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Tom Allen

  • 2019-09-15 11:23 AM | Thomas
    I was sixteen years old when the first World War broke out, and I lived at that time in Hungary. From reading the newspapers in Hungary, it would have appeared that, whatever Austria and Germany did was right and whatever England, France, Russia, or America did was wrong. A good case could be made out for this general thesis, in almost every single instance. It would have been difficult for me to prove, in any single instance, that the newspapers were wrong, but somehow, it seemed to me unlikely that the two nations located in the center of Europe should be invariably right, and that all the other nations should be invariably wrong. History, I reasoned, would hardly operate in such a peculiar fashion, and it didn't take long until I began to hold views which were diametrically opposed to those held by the majority of my schoolmates. ... Even in times of war, you can see current events in their historical perspective, provided that your passion for the truth prevails over your bias in favor of your own nation.

      ----Leo Szilard, physicist (1898-1964)

    (134:6.9) World peace cannot be maintained by treaties, diplomacy, foreign policies, alliances, balances of power, or any other type of makeshift juggling with the sovereignties of nationalism. World law must come into being and must be enforced by world government—the sovereignty of all mankind.

    (195:8.10) Without God, without religion, scientific secularism can never co-ordinate its forces, harmonize its divergent and rivalrous interests, races, and nationalisms. This secularistic human society, notwithstanding its unparalleled materialistic achievement, is slowly disintegrating. The chief cohesive force resisting this disintegration of antagonism is nationalism. And nationalism is the chief barrier to world peace.


         Leo Szilard was a Hungarian-German-American physicist and inventor. He conceived the nuclear chain reaction in 1933, patented the idea of a non-fission nuclear reactor in 1934, and in late 1939 wrote the letter for Albert Einstein's signature that resulted in the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb.
         Szilard initially attended Palatine Joseph Technical University in Budapest, but his engineering studies were interrupted by service in the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I. He left Hungary for Germany in 1919, enrolling at Technische Hochschule (Institute of Technology) in Berlin-Charlottenburg, but became bored with engineering and transferred to Friedrich Wilhelm University, where he studied physics. He wrote his doctoral thesis on Maxwell's demon, a long-standing puzzle in the philosophy of thermal and statistical physics. Szilard was the first to recognize the connection between thermodynamics and information theory.
         In addition to the nuclear reactor, Szilard submitted patent applications for a linear accelerator in 1928, and a cyclotron in 1929. He also conceived the idea of an electron microscope. Between 1926 and 1930, he worked with Einstein on the development of the Einstein refrigerator. After Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933, Szilard urged his family and friends to flee Europe while they still could. He moved to England, where he helped found the Academic Assistance Council, an organization dedicated to helping refugee scholars find new jobs. While in England he discovered a means of isotope separation known as the Szilard–Chalmers effect.
         Foreseeing another war in Europe, Szilard moved to the United States in 1938, where he worked with Enrico Fermi and Walter Zinn on means of creating a nuclear chain reaction. He was present when this was achieved within the Chicago Pile-1 on December 2, 1942. He worked for the Manhattan Project's Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago on aspects of nuclear reactor design. He drafted the Szilard petition advocating a demonstration of the atomic bomb, but the Interim Committee chose to use them against cities without warning.
         After the war, Szilard switched to biology. He invented the chemostat, discovered feedback inhibition, and was involved in the first cloning of a human cell. He publicly sounded the alarm against the possible development of salted thermonuclear bombs, a new kind of nuclear weapon that might annihilate mankind. Diagnosed with bladder cancer in 1960, he underwent a cobalt-60 treatment that he had designed. He helped found the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where he became a resident fellow. Szilard founded Council for a Livable World in 1962 to deliver "the sweet voice of reason" about nuclear weapons to Congress, the White House, and the American public. He died in his sleep of a heart attack in 1964. According to György Marx he was one of The Martians.
  • 2019-09-10 11:31 AM | Thomas
    A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against its government.

      --Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

    (71:3.3,5)The ideal state functions under the impulse of three mighty and co-ordinated drives:
        2. Intelligent patriotism based on wise ideals.

    (81:6.35) No national civilization long endures unless its educational methods and religious ideals inspire a high type of intelligent patriotism and national devotion. Without this sort of intelligent patriotism and cultural solidarity, all nations tend to disintegrate as a result of provincial jealousies and local self-interests.

         Edward Paul Abbey was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views. His best-known works include the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, which has been cited as an inspiration by environmental and eco-terrorist groups, and the non-fiction work Desert Solitaire.


  • 2019-08-28 10:04 AM | Thomas

    I count him braver who overcomes his desires, than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is the victory over self.
      --Aristotle (384–322 BC)

    (131:6.2) Self is man's invincible foe, and self is manifested as man's four greatest passions: anger, pride, deceit, and greed. Man's greatest victory is the conquest of himself.

    (143:2.3) Verily, verily, I say to you, he who rules his own self is greater than he who captures a city. Self-mastery is the measure of man's moral nature and the indicator of his spiritual development. In the old order you fasted and prayed; as the new creature of the rebirth of the spirit, you are taught to believe and rejoice. In the Father's kingdom you are to become new creatures; old things are to pass away; behold I show you how all things are to become new. And by your love for one another you are to convince the world that you have passed from bondage to liberty, from death into life everlasting.


    Aristotle was a Greek philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, the founder of the Lyceum and the Peripatetic school of philosophy and Aristotelian tradition. Along with his teacher Plato, he has been called the "Father of Western Philosophy". His writings cover many subjects – including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics and government. Aristotle provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him, and it was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry. As a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on almost every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion.
    Little is known about his life. Aristotle was born in the city of Stagira in Northern Greece. His father, Nicomachus, died when Aristotle was a child, and he was brought up by a guardian. At seventeen or eighteen years of age, he joined Plato's Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven (c. 347 BC). Shortly after Plato died, Aristotle left Athens and, at the request of Philip II of Macedon, tutored Alexander the Great beginning in 343 BC. He established a library in the Lyceum which helped him to produce many of his hundreds of books on papyrus scrolls. Though Aristotle wrote many elegant treatises and dialogues for publication, only around a third of his original output has survived, none of it intended for publication.
    Aristotle's views on physical science profoundly shaped medieval scholarship. Their influence extended from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages into the Renaissance, and were not replaced systematically until the Enlightenment and theories such as classical mechanics. Some of Aristotle's zoological observations found in his biology, such as on the hectocotyl (reproductive) arm of the octopus, were disbelieved until the 19th century. His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, studied by medieval scholars such as Peter Abelard and John Buridan. Aristotle's influence on logic also continued well into the 19th century.
    He influenced Islamic thought during the Middle Ages, as well as Christian theology, especially the Neoplatonism of the Early Church and the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. Aristotle was revered among medieval Muslim scholars as "The First Teacher" and among medieval Christians like Thomas Aquinas as simply "The Philosopher". His ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent of virtue ethics, such as in the thinking of Alasdair MacIntyre and Philippa Foot.

  • 2019-08-25 4:02 PM | Thomas

    Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
      --Confucius  (551-479 B.C.)

    (48:6.35) From them you will learn to let pressure develop stability and certainty; to be faithful and earnest and, withal, cheerful; to accept challenges without complaint and to face difficulties and uncertainties without fear. They will ask: If you fail, will you rise indomitably to try anew? If you succeed, will you maintain a well-balanced poise—a stabilized and spiritualized attitude—throughout every effort in the long struggle to break the fetters of material inertia, to attain the freedom of spirit existence?

         Confucius was a Chinese philosopher and politician of the Spring and Autumn period.
         The philosophy of Confucius, also known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin dynasty. Following the victory of Han over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction and were further developed into a system known in the West as Neo-Confucianism, and later New Confucianism (Modern Neo-Confucianism).
         Confucius is traditionally credited with having authored or edited many of the Chinese classic texts including all of the Five Classics, but modern scholars are cautious of attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself. Aphorisms concerning his teachings were compiled in the Analects, but only many years after his death.
         Confucius's principles have commonality with Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor veneration, and respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself", the Golden Rule. He is also a traditional deity in Daoism.
         Confucius is widely considered as one of the most important and influential individuals in shaping human history. His teaching and philosophy greatly impacted people around the world and remains influential today.

  • 2019-08-18 12:39 PM | Thomas

    Everyone has a belief system, B.S., the trick is to learn not to take anyone's B.S. too seriously, especially your own.
      --Robert Anton Wilson, novelist (1932-2007)

    (115:1.1) Partial, incomplete, and evolving intellects would be helpless in the master universe, would be unable to form the first rational thought pattern, were it not for the innate ability of all mind, high or low, to form a universe frame in which to think. If mind cannot fathom conclusions, if it cannot penetrate to true origins, then will such mind unfailingly postulate conclusions and invent origins that it may have a means of logical thought within the frame of these mind-created postulates. And while such universe frames for creature thought are indispensable to rational intellectual operations, they are, without exception, erroneous to a greater or lesser degree.

         Robert Anton Wilson was an American author, novelist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, and self-described agnostic mystic. Recognized by Discordianism as an Episkopos, Pope, and saint, Wilson helped publicize the group through his writings and interviews.
         Wilson described his work as an "attempt to break down conditioned associations, to look at the world in a new way, with many models recognized as models or maps, and no one model elevated to the truth". His goal being "to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone but agnosticism about everything."
  • 2019-08-15 11:40 AM | Thomas

    In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
      --Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, musician, Nobel laureate (1875-1965)

    (94:6.6) And of the true religionist he [LaoTsu] said, in expressing the truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive: "The good man seeks not to retain truth for himself but rather attempts to bestow these riches upon his fellows, for that is the realization of truth.

    (100:7.10) The Master was always generous. He never grew weary of saying, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Said he, "Freely you have received, freely give."

    (130:6.0)  "The Young Man Who Was Afraid"

    (163:1.4) Freely you have received of the good things of the kingdom; freely give.

    (146:2.11) When you pray for the sick and afflicted, do not expect that your petitions will take the place of loving and intelligent ministry to the necessities of these afflicted ones. Pray for the welfare of your families, friends, and fellows, but especially pray for those who curse you, and make loving petitions for those who persecute you.

    Albert Schweitzer was an Alsatian polymath. He was a theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician. A Lutheran, Schweitzer challenged both the secular view of Jesus as depicted by the historical-critical method current at this time, as well as the traditional Christian view. His contributions to the interpretation of Pauline Christianity concern the role of Paul's mysticism of "being in Christ" as primary and the doctrine of Justification by Faith as secondary.
    He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of "Reverence for Life", becoming the eighth Frenchman to be awarded that prize. His philosophy was expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, in the part of French Equatorial Africa which is now Gabon. As a music scholar and organist, he studied the music of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and influenced the Organ Reform Movement (Orgelbewegung).

  • 2019-08-12 3:37 PM | Thomas
    Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.


      --Carl Sandburg, (1878-1967)

    (28:6.9) The Import of Time. Time is the one universal endowment of all will creatures; it is the "one talent" intrusted to all intelligent beings. You all have time in which to insure your survival; and time is fatally squandered only when it is buried in neglect, when you fail so to utilize it as to make certain the survival of your soul. Failure to improve one's time to the fullest extent possible does not impose fatal penalties; it merely retards the pilgrim of time in his journey of ascent. If survival is gained, all other losses can be retrieved.

         Carl August Sandburg was an American poet, biographer, journalist, and editor. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. During his lifetime, Sandburg was widely regarded as "a major figure in contemporary literature", especially for volumes of his collected verse, including Chicago Poems (1916), Cornhuskers (1918), and Smoke and Steel (1920). He enjoyed "unrivaled appeal as a poet in his day, perhaps because the breadth of his experiences connected him with so many strands of American life", and at his death in 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson observed that "Carl Sandburg was more than the voice of America, more than the poet of its strength and genius. He was America."

  • 2019-08-08 12:13 PM | Thomas
    In religion, faith is a virtue. In science, faith is a vice.

      --Jerry Coyne, biology professor (b. 1949)

    (101:2.7) Science ends its reason-search in the hypothesis of a First Cause. Religion does not stop in its flight of faith until it is sure of a God of salvation.

    (101:2.8) Reason is the proof of science, faith the proof of religion, logic the proof of philosophy, but revelation is validated only by human experience.

    (102:1.2) The reason of science is based on the observable facts of time; the faith of religion argues from the spirit program of eternity.

    (103:7.1) Science is sustained by reason, religion by faith.

         Jerry Allen Coyne is an American biologist known for his work on speciation and his commentary on intelligent design. A prolific scientist and author, he has published numerous papers elucidating the theory of evolution. He is currently a professor emeritus at the University of Chicago in the Department of Ecology and Evolution. His concentration is speciation and ecological and evolutionary genetics, particularly as they involve the fruit fly, Drosophila.
         He is the author of the text Speciation and the bestselling non-fiction book Why Evolution Is True. Coyne maintains a website and writes for his blog, also called Why Evolution Is True. He is a hard determinist.
         Coyne gained attention outside of the scientific community when he publicly criticized religion and is often cited with atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. He is the author of the book Faith vs Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible. Coyne officially retired in 2015.

  • 2019-08-05 7:38 PM | Thomas
    If there is a God, I don't think He would demand that anyone bow down or stand up to him.

      --Rebecca West, author and journalist (1892-1983)

    (137:6.5)  You are now my friends; I trust you and I love you; you are soon to become my personal associates. Be patient, be gentle. Be ever obedient to the Father's will. Make yourselves ready for the call of the kingdom.

    (159:3.9) In preaching the gospel of the kingdom, you are simply teaching friendship with God.

    (180:1.6) The idea of duty signifies that you are servant-minded and hence are missing the mighty thrill of doing your service as a friend and for a friend. The impulse of friendship transcends all convictions of duty, and the service of a friend for a friend can never be called a sacrifice. The Master has taught the apostles that they are the sons of God. He has called them brethren, and now, before he leaves, he calls them his friends.


        Dame Cicily Isabel Fairfield known as Rebecca West, or Dame Rebecca West, was a British author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer. An author who wrote in many genres, West reviewed books for The Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the Sunday Telegraph, and The New Republic, and she was a correspondent for The Bookman. Her major works include Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), on the history and culture of Yugoslavia; A Train of Powder (1955), her coverage of the Nuremberg trials, published originally in The New Yorker; The Meaning of Treason (1949), later The New Meaning of Treason (1964), a study of the trial of the British fascist William Joyce and others; The Return of the Soldier (1918), a modernist World War I novel; and the "Aubrey trilogy" of autobiographical novels, The Fountain Overflows (1956), This Real Night (published posthumously in 1984), and Cousin Rosamund (1985). Time called her "indisputably the world's number one woman writer" in 1947. She was made CBE in 1949, and DBE in 1959, in each case, the citation reads: "writer and literary critic". She took the pseudonym "Rebecca West" from the rebellious young heroine in Rosmersholm by Henrik Ibsen. She was a recipient of the Benson Medal.
  • 2019-08-01 4:39 PM | Thomas

    Listen to God in silence when we have spoken to Him, for he speaks in His turn during prayer.
      --Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751)

    (91:3.7) Enlightened prayer must recognize not only an external and personal God but also an internal and impersonal Divinity, the indwelling Adjuster. It is altogether fitting that man, when he prays, should strive to grasp the concept of the Universal Father on Paradise; but the more effective technique for most practical purposes will be to revert to the concept of a near-by alter ego, just as the primitive mind was wont to do, and then to recognize that the idea of this alter ego has evolved from a mere fiction to the truth of God's indwelling mortal man in the factual presence of the Adjuster so that man can talk face to face, as it were, with a real and genuine and divine alter ego that indwells him and is the very presence and essence of the living God, the Universal Father.

    (146:2.17) 16. Jesus taught his followers that, when they had made their prayers to the Father, they should remain for a time in silent receptivity to afford the indwelling spirit the better opportunity to speak to the listening soul. The spirit of the Father speaks best to man when the human mind is in an attitude of true worship.


       Jean Pierre de Caussade was a French Jesuit priest and writer. He is especially known for the work ascribed to him, Abandonment to Divine Providence, and also his work with the Nuns of the Visitation in Nancy, France.
       Jean Pierre de Caussade Caussade was born in Cahors, now in Lot, France. He was spiritual director to the Nuns of the Visitation in Nancy, France, from 1733 to 1740. During this time and after he left Nancy, he wrote letters of instruction to the nuns. Some material ascribed to him was first published in 1861 by Henri Ramière under the title " L’Abandon à la providence divine".
       However, according to research on The Treatise on Abandonment to Divine Providence, discussed in a paper by Dominique Salin SJ, emeritus professor at the Faculty of Theology at the Centre Sèvres, published in The Way, 46/2 (Apr 2007), pp. 21–36, "it now seems almost impossible that the author was in fact the Jesuit Jean-Pierre de Caussade" as "[n]othing in de Caussade's biography would suggest that this man was the author of a famous treatise" and the style of letters of spiritual direction that can genuinely be attributed to de Caussade "is far removed from the lyricism" marking it.
       Whoever the author was, he or she believed that the present moment is a sacrament from God and that self-abandonment to it and its needs is a holy state – a belief which, in the theological climate of France at the time, was considered close to Quietist heresy. In fact, because of this fear (especially with the Church's condemnation of the Quietist movement), the work was kept unpublished until 1861, and even then they were edited by Ramière to protect them from charges of Quietism. A more authoritative version of these notes was published only in 1966. In his writings, the author is aware of the Quietists and rejects their perspective. Abandonment to Divine Providence has now been read widely for many year and is considered a classic in the spiritual life by Catholics and many others. Caussade spent years as preacher in southern and central France, as a college rector (at Perpignan and at Albi), and as the director of theological students at the Jesuit house in Toulouse, which is where he died.

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