Aphorism of the Week (Jan 5, 2013)
You will feel it in our bones -- the scoliosis of civilization.
Dedicated in admonishment of the U.S. House of Representatives Tea-Party caucus' choice to block Hurricane Sandy disaster relief. If the government's role isn't to promote the general welfare, of what use is government or its representatives?
Parable of the Week (Jan 5, 2013)
The Table, The Mensal Ideal
Commissioned to craft a table of exquisite richness and beauty was a carpenter.
As hours merged into days, the carpenter's young son watched him lathe the finest of his hardwoods, and trim intricate inlays.
So interested grew he, that the son soon asked, "Father, may I craft a table too?"
The carpenter agreed.
Leading his son to a corner of the workshop, the carpenter gave him carving tools and a handsaw, and the boy set to work.
In the eventide as they carved, the bare arms of father and son were burnished in the rays of the red sun.
The following Sunday they walked to the workshop, to see each other's craft.
Upside down, on velvet cloth, lay the father's table on his workbench. The boy ran up to it, running his tiny fingers along the polished skin of its smoothly inset legs.
"Oh, father, turn it over!"
When the carpenter turned over his table and set it upright and solid onto the floor, a maze of inlaid woods and patterns gleamed.
"Father! It's as sturdy as a turtle -- and prettier than one, too! It's the finest table in all Creation!"
His father laughed.
"Maybe so," he replied, "but let's see your table, my son."
The boy ran to his table, which sat upside down on the floor -- where he'd spent an hour alone the past night hammering in its legs, repeatedly.
"Look, father," he said, "my table is ready too!"
But when the boy picked up the table and stood it upright, it wobbled -- and when, agog with dismay, he pushed down on its heavy top, the table's spindly legs splayed out like a dead dog's and it toppled flat.
"Oh, father!" the boy wailed.
But the carpenter put his hand on his son's shoulder and bent down to face him.
"Now, now, it's just the joints weren't true -- I'll show you how to fit 'em proper."
And by Sunday lunch, the carpenter's son had made his first table -- and when he ate his porridge off it, it'd never tasted so good.
Thus, what is disjointed will not stand.
January 5, 2013, excerpt from The Parables of Reason (Chapter 1, "Reality's Acceptance"), Copyright © 2007-2013 by Frank H. Burton, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, The Circle of Reason. All rights reserved.
Aphorism of the Week (Dec 29, 2012)
We can destroy the world if we capitulate to stupidity, superstition or greed.
Dedicated in admonishment of Pope Benedict's Christmas denial of a biological basis, and hence the human normality, of diversity in sexual orientation and attraction.
Parable of the Week (Dec 29, 2012)
The Asleep, The Awake
Philosophy was the siren who lured two students to distant shores.
When they met upon their return, they clasped arms -- those of the first now as wan and frail as balsa, and of the second as thick as oak.
"I hiked through monsoon-swept plains and high mountains," the first student said, "and sat in the temples of many different beliefs, and so attained complete wisdom."
He then smiled and bowed his head.
"This life is but part of a dream, and living or dying matters not."
Hearing his frail compatriot say this, the second student frowned.
"I too have seen much," he replied. "I've trodden far island continents, and sat in outback campfires, listening to lyrics that were sung before recorded history began, and so attained new knowledge."
But then the second student gently tightened his grip on his frail friend's luminously thin arms, as if to hold him to the earth.
"My friend, what happens to us in life, and in dreams, all matters."
Yet the first student, now uncaring of his own life, refused to eat, grew skeletal and wasted away to death.
At his funeral, his compatriot picked up a handful of black dirt and dropped it on the bones of his friend.
Then he continued on, eating, living and dreaming -- and in listening to his dreams, found new paths to tread.
Thus, life does not awaken to a dream -- dreaming awakens life.
December 29, 2008, excerpt from The Parables of Reason (Chapter 1, "Reality's Acceptance"), Copyright © 2007-2012 by Frank H. Burton, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, The Circle of Reason. All rights reserved.
Aphorism of the Week (Dec 22, 2012)
The pain of discipline is less than the pain of regret. -- via George E. Prine, III
Dedicated in admonishment of Cargill Inc.'s continued use of Indonesian palm oil sources causing deforestation and threatening extinction of the Orangutan.
Parable of the Week (Dec 22, 2012)
The Rabbit, The Mole
Venturing into the nest of a Rabbit was a tiny shrew.
The shrew raised its pointy nose -- and the two shiny black dots on its face that pass for eyes among shrews -- and shouted upward at the Rabbit and her nursing kits.
"My, your grass nest is so well woven, and lined so snugly with fur, I could live here myself! If I didn't have an urge to dig tunnels, that is!"
The mother Rabbit, complimented and somewhat amused, wiggled her nose at the talkative shrew, and returned her placid gaze to her young ones.
Strolling out of the Rabbit's nest, the shrew then chanced upon a large black hole in the grass -- the mouth of a long tunnel that hunched its back like a whale sounding the Sargasso Sea. The shrew took one look at the deep hole, and dove beneath the sea of grass.
Scampering madly downward through the dimly lit tunnel, he tripped over blades of half-chewed grass, chips of discarded twigs, and tufts of matted grey fuzz and empty bug armor. His nose even drew him to -- and skirting by -- small piles of that which we all make, but shouldn't leave sitting around.
"Stinky, stinky..." the shrew mumbled as his nose hairs blasted outward from nostrils big enough to engulf his tiny eyes.
And onward he dove.
Then, in the deepest, darkest bend of the tunnel, the shrew ran head on into the plush rear of the tunnel's maker -- a big grey Mole.
The shrew hopped over the Mole's bowed head, and once again lifted up its tiny face, nose-to-nose with the Mole's, which drooped like a fallen star.
Their two pairs of eye-specks pretended to scrutinize each other, while the shrew sniffed madly, and the Mole sniffed sadly.
And then the shrew shouted to the Mole.
"My, your tunnel is a real mess! Why, it even stinks! Can you concentrate on digging, and on finding a big, fat huggly female mole, when old, chewed-up bug legs poke you in your soft pink belly, my friend?"
The shrew grabbed a piece of fuzz and tucked it under a foreleg.
"Let's clean this place up, and I'll be happy to live here with you!"
And up the tunnel scampered the shrew, followed by the somewhat browbeaten but strangely relieved Mole, to clean up their home.
Thus, without order comes odor.
December 22, 2012, excerpt from The Parables of Reason (Chapter 3, "Emotion's Mastery"), Copyright © 2007-2012 by Frank H. Burton, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, The Circle of Reason. All rights reserved.