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    Secular Parables & Aphorisms of the Week

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 4:24 PM [General]
    Posted By: Frank Burton

    Aphorism of the Week

    Don't exist in the past. Don't exist in the future. Exist now.

    Dedicated in admonishment of the U.S. House of Representatives' insistence on returning to a past where the Affordable Care Act did not exist -- and, in attempting so, to injure America's economic health and future.

    Parable of the Week

    The Door, The World
    Swooning in adoration of a beautiful girl from his village, a boy abandoned his father's house.
    Loitering by the front door of the girl's villa, the boy bowed to her father at the entryway, and, seeing through it the girl smile radiantly at him from an atrium balcony, asked permission of her father to court her.
    The girl's father scoffed, replying, "Boy, you have no family, no money, nor even yet hair on your face!"
    Then the girl's father stepped out onto the front stoop of his villa, and, reaching back, slammed the entry door shut behind him.
    The boy's last glimpse of the object of his infatuation was of wide eyes and a red mouth -- shaped, just like his, into a large, surprised "O."
    Disconsolate, the boy hung his head, and pleaded to her father, "Now what do I have, sir, without her?"
    The father laughed uproariously, and, reaching out to clap the small lad on the shoulder, turned him about-face, picked him up into the air, and tossed him into the street.
    As the boy thumped to earth in a billowing cloud of dust, he heard a merry voice reply, "You've the rest of the world, lad!"
    Thus, when one door closes, the rest of the world remains. -- via Parker Palmer

    September 21, 2013, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2013 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton, Executive Director, The Circle of Reason.

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    Aphorism of the Week

    Do not conquer the mountain -- just climb it.

    Dedicated to the new U.S., Russian, and Syrian diplomatic initiative to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.

    Parable of the Week

    The Lemming, The Eagle
    Eaglets, their parents lost to a hunter's rifle, hatched in a nest at the top of a tall cliff.
    They hatched into loneliness, their cries unheard -- save for the ears of a small lemming.
    This mother lemming had co-opted and fur-lined the nest for her own brood - but, as all good mothers do, brought the eaglets half-chewed worms that boiled from the rain-soaked earth.
    She and her growing brood cared for the chicks as if they were their own. But they did not know how to teach their brother eaglets to fly, not knowing themselves. So the eaglets clumsily hopped along the top of the cliff behind their adopted lemming family.
    Sometimes the eaglets sat and gazed at seabirds wheeling above them in the sky.
    "See how feathery and long their arms are!" one would say, "just like ours!" -- and both brothers knew something was wrong, but not quite what.
    Then one day a great, inland wind blew over the cliffs to the sea, and the lemmings hunkered down in a thicket. But the two eaglets, now nearly full-grown, were too large to hunker in the thicket with them.
    The wind caught in their feathers, and blew them over the cliff.
    One of the brother eaglets curled into a small, still ball, like a lemming, and plummeted into the sea.
    But his brother eaglet cast his fears, and himself, into the face of the winds, and opened wide his arms. As his wings unfurled to their full, majestic span, they caught the currents of the sky.
    And, become an eagle at last, he soared over land and sea, soon to master all.
    Thus, when pushed off a cliff, try to fly. -- via Babylon 5

    September 14, 2013, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2013 (Chapter 3, "Emotion's Mastery"), by Frank H. Burton, Executive Director, The Circle of Reason.

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    Secular Parable & Aphorism of the Week

    Saturday, September 7, 2013, 5:34 PM [General]
    Posted By: Frank Burton

    Aphorism of the Week

    Act on impulse and reap regret.

    Dedicated to the call to question past assumptions of the role of the U.N. versus the U.S. as the world's policeman, and the predisposition to use military action before exhausting all diplomatic and economic sanctions to enforce government morality.

    Parable of the Week

    The Sunflower, The Barrenwort
    The Sunflower dwelt in a small, tree-lined garden.
    It grew tall, sinuous and broad of leaf in the fulsome light of warm days, and seeded many children.
    But some fell into shade, and the Sunflower's face turned away as those children withered and died -- from lack of a soupçon of the sun's brilliant tang on their yearning leaves.
    The Barrenwort dwelt in the same garden, beneath the dark crook of a tree.
    It too grew broad, ruddy red and majestic, its crimson bloom bathed in the cool light of the moon, and it too seeded many children.
    But some fell into light, and the Barrenwort held dark vigil as those children were stillborn -- from searing sunrays on their tender leaves.
    Thus, seek the soil in which you can grow.

    September 7, 2013, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2013 (Chapter 1, "Reality's Acceptance"), by Frank H. Burton, Executive Director, The Circle of Reason.

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    Secular Parable & Aphorism of the Week

    Monday, August 26, 2013, 10:35 PM [General]
    Posted By: Frank Burton

    Aphorism of the Week

    Shed new light -- or be a candlemaker.

    Dedicated to the charitable fund-raining drive for homeless veterans, Blistering at the Margins, of the Flagstaff Freethinkers and the Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for Arizona, Serah Blain -- who is living on the streets with the homeless vets during the drive. Such dedicated charity by the atheist community will lead those who have wrongly presumed atheists are immoral to question the basis of their own morality.

    Parable of the Week

    The Negated, The Affirmed
    Untouchable.
    It was her caste, in this ancient land.
    But she believed -- believed more than anything in her young life -- that she was the true equal of any who trod the soil of their land carrying the red spot of the highborn.
    Slavishly working into the night, she saved money to enroll in private school, because she was forbidden to attend a public one.
    On the first day she boarded a trolley for school, the trolley soon filled with highborn.
    Frowning faces with red dots glared down at her where she sat, and voices called a gendarme.
    She sat still and calm, looking into all their faces, and then saw, peeking out from behind a saffron sari, the small, red-dotted face of a little girl. She smiled at the little one.
    Then a gendarme pushed up to her, and yelled, "Untouchable, leave the trolley to make way for the highborn, who cannot sit next to you!"
    The untouchable woman then looked the little girl straight in the face, and, instead of silently bowing and backing off the trolley, as she'd done countless times before, she straightened her back and said, "No. It is my right to sit here, as it is theirs to sit beside me."
    Shock and anger erupted.
    As two gendarmes hauled her off the trolley by her legs and arms like a sack of grain, she caught the troubled glance of the little girl, saw her pluck at her mother's shawl, and heard, "Mama, it's wrong to hurt the nice lady!"
    And, as she sat in the dirt and looked up to see the little girl stare sadly back at her through a window of the receding trolley, she knew, knew, that she'd won a victory that day.
    Thus, don't contradict who you are. -- via Parker Palmer

    August 24, 2013, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2013 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton, Executive Director of The Circle of Reason.

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