The truly important things in life - love, beauty, and one's own uniqueness - are constantly being overlooked.
The great spiritual and political viewpoint of the West is that we are all equal and are all capable of developing into the same end product. Anybody who bothers to examine the facts can easily see we are not all equal. What we really are is not so much equal as unique. None of us is the same as anybody else. In this uniqueness is a profound Spiritual Realization: Life is infinitely creative and requires uniqueness for creativity.
Each person is a one time phenomenon, an occurrence that has never been before and will never be again. You have a unique blend of character traits and personality. You are unique in your particular family constellation, born in a specific time of history and in a specific environment. This uniqueness gives you great importance. Only you can accomplish your unique life tasks.
When children know uniqueness is respected, they are more likely to put theirs to use.
The uniqueness of the inner soul, in its own authenticity – this is the highest expression of the seed of divine light, the light planted for the righteous, from which will bud and blossom the fruit of the tree of life.
Supported by the authority of all institutions, parenthood has come to amount to little more than a campaign against individuality. Every father and every mother trembles lest an offspring, in act or thought, should be different from his fellows; and the smallest display of uniqueness in a child becomes the signal for the application of drastic measures aimed at stamping out that small fire of noncompliance by which personal distinctness is expressed. In an atmosphere of anxiety, in a climate of apprehension, the parental conspiracy against children is planned.
The Paleolithic hunters who painted the unsurpassed animal murals on the ceiling of the cave at Altamira had only rudimentary tools. Art is older than production for use, and play older than work. Man was shaped less by what he had to do than by what he did in playful moments. It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities.
The perception of one’s fellow man as a whole, as a unity, as a unique – even if his wholeness, unity, and uniqueness are only partly developed, as is usually the case – is opposed in our time by almost everything that is commonly understood as specifically modern. In our time there predominates an analytical, reductive, and deriving look between man and man. This look is analytical, or rather pseudo-analytical, since it treats the whole being as put together and therefore able to be taken apart… An effort is being made today radically to destroy the mystery between man and man. The personal life, the ever-near mystery, once the source of the stillest enthusiasms, is leveled down.
The yen to become wanderers among the stars involves more than the need to satisfy a cosmic curiosity. Basically, it flows out of an instinctive need to evolve. We belong to an unfinished species. We have limitless capacities for growth; indeed, our uniqueness lies in our ability to steer our own evolution. The destination becomes visible through an enlarged perspective. The greatest adventure within the reach of a sentient species is seeing itself in an expanding relationship.
It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities and talents.
When I say that evil has to do with killing, I do not mean to restrict myself to corporeal murder. Evil is that which kills spirit. There are various essential attributes of life -- particularly human life -- such as sentience, mobility, awareness, growth, autonomy, will. It is possible to kill or attempt to kill one of these attributes without actually destroying the body. Thus we may "break" a horse or even a child without harming a hair on its head. Erich Fromm was acutely sensitive to this fact when he broadened the definition of necrophilia to include the desire of certain people to control others-to make them controllable, to foster their dependency, to discourage their capacity to think for themselves, to diminish their unpredectibility and originalty, to keep them in line. Distinguishing it from a "biophilic" person, one who appreciates and fosters the variety of life forms and the uniqueness of the individual, he demonstrated a "necrophilic character type," whose aim it is to avoid the inconvenience of life by transforming others into obedient automatons, robbing them of their humanity. Evil then, for the moment, is the force, residing either inside or outside of human beings, that seeks to kill life or liveliness. And goodness is its opposite. Goodness is that which promotes life and liveliness.
Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren't any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn't be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life's challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.
Traditional explanations for stasis and abrupt appearance had paid an awful price in sacrificing the possibility of empirics for the satisfaction of harmony. Eventually we (primarily Niles) recognized that the standard theory of speciation—Ernst Mayr's allopatric or peripatric scheme—would not, in fact, yield insensibly graded fossil sequences when extrapolated into geological time, but would produce just what we see: geologically unresolvable appearance followed by stasis. For if species almost always arise in small populations isolated at the periphery of parental ranges, and in a period of time slow by the scale of our lives but effectively instantaneous in the geological world of millions, then the workings of speciation should be recorded in the fossil record as stasis and abrupt appearance. The literal record was not a hopelessly and imperfect fraction of truly insensible gradation within large populations but an accurate reflection of the actual process identified by evolutionists as the chief motor of biological change. The theory of punctuated equilibrium was, in its initial formulation, little more than this insight adumbrated.
We live now in the “Age of Bacteria.” Our planet has always been in the “Age of Bacteria,” ever since the first fossils—bacteria, of course—were entombed in rocks more than 3 billion years ago. On any possible, reasonable or fair criterion, bacteria are—and always have been—the dominant forms of life on Earth. Our failure to grasp this most evident of biological facts arises in part from the blindness of our arrogance but also, in large measure, as an effect of scale. We are so accustomed to viewing phenomena of our scale…as typical of nature
The things of the world are ever rising and falling, and in perpetual change; and this change must be according to the will of God, as He has bestowed upon man neither the wisdom nor the power to enable him to check it. The great lesson in these things is, that man must strengthen himself doubly at such times to fulfill his duty and to do what is right, and must seek his happiness and inward peace from objects which cannot be taken away from him.
In its broadest term, religion says that there is an unseen order, and that our supreme good lies in rightful relations to it.
Reason is alone. And in this sense knowledge never encounters anything truly other in the world. This is the profound truth of idealism. It betokens a radical difference between spatial exteriority and the exteriority of instants in relation to one another.
"Excellence," besought Kai Lung, not without misgivings, "how many warriors, each having some actual existence, are there in your never-failing band?" "For all purposes save those of attack and defence there are fifteen score of the best and bravest, as their pay-sheets well attest," was the confident response. "In a strictly literal sense, however, there are no more than can be seen on a mist-enshrouded day with a resolutely closed eye."