Ruffles “Snacks for Thinkers”

Ruffles “Snacks for Thinkers” was written by the Class in 1979 and never officially published but was made into a little booklet we carried around hundreds of copies of for years. I don’t know what became of them. I thought an early classmate named Echody was a primary on the task, but there could have been others as I was not involved in it at all. Echody left the class in the early 1980’s and left his vehicle before the year 2000 I believe. Here is the content of the booklet:

Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to pursue the endless discovery of truth. The greatest wisdom is being forever in search of greater wisdom. There is always more wisdom to be gained, but it is meaningfully obtained only by those who exert the effort to seek it out.

In the thirsting for knowledge comes more knowledge; “Seek, and the door shall be opened”.

No one gains an understanding of goodness or wisdom or rightness, or whatever you want to call it that makes life most worth living, just because it “happens” to them. They find it because they want it and are willing to fight for it and live by it in the face of all odds.

Any concept of truth is temporary and will become obsolete if the seeker grows. It is healthy to recognize what used to be “profound” as presently inadequate.

Everyone interprets the truth at his own level of understanding.

The real value of a mistake is in the learning from it. Mistakes should be welcomed as opportunities to move beyond them.

Those who are preoccupied with condemning the mistakes of others have lost sight of learning from their own.

Putting a man into a cage because he behaves like an animal is society’s way of confessing its own failure to become human.

An alcoholic is merely someone who has an addiction that is unacceptable to society. But the rest of society requires their daily “fix” of attention, affection, entertainment or whatever else seems perfectly “normal” and acceptable for them to need. Actually, man needs only one thing –a healthy relationship with their Creator. The rest is only one brand of booze or another and none of it is as essential as men think it is.

The worst excuse for doing anything is “everybody else does’. The worst excuse for not doing something exceptional is “nobody else does”.

People may be bound in some ways by their circumstances, but even if they can’t break completely out of their immediate condition, there’s no justification for stagnation. What more people need to learn is how to bring fresh water into the fish bowl of their lives.

The most severe restrictions can offer the greatest freedoms.

Reality is not something you escape from- reality is something you escape to.

It is easy to condemn someone who leaves society to look for something better. It is more difficult to admit that the non-conformist may be the one who cannot wait because he sees a higher vision to which the rest are blind.

What is logical to the one who is content with being human is not necessarily logical to one who is looking for more that what the human kingdom has to offer.

A life continues so long as it seeks to learn. When life is sparked by desire And effort gives fuel to the fire Then upward devotion Can bring forward motion And birth to a level that’s higher.

All errors are in the past, any so-called error is a feather in your cap of you take the lesson and thereafter, with greater strength, deal with that aspect.

Man does not have to see things as he always saw them before. Man is designed to see things as he never saw them before—to see them in a higher way than ever before. This is the kind of change that must take place before man becomes an adult.

You cannot perceive the merits or short-comings of others unless you are capable of them yourself.

Eyes are merely telescopes; the mind sees through them.

It is easier to focus eyes that are open, than it is to open eyes that are sewn,

differing viewpoints are not permanently hinged to the structure or hierarchy of age. They are linked to the varying focus of desire.

The strongest desire in the world is to survive, the next is to please. But if the second is directed to the right source, the first is never a concern.

Change for change’s sake is worthless. Change applied to improved attitude has everything to gain.

Attitude is the avenue of perception. Change it, and you change the path of your life.

A negative thought is like a boomerang. If you destroy it, it can cause no harm. If you pick it up and throw it, you place yourself and others in jeopardy. If you leave it lying around, you invite someone else to take your chances for you.

For every negative thought, there is a more powerful and lasting positive thought. Negative thoughts come easily. Positive thoughts are earned through hard effort.

The negative is what brings the positive to light. The positive can grow to see the negative for what it is.

There isn’t a negative in existence that can’t be turned into a positive. Situations or experiences that seem especially difficult to approach with a positive attitude are the ones that will provide you with the greatest rewards—but only if you fight to see their real value. This fight is not intended to be directed at someone else. This struggle involves only you. Any time you involve another person, any time you let someone else take the responsibility or blame for your conduct, the formula breaks down. It does not work. The fight for survival for human beings is meant to be internal: an internal struggle to be better tomorrow than you are today.

My business, and the only business I have, is to conquer what has been given to me to conquer. Each individual must take up the slack in his own potential.

Badness is an illusion created by immaturity.

To commit adultery could mean that one fails to act like an adult.

It is natural to participate in sex, but it is also natural to outgrow it.

No human “owns” anything; he is merely a tenant, even of his own body; but he can keep good lessons forever.

The body is a vehicle of learning for the mind, which uses the brain of this vehicle for the larger portion of its abode during the life of that body.

Every primitive impulse has a higher application.

Any man who knows a grain of truth and who puts it to good use is worth another grain. Any man who knows a mountain of truth and who puts none of it to good use is worth nothing.

A goal is not reached by just learning how to reach it. The goal is reached by doing what you learned.

It does not matter how much knowledge you have, or who you believe in, or what you believe. What counts is that you continue to reach for higher understandings of what is right and good and wise, and that you practice your best sense of wisdom as consistently as you possibly can.

Nostalgia is essentially a disease that halts the forward motion of a person’s life. What lies behind us lies buried because it is dead. What lies ahead lies only in waiting because it is as yet unborn. But we deny it birth when we continue to tarry at the grave sites of our past.

“The same yesterday, today and forever” is the most insulting thing that could be said of anyone, for it neglects to recognize, or implies the lack of, growth, change, and improvement. Perfection is a process.

Energy spent on self pity is wasted.

The only reason to remember something is for the lesson it can teach you about what is ahead. Use your experiences as lessons for your future, not as rivets to your past. There is nothing behind you that is as valuable as what may lie ahead if you are looking for your own “next step”.

Energy spent on increased understanding is yours forever, unless or until you trade it for something less.

Energy spent on restraint is energy stored for growth of the mind.

One of the best ways to open your mind is to close your mouth.

Silence allows the purest mind to speak.

Real freedom is not the lack of restraint; it is the result of restraint.

Where self-restraint is lost, so is the meaning of free speech, for the latter becomes “freedom to condemn” draws blood through it’s pen and ultimately destroys the lives of free men.

Freedom costs consideration.

If you are waiting for something that is truly worthwhile, and you are doing everything you can to make it come more quickly, then don’t waste anytime being upset because it seems to take so long. Work to be better prepared to receive it when it comes. The time will go by more quickly, and when it comes, it will be more worthwhile than you anticipated.

Life is not a time to prepare for Death. “Death” is a time to prepare for life. “Life” is a time for learning to live the one who comes to show us how. He did not tell us to “take him into our hearts”, he told us to do as he taught.

A parrot can speak all the words of the gospels, yet never know, for even a moment, an ounce of what they mean.

In the Kingdom of God you are not tested on your knowledge of the bible. All that will count is what you are, what you have become, not how you got there.

Pain is designed as a catalyst to growth. It is best taken as the sign of an existing crossroad which offers a higher correction or remedy.

Growth does not have to be as slow, or as difficult as most folks make it.

The hardest defeats are doorways to the greatest opportunities for objective self-examination and growth. The feeling of defeat is nothing more than temporary separation from a higher perspective,

What does it matter how much we lose? If in our searching for more we gain everything.

You can never lose if your goal is to learn.

How often do we see that the losses we experience all lie within the lowness of our own perceptions?

Victory is impossible, unless or until you take the first step of believing, even if only a little bit, or for a short time, that it isn’t.

Few battles worth winning are won easily.

Have you ever wondered at the persistence required for a tiny plant to split a rock?

The caterpillar is not aware that it is turning into a butterfly. Sometimes, because our suffering is so real to us, we lose sight of the possibility that we may be turning into something wonderful. If we give up because what is happening to us seems too painful, we may never see the beauty of what lies ahead for us when the agony is gone.

Nothing is predetermined. There is a carefully tended design, offering a multitude of possibilities, from which we choose our own destinies, every moment of every day. And if we should learn that we have made a poor choice, the approaching crossroad offers an even higher pursuit than the seeming “right one” did at the previous juncture.

It is, unfortunately, a fact of nature that dome plants choose to grow down instead of up and hence, produce a situation which will eventually result in their own destruction.

Can the practitioners of peaceful ways can those who love what is true, and simple ever take a stand of leadership and respect, in a world plagued with wars and profiteering? In a society whose majority are concerned with self first, and others last at any cost?

Goodness cannot be seen or found where individuals do not actively seek it out as a guideline to living. For ones who have chosen to exist in darkness, vision is a useless thing.

A good human standing tall for truth in this day is like a candle-bearer passing through a cave filled with vampires. The word spreads quickly to avoid him, until a way is found to drink his blood in sleep.

Anyone who has studied evolution can see for himself that the most advanced creature is one who has learned how to live in greatest harmony with others sharing his environment; and the most primitive is one who possesses the smallest awareness of needs beyond his own. How true this is of human nations in general, and of individual men in particular.

Evolution is more than the development and improvement of physical vehicles; it is the upward growth of MIND.

Self centeredness is a Dead End.

Self restraint is what opens doors to you; lack of it closes them.

Your actions should not require that others get out of your way.

The less you serve yourself, the closer you come to serving the Kingdom of God.

It is far more significant to be the tiniest cog in the machinery of God’s purpose, than to be a “unique” individual connected to nothing but himself.

The dog that really seeks to please his master is far superior to the dog that lives only for others of his own kind. All the greatest scholars of science, anthropology, history, sociology, psychology and politics put together cannot compare with the simplest man who has his eyes toward his Creator.

We don’t really need to spend great amounts of energy to try to get to the various bodies that are in the heavens. What we need is to spend our energy trying to be like the one who dwells in the heavens. How can we expect the stars to accept us in their company when our behavior has not yet made us fit for earth?

People only believe what they want to believe. People only want to believe what they think they have become. They want to believe goodness if they have become good. They want to believe the truth if they have begun to become true.

Try not to limit yourself to knowing what is true about tomorrow on the basis of what you believe to be true today.

Truth is painful only to those who choose to hold on to what is not true.

Higher principals of rightness and consideration may seem cold or unkind at times; if, when applied by older minds, they affect the course of younger lives.

Politeness is not necessarily kindness; rightness is kindness.

There is no absolute right; there is only an endless ladder of “more right”.

The majority are masters of appearance. Very few are masters of substance.

You must be totally open and pure enough so that you are unconcerned about others seeing or knowing your every thought.

Loneliness is an illusion too often imposed upon those who seek freedom from others’ impositions, and too easily accepted by those who blindly trade independence for righteous pangs of self-pity.

For a while, a human feels that he needs the company of other humans until he grows to realize that he does not. The step beyond, that is to learn of his need for one who is beyond him, who would never satisfy his lower nature but who would helpfully offer the stepping stones toward his own station.

Those who worship illusion as Truth will hate the ones who come and threaten to destroy their fantasies with reality. Frequently they will call these truth bearers instruments of the devil, to justify their rejecting them.

A clear question is the most direct way to a clear answer. If you cannot ask a question with one sentence or a clear thought, you are avoiding the issue and trying to make the “skirting around” seem to be the question.

When any friction occurs between you and someone else, look at yourself and ask, “What is with me to cause this to exist?” if both parties involved in the conflict have this attitude and take this approach, the friction will have to leave, for there will be no place for it with either person.

Asking God for something in your prayers is like suggesting a remedy to the doctor when he already knows what the best medicine will be for you. Therefore, any prayer that doesn’t have “thy will be done” as its foundation is an insult.

Everything brought into creation came with a set of directions from the mind of the one who created it. No matter what we do, no matter what we are, no matter what age we live in there is a set of directions in the mind of our Father to help us do everything right. So, if life does not seem to be working, maybe it’s because we have not read the directions.

Where do you look when you need help or an answer to a question? Do you quickly rely on your neighbor, or do you think that by turning to the “father within you” you can get the answer? Next time, don’t look within, and don’t look or feel you can rely on your neighbor to steer you right. Look upward, past this planet’s atmosphere and anything in it. Look to the highest source you can imagine for your answers, and it will be shown to you if your thirst is strong.

Your most dependable source of wisdom is your own inner desire to see clearly, and to want to know, with all your heart and soul, what is true and what is right. This thirst is everyone’s strongest link with the mind of the Creator. To look to other humans for validation of your own inner convictions or for quick satisfaction of your deepest doubts is to dilute the power of that channel, and to even shut the door on its’ operation.

The Father is a reminder to the child that there is something he can grow to become. The mountain is a reminder to the climber that there is a higher place from which to see the world.

The heavens are a reminder to us all that beyond the earth there are levels of existence we cannot even comprehend.

Eventually, all good paths lead to the crest of the same mountain; and from there, the only way up is off the top.

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