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Sunday, October 31, 2010

FROM TEILHARD DE CHARDIN

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He that will believe only what he can
fully comprehend must have a long head
or a very short creed.
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We are not human beings having a
spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings
having a human experience.
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Love is a sacred reserve of energy;
it is like the blood of spiritual evolution.
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Growing old is like being increasingly
penalized for a crime you haven't committed. 
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By means of all created things, without exception,
the divine assails us, penetrates us and moulds us.
We imagined it as distant and inaccessible,
whereas in fact we live steeped in its burning layers.
In eo vivimus.  As Jacob said, awakening from his dream,
the world, this palpable world, to which we brought
the boredom and callousness reserved for profane places,
 is in truth a holy place, and we did not know it.
Venite, adoremus. 
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Chardin (1881-1955) was a paleontologist, geologist,
philosopher, Catholic priest, and, unfortunately,
a Jesuit. He was too advanced, intellectually
and spiritually, for the small-minded morons
in Rome. Many of his writings were denied
publication. He was treated basically as
a heretic, a traitor to tradition, dogma,
and infallibility.
It was incredibly high-handed, born of ignorance
and a type of ecclesiastical stupidity that seems
to run deep at the Vatican, as well as among
the Jesuits, who, with all of their intellectual
arrogance and pride, were blind to the
fact that in their midst was a true genius.
This man was talking and writing about
God and the universe in a way that some
readers of THE URANTIA BOOK might
find familar in many respects.
But the Pope and the "Doctrine" slaves
at the Vatican, with the cooperation of the
good Jesuit Fathers, these Sons of St. Ignatius
of Loyola, a mystic and seeker not
unlike Chardin in many respects,
stepped on him.
He was silenced.
Friends had his books published after his death.
The Jesuits: the Pope's "little soldiers,"
the "black-robed CIA" as they're often called,
the dogma defenders,
the losers, remnants of the past.
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The day will come when, after harnessing space,
the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness
for God the energies of love. And, on that day,
for the second time in the history of the world,
humankind will have discovered fire.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

EGYPTIAN PRAYER AND THE AFTERLIFE

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As it was in every ancient religion
(including those of the Greeks, Romans, and
Hebrews before the 8th century B.C.) polytheism
was taken for granted in ancient Egypt, for which
we have very extensive and detailed records.
During the period from about 2700 to 2200 B.C.,
for example, the Egyptian kings themselves were
worshipped as sons of the sun god. But from
2000 B.C., there is clear evidence of monotheism:
Amon was regarded as the one supreme deity,
and when one ruler addressed a spontaneous
hymn to Amon, his prayer was set down
 in hieroglyphs:
 "Creator, Maker, Giver of breath -
how manifold are your works, O sole God,
whose power no other possesses. You created
the earth according to your heart."
Egyptians also offered morning and
evening prayer to Amon.
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Along with the tendency toward monotheism,
there was a conviction about the afterlife.
The Papyrus of Ani, which can be dated to
about 1250 B.C., is a major extant portion
of the texts now collectively known as the
Egyptian Book of the Dead; it contains hymns
and invocations interred with the deceased
and intended to guide them safely to the
beyond. A typical prayer for mercy was
addressed, for example, to 
"My Shining One,
 who dwells in the Mansion of Images...
O Preeminent one...may you grant me life...
O my father, my brother, my mother -
Isis! I shall cross to the Mansion of him
who finds faces, the collector of souls...
And I will not die again in God's domain...
I give you praise, O Lord of the gods."
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Perhaps nowhere are the traditions of
prayerful acts discerned more clearly
than in this ancient conviction that life
endures beyond the grave, a conviction
to which the pyramids remain a grand and
silent witness.
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From In Silence - Why We Pray
by Donald Spotto
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

THE SACREDNESS OF HONOR

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A sense of honor pervades all aspects
of Indian life.
Orphans and the aged are invariably
cared for, not only by their next of kin,
but by the whole clan. The man who is
a skillful hunter, and whose wife is alive
to her opportunities, makes many feasts,
to which he is careful to invite the older men
of his clan. He recognizes that they have
outlived their period of greatest activity,
and now love nothing so well as to eat
in good company and live over their past.
He sets no price upon either his property
or his labor. His generosity is limited only
by his strength. He regards it as an honor
to be selected for a difficult or dangerous
service, and would think it a shame to ask
for any other reward, saying rather:
"Let those I serve express their thanks
according to their own upbringing and
sense of honor."
He is always ready to undertake the
impossible, or to impoverish himself
for the sake of a friend.
Where the other person is regarded
more than the self, duty is sweeter and
more inspiring, patriotism more sacred,
and friendship is a pure and eternal bond.
*
Charles Alexander Eastman
(Ohiyesa) Santee Sioux
The Soul of the Indian, 1911
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

PSALM 133

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Oh, how good and pleasant it is,
when brethren live together in unity!
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It is like fine oil upon the head
that runs down upon the beard,
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Upon the beard of Aaron,
and runs down upon the collar of his robe.
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It is like the dew of Hermon
that falls upon the hills of Zion.
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For there the Lord has ordained the blessing:
life for evermore.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

THE COSMIC DANCE

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What is serious to men is often very
trivial in the sight of God. What in God
might appear to us as "play" is perhaps
what God takes the most seriously.
At any rate the Lord plays in the garden of
creation, and if we could let go of our own
obsession with what we think is the meaning
of it all, we might be able to hear God's call
and follow in the mysterious, cosmic dance.
We do not have to go very far to catch echoes
of that game, and of that dancing. When we
are alone on a starlit night; when by chance we
see the migrating birds in autumn descending
on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when
we see children in a moment when they are
really children; when we know love in our
own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet
Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet
pond with a solitary splash - at such times
the awakening, the turning inside out of
all values, the "newness," the emptiness
and the purity of vision that make
themselves evident, provide a
glimpse of the cosmic dance.
*
Thomas Merton
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

FROM THE PARALLEL SAYINGS

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Foxes have holes,
and the birds of the air have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.
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Matthew 8:20
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The thoughtful exert themselves;
they do not delight in an abode.
Like swans who have left their lake
they leave their house and home.
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Dhammapada 7:2
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From Jesus and Buddha -
The Parallel Sayings
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