Secular Inspirational Quotes

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Those who use religion for their own benefit are detestable. We are against such a situation and will not allow it. Those who use religion in such a manner have fooled our people; it is against just such people that we have fought and will continue to fight.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
I agree with yours of the 22d that a professorship of Theology should have no place in our institution. but we cannot always do what is absolutely best. those with whom we act, entertaining different views, have the power and the right of carrying them into practice. truth advances, & error recedes step by step only; and to do to our fellow-men the most good in our power, we must lead where we can, follow where we cannot, and still go with them, watching always the favorable moment for helping them to another step. [Comment on establishing Jefferson's University of Virginia, a secular college, in a letter to Thomas Cooper 7 October 1814]
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
And when the hourglass has run out, the hourglass of temporality, when the noise of secular life has grown silent and its restless or ineffectual activism has come to an end, when everything around you is still, as it is in eternity, then eternity asks you and every individual in these millions and millions about only one thing: whether you have lived in despair or not.
Søren Kierkegaard
In our hyper-secular world, worship is still inevitable. But it is vital to remember that our gods don't choose us, we choose them.
John Green
According to one influential wing of modern secular society there are few more disreputable fates than to end up being 'like everyone else' for 'everyone else' is a category that comprises the mediocre and the conformist, the boring and the suburban. The goal of all right-thinking people should be to mark themselves off from the crowd and 'stand out' in whatever way their talents allow.
Alain de Botton (Status Anxiety)
It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind. [Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787]
John Adams (A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America)
Disinfect the world my friend – disinfect it with your thinking – disinfect it with your actions – disinfect it with your existence.
Abhijit Naskar (Saint of The Sapiens)
My book was not written in hate for Christians or disdain for the principles often associated with Jesus Christ—instead it was inspired by the ignorance that faith and religion often breed in humanity; the type of ignorance that allows people to self-identify as Christians (or any other religion) without having first researched the Holy Scriptures themselves in order to properly evaluate the religion’s veracity or falsity.
David G. McAfee (Disproving Christianity and Other Secular Writings)
We live in a moral wasteland where human beings are desperately seeking answers to hard questions about life and sexuality. But there is hope. In the wasteland we can cultivate a garden. We can discover a reality-based morality that expresses a positive, life-affirming view of the human person—one that is more inspiring, more appealing, and more liberating than the secular worldview.
Nancy R. Pearcey (Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality)
ANTISEMITISM, a secular nineteenth-century ideology—which in name, though not in argument, was unknown before the 1870’s—and religious Jew-hatred, inspired by the mutually hostile antagonism of two conflicting creeds, are obviously not the same;
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
The benefits of a philosophy of neo-religious pessimism are nowhere more apparent than in relation to marriage, one of modern society’s most grief-stricken arrangements, which has been rendered unnecessarily hellish by the astonishing secular supposition that it should be entered into principally for the sake of happiness. Christianity and Judaism present marriage not as a union inspired and governed by subjective enthusiasm but rather, and more modestly, as a mechanism by which individuals can assume an adult position in society and thence, with the help of a close friend, undertake to nurture and educate the next generation under divine guidance. These limited expectations tend to forestall the suspicion, so familiar to secular partners, that there might have been more intense, angelic or less fraught alternatives available elsewhere. Within the religious ideal, friction, disputes and boredom are signs not of error, but of life proceeding according to plan.
Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion)
At present, the successful office-seeker is a good deal like the center of the earth; he weighs nothing himself, but draws everything else to him. There are so many societies, so many churches, so many isms, that it is almost impossible for an independent man to succeed in a political career. Candidates are forced to pretend that they are catholics with protestant proclivities, or christians with liberal tendencies, or temperance men who now and then take a glass of wine, or, that although not members of any church their wives are, and that they subscribe liberally to all. The result of all this is that we reward hypocrisy and elect men entirely destitute of real principle; and this will never change until the people become grand enough to allow each other to do their own thinking. Our government should be entirely and purely secular. The religious views of a candidate should be kept entirely out of sight. He should not be compelled to give his opinion as to the inspiration of the bible, the propriety of infant baptism, or the immaculate conception. All these things are private and personal. The people ought to be wise enough to select as their officers men who know something of political affairs, who comprehend the present greatness, and clearly perceive the future grandeur of our country. If we were in a storm at sea, with deck wave-washed and masts strained and bent with storm, and it was necessary to reef the top sail, we certainly would not ask the brave sailor who volunteered to go aloft, what his opinion was on the five points of Calvinism. Our government has nothing to do with religion. It is neither christian nor pagan; it is secular. But as long as the people persist in voting for or against men on account of their religious views, just so long will hypocrisy hold place and power. Just so long will the candidates crawl in the dust—hide their opinions, flatter those with whom they differ, pretend to agree with those whom they despise; and just so long will honest men be trampled under foot.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
Now is the time that we walk as humans and not as labels. Rise and walk, like did Rosa Parks, MLK, Madiba (Mandela), Honest Abe (Lincoln), Mevlana (Rumi) and many more.
Abhijit Naskar (The Constitution of The United Peoples of Earth)
Humanity, that's the title we should be most attached to, yet that's the title we are least attached to.
Abhijit Naskar (Hurricane Humans: Give me accountability, I'll give you peace)
Meditation is a secular practice, not a religious practice.
Abhijit Naskar
As an inspiration for terrorism, however, nationalism has been far more productive than religion. Terrorism experts agree that the denial of a people’s right to national self-determination and the occupation of its homeland by foreign forces has historically been the most powerful recruiting agent of terrorist organizations, whether their ideology is religious (the Lebanese Shii) or secular (the PLO).
Karen Armstrong (Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence)
We live in a society where people are uncomfortable with not knowing. Children aren’t taught to say ‘I don’t know,’ and honesty in this form is rarely modeled for them. They too often see adults avoiding questions and fabricating answers, out of either embarrassment or fear, and this comes at a price. To solve the world’s most challenging problems, we need innovative minds that are inspired in the presence of uncertainty. Let’s support parents and educators who are raising the next generation of creative thinkers.” —Annaka Harris (Secular News Daily, 2012)
Peter Boghossian (A Manual for Creating Atheists)
Moral beauty existed as clearly as any other form of beauty and perhaps that was where we could find the God who was so vividly, and sometimes bizarrely, described in our noisy religious explanations. It was an intriguing thought, as it meant that a concert could be a spiritual experience, a secular painting a religious icon, a beguiling face a passing angel.
Alexander McCall Smith (The Lost Art of Gratitude (Isabel Dalhousie, #6))
I fear for the future of the West if it loses its faith. You cannot defend Western freedom on the basis of moral relativism, the only morality left when we lose our mooring in a sacred ontology or a divine-human covenant. No secular morality withstood Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. No secular morality today has the force to withstand the sustained onslaught of ruthless religious extremism. Neither market economics nor liberal democracy has the power, in and of itself, to inspire people to make sacrifices for the common good.
Jonathan Sacks (The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning)
It's better to be broken to pieces in love than to stay intact as a cold, untouched glass sculpture filled with hate.
Abhijit Naskar (Neden Türk: The Gospel of Secularism)
In real life we can't separate the sacred and the secular. We must bring the sacred to the secular.
Lynne Waite Chapman
Our United States "State religion" has become Secular Humanism which has no "separation from the State.
James C. Campbell
Most of the modern human society has nearly lost the faculty of observing the internal mechanism.
Abhijit Naskar
Every time you as an original human take actions outside the norms of the neurotic society, the society most certainly gets baffled and quite instantaneously begins mocking you for your uniqueness.
Abhijit Naskar (Conscience over Nonsense)
You are modern humans of the civilized world. And modern humans rise beyond all laws and superstitions of the society. They help their fellow beings to rise from the ashes of ignorance, illusion and fear.
Abhijit Naskar (In Search of Divinity: Journey to The Kingdom of Conscience (Neurotheology Series))
By taking responsibility for your life, including your actions, reactions, thoughts, and words, you can create the life you know you deserve. How you live no longer depends on anyone or anything other than yourself.
Janice Anderson
The greatest inspiration, the most sublime ideas of living that have come down to humanity come from a higher realm, a happier realm, a place of pure dreams, a heaven of blessed notions. Ideas and infinite possibilities dwell there in absolute tranquility. Before these ideas came to us they were pure, they were silent, and their life-giving possibilities were splendid. But when they come to our earthly realm they acquire weight and words. They become less. The sweetest notions, ideas of universal love and justice, love for one another, or intuitions of joyful creation, these are all perfect in their heavenly existences. Any artist will tell you that ideas are happier in the heaven of their conception than on the earth of their realization. We should return to pure contemplation, to sweet meditation, to the peace of silent loving, the serenity of deep faith, to the stillness of deep waters. We should sit still in our deep selves and dream good new things for humanity. We should try and make those dreams real. We should keep trying to raise higher the conditions and possibilities of this world. Then maybe one day, after much striving, we might well begin to create a world justice and a new light on this earth that could inspire a ten-second silence of wonder – even in heaven.
Ben Okri (Birds of Heaven)
One human's despair is all humans' despair - one human's joy is all humans' joy - one human's accomplishments are all humans’ accomplishments. Such should be the genuine thinking of a civilized and conscientious human, if there is to be peace and harmony in the world.
Abhijit Naskar (Fabric of Humanity)
Give your child a world full of heroes and myths, big thoughts to think about and things to fall in love with, ideas to ponder and inspire them. That is the best education possible – one in which they see learning as a life-long pursuit and not something that must be done within the “schooling hours” each day.
Emily Cook (A Literary Education: Adapting Charlotte Mason for Modern Secular Homeschooling)
A Christian has no right to separate his life into two realms... to say the Bible is good for Sunday, but this is a week-day question, or the Scriptures are right in matters of religion, but this is a matter of business or politics. God reigns over all, everywhere. His will is the supreme law. His inspired Word, loyally read will inform us of His will in every relation and act of life, secular as well as religious; and the man is a traitor who refuses to walk therein with scrupulous care. The kingdom of God includes all sides of human life, and it is a kingdom of absolute righteousness. You are wither a loyal subject, or a traitor. When the King comes, how will He find you doing?
Archibald Alexander Hodge
The Howeitat spread out along the cliffs to return the peasants' fire. This manner of going displeased Auda, the old lion, who raged that a mercenary village folk should dare to resist their secular masters, the Abu Tayi. So he jerked his halter, cantered his mare down the path, and rode out plain to view beneath the easternmost houses of the village. There he reined in, and shook a hand at them, booming in his wonderful voice: 'Dogs, do you not know Auda?' When they realized it was that implacable son of war their hearts failed them, and an hour later Sherif Nasir in the town-house was sipping tea with his guest the Turkish Governor, trying to console him for the sudden change of fortune.
T.E. Lawrence
Suppose that this reading of history is correct. Today’s creative elites are not just overwhelmingly secular but often hostile to the idea that transcendental goods have any meaning. Such is the reason to fear that well-made entertainments are as much as we can hope for. Great art requires a source of inspiration that the people who produce those entertainments are not tapping.
Charles Murray (Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950)
What kind of civilization is this my friend, where people have to be reminded of their humanhood? Why the heck is it so damn hard for humans to act like humans? Why the heck do the man-made sects get preference over humans? How can a smart species like us be so dumb at the same time? Why can’t we join hands and celebrate our differences instead of turning them into cause of conflict! Why? Why can’t we my friend?
Abhijit Naskar (7 Billion Gods: Humans Above All)
In fact, the age of the Tyrants is the scene of a religious renaissance which on all sides throws up new ecstatic confessions of faith, new secret cults and new sects; but at first these develop underground and do not as yet reach the light of art. Thus we no longer find art being commissioned and stimulated by religion, but, on the contrary, we find in this period religious zeal being inspired by the increased skill of the artist.
Arnold Hauser (The Social History of Art, Volume 1: From Prehistoric Times to the Middle Ages)
Today we are all doing penance every day. We’re working hard, trying to make money to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, trying to maintain a good relationship or marriage, trying to keep our children safe and happy and educated, trying to keep the world from blowing itself up. We don’t need any more penance. We need some joy, an ideal, encouragement, a philosophy worthy of us, a real community, neighbors to keep us from having to go it alone. We need our own religion: our sources of inspiration, hope, and healing.
Thomas Moore (A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World)
Fundamentalist movements in all faiths share certain characteristics. They reveal a deep disappointment and disenchantment with the modern experiment, which has not fulfilled all that it promised. They also express real fear. Every single fundamentalist movement that I have studied is convinced that the secular establishment is determined to wipe religion out. This is not always a paranoid reaction. We have seen that secularism has often been imposed very aggressively in the Muslim world. Fundamentalists look back to a “golden age” before the irruption of modernity for inspiration, but they are not atavistically returning to the Middle Ages. All are intrinsically modern movements and could have appeared at no time other than our own. All are innovative and often radical in their reinterpretation of religion. As such, fundamentalism is an essential part of the modern scene. Wherever modernity takes root, a fundamentalist movement is likely to rise up alongside it in conscious reaction. Fundamentalists will often express their discontent with a modern development by overstressing those elements in their tradition that militate against it.
Karen Armstrong (Islam: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles))
my advice is; Let’s join the caravan of humanity, and ally ourselves with a conscious progress, let’s join the secular non-sectarian societies, lets distant ourselves from military tradition, and join the human race in benefiting humanity as a whole, let’s heal our environment, and adapt social justices, that will empower the poor and the oppressed to gain his or her fundamental human rights, let’s find mercy and compassion in our souls without reference to any religious fanaticism or national extremism…if we could do that, only then we can begin the return journey back to civilization….
Husam Wafaei (Honourable Defection)
Christian’s motive in apologetics should be a God-inspired grief for the lost. We should be brokenhearted over the dehumanizing reductionisms that dishonor and destroy our fellow human beings. We should weep for people whose dark worldviews deny that their life choices have meaning or moral significance. We should be moved by sorrow for people whose education has taught them that their loves, dreams, and highest ideals are ultimately nothing but electrical impulses jumping across the synapses in their brains. We should mourn for postmoderns who think that (as Schopenhauer said) the “eternal truths” are only in one’s head.
Nancy R. Pearcey (Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes)
The religious utopian hides his pride behind the mask of humility; he recognizes God alone; he does not recognize ministers or sacraments since he puts himself in place of both. He ministers his own religious needs and he consecrates his inner self as a place of worship more worthy of receiving God than the churches. He substitutes his own sentiments and emotions for doctrine, because doctrines are man-made speculations unable to comprehend God's essence. He considers the sacramental, ceremonial and generally institutional aspects of religion as rigid and expendable molds which are adequate for the unthinking who need strong sensations and impressions to sustain their faith. He, on the other hand, puts his trust in his own individual inspiration, strengthens his faith through direct and permanent contact with the divine and so rises as a pure spirit to the level of a "truer" religion. The secular utopian also displays excessive pride. He believes that societies of the past were based on error since they yielded to the political principle of organization and hierarchy. The goal of the utopian is to create a society in its pristine purity, as it were, unsullied by laws and magistrates, functioning through its members' natural good will and cooperativeness. Laws, institutions, symbols, flags, armies, disciplines, patriotic encouragement and the like will all be abolished because, for pure social beings, their inner motivation of social living - togetherness - is quite sufficient and because they would serve to anchor the citizens, bodily and emotionally, in the soil and reality of the State just as pomp and ceremony, rules and institutions anchor the faithful in religion.
Thomas Steven Molnar (Utopia, The Perennial Heresy)
It has been said that the French revolution resulted from philosophy, and it is not without reason that philosophy has been called Weltweisheit [world wisdom]; for it is not only truth in and for itself, as the pure essence of things, but also truth in its living form as exhibited in the affairs of the world. We should not, therefore, contradict the assertion that the revolution received its first impulse from philosophy. Never since the sun had stood in the firmament and the planets revolved around him had it been perceived that man's existence centres in his head, i.e. in thought, inspired by which he builds up the world of reality. Not until now had man advanced to the recognition of the principle that thought ought to govern spiritual reality. This was accordingly a glorious mental dawn. All thinking being shared in the jubilation of this epoch. Emotions of a lofty character stirred men's minds at that time; a spiritual enthusiasm thrilled through the world, as if the reconciliation between the divine and the secular was now first accomplished.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (Lectures on the Philosophy of World History)
In his poetry and prose, Rilke links through various images the affairs of human life to the movements of the cosmos itself. If this conceit seems hyperbolic, it is for Rilke rooted very deeply in his experiences of the world. The result is not esoteric, nor does it relativize and thus implicitly belittle human activity by placing it within a greater, superior—not divine—order. By seeing things rather within a larger, natural (rather than ideological or religious) pattern, Rilke achieves a fundamentally modern secular perspective but does not give up on the possibility that there might be something greater in our lives. Interestingly, Rilke finds evidence of a connectedness to larger, cosmic patterns within our physical, bodily existence. How we breathe, eat, sleep, digest, and love; how we suffer physically or experience pleasure: we are subject to rhythms we cannot totally control. Rilke relies on no ideational frame but understands our existence as that of decidedly earthly, embodied mortals or, in the language of the philosophers whose work he so significantly shaped and inspired, as beings in time.
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Poet's Guide to Life: The Wisdom of Rilke)
Sure, we can hear the reverberating echoes of the Big Bang. Yet that cosmic vibration tells us nothing about what was before the Big Bang, or what was before that, or how or why there was even a bang to be binged at all. This mostly wet ball full of ptarmigans, ponytails, and poverty is floating in space among a billion other balls, and there are galaxies swirling and there is a universe expanding, which itself may actually just be an undulating freckle on the cusp of something we can’t even conceive of, amid an endless soup of ever more unfathomables. And I find such a situation to be utterly, manifestly, psychedelically amazing—and far more spine-tinglingly awe-inspiring than any story I’ve ever read in the Bible, the Quran, the Vedas, the Upanishads, Dianetics, the Doctrine and Covenants, or the Tibetan Book of the Dead. So smell that satchel of tangerines and nimbly hammer a dulcimer or pluck a chicken and listen to your conscience or master a new algorithm or walk to work or hitch a ride. Because we’re here. And we will never, ever know why or exactly how this all comes about. That’s the situation. Deal with it. Accept it. Let the mystery be.
Phil Zuckerman (Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions)
The violent secularism of al-Nasser had led Qutb to espouse a form of Islam that distorted both the message of the Quran and the Prophet’s life. Qutb told Muslims to model themselves on Muhammad: to separate themselves from mainstream society (as Muhammad had made the hijrah from Mecca to Medina), and then engage in a violent jihad. But Muhammad had in fact finally achieved victory by an ingenious policy of non-violence; the Quran adamantly opposed force and coercion in religious matters, and its vision—far from preaching exclusion and separation—was tolerant and inclusive. Qutb insisted that the Quranic injunction to toleration could occur only after the political victory of Islam and the establishment of a true Muslim state. The new intransigence sprang from the profound fear that is at the core of fundamentalist religion. Qutb did not survive. At al-Nasser’s personal insistence, he was executed in 1966. Every Sunni fundamentalist movement has been influenced by Qutb. Most spectacularly it has inspired Muslims to assassinate such leaders as Anwar al-Sadat, denounced as a jahili ruler because of his oppressive policies towards his own people. The Taliban, who came to power in Afghanistan in 1994, are also affected by his ideology.
Karen Armstrong (Islam: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles))
If monks had only been ascetic and eccentric in their behavior, however, they would not have won the devotion and admiration of the people in the way they did. Thus, secondly, their exemplary lifestyle made a profound impact, particularly on the peasants. Their conduct was epitomized in the words of the Celtic monk Columban (543–615), “He who says he believes in Christ ought to walk as Christ walked, poor and humble and always preaching the truth” (quoted in Baker 1970:28). The monks were poor, and they worked incredibly hard; they plowed, hedged, drained morasses, cleared away forests, did carpentry, thatched, and built roads and bridges. “They found a swamp, a moor, a thicket, a rock, and they made an Eden in the wilderness” (Newman 1970:398). Even secular historians acknowledge that the agricultural restoration of the largest part of Europe has to be attributed to them (:399). Through their disciplined and tireless labor they turned the tide of barbarism in Western Europe and brought back into cultivation the lands which had been deserted and depopulated in the age of the invasions. More important, through their sanctifying work and poverty they lifted the hearts of the poor and neglected peasants and inspired them while at the same time revolutionizing the order of social values which had dominated the empire's slave-owning society (cf Dawson 1950:56f).
David J. Bosch (Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission)
If the claims of the papacy cannot be proven from what we know of the historical Peter, there are, on the other hand, several undoubted facts in the real history of Peter which bear heavily upon those claims, namely: 1. That Peter was married, Matt. 8:14, took his wife with him on his missionary tours, 1 Cor. 9:5, and, according to a possible interpretation of the "coëlect" (sister), mentions her in 1 Pet. 5:13. Patristic tradition ascribes to him children, or at least a daughter (Petronilla). His wife is said to have suffered martyrdom in Rome before him. What right have the popes, in view of this example, to forbid clerical marriage?  We pass by the equally striking contrast between the poverty of Peter, who had no silver nor gold (Acts 3:6) and the gorgeous display of the triple-crowned papacy in the middle ages and down to the recent collapse of the temporal power. 2. That in the Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15:1–11), Peter appears simply as the first speaker and debater, not as president and judge (James presided), and assumes no special prerogative, least of all an infallibility of judgment. According to the Vatican theory the whole question of circumcision ought to have been submitted to Peter rather than to a Council, and the decision ought to have gone out from him rather than from "the apostles and elders, brethren" (or "the elder brethren," 15:23). 3. That Peter was openly rebuked for inconsistency by a younger apostle at Antioch (Gal. 2:11–14). Peter’s conduct on that occasion is irreconcilable with his infallibility as to discipline; Paul’s conduct is irreconcilable with Peter’s alleged supremacy; and the whole scene, though perfectly plain, is so inconvenient to Roman and Romanizing views, that it has been variously distorted by patristic and Jesuit commentators, even into a theatrical farce gotten up by the apostles for the more effectual refutation of the Judaizers! 4. That, while the greatest of popes, from Leo I. down to Leo XIII. never cease to speak of their authority over all the bishops and all the churches, Peter, in his speeches in the Acts, never does so. And his Epistles, far from assuming any superiority over his "fellow-elders" and over "the clergy" (by which he means the Christian people), breathe the spirit of the sincerest humility and contain a prophetic warning against the besetting sins of the papacy, filthy avarice and lordly ambition (1 Pet. 5:1–3). Love of money and love of power are twin-sisters, and either of them is "a root of all evil." It is certainly very significant that the weaknesses even more than the virtues of the natural Peter—his boldness and presumption, his dread of the cross, his love for secular glory, his carnal zeal, his use of the sword, his sleepiness in Gethsemane—are faithfully reproduced in the history of the papacy; while the addresses and epistles of the converted and inspired Peter contain the most emphatic protest against the hierarchical pretensions and worldly vices of the papacy, and enjoin truly evangelical principles—the general priesthood and royalty of believers, apostolic poverty before the rich temple, obedience to God rather than man, yet with proper regard for the civil authorities, honorable marriage, condemnation of mental reservation in Ananias and Sapphira, and of simony in Simon Magus, liberal appreciation of heathen piety in Cornelius, opposition to the yoke of legal bondage, salvation in no other name but that of Jesus Christ.
Philip Schaff (History Of The Christian Church (The Complete Eight Volumes In One))
There are many who profess to be religious and speak of themselves as Christians, and, according to one such, “as accepting the scriptures only as sources of inspiration and moral truth,” and then ask in their smugness: “Do the revelations of God give us a handrail to the kingdom of God, as the Lord’s messenger told Lehi, or merely a compass?” Unfortunately, some are among us who claim to be Church members but are somewhat like the scoffers in Lehi’s vision—standing aloof and seemingly inclined to hold in derision the faithful who choose to accept Church authorities as God’s special witnesses of the gospel and his agents in directing the affairs of the Church. There are those in the Church who speak of themselves as liberals who, as one of our former presidents has said, “read by the lamp of their own conceit.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine [Deseret Book Co., 1939], p. 373.) One time I asked one of our Church educational leaders how he would define a liberal in the Church. He answered in one sentence: “A liberal in the Church is merely one who does not have a testimony.” Dr. John A. Widtsoe, former member of the Quorum of the Twelve and an eminent educator, made a statement relative to this word liberal as it applied to those in the Church. This is what he said: “The self-called liberal [in the Church] is usually one who has broken with the fundamental principles or guiding philosophy of the group to which he belongs. . . . He claims membership in an organization but does not believe in its basic concepts; and sets out to reform it by changing its foundations. . . . “It is folly to speak of a liberal religion, if that religion claims that it rests upon unchanging truth.” And then Dr. Widtsoe concludes his statement with this: “It is well to beware of people who go about proclaiming that they are or their churches are liberal. The probabilities are that the structure of their faith is built on sand and will not withstand the storms of truth.” (“Evidences and Reconciliations,” Improvement Era, vol. 44 [1941], p. 609.) Here again, to use the figure of speech in Lehi’s vision, they are those who are blinded by the mists of darkness and as yet have not a firm grasp on the “iron rod.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, when there are questions which are unanswered because the Lord hasn’t seen fit to reveal the answers as yet, all such could say, as Abraham Lincoln is alleged to have said, “I accept all I read in the Bible that I can understand, and accept the rest on faith.” . . . Wouldn’t it be a great thing if all who are well schooled in secular learning could hold fast to the “iron rod,” or the word of God, which could lead them, through faith, to an understanding, rather than to have them stray away into strange paths of man-made theories and be plunged into the murky waters of disbelief and apostasy? . . . Cyprian, a defender of the faith in the Apostolic Period, testified, and I quote, “Into my heart, purified of all sin, there entered a light which came from on high, and then suddenly and in a marvelous manner, I saw certainty succeed doubt.” . . . The Lord issued a warning to those who would seek to destroy the faith of an individual or lead him away from the word of God or cause him to lose his grasp on the “iron rod,” wherein was safety by faith in a Divine Redeemer and his purposes concerning this earth and its peoples. The Master warned: “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better … that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18:6.) The Master was impressing the fact that rather than ruin the soul of a true believer, it were better for a person to suffer an earthly death than to incur the penalty of jeopardizing his own eternal destiny.
Harold B. Lee
Calm down; think twice,...before you click.
Lilia U. Chmelarz
This book is a thought experiment that desires to present a constructive practical ecclesiology that draws inspiration and direction from Barth
Andrew Root (Churches and the Crisis of Decline (Ministry in a Secular Age Book #4): A Hopeful, Practical Ecclesiology for a Secular Age)
Off and on, for several years, I’d been reading Zen, I’d flirted with Tantric Hinduism, I’d surfed the smaller swells of Sufism, and tried to get down with the Tao. It was all very eye-opening and inspirational, and while Asian mysticism is an easy target for the sneers of secular cynics and sectarian dogmatists alike, it’s far more compatible with modern science than the misinterpreted Levantine myths, ecclesiastical fairy tales, pious platitudes, and near-desperate wishful thinking I’d been fed in Southern Baptist Sunday School. The wisdom in those spiritual texts was obvious, yet I’d integrated it into my daily life with but minimal success. From a practical point of view, it was like trying to teach a monkey to play chess.
Tom Robbins (Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life)
In favor of monism there is left, then, only the craving for excessive simplification, and the repugnance to the mystery of the origin of contingent beings. Against it stand the fatal contradictions to necessary intuitions and real facts of experience. Monism asks: How does even an infinite age produce an actual beginning of real beings ex nihilo? Sound philosophy must answer: It does not know; it cannot explain that action to human comprehension. But sound philosophy can show that this is no objection, because it can be proved that such explanation lies beyond the conditions of human knowledge. Those conditions understood, we see that we had no right to expect to be able to comprehend the beginning ex nihilo of contingent beings, nor to be stumbled at the fact...We say to the monist, then: Pause; both of you and we are out of our depth; we are in a region of ontology where we can safely neither affirm, nor deny, nor comprehend, nor explain. Let us lay our hands upon our mouths. The conclusion of that matter is to confess with the apostle (Hebrews xi. 3), that the doctrine of the begging of contingent being is one of faith, not of philosophy...And here is strong evidence of his acquaintance with the whole range of speculative human thought. He says at once to the Pythagorean, the Eleatic, the atomist, the Platonist, the Stagyrite: Vain men, you are out of your depth. The same inspired caution is as good for Spinoza the most modern idealist or monist.
Robert Lewis Dabney (Discussions: Secular)
He abolished the Caliphate (rather like abolishing the Vatican); installed a Western-style secular republic; prohibited the wearing of the fez; made English the official second language; introduced mass education; emancipated women; changed the written language from Arabic characters to the Roman alphabet; and, most extraordinarily, inspired the army to defend the new order and the constitution, rather than seek power for its own sake as is the habit of many armies.
Nancy Knudsen (Accidentally Istanbul: Decoding Turkey for the Enquiring Western Traveller)
When religion turns to humanity for its inspiration and to the world for its power, God is dethroned and the sanctuary becomes a secularized fellowship.
Samuel Chadwick (The Collected Works of Samuel Chadwick - Three books in one)
Following the practice of the times, the grand princes and, later, the kings of Poland acquired the right of patronage; that is, they could appoint Orthodox bishops and even the metropolitan himself. Thus, the crucial issue of the leadership of the Orthodox faithful was left in the hands of secular rulers of another, increasingly antagonistic, church… The results were disastrous. With lay authorities capable of appointing bishops, the metropolitan's authority was undermined. And with every bishop acting as a law unto himself, the organizational discipline of the Orthodox church deteriorated rapidly. Even more deleterious was the corruption that lay patronage engendered… Under the circumstances, Orthodoxy's cultural contributions were limited. Schools, once one of the church's most attractive features, were neglected. Unqualified teachers barely succeeded in familiarizing their pupils with the rudiments of reading, writing, and Holy Scriptures. The curriculum of the schools had changed little since medieval times. The fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453 added to the intellectual and cultural stagnation by depriving the Orthodox of their most advanced and inspiring model. Lacking both external and internal stimuli, Orthodox culture slipped into ritualism, parochialism, and decay. The Poles, meanwhile, were enjoying a period of cultural growth and vitality. Benefiting from the West's prodigious outbursts of creative energy, they experienced the Renaissance with its stimulating reorientation of thought.
Orest Subtelny (Ukraine: A History)
Light is born of the mind - where there is a mind there is possibility of light.
Abhijit Naskar (Neden Türk: The Gospel of Secularism)
Heartache in love is far better than heartlessness in apathy.
Abhijit Naskar (Neden Türk: The Gospel of Secularism)
You don't need wings on your back to fly, you just need wings on your mind, and all of us are born with those wings, but they are rarely nourished to their fullest expanse so that we can spread them wide and take off.
Abhijit Naskar (Neden Türk: The Gospel of Secularism)
Tudo lhes pertence e nos cabe, porque a Pátria não se escolhe, acontece. Para além de aprovar ou reprovar cada um dos elementos do inventário secular, a única alternativa é amá-la ou renegá-la. Mas ninguém pode ser autorizado a tentar a sua destruição, e a colocar o partido, a ideologia, o serviço de imperialismos estranhos, a ambição pessoal, acima dela. A Pátria não é um estribo. A Pátria não é um acidente. A Pátria não é uma ocasião. A Pátria não é um estorvo. A Pátria não é um peso. A Pátria é um dever entre o berço e o caixão, as duas formas de total amor que tem para nos receber.
Adriano Moreira (O Novíssimo Príncipe - Análise da Revolução)
The religious lesson is that God celebrates when the unrighteous change their way and return to the flock. In the secular sense this parable is used to illustrate that: All of us, even the least, has value.
Jim M. Perdue (I Remember Atticus: Inspiring Stories Every Trial Lawyer Should Know)
irritatingly moralistic. Democratic globalism sees as the engine of history not the will to power but the will to freedom. And while it has been attacked as a dreamy, idealistic innovation, its inspiration comes from the Truman Doctrine of 1947, the Kennedy inaugural of 1961, and Reagan’s “evil empire” speech of 1983. They all sought to recast a struggle for power between two geopolitical titans into a struggle between freedom and unfreedom, and yes, good and evil. Which is why the Truman Doctrine was heavily criticized by realists like Hans Morgenthau and George Kennan—and Reagan was vilified by the entire foreign policy establishment for the sin of ideologizing the Cold War by injecting a moral overlay. That was then. Today, post-9/11, we find ourselves in a similar existential struggle but with a different enemy: not Soviet communism, but Arab-Islamic totalitarianism, both secular and religious. Bush and Blair are similarly attacked for naïvely and crudely casting this struggle as one of freedom versus unfreedom, good versus evil. Now, given the way not just freedom but human decency were suppressed in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the two major battles of this new war, you would have to give Bush and Blair’s moral claims the decided advantage of being obviously true. Nonetheless, something can be true and still be dangerous. Many people are deeply uneasy with the Bush-Blair doctrine—many conservatives in particular. When Blair declares in his address to Congress: “The spread of freedom is … our last line of defense and our first line of attack,” they see a dangerously expansive, aggressively utopian foreign policy. In short, they see Woodrow Wilson. Now, to a conservative, Woodrow Wilson is fightin’ words. Yes, this vision is expansive and perhaps utopian. But it ain’t Wilsonian. Wilson envisioned the spread of democratic values through as-yet-to-be invented international institutions. He could be forgiven for that. In 1918, there was no way to know how utterly corrupt and useless those international institutions would turn out to be. Eight decades of bitter experience later—with Libya chairing the UN Commission on Human Rights—there is no way not to know. Democratic globalism is not Wilsonian. Its attractiveness is precisely that it shares realism’s insights about the centrality of power. Its attractiveness is precisely that it has appropriate contempt for the fictional legalisms of liberal internationalism. Moreover, democratic globalism is an improvement over realism. What it can teach realism is that the spread of democracy is not just an end but a means, an indispensable means for securing American interests. The reason is simple. Democracies are inherently more friendly to the United States, less belligerent to their neighbors and generally more inclined to peace. Realists are right that to protect your interests you often have to go around the world bashing bad guys over the head. But that technique, no matter how satisfying, has its limits. At some point, you have to implant something, something organic and self-developing. And that something is democracy. But where? V. DEMOCRATIC REALISM The danger of democratic globalism is its universalism, its open-ended commitment to human freedom, its temptation to plant the flag of democracy everywhere. It must learn to say no. And indeed, it does say no. But when it says no to Liberia, or Congo, or Burma, or countenances alliances with authoritarian rulers in places like Pakistan
Charles Krauthammer (Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics)
Although the making of a religion of one’s own can be satisfying, it can progress further and faster with the aid of the spiritual traditions. Your own spiritual path risks being too personal and limited. What resources do you have compared to the traditions that have thought of things you will never consider? They have refined ideas and images and teachings and moral guidelines expressed in elegant and inspiring ways. They have produced spiritual beauty of a kind no single person could ever create. Read Emerson’s journals and you find that he was reading Hafiz for months, and Thoreau’s homespun spiritual insights come wrapped in references from the Western and Eastern traditions.
Thomas Moore (A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World)
Tradition as a Resource Although the making of a religion of one’s own can be satisfying, it can progress further and faster with the aid of the spiritual traditions. Your own spiritual path risks being too personal and limited. What resources do you have compared to the traditions that have thought of things you will never consider? They have refined ideas and images and teachings and moral guidelines expressed in elegant and inspiring ways. They have produced spiritual beauty of a kind no single person could ever create. Read Emerson’s journals and you find that he was reading Hafiz for months, and Thoreau’s homespun spiritual insights come wrapped in references from the Western and Eastern traditions.
Thomas Moore (A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World)
If synagogues would reconceptualize their venue as a third place, they would feel more like a welcoming home in all aspects of their operations.21 Reenvisioning the synagogue venue in this way is not a far stretch in imagination, as “home,” or bayit, precedes the three primary functions of synagogues (beit kenesset, beit midrash, beit tefillah). This shift in thinking can cause profound changes in how synagogues relate to people on an individual level, how they approach the diversity of today's Jewish community, and how they seek to relate to their broader environment. For example, in contrast to the above mission and vision statements, a synagogue that sees itself as third place might have the following mission and vision: The mission of Temple XX is to enable members and seekers to experience Judaism in a community that offers compelling meaning to today's big and small questions of life from a Jewish perspective. Temple XX broadens and deepens opportunities for all—young and old, Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and secular, learned and just learning, committed and seeking—to find and create a welcoming home. By realigning outdated organizational thinking with relevant frameworks for building Jewish community, Temple XX's initiatives reach out to those beyond the core synagogue community. A synagogue that reenvisions itself as a third place might have a vision statement that reads: Our synagogue aspires to become a place of relevance, where people will want to experience the joy of community and be inspired by enduring Jewish values. Between a hectic home life and a pressured work environment, our synagogue will be the Jewish place where people renew their minds and spirits and create rewarding Jewish connections.
Zachary I. Heller (Synagogues in a Time of Change: Fragmentation and Diversity in Jewish Religious Movements)
The war against jihadism has been chronically misunderstood because of our failure to acknowledge the religious motives of Muslim jihadists. This failure began in 1979 with the Iranian revolution. Trapped in our Western secularist paradigms, we interpreted the uprising against the Shah as an anti-colonial revolt against a “brutal” autocrat propped up by the West for its own exploitative economic and geostrategic purposes. The aim of the revolution, the argument went, was to create a government more sympathetic to national sovereignty and Western pluralistic government. However, it soon became clear with the political triumph of the Ayatollah Khomeini that the revolution was in the main a religious one, inspired in part by anger at the Shah’s secularization, modernization, and liberalization policies. As Khomeini said in 1962, the Shah’s regime was “fundamentally opposed to Islam itself and the existence of a religious class.
There are no greater or truer lords, gods, fathers, sons or holy spirits, than the humans. Humans are the highest beings on earth.
Abhijit Naskar (Lord is My Sheep: Gospel of Human)
Books are supposed to give a helping hand to humanity’s progress, not to instruct humanity how to progress. Plato wrote his books to help humanity understand knowledge and wisdom. Tolstoy wrote his books to help humanity understand morality. Einstein wrote his papers to help humanity understand the universe. Darwin wrote his books to help humanity understand the biological history of lifeforms. I write my books to unify humanity beyond all labels. But the point is, none of us ever said that our works are the ultimate measure for humanity to behave properly. None of us ever said that our books are the authority of human life and that only through us humanity can find salvation. Your life is a vehicle that is driven by you, and books can be the helper in the journey, but never the driver themselves.
Abhijit Naskar
This is not a book of truth, but simply a book that attempts with as little bias as humanly possible, to understand truth. In reality, there can be no book of truth, because truth does not rise from books. Truth rises from the human mind - truth rises from the deepest fathoms of your soul.
Abhijit Naskar (A Push in Perception)
Nurturing Activities Self-Assessment In this section, you will discover the things you are doing now to nurture your well-being. In the section “Things I Do Now,” write all the activities you can think of that you really enjoy that you do now. For example, you may enjoy getting a massage, working out in the gym, playing tennis, reading a novel, or just taking a walk in the woods. Next think about how each of these activities supports one or more of the four dimensions of your personal growth and development: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. Activities that promote physical development include such things as exercise, relaxation, and massage. Those that promote emotional development include fun things with others that make you happy, such as attending a party with friends, seeing an inspirational film, or just sharing a meal with your family. You can promote your intellectual development by, for example, reading newspapers or intellectually stimulating magazines or books, attending courses, or having intellectual discussions with your colleagues. Activities that give your life meaning and help you connect to something greater than yourself give you spiritual meaning. These can be activities done in a religious context, such as attending services, but they can also be purely secular, such as reading an inspirational poem or practicing mindfulness. Next think about things that you are not doing now but would like to do. Again consider how each of these activities supports the four dimensions. This is your self-care plan. Things I Do Now: Activity Physical Emotional Intellectual Inner Life Self-Care Plan: Activity Physical Emotional Intellectual Inner Life
Patricia A. Jennings (Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom (The Norton Series on the Social Neuroscience of Education))
Anticipating the collapse of secular reason, Hamann thus brings us to a decidedly postmodern crossroads, at which point one can take the road of faith, which, as an inspired tradition attests, leads to ever greater enlightenment; or one can take the road of postmodern unbelief, which leads to nihilism. Simply put, the alternative is one between Hamann and postmodernity. 15
Gene Edward Veith Jr. (Authentic Christianity: How Lutheran Theology Speaks to a Postmodern World)
Mind you, my identity is of no greater value than the dust under your feet. If there is anything valuable that I can offer, it is my ideas.
Abhijit Naskar (Lord is My Sheep: Gospel of Human)
Religion may have brought hope and comfort to some, but it has a terribly negative balance sheet. It is no exaggeration that all the ships of all the navies in the world can float comfortably in the ocean of innocent blood that has been shed in its name. I respect religious freedom, but only subject to public order, health and morality. My religion is to make as many people happy as I can. The secular Constitution of India mandates a life guided by reason and inspired by love.
Thich Nhat Hanh also was one of the few monks to study a secular subject at a university in Saigon. On a temporal note, he was one of the first six monks to ride a bicycle around the city. He is very proud of this accomplishment!
Stewart Osbourne (Thich Nhat Hanh: His Life's Lessons and Inspirational Quotes Leading to Peace! (+ 2 Free Bonus Books Inside!) (Thich Nhat Hanh,mindfulness training,mindfulness in plain english,mindful meditation))
As I thought of the leaders of the land and the populace in general, I wondered where our Washington was today. Where is the leader who will stand unashamed of his love and trust in God? Who will rise up and invoke the covenants of old? Who will lead the nation in shunning sin, promoting righteousness, and preserving that liberty God has granted? Where is our Captain Moroni? 'Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men' (Alma 48:17). We the people of this covenant nation need to find men and women like this. We need to engage them, promote them, elect them. We need to become them. And we need to do it quickly. In so many ways, it seems, we are falling further and further away from this ideal. ...Speaking of America and her covenant, President Gordon B. Hinckley declared: 'For a good while there has been going on in this nation a process that I have termed the secularization of America. . . . We as nation are forsaking the Almighty, and I fear that He will begin to forsake us. We are shutting the door against the God whose sons and daughters we are. . . . Future blessings will come only as we deserve them. Can we expect peace and prosperity, harmony and goodwill, when we turn our backs on the Source of strength? If we are to continue to have the freedoms that evolved within the structure that was the inspiration of the Almighty to our Founding Fathers, we must return to the God who is their true Author. . . . God bless America, for it is His creation.
Timothy Ballard (The Washington Hypothesis)
Indian Tales of valour, courage and bravery in the face of insurmountable odds are not the exclusive preserve of the warrior princes of ancient and medieval India, or those of a colonial army in the dust and grime of WW I &II, but also of soldiers, sailors and airmen of a secular, democratic and modern India.
Arjun Subramaniam (India's Wars: A Military History 1947-1971)
Evolution,' proclaimed the Rev. Daniel Miner Gordon during his inaugural lecture at Presbyterian College in Halifax, 'with its concept of growth rather than mechanism, of life working from within rather than a power constructing from without, helps further illustrate the method of Him who is the life of all that lives.' Seen in this way, evolution gave evidence of God's existence and watchful Providence; it revealed that the Creator was omniscient and omnipresent. Christian evolution implied a God of immanence, a God who dwelled within and constantly guided the natural world. This contrasted sharply with the orthodox view of a transcendent God who ruled the world from afar and touched it only by the occasional intervention in nature or history - a miracle. It now seemed that God was within nature and history, and close to humankind. Moreover, God the harsh judge had been banished by scientific understanding. It was understood that God was an active benevolent spirit. Some of the mystery had been lifted. Evolution had cast new light upon nature, the destiny of humanity, and the ways of God. It seemed to have provided a more inspiring and certain Christian world-view. Ironically, the clergy could base their arguments regarding the existence and nature of God on science, the source of so much doubt regarding the truth of Christianity.
David B. Marshall (Secularizing The Faith: Canadian Protestant Clergy And The Crisis Of Belief, 1850 1940)
Yet while it may be true that religious zeal can inspire armies better than most secular incentives, there was another great awakening that occurred before and during the Revolutionary era that also played a role. The other great awakening was a reevaluation of the merits of doubt. Often unspoken, religious skepticism in the colonial era was taboo even among professed radicals. Yet the spiritual awakenings of the middle of the eighteenth century signaled a transformation of “unbelief” from presumed moral failing to a reasonable theological and political position.
Peter Manseau (One Nation, Under Gods: A New American History)
Christianity was permitted to tell Sunday school stories as object lessons to inspire morality, but it was not allowed to claim that those stories were true.
Nancy R. Pearcey (Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning)
For the first time in human history, let’s rewrite the destiny of humanity with our own active conscience, instead of with loyalty towards a certain pompous ideology – let’s slogan for humanity’s interest, and not the interest of a certain ideology, institution, religion or political party – let’s give ourselves to the tireless service of our kind, trumping all toil, agonies and desperation.
Abhijit Naskar (Conscience over Nonsense)
I am not a Religious not even secular, that's why don't have power like Hindus, Muslims and Christians in their societies, I am just a human trying my best to be better human, but trust me God made me like this, If anyone have problem with this than, Go to the God and ask and fight with him not to me, because he made the universe, including me :) WELL
Mikki Koomar
To take photographs,” wrote Henri Cartier-Bresson, “is to hold one’s breath when all faculties converge in the face of fleeing reality. . . . It is putting one’s head, one’s eyes and one’s heart on the same axis. . . . It is a way of shouting, of freeing oneself, not of proving or asserting one’s originality. It is a way of life.” These words of the renowned French photographer define photography as an ongoing meditative relationship to the world. For Cartier-Bresson, photography is not merely a profession but a liberating engagement with life itself, the camera not just a machine for recording images but “an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”1 To be moved to take photographs, like being inspired to practice meditation, is to embark on a path. In both cases you follow an intuitive hunch rather than a carefully considered decisioṇ Something about “photography” or “meditation” draws you irresistibly. While you may initially justify your interest in these pursuits with clear and compelling reasons, the further you proceed along their respective paths, the less you need to explain yourself. The very act of taking a photograph or sitting in meditation is sufficient justification in itself. The notion of an end result to be attained at some point in the future is replaced by an understanding of how
Stephen Batchelor (Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World)
The cruel lessons of history, however, demonstrate that religions tend to assert dogmas as truth. When religious orthodoxies have been imposed as the sole basis for truth, the result has been intolerance, persecution, and atrocity. Religious truth is supernatural, accessible through faith; it does not reside in this world. Religion, therefore, must remain in the private sphere of personal belief. For personal liberties to flourish, bonfires of vanities cannot be permitted in public squares in the name of religion. The stories told in sacred texts, myths, legends, and epic tales should inspire our imaginations; they should not, however, be erected as doctrines that dictate our laws and actions. To quote the Gospel of Matthew: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” We must approach civic discourse in a spirit that, while acknowledging the existence of spirituality, excludes religious dogma from political discourse and collective action. We must also be vigilant about dogmatic secular faiths—from irrational identity politics to political correctness—asserted with quasi-religious fervor. They too inevitably produce a culture of intolerance and persecution.
Matthew Fraser (In Truth: A History of Lies from Ancient Rome to Modern America)
What good came of all this exploration? It was a question philosophes found irresistable. Progress was their almost irresistable answer. But Diderot, the secular pontiff of the Enlightenment, the editor of the Encyclopédie, did not agree. In 1773 he wrote a denunciation of explorers as agents of a new kind of barbarism. Base motives drove them: 'tyranny, crime, ambition, misery, curiousity, I know not what restlessness of spirit, the desire to know and the desire to see, boredom, the dislike of familiar pleasures' - all the baggage of the restless temperament. Lust for discovery was a new form of fanaticism on the part of men seeking 'islands to ravage, people to despoil, subjugate and massacre.' The explorers discovered people morally superior to themselves, because more natural or more civilized, while they, on their side, grew in savagery, far from the polite restraints that reined them in at home. 'All the long-range expeditions,' Diderot insisted, 'have reared a new generation of nomadic savages ... men who visit so many countries that they end by belonging to none ... amphibians who live on the surface of the waters,' deracinated, and, in the strictest sense of the word, demoralized. Certainly, the excesses explorers committed - of arrogance, of egotism, of exploitation - showed the folly of supposing that travel necessarily broadens the mind or improves the character. But Diderot exaggerated. Even as he wrote, the cases of disinterested exploration - for scientific or altruistic purposes - were multiplying. If the eighteenth century rediscovered the beauties of nature and the wonders of the picturesque, it was in part because explorers alerted domestic publics to the grandeurs of the world they discovered. If the conservation of species and landscape became, for the first time in Western history, an objective of imperial policy, it was because of what the historian Richard Grove has called 'green imperialism' - the awakened sense of stewardship inspired by the discovery of new Edens in remote oceans. If philosophers enlarged their view of human nature, and grappled earnestly and, on the whole, inclusively with questions about the admissability of formerly excluded humans - blacks, 'Hottentots,' Australian Aboriginals, and all other people estranged by their appearance or culture - to full membership of the moral community, it was because exploration made these brethren increasingly familiar. If critics of Western institutions were fortified in their strictures and encouraged in their advocacy of popular sovreignty, 'enlightened despotism,' 'free thinking,' civil liberties, and human 'rights,' it was, in part, because exploration acquainted them with challenging models from around the world of how society could be organized and life lived.
Felipe Fernández-Armesto (Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration)
[T]here was a prophetic medieval Italian abbot, Joachim of Floris, who in the early thirteenth century foresaw the dissolution of the Christian Church and dawn of a terminal period of earthly spiritual life, when the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, would speak directly to the human heart without ecclesiastical mediation. His view, like that of Frobenius, was of a sequence of historic stages, of which our own was to be the last; and of these he counted four. The first was, of course, that immediately following the Fall of Man, before the opening of the main story, after which there was to unfold the whole great drama of Redemption, each stage under the inspiration of one Person of the Trinity. The first was to be of the Father, the Laws of Moses and the People of Israel; the second of the Son, the New Testament and the Church; and now finally (and here, of course, the teachings of this clergyman went apart from the others of his communion), a third age, which he believed was about to commence, of the Holy Spirit, that was to be of saints in meditation, when the Church, become superfluous, would in time dissolve. It was thought by not a few in Joachim’s day that Saint Francis of Assisi might represent the opening of the coming age of direct, pentecostal spirituality. But as I look about today and observe what is happening to our churches in this time of perhaps the greatest access of mystically toned religious zeal our civilization has known since the close of the Middle Ages, I am inclined to think that the years foreseen by the good Father Joachim of Floris must have been our own. For there is no divinely ordained authority any more that we have to recognize. There is no anointed messenger of God’s law. In our world today all civil law is conventional. No divine authority is claimed for it: no Sinai; no Mount of Olives. Our laws are enacted and altered by human determination, and within their secular jurisdiction each of us is free to seek his own destiny, his own truth, to quest for this or for that and to find it through his own doing. The mythologies, religions, philosophies, and modes of thought that came into being six thousand years ago and out of which all the monumental cultures both of the Occident and of the Orient - of Europe, the Near and Middle East, the Far East, even early America - derived their truths and lives, are dissolving from around us, and we are left, each on his own to follow the star and spirit of his own life.
Joseph Campbell (Myths to Live By)
A skeptical secularism fails to provide a foundation for human rights and undermines the foundation that historically has existed. Secular republics need inspiration about the nature of the person and of liberty that they cannot find within themselves, and they depend on religious and moral traditions to provide it. Most ordinary citizens in a country like America understand that intuitively.
Francis George
Whoever lacks such experience, however, is often at a loss, being unaware that secular learning is of great help when it acts as a vehicle for the higher wisdom of the Sprit For the wisdom of the Spirit bestows inspired thoughts, while secular learning provides power of expression, so long as it is accompanied by moral judgment and by the humility that teaches us to fear both thoughtlessness and craftiness and to "judge with self-restraint', as St. Paul puts it (Rom. 12:3).
Saint Nikodimos (The Philokalia: The Complete Text)
A person gathers all their resources to compose a foursquare philosophy for surviving each day, an engagement driving at a union of seemly inapposite associations to spotlight an androgyny of inspiration for living better. Combating self-alienation, roving after dusk without a map, unsure of the topography that lies ahead, a sincere pathfinder tentatively picks their way by using penetrating low beams and flashing wide-angle high beams. Only by continuing on the bewildering path, can we find what we seek. The writer peers into the encasement of gloom seeking out a deferential of lightness and darkness in the midst of the incongruous elements that foreshadow a person’s peripatetic quest to steer a meaningful life. By displaying the coexistence and intersection of blackened sequential realism overlaid on a snowy field of internalized temporal legend, the narrator assiduously lumbers to shed a ban of moonlight on the battered pages of their brash secular existence.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
interchangeably. There are numerous biblical texts expressing Yahweh’s hatred and condemnation of all people who could be generically defined as witches: “diviners,” “pythons,” “conjurers,” “fortune-tellers.” We know that all Neolithic Goddess-worshiping peoples were identified by the Hebrew prophets and patriarchs as “evil,” “idolatrous,” and “unclean”—and Yahweh wanted them all dead. Christianity’s remarkably ugly record of religious intolerance begins in the Old Testament, where Yahweh’s people are directed, by him, to murder anyone practicing a rival religion. The five hundred years of European Inquisition and witch-burnings had their direct inspiration and sanctification from the Holy Bible, and there is no way to avoid this conclusion. The secular motives, and secular gains, of the witch-hunts, can be credited to the imperialism of the Roman Catholic church, to the equally power-hungry fanaticism of the Protestant Reformists—and to all the other European men who obtained advantage or sick thrills from the torture and destruction of the human body in general, and women’s bodies in particular. The Christian church used the Bible’s divine mandate for religious murder not only to survive the political turmoil of the Middle Ages, but to expand and secure one of the largest and most powerful secular institutions on earth: Western Christendom.
Monica Sjöö (The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth)
Secular self-assertion, perhaps inevitably, developed more slowly; it was one thing to act in ‘unfeminine’ ways if divinely inspired, not quite so easy to act unconventionally out of personal ambition.
Margaret Walters (Feminism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
There was a pond right next to the house I grew up in. One afternoon while playing by the pond, I accidentally fell in it. There was nobody around at that time as it was afternoon and everybody was sleeping, and I was yet to learn swimming. So, I prayed to all the gods and goddesses like all the adult kids did in that culture. But no god or deity came to my rescue. So, I struggled under the murky water and finally managed to survive by pulling myself to the bank. Perhaps that was the first sign I received from Nature about the true helplessness of life. While you are drowning, no god is going to come to your rescue, so learn to swim my friend, because it is only you, the living god on earth, who can save yourself and nobody else. The only god there is, is your will to live - so, be aware of that Himalayan will and make it as conscientious as possible, for then only, can your godliness have any impact upon your life as well as the lives of others.
Abhijit Naskar (Every Generation Needs Caretakers: The Gospel of Patriotism)
You can discover the sacred and the divine inside or outside a church or other spiritual organization. You may be inspired by spiritual pioneers to discover your own sacred elements in life and the world and thus shape your own religion.
Thomas Moore (A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World)
This new kind of religion asks that you move away from being a follower to being a creator. I foresee a new kind of spiritual creativity, in which we no longer decide whether to believe in a given creed and follow a certain tradition blindly. Now we allow ourselves a healthy and even pious skepticism. Most important, we no longer feel pressure to choose one tradition over another but rather are able to appreciate many routes to spiritual richness. This new religion is a blend of individual inspiration and inspired tradition.
Thomas Moore (A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World)
He (Thoreau) knows what every inspired person understands: You have to prepare yourself for your muse, and sometimes you have to clear a space in a busy and cluttered life.
Thomas Moore (A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World)
Do something so radical Do something so radical that the laws of nature are shaken, Do something so radical that your very existence becomes someone's dream, Do something so radical that it appears impossible to your brethren, Do something so radical that others either hate you or worship you to the extreme, Do something so radical that your breath becomes someone's mental essence, Do something so radical that the intellectuals keep silent in front of you, Do something so radical that the weak regains strength by your presence, Do something so radical that no one can ever repay with all the I O U, Do something so radical that no death can ever make you perish, Do something so radical that all the sons and prophets pay you heed, Do something so radical that your immortality makes history cherish, Do something so radical that the meekest of slaves starts to lead, Do something my friend that matters to humanity beyond the society's wildest imagination, Thus you get to be the solution and not the problem like the rest of the population.
Abhijit Naskar (Build Bridges not Walls: In the name of Americana)
During this time of preparation, I also began to realize on a deeper level just how much the struggle between Communism and the Church was a spiritual one. It was a contest for the hearts - and eternal souls - of the people. Those in religious vocations - and any true followers of Christ - were called to a life of sacrificial obedience and anonymous servanthood. The Communist Party, to its faithful, promised the opposite. Initially it flattered the intellect, appealing to idealists who put their faith in man. They saw man not as a fallen creature, saved by grace, but as inherently good. Man did not need a Saviour, a Redeemer; collectively he had all the necessary skills and mind and abilities to provide for his needs. And given the opportunity, he would care for his neighbor. The Brotherhood of Man did not need the Fatherhood of God. The secular society, through the institutions of the State, would do the work of the Church. At first glance, the Communist system did seem fairer than the old oppressive monarchies with their rigid class structure, or the weak and failed democracies of Christendom. From each according to his abilities, to each according to his need - what could be fairer than that? Christianity believed in that, too. The difference was that, where God inspired the Christian to voluntary acts of sefflessness and sacrifice - acts opposite of his nature - Communism dictated them. And who decided which one was needy? And which one should meet his needs? The Communist Party hierarchy. All power gravitated to them, and they were loathe to let any of it go. They used it to reward loyal underlings, and they used fear to control any who were suspected of being less than loyal. Power meant control, and they meant to control every aspect of life, beginning with how and what the children were taught. It might be too late to change the parents, but if they could have the children....
Svetozar Kraljevic (Pilgrimage)
Love is holiness.
Abhijit Naskar (Illusion of Religion: A Treatise on Religious Fundamentalism (Humanism Series))
The fundamentalists take pride in the exclusive supremacy of their own scriptures, the nationalists take pride in the exclusive greatness of their own national heritage, the so-called intellectuals take pride in the exclusive glory of their own field of work. And pride in one thing inadvertently brings along either subconscious or conscious condescension towards all other things belonging to other people.
Abhijit Naskar (Fabric of Humanity)
The reason is because the red statist is a secular nationalist: they don’t have a God, but they do believe in the State, the good vision of America as a shining city on a hill. It really doesn’t matter if this doesn’t exist — it’s the USA from their youth and from their movies. It’s Top Gun America, and they’ll keep paying to watch the inspiring remakes, not the depressing footage of what the US military actually did in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Syria.
Balaji S. Srinivasan (The Network State: How To Start a New Country)
On the other hand, if you spent those thirty years, or three thousand years, primarily studying mental phenomena, you might draw a different conclusion. The simple point here is that multiple theories, or multiple moments of awareness, may best be validated when they are brought into conjunction with moments of awareness or perspectives that are radically different. Whether our perspective is Christianity, Buddhism, the philosophy of Greek antiquity, or modern neurobiology, the way forward may be to overcome the illusions of knowledge by engaging deeply, respectfully, and humbly with people who share radically different visions. I think there’s a common assumption from a secular perspective that the religions of the world cancel themselves out in terms of any truth claims: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism say many different things on many fronts, so when you shuffle them all together, they all collapse into nothing. In that view, the only moment of cognition that seems to be left standing is science, with nothing to bounce off of because religions have canceled each other out. It’s also often believed that the contemplative traditions feel they already know the answers. You set out on your contemplative path and are guided to the right answer. If you deviate from that, your teacher brings you back and says, “Not that way. We already know the right answer. Keep on meditating until you get to the right answer.” That is completely incompatible with the spirit of scientific inquiry, which seeks information currently thought to be unknown, and is therefore open to something fresh. As I put these various problems together in my mind, a solution seems to rise up, which is a strong return to empiricism and clarity. What don’t we know and what do we know? It’s very hard to find that out when we only engage with people who have similar mentalities to our own. As Father Thomas suggested, Christianity needs to return to a spirit of empiricism, to the contemplative experience, rather than resting with all the “right” answers from doctrine. The same goes for Buddhism. In this regard I’m deeply inspired by the words of William James: “Let empiricism once become associated with religion, as hitherto, through some strange misunderstanding, it has been associated with irreligion, and I believe that a new era of religion as well as philosophy will be ready to begin . . . I fully believe that such an empiricism is a more natural ally than dialectics ever were, or can be, of the religious life.”99 We may then find there are indeed profound convergences among multiple contemplative traditions operating out of very different initial frameworks: the Bible, the sutras, the Vedas, and so forth. When we go to the deepest experiential level, there may be universal contemplative truths that the Christians, the Buddhists, and the Taoists have each found in their laboratories. If there is some convergence, these may be some of the most important truths that human beings can ever access.
Jon Kabat-Zinn (The Mind's Own Physician: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation)