The Zoo Fence

The Zoo Fence Thoughts

2018 & 2019

The Zoo FenceThe
          Way Home.
The Way Home

TZF’s “Here's A Thought” pop-ups are accessible from the Main Menu.
We change them more or less weekly, and archive them on this page.
For previous years’ archives, please click from among the dates below:
 • 2018 & 2019 • 2017 • 2016 • 2015 • 2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010 • 2009 • 2008 • 
 • 2007 • 2006 • 2005 • 2004 • 2003 • 2002 • 2001 • 2000 • 

Switch to Mobile

The Zoo
        Fence

November 30, 2019

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

Voltaire
in Questions sur les miracles

November 24, 2019

Of Law there can be no less acknowledged than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world. All things in heaven and earth do her homage, – the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power.

Richard Hooker

November 17, 2019

I am increasingly persuaded that there is a dimension of the human organism, and indeed of all creation, that we do not understand, and will not explore because old-fashioned science says it can’t happen.

In The Bishop in The West Wing by Andrew M. Greeley

November 9, 2019

What matters it what went before or after?
Now with myself I will begin and end.

In A Certain Justice by PD James

November 3, 2019

A man has to live with himself,
and he should see to it that he always has good company.

Charles Evans Hughes

October 27, 2019

Jesus said to his disciples, “In truth I say to you …”
– he often used to say, “In truth I say to you” –
“… those among you who sorrow most in misfortune
are the most attached to this world.”

The Muslim Jesus
translated by Tarif Khalidi

October 20, 2019

I was wondering why people seem to read Scripture a lot more as they get older.
Then, it dawned on me: We’re cramming for the final exam.

TZF’s dear friend, Arlo Hansen

October 13, 2019

The mind is not a thing.
Neither is it a place.
The mind is thought.
Constant, mostly uncontrolled,
often random, thought.
Why do we permit it?

SCN

October 6, 2019

I am in the world but not concerned with the world.
I am going through the marketplace, but not as a purchaser.

Kabir
quoted by Neem Karoli Baba in Miracle of Love

September 29, 2019

That which you see now is an illusion: it is truly naught but the Self, but perceived by the mind which has not been purified and which has not realized the Truth. There is nothing outside the Self: just as the tree is in the seed, all this is already in the mind, and the mind sees it as if it is outside.

Vasistha’s Yoga
translated by Swami Venkatesananda

September 22, 2019

Politicians and diapers must be changed often,
and for the same reason.

Mark Twain

September 15, 2019

When asked if he could say the Creed,
Bishop James Albert Pike replied,
“No, but I can sing it.”

Source unknown, but attributed to Bishop Pike
by a dear friend of The Zoo Fence here

September 1, 2019

All this is nothing more
than the play of ignorance and delusion.

Vasistha’s Yoga
translated by Swami Venkatesananda

August 25, 2012

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of Ribena, they lay down for the night, and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.

“Watson, look up, and tell me what you see,” he said.

Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.”

“What does that tell you?” Holmes asked.

Watson pondered for a bit, and then answered. “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. And what does it tell you, Holmes?”

Sherlock Holmes was silent for a moment; then, he said, “Someone has stolen our tent.”

Original source unknown

August 18, 2019

You do not have to be talking about God
to be talking about God.

SCN

August 11, 2019

I mean that [it is] foolish [to say] that you bear all the cares, burdens, and responsibilities of life. The Lord of the universe bears the whole burden. You only imagine that you do. You can hand over all your burdens to Him. Whatever you have to do, you will do made an instrument for doing it at the right time. Do not imagine that you cannot be it unless you have the desire to. It is not desire that gives you the necessary strength. The strength is the Lord’s.

Sri Ramana Maharshi
in The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi by Arthur Osborne

August 4, 2019

I never see a thing without seeing God before it.

Abu Bakr
Companion of Muhammad
in The Niche of Lights

July 28, 2019

God is the Light in which I see.

A Course in Miracles
Workbook for Students, #44

July 21, 2019

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

You’ve Got To Be Taught
Oscar Hammerstein II
also here and here

July 14, 2019

Words are heavy.
If birds talked,
they couldn’t fly.

Northern Exposure
television series

July 7, 2019

You carry
All the ingredients
To turn your life into a nightmare —
Don’t mix them!

You carry all the ingredients
To turn your existence into joy,
Mix them, mix
Them!

Hafiz
in The Gift – Poems by Hafiz

June 30, 2019

It is clear that so drastic a process of unselfing is not likely to take place without stress. It is the negative aspect of “deification” in which the self, deprived of “perception, knowledge, will, work, self-seeking” – the I, the Me, the Mine – loses itself, denies itself, unforms itself, drawing “ever nearer” to the One, till “nothing is to be seen but a ground which rests upon itself” – the ground of the soul, in which it has union with God.

Evelyn Underhill
in Mysticism

June 23, 2019

To get any meaning out of the mass of incongruity we call human life, we have to transcend our reason, but we must do it scientifically, slowly by regular practice, and we must cast off all superstition. We must take up the study of the superconscious state just like any other science. On reason we must lay our foundation. We must follow reason as far as it leads, and when reason fails, reason itself will show us the way to the highest plane.

Swami Vivekananda
in The Yogas and Other Works

June 16, 2019

One spring, our vegetable garden seemed nearly overrun by slugs, and fervently we prayed for relief. A few days later, our problem appeared only to have worsened when we discovered a colony of beetles taking up residence beneath a rotting log by the lettuce patch. Certain of the damage they could surely wreak, we did them in, each and every one.

Later, we looked up the species in an insect guide, and determined they had been ground beetles. Actually, a particular kind of ground beetle. One which feeds on slugs!

Prayers are always answered, but not necessarily as we imagine and hope. In some ways, the greater part of praying for help is being open and receptive to unexpected solutions.

SCN

June 9, 2019

The world is not what it appears in the eyes of the ignorant.
What is real in the eyes of the enlightened is indescribable.

Vasistha’s Yoga
translated by Swami Venkatesananda

June 2, 2019

All the paths take you to the purification of the mind. The impure mind is opaque to truth. The pure mind is transparent; truth can be seen through it easily and clearly.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

May 19, 2019

It’s origin is unknown.

Vasistha’s Yoga
translated by Swami Venkatesananda

One day in Paradise, Adam sees Eve for the first time.
“I am Adam,” he says to her.
“Yes, I know,” Eve replies, “so am I.”
“Are you real?” he asks. “No,” she replies.
“Am I real?” he asks. Again, she responds, “No.”
At that, they both laugh.
Neither of them fully understands. Alone and apparently separate, they cannot fully understand anything. But they know it does not matter; in Paradise, nothing matters.
Presently, Adam and Eve embrace. Gently, they kiss, tentatively at first; then, as each gives way to the experience of sensation, with increasing ardor.
Soon, like adolescents, they are hopelessly distracted. They forget who they are, where they are, and how they got there.
The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Stefan Nadzo
in In The Beginning

May 4, 2019

Yesterday evening, a chartered Boeing 737 skidded into the St. John’s river in Jacksonville, Florida with 143 persons aboard. Remarkably, there were no fatalisties.

An NBC-TV reporter, talking on-air with a member of Jacksonville’s fire and rescue team, used the word “miraculous” to describe the outcome.

The Jacksonville official responded, “Oh, I don’t take that kind of approach to anything. I’m much more of a secular kind of guy.”

Too cool.

April 28, 2019

“Call no man father” means,
you are who and what you think your parents are.

Matthew 23 & SCN

April 21, 2019

The reading of the word of God should be performed in solitude, in order that the whole mind of the reader might be plunged into the truths of the Holy Scripture, and that from this he might receive warmth, which in solitude produces tears; from these a man is wholly warmed, and is filled with spiritual gifts, which rejoice the mind and heart more than any word.

Seraphim of Sarov

April 14, 2019

In the vision of the knowers of truth,
there is nothing other than the pure and infinite consciousness,
and the objective universe is completely and totally non-existent.

Vasistha’s Yoga
translated by Swami Venkatesananda

April 7, 2019

Miss Brinklow, however, was not yet to be sidetracked.
“What do the lamas do?” she continued.
“They devote themselves, madam, to contemplation and to the pursuit of wisdom.”
“But that isn’t doing anything.”
“Then, madam, they do nothing.”

Lost Horizon
by James Hilton

March 31, 2019

When will I be able to look upon
the diverse activities of people with the playfulness of a child?

Vasistha’s Yoga
translated by Swami Venkatesananda

March 24, 2019

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

March 17, 2019

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.

Elie Weisel

March 10, 2019

Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.

General of The Army Omar Bradley

March 3, 2019

You have knowledge of the scriptures,
yet you are not at rest within yourself as a stone rests in the ocean.

Vasistha’s Yoga
translated by Swami Venkatesananda

February 17, 2019

Silence your thoughts,
Discard your memories,
Release your expectations.
What remains is indefinable, intangible and unspeakable:
Your very Self.
Seek it tirelessly.

SCN

February 10, 2019

Knock, And He’ll open the door.
Vanish, And He’ll make you shine like the sun.
Fall, And He’ll raise you to the heavens.
Become nothing, And He’ll turn you into everything.

Jalal al-Din Rumi

February 3, 2019

If we want things to stay as they are,
things will have to change.

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
in The Leopard (Il Gattopardo)

January 27, 2019

Riddle Me This:
How is it that there is God,
but there is not a God?

SCN

January 20, 2019

To set up what you like against what you dislike,
this is the disease of the mind.

Buddhist saying
in Letters of Aldous Huxley

January 13, 2019

Sri Nisargadatta: The inner Guru is not committed to non-violence. He can be quite violent at times, to the point of destroying the obtuse or perverted personality
Questioner: Has one to be afraid of his own self?
Sri Nisargadatta: Not afraid, for the self means well. But it must be taken seriously. It calls for attention and obedience; when it is not listened to, it turns from persuasion to compulsion

Sri Nisargadatta
in I Am That

January 6, 2019

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

Yoda
in “Star Wars”

December 30, 2018

You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image
when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

Anne Lamott

December 23, 2018

Such intellectual knowledge is not knowledge. Unattachment to wife, husband, son, daughter, and house, equanimity in pleasure and pain, love of solitude, being firmly established in self-knowledge — this is knowledge, all else is ignorance. Only when the egosense is thinned out does this self-knowledge arise.

Vasistha’s Yoga
translated by Swami Venkatesananda

December 16, 2018

No human thing is of serious importance.

Plato

December 9, 2018

For where the instrument of thinking mind
Is joined to strength and malice, man’s defense
Cannot avail to meet those powers combined.

Dante Alighieri
in The Divine Comedy, Hell, ix:35-37
translated by Dorothy Sayers

December 2, 2018

All the means we take to reach God are true:
it is only like trying to find the pole-star
by locating it through the stars that are around it.

Swami Vivekananda
in The Yogas and Other Works

November 25, 2018

Remain at peace within yourself,
seeing the one infinite being in all.
You will achieve the impossible
if you are able to remain firm
in your knowledge of the truth,
and if you engage yourself
in appropriate action
in a life characterized
by effortless experiencing
of the natural course of events.

Vasistha’s Yoga
translated by Swami Venkatesananda

November 18, 2018

I am amazed at the seeker of purity
who when it’s time to be polished
complains of rough handling. …
That harshness isn’t toward you,
but toward the harmful qualities within you.
When someone beats a rug,
the blows are not against the rug,
but against the dust in it.

Jalaluddin Rumi
in The Rumi Collection
edited by Kabir Helminski

November 11, 2018

Those persons who worship Me, meditating on their identity with Me, and ever devoted to Me — to them I carry what they lack and for them I preserve what they already have.

Bhagavad Gita 9:22
translated by Swami Nikhilananda

November 4, 2018

Realizing that everything is the one Self, one should worship the Self in this spirit. One should look with equal vision upon that which is pleasant and beautiful through and through, and that which is unendurably unpleasant.

Vasistha’s Yoga
translated by Swami Venkatesananda

October 28, 2018

Do you love your Creator?
Love your fellow beings first.

The Sayings of Muhammad
in Wisdom of The East Series

October 21, 2018

There is no need to run outside
For better seeing,
Nor to peer from a window. Rather abide
At the center of your being;
For the more you leave it, the less you learn.
Search your heart and see
If he is wise who takes each turn.
The way to do is to be.

The Way of Life According to Lao Tzu
Translated by Witter Bynner

October 14, 2018

I do not understand anything I see in this room,
… on this street, from this window, in this place.
(Whatever you see is a proper subject for applying the idea.)

A Course in Miracles
Workbook for Students, Lesson 3

October 7, 2018

When I sent man out in creation, I gave him two paths by which he could retrace his steps to Me — discrimnination and right action. Both take man on the right course toward salvation. But when the devotee is nearing ultimate freedom, then wisdom and meditative action merge into one inner highway to Self-realization, the culmination of which is union of the soul with Spirit.

The Bhagavad Gita, 3:iii
translated & interpreted by Paramahansa Yogananda

September 30, 2018

This Self can be attained by a hundred ways and means;
yet, when it is attained, nothing has been attained.
It is the Supreme Self; yet it is nothing.

Vasistha’s Yoga
translated by Swami Venkatesananda

September 23, 2018

That nothing save the light of truth allays
Our intellect’s disquiet I now see plain —
God’s truth, which holds all truth within its rays.

The Divine Comedy (Paradise) iv:124-126

September 16, 2018

Just give full attention to what in you is crude and primitive, unreasonable and unkind, altogether childish, and you will ripen. It is the maturity of heart and mind that is essential. It comes effortlessly when the main obstacle is removed — inattention, unawareness. In awareness you grow.

Sri Nisargadatta

September 9, 2018

The absolute cannot be realized or experienced by another;
only the absolute can realize itself.

The Concise Yoga Vasistha
translated by Swami Venkatesananda

September 2, 2018

This entire universe is forever the same as the consciousness that dwells in every atom, even as an ornament is not different from gold. Just as an ornament potentially exists in gold, the object exists in the subject. But when this notion of the object is firmly rejected and removed from the subject, then consciousness alone exists without even an apparent or potential objectivity. When this is realized, evils like attraction and repulsion, love and hate, cease in one’s heart, as do false notions of the world, you, I, etc. Even the tendency to objectify ceases. This is freedom.

The Concise Yoga Vasistha
translated by Swami Venkatesananda

August 26, 2018

The ego is not what you think of yourself.
The ego is that you think of yourself;
that you believe there is a yourself separate and distinct from other selves.
That is the ego.

SCN

August 19, 2018

Burn, O Good Lord, the thorns of my transgressions,
cleanse my soul, and purify all my thoughts.
Ever shelter, guard, and keep me in your love.

Simeon Metaphrastes

August 12, 2018

There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.

George Bernard Shaw

August 5, 2018

By religion I do not mean outward things, but inward states, I mean perfected manhood. I mean the quickening of the soul by the beatific influence of the divine Spirit in truth, and love, and sympathy, and confidence, and trust.

Henry Ward Beecher

July 29, 2018

What matters is not the idea a man holds, but the depth at which he holds it.

Ezra Pound

July 22, 2018

The Teachings need to be studied, reflected on, and practiced in order to realise their true meaning. They are “discourses on the right way of living” or contemplations on the “way things are.” They are not meant to be “sacred scriptures” which tell us what to believe. One should read them, listen to them, think about them, contemplate them, and investigate the present reality, the present experience with them. Then, and only then, can one insightfully know the Truth beyond words.

Adapted from the Foreword to The Long Discourses of The Buddha

July 15, 2018

No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs; we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power.

P.J. O’Rourke

July 8, 2018

It is surprising what a man can do when he has to,
and how little most men will do when they don’t have to.

Walter Linn

July 1, 2018

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history – with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.

Mitch Ratliffe

June 24, 2018

When you are not thinking about who you are,
who are you?

Sonja Margulies in Meetings with Remarkable Women
by Lenore Friedman

June 17, 2018

At a recent ecumenical meeting with spokespeople from every world religion, including Native Americans, … everyone concurred that the three requisites for spiritual evolution in human beings were gratitude and humility and humor.

Meetings with Remarkable Women
by Lenore Friedman

June 10, 2018

Life is short,
but it comes with a blessing:
It is thy turn to meet God.

Sant Kirpal Singh
in Love Everyone
by Parvati Markus

June 3, 2018

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

consider this

SCN

May 27, 2018

Put no limits on
(your perception of)
God.

SCN

May 20, 2018

Whatever the problem,
the solution is spiritual.

SCN
in “There Is A Way” (out of print)

May 13, 2018

Therefore, we must always remember that external practices have value only as they help to develop internal purity. It is better to have internal purity alone, when minute attention to external observances is not practicable. But woe unto the man, and woe unto the nation, that forgets the real, internal, spiritual essentials of religion, and mechanically clutches with death-like grasp all external forms, and never lets them go! The forms have value only so far as they are the expressions of life within. If they have ceased to express life, crush them out without mercy.

Swami Vivekananda
in The Yogas and Other Works

May 6, 2018

There is no path that does not lead to Him.

A Course in Miracles
Text – Chapter 31

April 28, 2018

In whatever way people are devoted to Me,
in that measure I manifest Myself to them.
All men [and women], in every manner of seeking Me,
pursue a path to Me.

Bhagavad Gita, IV.11
trans. Paramahansa Yogananda

April 22, 2018

It is a fine thing to establish one’s own religion in one’s heart, not to be dependent on tradition and second-hand ideals. Life will seem to you, later, not a lesser, but a greater thing.

D. H. Lawrence

April 15, 2018

On the morning of the Eighth Day,
after enjoying a day of Divine Repose,
now imagining post-Edenic humanity,
and perceiving the predictable,
God created the eraser.

SCN

April 8, 2018

God is free for the taking.

Movie Navigating The Heart

April 1, 2018

Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

The Four-Way Test
of Rotary International
by Herbert J. Taylor

March 25, 2018

Silence is the unbearable repartee.

G. K. Chesterton
attributing to Charles Dickens

March 18, 2018

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.
Persist in your quest.

Ibn ’Arabi

March 11, 2018

Ten percent of those performing every human endeavor
– whatever, wherever –
are artists.
The rest are mechanics.
The difference is, the artists are being what they do,
the mechanics are doing what they do.
Happiness lies in finding the artist in ourselves,
and being that.
So it seems to me.

SCN

March 4, 2018

Ramana: All the activities that the body is to go through are determined when it comes into existence. The only freedom you have is to turn your mind inward, and renounce activities there.
Questioner: Are only the important events in a man’s life predetermined, or are trifling acts also, such as taking a cup of water or moving from one part of the room to another?
Ramana: Everything is predetermined.

Sri Ramana Maharshi
from The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi by Arthur Osborne

February 25, 2018

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

February 18, 2018

Choices have consequences.

SCN

February 11, 2018

I am aware that no man is a villain in his own eyes.

James Baldwin

February 4, 2018

When you dance with the devil, the devil don’t change.
The devil changes you.

Attributed variously,
including the movie “Eight Millimeter”

January 28, 2018

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. If there is not a new man, how can the new clothes be made to fit? If you have any enterprise before you, try it in your old clothes. All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be. Perhaps we should never procure a new suit, however ragged or dirty the old, until we have so conducted, so enterprised or sailed in some way, that we feel like new men in the old, and that to retain it would be like keeping new wine in old bottles.

Henry David Thoreau
in “Walden” (Chapter 1)

January 21, 2018

Let there be light.

Bereishit – Genesis

January 14, 2018

Now here was a lesson. If you think that you or I have something, we cannot give. You must think of it as God’s–that only He can give. You are only the ladle, the leaf on which it is being given.

Dada Mukerjee
in By His Grace
sharing the wisdom of Neem Karoli Baba

January 7, 2018

If you give your life to God,
then it is no longer yours.

SCN

TOP

What is ...?

Please read our disclaimer.

For Copyright & Trademark information,
please click here.

Grow in
        Maine

The Zoo Fence is Made in Maine!

Valid HTMLValid CSS