Thursday

Extremism


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Preparation

Every end marks a beginning. The end of the year is not the end of life. We are about to start over. Prepare for another go-round on the journey.
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Ineffability

Suffering, cheerfully endured, ceases to be suffering and is transmuted into an ineffable joy. [Mohandas Gandhi, October 13, 1921] . . . those rare souls whose spirit gets magically into the hearts of men, leave behind them something more real and more warmly personal than bodily presence . . .
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Enlightenment

. . . approach your life . . . as a work of art . . . [John Tarrant, Bring Me the Rhinoceros: And Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life (Harmony, 2008), p. 2.] As Humanists and scientific naturalists, we do not propose that enlightenment can free anyone from a cycle of rebirth.
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Decisiveness

A person can scarcely accomplish anything, especially over an extended period of time, without a decisive commitment to the undertaking. One is unlikely to find a productive niche in life by bouncing from endeavor to endeavor. Decisiveness has a value in many settings, certainly here.
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Complexity

The simple mind does not like change, which it may resist to the point of self-annihilation. The ability to acknowledge, appreciate and embrace the complexity of systems has always been a valuable attribute. In the developed world today it is essential. In my lifetime, we have gone from national economies
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Pace

A frenetic pace cannot be sustained for long. A snail’s pace is rarely productive. I can read quickly but some works pack many ideas into a few words while others present simple images that are best absorbed quickly. A trip to the museum will reveal many people taking a few
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Gratefulness

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. [Epictetus] We do not see that our life right here, right now, is nirvana. [Taizan Maezumi, Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice (Shambhala, 2001), p. 4.]
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Temperance – Balance – Symmetry – Proportion

Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction. [Erich Fromm] Not just in politics but in life, proportion is an important value, which is related to judgment. Opposities include extremism.
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Rigor

Rigor is the art and practice of remaining fixed on a method or a way of doing things. In politics, it means staying on message. In art, it means adhering to the core principles of that art. In science it means disciplined adherence to scientific method, without taking shortcuts. In
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