„I will heighten my life by helping others heighten theirs“

—  Les Brown
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Les Brown23
American politician 1945
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„Whenever a prophet got into the superconscious state by heightening his emotional nature, he brought away from it not only some truths, but some fanaticism also, some superstition which injured the world as much as the greatness of the teaching helped.“

—  Swami Vivekananda Indian Hindu monk and phylosopher 1863 - 1902
Context: Mohammed spoke some wonderful truths. If you read the Koran, you find the most wonderful truths mixed with superstitions. How will you explain it? That man was inspired, no doubt, but the inspiration was as it were, stumbled upon. He was not a trained Yogi, and did not know the reason of what he was doing. Think of the good Mohammed did to the world, and think of the great evil that has been done through his fanaticism! Think of the millions massacred through his teachings, mothers bereft of their children, children made orphans, whole countries destroyed, millions upon millions of people killed! So we see this danger by studying the lives of great teachers like Mohammed and others. Yet we find, at the same time, that they were all inspired. Whenever a prophet got into the superconscious state by heightening his emotional nature, he brought away from it not only some truths, but some fanaticism also, some superstition which injured the world as much as the greatness of the teaching helped. To get any reason out of the mass of incongruity we call human life, we have to transcend our reason, but we must do it scientifically, slowly, by regular practice, and we must cast off all superstition. We must take up the study of the super-conscious state just as any other science. On reason we must have to lay our foundation, we must follow reason as far as it leads, and when reason fails reason itself will show us the way to the highest plane. When you hear a man say "I am inspired," and then talk irrationally, reject it. Why? Because these three states —instinct, reason, and super-consciousness, or the unconscious, conscious and super-conscious states—belong to one and the same mind. There are not three minds in one man, but one state of it develops into the others. Instinct develops into reason, and reason into the transcendental consciousness; therefore not one of the states contradicts the others. Real inspiration never contradicts reason, but fulfils it. Just as you find the great prophets saying, "I come not to destroy but to fulfil," so inspiration always comes to fulfil reason, and is in harmony with it. Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (1915), Vol. I, Ch. VII : Dhyana and Samadhi, p. 184

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„Christianity is, I believe, about expanded life, heightened consciousness and achieving a new humanity. It is not about closed minds, supernatural interventions, a fallen creation, guilt, original sin or divine rescue.“

—  John Shelby Spong American bishop 1931
"Why We Must Reclaim The Bible From Fundamentalists" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-shelby-spong/why-i-wrote-re-claiming-t_b_1007399.html, The Huffington Post (13 October 2011)

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„After that fundamental acceptance, I can live my life to minimize suffering and promote as much as good as I can, and try through whatever work I do to help others.“

—  Ursula Goodenough American biologist 1943
Science and Spirit interview (2004), Context: We all eat or are eaten. That's the way life works, it's a greater rhythm. And that's why science and the understandings it has uncovered can be a source of joy. This all relates to assent, a very important Judeo-Christian concept. "Thy will be done" is a God-kind of assent. "God works in mysterious ways," and you're supposed to give assent even if you don't like it. As a religious naturalist, I think of assent differently. Assent is saying, "Okay, for whatever reason, this is the way life works. It's an acceptance of what is. After that fundamental acceptance, I can live my life to minimize suffering and promote as much as good as I can, and try through whatever work I do to help others." We can't get around death, but we can get around poverty. We can try to avoid women being brutalized. We can curb environmental degradation. One can start from the perspective of a religious naturalist or from the perspective of the world religions and arrive at the same place: a moral imperative that this Earth and its creatures be respected and cherished.

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