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Firewood becomes ash, and it does not become firewood again. Yet, do not suppose that the ash is future and the firewood past. You should understand that firewood is firewood, which fully includes past and future. Ash is ash, which fully includes future and past. Just as firewood does not become firewood again after it is ash, you do not return to birth after death.

-Dogen, "Actualizing the Fundamental Point"
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There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks at Him and bad when it turns away from Him. And the higher and mightier it is in the natural order, the more demonic it will be if it rebels. It's not out of bad mice or bad fleas you make demons, but out of bad archangels.

The Great Divorce
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To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken...(but) the only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of and perturbations of love is Hell.

The Four Loves
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All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc.) is, of course, a merely symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible...People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, he meant that we were to lay eggs.

Mere Christianity
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If we neglect our [demonic] duty, men will be not only contented but transported by the mixed novelty and familiarity of snowdrops this January, sunrises this morning, plum pudding this Christmas. ... Only by our incessant efforts is the demand for infinite, or unrhythmical, change kept up.

The Screwtape Letters
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Hence, nearly all vices are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.

The Screwtape Letters
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But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you've taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.

The Case For Christianity
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Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things- trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one...I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there is no Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia.

Puddleglum the Marshwiggle, from The Silver Chair
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"'Father,' said I. 'You are right. It is fit that one should die for the people.'"

Till We Have Faces
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As Close as Breathing
By Mark Jarman

Called or not called, God is present.
Delphic oracle

The flicker doesn't know his call's not needed,
But he's not calling God. He lifts his beak
To show his black bib, as the females chuckle
Off in the oaks somewhere. They hear him all right.
The metal gutters make a fine percussion.

If God is present, why then aren't we talking?

The sugar water feeder stews in the sunshine.
The mud daubers fall asleep there, suckling.
The hummingbirds blur past. Last summer
One came with a ruby wart on her neck,
An imperfection that was almost perfect.

Does God assume our silence is a call?

If I write down the day I see the first swift
(Never the same day but always April),
It's not a prayer, though it may count as one.
They like grade schools where one cold chimney stands,
An obelisk in a cloud of darting hieroglyphs.

Words too can be as close to us as breathing.

A spider's dragline, glinting like a thought,
Trolls through the depths of shade and morning light.
The hemlock limbs bob as if at anchor.
And a pair of downy woodpeckers swoops up
To the seed bell at my study window. Everything answers.

Everything says back, "I am present, too."
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"There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours."

The Weight of Glory
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So I went over much grass and many flowers and among all kinds of wholesome and delectable trees till lo! in a narrow place between two rocks there came to meet me a great Lion. The speed of him was like the ostrich, and his size was an elephant's; his hair was like pure gold and the brightness of his eyes, like gold that is liquid in the furnace. He was more terrible than the Flaming Mountain of Lagour, and in beauty he surpassed all that is in the world, even as the rose in bloom surpasses the dust of the desert. Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of Thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou has done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reason of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites. I take to me the services which thou hast done to him, for I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if a man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted."
The Last Battle, by C. S. Lewis

when i was in catholic school, that quote got me in so much trouble... heh.

cs lewis

Dec. 20th, 2002 09:33 pm
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"There!" said several voices. "It isn't an animal at all. It's not alive."
"I tell you, it is an animal," said the Bulldog. "Smell it for yourself."
"Smelling isn't everything," said the Elephant.
"Why," said the Bulldog, "if a fellow can't trust his nose, what is he to trust?"
"Well, his brains perhaps," she replied mildly.

C. S. Lewis in The Magician's Nephew

"Then it was you who wounded Aravis?"
"It was I."
"But what for?"
"Child, I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no-one any story but his own."

in The Horse and his Boy, by C. S. Lewis.


Nov. 25th, 2002 01:01 pm
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A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.
-- Dutch Proverb

It is in his pleasure that a man really lives; it is from his leisure
that he constructs the true fabric of self.
-- Agnes Repplier

Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than
you need.
-- Kahlil Gibran

To believe in God or in a guiding force because someone tells you to is
the height of stupidity. We are given senses to receive our information
within. With our own eyes we see, and with our own skin we feel. With
our intelligence, it is intended that we understand. But each person
must puzzle it out for himself or herself.
-- Sophy Burnham


Oct. 30th, 2002 08:31 pm
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I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that
He didn't trust me so much.
-- Mother Teresa

Self-development is a higher duty than self-sacrifice.
-- Elizabeth Cady Stanton

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which
you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself,
'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes
along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate
prejudices - just recognize them.
-- Edward R. Murrow, television broadcast, December 31, 1955


Oct. 24th, 2002 02:15 pm
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There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You
will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or
even your bathtub.
-- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which
ones to keep.
-- Scott Adams, 'The Dilbert Principle'

America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.
-- John Updike, Problems and Other Stories

Maps encourage boldness. They're like cryptic love letters. They make
anything seem possible.
-- Mark Jenkins, "To Timbuktu"

the bicycle

Oct. 3rd, 2002 01:04 pm
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The Zen master met with three students who rode bicycles to the Zendo.

He asked the first student, "Why do you ride your bicycle?"

The student replied, "Master, I ride my bicycle to save energy and use less gasoline."

"Very commendable, young Student, very thrifty."

The Master turned to the second student and asked, "Why do you ride your bicycle?"

The student replied, "Master, I ride my bicycle for the fresh air and exercise."

"You are blessed," replied the Master, " you will live a long and healthy life."

Finally, the Master turned to the third student and asked, "Why do you ride your bicycle?"

The third student replied, "Master, I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle."

The Zen master knelt and said, "I am your student."
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TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You have underestimated how
much happiness you are capable of attracting into your life.
Believe it or not, this artificially low expectation has cheated you out of your fair share of joy, pleasure, fulfillment, and a sense of meaning. Your assignment for the next four weeks is to jack up your levels of happiness by at least 20 percent. Work hard at this task, Taurus -- at least as hard as you do at your job. (The greater your effort, the more cosmic assistance you'll receive.) To get started, divest yourself of a mediocre thrill that distracts you from an intelligence-building excitement.


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