Zitate von Huston Smith

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Huston Smith

Geburtstag: 31. Mai 1919
Todesdatum: 30. Dezember 2016

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Huston Smith war chinesischer Philosoph.

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Zitate Huston Smith

„The religions begin by assuring us that if we could see the full picture we would find it more integrated than we would normally suppose.“

—  Huston Smith
Context: The religions begin by assuring us that if we could see the full picture we would find it more integrated than we would normally suppose. Life gives us no view of the whole. [... ] It is as if life were a great tapestry, which we face from its wrong side. This gives it the appearance of a maze of knots and threads, which for the most part appear chaotic. From a purely human standpoint the wisdom traditions are the species' most prolonged and serious attempts to infer from the maze on this side of the tapestry the pattern which, on its right side, gives meaning to the whole. As the beauty and harmony of the design derive from the way its parts are related, the design confers on these parts a significance that we, seeing only scraps of the design, do not normally perceive.

„What made him outlive his time and place was the way he used the Spirit that coursed though him not just to heal individuals but -- this was his aspiration -- to heal humanity, beginning with his own people.“

—  Huston Smith
Context: He [Jesus] could have been that [a healer and exorcist]--indeed, he could have been "the most extraordinary figure in … the stream of Jewish charismatic healers," as the same New Testament scholar goes on to say--without attracting more than local attention. What made him outlive his time and place was the way he used the Spirit that coursed though him not just to heal individuals but -- this was his aspiration -- to heal humanity, beginning with his own people.

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„All human thought proceeds through words, so if words are askew, thought cannot proceed aright.“

—  Huston Smith
Context: All human thought proceeds through words, so if words are askew, thought cannot proceed aright. When Confucius says that nothing is more important than that a father be a father, that a ruler be a ruler, he is saying that we must know what we mean when we use those words. But equally important, the words must mean the right things. Rectification of Names is the call for a normative semantics--the creation of a language in which key nouns carry the meanings they should carry if life is to be well ordered. On Confucian values.

„No affirmation is more than a finger pointing to the moon.“

—  Huston Smith
Context: Signposts are not the destination, maps are not the terrain. Life is too rich and textured to be fitted into pigeonholes, let alone equated with them. No affirmation is more than a finger pointing to the moon. And, lest attention turn to the finger, Zen will point, only to withdraw its finger at once.

„The self is a center of relationships.“

—  Huston Smith
Context: The point is not merely that human relationships are fulfilling; the Confucian claim runs deeper than that. It is rather that apart from human relationships there is no self. The self is a center of relationships. It is constructed through its interactions with others and is defined by the sum of its social roles.

„Ontogenetically speaking, love is an answering phenomenon.“

—  Huston Smith
Context: A loving human being is not produced by exhortations, rules, and threats. Love only takes root in children when it comes to them--initially and most importantly from nurturing parents. Ontogenetically speaking, love is an answering phenomenon. It is literally a response.

„From a purely human standpoint the wisdom traditions are the species' most prolonged and serious attempts to infer from the maze on this side of the tapestry the pattern which, on its right side, gives meaning to the whole.“

—  Huston Smith
Context: The religions begin by assuring us that if we could see the full picture we would find it more integrated than we would normally suppose. Life gives us no view of the whole. [... ] It is as if life were a great tapestry, which we face from its wrong side. This gives it the appearance of a maze of knots and threads, which for the most part appear chaotic. From a purely human standpoint the wisdom traditions are the species' most prolonged and serious attempts to infer from the maze on this side of the tapestry the pattern which, on its right side, gives meaning to the whole. As the beauty and harmony of the design derive from the way its parts are related, the design confers on these parts a significance that we, seeing only scraps of the design, do not normally perceive.

„They saw lives that had been transformed--men and women who were ordinary in every way except for the fact that they seemed to have found the secret of living.“

—  Huston Smith
Context: The people who first heard Jesus' disciples proclaiming the Good News were as impressed by what they saw as by what they heard. They saw lives that had been transformed--men and women who were ordinary in every way except for the fact that they seemed to have found the secret of living. They evinced a tranquility, simplicity, and cheerfulness that their hearers had nowhere else encountered. Here were people who seemed to be making a success of the enterprise everyone would like to succeed at--that of life itself.

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„Idealists may call for the exercise of heroic continence in such circumstances, but heroism is never a mass option.“

—  Huston Smith
Context: There are circumstances in the imperfect condition we know as human existence when polygyny is morally preferable to its alternative. Individually, such a condition might arise if, early in the marriage, the wife were to contract paralysis or another disability that would prevent sexual union. Collectively, a war that decimated the male population could provide an example, forcing (as this would) the option between polygyny and depriving a large population of women of motherhood and a nuclear family of any sort. Idealists may call for the exercise of heroic continence in such circumstances, but heroism is never a mass option. On polygyny is Islam.

„In mysteries what we know, and our realization of what we do not know, proceed together; the larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.“

—  Huston Smith, Beyond the Post-Modern Mind: The Place of Meaning in a Global Civilization
Context: In mysteries what we know, and our realization of what we do not know, proceed together; the larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder. It is like the quantum world, where the more we understand its formalism, the stranger that world becomes. Part of this quote may actually be by Ralph Washington Sockman.

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„We are a blend of dust and divinity.“

—  Huston Smith
Summarizing the Jewish view of human nature.

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