The broadest and most prevalent error requires the most disinterested virtue to sustain it.
I want nothing to do with any religion concerned with keeping the masses satisfied to live in hunger, filth, and ignorance. I want nothing to do with any order, religious or otherwise, which does not teach people that they are capable of becoming happier and more civilized, on this earth, capable of becoming true man, 'master of his fate and captain of his soul'.
We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces. The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts. We are cut off from activity, from striving, from progress. We believe in such things no longer, we believe in the war.
I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.
I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy. But, lest it should be supposed that I believe in many other things in addition to these, I shall, in the progress of this work, declare the things I do not believe, and my reasons for not believing them. I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.http://www.ushistory.org/paine/reason/reason1.htm
Sometimes the gods have no taste at all. They allow sunrises and sunsets in ridiculous pink and blue hues that any professional artist would dismiss as the work of some enthsiastic amateur who'd never looked at a real sunset. This was one of those sunrises. It was the kind of sunrise a man looks at and says, 'No real sunrise could paint the sky Surgical Appliance Pink.'Nevertheless, it was beautiful.
A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle; ...they squabble and scold and fight; they scramble for little mean advantages over each other; age creeps upon them; infirmities follow; ...those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. It comes at last--the only unpoisoned gift earth ever had for them--and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence, ...a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever.
Why will we struggle to attain, and strive, When all we gain is but an empty dream?--Better, unto my thinking, doth it seemTo end it all and let who will survive;To find at last all beauty is but dust;That love and sorrow are the very same;That joy is only suffering's sweeter name;And sense is but the synonym of lust.Far better, yea, to me it seems to die;To set glad lips against the lips of Death--The only thing God gives that comforteth,The only thing we do not find a lie.http://www.gutenberg.org/files/16535/16535-8.txt
Pale were your looks; and the rose in your tressesPaler of hue than the dreams we have lost;Who, then I said, is it sees or who guesses,Here in the hall, that I dance with a ghost?Gone! And the dance and the music are ended.Gone! And the rapture dies out of the skies.And, on my arm, in her elegance splendid,The woman of fashion smiles up in my eyes.Had I forgotten? and did you remember?You, who are dead, whom I cannot forget;You, for whose sake all my heart is an emberCovered with ashes of dreams and regret.
The seasons are shifting, The winter shades lifting,The springtime is fillingEarth's children with mirth.The daffodil yellow, The south wind so mellow,The gentle rain falling,Upon the green earth.The song sparrow singing, New life quickly springing,All nature is tellingA tale of rebirth:The deep wells of being, Beyond each day's seeing,O'er flowing with new Life,Restoring the earth.
It's interesting, in light of Emerson's warning that faith cannot be created but must grow, that the seventh principle, which affirms our reverence for the interdependent web of all existence, was the one part of the purposes and principles that wasn't debated across the continent, that wasn't hammered out in a long and exhaustive process. I am told it came to the floor late in the Columbus, Ohio, General Assembly and it was unanimously accepted virtually without debate.
The religious way is the deep way, the way that sees what physical eyes alone fail to see, the intangibles of the heart of every phenomenon. The religious way is the way that touches universal relationships; that goes high, wide and deep, that expands the feelings of kinship.
Worship God by reverencing the human soul as God's chosen sanctuary. Revere it in yourselves, revere it in others, and labor to carry it forward. ...Go forth to respect the rights, and seek the true, enduring welfare of all within your influence. Carry with you the conviction that to trample on a human being, of whatevercolor, clime, rank, condition, is to trample on God's child. ...Go forth to do good with every power which God bestows, to make every place you enter happier by your presence, to espouse all human interests, to throw your whole weight into the scale of human freedom and improvement, to withstand all wrong, to uphold all right, and especially to give light, life, strength to the immortal soul.
The family must be democratized in that sense in which each individual within its bond shall be sustained in seeking and in maintaining the conditions of personality. No one human being to live solely for other's service..., but all to seek the utmost perfection of individual life as a contribution to the common life; this is the democratic ideal. There seems to be no other inherited institution in which this spiritual essence of democracy can be so clearly and so well realized as it may be and today often is in the private monogamic family.
Conscience, the sense of right, the power of perceiving moral distinctions, the power of discerning between justice and injustice, excellence and baseness, is the highest faculty given us by God, the whole foundation of our responsibility, and our sole capacity for religion. ...God, in giving us conscience, has implanted a principle within us which forbids us to prostrate ourselves before mere power, or to offer praise where we do not discover worth.
The good society was, like the good self, a diverse yet harmonious, growing yet unified whole, a fully participatory democracy in which the powers and capacities of the individuals that comprised it were harmonized by their cooperative activities into a community that permitted the full and free expression of individuality.
It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.
No doubt to teach one's own children...takes special qualities. But these are qualities that many people have, or with a little help, can get. ...The home-schooling movement is full of such people, ordinary people doing things that they never would have thought they could do - learning the law, questioning the experts, holding their ground against arrogant and threatening authoritiues, defending themselves and their convictions... Seeing them, other ordinary people think they can do the same, and soon they do. This is why it may be a little misleading to speak of the homeschooling movement. Most people think of a movement as something like an army, a few generals and a great many buck privates. In the movement for homeschooling, everyone is a general.
We are resolved to protect individual freedom of belief. This freedom must include the child as well as the parent. The freedom for which we stand is not freedom of belief as we please,... not freedom to evade responsibility, ...but freedom to be honest in speech and action, freedom to respect one's own integrity of thought and feeling, freedom to question, to investigate, to try, to understand life and the universe in which life abounds, freedom to search anywhere and everywhere to find the meaning of Being, freedom to experiment with new ways of living that seem better than the old.
One of the tragic ironies of history is that such original and creative geniuses as Buddha and Jesus have been extolled as perfect patterns for all to emulate. In the very struggle to be like someone else rather than to be one's own true self, or to do one's own best in one's own environment, a child is in danger of losing the pearl that is really beyond price - the integrity of his (or her) own soul.
The psychological context of dream-contents consists in the web of associations in which the dream is naturally embedded. Theoretically we can never know anything in advance about this web, but in practice it is sometimes possible, granted long enough experience. Even so, careful analysis will never rely too much on technical rules; the danger of deception and suggestion is too great. In the analysis of isolated dreams above all, this kind of knowing in advance and making assumptions on the grounds of practical expectation or general probability is positively wrong. It should therefore be an absolute rule to assume that every dream, and every part of a dream, is unknown at the outset, and to attempt an interpretation only after carefully taking up the context. We can then apply the meaning we have thus discovered to the text of the dream itself and see whether this yields a fluent reading, or rather whether a satisfying meaning emerges.
The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth--that the error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it is cured on one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.
The time must come inevitably when mankind shall surmount the imbecility of religion, as it has surmounted the imbecility of religion's ally, magic. It is impossible to imagine this world being really civilized so long as so much nonsense survives. In even its highest forms religion embraces concepts that run counter to all common sense. It can be defended only by making assumptions and adopting rules of logic that are never heard of in any other field of human thinking.
Neither the doctrine of separation of powers, nor the need for confidentiality of high level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances. The President's need for complete candor and objectivity from advisers calls for great deference from the courts. However, when the privilege depends solely on the broad, undifferentiated claim of public interest in the confidentiality of such conversations, a confrontation with other values arises. Absent a claim of need to protect military, diplomatic or sensitive national security secrets, we find it difficult to accept the argument that even the very important interest in confidentiality of Presidential communications is significantly diminished by production of such material for in camera inspection with all the protection that a district court will be obliged to provide.