Past Postings

Previous William Thomas Sherman Info Page postings, quotes, observations, etc.

***********************************************************************************************************

The following are among my most prized, remembered, and time tested Gospel sayings; for which the years have proven their inestimable truthfulness. I thought to gather them here and in this way for my own convenience, but perhaps some of you could, like myself, benefit or find some use from reading or hearing them again as well.

* Matthew 10:26 -- "Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed."

* Matthew 10:39 -- "Who finds his life will lose it; and who ever loses his life for my sake will find it."

* Matthew 11:30 -- "My yoke is easy and my burden light."

* Matthew 15:11 -- "It is not what goes into a man's mouth that defiles him, but what comes out of his mouth that defiles him."

* Matthew 24:13 -- "...he who perseveres to the end will be saved."

* Matthew 28:39 -- "Not my will but Thy will be done."

* Mark 8:36 -- "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his soul?"

* Mark 10:44-45 -- "...and whoever wants to be first must be the servant of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many."

* John 8:42-42 -- "Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? Because you cannot bear to hear my word. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your fatherís desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why donít you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.'"

* John 15:13-15 -- "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

* John 15:18 -- "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first."

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

[On Avicenna continued:] "The existence of the soul is attested by our most immediate internal perception. The soul is spiritual for the same reason: we simply perceive it to be so; our ideas are clearly distinct from our organs. The soul is the principle of self-movement and growth in a body; in this sense even the celestial spheres have souls; 'the whole cosmos is the manifestation of a universal principle of life.' By itself a body can cause nothing; the cause of its every motion is its inherent soul. [My italics -- wts.] Each soul or intelligence possesses a measure of freedom and creative power akin to that of the First Cause, for it is an emanation of that Cause. After death the pure soul returns to union with the World Soul; and in this union lies the blessedness of the good."
~ Durant, The Age of Faith, p. 256.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

As a send off into the weekend -- the fourth movement (allegro) of J.S. Bach's violin sonata no. 4. (BWV 1017); here with Czech musicians Zuzana Ruzickova, harpsichord, and Josef Suk, violin.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

Some random quotations I encountered recently (in one form or another) --

"I'm the kids' kid and I represent the [fill in the blank] people."

"I may be hated and despised, but at least I am not forgotten and ignored." [You can take my word for it, come the day forgetting you will be no problem.]

[Speaking of those who deny the resurrection of the body.] "And as they believe, so shall it happen to them, when they shall be divested of their bodies, and be mere evil spirits."
~ St. Ignatius, "Epistle to the Smyrnaeans."

"For Ibn Sina -- AVICENNA [981-1037 A.D.., from, by the bye, modern day Iran] was not content to be a scientist and a world-renowned authority on medicine; doubtless he knew that a scientist completes himself only through philosophy...He gave the classic medieval answer to the question whether universals or general ideas ( man, virtue, redness ) exist apart from individual things: they exist (1) ante res, 'before the things,' in the mind of God as Platonic exemplars according to which the things are made; (2) in rebus, 'in the things' in which they appear or are exemplified; and (3) post res, 'after the things,' as abstract(ed) ideas in the human mind; but universals do not exist in the natural world apart from individual things. Abelard and Aquinas would, after a century of turmoil, give the same reply. Indeed, Avicenna's metaphysics is almost a summary of what, two centuries after him, the Latin thinkers would syncretize as the Scholastic philosophy..."
~ Durant, The Age of Faith, p. 255.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

To continue in the way of an explanation (at least for the sake of those who might require one) of the previous, there are a number fallacies, and hypocrisies, at work and to be spotted here. How for example would Rabia al-Adawiyya know Satan from God if Satan feigned he himself was the Almighty? Unless she were closely rational, it seems unlikely as a practical matter to assume that she herself would be above being fooled by him. A not dissimilar confusion or potential misunderstanding arises in the dictum Goethe prefaces his autobiography Aus meinem Leben: Dichtung und Wahrheit (My Life: Poetry and Truth) with: "Nemo contra Deum nisi Deus ipse" (No one is against God except God himself.) What, among other things, this in fact could said to imply is that since God created such as Satan, and Satan is against God, then only God, after all, can be against himself. On the surface, this seems some solid logic until we run up against the question of who or what is God? For some Satan is, in effect or as much as anyone, God; therefore Satan could be against God as others conceive God to be and do no wrong. Some would object that God did not create evil, but that evil is a free choice; while yet others might contend the person who created evil cannot, by definition, be God.

In sum, it always pays to be most careful about who and what exactly you are talking about; and on what rational basis you know who or what to be what you think they are.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

The New World Order or "I Love AIDS"

"Saints, unknown to early Islam, became numerous in Sufism. One of the earliest was a woman, Rabia al-Adawiyya of Basra (717-801). Sold as a slave in youth, she was freed because her master saw a radiance above her head while she prayed. Refusing marriage, she lived a life of self-denial and charity. Asked if she hated Satan, she answered, 'My love for God leaves me no room for hating Satan.' Tradition ascribes to her a famous Sufi saying: 'O God! Give to Thine enemies whatever Thou hast assigned to me of this world's goods, and to Thy friends whatever Thou hast assigned to me in the life to come; for Thou Thyself art sufficient for me.'"
~ Durant, The Age of Faith, p. 259.

Note. No offense to the singers, etc. themselves.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

When they tell told you they are invulnerable, invincible, and almighty, did they also tell you they had to cheat and snooker people in order to have it this way? Gehenna was where the brainless slaves and minions of spirit people immolated infants just outside the walls of Jerusalem; and the same sort of spirit people who encouraged those things way back when are very much in our own lives and midst today (see, for instance, the promotion and trivializing of witchcraft and sorcery.) Was Gehenna (i.e. as a place of such inhuman sacrifice) necessary? If it was, this was only because people were necessarily unmanly, fainthearted, selfish, arrogant, and irrational. Be religious, yes, by all means. But only if you are prepared also to be (as best as you can) honest, just, compassionate, logical minded, and courageous against all numbers and against all odds.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

"You're all a bunch of freaks!"
~ Dr. Robert Morgan, "The Last Man on Earth."

I saw Vincent Price perform as a reader (doing E.A. Poe) with the Seattle Symphony in the early eighties, and it was one of those special occasions attending a particular show that I can now look back to think how glad and lucky I was to have done so. Notwithstanding he was one of the screen's biggest and most famous "bogey-men," his movies tended to be all one -- excellent matinee or midnight movie stuff but rarely a real stand out classic; with his Roger Corman E.A. Poe films perhaps being the most memorable of these. The recent and long awaited release on DVD then of "House of the Seven Gables" (1940) affords us the occasion to plug that film as well as two others of his; thus making for a nice triple feature of what, in my opinion, are among his most enjoyable work; with the aforesaid other two being "The Tomb of Ligeia" (1964) and "The Last Man on Earth" (1964). If they aren't in your video collection yet, and as well as his other Poe/Corman films, you surely can't go wrong getting them now.

Later Note. The very affordable "Price-Lee Collection" (and that contains "Last Man") also has in it, "The Satanic Rights of Dracula" (1973). Although I had watched every other Cushing-Lee "Dracula" film previously (Price, btw and of course, isn't in this one), "SRD," oddly enough, I never saw till just yesterday. The film is rather like watching a 70's pulp-horror paperback (or, at times, comic book) come to life, but not at all as bad a movie as I had heard; while, with respect to the story's characters, it was, for its time and in its way, uncannily prophetic.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

In my book Christ and Truth, I made the remark that Muslims were lovable people. Although this might sound like a platitude or an expression of diplomatic politeness, it was in truth based on my having met several in the course of my life; specifically when I was driving a cab some years ago, and who I had some time with then to converse with while driving (say, taking them to or from their homes or the mosque.) But there was one Muslim in particular who I knew when I was attending law school in Spokane, Washington who was a next door neighbor of mine (about the same age or else a little bit older than me) and who was also a kind gentleman and a very fine, as well as handsome, fellow. He was a Berber from Libya, and his name Jusef (or, as we called him, "Joseph.") As well as lovable, many Muslims are actually quite funny, and he was such a one; although now, regrettably and aside, incidentally, from my recollecting his finding amusement at the Little Richard refrain "Good golly, miss Molly!," there is little I remember in particular of his joking, not counting generally his sometimes unintentionally facetious way of expressing himself. One time, however, we had a bit of a disagreement about something and he insisted to me his head was a rock. I then responded that what he actually must mean was that his head was full of rocks. He and his wife, who was Caucasian from the U.S., were sweet, charming, and friendly people, and one time, they took me on a trip up to a lake to go fishing; where we (actually mostly he, since I wasn't much good at it) caught some small fish; which by evening we then and there skinned, cooked on a park barbecue and ate. It was quite a delightful little outing, and I will always retain a fond memory of both.

Recently, I was reminded of him while reading some of the chapters on Islam in Durant's The Age of Faith, as I found it quite remarkable how very often I found myself laughing at some of the sayings I came across from several of Islam's patriarchs and some others; of which here are a few samples; although the first quote is reproduced rather for its wisdom and pithiness than for its humor.

"Prayer carries us halfway to God, fasting brings us to the door of His palace, almsgiving lets us in."
~ caliph Omar II (717-720 A.D.), p. 214.

"To Abu Horairah, who visited him with consuming frequency, he [Muhammed, the Prophet] suggested: 'O Abu Horairah! let me alone every other day, that so affection may increase.'" p. 173.

"'Consult women,' said [caliph] Omar I [582-644], 'and do the contrary of what they advise.'" p. 220.

"Of Nazareth the Moslem traveler Yaqut wrote in 1224: 'Here was born the Messiah Isa, the son of Mariam -- peace be upon him!...But the people of this place cast dishonor upon her, saying that from all time no virgin has ever borne a child.'" p. 230.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~


Seraphim mosaic from the Hagia Sophia.

Most of what Nietzsche and certain enlightenment and 19th century thinkers rejected about Christianity is what was false and weak about it. Yet what was or is false and weak about Christianity stems largely (if not entirely) from rank imposters making it look bad; using, for example, rigid, affected dogmatism; relying on empty (i.e. unscrutinized) and irrational metaphors and bland visions of victory (e.g. "to be with 'Jesus' in 'heaven'"; or with 'the Father'); forged or truncated scriptural and patristic literature.

At the same time, look how the thing is (in one circumstance at least) in real life.

If he's the big man with the women (as he claims), then he should be man enough, after all these years, to be able to face me (instead of continuing to hide and keep himself concealed.) He should be able to be satisfied with my being relatively poor, alone and living only with my cat (i.e. no money, no girls.) Wouldn't you agree? And yet he won't either face me or even leave me be in this way. (Inclines one to think his whole life, including his love life, is one big covert operation.)

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

ben yogi of chandu

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

More