Menu
Log in


Tom Allen

  • 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.

  • 2023-11-03 3:55 PM | Thomas
    Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

    --Confucius (551–479 BCE)

    (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?

        Kong Fuzi was a Chinese philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period who is traditionally considered the paragon of Chinese sages. Confucius's teachings and philosophy underpin East Asian culture and society, and remain influential across China and East Asia to this day. His philosophical teachings, called Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity, as well as an emphasis on a ruler's duty to their subjects.
        Confucius considered himself a transmitter for the values of earlier periods which he claimed had been abandoned in his time. The time immediately following Confucius's life saw a rich diversity of thought, and was a formative period in China's intellectual history. His ideas gained in prominence during the Warring States period, but experienced setback immediately following the Qin conquest. Under Emperor Wu of Han, Confucius's ideas received official sanction, with affiliated works becoming required reading for one of the career paths to officialdom. During the Tang and Song dynasties, Confucianism developed into a system known in the West as Neo-Confucianism, and later as New Confucianism. Confucianism became part of the Chinese social fabric and way of life.
        Confucius is traditionally credited with having authored or edited many of the Chinese classic texts, including all of the Five Classics, but modern scholars are cautious of attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself. At least some of the texts and philosophy he taught were already ancient. Aphorisms concerning his teachings were compiled in the Analects, but only many years after his death.
        Confucius's principles have commonality with Chinese tradition and belief. With filial piety, he championed strong family loyalty, ancestor veneration, and respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the Silver Rule, "Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself."


  • 2023-10-19 9:32 AM | Thomas

    The same people who can deny others everything are famous for refusing themselves nothing.
      --Leigh Hunt, poet and essayist (1784-1859)

    (140:8.15) Economic attitude. Jesus worked, lived, and traded in the world as he found it. He was not an economic reformer, although he did frequently call attention to the injustice of the unequal distribution of wealth. But he did not offer any suggestions by way of remedy. He made it plain to the three that, while his apostles were not to hold property, he was not preaching against wealth and property, merely its unequal and unfair distribution. He recognized the need for social justice and industrial fairness, but he offered no rules for their attainment.

    (171:6.2) Then Zaccheus stood upon a stool and said: "Men of Jericho, hear me! I may be a publican and a sinner, but the great Teacher has come to abide in my house; and before he goes in, I tell you that I am going to bestow one half of all my goods upon the poor, and beginning tomorrow, if I have wrongfully exacted aught from any man, I will restore fourfold. I am going to seek salvation with all my heart and learn to do righteousness in the sight of God."

    (172:4.2) At last there came along a poor widow, scantily attired, and they observed as she cast two mites (small coppers) into the trumpet. And then said Jesus, calling the attention of the apostles to the widow: "Heed well what you have just seen. This poor widow cast in more than all the others, for all these others, from their superfluity, cast in some trifle as a gift, but this poor woman, even though she is in want, gave all that she had, even her living."

    (173:1.2) At one time or another systems of exorbitant overcharge were practiced upon the common people, especially during the great national feasts. At one time the greedy priests went so far as to demand the equivalent of the value of a week's labor for a pair of doves which should have been sold to the poor for a few pennies.

    (173:1.11) This cleansing of the temple discloses the Master's attitude toward commercializing the practices of religion as well as his detestation of all forms of unfairness and profiteering at the expense of the poor and the unlearned.

    (175:1.14) "Woe upon you, chief priests and rulers who lay hold of the property of the poor and demand heavy dues of those who would serve God as they think Moses ordained!

        James Henry Leigh Hunt known as Leigh Hunt, was an English critic, essayist and poet.
        Hunt co-founded The Examiner, a leading intellectual journal expounding radical principles. He was the centre of the Hampstead-based group that included William Hazlitt and Charles Lamb, known as the "Hunt circle". Hunt also introduced John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Robert Browning and Alfred Tennyson to the public.
        Hunt's presence at Shelley's funeral on the beach near Viareggio was immortalised in the painting by Louis Édouard Fournier. Hunt inspired aspects of the Harold Skimpole character in Charles Dickens' novel Bleak House.



  • 2023-09-10 12:07 PM | Thomas
    Sometimes you can't see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.

      --Ellen DeGeneres, comedian, TV host, actor, and writer (b. 1958)

    (48:6.25) It is the task of the mind planners to study the nature, experience, and status of the Adjuster souls in transit through the mansion worlds and to facilitate their grouping for assignment and advancement. But these mind planners do not scheme, manipulate, or otherwise take advantage of the ignorance or other limitations of mansion world students. They are wholly fair and eminently just. They respect your newborn morontia will; they regard you as independent volitional beings, and they seek to encourage your speedy development and advancement. 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."

    (112:2.12) The observer cannot be the thing observed; evaluation demands some degree of transcendence of the thing which is evaluated.

        Ellen Lee DeGeneres is an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer. She starred in the sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998, which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award for "The Puppy Episode". She also hosted the syndicated television talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show from 2003 to 2022, for which she received 33 Daytime Emmy Awards.
        Her stand-up career started in the early 1980s and included a 1986 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. As a film actress, DeGeneres starred in Mr. Wrong (1996), EDtv (1999), and The Love Letter (1999), and provided the voice of Dory in the Disney/Pixar animated films Finding Nemo (2003) and Finding Dory (2016); for Finding Nemo, she was awarded the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress, the first time an actress won a Saturn Award for a voice performance. In 2010, she served as a judge on the ninth season of American Idol.
        She starred in two television sitcoms, Ellen from 1994 to 1998 and The Ellen Show from 2001 to 2002. During the fourth season of Ellen in 1997, she came out as a lesbian in an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her character, Ellen Morgan, also came out to a therapist played by Winfrey, and the series went on to explore various LGBT issues, including the coming-out process. In 2008, she married her longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi.
        DeGeneres has hosted the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and the Primetime Emmys. She has authored four books and started her own record company, Eleveneleven, as well as a production company, A Very Good Production. She also launched a lifestyle brand, ED Ellen DeGeneres, which comprises a collection of apparel, accessories, home, baby, and pet items.She has won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, 20 People's Choice Awards (more than any other person),[4] and numerous other awards for her work and charitable efforts. In 2016, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In January 2020, DeGeneres received the Carol Burnett Award at the Golden Globes for her work on television, becoming the first recipient after its inaugural namesake Carol Burnett.

  • 2023-09-02 10:38 AM | Thomas
    Kindness in ourselves is the honey that blunts the sting of unkindness in another.

      --Walter Savage Landor, writer and activist (1775-1864)

    (2:5.4) God is divinely kind to sinners.

    (131:8.4)  Recompense injury with kindness. If you love people, they will draw near you—you will have no difficulty in winning them.

    (140:8.11) Jesus came presenting the idea of active and spontaneous kindness, a love of one's fellow men so genuine that it expanded the neighborhood to include the whole world, thereby making all men one's neighbors.

    (155:1.2) All this loving-kindness shall be shown the so-called heathen, notwithstanding the unfortunate declaration of the record which intimates that the triumphant Son 'shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.'

    (194:3.12) Pentecost endowed mortal man with the power to forgive personal injuries, to keep sweet in the midst of the gravest injustice, to remain unmoved in the face of appalling danger, and to challenge the evils of hate and anger by the fearless acts of love and forbearance.

        Walter Savage Landor was an English writer, poet, and activist. His best known works were the prose Imaginary Conversations, and the poem "Rose Aylmer," but the critical acclaim he received from contemporary poets and reviewers was not matched by public popularity. As remarkable as his work was, it was equalled by his rumbustious character and lively temperament. Both his writing and political activism, such as his support for Lajos Kossuth and Giuseppe Garibaldi, were imbued with his passion for liberal and republican causes. He befriended and influenced the next generation of literary reformers such as Charles Dickens and Robert Browning.

  • 2023-08-26 8:21 AM | Thomas
    The mark of the educated man is not in his boast that he has built his mountain of facts and stood on the top of it, but in his admission that there may be other peaks in the same range with men on the top of them, and that, though their views of the landscape may be different from his, they are nonetheless legitimate.

      --E.J. Pratt, poet (1882-1964)

    (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. Therefore, though the source of mind is divine, mind as you know it on your world of ascension can hardly become the object of great admiration, much less of adoration or worship. The contemplation of the immature and inactive human intellect should lead only to reactions of humility.

    (100:1.5) The soil essential for religious growth presupposes a progressive life of self-realization, the co-ordination of natural propensities, the exercise of curiosity and the enjoyment of reasonable adventure, the experiencing of feelings of satisfaction, the functioning of the fear stimulus of attention and awareness, the wonder-lure, and a normal consciousness of smallness, humility. Growth is also predicated on the discovery of selfhood accompanied by self-criticism—conscience, for conscience is really the criticism of oneself by one's own value-habits, personal ideals.

    (149:6.10) "Humility, indeed, becomes mortal man who receives all these gifts from the Father in heaven, albeit there is a divine dignity attached to all such faith candidates for the eternal ascent of the heavenly kingdom. The meaningless and menial practices of an ostentatious and false humility are incompatible with the appreciation of the source of your salvation and the recognition of the destiny of your spirit-born souls. Humility before God is altogether appropriate in the depths of your hearts; meekness before men is commendable; but the hypocrisy of self-conscious and attention-craving humility is childish and unworthy of the enlightened sons of the kingdom.

    Edwin John Dove Pratt (February 4, 1882 – April 26, 1964), who published as E. J. Pratt, was a Canadian poet. Originally from Newfoundland, Pratt lived most of his life in Toronto, Ontario. A three-time winner of the country's Governor General's Award for poetry, he has been called "the foremost Canadian poet of the first half of the century."

    Pratt in 1944

  • 2023-08-10 1:15 PM | Thomas

    Shadow owes its birth to light.
      --John Gay, poet and dramatist (1685-1732)

    (12:8.16) And so your Greek figure of speech—the material as the shadow of the more real spirit substance—does have a philosophic significance.

    (130:4.13) Evil is a relativity concept. It arises out of the observation of the imperfections which appear in the shadow cast by a finite universe of things and beings as such a cosmos obscures the living light of the universal expression of the eternal realities of the Infinite One.

    (131:10.4) All good things come down from the Father of light, in whom there is no variableness neither shadow of changing.

    (132:2.9) By the time of the attainment of Paradise the ascending mortal's capacity for identifying the self with true spirit values has become so enlarged as to result in the attainment of the perfection of the possession of the light of life. Such a perfected spirit personality becomes so wholly, divinely, and spiritually unified with the positive and supreme qualities of goodness, beauty, and truth that there remains no possibility that such a righteous spirit would cast any negative shadow of potential evil when exposed to the searching luminosity of the divine light of the infinite Rulers of Paradise.

        John Gay was an English poet and dramatist and member of the Scriblerus Club. He is best remembered for The Beggar's Opera (1728), a ballad opera. The characters, including Captain Macheath and Polly Peachum, became household names.

  • 2023-08-07 3:07 PM | Thomas
    No amount of belief makes something a fact.

      -James Randi, magician and skeptic (1928-2020)

    (102:5.1) Although the establishment of the fact of belief is not equivalent to establishing the fact of that which is believed, nevertheless, the evolutionary progression of simple life to the status of personality does demonstrate the fact of the existence of the potential of personality to start with. And in the time universes, potential is always supreme over the actual. In the evolving cosmos the potential is what is to be, and what is to be is the unfolding of the purposive mandates of Deity.

    (189:2.6) The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus has been based on the fact of the "empty tomb." It was indeed a fact that the tomb was empty, but this is not the truth of the resurrection. The tomb was truly empty when the first believers arrived, and this fact, associated with that of the undoubted resurrection of the Master, led to the formulation of a belief which was not true: the teaching that the material and mortal body of Jesus was raised from the grave. Truth having to do with spiritual realities and eternal values cannot always be built up by a combination of apparent facts. Although individual facts may be materially true, it does not follow that the association of a group of facts must necessarily lead to truthful spiritual conclusions.

        James Randi was a Canadian-American stage magician, author and scientific skeptic who extensively challenged paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. He was the co-founder of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), and founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). Randi began his career as a magician under the stage name The Amazing Randi and later chose to devote most of his time to investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively called "woo-woo". Randi retired from practicing magic at age 60, and from his foundation at 87.
        Although often referred to as a "debunker", Randi said he disliked the term's connotations and preferred to describe himself as an "investigator". He wrote about paranormal phenomena, skepticism, and the history of magic. He was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, famously exposing fraudulent faith healer Peter Popoff, and was occasionally featured on the television program Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
        Before Randi's retirement, JREF sponsored the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, which offered a prize of one million US dollars to eligible applicants who could demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event under test conditions agreed to by both parties. In 2015, the James Randi Educational Foundation said they will no longer accept applications directly from people claiming to have a paranormal power, but will offer the challenge to anyone who has passed a preliminary test that meets with their approval.

Recent Blog Posts

Upcoming events & conferences

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software