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Tom Allen

  • 2020-11-30 10:06 AM | Thomas
    Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.

      --Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (1920-1992)

    (16:7.9) Morality can never be advanced by law or by force. It is a personal and freewill matter and must be disseminated by the contagion of the contact of morally fragrant persons with those who are less morally responsive, but who are also in some measure desirous of doing the Father's will.

    (101:9.2) When you presume to sit in critical judgment on the primitive religion of man (or on the religion of primitive man), you should remember to judge such savages and to evaluate their religious experience in accordance with their enlightenment and status of conscience. Do not make the mistake of judging another's religion by your own standards of knowledge and truth.

    (102:8.2) Regarding the status of any religion in the evolutionary scale, it may best be judged by its moral judgments and its ethical standards. The higher the type of any religion, the more it encourages and is encouraged by a constantly improving social morality and ethical culture. We cannot judge religion by the status of its accompanying civilization; we had better estimate the real nature of a civilization by the purity and nobility of its religion. Many of the world's most notable religious teachers have been virtually unlettered. The wisdom of the world is not necessary to an exercise of saving faith in eternal realities.

        Isaac Asimov was an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He was known for his works of science fiction and popular science. Asimov was a prolific writer who wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards.
        Asimov wrote hard science fiction. Along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, Asimov was considered one of the "Big Three" science fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov's most famous work is the "Foundation" series, the first three books of which won the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966. His other major series are the "Galactic Empire" series and the Robot series. The Galactic Empire novels are set in earlier history of the same fictional universe as the Foundation series. Later, with Foundation and Earth (1986), he linked this distant future to the Robot stories, creating a unified "future history" for his stories much like those pioneered by Robert A. Heinlein and previously produced by Cordwainer Smith and Poul Anderson. He also wrote hundreds of short stories, including the social science fiction novelette "Nightfall", which in 1964 was voted the best short science fiction story of all time by the Science Fiction Writers of America. Asimov wrote the Lucky Starr series of juvenile science-fiction novels using the pen name Paul French.
        Asimov also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as much nonfiction. Most of his popular science books explain concepts in a historical way, going as far back as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage. Examples include Guide to Science, the three-volume set Understanding Physics, and Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery. He wrote on numerous other scientific and non-scientific topics, such as chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, history, biblical exegesis, and literary criticism.
       He was president of the American Humanist Association. The asteroid (5020) Asimov, a crater on the planet Mars, a Brooklyn elementary school, Honda's humanoid robot, ASIMO, and four literary awards are named in his honor.

  • 2020-11-23 8:54 PM | Thomas
    It is not that Christianity was tried, and found wanting.  Rather, it was found difficult, and so not tried.

      --G K Chesterton

    (154:4.6)There was much talk about Jesus' preaching doctrines which were upsetting for the common people; his enemies maintained that his teachings were impractical, that everything would go to pieces if everybody made an honest effort to live in accordance with his ideas. And the men of many subsequent generations have said the same things. Many intelligent and well-meaning men, even in the more enlightened age of these revelations, maintain that modern civilization could not have been built upon the teachings of Jesus—and they are partially right. But all such doubters forget that a much better civilization could have been built upon his teachings, and sometime will be. This world has never seriously tried to carry out the teachings of Jesus on a large scale, notwithstanding that halfhearted attempts have often been made to follow the doctrines of so-called Christianity.

    (170:4.14) This world has never seriously or sincerely or honestly tried out these dynamic ideas and divine ideals of Jesus' doctrine of the kingdom of heaven. But you should not become discouraged by the apparently slow progress of the kingdom idea on Urantia. Remember that the order of progressive evolution is subjected to sudden and unexpected periodical changes in both the material and the spiritual worlds. The bestowal of Jesus as an incarnated Son was just such a strange and unexpected event in the spiritual life of the world. Neither make the fatal mistake, in looking for the age manifestation of the kingdom, of failing to effect its establishment within your own souls.

        Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an English writer, philosopher, lay theologian, and literary and art critic. He has been referred to as the "prince of paradox". Time magazine observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out."
        Chesterton created the fictional priest-detective Father Brown, and wrote on apologetics. Even some of those who disagree with him have recognised the wide appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an "orthodox" Christian, and came to identify this position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Catholicism from High Church Anglicanism. Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, Cardinal John Henry Newman, and John Ruskin.

  • 2020-11-18 8:04 AM | Thomas
    The world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape.

      --Bono, musician and social activist (b. May 1960)

    (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.

    (23:2.12) The confusion and turmoil of Urantia do not signify that the Paradise Rulers lack either interest or ability to manage affairs differently. The Creators are possessed of full power to make Urantia a veritable paradise, but such an Eden would not contribute to the development of those strong, noble, and experienced characters which the Gods are so surely forging out on your world between the anvils of necessity and the hammers of anguish. Your anxieties and sorrows, your trials and disappointments, are just as much a part of the divine plan on your sphere as are the exquisite perfection and infinite adaptation of all things to their supreme purpose on the worlds of the central and perfect universe.

    (66:5.13)  Civilization was literally forged out between the anvil of necessity and the hammers of fear.

        Paul David Hewson (born 10 May 1960), known by his stage name Bono is an Irish singer, songwriter, philanthropist, activist, venture capitalist, businessman, and actor. He is best known as the lead vocalist and primary lyricist of rock band U2.
        Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his future wife, Alison Stewart, as well as schoolmates with whom he formed U2 in 1976. Bono soon established himself as a passionate frontman for the band through his expressive vocal style and grandiose gestures and songwriting. His lyrics are known for their social and political themes, and for their religious imagery inspired by his Christian beliefs. During U2's early years, Bono's lyrics contributed to the group's rebellious and spiritual tone. As the band matured, his lyrics became inspired more by personal experiences shared with the other members. As a member of U2, Bono has received 22 Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
        Bono is well known for his activism for social justice causes, both through U2 and as an individual. He is particularly active in campaigning for Africa, for which he co-founded DATA, EDUN, the ONE Campaign, and Product Red. In pursuit of these causes, he has participated in benefit concerts and met with influential politicians. Bono has been praised for his philanthropic efforts; he was granted an honorary knighthood by Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom for "his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work", and has been made a Commandeur of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters). In 2005, Bono was named one of the Time Persons of the Year.
        Outside the band, he has recorded with numerous artists. He has collaborated with U2 bandmate the Edge on several projects, including: songs for Roy Orbison and Tina Turner; the soundtracks to the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and a London stage adaptation of A Clockwork Orange; and the refurbishment of the Clarence Hotel in Dublin. He is managing director and a managing partner of the private equity firm Elevation Partners, which has invested in several companies.

  • 2020-11-16 6:08 AM | Thomas

    We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
      --E.M. Forster, novelist (1879-1970)

    (100:2.8) After such spiritual attainment, whether secured by gradual growth or specific crisis, there occurs a new orientation of personality as well as the development of a new standard of values. Such spirit-born individuals are so remotivated in life that they can calmly stand by while their fondest ambitions perish and their keenest hopes crash; they positively know that such catastrophes are but the redirecting cataclysms which wreck one's temporal creations preliminary to the rearing of the more noble and enduring realities of a new and more sublime level of universe attainment

        Edward Morgan Forster was an English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist. Many of his novels examine class difference and hypocrisy, including A Room with a View (1908), Howards End (1910)and A Passage to India (1924). The last brought him his greatest success. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 16 separate years.

  • 2020-11-11 10:00 AM | Thomas
    The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?

      --Pablo Casals, cellist, conductor, and composer (1876-1973)

    (52:6.4) 2. Intellectual cross-fertilization. Brotherhood is impossible on a world whose inhabitants are so primitive that they fail to recognize the folly of unmitigated selfishness. There must occur an exchange of national and racial literature. Each race must become familiar with the thought of all races; each nation must know the feelings of all nations. Ignorance breeds suspicion, and suspicion is incompatible with the essential attitude of sympathy and love.

    (81:6.35) No national civilization long endures unless its educational methods and religious ideals inspire a high type of intelligent patriotism and national devotion. Without this sort of intelligent patriotism and cultural solidarity, all nations tend to disintegrate as a result of provincial jealousies and local self-interests.

        Pau Casals i Defilló, usually known in English as Pablo Casals, was a Spanish cellist, composer, and conductor. He is generally regarded as the pre-eminent cellist of the first half of the 20th century and one of the greatest cellists of all time. He made many recordings throughout his career of solo, chamber, and orchestral music, including some as conductor, but he is perhaps best remembered for the recordings of the Bach Cello Suites he made from 1936 to 1939. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy (though the ceremony was presided over by Lyndon B. Johnson).

  • 2020-11-08 5:18 PM | Thomas
    Never bear more than one trouble at a time. Some people bear three kinds -- all they have had, all they have now, and all they expect to have.

      --Edward Everett Hale, author (1822-1909)

    (9:5.7) Too often, all too often, you mar your minds by insincerity and sear them with unrighteousness; you subject them to animal fear and distort them by useless anxiety.

    (48:7.21)  Anxiety must be abandoned. The disappointments hardest to bear are those which never come.

    (111:6.1)  Man is finite, but he is indwelt by a spark of infinity. Such a dual situation not only provides the potential for evil but also engenders many social and moral situations fraught with much uncertainty and not a little anxiety.

    (113:2.5) The angels really find it hard to understand why you will so persistently allow your higher intellectual powers, even your religious faith, to be so dominated by fear, so thoroughly demoralized by the thoughtless panic of dread and anxiety.

    (140:8.3) What he [Jesus] preached against was not forethought but anxiety, worry.

    (165:5.2) Besides, all of your anxiety or fretting doubts can do nothing to supply your material needs. Which of you by anxiety can add a handbreadth to your stature or a day to your life? Since such matters are not in your hands, why do you give anxious thought to any of these problems?

    (179:2.3) The Master had but one anxiety, and that was for the safety and salvation of his chosen followers.

        Edward Everett Hale was an American author, historian, and Unitarian minister, best known for his writings such as "The Man Without a Country", published in Atlantic Monthly, in support of the Union during the Civil War. He was the grand-nephew of Nathan Hale, the American spy during the Revolutionary War.

  • 2020-11-04 4:16 PM | Thomas
    Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.

      --Louis Pasteur, chemist and bacteriologist (1822-1895)

    (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."

    (69:2.5) Labor, the efforts of design, distinguishes man from the beast, whose exertions are largely instinctive. The necessity for labor is man's paramount blessing. The Prince's staff all worked; they did much to ennoble physical labor on Urantia. Adam was a gardener; the God of the Hebrews labored—he was the creator and upholder of all things. The Hebrews were the first tribe to put a supreme premium on industry; they were the first people to decree that "he who does not work shall not eat." But many of the religions of the world reverted to the early ideal of idleness. Jupiter was a reveler, and Buddha became a reflective devotee of leisure.

    (140:8.2) Jesus' teaching to trust in the overcare of the heavenly Father was not a blind and passive fatalism. He quoted with approval, on this afternoon, an old Hebrew saying: "He who will not work shall not eat." He pointed to his own experience as sufficient commentary on his teachings. His precepts about trusting the Father must not be adjudged by the social or economic conditions of modern times or any other age. His instruction embraces the ideal principles of living near God in all ages and on all worlds.

        Louis Pasteur was a French biologist, microbiologist and chemist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of diseases, and his discoveries have saved many lives ever since. He reduced mortality from puerperal fever, and created the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax.
        His medical discoveries provided direct support for the germ theory of disease and its application in clinical medicine. He is best known to the general public for his invention of the technique of treating milk and wine to stop bacterial contamination, a process now called pasteurization. He is regarded as one of the three main founders of bacteriology, together with Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch, and is popularly known as the "father of microbiology".
        Pasteur was responsible for disproving the doctrine of spontaneous generation. He performed experiments that showed that, without contamination, microorganisms could not develop. Under the auspices of the French Academy of Sciences, he demonstrated that in sterilized and sealed flasks, nothing ever developed; and, conversely, in sterilized but open flasks, microorganisms could grow. Although Pasteur was not the first to propose the germ theory, his experiments indicated its correctness and convinced most of Europe that it was true.
        Today, he is often regarded as one of the fathers of germ theory. Pasteur made significant discoveries in chemistry, most notably on the molecular basis for the asymmetry of certain crystals and racemization. Early in his career, his investigation of tartaric acid resulted in the first resolution of what is now called optical isomers. His work led the way to the current understanding of a fundamental principle in the structure of organic compounds.
        He was the director of the Pasteur Institute, established in 1887, until his death, and his body was interred in a vault beneath the institute. Although Pasteur made groundbreaking experiments, his reputation became associated with various controversies. Historical reassessment of his notebook revealed that he practiced deception to overcome his rivals.

  • 2020-10-30 6:25 AM | Thomas
    The characteristic of a well-bred man is, to converse with his inferiors without insolence, and with his superiors with respect and with ease.

      --Lord Chesterfield, statesman and writer (1694-1773)

    (107:3.3-6) Although we know something of all the seven secret spheres of Paradise, we know less of Divinington than of the others. Beings of high spiritual orders receive only three divine injunctions, and they are:
        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.
        3. Never to attempt a landing on the shores of Divinington.


        Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, was a British statesman, diplomat, man of letters, and an acclaimed wit of his time. He was born in London to Philip Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Chesterfield, and Lady Elizabeth Savile, and known as Lord Stanhope until the death of his father, in 1726. Following the death of his mother in 1708, Stanhope was raised mainly by his grandmother, the Marchioness of Halifax. Educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he left just over a year into his studies, after focusing on languages and oration. He subsequently embarked on the Grand Tour of the Continent, to complete his education as a nobleman, by exposure to the cultural legacies of Classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and to become acquainted with his aristocratic counterparts and the polite society of Continental Europe.
        In the course of his post-graduate tour of Europe, the death of Queen Anne (r. 1702–1714) and the accession of King George I (r. 1714–1727) to the throne opened a political career for Stanhope, and he quickly returned to England. A member of the Whig party, Phillip Stanhope entered government service as a courtier to the King, through the mentorship of his relative, James Stanhope, (later 1st Earl Stanhope), the King's favourite minister, who procured his appointment as Lord of the Bedchamber to the Prince of Wales, George II.
  • 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.

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