Quotes That I Have Gathered – R

Realism and illness

In their unsuccessful effort to fulfill their needs, no matter what behavior they choose, all patients have a common characteristic: they all deny the reality of the world around them.

Scott Peck? Or reality therapy, Glasser?


J. Bronowski, The Ascent of Man, speaks of relativity:

For Newton, time and space formed an absolute framework within which the material events of the world ran their course in imperturbable order. His is a God’s eye view of the world: it looks the same way to every observer, wherever he is and however he travels. By contrast, Einstein’s is a man’s eye view, in which what you see and what I see is relative to each of us, that is, to our place and speed. And this relativity cannot be removed. We cannot know what the world is like in itself, we can only compare what it looks like to each of us, by the practical procedure of exchanging messages.

Like Newton and all scientific thinkers, Einstein was in a deep sense a unitarian. That comes from a profound insight into the processes of nature herself, but particularly into the relations between man, knowledge, nature. Physics is not events but observations. Relativity is the understanding of the world not as events but as relations.


Eric Fromm defined it as that which gives man orientation and an object of devotion.

Eric Fromm, Psychoanalysis and Religion

J. Wesley Robb, The Reverent Skeptic, defines religion as an attitude toward that which is believed to be ultimate evoking responses of awe and reverence which in turn effect and set standards for behavior.

Religions are different roads converging to the same point. What does it matter that we take different roads as long as we reach the same goal. In reality there are as many different religions as there are individuals.


To connect with the great river we all need a path, but when you get down there there’s only one river.

Matthew Fox

I cannot speak of religion but I must lament that among so many pretenders to it so few understand what it means; some placing it in the understanding, in orthodox notions and opinions; and all the account they can give of their religion is that they are of this or the other persuasion. . . . Others place it in the outward man, in a constant course of external duties and a model of performances; if they live peaceably with their neighbors, keep a temperate diet, observe the returns of worship, frequenting the church or their closet, and sometimes extend their hands to the relief of the poor, they think they have sufficiently acquitted themselves. Others again put all religion in the affections, in rapturous hearts and ecstatic devotion; and all they aim at is to pry with passion and to think of heaven with pleasure, and to be affected with those kind and melting expressions wherewith they court their Savior til they persuade themselves that they are mightily in love with him, and from thence assume a great confidence of their salvation, which they esteem the chief of Christian graces.

Thus are those things which have any resemblance of piety, and at the best are but means of obtaining it or particular exercises of it, frequently mistaken for the whole of religion; nay, sometimes widkedness and vice pretend to that name. . . . [T]here are too many Christians who would consecrate their vices and hallow their corrupt affections . . .

True religion is a union of the sould with God, a real participation of the divine nature, the very image of God drawn upothe sould, or, in the apostle’s phrase, it is Christ formed within us. Briefly, I know not how the nature of religion can be more fully expressed than by calling it a divine life. . . .

I choose to express it by the name of life; First, because of its permanence and stability. Religion is not a sudden start or passion of the mind; not though it should rise to the height of a rapture and seem to transport a man to extraordinary performances.

Henry Scougal

Religion and language

Paul Tillich was acutely aware that contemporary Protestantism is moribund, largely because the language of tradition speaks little to believers, let alone those outside the church. He asserts protestantism has almost exhausted itself by its identification with dominant powers in the environment: convulsive nationalism and bourgeois interests. Hence the need for radical protest, which must include rejection of outdated terminology. We must speak to our present condition.

James Luther Adams, Paul Tillich’s Philosophy of Culture, Science and Religion, summarizes, “New life demands new words ‑ first to slay death and then to summon daring novelty.”

Tillich opined that the traditional language of theology, despite any value it may have to the expert, tends to create a gulf between church and world, theologian and layman. That language often obscures and even perverts the essential message of the church.

James Luther Adams, Paul Tillich’s Philosophy of Culture, Science and Religion.

Tillich says, “Insofar as our understanding of the words of the Bible requires us to separate ourselves from the here‑and‑now, from our own contemporaneity, they are not the Word of God.”

James Luther Adams, Paul Tillich’s Philosophy of Culture, Science and Religion

Tillich stated, “This method is intended only as an attempt that will be followed by other and better ones, so that we may see with our own eyes and name with our own words that which is not bound to any time or any eye or any word.”

James Luther Adams, Paul Tillich’s Philosophy of Culture, Science and Religion

Religion and life

“In our family there was no clear line between religion and a trout line.”

The opening line to his book, A River Runs Through It

Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. . . . Fear is the basis of the whole thing ‑ fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. . . . Science can teach us, and I think our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look round for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a fit place to live in, instead of the sort of place that the Churches in all these centuries have made it.

Bertrand Russell’s Best, edited by Robert E. Egner

Tillich, “Religious knowledge is knowledge of reality.” James Luther Adams, Paul Tillich’s Philosophy of Culture, Science and Religion

Tillich: “Something very tragic tends to happen in all periods of man’s spiritual life: truths once deep and powerful, discovered by the great geniuses with profound suffering and incredible labor, become shallow and superficial when used in daily conversation. How can this happen? It can happen and it unavoidably happens, because there is no depth without the way to depth. Truth without the way to truth is dead; and if it is still used, in detachment, it contributes only to the surface of things.”

James Luther Adams, Paul Tillich’s Philosophy of Culture, Science and Religion

Tillich would approach reality by an immediate approach through “phenomenological intuition.” “We turn neither to the authorities nor to religious consciousness, but immediately to the whole of reality, and endeavor to uncover the level of reality which is intended by the religious act.”

James Luther Adams, Paul Tillich’s Philosophy of Culture, Science and Religion

I should classify as pre‑religious all those feelings that express an awareness of human limits or finitude.

Charles Davis, Body as Spirit

Religion and mysticism

Religions are addressing social problems and ethics instead of the mystical experience.

Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure

Religion and science

It is fashionable to state that religion and science can never clash because they deal with different topics. I believe that solution is entirely mistaken.

Alfred North Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas

See also Kuhn’s Does God Exist which deals with faith at the limits of knowledge; also Hawkin’s A Brief History of Time

Religion, progress in

The progress of religion is defined by the denunciation of gods. The keynote of idolatry is contentment with the prevalent gods. . . . The factor of human life provocative of noble discontent is the gradual emergence into prominence of a sense of criticism, founded upon appreciations of beauty, and of intellectual distinction, and of duty.

Alfred North Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas

I hazard the prophecy that that religion will conquer which can render clear to popular understanding some eternal greatness incarnate in the passage of temporal fact.

Alfred North Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas

Religion and the secular

Paul Tillich’s theological writings are almost secular so that Tillich is sometimes spoken of as an apostle to the Gentiles.

James Luther Adams, Paul Tillich’s Philosophy of Culture, Science and Religion

In “Belief‑ful Realism,” Tillich sets out his ideas without the use of “religious” symbols. The method of phenomenological intuition insists that the real basis of theological thought is human existence itself and not certain sacrosanct words fixed by the crust of habit or the tradition of schools. The methods of the schools derive concepts from concepts instead of from objects.

James Luther Adams, Paul Tillich’s Philosophy of Culture, Science and Religion

See, also Bonhoeffer

Religion and Social Change

While Luther received his inspiration regarding the reformation in a cloistered room, Muentzer received the need for revolution by participating in the social movements of his time. Consequently, while Luther’s reformation, by disregarding the dimension of social reformation, brought into being a church for citizens of the middle class, Muentzer pushed simultaneously for a religious reformation and for a social reformation which would secure the rights of the urban poor and the peasants. He said, “All the members of society must have the power of the word. Then the minjung become free and only God remains the Lord of the minjung.”

Suh Nam‑Dong, Minjung Theology

For Muentzer, the struggle for social reformation needs the inner purification of the person, and personal religious salvation itself cannot be realized without revolutionary action. . . . He moved toward an understanding of the universal church of the Holy Spirit. In this respect, he is a pioneer of the theology of secularization and of the contemporary theology of the minjung.

Suh Nam‑Dong, Minjung Theology

Religion and Supernaturalism

The fact that Barth, though his supernaturalism and his static confessionalism, has set himself against everything theology concerned with “the actual state of reality and with its transformation: is for Tillich “the most painful and downright disastrous event in recent Protestant theology.”

James Luther Adams, Paul Tillich’s Philosophy of Culture, Science and Religion

Religion and truth

Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck to its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.

Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure

In his book Why I Am Not a Christian, Bertrand Russell reaffirmed his basic conviction that ‘all religions are both harmful and untrue’. Religion, if it is not to be harmful, must be free of dangerous elements ‑ suspicion, fear, and hate ‑ which lead step by step to escalate organized persecution.

Bertrand Russell’s Best, edited by Robert E. Egner

Religion, its highest message

There is the highest message of religion: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these. . . . ”

Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure


The meaning of sin as missing the right road corresponds to the term for repent, which is shuv, meaning to return. There is no need for contrition or self‑accusation in the Jewish concept. Man is free and independent. He is even independent from God. Hence his sin is his sin, his return is his return, and there is no reason for self‑accusatory submission.

Eric Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods

See also “Sin” and “God, Forgiveness”

Ezekiel 18:23 expresses the principle beautifully: “Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? says the Lord God, and not rather that he should return from his ways and live?”


Responsibility is the ability to fulfill one’s needs in a way that does not deprive others of the ability to fulfill their needs.

Glasser, Reality Therapy.

The problem of distinguishing what we are and what we are not responsible for in this life is one of the greatest problems of human existence. It is never completely solved. To make this assessment and reassessment requires a willingness and the capacity to suffer continual self‑examination.

M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

Whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own behavior, we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some other individual or organization or entity. But this means we then give away our power to that entity, be it “fate” or “society” or the government or the corporation or our boss. It is for this reason that Eric Fromm so aptly titled his study of Nazism and authoritarianism Escape from Freedom.

M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

Frequently our choices lie between the lesser of two evils, but it is still within our power to make these choices.

M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

(See Bonhoeffer: “Sin and sin boldly, but love Christ more boldly still.”)

Responsibility and illness

People do not act irresponsibly because they are ill; they are ill because they act irresponsibly.

Dr. Wm. Glasser, Reality Therapy

Responsibility, parental

Parents who are willing to suffer the pain of the child’s intense anger by firmly holding him to the responsible course are teaching him a lesson that will help him all his life.

Glasser, Reality Therapy

Taking the responsible course will never permanently alienate the child.

Glasser, Reality Therapy

Responsibility, personal

Freud tells us to blame our parents for all the short‑comings of our life, and Marx tells us to blame the upper class or our society. But the only one to blame is oneself. That’s the helpful thing about the Indian idea of Karma. Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself.

Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure


Revelation as a real “public disclosure” is actually accomplished only in the response of faith from within a very concrete situation with its own conceptual horizon and field of questioning. And our questioning is other than those of times past.

Edward Schillebeeckx, Jesus

Reverence for Life

The deeper we look intonature the more we recognize that it is full of life, and the more profoundly weknow that all life is a secret, and we are all united to all this life.

Albert Schweitzer

All thinking must renounce the attempt to explain the universe. . . . The spirit of the universe is at once destructive and creative ‑ it creates while it destroys, and destroys while it creates . . . and we must inevitably resign ourselves to this. ‑ Albert Schweitzer Reverence for life comprises the whole ethic of love in its deepest and highest sense. It is the source of constant renewal for the individual and for mankind.

Albert Schweitzer

Just as white light consists of colored rays, so Reverence for Life contains all the components of ethics; love, kindliness, sympathy, empathy, peacefulness, power to forgive.

Albert Schweitzer

Nature looks beautiful and marvelous when youview it fromthe outside. But when you read its pages like a book, it is horrible. And its cruelty is so senseless! The most precious form of life is sacrificed to the lowliest.

Albert Schweitzer

We, too, are under the painful law of necessity when, to prolong our own existence, we must bring other creatures to a painful end. But we should never cease to consider this as something tragic and incomprehensible.

Albert Schweitzer

Whoever is spared personal pain must feel himself called in diminishing the pain of others.

Albert Schweitzer [Schweitzer refers to the “fellowship of those who bear the Mark of Pain.”]


J. Bronowski, The Ascent of Man, speaks of the making of the Japanese sword since AD 800: “The making of the sword, like all ancient metallurgy, is surrounded with ritual, and that is for a clear reason. When you have no written language, when you have nothing that can be called a chemical formula, then you must have a precise ceremonial which fixes the sequence of operations so that they are exact and memorable. . . . So there is a kind of laying on of hands, an apostolic succession, by which one generation blesses and gives to the next the materials, blesses the fire, and blesses the sword‑maker.

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

Home Page https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/


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