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The Zoo Fence Thoughts

2017

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We change them more or less weekly, and archive them on this page.
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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.

Gore Vidal
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.

Hugh Kingsmill
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.

Sam Harris
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.

Richard Whately

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?

SCN

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.

Muhammad Ali
in New York Times

February 5, 2017

A man’s character is his fate.

Heraclitus

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.

Pope Francis
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
(emphasis mine)

January 8, 2017

I have spent thirty years looking for Al-Bastami,
and have yet to find him.

Al-Bastami
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?

TZF

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