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TZF’s “Here's A Thought” pop-ups
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We change them more or less weekly, and archive them on this page.
For previous years’ archives, please click from among the dates below:
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July 16, 2017
I do not know if you have experimented with yourself. Take a piece of stick, put it on the mantelpiece, and every day put a flower in front of it — give it a flower — put in front of it a flower, and repeat some words — “Coca-Cola,” “Amen,” “OM”; it doesn't matter what word — any word you like — listen, don’t laugh it off — do it and you will find out. If you do it, after a month you will see how holy it has become. You have indentified yourself with that stick, with that piece of stone or with that piece of idea, and you have made it into something sacred, holy. But it is not.
in The Awakening of Intelligence
July 9, 2017
Sin is often a failure to bother to love.
Heard on NPR’s “Morning Edition
July 8, 2017
July 2, 2017
It is very difficult to know exactly what good should come out of a particular situation. To attempt to manipulate circumstances so your idea of good can come about, is to let the ego play God — and that, as you know, can and does backfire.
Neem Karoli Baba
June 25, 2017
I discovered for myself and by myself that there is no self to realize. That’s the realization I am talking about. It comes as a shattering blow. It hits you like a thunderbolt. You have invested everything in one basket, self-realization, and, in the end, suddenly you discover that there is no self to discover, no self to realize.
in The Mystique of Enlightenment
June 18, 2017
… the easiest person to fool is yourself.
US Senator Al Franken
in New York Times
June 11, 2017
Nothing in life is to be feared,
it is only to be understood.
June 4, 2017
Hadith: “Reflect upon God’s creation but not upon his nature or else you will perish.”
Author’s commentary: Reason cannot grasp the essential being of God which remains shrouded in mystery. All that we can establish is the fact that God does not resemble any other being. All the other questions that exercise theologians are simply frivolous and are dismissed by the Koran as zanna. [zanna is defined here as “An Arabic term used in the KORAN, indicating meaningless theological speculation”.]
A History of God
by Karen Armstrong
May 28, 2017
THE STATE OF THE UNION
In the middle of one night
Miss Clavel turned on the light
and said, “Something is not right!”
Lines from Madeline
in The Washington Post
May 21, 2017
The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.
Richard Francis Burton
May 14, 2017
Besides communion with God and communion with the earth, is there not also communion with God in and through the earth? I should like it to be so, for myself and for many others.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
quoted in Teilhard de Chardin & The Mystery of Christ
May 7, 2017
Well, I am a devotee of Occam’s razor, and use it daily.
What is obviously so is probably obviously so.
Occam’s Razor: Plurality should not be
posited without necessity.
April 30, 2017
I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can,
only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.
Dwight David Eisenhower
April 23, 2017
In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Commonly attributed to George Orwell
April 16, 2017
What is divine in Man is elusive and impalpable, and he is easily tempted to embody it in a collective form – a church, a country, a social system, a leader – so that he may realize it with less effort and serve it with more profit. Yet the attempt to externalize the kingdom of heaven in a temporal shape must end in disaster. It cannot be created by charters or constitutions, nor established by arms. Those who set out for it alone will reach it together, and those who seek it in company will perish by themselves.
The Poisoned Crown
quoted in Jesus Rediscovered
by Malcolm Muggeridge
April 9, 2017
The feeling that we call “I” is itself the product of thought.
Having an ego is what it feels like to be thinking without knowing that you are thinking.
in Waking Up
April 2, 2017
I know I can go to hell for what I did to you.
A guard at Guantanamo Bay
to a detainee in “Guantanamo Diary”
described by John Le Carre as
“A vision of hell, beyond Orwell, beyond Kafka”
March 26, 2017
Everyone wishes to have truth on his side,
but not everyone wishes to be on the side of truth.
March 19, 2017
Tolerably early in life I discovered that one of the unpardonable sins, in the eyes of most people, is for a man to presume to go about unlabeled. The world regards such a person as the police do an unmuzzled dog, not under proper control.
Thomas Henry Huxley
March 12, 2017
Riddle me this:
How is it that there is God
but there is not a God?
March 5, 2017
One man’s theology is another man’s belly laugh.
Robert A. Heinlein
in “Notebooks of Lazarus Long”
from Time Enough for Love
February 26, 2017
[In the aftermath of the crucifixion of Jesus, first century Christians told of] … the journey to Emmaus undertaken by two Jesus followers, one named and clearly male, one unnamed and probably female. The couple were leaving Jerusalem in disappointed and dejected sorrow. Jesus joined them on the road and, unknown and unrecognized, explained how the Hebrew Scriptures should have prepared them for his fate. Later that evening they invited him to join them for their evening meal, and finally they recognized him when once again he served the meal to them as of old beside the lake. And then, only then, they started back to Jerusalem in high spirits. The symbolism is obvious, as is the metaphoric condensation of the first years of Christian thought and practice into one parabolic afternoon. Emmaus never happened. Emmaus always happens.
John Dominic Crossan
in The Historical Jesus
February 19, 2017
Liberation is never of the person,
it is always from the person.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
in I Am That
February 12, 2017
Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams — they all have different names,
but they all contain water.
Just as religions do — they all contain truths.
in New York Times
February 5, 2017
A man’s character is his fate.
January 29, 2017
I can’t hate. Hate destroys the hater, too.
That’s a heavy burden to carry.
Wheeler Parker, cousin of Emmett Till
in The New York Times
January 22, 2017
The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from their poverty.
in Caring for Creation
January 15, 2017
The way that can be spoken of
Is not the constant way;
The name that can be named
Is not the constant name.
The nameless was the beginning of heaven and earth;
The named was the mother of the myriad creatures.
Hence always rid yourself of desires
in order to observe its secrets;
But always allow yourself to have desires
in order to observe its manifestations.
These two are the same
But diverge in name as they issue forth.
Being the same they are called mysteries,
Mystery upon mystery —
The gateway of the manifold secrets.
Tao Te Ching (Wang Pi text)
in Chinese Classics–Tao Te Ching
January 8, 2017
I have spent thirty years looking for Al-Bastami,
and have yet to find him.
quoted in The Other Islam by Stephen Schwartz
January 1, 2017
Here’s a thought for this first day of this new year:
Is religious terrorism religious?
Is Buddhist terrorism Buddhist?
Is Christian terrorism Christian?
Is Hindu terrorism Hindu?
Is Islamic terrorism Islamic?
Is Jewish terrorism Jewish?
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