24 Random Quotes from the Library's collection

Why doesn’t science take that on board as a major problem in the description of nature: the emergence of complexity? Well, you ask a scientist, they say, “Well, you see, these are separate domains of nature. How atoms become molecules has nothing to do with how animals become human beings.” This is bullshit! This is just some kind of compartmentalized thinking where you don’t want to come to grips with the overarching metaphors that are working on various levels.
Terence McKenna
The natural state of man is ecstatic wonder; we should not settle for less.
To do something for its own sake seems quite difficult and almost undesirable. Social values are based on doing something for the sake of something else. This makes for barren existence, a life which is never complete, full.
Jiddu Krishnamurti
When I take a system apart it loses its essential properties. If I bring an automobile into this room and disassemble it, although I have every single part in this room I don’t have an automobile. Because the automobile is not the sum of its parts, it is the product of their interactions. Therefore, when I take a system apart, the whole loses its essential properties and, furthermore, so do its parts.
This is the greatest possible lesson for the Western world to learn, because we are so hung up on the idea of power, of control, of being able to make everything go the right way, and we’ve never thought it through. When you get control of it, what are you going to do with it?
When one believes strongly enough in what one is doing, one becomes possessed by it. In that state of being, a mental construction can well strike the soul as revelation. In countless instances, man hears voices from within that he sincerely believes must come from without, or from a “within” which is much more profound than one’s own.
Hominization is scarcely conceivable (seen from the point at which we find ourselves) except as terminating, whatever road it follows, in a point of collective reflexion where Mankind, having achieved within and around itself, technically and intellectually, the greatest possible coherence will find itself raised to a higher critical point—one of instability, tension, interpenetration and metamorphosis—coinciding, it would seem, with what for us are the phenomenal limits of the world.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Man is a little germ that lives on an unimportant rock-ball that revolves about an insignificant star on the outer edges of one of the smaller galaxies. Gosh, what a putdown that was. But on the other hand, if you think about that for a few minutes, I am absolutely amazed to discover myself on this rock-ball rotating around a spherical fire. It’s a very odd situation! And the more I look at things, I cannot get rid of the feeling that existence is quite weird!
There’s no way to get a big perspective like education and psychedelic experiences. If we can see history for what it is—it’s a 25,000-year, nearly instantaneous transition from one state of being to another. And, yes, there are 1,500 generations of people who live in that paper-thin transition time. But when it’s over, it’s over. And we will leave history behind the way you dump a used placenta, I’m sure.
Terence McKenna
The future will be largely determined by two factors, besides others. One concerns the progressive weakening of control hierarchies with respect to human systems as well as the accompanying abandonment of the idea of a single, monolithic cultural guiding image. The other factor concerns the strengthening of the autonomy—that is to say, of the consciousness—of subsystems.
What all the myths have to deal with is transformation of consciousness. That you’re thinking in this way, and you have now to think in that way.
Science itself, a field of activity par excellence of the neural mind, has fallen into the traps of the limbic brain and in some stubborn cases even into the traps of the reptilian brain by narrowing down to specific teachings and by claiming to represent knowledge exclusively and absolutely. There is no small irony in the fact that “objectivity”-claiming science originates in the most subjective aspect of evolution, namely, the self-reflexive mind.
The farther and more deeply we penetrate into matter, by means of increasingly powerful methods, the more we are confounded by the interdependence of its parts. Each element of the cosmos is positively woven from all the others: from beneath itself by the mysterious phenomenon of ‘composition,’ which makes it subsistent through the apex of an organised whole; and from above through the influence of unities of a higher order which incorporate and dominate it for their own ends.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
As you find the light in you, you begin to see the light in everyone else.
Ram Dass
Be Here Now (1971)
Will the wedding of modern technology and genetics mean the eventual disappearance of humankind as we know ourselves? Perhaps, but as a beginning rather than an ending. When a species disappears we say it is “extinct,” yet we use the term for two very different types of disappearance. The first is a biological dead end that leaves nothing behind—for example, the saber-toothed tiger or passenger pigeon; the second is really a “pseudoextinction,” the disappearance of a species that is supplanted by the new forms it produces. Homo erectus is extinct but not gone; it lives on in us, Homo sapiens, its direct descendants. Similarly, Homo sapiens, though likely to be transcended by its offspring, will not mark the end of a genealogical line, but a point of great branching.
When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows!
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Synergetics will make it possible for all humanity to comprehend that physical Universe is technology and that the technology does make possible all humanity’s option to endure successfully.
Richard Buckminster Fuller
Critical Path (1981)
I approach this whole matter because of my interest in the Chinese and Japanese philosophy of nature, wherein there is not this sense of hostility between the human organism and its environment, but rather a sense of being one with it and collaborating with it. And thus it’s been my particular interest to see in what way this Far Eastern attitude to nature—based originally on the philosophy of Taoism—is applicable in a technological civilization.
As biology and technology are becoming ever more tightly united within Metaman, they are uniting with human beings as well.
And what you really want out of desire is some sort of state of perfection of consciousness. You want everything to be happy, and good, and right, and orderly, and harmonious, and everything just right, you see? That’s the ultimate aim of desire. Now, the object of desire is not really desired at all; it’s merely a means to the end—which is the state of consciousness, right? So we go through one object after another seeking this state, and it doesn’t work.
David Bohm
Regard everything that you are doing as play, and don’t imagine for one minute that you’ve got to be serious about it.
The first mistake was idealism. The first mistake. And the mistake was thinking that, because you had seen it, you could just go like that and everybody else would see it. And you could just say, “It’s all love,” and then everybody would love. I mean, it was a naïveté. It was naïveté. It was not working on ourselves deeply enough to be without the clinging of mind that made us try to use it. It was our lurking righteousness that got in our way.
Ram Dass
If we are open only to discoveries which will accord with what we know already, we may as well stay shut. This is why the marvelous achievements of science and technology are of so little real use to us. It is in vain that we can predict and control the course of events in the future, unless we know how to live in the present. It is in vain that doctors prolong life if we spend the extra time being anxious to live still longer. It is in vain that engineers devise faster and easier means of travel if the new sights that we see are merely sorted and understood in terms of old prejudices. It is in vain that we get the power of the atom if we are just to continue in the rut of blowing people up.
Alan Watts
If the microevolution of life starts with an emphasis on confirmation, the macroevolution starts from the other end, from novelty. From both sides, the balance increases. The resulting optimization of balanced pragmatic information may be called the real triumph of the principle of co-evolution of macro- and microcosmos in the realm of life.