Diversity

In nature there is a fundamental unity running through all the diversity we see about us. Religions are given to mankind so as to accelerate the process of realisation of fundamental unity.

The ecological principle of unity in diversity grades into a richly mediated social principle; hence my use of the term social ecology.

We call the intention good which is right in itself, but the action is good, not because it contains within it some good, but because it issues from a good intention. The same act may be done by the same man at different times. According to the diversity of his intention, however, this act may be at one time good, at another bad.

We call the intention good which is right in itself, but the action is good, not because it contains within it some good, but because it issues from a good intention. The same act may be done by the same man at different times. According to the diversity of his intention, however, this act may be at one time good, at another bad.

What we have to do... is to find a way to celebrate our diversity and debate our differences without fracturing our communities.

I believe natural selection represents a truly hideous sum total of misery. When you look at something like a bounding lion, a sprinting cheetah, and the antelopes they are bounding and sprinting after, you're seeing the end product of a long, vicious arms race. All along the route of that arms race lie the corpses of the antelopes that didn't make it, and the lions and cheetahs that starved to death. So it is a process of vicious misery that has given rise to the immense beauty, elegance, and diversity that we see in the world today. Nature is beautiful. Even a cheetah as a killing machine is beautiful. But the process that gave rise to it is, indeed, nature red in tooth and claw. If nature were kind, she would at least make the minor concession of anaesthetising caterpillars before they are eaten alive from within.

At an extreme, war has been used as a means to mobilize adaptive work. When Abraham Lincoln went to war with the South, he clearly had no authority, formal or informal, in the eyes of seceding Southerners. Indeed, in ten states he won no popular votes in 1860 because he was not even put on the ballot. He led across the newly formed boundary, challenging Southerners to solve rather than flee from the problems of reconciling differences within a union that their recent forebears had played dominant roles in producing.

The legends of fieldwork locate all important sites deep in inaccessible jungles inhabited by fierce beasts and restless natives, and surrounded by miasmas of putrefaction and swarms of tsetse flies. (Alternative models include the hundredth dune after the death of all camels, or the thousandth crevasse following the demise of all sled dogs.)

The world is full of signals that we don't perceive. Tiny creatures live in a different world of unfamiliar forces. Many animals of our scale greatly exceed our range of perception for sensations familiar to us… What an imperceptive lot we are. Surrounded by so much, so fascinating and so real, that we do not see (hear, smell, touch, taste) in nature, yet so gullible and so seduced by claims for novel power that we mistake the tricks of mediocre magicians for glimpses of a psychic world beyond our ken. The paranormal may be a fantasy; it is certainly a haven for charlatans. But parahuman powers of perception lie all about us in birds, bees, and bacteria.

Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

In name we had the Declaration of Independence in 1776; but we gave the lie by our acts to the words of the Declaration of Independence until 1865; and words count for nothing except in so far as they represent acts. This is true everywhere; but, O my friends, it should be truest of all in political life. A broken promise is bad enough in private life. It is worse in the field of politics. No man is worth his salt in public life who makes on the stump a pledge which he does not keep after election; and, if he makes such a pledge and does not keep it, hunt him out of public life. I care for the great deeds of the past chiefly as spurs to drive us onward in the present. I speak of the men of the past partly that they may be honored by our praise of them, but more that they may serve as examples for the future.

To attain peace among the nations in any dynamic or enduring form requires not simply political negotiation but a new mode of consciousness. The magnitude of this change is in the order of religious conversion or of spiritual rebirth rather than of treaty processes or even of inter-cultural understanding. Simply to recognize the basic nature and dimension of the issues we face is already an advance. But if a peaceful world is beyond politics it is also beyond religions as these presently exist. A change is needed in every phase of human life. This lies mainly in recognition that the micro phase, the particular or national traditions, must find their context and fulfillment in the macro phase, the global or panhuman phase of human existence. The future rests in the religious, political, economic and cultural capacity of humans to establish this larger context in which the particular traditions will find both support and fulfillment in a functional global community.

My faith is an act that I make, myself, naked before God. Just as there is no such thing as Christianity (or Islam or Buddhism) . . . behind which the Christian (the Muslim, the Buddhist) may shelter, which he may set between himself and the terror and splendor and living concern of God, so there is no generic Christian faith, no ‘Buddhist faith’, no ‘Hindu faith’, no ‘Jewish faith’. There is only my faith and yours, and that of my Shinto friend, or my particular Jewish neighbor.

If we don't get sustainability in agriculture first, sustainability will not happen.

Clear, unscaleable ahead, rise the mountains of instead from whose cold, cascading streams none may drink except in dreams

We shall fight for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.

Muslim women do not regard Islam as an obstacle to their progress; indeed, many may see it as a crucial component of that progress.

Grief is the price we pay for love.

When people become fused-when two become one-connection can no longer happen. There is no one to connect with. Thus separateness is a precondition for connection: this is the essential paradox of intimacy and sex.

The frontier of the higher life is everywhere contiguous to the common life, and we can cross the border at any moment. The higher life is as real as the grosser things in which we put our trust. But our eyes must be anointed so that we may see it.