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.
Our mind, by the very fact of being able to discern infinite horizons ahead, is only able to move by the hope of achieving, through something of itself, a supreme consummation—without which it would rightly feel itself to be stunted, frustrated and cheated.
The intense and singular states of awareness triggered by viewing the Earth from space provide a new context in which to explore awe-inspiring stimuli, their psychological effects, and individual differences in sensitivity to such potentially transformative experiences.
Don’t wait until your deathbed to figure out what life is all about.
Conscious attention is a designed function of the brain to scan the environment, like a radar does, and note for any troublemaking changes. But if you identify yourself with your troubleshooter, then naturally you define yourself as being in a perpetual state of anxiety.
If, as we confront some task, a part of the world functions as a process which, were it done in the head, we would have no hesitation in recognizing as part of the cognitive process, then that part of the world is (so we claim) part of the cognitive process. Cognitive processes ain’t (all) in the head!
The Extended Mind (1998)
For us, in imagination and in other practice, machines can be prosthetic devices, intimate components, friendly selves.
A Cyborg Manifesto (1985)
Each of these parts of the brain has its own knowledge, and the reason it’s possible for us to function is that we’re like a social organization. One part of the brain, if I wanted a drink of water, I would go over there to get it. But the part of my brain that wants the drink of water doesn’t know anything about walking, but it can exploit the other one. It can sort of request to the walking machine, “Say, you know how to do that. I don’t have the slightest idea about how to move muscles.” And so in your head is something magnificent. It’s like a whole city.
Ultimately, the last trick has to be done by you.
Science has grounds for recognising another phenomenon of a reflective nature co-extensive with the whole of mankind. Here as elsewhere in the universe, the whole shows itself to be greater than the simple sum of the elements of which it is formed.
You are the laws of the universe.
Be Here Now (1971)
Why is it that every generation—before it gets this lesson of the past—why is it that each generation harasses and persecutes its gentlest, wisest, and holiest men; exactly those men that succeeding generations will revere? The answer to this question has nothing to do with intelligence or social prejudice or conservatism. The answer is neurological. The nervous system of the adult human being is so set up that it registers intense neurological pain when confronted with an idea or a method which liberates man from his addiction to symbols, from his addiction to the current tribal symbol system.
Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out (1966)
As I investigate what I mean by “me,” I find that I can’t put any limits on it; that I cannot experience “me” without “you,” or without the “other.” They’re inseparable. But you don’t find this out until you investigate it, until you really go into the question: “What do I want?” And that’s the most important investigation anyone can make.
They never experienced that dimension of freedom. It’s like having an automobile, and you drive it around and it seems to work fine, but there’s this button on the dashboard and you never investigate to find out what it does; what it is. And there is in us this switch.
Education, then, is a progressive letting of children into adult life, not a preparation for adult life. The whole idea of preparation should be discarded; there is simply increased participation in what we are doing.
Human mind’s access to the mathematics of generalized scientific laws governing physical phenomena in general made possible humanity’s production of its own detached-from-self wings to outfly all birds in speed and altitude, while being able to loan one another those wings and modify them to produce even better wings.
Richard Buckminster Fuller
Critical Path (1981)
We think we are secure when we pursue an ideal—however false it is, however unreal it is, which has no validity—it gives a certain sense of purpose. And that sense of purpose gives a certain quality of assurance, satisfaction, security.
It is more realistic to expect that fragments of locus-consciousness will be the pluralistic foci for this reality, the reality where the person is more than itself.
It really is a great deal to go with the dance and know that that’s what you’re doing, instead of agonizing about the whole thing.
We have entirely taken to thinking of the personality of a human being, or for that matter also that of an animal, as located in the interior of its body. To learn that it cannot really be found there is so amazing that it meets with doubt and hesitation, we are very loath to admit it.
Mind and Matter (1956)
All matter is in a constant state of genesis. Our dynamic, evolving universe is a mass in transformation.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
When ministers became corrupt, then only did one hear of loyal ministers and wise councilors.
If, again, the whole of my labour were harvested, if the whole of my suffering were meaningful and fruitful, if all the betterment achieved by my work were made permanent and handed on, then I might perhaps be able to take comfort. All that was best of me would survive in the lasting evidence of my passage, for in it would be preserved and made eternal all the effective value of my life.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Cosmic Life (1916)
We need to be concerned that the potential of the individual is not wasted.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Where Do We Go From Here? (1967)