Quips and quotes - 3
Legalism: Hardening of the oughteries.
|With most people religion is a sort of intellectual assent and goes no further than a document. I would not call it religion. It is better to be an atheist than to have that sort of religion.|
If I have very little because that is all I have chosen to have, I am
rich: for I have everything I want.
quoted from 'New Internationalist' 235
The greatest sign of intelligent life in the universe is the fact that they
have not yet tried to contact us.
Say not, 'I have found the truth' but rather, 'I have
found a truth'.
|Sin is . . .|
There is something servile in the interpretation of sin as crime which
infringes the will of God and calls for legal proceedings on the part
of God. Sin is dividedness, a state of deficiency,
incompleteness, dissociation, enslavement, hatred,
but it is not disobedience and not formal violation of the will of God.
|The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may be another profound truth.|
|Once a man came to me - it was not too long
ago - and said that he had given away much landed property and
many goods for his own sake so that he might save his soul. Then
I thought: 'How little and how insignificant is what you have let go
of! It is blindness and foolishness for you to continue looking
at all you've let go of. If, however, you've let go
of yourself, then you've really let go.'
[The Eden story] had a unique significance in the history of our
ever-expanding culture. This text, much favoured by
Christian missionaries, created 'nakedness' and clothed the known
"A Walk in the Garden"
|Rights of the child|
Signatories to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child [which
includes Aotearoa NZ] recognize the right of every child to a standard
of living adequate for the child's physical, mental,
spiritual, moral, amd social development.
|One does not begin by learning|
Everything is dependent on remembering. One does not begin by
learning. One starts by remembering.
'The Way of the Sufi'
|Publicity or marketing?|
|There's a difference between publicity and marketing. Marketing is conning people.|
Peter Donohue, in a radio discussion
For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Asked why he had given up his psychoanalyst, Tennessee Williams
seriously replied, "He was meddling too much in my private
If what is commanded be not in the power of everyone, all the
numberless exhortations in the Scriptures, and also all the
promises, threatenings, expostulations, reproofs,
asseverations, benedictions and maledictions, together with all
the forms of precepts, must of necessity stand coldly useless.
Salvation is attained not by subscription to metaphysical dogmas, but
solely by love of God that fulfils itself in action. This is a
cardinal truth in Judaism.
|No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without getting bewildered as to which may be the true.|
|The love of truth|
He who begins by loving Christianity better than truth, will proceed
by loving his own sect or church better than Christianity, and end in loving
himself better than all.
You don't get to choose how you're going to die - or
when. You can only decide how you're going to live -
Among economists the real world is often a special case.
Justice is truth in action.
|Perspective on humanity|
|To a newspaperman a human being is an item with the skin wrapped around it.|
Today it is not nearly enough merely to be a saint, but we must have
the saintliness demanded by the present moment, a new
saintliness, itself also without precedent.
|Religion and art|
Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin.
Economics and art are strangers.
Willa Cather, U.S. poet
I would have advised God to continue the generation of the species by
fashioning them out of clay.
|Walk beside me|
Don't walk in front of me|
I may not follow
Don't walk behind me
I may not lead
Walk beside me
And just be my friend
|We were longing for the pitter-patter of little feet, so we bought a dog. It's cheaper, and you get more feet.|
The actual point in question, throughout the centuries of Christian
persecution, has never been faith in God, but faith in the Bible
as the word of God, and in the Church (this Church or
that) as the interpreter of that word.
It used to irritate a friend of mine that when he went to confession he
never got the chance to tell the priest the good things he had done.
|It may be|
It may be that we cease; we cannot tell.|
Even if we cease, life is a miracle.
In all countries, but especially in those where hunger is a serious
problem, the national priority should be food self-sufficiency
- not only nationally but also in smaller regions within the nation
and even quite locally. Such self-sufficiency will make possible
truly free trade, namely, a situation in which a country is free
either to trade or not. Its people can survive without it.
J.B. Cobb ('Sustainability')
There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker.
Tie two birds together. They will not be able to fly, even
though they now have four wings.
|The world is a bridge|
The world is merely a bridge; you are to pass over it and not build
your dwellings on it.
Moslems attribute this saying to Isa - their name for Jesus
A fanatic is a person who does what he thinks the Lord would do if he knew
the facts of the case.
Peter Finley Dunne
In the moral teaching of the churches, the emphasis was on individual
morality rather than the social responsibilities of Christians.
The rape of continents was overlooked, even justified,
imperialist wars were not condemned. . . . Though
international economic relationships were then developing, moral
theology ignored questions of pricing, wages, use of
resources, and human exploitation. Strangely, these
issues were much in the Christian conscience during the Middle Ages with
reference to feudalism. And some of the fathers of the early
church - to say nothing of the Old Testament prophets
- had an acute sense of social justice.
Tissa Balasuriya: "Planetary Theology"
Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention,
largely because they regard such departure as criticism of themselves.
|Science - a definition|
Science may be described as the art of systematic over-simplification.
|We owe thanks|
Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by an encounter with
another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those
who have rekindled this inner light.
A good leader sets the right goals, gets things moving, and
helps us to discover that we already know what to do.
A man who took great pride in his lawn found himself with large and
recurring crops of dandelions. Although he tried every method he
knew to get rid of them, they continued to plague him.
Finally, in desperation, he wrote to the Extension Service
of the Agriculture Department of the State University, enumerating all
the things he had tried and concluding with the question: "What shall
I do now?"
After a somewhat prolonged time even for such correspondence, the reply finally came: "We suggest you learn to love them."
Put an end once and for all to this discussion of what a good man should
be, and be one.
Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor, (Stoic)
You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back.
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the
The Puritan hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the
bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.
|Get it right|
Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense. To go wrong in
one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's.
|It does make a difference|
There was once a philosopher who used to walk by the ocean to do his
thinking. One early morning he looked along the beach and
noticed a human figure moving like a dancer. As he got close he
saw that it was a young man, but the young man wasn't
dancing. He was reaching down, picking up starfish,
and gently throwing them into the sea. "What are you
doing?" asked the wise man. The young man looked
up, and replied, "Throwing starfish into the sea.
The sun is rising and the tide is out. If I don't throw them in
they'll die." "But young man, don't you realise that there
are miles of beach and thousands of starfish all along it? You
can't possible make a difference!" The young man,
listenimg politely, bent down and picked up another starfish,
and threw it into the sea beyond the breaking waves. Turning to
the philosopher he said, "It made a difference to that one."
The acid test of any truth is found in whether it aids victims in their
struggle to overcome victimisation.
Experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his own
kind; for I can apply no milder term to the governments of
Europe, and to the general prey of the rich on the poor.
|Some are righteous|
People are divided into two groups - the righteous and the
unrighteous - and the righteous do the dividing.
Cohen's second law
Absolute seriousness is never without a dash of humour.
|True or false?|
One might lay down as a postulate: All conceptions of God which are
incompatible with a movement of pure charity are false. All
other conceptions of him, in varying degree, are true.
The best way of serving God is the one to which your heart is
drawn. Labour in it with your whole strength.
The Seer of Lublin (Hasidic)
If we didn't live venturously, plucking the wild goat by the
beard, and trembling over precipices, we should never be
depressed, I've no doubt; but already be faded, fatalistic
When you see the Golden Arches, you are probably on the road to the
William Castelli, M.D. quoted John Robbins
Never listen to accounts of the frailty of others; and if anyone
should complain to you of another, humbly ask him not to speak about
him at all.
St John of the Cross
|To please God|
The Sufi is pleased with all that God does in order that God may be pleased
with all that he does.
When an archer is shooting for nothing, he has all his
skill. If he shoots for a brass buckle, he is already
nervous. If he shoots for a prize of gold, he goes blind
or sees two targets - he is out of his mind. His
skill has not changed but the prize divides him. He
cares. He thinks more of winning than of shooting -
and the need to win drains him of power.
Chuang Tzu, Taoist
Disbelief in Christianity is not so much to be dreaded as its acceptance
with a complete denial of it in society and politics.
Looking at the earth from afar you realize it is too small for conflict and
just big enough for co-operation.
Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space