The Zoo Fence

Here's A Thought!

Year 2001Archive

Can I go home, please!
The Way Home

Here we archive “Here’s A Thought” items from the year 2001.
To return to the current year, click here.
Addional years’ archives are also accessible from the same page.

December 30, 2001

It is all the same to me where I begin, for I shall come back there again.

Parmenides of Elea
quoted in “Philosophical Questions

December 23, 2001

We praise Thee, O God.

Te Deum Laudamus

December 16, 2001

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies,
for the hardest victory is over self.


December 8, 2001

The power to heal is in you, and nonetheless there is a tendency in our culture to project onto other people, and to want them to heal us.

Andrew Weil
quoted in “Up Words for Down Days

December 2, 2001

Let me admonish you, first of all, to go alone; to refuse the good models, even those which are sacred in the imagination of men, and dare to love God without mediator or veil.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Divinity School Address
quoted in “Christ, Yes; Religion, No

November 25, 2001

Work like you don’t need the money.
Love like you’ve never been hurt.
Dance like there’s nobody watching.
Sing like there is nobody listening.
And live like it’s Heaven on earth!

Bono of U2

November 18, 2001

If mankind minus one were of one opinion, then mankind is no more justified in silencing the one than the one — if he had the power — would be justified in silencing mankind.

John Stuart Mill

November 11, 2001

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us, and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

November 4, 2001

O Lord, if there is a Lord,
save my soul, if I have a soul.

Ernest Renan
Priere d’un Sceptique
(A Skeptic’s Prayer)

October 28, 2001

Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral?
It is because we are not the person involved.

Mark Twain
in Pudd’nhead Wilson

October 21, 2001

To have doubted one’s own first principles is the mark of a civilized man.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

October 14, 2001

Hate is not overcome by hate; by Love alone is hate appeased.
This is an eternal law.

The Dhammapada
verse 5

October 7, 2001

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate’er you may believe.
There is an inmost centre in us all,
Where truth abides in fulness; and around,
Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in,
This perfect, clear perception — which is truth.
A baffling and perverting carnal mesh
Binds it, and makes all error: and to KNOW
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,
Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without.

Robert Browning
Paracelsus, i

September 30, 2001

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments;
there are consequences.

Robert Green Ingersoll
Quoted by A.Word.A.Day

September 23, 2001

Zen teaches us to do good,
even when we are alone.

Thich Thien-an
author of Zen Philosophy, Zen Practice
quoted in Zen Wisdom

September 16, 2001

There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed.

XVIII, 251

September 9, 2001

We’re all in this together.

Bo Lozoff

September 2, 2001

The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent upon it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.

Galileo Galilei

August 26, 2001

Human life will never be understood unless its highest aspirations are taken into account. Growth, self-actualization, the striving toward health, the quest for identity and autonomy, the yearning for excellence (and other ways of phrasing the striving “upward”) must by now be accepted beyond question as a widespread and perhaps universal human tendency.

And yet there are also other regressive, fearful, self-diminishing tendencies as well, and it is very easy to forget them in our intoxication with “personal growth,” especially for inexperienced youngsters. …. We must appreciate that many people choose the worse rather than the better, that growth is often a painful process….

Abraham Maslow
Motivation & Personality
seen here

August 19, 2001

Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.

Mary Baker Eddy

August 11, 2001

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe’, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and our feelings, as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Abert Einstein
in Road Runner cable modem manual

August 4, 2001

You are the light of the world.

Matthew 5:14

July 29, 2001

God enters by a private door into every individual.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
in A Poet Prays
by Violet Alleyn Storey

July 22, 2001

Truth does not become error just because nobody believes it.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

July 15, 2001

Nothing worse could happen to one than to be completely understood.

Carl Gustav Jung
Quoted by A.Word.A.Day

July 8, 2001

So, even if you happen to be offering your gift at the altar, and recall that your friend has some claim against you, leave your gift there at the altar. First go and be reconciled with your friend, and only then return and offer your gift.

Matthew 5:23-24 SV

July 1, 2001

It is all the same to me where I begin, for I shall come back there again.

in Philosophical Questions

June 24, 2001

In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence, the second listening, the third remembering, the fourth practicing, the fifth – teaching others.

Solomon Ibn Gabirol

June 17, 2001

Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us
O'er the world's tempestuous sea;
Guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us,
For we have no help but Thee;
Yet possessing every blessing
If our God our Father be.

James Edmeston

June 10, 2001

We should measure affection, not like youngsters by the ardor of its passion, but by its strength and constancy.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

June 3, 2001

The plain truth is this: love is not a matter of getting what you want. Quite the contrary. The insistence on always having what you want, on always being satisfied, on always being fulfilled, makes love impossible. … Love is not a deal, it is a sacrifice.

Thomas Merton
in Love and Living

May 27, 2001

Men [and women] stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry on as if nothing had happened.

Winston Churchill

May 20, 2001

So all men day and night are forever revealing God; except that some are aware and know that they are revealing Him, whilst some are unaware. Whichever the case may be, the revelation of God is certain. The man who acknowledges God is revealing God continually; the man who denies God is also revealing God.

Jalal al-Din Rumi
Discourses of Rumi
by A. J. Arberry

May 13, 2001

As truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our Mother.

Julian of Norwich (c.1342-1423)

May 5, 2001

In what you seek, be not actuated by fear of punishment or hope of reward; neither may you act from a sense of duty or responsibility alone. In a just universe, there is only one worthy motive, and that motive is Love.

Theon Wright
“The Open Door”
(out of print?)

April 29, 2001

I have said that man should not ask what he may expect from life, but should rather understand that life expects something from him. It may also be put this way: In the last resort, man should not ask “What is the meaning of my life?” but should realize that he himself is being questioned. Life is putting its problems to him, and it is up to him to respond to these questions by being responsible; he can only answer to life by answering for his life.

Viktor E. Frankl
The Doctor and The Soul

April 22, 2001

A teacher … showed me how to live with faith and trust. The main thing he taught me is the importance of striving for wisdom. He taught me that real spiritual progress comes not from our success in manifesting things, but in cultivating love, faith, and surrender. If we practice serving others, we gradually wear down our self-centeredness, which lies at the crux of many of our own and society’s problems. Seeing everything and everyone as a manifestation of the divine, we develop the feeling of oneness with it all. We live without fighting or struggling against circumstances, but welcoming them with gratitude. While all this sounds wonderful, it takes steady practice, deep faith, and a courageous heart to have this kind of openness to life and to others.

Terry Cole-Whittaker
in Science of Mind magazine 5/01
See also here

April 15, 2001

Chance is perhaps the pseudonym of God when he does not wish to sign his work.

Anatole France
Novelist, Essayist, Nobel laureate
Quoted by A.Word.A.Day

April 8, 2001

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.

Bertrand Russell

Note: This observation, which Russell aimed at the philosopher William James, author of The Will To Believe, opens, “William James used to preach the ‘will to believe’. For my part, I should wish to preach the ‘will to doubt’.” Also, in the original, it reads “ … but the wish to find out”. Here, I took the liberty to change that wish to will.

April 1, 2001

You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught from year to year.
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made
And people whose skin is a different shade.
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate.
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

Oscar Hammerstein II
South Pacific - 1949

March 25, 2001

The final belief is to believe in a fiction, which you know to be a fiction, there being nothing else. The exquisite truth is to know that it is a fiction and that you believe in it willingly.

Wallace Stevens
quoted in Meditations
by Thomas Moore

March 18, 2001

A very special custom occurs after a Navajo baby is born: A celebration of the baby’s first laugh. The soul (also called “the wind”) enters the body soon after birth. A baby’s laugh is a sign that the soul has become attached to the body.
     When a baby laughs for the first time, the person who made the baby laugh must host a party. They buy candy for the guests, and during the celebration small pieces of rock salt are placed in a woven basket. The baby “gives” pieces of salt to each of the guests. Then the guests are given the candy. It is believed that by doing this, the baby will grow up to be generous and giving.

Dr. Lori Arviso Alvord and Elizabeth Cohen Van Pelt
The Scalpel and the Silver Bear
quoted in Spirituality & Health, Spring 2001

March 11, 2001

Suppose someone claimed to have a microscopically exact replica (in marble, even) of Michelangelo’s David in his home. When you go to see this marvel, you find a twenty foot tall, roughly rectilinear hunk of pure white marble standing in his living room. “I haven’t gotten around to unpacking it yet,” he says, “but I know it’s in there.”

Douglas Hofstadter
in The Age of Spiritual Machines
by Ray Kurzweil

March 4, 2001

Love one another, and there is nothing cool about it. What I mean by this Love for one another is to become wounded by Love, to submit yourself to that, to live in that world, and make your relationship about that. Be vulnerable enough to Love and be Loved. If you will do this, you will be wounded by this Love. You will be wounded, but you will not be diseased. The wound of Love is the hole in the universe, and ultimately it is Realized as such. In this hole in the universe, this domain of Feeling without armoring, without self-contraction, the Great Physics is present, the Great Science, the Great Possibility is evident. Hardly anyone in human history has known of it. Human beings in general do not want anything to do with it. They do not want to come close enough to it to be wounded in their intimacies with one another. It is the doorway to infinite Transfiguration, Transformation, and finally Outshining of phenomenal existence. It is the way into the Divine Self-Domain.

Da Kalki (aka Da Free John)
The Divine Emergence of The World Teacher


February 25, 2001

What, do you wish to know your Lord’s meaning in this thing.
Know it well, love was his meaning … Who reveals it to you? Love.
What did he reveal to you? Love. Why does he reveal it to you? Love.

Julian of Norwich (c.1342-1423)

February 18, 2001

There is a habitual assumption that one must do something about everything that enters consciousness. That one must somehow manage it all. And this takes tremendous energy, causing us to block many things out of awareness so that a few things can be managed well. Sanity asks why this must be so. Why does one feel one must judge every stimulus, evaluate each sensation, respond with desire or fear to every idea, or at barest minimum, label what one sees? To be able to do these things is wonderful. But to have to do them is slavery.

Gerald May, M.D.
Simply Sane: The Spirituality of Mental Health

February 11, 2001

Ah, we have to stumble through so much dirt and humbug before we reach home. And we have no one to guide us. Our only guide is our homesickness.

Hermann Hesse
in Hermann Hesse Poems
by James Wright

February 4, 2001

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

William Wordsworth

January 28, 2001

It all comes down to presence.
Being present in the moment.
And love.

Bhagavan Das
It’s Here Now (Are You?)

January 21, 2001

As we practice meditation and develop mindfulness and awareness, there is a tendency to become insular, to create a subtle kind of fortification. As we file down the coarseness caused by passion, aggression, and ignorance, we begin to experience freedom from suffering. But our confidence is still in its infancy, and we fear we might regress to samsaric behavior [see note below]. At that point, we might attempt to make our practice into a safeguard against the suffering of confusion. But not wanting to experience pain becomes a problem, because it is a gesture of defense rather than of liberation.

Osel Tendzin
Buddha in The Palm of Your Hand

Note: Samsara is a Sanksrit word for our sense of separate existence based on ignorance of our true identity, and which is the cause of all our suffering. (See also here.)

January 14, 2001

Pure friendship is an image of the original and perfect friendship that belongs to the Trinity, and is the very essence of God.

Simone Weil
Waiting For God

January 7, 2001

Increase and widen your desires till nothing but reality can fulfill them. It is not desire that is wrong, but its narrowness and smallness. Desire is devotion. By all means be devoted to the real, the infinite, the eternal heart of being. Transform desire into love. All you want is to be happy. All your desires, whatever they may be, are expressions of your longing for happiness. … It is the choices you make that are wrong. To imagine that some little thing – food, sex, power, fame – will make you happy is to deceive yourself. Only something as vast and deep as your real self can make you truly and lastingly happy.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


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