Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Some wisdom for my walls

As regular readers of this space may recall, I am not a religious man, but I do believe that all long-standing religions have some wisdom to offer us. How could it be otherwise when the best minds of the various civilizations have given themselves up to contemplating the world through the lenses of their various traditions?

But it was recently pointed out to me that my own home shows little of this attitude. I have some Buddhist pictures and related items around, and many books about various religions (and about atheism), but not much to suggest the view that I have outlined above.

Rising to this challenge I resolved (and promised) to select quotations from representatives of the great spiritual traditions of the world to adorn my study's walls. The stairway in my house already has quotations from some ancient pagans (like Aristotle), so I will take paganism as covered. Of course, I cannot have a quotation from every religion, but here is what I have for five, and I'm pretty pleased with them. In all cases I have tried to select either from religious texts themselves or believers (I had to rule out Einstein, here, because I am convinced that he was, in the main, an atheist).

Islam
"The ground's generosity takes in our compost and grows beauty! Try to be more like the ground." (Rumi)

Christianity
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (Paul)

Judaism
"The question put by a wise man is half the answer." (Shlomo ben Yehudah)

Hinduism
"Weigh a man's merits and weigh his faults. Then judge him according to the greater." (Tirukkural)

Buddhism
"If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete." (Jack Kornfield)

1 comment:

sarah said...

President Obama just used the quote from Paul in his inaugural speech