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  • 2019-08-18 12:39 PM | Thomas

    Everyone has a belief system, B.S., the trick is to learn not to take anyone's B.S. too seriously, especially your own.
      --Robert Anton Wilson, novelist (1932-2007)

    (115:1.1) Partial, incomplete, and evolving intellects would be helpless in the master universe, would be unable to form the first rational thought pattern, were it not for the innate ability of all mind, high or low, to form a universe frame in which to think. If mind cannot fathom conclusions, if it cannot penetrate to true origins, then will such mind unfailingly postulate conclusions and invent origins that it may have a means of logical thought within the frame of these mind-created postulates. And while such universe frames for creature thought are indispensable to rational intellectual operations, they are, without exception, erroneous to a greater or lesser degree.

         Robert Anton Wilson was an American author, novelist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, and self-described agnostic mystic. Recognized by Discordianism as an Episkopos, Pope, and saint, Wilson helped publicize the group through his writings and interviews.
         Wilson described his work as an "attempt to break down conditioned associations, to look at the world in a new way, with many models recognized as models or maps, and no one model elevated to the truth". His goal being "to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone but agnosticism about everything."
  • 2019-08-15 11:40 AM | Thomas

    In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
      --Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, musician, Nobel laureate (1875-1965)

    (94:6.6) And of the true religionist he [LaoTsu] said, in expressing the truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive: "The good man seeks not to retain truth for himself but rather attempts to bestow these riches upon his fellows, for that is the realization of truth.

    (100:7.10) The Master was always generous. He never grew weary of saying, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Said he, "Freely you have received, freely give."

    (130:6.0)  "The Young Man Who Was Afraid"

    (163:1.4) Freely you have received of the good things of the kingdom; freely give.

    (146:2.11) When you pray for the sick and afflicted, do not expect that your petitions will take the place of loving and intelligent ministry to the necessities of these afflicted ones. Pray for the welfare of your families, friends, and fellows, but especially pray for those who curse you, and make loving petitions for those who persecute you.

    Albert Schweitzer was an Alsatian polymath. He was a theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician. A Lutheran, Schweitzer challenged both the secular view of Jesus as depicted by the historical-critical method current at this time, as well as the traditional Christian view. His contributions to the interpretation of Pauline Christianity concern the role of Paul's mysticism of "being in Christ" as primary and the doctrine of Justification by Faith as secondary.
    He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of "Reverence for Life", becoming the eighth Frenchman to be awarded that prize. His philosophy was expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, in the part of French Equatorial Africa which is now Gabon. As a music scholar and organist, he studied the music of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and influenced the Organ Reform Movement (Orgelbewegung).

  • 2019-08-12 3:37 PM | Thomas
    Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.


      --Carl Sandburg, (1878-1967)

    (28:6.9) 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.

         Carl August Sandburg was an American poet, biographer, journalist, and editor. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. During his lifetime, Sandburg was widely regarded as "a major figure in contemporary literature", especially for volumes of his collected verse, including Chicago Poems (1916), Cornhuskers (1918), and Smoke and Steel (1920). He enjoyed "unrivaled appeal as a poet in his day, perhaps because the breadth of his experiences connected him with so many strands of American life", and at his death in 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson observed that "Carl Sandburg was more than the voice of America, more than the poet of its strength and genius. He was America."

  • 2019-08-08 12:13 PM | Thomas
    In religion, faith is a virtue. In science, faith is a vice.

      --Jerry Coyne, biology professor (b. 1949)

    (101:2.7) Science ends its reason-search in the hypothesis of a First Cause. Religion does not stop in its flight of faith until it is sure of a God of salvation.

    (101:2.8) Reason is the proof of science, faith the proof of religion, logic the proof of philosophy, but revelation is validated only by human experience.

    (102:1.2) The reason of science is based on the observable facts of time; the faith of religion argues from the spirit program of eternity.

    (103:7.1) Science is sustained by reason, religion by faith.

         Jerry Allen Coyne is an American biologist known for his work on speciation and his commentary on intelligent design. A prolific scientist and author, he has published numerous papers elucidating the theory of evolution. He is currently a professor emeritus at the University of Chicago in the Department of Ecology and Evolution. His concentration is speciation and ecological and evolutionary genetics, particularly as they involve the fruit fly, Drosophila.
         He is the author of the text Speciation and the bestselling non-fiction book Why Evolution Is True. Coyne maintains a website and writes for his blog, also called Why Evolution Is True. He is a hard determinist.
         Coyne gained attention outside of the scientific community when he publicly criticized religion and is often cited with atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. He is the author of the book Faith vs Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible. Coyne officially retired in 2015.

  • 2019-08-05 7:38 PM | Thomas
    If there is a God, I don't think He would demand that anyone bow down or stand up to him.

      --Rebecca West, author and journalist (1892-1983)

    (137:6.5)  You are now my friends; I trust you and I love you; you are soon to become my personal associates. Be patient, be gentle. Be ever obedient to the Father's will. Make yourselves ready for the call of the kingdom.

    (159:3.9) In preaching the gospel of the kingdom, you are simply teaching friendship with God.

    (180:1.6) The idea of duty signifies that you are servant-minded and hence are missing the mighty thrill of doing your service as a friend and for a friend. The impulse of friendship transcends all convictions of duty, and the service of a friend for a friend can never be called a sacrifice. The Master has taught the apostles that they are the sons of God. He has called them brethren, and now, before he leaves, he calls them his friends.


        Dame Cicily Isabel Fairfield known as Rebecca West, or Dame Rebecca West, was a British author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer. An author who wrote in many genres, West reviewed books for The Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the Sunday Telegraph, and The New Republic, and she was a correspondent for The Bookman. Her major works include Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), on the history and culture of Yugoslavia; A Train of Powder (1955), her coverage of the Nuremberg trials, published originally in The New Yorker; The Meaning of Treason (1949), later The New Meaning of Treason (1964), a study of the trial of the British fascist William Joyce and others; The Return of the Soldier (1918), a modernist World War I novel; and the "Aubrey trilogy" of autobiographical novels, The Fountain Overflows (1956), This Real Night (published posthumously in 1984), and Cousin Rosamund (1985). Time called her "indisputably the world's number one woman writer" in 1947. She was made CBE in 1949, and DBE in 1959, in each case, the citation reads: "writer and literary critic". She took the pseudonym "Rebecca West" from the rebellious young heroine in Rosmersholm by Henrik Ibsen. She was a recipient of the Benson Medal.
  • 2019-08-01 4:39 PM | Thomas

    Listen to God in silence when we have spoken to Him, for he speaks in His turn during prayer.
      --Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751)

    (91:3.7) Enlightened prayer must recognize not only an external and personal God but also an internal and impersonal Divinity, the indwelling Adjuster. It is altogether fitting that man, when he prays, should strive to grasp the concept of the Universal Father on Paradise; but the more effective technique for most practical purposes will be to revert to the concept of a near-by alter ego, just as the primitive mind was wont to do, and then to recognize that the idea of this alter ego has evolved from a mere fiction to the truth of God's indwelling mortal man in the factual presence of the Adjuster so that man can talk face to face, as it were, with a real and genuine and divine alter ego that indwells him and is the very presence and essence of the living God, the Universal Father.

    (146:2.17) 16. Jesus taught his followers that, when they had made their prayers to the Father, they should remain for a time in silent receptivity to afford the indwelling spirit the better opportunity to speak to the listening soul. The spirit of the Father speaks best to man when the human mind is in an attitude of true worship.


       Jean Pierre de Caussade was a French Jesuit priest and writer. He is especially known for the work ascribed to him, Abandonment to Divine Providence, and also his work with the Nuns of the Visitation in Nancy, France.
       Jean Pierre de Caussade Caussade was born in Cahors, now in Lot, France. He was spiritual director to the Nuns of the Visitation in Nancy, France, from 1733 to 1740. During this time and after he left Nancy, he wrote letters of instruction to the nuns. Some material ascribed to him was first published in 1861 by Henri Ramière under the title " L’Abandon à la providence divine".
       However, according to research on The Treatise on Abandonment to Divine Providence, discussed in a paper by Dominique Salin SJ, emeritus professor at the Faculty of Theology at the Centre Sèvres, published in The Way, 46/2 (Apr 2007), pp. 21–36, "it now seems almost impossible that the author was in fact the Jesuit Jean-Pierre de Caussade" as "[n]othing in de Caussade's biography would suggest that this man was the author of a famous treatise" and the style of letters of spiritual direction that can genuinely be attributed to de Caussade "is far removed from the lyricism" marking it.
       Whoever the author was, he or she believed that the present moment is a sacrament from God and that self-abandonment to it and its needs is a holy state – a belief which, in the theological climate of France at the time, was considered close to Quietist heresy. In fact, because of this fear (especially with the Church's condemnation of the Quietist movement), the work was kept unpublished until 1861, and even then they were edited by Ramière to protect them from charges of Quietism. A more authoritative version of these notes was published only in 1966. In his writings, the author is aware of the Quietists and rejects their perspective. Abandonment to Divine Providence has now been read widely for many year and is considered a classic in the spiritual life by Catholics and many others. Caussade spent years as preacher in southern and central France, as a college rector (at Perpignan and at Albi), and as the director of theological students at the Jesuit house in Toulouse, which is where he died.
  • 2019-07-28 5:49 PM | Thomas

    I don't want to be a great leader; I want to be a man who goes around with a little oil can and when he sees a breakdown, offers his help. To me, the man who does that is greater than any holy man in saffron-colored robes. The mechanic with the oilcan: that is my ideal in life.
      --Baba Amte, social worker and activist (1914-2008)

    (155:6.11) And fail not to remember that the will of God can be done in any earthly occupation. Some callings are not holy and others secular. All things are sacred in the lives of those who are spirit led; that is, subordinated to truth, ennobled by love, dominated by mercy, and restrained by fairness—justice. The spirit which my Father and I shall send into the world is not only the Spirit of Truth but also the spirit of idealistic beauty.

    (139:5.7) There was little about Philip's personality that was impressive. He was often spoken of as "Philip of Bethsaida, the town where Andrew and Peter live." He was almost without discerning vision; he was unable to grasp the dramatic possibilities of a given situation. He was not pessimistic; he was simply prosaic. He was also greatly lacking in spiritual insight. He would not hesitate to interrupt Jesus in the midst of one of the Master's most profound discourses to ask an apparently foolish question. But Jesus never reprimanded him for such thoughtlessness; he was patient with him and considerate of his inability to grasp the deeper meanings of the teaching. Jesus well knew that, if he once rebuked Philip for asking these annoying questions, he would not only wound this honest soul, but such a reprimand would so hurt Philip that he would never again feel free to ask questions. Jesus knew that on his worlds of space there were untold billions of similar slow-thinking mortals, and he wanted to encourage them all to look to him and always to feel free to come to him with their questions and problems. After all, Jesus was really more interested in Philip's foolish questions than in the sermon he might be preaching. Jesus was supremely interested in men, all kinds of men.

    (139:9.8) The twins were good-natured, simple-minded helpers, and everybody loved them. Jesus welcomed these young men of one talent to positions of honor on his personal staff in the kingdom because there are untold millions of other such simple and fear-ridden souls on the worlds of space whom he likewise wishes to welcome into active and believing fellowship with himself and his outpoured Spirit of Truth. Jesus does not look down upon littleness, only upon evil and sin. James and Judas were little, but they were also faithful. They were simple and ignorant, but they were also big-hearted, kind, and generous.

         Murlidhar Devidas Amte, commonly known as Baba Amte, was an Indian social worker and social activist known particularly for his work for the rehabilitation and empowerment of people suffering from leprosy. He has received numerous awards and prizes including the Padma Vibhushan, the Dr. Ambedkar International Award, the Gandhi Peace Prize, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the Templeton Prize and the Jamnalal Bajaj Award.


  • 2019-07-25 12:17 PM | Thomas
    Art should be like a holiday: something to give a man the opportunity to see things differently and to change his point of view.

      --Paul Klee, painter (1879-1940)

    (5:4.4) The domains of philosophy and art intervene between the nonreligious and the religious activities of the human self. Through art and philosophy the material-minded man is inveigled into the contemplation of the spiritual realities and universe values of eternal meanings.

    (48:7.23) The high mission of any art is, by its illusions, to foreshadow a higher universe reality, to crystallize the emotions of time into the thought of eternity.

        Paul Klee was a Swiss-born artist. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Klee was a natural draftsman who experimented with and eventually deeply explored color theory, writing about it extensively; his lectures Writings on Form and Design Theory (Schriften zur Form und Gestaltungslehre), published in English as the Paul Klee Notebooks, are held to be as important for modern art as Leonardo da Vinci's A Treatise on Painting for the Renaissance. He and his colleague, Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, both taught at the Bauhaus school of art, design and architecture. His works reflect his dry humor and his sometimes childlike perspective, his personal moods and beliefs, and his musicality.

  • 2019-07-21 5:22 PM | Thomas

    Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power.
     -Chelsea Manning, (b.1987)


    (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.


        Chelsea Elizabeth Manning (born Bradley Edward Manning, December 17, 1987) is an American activist and whistleblower. She is a former United States Army soldier who was convicted by court-martial in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses, after disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly 750,000 classified, or unclassified but sensitive, military and diplomatic documents. She was imprisoned from 2010 until 2017 when her sentence was commuted. Manning is currently in jail for her continued refusal to testify before a grand jury against Julian Assange. A trans woman, Manning released a statement in 2013 explaining she had a female gender identity since childhood and wanted to be known as Chelsea Manning. She also expressed a desire to begin hormone replacement therapy.

  • 2019-07-13 3:41 PM | Thomas
    Civilizations in decline are consistently characterised by a tendency towards standardization and uniformity.

      --Arnold Toynbee, historian (14 Apr 1889-1975)

    (48:7.29)  Progress demands development of individuality; mediocrity seeks perpetuation in standardization.

    (195:3.9) Even a good religion could not save a great empire from the sure results of lack of individual participation in the affairs of government, from overmuch paternalism, overtaxation and gross collection abuses, unbalanced trade with the Levant which drained away the gold, amusement madness, Roman standardization, the degradation of woman, slavery and race decadence, physical plagues, and a state church which became institutionalized nearly to the point of spiritual barrenness.


        Arnold Joseph Toynbee, was a British historian, philosopher of history, author of numerous books and research professor of international history at the London School of Economics and King's College in the University of London. Toynbee in the 1918–1950 period was a leading specialist on international affairs.
        He is best known for his 12-volume A Study of History (1934–1961). With his prodigious output of papers, articles, speeches and presentations, and numerous books translated into many languages, Toynbee was a widely read and discussed scholar in the 1940s and 1950s.


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