religion - worship - God

Religion is more like a response to a friend
than it is like obedience to an expert.

Austin Farrer


If we submit everything to reason, our religion will have nothing in it mysterious or supernatural.  If we violate the principles of reason, our religion will be absurd and ridiculous.

Blaise Pascal

If I should go out of church whenever I hear a false sentiment I could never stay there five minutes.  But why come out?  The street is as false as the church.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
You think religion is what's inside a little building filled with pretty lights from stained glass windows.  But it's not.  It's wings!  Wings!

Dorothy Canfield Fisher

I have gone back--well, I was about to say that I had gone back to religion; but that would not be accurate.  I have gone forward to a new concept of religion. I no longer have the faintest interest in the differences in creeds that divide the churches.  But I am tremendously interested in what religion does for me, just as I am interested in what electricity and good food and water do for me.  They help me to lead a richer, fuller, happier life.  But religion does far more than that.  It brings me spiritual values.  It gives me, as William James puts it, "a new zest for life. . . more life, a larger, richer, more satisfying life."  It gives me faith, hope, and courage. It banishes tensions, anxieties, fears, and worries.  It gives purpose to my life--and direction.  It vastly improves my happiness.  It gives me abounding health.  It helps me to create for myself "an oasis of peace amidst the whirling sands of life."

Dale Carnegie


The enduring value of religion is in its challenge
to aspiration and hope in the mind of people.

Ernest Martin Hopkins


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I think many of the troubles we run into are due to our treating
the sacred as something abstract. This attitude is part of what
allows us to do great harm to nature and ourselves.  If our
religion is completely ethereal, we may become numb to the
consequences of, for example, building a chemical plant that
could be toxic to children in the community.  Not only that, but
restricting religion to a high-in-the-sky place tends to make
people polemical about their own moral positions--to the degree
that they can justify harming others who disagree with them.
We've seen this phenomenon take place in country after country.
I think we would be able to live in this world more peaceably if
our spirituality were to come from looking not just into infinity but
very closely at the world around us--and appreciating
its depth and divinity.

Thomas Moore


Religious faith is not a storm cellar to which men and women
can flee for refuge from the storms of life.  It is, instead,
an inner spiritual strength which enables them to face those storms
with hope and serenity.  Religious faith has the miraculous power
to lift ordinary human beings to greatness in seasons of stress.

Sam J. Ervin, Jr.


"Religion" can no more be equated with what goes on in churches than "education"
can be reduced to what happens in schools or "health care" restricted to what doctors
do to patients in clinics.  The vast majority of healing and learning goes on
among parents and children and families and friends, far from the portals
of any school or hospital.  The same is true for religion.  It is going on
around us all the time.  Religion is larger and more pervasive than churches.

Harvey Cox

The historical religions have the tendency to become ends in themselves,
and, as it were, to put themselves in God's place, and, in fact, there is
nothing that is so apt to obscure God's face as a religion.

Martin Buber

Our religious institutions have far too often become handmaidens
of the status quo, while the genuine religious experience is anything
but that.  True religion is by nature disruptive of what has been,
giving birth to the eternally new.

Marianne Williamson


I am for religion, against religions.

Victor Hugo

If your religion does not change you, then
you had better change your religion.

Elbert Hubbard

religion - worship - God

If your religion is of the kind that can be
easily hidden, it can be easily lost.


If you hold your religion lightly you are sure to let it slip.


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Religion is to be used as a stepping stone to God but it must never
be used as a tower to hold one aloft from others.  We are all cells
in the body of humanity.  When anyone attempts
to isolate another, they only isolate themselves more.

Peace Pilgrim


When people ask the Dalai Lama, "Is Buddhism a religion?" he answers,
"Yes, it is."  Then they ask, "What kind of religion is it?"  He responds,
"My religion is kindness."
You might think, "Everyone's is."
Everyone's is.  That's true.  It's not complicated to describe the goal
of a spiritual life.  It's easier than you think to explain it.
It's more difficult than you can imagine to do it.

Sylvia Boorstein


The religious need of the human mind remains alive, never more so,
but it demands a teaching which can be understood.  Slowly an
apprehension of the intimate, usable power of God is growing
among us, and a growing recognition of the only worth-while
application of that power—in the improvement of the world.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman


Religious teaching in the past has dealt mainly with preparing people for
the next world.  This is of course of the utmost importance, but we
should not allow it to blind us to the fact that there is a Power
that can make this life perfect also.

Henry T. Hamblin

Every major religion has similar ideas of love, the same goal of benefiting through
spiritual practice, and the same effect of making its followers into better
human beings.  All religions teach moral precepts for perfecting the functions
of the mind, body, and speech.  All teach us not to lie or steal or take others' lives,
and so on.  The common goal of all moral precepts laid down by the great
teachers of humanity is unselfishness.  Those teachers wanted to lead their
followers away from the paths of negative deeds caused by ignorance
and to introduce them to paths of goodness.  All religions can learn from
one another; their ultimate goal is to produce better human beings who
will be more tolerant, more compassionate, and less selfish.

The Dalai Lama



The religious searcher should be a diver through the deeps of ancient wisdom,
seeking to bring up to the surface those concepts that can illuminate life today.
Not all truth will be discovered in what is to come;
some must be recalled from what has been forgotten.

David J. Wolfe

Many people conceive of religion as something apart from
everyday affairs of the world.  They think of it in terms of
ceremony or ritual or sermons and often it strikes them as
being dull or not particularly interesting.  Religion may be
described in many ways.  I like to think of it as a medicine, 
a healing medicine for the mind.

Norman Vincent Peale


There are many religions seeking to bring comfort and happiness to humanity,
just as there are many treatments for a particular disease.  All religions
endeavor to help living beings avoid misery and find happiness.  Although we
may prefer one religious perspective to another, there is a much stronger
case for unity, stemming from common desires of the human heart.
Each religion works to lessen suffering and contribute to the world;
conversion is not the point.  I do not think about converting others to Buddhism
or merely furthering the Buddhist cause.  Instead, I try to think of how I
as a Buddhist can contribute to the happiness of all living beings.


Articles and book excerpts on religion:

A Worn-Out Creed     Ella Wheeler Wilcox


A religious person is one who holds God and people in
one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm
done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion,
whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


Religion is not any particular teaching.  Religion is everywhere.

Suzuki Roshi


Religious people are guided in their activities not by the consequences of
their actions, but by the consciousness of the destination of their lives.

Lev Tolstoy


I am not a Christian or a Jew or a Mohammedan, a Mormon, Polygamist,
Homosexual, Anarchist or Boxer. . . . I do not believe that, in order to be
religious in the good and genuine sense of the word, one has to ruin one's
love life and has to become rigid and shrunken in body and soul.  I know
that what you call "God" actually exists, but in a different way from what you
think:  as the primal cosmic energy in the universe, as your love in your body,
as your honesty and your feeling of nature in you and around you.

Wilhelm Reich

I would not say I believe.  I know!  I have had the experience of being gripped
by something that is stronger than myself, something that people call God.

Carl Jung


Religion would certainly be more relevant to the hurting masses
of humanity if people could express their hopes and dreams and
pain and anguish to one another in the context of religious worship.
As it is now our services are so antiseptic and sterile that people
gathering for worship relate to others at only the most superficial
level, and hardly ever get to know one another. . . . Maybe that is
one of the reasons why people feel religion is irrelevant, because
they cannot find support and solace during times of crisis and
pain.  That is when real religion should be at its best.

Joseph F. Girzone
Never Alone


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Being religious means asking passionately the question of the
meaning of our existence and being willing to receive
answers, even if the answers hurt.

Paul Tillich

Many souls fail to find God because they want a religion
which will remake society without remaking themselves.

Fulton J. Sheen


Working with children on the writing of poetry has led me to ponder the
ways that most of us become exiled from the certainties of childhood;
how it is that the things we most treasure when we're young are exactly
those things we come to spurn as teenagers and young adults.  Very small
children are often conscious of God, for example, in ways that adults
seldom are.  They sing to God, they talk to God, they recognize divine
presence in the world around them. . . . Yet these budding theologians
often despise church by the time they're in eighth grade.

In a similar way, the children who un-selfconsciously make up songs and
poems when they're young--I once observed a three-year-old singing
a passionate ode to the colorful vegetables in a supermarket--quickly
come to regard poetry as meaningless and irrelevant. . . . I wonder if
children don't begin to reject both poetry and religion for similar
reasons, because the way both are taught takes the life out of them.
If we teach children when they're young to reject their epiphanies,
then it's no wonder that we end up with so many adults
who are poetically and theologically illiterate.

Kathleen Norris
The Cloister Walk


Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.

G.K. Chesterton

- worship -

Religion in its true sense is the most joyous thing the human soul can
know, and when the real religion is realized, we will find it to be an
agent of peace, of joy, and of happiness, and never
an agent of gloomy, long-faced sadness.

Ralph Waldo Trine

Religions become corrupted when leaders are assigned to explain
God's will to people instead of showing them how to find
this direction within themselves.

James Redfield


Religion is not an end in itself.
One's union with God is the ultimate goal.

Peace Pilgrim

Religion is the feeling of goodness, that love which is like the river,
living, moving everlastingly.  In that state you will find there comes
a moment when there is no longer any search at all; and this ending
of search is the beginning of something totally different.  The search
for God, for truth, the feeling of being completely good—not the
cultivation of goodness, of humility, but the seeking out of something
beyond the inventions and tricks of the mind, which means having a
feeling for that something, living in it, being it—that is true religion.

Jiddu Krishnamurti
The Book of Life:  Daily Meditations


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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.