Saturday, March 26, 2005

The importance of reason

As an Episcopalian I have always appreciated hugely the fact that we have the three-fold authority of scripture, reason and tradition. Known as "the three-legged stool", this foundation for how we make decisions has kept the Anglican Communion from getting off balance and has helped us maintain unity with and in diversity. Sadly, today, the leg of "reason" is widely being ignored and even attacked.

And so I thought I'd offer you a quote of the Buddha on this same subject. I've always loved his affirmation of reason and I hope you find it strengthening and consoling:

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
Do not believe in anything because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason, and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

I would also remind you of that great slogan from The Seven Points of Mind Training: "Liberate yourself by examining and investigating."


  1. I just have to add the sign over Cynthia's desk:
    Don't believe everything you think.

  2. Yes, Tom, and I agree with that too!


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