichuan. In 1963, he was ordained under Lin Yuan at the Shi Fan Da Jue (“Great Enlightenment”) Chan Monastery in Keelung, Taiwan. He was fully ordained as a monk in 1967 at Daijue Temple in Keelung. He offered many retreats in Yilan, Hsinchu, and Hong Kong before settling into solitary seclusion at Yangmingshan near Wanli District, New Taipei. He lived under extremely poor and primitive conditions, but continued to practice the Dharma. In 1987, he founded Lin Quan Temple in Taipei County. Wei Chueh became known for organizing seven-day Zen retreats and dharma assemblies, as well as his "lively and flexible" preaching style. As his popularity increased, his temple was unable to fit more people.

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