24 Random Quotes from the Library's collection

I found myself all at once on the brink of panic. This, I suddenly felt, was going too far. Too far, even though the going was into intenser beauty, deeper significance. The fear, as I analyze it in retrospect, was of being overwhelmed, of disintegrating under a pressure of reality greater than a mind, accustomed to living most of the time in a cosy world of symbols, could possibly bear. The literature of religious experience abounds in references to the pains and terrors overwhelming those who have come, too suddenly, face to face with some manifestation of the Mysterium tremendum. In theological language, this fear is due to the incompatibility between man’s egotism and the divine purity, between man’s self-aggravated separateness and the infinity of God. Following Boehme and William Law, we may say that, by unregenerate souls, the divine Light at its full blaze can be apprehended only as a burning, purgatorial fire. An almost identical doctrine is to be found in The Tibetan Book of the Dead, where the departed soul is described as shrinking in agony from the Pure Light of the Void, and even from the lesser, tempered Lights, in order to rush headlong into the comforting darkness of selfhood as a reborn human being, or even as a beast, an unhappy ghost, a denizen of hell. Anything rather than the burning brightness of unmitigated Reality—anything!
Aldous Huxley
Patterns of energy. All patterns of energy. You’re part of it all.
Ram Dass
Be Here Now (1971)
So far as conscious thought is concerned, you turn yourself to walk in a certain direction in much the way you steer a car; you are aware only of some general intention, and all the rest takes care of itself. To change your direction of motion is actually quite complicated. If you simply took a larger or smaller step on one side, the way you would turn a rowboat, you would fall toward the outside of the turn. Instead, you start to turn by making yourself fall toward the inside—and then use centrifugal force to right yourself on the next step. This incredible process involves a huge society of muscles, bones, and joints, all controlled by hundreds of interacting programs that even specialists don’t yet understand. yet all you think is, Turn that way, and your wish is automatically fulfilled.
Marvin Minsky
Our experience is altogether momentary. From one point of view, each moment is so elusive and so brief that we cannot even think about it before it has gone. From another point of view, this moment is always here, since we know no other moment than the present moment. It is always dying, always becoming past more rapidly than imagination can conceive. Yet at the same time it is always being born, always new, emerging just as rapidly from that complete unknown which we call the future. Thinking about it almost makes you breathless.
Alan Watts
If there is any such thing at all as intelligence, and love, and beauty—well, you’ve found it in other people. In other words, it exists in us as human beings. And as I said, if it is there in us, it is symptomatic of the scheme of things.
A universe which, under the influence of an ever more advanced organic arrangement, concentrates and reflects psychologically upon itself.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
A careful scheduling of our means, intellectual, ethical, and otherwise, might show that the best defense against the squalor of the lifeboat theory and carrying capacity miscalculations is the ultimate frugality of a life thrust which can and must pervade the cosmos.
Society is an immense pattern of interconnections.
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.
Man has to realize that he is an integral part of nature.
When I ask myself the seemingly meaningless question what it is like to be nothing and never to have been, I think first of the way my own head looks to my eyes. For, going by the sense of sight alone, there is not, right behind my eyes, a dark place, or a hazy place. There is a positive sensation of nothing—which is quite different from saying that there isn’t anything, because, after all, I see out of this nothingness.
What is the result of human works if not to create in and through each of us a supremely original center in which the universe uniquely reflects itself? And these centers are our very selves and personalities. Resonance to the All: an expectation and awareness of a Great Presence.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
When you look for your own mind—that is to say, your own particularized center of being, which is separate from everything else—you won’t be able to find it. But the only way you’ll know it isn’t there is if you look for it hard enough to find out that it isn’t there. And so everybody says, “Alright, know yourself, look within, find out who you are.” Because the harder you look, you won’t be able to find it, and then you’ll realize that it isn’t there at all. There isn’t a separate you. Your mind is what there is; everything.
Synergy means: behaviors of whole systems—and a minimum system would be two—behaviors of whole systems unpredicted by behavior of any of the parts of the system when those parts are considered separately, one from the other.
Richard Buckminster Fuller
Every human generation has asked about the origin and fate of the cosmos. Ours is the first generation with a real chance of finding some of the answers.
Carl Sagan
We’re moving toward a time when our technology is indistinguishable from us.
Terence McKenna
We are all lunatics trying to stick pins into their own points, and it is thus that our frantic efforts to set the world to rights and to extend our control over all happenings, inner and outer, are themselves the cause of most of our troubles. All force is tension against the stream.
Work, especially good work, becomes easy only when desire has learnt to discipline itself.
Rabindranath Tagore
The Universe organizes itself in a single, grand progression, somewhat untidy no doubt, but on the whole clear in its orientation, ascending from the most rudimentary atom to the highest form of living things.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Intelligence is a function of the degree to which you realize that your behavior is one with the behavior of the rest of the world.
The great advantage in the latest method of human evolution lies in the fact that Man’s additional new limbs, like bows and arrows, have become detached. They never tie his arms to any exclusive advantage of efficiency.
Rabindranath Tagore
The concept of Metaman resonates with our natural awe of the universe and gives humans a place that neither diminishes us nor contradicts humanity’s understanding of the physical realm. In essence, Metaman restores us to a story of the universe that possesses the strength of the ancient myths—their ability to explain the workings of the world and our place in it. We now know the basic outlines of a history of life and the cosmos so rich that it can serve as a powerful modern mythos to orient our lives and our vision of the world.
Step by step, almost like Achilles approaching the tortoise, the student is being brought together with himself to the point where he catches up with his own inner being and can accept it completely. And that is, you see, the most difficult thing to do: to accept one’s self completely. Because the moment you can do that, you have, in effect, done psychologically what is the equivalent of saying, in philosophical or theological terms, “You as you are now are the Buddha”—just as I was explaining a few minutes ago. That’s unbelievable. Because we’re always trying to get away from ourselves as we are now in one fashion or another. And we will only stop doing that through a series of experiments in which we try resolutely to get away from ourselves as we are.
Alan Watts
Ordinary people look like gods because the values of the organism are uppermost, and the concerns of consciousness fall back into the subordinate position which they should properly hold. Love, unity, harmony, and relationship therefore take precedence over war and division.