The Zoo Fence

Here's A Thought!

Year 2016 Archive

Can I go home, please!
The Way Home

Here we archive “Here’s A Thought” items from the year 2016.
To return to the current year, click here.
Addional years’ archives are also accessible from the same page.

December 25, 2016

In your very center, there is someone you do not recognize.

John the Baptist
in The Gospel of Thomas, Logion 2

December 18, 2016

Why is it that when we grab for heaven — socialist or capitalist or even religious —
we so often produce hell?

Margaret Atwood
in The Week

December 11, 2016

Faith is as close as the ego can get to knowing Truth, God.
To Know Truth demands, is, transcendence.
There there is no ego,
no “I am me, and you aren’t,”
no “I believe.” not even “I know.”
There, Knowing is Being.


December 4, 2016

All creatures are pure nothingness;
I am not saying that they are minuscule, for that would make them something:
They are pure nothingness.

Meister Eckhart
quoted in The Gospel of Thomas
compare here

November 27, 2016

See what your mind is doing to you.

Jiddu Krishnamurti
see here

November 20, 2016

Give God permission.

Mother Teresa
see here

November 13, 2016

All safe here!

See here and here
Our thanks to Shutterstock
for the royalty-free safety pin images.

November 6, 2016

Do the right thing,
and the right things will happen to you.

J. Krishnamurti
in One Thousand Moons

October 30, 2016

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation,
nor does the truth become error because nobody will see it.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

October 23, 2016

I don’t know what sort of a God we have been talking about.

The caller calls in a loud voice to the Holy One at dusk.

Why? Surely the Holy One is not deaf.

He hears the delicate anklets that ring on the feet of an insect as it walks.

Go over and over your beads, paint weird designs on your forehead,

wear your hair matted, long, and ostentatious,

but when deep inside you there is a loaded gun, how can you have God?

in The Kabir Book

October 16, 2016

Seek not from God anything other than Himself,
and attach not the power of the heart’s intention
to anything other than Him.
And if everything in the universe
should be spread before you,
receive it graciously –
but do not stop there.

Ibn ’Arabi
in Journey to The Lord of Power

October 9, 2016

“How could anyone ever say they were God?”

“If God exists, if a Real God exists — one of Infinite Power — then there is nothing that God could not do. That is, the physics become simple. If God wanted, He could give Himself entirely to someone without ever diminishing His own state. And if you were the recipient of that Divine Gift — what would you then know?”

Daniel Ladinsky
in Poems by Hafiz

October 2, 2016

What if the only difference among the world’s spiritual traditions is spelling?

Brother Theophyle

September 25, 2016

Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.

Margot Benary-Isbert
in Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess

September 18, 2016

… all colors with love and respect.

September 11, 2016

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

September 4, 2016

The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause. A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business.

Eric Hoffer

August 28, 2016

We should not be ashamed to acknowledge truth and to assimilate it from whatever source it comes to us, even if it is brought to us by former generations and foreign peoples. For him who seeks the truth there is nothing of higher value than truth itself; it never cheapens or debases him who reaches for it, but embodies and honors him.

Yaqub ibn Ishaq al-Kindi
in A History of God by Karen Armstrong

August 21, 2016

Verily, God does not change men's condition unless they change their inner selves.

Qur'an 13:11
in The Message of The Qur'an

August 14, 2016

Sooner or later, we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.

Nancy Horan in Under the Wide and Starry Sky
quoted in A Basket of Consequences

August 7, 2016

You are not sick, and you cannot die. But you can confuse yourself with things that do.

A Course in Miracles, Text

July 31, 2016

He is not in a thing nor a thing in Him, whether existing in or proceeding forth. It is necessary that thou know Him after this fashion, not by knowledge, nor by intellect, nor by understanding, nor by imagination, nor by sense, nor by the outward eye, nor by the inward eye, nor by perception. There does not see Him, save Himself; nor perceive Him, save Himself. By Himself He sees Himself, and by Himself He knows Himself. None sees Him other than He, and none perceives Him other than He.

Ibn ’Arabi
“Whoso Knoweth Himself …”

July 24, 2016

Then only is there truth in what we know concerning God,
when we are made sensible that we cannot fully know any thing about him.

Pope Gregory the Great
Morals on Job Book V, 66
quoted in A History of God by Karen Armstrong

July 17, 2016

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.

Ralph Waldo Emerson in
The Conduct of Life

July 10, 2016

A child’s education should begin at least one hundred years before he (she) is born.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

July 3, 2016

A rule of thumb: If you come across a form of address for God that makes you uncomfortable, it is probably time to adopt it.

The Zoo Fence SCN

June 26, 2016

Oh, the comfort —
The inexpressible comfort of feeling
safe with a person,
Having neither to weigh thoughts,
Nor measure words — but pouring them
All right out — just as they are —
Chaff and grain together —
Certain that a faithful hand will
Take and sift them —
Keep what is worth keeping —
and with the breath of kindness
Blow the rest away.

Dinah Mulock Craik in “A Life for a Life”
apparently often mistakenly attributed to George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

June 19, 2016

There are people who have done wrong because they could not see the result of the wrong. … Evil begets evil. It grows. It transmutes, so that sometimes you cannot see that the evil in the world began as the evil in your own home.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
quoted in New York Times Book Review June 12, 2016

June 11, 2016

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.


June 5, 2016

Do not mind anything that anyone tells you about anyone else.
Judge everyone and everything for yourself.

Henry James

May 29, 2016

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

May 22, 2016

People often say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.

Salma Hayek

May 15, 2016

Si comprehendis, non est Deus.
If you understand, then it is not God.

What then, brethren, shall we say of God? For if you have been able to comprehend what you would say, it is not God; if you have been able to comprehend it, you have comprehended something else instead of God. If you have been able to comprehend Him as you think, by so thinking you have deceived yourself. This then is not God, if you have comprehended it; but if it be God, you have not comprehended it. How therefore would you speak of that which you can not comprehend?

St Augustine
Sermon 2 on The New Testament

May 8, 2016

I would no more quarrel with a man because of his religion than I would because of his art.

Mary Baker Eddy
in The Christian Science Journal (December 1906)

May 1, 2016

Money is never a problem. The difficulty is in the correct use of it. Large amounts of money would come easily if they were going to be put to wise use.

Neem Karoli Baba
in Miracle of Love

April 24, 2016

Evil is unspectacular and always human,
And shares our bed and eats at our own table,
And we are introduced to Goodness every day.

W. H. Auden
in Herman Melville

April 17, 2016

Accept on faith that the Truth is true, and make a conscious, determined effort to live your life accordingly. In your thoughts and by your actions, affirm that you, and your life, and everyone and everything in your life, are the One. Recognize, acknowledge, welcome, and love the Divine in whomever you encounter and in your every experience. It will not be easy, for, although we all rejoice in observing God in the beautiful and the bountiful, we are slow, even loath to do so in the ugly, the angry, and the difficult. But we can do it, and, having chosen to do so, we will never regret it; for, as a choice for Truth, it is powerful, and it will change everything.

Swami Vivekananda called this practice “the Great Worship”: Seeing and adoring God in, and as, everyone and everything everywhere, without exception. As a spiritual discipline, its beauty, and perhaps even its power, reside in its simplicity. There is no need to study any esoteric disciplines, to travel to any foreign lands, to learn any secret handshakes, to undertake any special diets (although over time we may choose to do some or all of those). All we need is a life, and each of us has one of those; and all we need to do with it is love it, and cherish it, and nurture it, as if it were the One Itself, the Infinite One, even God which it is.

The Zoo Fence SCN

April 10, 2016

The most excellent Jihad is that for the conquest of self.

in The Sayings of Muhammad
About jihad, please click here.

April 3, 2016

Blessed are those upon whom their sins are quickly visited: their account is the sooner balanced. Woe to those whose punishment is deferred: it will be the greater! … It is easy to strike a blow, but tremendously hard to stay the hand, stand still, and say “In Thee, O Lord, I take refuge,” and then wait for Him to act.

in The Yogas and Other Works

March 27, 2016

The absolute truth cannot be realized within the domain of the ordinary mind. And the path beyond the ordinary mind, all the great wisdom traditions have told us, is through the heart. This path of the heart is devotion. …

So then, it is essential to know what real devotion is. It is not mindless adoration; it is not abdication of your responsibility to yourself, not undiscriminating following of another's personality or whim. Real devotion is an unbroken receptivity to the truth. Real devotion is rooted in an awed and reverent gratitude, but one that is lucid, grounded, and intelligent.

Sogyal Ripoche
in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

March 20, 2016

They said to him:
“Tell us who you are
so that we may believe in you.”
He answered them:
You search the face
of heaven and earth,
but you do not recognize
the one who is in your presence
and you do not know how to experience
the present moment.

The Gospel of Thomas Logion 91

March 13, 2016

You must distinguish between the ‘I’, pure in itself, and the ‘I’-thought. The latter, being merely a thought, sees subject and object, sleeps, wakes up, eats, and thinks, dies and is reborn. But the pure ‘I’ is the pure being, eternal existence, free from ignorance and thought-illusion. If you stay as the ‘I’, your being alone, without thought, the ‘I’-thought will disappear, and the delusion will vanish for ever.

Ramana Maharshi
in The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi

March 6, 2016

Were you looking to be held together by lawyers?
Or by an agreement on paper? Or by arms?
Nay, nor the world, nor any living thing, will so cohere.
Only those who love each other shall become indivisible.

Walt Whitman
quoted in The Underground Church

February 28, 2016

If I pass on tonight they can take everything I have ever written and toss it in the ashes. It’s going to be thrown there someday anyway. But two things will remain. There is a Presence and there is a Power in the universe, which constitute a dual unity of action and reaction and the polarity from which all things come. Learn to court the Presence by not only seeing God in everything and everybody but by feeling God all the time. Feel the Presence in the sacred place of your consciousness. Then use the Power. Your thoughts will change the conditions of your life.

Ernest Holmes

Editor’s Note: Fortunately for the countless seekers who have been taught, motivated, and inspired by his writings, Ernest Holmes’ work was not “tossed in the ashes” when he passed on in April 1960, a couple of years after he spoke these words.

February 21, 2016

You have to resign yourself to the fact that you’re not always going to like the conclusions you reach.

Antonin Scalia
quoted by Kathleen Parker

February 14, 2016

Once and for all, I give you this one short command: love, and do what you will. If you hold your peace, hold your peace out of love. If you cry out, cry out in love. If you correct someone, correct them out of love. If you spare them, spare them out of love. Let the root of love be in you: nothing can spring from it but good.

Sermon on Love

February 7, 2016

What you and I call life
– conditional or separative existence –
is not about doing things.
It is not even about doing things well.
It is about doing things together.
In a word, life is about relationship.
So, far better is it that you and I should come together
to do something, even ineptly,
than to have someone else do it perfectly,
and you and I never touch.

Stefan Nadzo

January 31, 2016

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.

William Shakespeare
As You Like It
Act V, Scene 1

January 24, 2016

The world is a beautiful place. Not because it is, but because I see it that way.

Bohumil Hrabal
in Mr Kafka
quoted in New York Times Book Review, January 17, 2016

January 17, 2016

The world in general doesn’t know what to make of originality; it is startled out of its comfortable habits of thought, and its first reaction is one of anger.

W. Somerset Maugham

January 10, 2016

Man’s life does not commence in the womb and never ends in the grave.

Charan Singh

January 3, 2016

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.

Bertrand Russell


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