24 Random Quotes from the Library's collection

There is a myth about such highs: the user has an illusion of great insight, but it does not survive scrutiny in the morning. I am convinced that this is an error, and that the devastating insights achieved when high are real insights.
Carl Sagan
Mr. X (1969)
Every citizen, whether they realize it or not, is a neuron in the mind of a giant organism, and what they do and say in their lifetime contributes to who that organism is, even if only a little bit.
Tim Urban
The development, through the increasingly rapid transmission of thought, of what is in effect a generalized nervous system, emanating from certain defined centers and covering the entire surface of the globe.
Without being aware of it and without being rigorously systematic about it, we exclude the Subject of Cognizance from the domain of nature that we endeavour to understand. We step with our own person back into the part of an onlooker who does not belong to the world, which by this very procedure becomes an objective world.
Erwin Schrödinger
Part of the antidote to informational overwhelmement, to social islanding, to trivialization, is rational discourse conducted—if necessary—at high volume. People are so concerned that nobody feel hurt or rejected or, you know—well, in intellectual discourse you don’t want people to feel hurt, you want them to feel destroyed if their position merits that! We’re all grown-ups. We don’t have to coddle each other for crying out loud! Send the inner child down to the baths and sharpen your rhetorical knives and logical razors, and do that kid a favor. Make sense out of your life and reality. There’s sense to be made. And it’s very grown-up, and very exalting, and it doesn’t have to exclude all the other fun and games of life. But it certainly gives cogency and meaning to the enterprise not only of trying to live, and not only of trying to be a decent person for one’s loved ones and children, but to build a better world. A better world, if it comes, will be built on clear thinking. It will be built on honesty. It will be built on direct, clear communication. I mean, these are the things that constitute visionary common sense, and it’s because the world is topsy-turvy that I—considered, you know, a drug-crazed pariah—have to then become the apostle of order, dignity, adult behavior, responsibility, and the obligation to make sense.
You have to decide whether you want to make money or make sense, because the two are mutually exclusive.
Richard Buckminster Fuller
Critical Path (1981)
In Oriental cultures they don’t think of God as an autocrat. God is the fundamental energy of the world which performs all this world without having to think about it. Just in the same way that you open and close your hand without being able to say in words how you do it. You do it.
We must not wait for things to come, believing that they are decided by irrescindable destiny. If we want it, we must do something about it. If not, not. Just as the political and social development and the sequence of historical events in general are not thrust upon us by the spinning of the Fates, but largely depend on our own doing, so our biological future, being nothing else but history on a large scale, must not be taken to be an unalterable destiny that is decided in advance by any Law of Nature.
Erwin Schrödinger
The answer is: no, you’re not gonna make it. You’re gonna get away with it for a while. Yup! You’ll get away with it for a while—but in the end, no, you’re not gonna make it.
Evolution takes on a new character: it becomes primarily a psychosocial process, based on the cumulative transmission of experience and its results, and working through an organised system of awareness, a combined operation of knowing, feeling and willing. In man, at least during the historical and proto-historical periods, evolution has been characterised more by cultural than by genetic or biological change.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
With the capability of self-reflexion we have become the mind of a universe becoming increasingly aware of itself.
Any mind could not exist in relation to the world of experience except through its relationship to other minds.
Cycles are the heartbeats of understanding. A thing perceived is just an event. Repeated, it opens up to the instruments of science, the ruminations of philosophers, the imaginations of shamans.
It is absolutely absurd to say that we came into this world. We didn’t. We came out of it.
Though perfection is not of this world, we are unjustifiably far from trying for it.
Paolo Soleri
All societies are about the maintenance of boundaries. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a stockbroker in New York, a Zen monk in Kyoto, a Hasid in Jerusalem—your society is held together by boundaries and definitions. And anything which dissolves those boundaries and introduces relativity into cultural modeling is felt to be threatening, because we like to believe that our reality is somehow sanctioned; that this is how it should be. But, in fact, that’s just a cultural judgment. All cultures think that their culture represents a sanctioned reality. It doesn’t. It just represents the current download of their linguistic enterprise.
Terence McKenna
We cannot deny that, deep within ourselves, an interior appears at the heart of beings. That is enough to leave Teilhard to suggest that, in one degree or another, this interior should assert itself as existing everywhere in nature from all time.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
The biological change of state terminating in the awakening of thought does not represent merely a critical point that the individual or even the species must pass through. Vaster than that, it affects life itself in its organic totality, and consequently it marks a transformation affecting the state of the entire planet.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
When any community of people is founded on mutual mistrust, it sort of loses half of itself, it becomes clutched up, it becomes paralyzed and unable to move.
Alan Watts
The brain is not productive of thought, but acts—so to speak—as a kind of reducing-valve, preventing us from being too omniscient. Because obviously, if we have to get out of the way of the traffic on Hollywood Boulevard, it’s no good being aware of everything that’s going on in the universe—we have to be aware of the approaching bus. And this is what the brain does for us; it narrows the field down so that we can go through life without getting into serious trouble. But—as many people have experienced, and as all the teachers of the great religions have insisted should be the case—we can and ought to open ourselves up.
Aldous Huxley
Who Are We? (1955)
The universe is a system which is aware of itself.
You could argue that any group of people, like a company, is essentially a cybernetic collective of people and machines.
Elon Musk
It is obvious to any informed student of the history and psychology of religion that Jesus was one, of many, who had an intense experience of cosmic consciousness—of the vivid realization that oneself is a manifestation of the eternal energy of the universe, the basic “I am.” But it is very hard to express this experience when the only religious imagery at your disposal conceives that “I am” as an all-knowing and all-powerful monarch, autocrat, and beneficent tyrant enthroned in a court of adoring subjects.
As biology and technology are becoming ever more tightly united within Metaman, they are uniting with human beings as well.