Aphorism of the Week: Life requires no other to justify itself.
Dedicated to the U.S. citizens of Minnesota, Washington, Maryland and Maine voting down Constitutional bans against, or voting for laws permitting, same-sex marriage; and in admonishment of evangelical religious legislators in those U.S. states, as well as in the country of Uganda, seeking to enshrine legal prejudice against -- and in Uganda's case, criminalization with life imprisonment for -- loving same-sex couples, against the foundational humane principle of freedom of religion. The Circle of Reason implores all reasoning Ugandans to choose, as did the people of the U.S., to reject as immoral anti-LGBT laws, and to lead their country from the darkness of religious dogma.
Parable of the Week: The Grey Squirrels, The Colored Squirrels
By a bubbling creek meandered a lush backyard garden.
In this garden dwelled not only birds, garden snakes, toads and worms, but also grey squirrels.
The biggest and most well-fed of the animals, they were lords of the yard -- where all but the angriest of crows fled from them, once they charged to hoard nuts and seeds. Their bright white bellies gleamed in the afternoon sun when they sat up to regard their domain.
But when they crouched back down, their grey tops were somewhat dreary to look upon.
Then one day a motley crew of new squirrels came to the garden. They scampered onto a branch and stood tall for all to see: A small red squirrel; a pure black squirrel; a fawn-colored squirrel; and a pure white squirrel.
Each was much smaller than the fat grey squirrels, and so were no match for them in hoarding nuts and seeds.
But they were fast, and so colorful!
When they scampered around the trees and grass, playing tag with the grey squirrels, in the garden a rainbow danced.
And the days were no longer as dreary to look upon.
Thus, sameness dulls the spirit's palate, while diversity and its combinations are the spice of life. -- via Star Trek
November 24, 2012, 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: Death can consecrate a cause -- but cannot make it right.
Dedicated in supplication to Gaza's Palestinian leaders and citizens, to recognize the immorality of firing rockets into Israel; and to call for tolerance, renouncing their goal to destroy their neighbor. As is happening in the West Bank, offering an open hand to Israel will soon lead to a new Palestine, one whose generations will grow in wealth and security, and live in friendship with their Israeli brethren.
Parable of the Week: The Acorn, The Oak
An acorn lay rotting.
Carried far away from its mother-tree by an overly busy squirrel, it was abandoned in the black earth.
For the squirrel, being not so smart, forgot where he'd buried it -- and so the acorn was consigned to molder in its grave for all time, lost to memory or kindly regard.
Yet the following year, from the flesh of the acorn grew the smallest of shoots.
It fought for the light of the sun, pushed through dead leaves and blades of grass, and swelled into the tiniest of plants.
Over the years, the plant fought to live, persisting without cease or rest, and grew.
So, in the fullness of time, arose the mightiest Oak that ever existed -- from a forgotten and discarded shred of another's callous feast.
Thus, to transform into what will be, what is must pass away.
November 17, 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.
Aphorism of the Week: If you stare straight ahead, you have narrow vision.
Dedicated to the re-emergence of moderate GOP stances in the wake of the U.S. 2012 Election; and in admonishment of the "ultra-conservative media machine" for waving a red cape of illusory polls and political effrontery, that led the Grand Old Party into becoming a bullish caricature of a responsible political party.
Parable of the Week: The Flat World, The Round World
A voice in a faceless crowd proclaimed, "The World is flat!"
The people all chattered, "Of course he's right! We can see the edge of the World -- it's right over there!" And they pointed to the far horizon of the sea, where the red sun flashed green ere vanishing beneath the waters.
But a second man cried, "Wait! The edge looks so close! How can we sail for days upon days into the West, and lose sight of the mountains of our home, if the World is flat? Might not the World actually be round?"
And the people catcalled and hurled rotten fruits and cabbages at him.
"It's flat! Just look at the horizon!" they jeered.
Yet the second man believed that perhaps the World was round, but also very large -- and so just seemed flat, as his bald pate might seem to a tiny louse.
So he fashioned a telescope, using a long hearing-aid tube and two pieces of polished glass.
Then every morning he sat on the dock and stared at the horizon with his scope, pausing only to wipe its lenses free of salt-spray, and to gaze fiercely at passersby who cajoled him.
But then one afternoon, he startled and darted to his feet, one hand still holding the telescope to a gawking eye.
Through its lenses he could see a crow's nest - only a crow's nest -- rising slowly above the waters, its red and white flag flapping on the tall mast.
"Look!" he pointed to the horizon and cried to a small crowd of passersby, "Look! The mast of a galleon rises from the sea, but with no galleon yet seen beneath it! The World is not flat -- it is round! Round!"
A large rotten cabbage smashed into his beaming face, and his telescope dropped into the sea.
Thus, the whole world can still be wrong.
November 10, 2012, excerpt from The Parables of Reason (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), Copyright © 2007-2012 by Frank H. Burton, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, The Circle of Reason. All rights reserved.
Aphorism of the Week: Now is the time.
Dedicated to the U.S. voter -- whose hand will write the fate of the country.
Parable of the Week: The Act, The Consequence
In a shantytown held fast like a barnacle on the hull of a city sailing for a far horizon, two boys squatted on the stoop of a tin shack.
Dealers approached them offering hashish.
The first boy rose from the stoop, bought a bag of weed, placed it in his jacket pocket, and trotted home to smoke it.
His dealer counted his money, then ordered more hashish from his supplier -- who, in the crossfire of a gunfight with competing suppliers, shot a young student.
A young student who one day would have designed an economical solar water-purifier, saving millions from dysentery.
The second boy remained sitting on the stoop, and refused to buy hashish.
The second dealer, growing angry, slapped the boy and chased him through the teeming alleys -- but fell short on his sales that day, and ordered nothing from his supplier.
That supplier was ignored during a later turf battle -- and a girl on the street was saved from being shot.
A girl whose granddaughter would one day lead a continent to outlaw land mines.
Thus, the world can rise or fall with the lifting of one finger.
November 3, 2012, 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: Think on it -- then think again.
Dedicated to the U.S. Presidential Election's "Fact Checkers," and in supplication to the American voter to listen to them; and dedicated in admonishment of Governor Mitt Romney's unprecedented reliance on distorting facts to con voters who deserve to know the full truth about the GOP Party's policies.
Parable of the Week: The Stormy Day, The Sunny Day
Bent did their leaders become from the mantle of power.
They went before the people and proclaimed, "A great storm approaches! It threatens our lives and happiness!"
Pounding their lecterns and grasping their microphones, they cried, "We are mobilizing our army, to patrol the streets, suppress rioting, and protect the citizens of our land."
"We declare martial law!"
The people were stunned.
Many peered into the skies, but saw only a clear and calm horizon -- and newspaper forecasts had told only of bright, sunny skies, not storm-whipped devastation.
A few asked aloud, "Where are the storms?" But they were beaten and carried off in trucks by armed soldiers.
The newspapers and television channels at first declared no evidence for a storm. But the army poured money into the pockets of their owners, and pushed guns into the faces of others. Soon every news article and nightly broadcast proclaimed catastrophe was to rain from the sky.
Most of the people scuttled quickly from their homes to their cars, and from their cars to their workplaces, and stared upward at the clear blue skies, always searching.
But others -- a very few -- stared at the armed guards on the streets, and then stared upward at the televised faces of their great leaders, always searching.
Until these very few grew into a multitude...
And then, a storm.
Thus, black is not white -- no matter who says it is.
October 27, 2012, 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.