The only way I know about me, about the world, about you guys, about science, is because I have a movie in my head. And so, if science is ultimately to try to explain everything including dark matter and dark energy, and viruses, and neurons, surely it has to explain the phenomenon that’s at the center of each one of our existences, namely: consciousness.
History is a dysfunctional state of some sort. History is an act of brutish insensitivity only achievable through an act of self-limitation from the demands and the inspiration of nature.
We can never dispense with language and the other symbol systems; for it is by means of them, and only by their means, that we have raised ourselves above the brutes, to the level of human beings. But we can easily become the victims as well as the beneficiaries of these systems. We must learn how to handle words effectively; but at the same time we must preserve and, if necessary, intensify our ability to look at the world directly and not through that half opaque medium of concepts, which distorts every given fact into the all too familiar likeness of some generic label or explanatory abstraction.
It is a māyā, an illusion, that we all imagine ourselves to be living inside our skins separated from the rest of the cosmos. We’ve been taught to ignore this enormously significant relationship.
Science doesn’t deal (as it always pains to point out) with what’s called subjective experience. Well, that’s really too bad because that’s all any of us ever have: subjective experience!
All points of view growing out of the center.
If for nothing more than for human self-preservation, the time has come for a choice between unqualified corporate profit and becoming.
Do you see what takes place if you can do this? Then we can investigate, together, every problem very simply and clearly and directly, and act. That is clarity: to observe, to see without any distortion, to listen completely without making an abstraction of what you are listening to into an idea. Therefore, there is only listening, there is only, then, seeing. Not you see and I see differently, there is only seeing together.
What I’m saying to you this morning is: communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social. And the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism, but in a higher synthesis!
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Really and truly, a human building is no more nor less artificial than a bird’s nest.
The truths of the universe are so complex that there is no simple way to grasp them without metaphor. Even Metaman, with its vast powers, is only beginning to decipher the story’s outlines, much less its details. Life is a miracle whose story is revealed all around us, and if we hope to know it we must look at the evolution of the stars and planets, the division of an amoeba, the growth of a seed, the workings of the brain, the physics of a transistor, the spirit of an individual. This is God’s story.
All this gets down to the basic question is, really, “What are you going to do if you’re God?” If, in other words, you find yourself in charge of the world through technological powers, and instead of leaving evolution to what we used to call, in the 19th century, the blind processes of nature—that was begging the question, to call them blind—but at any rate, we say we’re not going to leave evolution anymore to the blind forces of nature, but now we’re going to direct it ourselves. Because we are increasingly developing, say, control over genetic systems, control over the nervous system, control over all kinds of systems. Then, simply: what do you want to do with it?
What you call your existence is at every moment a state of being given up. You are being disposed of. You are running away like a river. You are evaporating like alcohol. And what you call your existence is simply the process of evaporation, of transience, of passing away, and there isn’t anything to hold on to, and there is nobody to hold on to it.
Somehow, our being in the world means that the world process is approaching some kind of definitive cusp in its development. In other words, that human history is the shockwave of some greater event about to emerge out of the order of nature. That human history (25,000 years is all it is) is like a shimmer, an aura, something which flashes across animal nature in the geological millisecond before the thing goes cosmic.
A person who is not frank about selfishness is a big troublemaker.
There arises first an irresistible grouping principle which, in its impact on the intelligence, almost automatically overrules the egoistical and mutually repulsive tendencies of the human individual.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
We know that the ultimate whole or reality must be differentiated into parts of a certain nature. We know of nothing in the entire cosmos which is possessed of the nature of these fundamental differentiations but ourselves and others, and we cannot think of anything else which has such nature but ourselves and others. This fact gives some probability to ourselves being some of those fundamental differentiations.
William Henry Chamberlin
You have, all over your body, millions of nerve ends: each one of those nerve ends is, as it were, a little eye—because all the senses are, fundamentally, one sense; they are various forms of touch. And the most delicate of the forms of touch is, of course, the human eye. Then the ear, and so on, down the list of the senses. Now imagine, then, every little nerve end is a little eye. And it gets its impression of the world, but it sends it all back into the central brain. Well, in a somewhat similar way, every person, every animal, every (what the Hindus call) sentient being—and even rocks are regarded as sentient beings in a very, very primitive form, right down to the lowest—so all those forms that we see may be looked upon as the eyes that look out of one central Self.
We see that the way to be a successful species, the way to survive, is to make yourself indispensable to your neighbors. Then, instead of attempting to push you down and extinguish you, if you can cut deals with everybody in your neighborhood (providing various chemicals or energy supplies or other affects in the environment), then everybody will begin to pull your way. So, in fact, cooperation is what is maximized among species. And a huge complex organic system like a coral reef or a rainforest is actually attempting to come to an equilibrium of balance that is the point of greatest benefit for the greatest number of organisms and species in the system.
The major environ tools of our day, like the airline or telephone system, can only be made and operated by the coordinated effort of a great many men. They require drawing upon the material resources of the entire world for their creation, and they comprise within themselves the integrated experience, the science, which is drawn from the whole of man’s universal history. They are comprehensive systems rather than local, and function most efficiently when organised in their largest universal patterns or networks. All of our other comprehensive tool network systems, like electrical power and communications grids, operate on the same principles. Their optimum efficiency networks may no longer be contained within national boundaries and the necessary development amortization has gradually gone outside the capacities of private enterprise, and begins to transcend any one national capacity to wholly operate and maintain.
Richard Buckminster Fuller
When you have explored pleasure to its ultimate limit, the only thing you can get a kick out of is pain.
Life, supported by science and technology, is a creational process, an esthetic process.
The fragmenting of activities, our habit of thinking in bits and parts—“specialism”—reflected the step-by-step linear departmentalizing process inherent in the technology of the alphabet.
Man is going to be displaced altogether as a specialist by the computer. Man himself is being forced to reestablish, employ, and enjoy his innate “comprehensivity.” Coping with the totality of Spaceship Earth and universe is ahead for all of us. Evolution is apparently intent that man fulfill a much greater destiny than that of being a simple muscle and reflex machine.
Richard Buckminster Fuller