September 15, 2004


From his cradle to grave a man never
does a single thing which has any first and
foremost object save one--to secure peace
of mind, spiritual comfort, for himself.
--Mark Twain

Peace is not an absence of war,
it is a virtue, a state of mind,
a disposistion for benevolence,
confidence, justice.
--Benedict Spinoza

Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
--Psalm 30:5

Dance and game are frivolous, unimportant down here;
for "down here" is not their natural place. Here, they are
a moment's rest from the life we were placed here to live.
But in this world everything is upside down. That which, if
it could be prolonged here, would be a truancy, is likest
that which is in a better country is the End of Ends, Joy is
the serious business of Heaven.
--C.S. Lewis

Posted by Barbara at September 15, 2004 09:49 PM

I had to smile when I saw you quote Spinoza. Here are two quotes attributed to Spinoza that your husband will probably love

The endeavor to understand is the first and only basis of virtue.
Whatsoever is contrary to nature is contrary to reason, and whatsoever is contrary to reason is absurd.

I found the following portion of his biography quite interesting

Spinoza's parents had died when he was quite young. He was now alone. He changed his name from Baruch to Benedict and moved to a small town outsided of Amsterdam. Living with a Christian family, he ground lenses for a living and wrote philosophy. He believed that the only true, lasting joy was in the pursuit of the truth. Happiness that is derived from material possession, physical pleasures, or the desire for power are all based on specific external circumstances; and even if you have attained them they can always be taken away, which is the cause of pain. Spinoza believed that seeking and finding knowledge and understanding was the greatest of all possible joys, and once found you would possess it for the rest of your life.

Throughout the rest of his short life (he died at 45), Spinoza wrote about metaphysics, ethics, and politics in a very mathematically rigorous style and corresponded with many well known philosophers and scientists, including Liebnitz and Huygens.

Spinoza strongly influenced Goethe, Kant, Hegel, Heine, Marx, Freud, Einstein.

Some very great and intelligent men have believed in God. The argument has always been about exactly Who or What He, She or It is.

Posted by: Buck at September 16, 2004 09:21 AM

That's the funny thing. We often quote the same people, but giving much different messages. :o)
Sometimes I think that maybe there is really just a fine line that seperates us and our ways of thinking rather than the huge canyon that it seems like most of the time.
I appreciate the information. I'm not big on philosophy like you and Mr Smijer though I find it interesting. I guess you can tell that I wouldn't really fit in at your 'Church of Rational Mysticism.' ;o)

Posted by: Barbara at September 16, 2004 06:22 PM

Everyone is welcomed with open arms at the Church of Rational Mysticism.

Sometimes I think that maybe there is really just a fine line that seperates us and our ways of thinking rather than the huge canyon that it seems like most of the time.

I think that line is even much finer than you might think. Sometimes I think that line doesn't really exist at all except in our minds.

The philosopher Kris Kristofferson explained mankind best when he wrote about The Pilgrim (which is all of us)

He's a poet, he's a picker, he's a prophet, he's a pusher

He's a pilgrim and a preacher and a problem when he's stoned

He's a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction

Taking every wrong direction on his lonely way back home

Read Romans chapter 11 verses 32-36 and rejoice!

Posted by: Buck at September 17, 2004 04:03 PM

Thank you. I had never noticed that verse before. I am going to have to study that a little closer over the next few days.

Posted by: Barbara at September 19, 2004 09:55 PM