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Sunday Night Class 12/04/2016

Friends,

Veldon continued his leadership as moderator as 5 of us gathered together gratefully to study the curious portrayal of life on a Neighboring planet. Some things in common, but a lot that is different too.

Come next week as we continue on Section four in Paper 72. We will all be better off if you come.

See you then

Tom

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Compare 12/05/2016

The ultimate sense of security will be when we come to recognize that we are all part of one human race. Our primary allegiance is to the human race and not to one particular color or border. I think the sooner we renounce the sanctity of these many identities and try to identify ourselves with the human race the sooner we will get a better world and a safer world.
  --Mohamed ElBaradei, diplomat, Nobel laureate (b.1942)

(52:4.1) On normal and loyal planets this age [Post-Magisterial Son Man] opens with the mortal races blended and biologically fit. There are no race or color problems; literally all nations and races are of one blood. The brotherhood of man flourishes, and the nations are learning to live on earth in peace and tranquillity. Such a world stands on the eve of a great and culminating intellectual development.

    Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei is an Egyptian law scholar and diplomat who was the last Vice-President of Egypt serving on an interim basis from 14 July 2013 until his resignation on 14 August 2013.
    He was the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an intergovernmental organization under the auspices of the United Nations, from 1997 to 2009. He and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. ElBaradei was also prominently featured in the Western press regarding relatively recent politics in Egypt, particularly the 2011 revolution which ousted President Hosni Mubarak, and the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état.

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Compare 11/28/2016

The illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten thousand truths.
  --Aleksandr Pushkin, poet, novelist, and playwright (1799-1837)

(54:1.5) Unbridled self-will and unregulated self-expression equal unmitigated selfishness, the acme of ungodliness. Liberty without the associated and ever-increasing conquest of self is a figment of egoistic mortal imagination. Self-motivated liberty is a conceptual illusion, a cruel deception. License masquerading in the garments of liberty is the forerunner of abject bondage.

(85:4.4) A devotee of magic will vividly remember one positive chance result in the practice of his magic formulas, while he nonchalantly forgets a score of negative results, out-and-out failures.

    Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin was a Russian poet, playwright, and novelist of the Romantic era who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature.
    Pushkin was born into Russian nobility in Moscow. His matrilineal great-grandfather was Abram Petrovich Gannibal, who was kidnapped from equatorial Africa and raised in the household of Peter the Great. Pushkin published his first poem at the age of fifteen, and was widely recognized by the literary establishment by the time of his graduation from the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum.
    While under the strict surveillance of the Tsar's political police and unable to publish, Pushkin wrote his most famous play, the drama Boris Godunov. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was serialized between 1825 and 1832.
    Pushkin was fatally wounded in a duel with Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d'Anthès, a French officer serving with the Chevalier Guard Regiment who attempted to seduce the poet's wife, Natalia Pushkina.

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Compare 11/21/2016

People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within.
  --Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, psychiatrist and author (8 Jul 1926-2004)

(2:1.1) "Touching the Infinite, we cannot find him out. The divine footsteps are not known." "His understanding is infinite and his greatness is unsearchable." The blinding light of the Father's presence is such that to his lowly creatures he apparently "dwells in the thick darkness." Not only are his thoughts and plans unsearchable, but "he does great and marvelous things without number."

(52:7.13) It is the mortals of such an age who are described as "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, an exalted people; and you shall show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into this marvelous light."

(102:0.2) But such is not man's end and eternal destiny; such a vision is but the cry of despair uttered by some wandering soul who has become lost in spiritual darkness, and who bravely struggles on in the face of the mechanistic sophistries of a material philosophy, blinded by the confusion and distortion of a complex learning. And all this doom of darkness and all this destiny of despair are forever dispelled by one brave stretch of faith on the part of the most humble and unlearned of God's children on earth.

(140:6.12) "The lamp of the body is the eye; if, therefore, your eye is generous, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is selfish, the whole body will be filled with darkness. If the very light which is in you is turned to darkness, how great is that darkness!"

(155:6.3) I have called upon you to be born again, to be born of the spirit. I have called you out of the darkness of authority and the lethargy of tradition into the transcendent light of the realization of the possibility of making for yourselves the greatest discovery possible for the human soul to make—the supernal experience of finding God for yourself, in yourself, and of yourself, and of doing all this as a fact in your own personal experience. And so may you pass from death to life, from the authority of tradition to the experience of knowing God; thus will you pass from darkness to light, from a racial faith inherited to a personal faith achieved by actual experience; and thereby will you progress from a theology of mind handed down by your ancestors to a true religion of spirit which shall be built up in your souls as an eternal endowment.

    Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (July 8, 1926 – August 24, 2004) was a Swiss-American psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death studies and the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying (1969), where she first discussed her theory of the five stages of grief.
    She was a 2007 inductee into the American National Women's Hall of Fame. She was the recipient of twenty honorary degrees and by July 1982 had taught, in her estimation, 125,000 students in death and dying courses in colleges, seminaries, medical schools, hospitals, and social-work institutions. In 1970, she delivered The Ingersoll Lectures on Human Immortality at Harvard University, on the theme, On Death and Dying.

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Compare 11/14/2016

Curiosity is the lust of the mind.
  --Thomas Hobbes, (1588-1679)

(13:3.3)  High spirit personalities are not given to the gratification of purposeless curiosity, purely useless adventure.

(14:5.10) Love of adventure, curiosity, and dread of monotony—these traits inherent in evolving human nature—were not put there just to aggravate and annoy you during your short sojourn on earth, but rather to suggest to you that death is only the beginning of an endless career of adventure, an everlasting life of anticipation, an eternal voyage of discovery.

(65:5.3) The universe of universes, including this small world called Urantia, is not being managed merely to meet our approval nor just to suit our convenience, much less to gratify our whims and satisfy our curiosity.

(195:5.10) Do not try to satisfy the curiosity or gratify all the latent adventure surging within the soul in one short life in the flesh. Be patient! be not tempted to indulge in a lawless plunge into cheap and sordid adventure. Harness your energies and bridle your passions; be calm while you await the majestic unfolding of an endless career of progressive adventure and thrilling discovery.

    Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy. His 1651 book Leviathan established social contract theory, the foundation of most later Western political philosophy.
    Though on rational grounds a champion of absolutism for the sovereign, Hobbes also developed some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought: the right of the individual; the natural equality of all men; the artificial character of the political order (which led to the later distinction between civil society and the state); the view that all legitimate political power must be "representative" and based on the consent of the people; and a liberal interpretation of law which leaves people free to do whatever the law does not explicitly forbid.
    He was one of the founders of modern political philosophy and political science. His understanding of humans as being matter and motion, obeying the same physical laws as other matter and motion, remains influential; and his account of human nature as self-interested cooperation, and of political communities as being based upon a "social contract" remains one of the major topics of political philosophy.
    In addition to political philosophy, Hobbes also contributed to a diverse array of other fields, including history, geometry, the physics of gases, theology, ethics, and general philosophy.

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Compare 11/07/2016

A good storyteller is the conscience-keeper of a nation.
  --Gulzar, poet, lyricist, and film director (b.1934)

(122:8.7) These wise men saw no star to guide them to Bethlehem. The beautiful legend of the star of Bethlehem originated in this way: Jesus was born August 21 at noon, 7 B.C. On May 29, 7 B.C., there occurred an extraordinary conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces. And it is a remarkable astronomic fact that similar conjunctions occurred on September 29 and December 5 of the same year. Upon the basis of these extraordinary but wholly natural events the well-meaning zealots of the succeeding generation constructed the appealing legend of the star of Bethlehem and the adoring Magi led thereby to the manger, where they beheld and worshiped the newborn babe. Oriental and near-Oriental minds delight in fairy stories, and they are continually spinning such beautiful myths about the lives of their religious leaders and political heroes. In the absence of printing, when most human knowledge was passed by word of mouth from one generation to another, it was very easy for myths to become traditions and for traditions eventually to become accepted as facts.

    Sampooran Singh Kalra known popularly by his pen name Gulzar, is an Indian poet, lyricist and film director. Born in Jhelum District in British India, his family moved to India after partition. He started his career with music director S.D. Burman (lovingly known as Burman Dada) as a lyricist in the 1963 film Bandini and worked with many music directors including R. D. Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Vishal Bhardwaj and A. R. Rahman. He directed films such as Aandhi and Mausam and TV series Mirza Ghalib during the 1970s and 1980s. He also directed Kirdaar in 1993.
    Gulzar also wrote poetry, dialogues and scripts. He was awarded Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India, the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award — the highest award in Indian cinema. He has won several Indian National Film Awards, 20 Filmfare Awards, one Academy Award and one Grammy Award.

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Compare 11/02/2016

Conscience is a dog that does not stop us from passing but that we cannot prevent from barking.
  ---Nicolas de Chamfort, (1741-1794)

(52:6.5)  Only a moral conscience can condemn the evils of national envy and racial jealousy. Only moral beings will ever seek for that spiritual insight which is essential to living the golden rule.

(92:2.6) Religion has at one time or another sanctioned all sorts of contrary and inconsistent behavior, has at some time approved of practically all that is now regarded as immoral or sinful. Conscience, untaught by experience and unaided by reason, never has been, and never can be, a safe and unerring guide to human conduct. Conscience is not a divine voice speaking to the human soul. It is merely the sum total of the moral and ethical content of the mores of any current stage of existence; it simply represents the humanly conceived ideal of reaction in any given set of circumstances.

(100:1.5)  Growth is also predicated on the discovery of selfhood accompanied by self-criticism—conscience, for conscience is really the criticism of oneself by one's own value-habits, personal ideals.

(103:2.10) A misguided conscience can become responsible for much conflict, worry, sorrow, and no end of human unhappiness.

(110:5.1) Do not confuse and confound the mission and influence of the Adjuster with what is commonly called conscience; they are not directly related. Conscience is a human and purely psychic reaction. It is not to be despised, but it is hardly the voice of God to the soul, which indeed the Adjuster's would be if such a voice could be heard. Conscience, rightly, admonishes you to do right; but the Adjuster, in addition, endeavors to tell you what truly is right; that is, when and as you are able to perceive the Monitor's leading.

    Sébastien-Roch Nicolas, also known as Chamfort, was a French writer, best known for his witty epigrams and aphorisms. He was secretary to Louis XVI's sister, and of the Jacobin club.
    The writings of Chamfort include comedies, political articles, literary criticisms, portraits, letters, and verses. His Maximes et Pensées, highly praised by John Stuart Mill, are, after those of La Rochefoucauld, among the most brilliant and suggestive sayings of the modern era. His aphorisms, less systematic and psychologically less important than those of La Rochefoucauld, are as significant in their violence and iconoclastic spirit of the period of storm and preparation that gave them birth as the Réflexions in their exquisite restraint and elaborate subtlety are characteristic of the tranquil elegance of their epoch. Moreover, they have the advantage of richness of colour, picturesqueness of phrase, passion, and audacity. Sainte-Beuve compares them to well-minted coins that retain their value, and to keen arrows that arrivent brusquement et sifflent encore. Although situated at the exact opposite of the political spectrum the maxims of Antoine de Rivarol are among those that easily compare in acidity and brilliance.

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Compare 10/31/2016

We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.
  --Maya Angelou, poet (1928-2014)

(1:4.6) To every spirit being and to every mortal creature in every sphere and on every world of the universe of universes, the Universal Father reveals all of his gracious and divine self that can be discerned or comprehended by such spirit beings and by such mortal creatures. God is no respecter of persons, either spiritual or material. The divine presence which any child of the universe enjoys at any given moment is limited only by the capacity of such a creature to receive and to discern the spirit actualities of the supermaterial world.

(40:10.13)  The Father loves each of his sons, and that affection is not less than true, holy, divine, unlimited, eternal, and unique—a love bestowed upon this son and upon that son, individually, personally, and exclusively. And such a love utterly eclipses all other facts. Sonship is the supreme relationship of the creature to the Creator.

(64:6.30-35) There are many good and sufficient reasons for the plan of evolving either three or six colored races on the worlds of space. Though Urantia mortals may not be in a position fully to appreciate all of these reasons, we would call attention to the following:
    1. Variety is indispensable to opportunity for the wide functioning of natural selection, differential survival of superior strains.
    2. Stronger and better races are to be had from the interbreeding of diverse peoples when these different races are carriers of superior inheritance factors. And the Urantia races would have benefited by such an early amalgamation provided such a conjoint people could have been subsequently effectively upstepped by a thoroughgoing admixture with the superior Adamic stock. The attempt to execute such an experiment on Urantia under present racial conditions would be highly disastrous.
    3. Competition is healthfully stimulated by diversification of races.
    4. Differences in status of the races and of groups within each race are essential to the development of human tolerance and altruism.
    5. Homogeneity of the human race is not desirable until the peoples of an evolving world attain comparatively high levels of spiritual development.

    Maya Angelou  was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.
    She became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, sex worker, nightclub dancer and performer, cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonization of Africa. She was an actor, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. In 1982, she earned the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was active in the Civil Rights movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Beginning in the 1990s, she made around 80 appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her eighties. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" (1993) at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at President John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961.
    With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou publicly discussed aspects of her personal life. She was respected as a spokesperson for black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of Black culture. Attempts have been made to ban her books from some U.S. libraries, but her works are widely used in schools and universities worldwide. Angelou's major works have been labeled as autobiographical fiction, but many critics have characterized them as autobiographies. She made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing, and expanding the genre. Her books center on themes such as racism, identity, family, and travel.

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Compare 10/27/2016

The principal goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered.
  --Jean Piaget, psychologist (1896-1980)

(2:7.12)  The real purpose of all universe education is to effect the better co-ordination of the isolated child of the worlds with the larger realities of his expanding experience. Reality is finite on the human level, infinite and eternal on the higher and divine levels.

(16:6.11) It is the purpose of education to develop and sharpen these innate endowments of the human mind; of civilization to express them; of life experience to realize them; of religion to ennoble them; and of personality to unify them.

(71:7.1) The enduring state is founded on culture, dominated by ideals, and motivated by service. The purpose of education should be acquirement of skill, pursuit of wisdom, realization of selfhood, and attainment of spiritual values.

(195:10.17) Even secular education could help in this great spiritual renaissance if it would pay more attention to the work of teaching youth how to engage in life planning and character progression. The purpose of all education should be to foster and further the supreme purpose of life, the development of a majestic and well-balanced personality. There is great need for the teaching of moral discipline in the place of so much self-gratification. Upon such a foundation religion may contribute its spiritual incentive to the enlargement and enrichment of mortal life, even to the security and enhancement of life eternal.

    Jean Piaget was a Swiss clinical psychologist known for his pioneering work in child development. Piaget's theory of cognitive development and epistemological view are together called "genetic epistemology".
    Piaget placed great importance on the education of children. As the Director of the International Bureau of Education, he declared in 1934 that "only education is capable of saving our societies from possible collapse, whether violent, or gradual." Piaget's theory and research influenced several people. His theory of child development is studied in pre-service education programs. Educators continue to incorporate constructionist-based strategies.
    Piaget created the International Center for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva in 1955 while on the faculty of the University of Geneva and directed the Center until his death in 1980. The number of collaborations that its founding made possible, and their impact, ultimately led to the Center being referred to in the scholarly literature as "Piaget's factory."
    According to Ernst von Glasersfeld, Jean Piaget was "the great pioneer of the constructivist theory of knowing." However, his ideas did not become widely popularized until the 1960s. This then led to the emergence of the study of development as a major sub-discipline in psychology. By the end of the 20th century, Piaget was second only to B. F. Skinner as the most cited psychologist of that era.

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Compare 10/24/2016

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.
  --Truman Capote (1924-1984)

(160:4.16) The career of a God-seeking man may prove to be a great success in the light of eternity, even though the whole temporal-life enterprise may appear as an overwhelming failure, provided each life failure yielded the culture of wisdom and spirit achievement. Do not make the mistake of confusing knowledge, culture, and wisdom. They are related in life, but they represent vastly differing spirit values; wisdom ever dominates knowledge and always glorifies culture.

    Truman Garcia Capote was an American novelist, screenwriter, playwright, and actor, many of whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and the true crime novel In Cold Blood (1966), which he labeled a "nonfiction novel". At least 20 films and television dramas have been produced of Capote novels, stories, and plays.
    Capote rose above a childhood troubled by divorce, a long absence from his mother, and multiple migrations. He had discovered his calling as a writer by the age of 11, and for the rest of his childhood he honed his writing ability. Capote began his professional career writing short stories. The critical success of one story, "Miriam" (1945), attracted the attention of Random House publisher Bennett Cerf, and resulted in a contract to write the novel Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948). Capote earned the most fame with In Cold Blood, a journalistic work about the murder of a Kansas farm family in their home. Capote spent four years writing the book aided by his lifelong friend Harper Lee, who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird (1960).
    A milestone in popular culture, In Cold Blood was the peak of Capote's literary career; it was to be his final fully published book. In the 1970s, he maintained his celebrity status by appearing on television talk shows.

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