Religion is more than a creed or a doctrine, more than faith or piety; it is an everlasting fact in the universe, something that exists outside knowledge and experience, an order of being, the holy dimension of existence. It does not emanate from the affections and moods, aspirations and visions of the soul. It is not a divine force in us, a mere possibility, left to the initiative of man, something that may or may not take place, but an actuality, the inner constitution of the universe, the system of divine values involved in every being and exposed to the activity of man, the ultimate in our reality. As an absolute implication of being, as an ontological entity, not as an adorning veneer for a psychical wish or for a material want, religion cannot be totally described in psychological or sociological terms.
Leaders inspire people with clear visions of how things can be done better." The best leader do not provide a step-by-step instruction manual for workers. The best leaders are those who come up with new idea, and articulate a vision that inspires others to act.
The problem of unmet expectations in marriage is primarily a problem of stereotyping. Each and every human being on this planet is a unique person. Since marriage is inevitably a relationship between two unique people, no one marriage is going to be exactly like any other. Yet we tend to wed with explicit visions of what a “good” marriage ought to be like. Then we suffer enormously from trying to force the relationship to fit the stereotype and from the neurotic guilt and anger we experience when we fail to pull it off.
For visions come not to polluted eyes.
I seek not a fellow feeling in my misery. No sympathy may I ever find. When I first sought it, it was the love of virtue, the feelings of happiness and affection with which my whole being overflowed, that I wished to be participated. But now that virtue has become to me a shadow, and that happiness and affection are turned into bitter and loathing despair, in what should I seek for sympathy? I am content to suffer alone while my sufferings shall endure; when I die, I am well satisfied that abhorrence and opprobrium should load my memory. Once my fancy was soothed with dreams of virtue, of fame, and of enjoyment. Once I falsely hoped to meet with beings who, pardoning my outward form, would love me for the excellent qualities which I was capable of unfolding. I was nourished with high thoughts of honour and devotion. But now crime has degraded me beneath the meanest animal. No guilt, no mischief, no malignity, no misery, can be found comparable to mine. When I run over the frightful catalogue of my sins, I cannot believe that I am the same creature whose thoughts were once filled with sublime and transcendent visions of the beauty and the majesty of goodness. But it is even so; the fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone.
It shall greatly help thee to understand scripture, if thou mark not only what is spoken or written, but of whom, and unto whom, with what words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstance, considering what goeth before, and what followeth after. For there be some things which are done and written, to the intent that we should do likewise: as when Abraham believeth God, is obedient unto his word, and defendeth Lot his kinsman from violent wrong. There be some things also which are written, to the intent that we should eschew such like. As when David lieth with Urias' wife, and causeth him to be slain. Therefore (I say) when thou readest scripture, be wise and circumspect: and when thou commest to such strange manners of speaking and dark sentences, to such parables and similitudes, to such dreams or visions as are hid from thy understanding, commit them unto God or to the gift of his holy spirit in them that are better learned than thou.
Anger (being hostile) is a quality which to some, is like a religion. How can we kill it? It can only be killed by a sharpened intellect (koorvaputhi). Anger is like an elephant, - heavy, burdensome, which obliterates everything on its path, and cannot be killed easily. A very sharp intellect is the only weapon with which you can kill it. In folklore, it is said that if you are able to kill it, you are likened to a 'dev muni' (a petty god in tamil folklore). To us, it means that one could realise the Truth (Haqq) which is Allah.
Further we have arrogance, which is the "I" in me, and everything else that is associated with the "I". It is also said in Tamil folklore, that so long as the pride and arrogance remains as the "I" in me, they will slaughter me. That "I" consciousness will unerringly drag my mind down to abysmal depths of degradation. Like a mote in your eye which affects your vision, it blocks the power of the mind.
Whilst the arrogance of the "I" infects the mind, and whilst the greed of "mine" envelops the mind, then you are under the fatal stranglehold. Then your eyes are dazzled by the visions portrayed, and you succumb to that stranglehold. So the constant intention and inward prayer should be - "Oh Allah, the Almighty Power, let the arrogance that is "I", and the greed that is called "mine" be cast asunder, that I shall see Thee in all thy Majesty". That is the priceless effulgent Thing.
That is why we always say, annihilate the "I", because that is the cause of your disease of misery, (thoonbam). Your pride, your arrogance, your greed, your lust, your attachments, all have the "I", your base ego being the generator. The idea of "I" and "mine" permeates your entire being and taints your every thought and action, your conduct and behaviour. Therefore, if and when you come to possess the knowledge to cross this abyss of the "I" and "mine" then that knowledge you must have before you can pursue your religion, whatever it may be.
The important achievement of Apollo was demonstrating that humanity is not forever chained to this planet and our visions go rather further than that and our opportunities are unlimited.
What has the future in store for this strange being, born of a breath, of perishable tissue, yet Immortal, with his powers fearful and Divine? What magic will be wrought by him in the end? What is to be his greatest deed, his crowning achievement?
Long ago he recognized that all perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or a tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the Akasha or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life-giving Prana or Creative Force, calling into existence, in never ending cycles, all things and phenomena. The primary substance, thrown into infinitesimal whirls of prodigious velocity, becomes gross matter; the force subsiding, the motion ceases and matter disappears, reverting to the primary substance.
Can man control this grandest, most awe-inspiring of all processes in nature? Can he harness her inexhaustible energies to perform all their functions at his bidding? more still cause them to operate simply by the force of his will?
If he could do this, he would have powers almost unlimited and supernatural. At his command, with but a slight effort on his part, old worlds would disappear and new ones of his planning would spring into being. He could fix, solidify and preserve the ethereal shapes of his imagining, the fleeting visions of his dreams. He could express all the creations of his mind on any scale, in forms concrete and imperishable. He could alter the size of this planet, control its seasons, guide it along any path he might choose through the depths of the Universe. He could cause planets to collide and produce his suns and stars, his heat and light. He could originate and develop life in all its infinite forms.
Ignorant devotees who have visions of lesser deities in meditation do not know that all those forms are merely temporary, meager manifestations of the essentially unmanifested Spirit. They concentrate on the finite forms of the Infinite God and thus, in their minds, limit Him... He who worships God merely as a finite form will not attain the transcendental divine union with His infinite nature.
Wade David sees languages the way a biologist sees species diversity: “Distinct cultures represent unique visions of life itself, morally inspired and inherently right. And those different voices become part of the overall repertoire of humanity for coping with challenges confronting us in the future. As we drift toward a blandly amorphous, generic world, as cultures disappear and life becomes more uniform, we as a people and a species, and Earth itself, will be deeply impoverished.”
Those who are persuaded that Anarchy is a collection of visions relating to the future, and an unconscious striving toward the destruction of all present civilization, are still very numerous; and to clear the ground of such prejudices of our education as maintain this view we should have, perhaps, to enter into many details which it would be difficult to embody in a single lecture. Did not the Parisian press, only two or three years ago, maintain that the whole philosophy of Anarchy consisted in destruction, and that its only argument was violence?
Becoming a force of nature doesn’t mean that all of our aspirations must be grand. First steps are often small, and initial visions that focus energy effectively often address immediate problems. What matters is engagement in the service of a larger purpose rather than lofty aspirations that paralyze action. Indeed, it’s a dangerous trap to believe that we can pursue only great visions. [Seeds Are Small.]
On the other hand, how different and much more faithful a reflection of limitless visions is the language of an outstanding modern scientist, Sir Edmund Whittaker, member of the Pontifical Academy of Science, when he speaks of the above-mentioned inquiries into the age of the world: "These different calculations point to the conclusion that there was a time, some nine or ten billion years ago, prior to which the cosmos, if it existed, existed in a form totally different from anything we know, and this form constitutes the very last limit of science. We refer to it perhaps not improperly as creation. It provides a unifying background, suggested by geological evidence, for that explanation of the world according to which every organism existing on the earth had a beginning in time. Were this conclusion to be confirmed by future research, it might well be considered as the most outstanding discovery of our times, since it represents a fundamental change in the scientific conception of the universe, similar to the one brought about four centuries ago by Copernicus."
As soon as Goals 2000 passed, it was attacked by extremists, who stirred up anxious parents with visions of totalitarian control over their children's minds and of secular humanists stealing their children's souls. What are these goals that promote such reactions: By 2000: All children in America will start school ready to learn. High school graduation rates will increase to at least 90%. All students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having demonstrated competency in challenging subject matter. US students will be first in the world in science & math. Every adult will be literate and will possess the skills necessary to compete in a global economy. Every school will be free of drugs & violence. Teachers will have access to continuing education. Every school will promote partnerships with parents. These goals are hardly the stuff of revolution and are not likely to be fully achieved by 2000. We cannot expect to reverse decades of declining standards in a few years.
Competing visions of the role of government and the rights of individuals exist all along the political spectrum. Most of us hold a point of view that exists somewhere between the extremes. We may grumble about taxes, but we generally support programs like veterans' benefits, Social Security, and Medicare, along with public education, environmental protection, and some sort of social safety net for the poor. We are wary of government interference with private initiative or personal belief and the excessive influence of special interests on the political system. We respect the unique power of government to meet certain social needs and acknowledge the need to limit its powers.
In my own country, many of the movies in recent years express our innate fears about what awaits us. They are apocalyptic visions that leave only a few people on earth—whole cities surviving under domes because we have depleted our natural resources. And often in these movies, for reasons that I question, we have space aliens who are always blowing up Washington, D.C., and the White House.
I think too that His Majesty goes about trying to prove who loves Him . . . O Lord of my soul, if only one had the words to explain what You give to those who trust in You.
Old myths, old gods, old heroes have never died. They are only sleeping at the bottom of our mind, waiting for our call. We have need for them. They represent the wisdom of our race.
There is no such thing as "natural law": this expression is nothing but old nonsense... Prior to laws, what is natural is only the strength of the lion, or the need of the creature suffering from hunger or cold; in short, need.