Tom Robbins is the kind of author who people often say you either love or hate. All things considered, that is probably the best kind of author to be, as it reflects that level of truth telling which always inspires radically opposing emotions in others. Robbins is also the kind of author that we at The Living Hour would identify as an excellent example of the SBNR Progressive Christian, even though he would undoubtedly not describe himself in such terms. Regardless, Robbins displays the kind of attitude, wisdom, and joie de vivre that we admire.
The following are selected quotes from Tom Robbins covering the subject of God, religion, and the art of living:
**”A sense of humor…is superior to any religion so far devised.”
**”We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.”
**”If by the quarter of the twentieth century godliness wasn’t next to something more interesting than cleanliness, it might be time to reevaluate our notions of godliness.”
**”What difference does it make if the Gospel is mostly a lie? It’s an engrossing story and the words of its hero are excellent words to live by, even today.”
**”If you believe in peace, act peacefully; if you believe in love, acting lovingly; if you believe every which way, then act every which way, that’s perfectly valid – but don’t go out trying to sell your beliefs to the system. You end up contradicting what you profess to believe in, and you set a bum example. If you want to change the world, change yourself.”
**”Curiosity, especially intellectual inquisitiveness, is what separates the truly alive from those who are merely going through the motions.”
**”All depression has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in people taking themselves too seriously.”
**”Anyone who maintains absolute standards of good and evil is dangerous. As dangerous as a maniac with a loaded revolver.”
**”Solace? That’s why God made fermented beverages and the blues.”
**”I believe in nothing, everything is sacred. I believe in everything, nothing is sacred.”
What might Tom Robbins say if he were a Zen teacher? Click on Zen to find out!
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Press Release (6.13.09) The LivingHour.org has announced the addition of an SBNR & Progressive Christian Bookstore to its online activities. The new online bookstore for spiritual progressives is in association with Amazon.com, and will include fiction, poetry and non-fiction on various subjects. “We are looking to include in our booklist more than just the usual suspects read by Progressive Christians and the SBNR,” says Pastor David, director of The Living Hour.
“Spiritual life in the 21st century should encompass everything: science, history, philosophy, pop culture, literature, etc., and (as Gandhi once said) we should all keep learning about these things as if we expected to live forever,” explains Pastor David.
The first listing of books for Progressive Christians and the SBNR (Spiritual But Not Religious) include Jacques Barzun’s fascinating history survey From Dawn to Decadence; psychologist Carl Jung’s seminal work on the unconscious, The Undiscovered Self; theologian Paul Tillich’s classic call to vocation, The Courage to Be; Michael Talbot’s explosive unification of science and spirituality, The Holographic Universe; and Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write, a book on art, independence, and living joyfully.
According to Pastor David, all of the books are chosen with the aim to help readers better understand the world and our place in it. In addition, every selection has been read by LivingHour.org and was picked not just for its brilliance but for its clear, crisp, and entertaining writing style. All are highly accessible and will challenge readers’ perceptions in fesh and exciting ways. New books will be added weekly.
Video picks are also included at the bookstore, including cult director Hal Hartley’s Book of Life (a comic retelling of the apocalypse, where Jesus arrives at JFK airport), and Eliseo Subiela’s provocative Spanish film Man Facing Southeast (Hombre Mirando al Sudeste), about an enigmatic patient at a mental institution, who may or may not be from this world.
Also available from LivingHour.org is the website’s free e-book The Lord’s Prayer For Daily Life, with New Century Gospels, which provides new insight into Jesus’s beloved prayer, as well as his parables and teachings.
To view The Living Hour’s online bookstore please click the following link: SBNR & Progressive Christianity Bookstore.
In The Times of India, there is an excellent SBNR article written by Father Dominic Emmanuel, who for decades has been promoting peace, harmony, and inter-religious dialogue. In this new article, Emmanuel explains why we should make a distinction between spirituality and religion:
Simply because, as it is said, that the largest numbers of wars in the world have been fought in the name of religion. One continues to witness numerous conflicts resulting in violence in the name of religion. This often confuses people not only about the role of religion but even its need in life.
The life and teachings of Jesus show that he, too, made this distinction. His spirituality often went against the religious practices of the Pharisees. He often attacked them for their adherence to rituals which showed little regard for the welfare of people. “For I say to you that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven” and “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”
From Buddha’s teachings, it does seem that he, too, distinguished between religion and spirituality. Buddhist insight and meditation practice is not believed to have been revealed divinely, but by the understanding of the true nature of suffering, discovered by personally treading a spiritual path.
To read the rest of the article go to: Religion Can’t Bind the Spiritual Life