Comparative Study of Denominational Quotations

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Comparative Study of Denominational Quotations

Postby Animus » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:49 pm

I began a small project earlier tonight which looks at what I'll call denominational quotes. These quotes all refer to some higher order construct such as God, Reality, Nature, and Universe. The purpose is to compare the "meat" of them. The "point" beyond the terms used. Many of these quotes come from different sources which appear to have different belief systems. This is not a study intended so much to prove anything, rather something which I am doing for a larger project. Below is what I've amassed so far, though I have not included quotations which I have not found a suitable equivalent for in other denominations. I am also interested, and have included, quotations on the general theme of the study. The first quote in the series is of such a nature and triggered the inspiration for the project.

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature. – Frank Lloyd Wright

The first act of awe, when man was struck with the beauty or wonder of Nature, was the
first spiritual experience. - Henryk Skolimowski

I’ve always regarded Nature as the clothing of God. - Alan Hovhaness

The imagination of Nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man. - Richard Feynman

Man - a figment of God's imagination. - Mark Twain

nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by Nature to bear. - Marcus Aurelius

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. - Holy Bible (Corinthians 10:13)

See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. - Deuteronomy 30:15-16

Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative. - H. G. Wells

All things are artificial, for Nature is the art of God. - Thomas Browne

Source of Wisdom
Look deep into Nature, and then you will understand everything better. - Albert Einstein

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. - Proverbs 2:1-6

It is the nature of truth in general, as of some ores in particular, to be richest when most superficial. - Edgar Allan Poe

If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature's way. - Aristotle

Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. - Colossians 1:16

To be admitted to Nature's hearth costs nothing. None is excluded, but excludes himself. You have only to push aside the curtain. - Henry David Thoreau

Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. - 2 Corinthians 3
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Re: Comparative Study of Denominational Quotations

Postby Robert » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:43 pm

Interesting project. Makes a refreshing change to the multiple and superficial atheist quote-mining of the Bible projects.

Shouldn't this be in Genius rather than Worldy?
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Re: Comparative Study of Denominational Quotations

Postby Animus » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:42 pm

I'm also working on an idea I'm having trouble formalizing. Essentially it is to take the net result of an individuals relation to the total reality as equivalent to a human interaction. For example, let's say I get rich, make lots of sex with women and become proud. This pride then characterizes my relationship to total reality. I'm proud in general and that pride is like valuing myself above everything else. Now supposing I valued myself more than Nature or God, I would be committing a form of idolatry. I would be idolizing myself. If I am proud in my interactions with other people they might be initially a bit impressed, but after a while they are going to get annoyed that I always think I am better than them. Likewise my pride in general is going to be reflected back to me in all of my interactions. Everyone right down to my pet fish is going to detect some unjust over-valuing of myself and naturally devalue me in their own minds. The net result of a proud mind is its down-going. But perhaps this can all be summed up by saying "Nature is a jealous God."

Maybe I will find out in the end that all of my interactions with reality when taken not as me relating to myriad factors but as me relating to reality as a whole will end up being better represented by a human trait than a complicated and lengthy explanation. If the self as an independent thing is an illusion then at the point where my self and reality appear to separate, is the point where I am looking to draw the comparison between what happens there and a human relation. I can intuitively see that at that point the idea pans out, but getting there through the long process of thinking it out is the difficulty. I have long thought that I do not possess any intelligence, to believe I do is a folly. Intelligence is something inherent in nature and I am only laying claim to its processes after it has done it's magic through me. Likewise, perhaps, Jealousy, pride and the like are inherent in Nature and are mere reflections in the human. But from our everyday perspective we do not relate to God at the very point of separation, because we perceive God as the complexity of physical and social reality. It is surprisingly easy to make anthropomorphic statements about reality that can be made sense out of. To say for example that Nature is intelligent. Nature might get wrathful too. The consequences of a prideful mind is suffering the wrath of nature. And all it really means is that the mind we experience is on loan and it is really the mind of Nature reflected in us. The universe has a tendency toward inertia and human beings have a tendency to get apathetic. Maybe we should say that the universe has a tendency for apathy or humans suffer from inertia. My interest is in what the terms describe apart from the "control" the human mind thinks it has over them. Perhaps the only difference between inertia and apathy apart from their subjective and objective experiences is whether or not humans think they own them or cause them. If humans experience apathy, then they have a tendency to reject the notion that the universe as a whole experiences apathy. But perhaps it is the word "experience" here which is causing the problem. The universe may not experience anything egotistically, although it certainly has a tendency to be self-absorbed! It's not like it helps out other universes or even thinks about them. It devotes all of itself to itself. It is more self-absorbed than humans generally are. But at the same time, it is all in the act of creating life which is the opposite of selfish. So like a human it is described both positively and negatively.

To describe nature as omnipotent to atheist doesn't alarm them, it is only God-talk which disturbs their notion of omnipotence. God is too flighty of a concept, a fairy-tale. But for Christians, the idea of an omnipotent Nature is disturbing, it is far too cold and impersonal. My point of view doesn't understand either the Atheist or the Christian. If "I" am an illusion, if all of the "human" mind things that happen are not really my doing, then why should I be so surprised to find out nature is the same way? It's as if free-will and determinism played a huge role in what a person thought. If you wanted to be free you believed in God and shunned Nature, but if you wanted to be a slave to reason you chose Nature over God. One approached the relationship as one mind to another, and saw in Nature the same aspects he saw in himself, and the other had to start by looking at the smallest of all possible pieces and gradually reconstructing a picture of his relationship to God because he believed that somehow he was fundamentally different. Its like, if you study reality long enough you abandon the idea of nature being personal, but if you study impersonal reality long enough it becomes personal again.

Again, difficult concept.
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Re: Comparative Study of Denominational Quotations

Postby Animus » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:08 am

Apparently I'm not the first to think of apathy as a form of psychological inertia ( others have taken up the idea too. My view is that due to limited resources in the brain, when the model of a system becomes so rigid that overthrowing the model would cost more energy than one would expect to gain then apathy sets in. I'm not apathetic because I don't care, but because I'm tired, out of energy. It takes too much to dislodge my current thinking or to consider new alternatives. Thus, physical inertia in the brain can probably map directly onto the psycological experience of apathy.

"Apathy is a mental state in which the sufferer lacks the desire, will or energy to engage in any activity, whether intellectual or physical. It is variously called indifference, boredom, lassitude, languor, listlessness, laziness, lethargy or inertia. It may be symptom of mental disorder. It is first alienation of the self from the world and then self-alienation. Finally it is withdrawal from all participation in the care of others and care of oneself. Collectively, apathy may be expressed in social, economic, political or ideological paralysis, with all the available energy for change locked up in the institutions, systems and structures of society." -- Union of International Associations.
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