DeLanda, Eisely, Spare, etc.


Folkert Gorter

The web has an almost infinite capacity for storage and memory yet its prevailing use is an acceleration of ephemerality. The reasons for this are complex to say the least (of which financial short term gain is probably the most prevalent). But this doesn’t mean the tendency can’t be resisted. Perhaps books as well as their online siblings could be seen as batteries, banks which can exceed our capacity for recollection and be utilized for power. Power against those that would have us lick their corporate salt blocks in perpetuity. 
       The words gathered here are not necessarily aimed at public consumption — if one connects with something here that is of course wonderful. But this is ultimately a personal reservoir, a store where I can return to remind myself, when low and forgetful, to revive my awe of all that is blooming and has come to pass.


Robert Aickman, Cold Hand in MineI have noticed several times that it is to beginners that strange things happen, and often, I think, to beginners only. 

Paul Prudence, Figured Stones (link)Erosion, whose secrets are occluded only by time itself, has been busy; slowly dissolving rough rock into miniature worlds. The flow of water — that fertile archetype of time itself — has worn tiny rivers and valleys into stone, copying those processes of the greater world. Time flows through water and time flows through rocks, transforming them into mirror-worlds by attrition. And with more time these tiny streams in stone are turned into caves and tunnels which burrow down into the foundations of our own subconscious worlds. These sunless chambers form the perfect refuges for the dreamt-up denizens of our inflamed imaginations. 

Peter Nichols, A Voyage For Madmen
He knew, as sailors come to, not to stare hard but to let the faintest suggestion of form and light in at the periphery of his gaze.

Greg Egan (Diaspora)A second wave was added — running askew to the first, modulated with a slow steady rise — carving each ridge into a series of ascending mounds. Then a third, and a fourth, each successive wave enriching the pattern, complicating and fracturing its symmetries: defining directions, building up gradients, establishing a hierarchy of scales. The fortieth wave ploughed through an abstract topography bearing no trace of the crystalline regularity of its origins, with ridges and furrows as convoluted as the whorls of a fingerprint. Not every point had been rendered unique — but enough structure had been created to act as the framework for everything to come. So the seed gave instructions for a hundred copies of itself to be scattered across the freshly calibrated landscape.

Marshall McLuhanThe present is always invisible because it’s environmental. No environment is perceptible, simply because it saturates the whole field of attention.

Ursula K. Le GuinHe strove long to learn what can be learned, in silence, from the eyes of animals, the flight of birds, the great slow gestures of trees. 

Marguerite Yourcenar, from the introduction to The Writing of Stones, by Roger Caillois The ills attacking us, the death lying in wait for us and the life pulsing through us exist independently of their physiological signs, and are governed by chemical combinations a thousand miles away from our consciousness and even from our senses.
       Stones, like us, stand at the intersection of countless lines crossing one another and receding to infinity, at the center of a field of forces too unpredictable to be measured; and we awkwardly call the result chance, hazard, or fate.

Walter BenjaminThe work is the death mask of its conception.

Scott Carey in The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
I looked up, as if somehow I could grasp the heavens, the universe, worlds beyond number. God’s silver tapestry spread across the night. And in that moment, I knew the answer to the riddle of the infinite! The trouble was that I’d only been thinking in terms of Man’s own limited dimension. I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. My fears melted away and in their place came acceptance. The vast majesty of creation had to mean something — but then I meant something too. To God, there is no zero. I still exist. Suddenly, I knew theinfinitesimal and the infinite were just two ends of the same thing. The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet, like the closing of a gigantic circle.

SAMI Galaxy Survey
Link to article
Filaments are massive thread-like formations, comprising huge amounts of matter — including galaxies, gas and, modelling implies, dark matter. They can be 500 million light years long but just 20 million light years wide. At their largest scale, the filaments divide the universe into a vast gravitationally linked lattice interspersed with enormous dark matter voids.

Manuel DeLanda, A thousand years of nonlinear history
Despite the many differences between them, living creatures and their inorganic counterparts share a crucial dependence on intense flows of energy and materials. In many respects the circulation is what matters, not the particular forms that it causes to emerge. As the biogeographer Ian G. Simmons puts it, “The flows of energy and mineral nutrients through an ecosystem manifest themselves as actual animals and plants of a particular species.” Our organic bodies are, in this sense, nothing but temporary coagulations in these flows: we capture in our bodies a certain portion of the flow at birth, then release it again when we die and microorganisms transform us into a new batch of raw materials.

Olaf Stapledon, Star Maker In such worlds the organic basis of intelligence was often a swarm of avian creatures no bigger than sparrows. A host of individual bodies were possessed together by a single individual mind of human rank. The body of this mind was multiple, but the mind itself was almost as firmly knit as the mind of a man. [...] Probing as best we could beyond the formal similarity of spirit which gave us access to the bird-clouds, we discovered painfully how to see with a million eyes at once, how to feel the texture of the atmosphere with a million wings. We learned to interpret the composite percepts of mud-flats and marshes and great agricultural regions, irrigated twice daily by the tide.

Philip Ball, ShapesTuring’s resemble not only the skin of a zebra, tiger or angelfish, but also some patterns in inanimate nature, such as the ripples in wind-blown sand. This may be no coincidence. Meinhardt suggests that, at root, the formation of these sand patterns is akin to an activator-inhibitor system. The mounds and ridges of sand are formed by deposition of wind-blown grains. […] The formation of regular structures by the competition between an autocatalytic activating process and an inhibiting influence, both of which may diffuse through space, now appears to have possible relevance not just for developmental biology but for pure and applied chemistry, geomorphology, plant biology, ecology, sociology and perhaps even astrophysics (a reaction-diffusion mechanism has, for example, been suggested as the origin of spiral galaxies).

Philip Ball, FlowPretty much all scientific histories of the problem of turbulence start in the same place: with the sketches of wild water flows made by Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th century. What Leonardo was up to was rather profound. In the words of art historian Martin Kemp, Leonardo regarded nature “as weaving an infinite variety of elusive patterns on the basic warp and woof of mathematical perfection.” Leonardo was trying to grasp those patterns. So when he drew an analogy between the braided vortices in water flowing around a flat plate in a stream, and the braids of a woman’s hair, he wasn’t just saying that one looks like the other — he was positing a deep connection between the two, a correspondence of form in the manner that Neoplatonic philosophers of his age deemed to exist throughout the natural world. He saw fluid flow as a static, almost crystalline entity: his sketches have a solidity to them, seeming almost to weave water into ropes and coils.

Roger Caillois, The Writing of StonesLife appears: a complex dampness, destined to an intricate future and charged with secret virtues, capable of challenge and creation. A kind of precarious slime, of surface mildew, in which a ferment is already working. A turbulent, spasmodic sap, a presage and expectation of a new way of being, breaking with mineral perpetuity and boldly exchanging it for the doubtful privilege of being able to tremble, decay, and multiply.

Abel Boyer, The English Theophrastus (1702)It is sometimes of great Use for a Man to pretend he is deceiv’d; for when we let a subtile Fellow see that we are sensible of his Tricks, it gives him occasion to be more refin’d.

John W. Reed, The Life of a Photon [link]During the time of this passing through the intergalactic deep, many things happen on our own small world. Several ice ages come and go. The rocky mountains grow taller. Strange animals flourish and become extinct. Yet after all this, our particle has still not reached its destination. Finally, man’s civilization begins to reshape the planet. This time period — our time period — is the last one half of one percent of the entire journey. Our history is like a flash of fat in a fire that has been burning for hours.

Terence McKenna A conclusion of that same era was that language is alive. I experienced this very concretely on acid. English as an animal, a kind of amoeba, extending its pseudopodia of description into every nook and cranny of reality, a kind of syntactical Los Angeles, ever growing, expanding and including more and more empty or natural territory into its grid of meaning. Wasn’t it Burroughs who observed that “Language is a virus from outer space?”

Georges Bataille, from The Practice of Joy in the Face of DeathThere are explosives everywhere which perhaps will soon blind me. I laugh when I think that my eyes persist in demanding objects that do not destroy them.

James P Carse, Finite and Infinite Games
A finite game is a game you play to win, and an infinite game is a game you play to continue the play. An infinite player has the talent of seeing when someone is about to lose, and is able to either change the rules or otherwise find a way of getting that person back into the play.
Only that which can change can continue.

Aleister Crowley, Book 4
A most astounding phenomenon has happened to us; we have had an experience which makes Love, fame, rank, ambition, wealth, look like thirty cents; and we begin to wonder passionately, "What is truth?" The Universe has tumbled about our ears like a house of cards, and we have tumbled too. Yet this ruin is like the opening of the Gates of Heaven! Here is a tremendous problem, and there is something within us which ravins for its solution.

Philip K. Dick, VALIS We hypostatize information into objects. Rearrangement of objects is change in the content of the information; the message has changed. This is a language which we have lost the ability to read. We ourselves are a part of this language; changes in us are changes in the content of the information. We ourselves are information-rich; information enters us, is processed and is then projected outward once more, now in an altered form. We are not aware that we are doing this, that in fact this is all we are doing.

Count Eric Stanislaus StenbockTo terror succeeded a languor and lassitude not without charm — passivity, acquiescence, indulgence — he felt, as it were, the strong caress of another will flowing over him like water and clothing him with invisible hands in an impalpable garment.
His schoolfellows did not like Gabriel; all laughed and jeered at him, because he was less cruel and more gentle of nature than the rest, and even as a rare and beautiful bird escaped from a cage is hacked to death by the common sparrows, so was Gabriel among his fellows.

Loren Eiseley, Notes of an Alchemist
  • my mind follows the night wind
  • over dunes and pinnacles
  • I can hear it whisper
  • each time more softly
  • that there is no need
  • to come back,
  • that I myself am the wind
  • so long whispering that our identities
  • are both cast in doubt.

Austin Osman SpareBe careful what you cast out — the vacancy is quickly filled.

Ursula K. Le Guin, How it Seems to MeIn the vast abyss before time, self
is not, and soul commingles
with mist, and rock, and light. In time,
soul brings the misty self to be.
Then slow time hardens self to stone
while ever lightening the soul,
till soul can loose its hold of self
and both are free and can return
to vastness and dissolve in light,
the long light after time.

    Ursula K. Le Guin, The PeopleSome people have begun to come into my dreams
    from a long way away,
    traveling over the mountain passes
    that nobody living knows.
    Old people who smell like fog
    and the soft bark of redwoods.
    They talk together softly.
    They know more than I know.
    I think they come from home.

    Vernor Vinge, True NamesErythrina’s voice was faint against the roar, “Use everything, not just the inputs!” And he had just enough sense left to see what she meant. He controlled more than raw data now; if he could master them, the continent’s computers could process this avalanche, much the way parts of the human brain preprocess their input. More seconds passed, but now with a sense of time, as he struggled to distribute his very consciousness through the System. Then it was over, and he had control once more. But things would never be the same: the human that had been Mr. Slippery was an insect wandering in the cathedral his mind had become. There simply was more there than before. No sparrow could fall without his knowledge, via air traffic control; no check could be cashed without his noticing over the bank communication net. More than three hundred million lives swept before what his senses had become.

    Tao Te Ching, 71 Only when we are sick of our sickness
    Shall we cease to be sick.
    The Sage is not sick, being sick of sickness;
    This is the secret of health. 

      I Ching, 46Adapting itself to obstacles and bending around them, wood in the earth grows upward without haste and without rest. Thus too the superior man is devoted in character and never pauses in his progress.

      Alan Watts (assorted)If you want to outwit the devil, it is extremely important that you don’t give him advanced notice. Even if you only announce to yourself your intentions, the devil will know, because who do you think the devil is?

      Like it or not, change is coming. And the greater the resistance, the greater the pain.

      What we have to discover is that there is no safety, that seeking it is painful, and that when we imagine we have found it, we don’t like it.

      Yogas, prayers, therapies, and spiritual exercises are at root only elaborate postponements of the recognition that there is nothing to be grasped and no way to grasp it.

      Life really is not the avoidance of death. Death is the avoidance of death: the constant terror of death, the constant putting it off, the constant vigilance that one will not die—that is death! What we call life is, fundamentally, willingness to die.

      To remain stable is to refrain from trying to separate yourself from a pain because you know that you cannot. Running away from fear is fear, fighting pain is pain, trying to be brave is being scared.

      The absolutely vital thing is to become capable of enjoyment, of living in the present, and of the discipline which this involves.

      Just in being alive I am unavoidably responsible for untold misery and pain. Apologies are hollow. Attempts at improvement create new entanglements. Passivity is simple evasion.

      Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-EaterSuffering is a mightier agency in the hands of nature, as a Demiurgus creating the intellect, than most people are aware of.

      H. P. Lovecraft, The Call of CthulhuThe most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age. 

      KrishnamurtiThe Search must come to an end before anything can happen.

      Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend.

      Roger Caillois, The Writing of StonesThe tissue of the universe is continuous (...) I can scarcely refrain from suspecting some ancient, diffused magnetism; a call from the center of things; a dim, almost lost memory, or perhaps a presentiment, pointless in so puny a being, of a universal syntax.

      Henry Munn, The Mushrooms of Language Cross-legged on the floor in the darkness of huts, close to the fire, breathing the incense of copal, the shaman sits with the furrowed brow and the marked mouth of speech. Chanting his words, clapping his hands, rocking to and fro, he speaks in the night of chirping crickets.

      Terence McKenna, From the Grasslands to the Starship Human history has been a fifteen-thousand-year dash from the equilibrium of the African cradle to the twentieth-century apotheosis of delusion, devaluation, and mass death. Now we stand on the brink of star flight, virtual reality technologies, and a revivified shamanism that heralds the abandonment of the monkey body and tribal group that has always been our context. The age of imagination is dawning. The shamanic plants and the worlds that they reveal are the worlds from which we imagine that we came long ago, worlds of light and power and beauty that in some form or another lie behind the eschatological visions of all of the world’s great religions. We can claim this prodigal legacy only as quickly as we can remake our language and ourselves.

      Algernon Blackwood, SandHe had escaped that cheap cynicism with which disappointed men soothe their vanity when they realise that an intelligible explanation of the universe lies beyond their powers.

      Terence McKennaNature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.

      Aleister CrowleySit still. Stop thinking. Shut up. Get out!
             The first two of these instructions comprise the whole of the technique of Yoga. The last two are of a sublimity which it would be improper to expound in this present elementary stage.

      Algernon Blackwood, The Insanity of Jones Adventures come to the adventurous, and mysterious things fall in the way of those who, with wonder and imagination, are on the watch for them; but the majority of people go past the doors that are half ajar, thinking them closed, and fail to notice the faint stirrings of the great curtain that hangs ever in the form of appearances between them and the world of causes behind.
             For only to the few whose inner senses have been quickened, perchance by some strange suffering in the depths, or by a natural temperament bequeathed from a remote past, comes the knowledge, not too welcome, that this greater world lies ever at their elbow, and that any moment a chance combination of moods and forces may invite them to cross the shifting frontier.

      William BurroughsYou cannot show to anyone what he has not seen.

      John Gall, Systemantics A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.

      Austin Osman Spare, Systemantics Man in the misery of his illusions and unsatisfied desires, wings his flight to different religions, and doctrines, seeks redeception, a hypnotic, a palliative from which he suffers fresh miseries in exhaustion. The terms of the cure are new illusions, greater entanglement, more stagnant environment.

      Alan KayIt’s almost impossible for most people to see technology as the tool rather than the end. People get trapped in thinking that anything in the environment is to be taken as a given. It’s part of the way our nervous system works. But it’s dangerous to take it as a given because then it controls you, rather than the other way around. That’s McLuhan’s insight, one of the bigger ones in the twentieth century.

      Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy
      Man the tool-making animal, whether in speech or in writing or in radio, has long been engaged in extending one or another of his sense organs in such a manner as to disturb all of his other senses and faculties.

      Peter CarrollMagic appeals to those with a great deal of hubris and a fertile imagination coupled with a strong suspicion that both reality and the human condition have a game-like quality.

      Reject the obscenities of contrived uniformity, order and purpose. Turn and face the tidal wave of Chaos from which philosophers have been fleeing in terror for millennia. Leap in and come out surfing its crest, sporting amidst the limitless weirdness and mystery in all things.

      So many people seem to spend their lives trying to appear normal, predictable and consistent to themselves and those that surround them. They just end up bored with themselves, bereft of any depth of inner resources, suffocated by the inhibitions that defend their own monolithic identities.

      Marshall McLuhan, 
      Interview [PDF]
      McLuhan’s observations — “probes,” he prefers to call them — are riddled with such flamboyantly undecipherable aphorisms as “The electric light is pure information” and “People don’t actually read newspapers — they get into them every morning like a hot bath.”

      Marshall McLuhanThe content or message of any particular medium has about as much importance as the stenciling on the casing of an atomic bomb.

      Loren Eiseley, The Immense JourneyA billion years have gone into the making of that eye; the water and the salt and the vapors of the sun have built it; things that squirmed in the tide silts have devised it. Light-year beyond light-year, deep beyond deep, the mind may rove by means of it, hanging above the bottomless and surveying impartially the state of matter in the white-dwarf suns. 
             Yet whenever I see a frog’s eye low in the water warily ogling the shoreward landscape, I always think inconsequentially of those twiddling mechanical eyes that mankind manipulates nightly from a thousand observatories. Someday, with a telescopic lens an acre in extent, we are going to see something not to out liking, some looming shape outside there across the great pond of space.
             Whenever I catch a frog’s eye I am aware of this, but I do not find it depressing. I stand quite still and try hard not to move or lift a hand since it would only frighten him. And standing thus it finally comes to me that this is the most enormous extension of vision of which life is capable: the projection of itself into other lives. This is the lonely magnificent power of humanity. It is, far more than any spatial adventure, the supreme epitome of the reaching out.

      John MuirI am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.

      When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

      Richard FeynmanIf an apple is magnified to the size of the earth, then the atoms in the apple are approximately the size of the original apple.

      Malcolm GladwellTalent is the desire to practice.

      Naomi Shihab Nye, The Art Of DisappearingWhen they say Don’t I know you? 
      say no. 

      When they invite you to the party 
      remember what parties are like 
      before answering. 
      Someone telling you in a loud voice 
      they once wrote a poem. 
      Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate. 
      Then reply. 

      If they say We should get together 
      say why? 

      It’s not that you don’t love them anymore. 
      You’re trying to remember something 
      too important to forget. 
      Trees. The monastery bell at twilight. 
      Tell them you have a new project. 
      It will never be finished. 

      When someone recognizes you in a grocery store 
      nod briefly and become a cabbage. 
      When someone you haven’t seen in ten years 
      appears at the door, 
      don’t start singing him all your new songs. 
      You will never catch up. 

      Walk around feeling like a leaf. 
      Know you could tumble any second. 
      Then decide what to do with your time.

        Ettore SottsassYou never know who you really are, so any definition I might give you might be wrong. I’m an architect and a designer but I’m not any guru. I’ve had a very full life in which I have done things right and things wrong. I have worked a lot, I have broken hearts and had mine broken. I have done many things wrong, but I have been always faithful to my point of view. That’s all I can say. 

        Carlos CastanedaWhat weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellow men. Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone. 

        Bossuet, Sermon sur la mortEverything summons us to death; nature, as if envious of the good she has done us, announces to us often and reminds us that she cannot leave us for long that bit of matter she lends us, which must not remain in the same hands, and which must eternally be in circulation: she needs it for other forms, she asks it back for other works.

        Alfred HitchockA clear horizon — nothing to worry about on your plate, only things that are creative and not destructive… I can’t bear quarreling, I can’t bear feelings between people — I think hatred is wasted energy, and it’s all non-productive. I’m very sensitive — a sharp word, said by a person, say, who has a temper, if they’re close to me, hurts me for days. I know we’re only human, we do go in for these various emotions, call them negative emotions, but when all these are removed and you can look forward and the road is clear ahead, and now you’re going to create something — I think that’s as happy as I’ll ever want to be.

        Herman Melville, Moby Dick To be enraged with a dumb thing, Captain Ahab, seems blasphemous.

        Philip Ball, The quantum origin of time [link] ... we can regard retrocausality as a kind of fuzziness in the “crystallisation of the present” — Ellis that the past is not always fully defined at any instant. It is like a block of ice that contains little blobs of water that have not yet crystallized.
               Even though the broad outline of events at a particular instant has been decided, some of the fine details remain fluid until a later time. Then, when this “fixing” of the details happens, it looks like they have retrospective consequences.

        Terence McKenna, from the foreword to Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide [PDF] I am old, older than thought in your species, which is itself fifty times older than your history. Though I have been on earth for ages I am from the stars. My home is no one planet, for many worlds scattered through the shining disc of the galaxy have conditions which allow my spores an opportunity for life. The mushroom which you see is the part of my body given to sex thrills and sun bathing, my true body is a fine network of fibres growing through the soil. These networks may cover acres and may have far more connections than the number in a human brain. My mycelial network is nearly immortal — only the sudden toxification of a planet or the explosion of its parent star can wipe me out. By means impossible to explain because of certain misconceptions in your model of reality all my mycelial networks in the galaxy are in hyper light communication across space and time.
               Since it is not easy for you to recognize other varieties of intelligence around you, your most advanced theories of politics and society have advanced only as far as the notion of collectivism. But beyond the cohesion of the members of a species into a single social organism there lie richer and even more baroque evolutionary possibilities.

        Van Morrison, In The Garden no guru, no method, no teacher
        just you and I and nature
        in the garden
        in the garden
        wet with rain

          HegelThe bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant’s existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. The ceaseless activity of their own inherent nature makes these stages moments of an organic unity, where they do not merely contradict one another, but where one is as necessary as the other; and constitutes thereby the life of the whole. 

          Carlos CastanedaA man goes to knowledge as he goes to war: wide-awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. Going to knowledge or going to war in any other manner is a mistake, and whoever makes it might never live to regret it. 

          Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
          A revelation trembled just beyond the threshold of her understanding.

          Aleister Crowley (assorted)A high degree of spiritual development, a romantic temperament and a profound knowledge based on experience of mountain conditions are the best safeguards against the insane impulses and hysterical errors which overwhelm the average man.

          Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy. Be not animal; refine thy rapture! If thou drink, drink by the eight and ninety rules of art: if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein!

          The clever man, so-called, the man of talent, shuts out his genius by setting up his conscious will as a positive entity. The true man of genius deliberately subordinates himself, reduces himself to a negative, and allows his genius to play through him as It will.  We all know how stupid we are when we try to do things.  Seek to make any other muscle work as consistently as your heart does without your silly interference — you cannot keep it up for forty-eight hours. Yield yourself utterly to the Will of Heaven, and you become the omnipotent instrument of that Will.  Nothing that any man can do will improve that genius; but the genius needs his mind, and he can broaden that mind, fertilize it with knowledge of all kinds, improve its powers of expression; supply the genius, in short, with an orchestra instead of a tin whistle.

          But exceed! Exceed!

          She played the game with no thought of the victory; and this is half the secret of playing most  games of importance.

          • The spots of the leopard are the sunlight in the glade; pursue thou the deer stealthily at thy pleasure.
          • The dappling of the deer is the sunlight in the glade; concealed from the leopard do thou feed at thy pleasure.
          • Resemble all that surroundeth thee; yet be Thyself — and take thy pleasure among the living.

          And in his broad brow she read the knowledge of the Unity of Things, and in his eyes the joy unspeakable which that knowledge gives.

          I’m understanding you with a part of me that I didn’t know was there.

          All life is conflict. Every breath that you draw represents a victory in the struggle of the whole Universe.

          In a steamboat the engine must first overcome its own inertia before it can attack the resistance of the water.

          The only way to clear muddy water is to leave it alone.

          Carl JungUntil you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

          Austin Osman SpareBirth and death begin, like everything else, before the event.

          Carlos Castaneda (assorted)In a world where death is the hunter there is no time for regrets or doubts. There is only time for decisions. 

          The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.

          The aim is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive.

          We hardly ever realize that we can cut anything out of our lives, anytime, in the blink of an eye.

          A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting.

          When a man starts to learn, it happens very slowly-bit by bit at first, then in big chunks. And his thoughts soon clash. What he learns is never what he pictured, or imagined, and so he begins to be afraid. Learning is never what one expects. Every step of learning is a new task, and the fear the man is experiencing begins to mount mercilessly, unyieldingly. His purpose becomes a battlefield -And what can he do to overcome fear? The answer is very simple. He must not run away. He must defy his fear, and in spite of it he must take the next step in learning, and the next, and the next. He must be fully afraid, and yet he must not stop. That is the rule! And a moment will come when his first enemy retreats. The man begins to feel sure of himself. His intent becomes stronger. Learning is no longer a terrifying task.

          W.H. Auden, As I Walked Out One Evening The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
          The desert sighs in the bed,
          And the crack in the tea-cup opens
          A lane to the land of the dead.

            William BlakeExuberance is beauty.

            Matthew SullivanThough the reflective pose (and repose) of a “holy man” or whatever, may appear to be one of safety (like from fray to harbor), isn’t it really a posture of the most aggressive engagement? Isn’t the stillness just economy of task — like why move or talk or think when you are confronting all that is, which is you? 

            Alan Wattsthat the dust isn’t a haze of jewels

            Terence McKennaThe great cultural accomplishment of Western civilization is this thing called the free individual. But now that we’re on the brink of the electronic dispensation, exactly what we’re going to do with the free individual, and how that’s going to look in an era where consciousness flows through a thousand portals, it’s not at all clear.

            Terence McKennaAnimals are something plants invented to move their seeds around.

            Henry JamesDeep experience is never peaceful. 

            William JamesGive up the feeling of responsibility, let go your hold, resign the care of your destiny to higher powers, be genuinely indifferent to what becomes of it all, and you will find not only that you gain a perfect inward relief, but often also, in addition, the particular goods you sincerely thought you were renouncing. 

            Olaf Stapledon, Star MakerI perceived that I was on a little round grain of rock and metal, filmed with water and with air, whirling in sunlight and darkness. And on the skin of that little grain all the swarms of men, generation by generation, had lived in labour and blindness, with intermittent joy and intermittent lucidity of spirit. And all their history, with its folk-wanderings, its empires, its philosophies, its proud sciences, its social revolutions, its increasing hunger for community, was but a flicker in one day of the lives of the stars. 

            Joi ItoA compass for a world without maps.

            Oscar WildeGive a man a mask, and he will show you his true face.

            William Blake (assorted)
              Exuberance is beauty

              Great things are done when men and mountains meet.

              To generalize is to be an idiot.

              Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you.

              Ursula K. Le Guin, The Author of the Acacia Seeds And with them, or after them, may there not come that even bolder adventurer—the first geolinguist, who, ignoring the delicate, transient lyrics of the lichen, will read beneath it the still less communicative, still more passive, wholly atemporal, cold, volcanic poetry of the rocks: each one a word spoken, how long ago, by the earth itself, in the immense solitude, the immenser community, of space. 

              Emil Cioran (assorted)We have convictions only if we have studied nothing thoroughly.

              Refinement is a sign of a deficient vitality, in art, in love, and in everything.

              No one can enjoy freedom without trembling.

              We define only out of despair, we must have a formula... to give a facade to the void.

              Joi Ito, 9 Principles of the Media Lab 1. Disobedience over compliance
              2. Pull over push
              3. Compasses over maps
              4. Emergence over authority
              5. Learning over education
              6. Resilience over strength
              7. Systems over objects
              8. Risk over safety
              9. Practice over theory

                Gregory BatesonOfficial education was telling people almost nothing of the nature of all those things on the seashores, and in the redwood forests, in the deserts and in the plains.

                Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs His diet obsessions reflected a life philosophy, one in which asceticism and minimalism could heighten subsequent sensations. He believed that great harvests came from arid sources, pleasure from restraint. He knew the equations that most people didn’t know: Things led to their opposites. 

                lord crunkington 1312All struggle is against impermanence.

                Pearl S. BuckThe truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create—so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.

                Douglas AdamsIf you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat. 

                Olaf Stapledon, Last and First Men But in fact the glorious beings which they had produced were tortured by subtle imperferopctions beyond their makers’ comprehension.

                Philip K. DickEverything is true, he said. Everything anybody has ever thought.

                Philip K. DickOur methods may seem strange and indirect. Even incomprehensible. But I assure you we know what we’re doing.

                Bertrand RussellOrganic life, we are told, has developed gradually from the protozoon to the philosopher, and this development, we are assured, is indubitably an advance. Unfortunately it is the philosopher, not the protozoon, who gives us this assurance. 

                UnknownDon’t let starting stop you.

                Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand. 

                G. K. ChestertonHe knows that there are in the soul tints more bewildering, more numberless, and more nameless than the colours of an autumn forest... Yet he seriously believes that these things can every one of them, in all their tones and semitones, in all their blends and unions, be accurately represented by an arbitrary system of grunts and squeals. He believes that an ordinary civilized stockbroker can really produce out of this own inside noises which denote all the mysteries of memory and all the agonies of desire. 

                Tom RobbinsIf you need to visualize the soul, think of it as a cross between a wolf howl, a photon, and a dribble of dark molasses. But what it really is, as near as I can tell, is a packet of information. It's a program, a piece of hyperspatial software designed explicitly to interface with the mystery. 

                Jacques DerridaHere there is a sort of question, call it historical, of which we are only glimpsing today, the conception, the formation, the gestation, the labor. I employ these words, I admit, with a glance toward the business of childbearing — but also with a glance toward those who, in a company from which I do not exclude myself, turn their eyes away in the face of the as yet unnamable, which is proclaiming itself and which can do so, as is necessary whenever a birth is in the offing, only under the species of the non-species in the formless, mute, infant, and terrifying form of monstrosity. 

                William BurroughsYour mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.

                Phil HineThe price of transformation is eternal vigilance. 

                Gospel of ThomasIf you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

                J.G. BallardAu revoir, jewelled alligators and white hotels, hallucinatory forests, farewell.

                Anatole FranceSuffering! We owe to it all that is good in us, all that gives value to life; we owe to it pity, we owe to it courage, we owe to it all the virtues. 

                Sam HarrisYou can’t take credit for your talents, but it matters that you use them. You can’t really be blamed for your weaknesses, but it matters that you correct them. So pride and shame don’t make a lot of sense in the final analysis. But they weren’t much fun anyway; these are isolating emotions. 

                Bruce LeeBefore I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I’ve understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick.

                Bruno SchulzThere are things that cannot ever occur with any precision. They are too big and too magnificent to be contained in mere facts. They are merely trying to occur, they are checking whether the ground of reality can carry them. And they quickly withdraw, fearing to lose their integrity in the frailty of realization. 

                Terence McKennaThe biological object is made of time as much as it is made of space and matter. 

                Willem-Peter BiermanThe obstacle on your path is a route indicator, not a stop sign. 

                PlatoLearning is a form of remembering. 

                PhaedrusThe only problem with seeing too much is that it makes you insane. 

                Herman MelvilleImmortality is but ubiquity in time. 

                Terence McKennaCulture replaces authentic feeling with words. As an example of this, imagine an infant lying in its cradle, and the window is open, and into the room comes something, marvelous, mysterious, glittering, shedding light of many colors, movement, sound, a transformative hierophany of integrated perception and the child is enthralled and then the mother comes into the room and she says to the child, “that's a bird, baby, that’s a bird,” instantly the complex wave of the angel peacock irridescent transformative mystery is collapsed, into the word. All mystery is gone, the child learns this is a bird, this is a bird, and by the time we're five or six years old all the mystery of reality has been carefully tiled over with words. This is a bird, this is a house, this is the sky, and we seal ourselves in within a linguistic shell of disempowered perception. What the psychedelics do is they burst apart this cultural envelope of confinement and return us to the legacy and birthright of the organism. 

                Victor HugoYou have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea. It is the cloud which thunders around everything that shines. Fame must have enemies, as light must have gnats. Do not bother yourself about it; disdain. Keep your mind serene as you keep your life clear. 

                GoetheShe has neither language nor discourse; but she creates tongues and hearts, by which she feels and speaks. 

                Ben CervenyThere is now a window where once there was only a wall.

                EmersonThe terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them. 

                SchopenhauerAt birth you receive a loan, consciousness and light borrowed from the void, leaving a hole in the emptiness. 

                PicassoWithout great solitude, no serious work is possible. 

                Gregory BatesonThe meaning of your communication is the response you get. 

                Olaf Stapledon, Last and First MenIncreasingly, the individual felt himself to be a single flicker between the teeming gulf of the never-more and the boundless void of the not-yet. 

                David LynchI don’t think about technique. The ideas dictate everything. 

                Victor HugoNothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. 

                Stewart BrandWho meets the dawn owns the day. 

                Donella MeadowsThou shalt not distort, delay, or sequester information. 

                Miles DavisYou should never be comfortable, man. Being comfortable fouled up a lot of musicians.

                VoltaireDoubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. 

                Robert HeinleinSpecialization is for insects. 

                Chinese sayingThe best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago; the next best time is now. 

                Deleuze & ParnetAn image of thought called philosophy has been formed historically and it effectively stops people from thinking. 

                Frank Herbert, Dune He had achieved harmony simply by accepting it. 

                James JoyceThe demand that I make of my reader is that he should devote his whole life to reading my works.

                Bruce LeeNow I see that I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, consuming myself.  

                William EversonYou get the conception of an infinitely sensitive and intelligent man laying his ear to the earth and writing verbatim every delicate response and flux that twitches his being.

                NietzscheAfter nature had drawn a few breaths the star grew cold, and the clever animals had to die. 

                Andy WarholI have no special message. I wish I did. It would be great if I had one. 

                Terence McKennaThe human body is a knot in time. It is a non-thermal dynamic state of equilibrium maintained by the miracle of metabolism. Metabolism is a slow controlled chemical burning of organic material. A so subtle form of burning that the energy is trapped in various membranes and cytochrome cascades and put to the work of organism. 

                Hermann HesseOnly the ideas that we actually live are of any value. 

                Eternity is a mere moment, just long enough for a joke.

                If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.

                Georges BraqueYou see, I have made a great discovery. I no longer believe in anything. Objects don’t exist for me except in so far as a rapport exists between them or between them and myself. 

                Frank HerbertTruth suffers from too much analysis.

                HeraclitusEven sleepers are workers and collaborators in what goes on in the Universe.

                Frank Herbert, Dune A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct. 

                Stewart BrandOnce a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road. 

                Winston ChurchillIf you’re going through hell, keep going. 

                Philip K. DickTo fight the Empire is to be infected by its derangement. Whoever defeats the Empire becomes the Empire; it proliferates like a virus ... thereby it becomes its enemies. 

                Benjamin FranklinWell done is better than well said. 

                Hermann Hesse, Journey to the East It was only possible for me to do it, he said, because it was necessary. 

                Lao TzuThe words of truth are always paradoxical. To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders. 

                André BretonThe approval of the public is to be avoided like the plague. It is absolutely essential to keep the public from entering if one wishes to avoid confusion. I must add that the public must be kept panting in expectation at the gate by a system of challenges and provocations. 

                Eckhart TolleGive up defining yourself — to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. 

                Hermann Hesse... as though in a miraculous hour it has become aware of the law that shapes it and begins to strive toward the fulfillment of its being. 

                Massimo BanziThe man who says it can’t be done shouldn’t interrupt the man who is trying to do it.

                J.G. BallardArt exists because reality is neither real nor significant. 

                NietzscheThe individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. 

                Buddhist sayingTo forgive is to give up all hope for a better past. 

                R.M. RilkeFor we are only the rind and the leaf. The great death, that each of us carries inside, is the fruit. Everything enfolds it. 

                Noel CowardWork is more fun than fun. 

                KierkegaardLife can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

                UnknownSuccess has a thousand parents.

                Carlos CastanedaA warrior lives by acting, not by thinking about acting, nor by thinking about what he will think when he has finished acting. 

                Carlos CastanedaThe self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to infinity. 

                Kurt VonnegutI want to stay as close on the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. Big, undreamed-of things — the people on the edge see them first. 

                Marshall McluhanIf it works, it’s obsolete. 

                Marshall McLuhanPoets and artists live on frontiers. They have no feedback, only feedforward. They have no identities. They are probes. 

                Kazys VarnelisIn network theory, a node’s relationship to other networks is more important than its own uniqueness. Similarly, today we situate ourselves less as individuals and more as the product of multiple networks composed of both humans and things.

                Gregory BatesonLike the artist, the networked self is an aggregator of information flows, a collection of links to others, a switching machine. 

                Gregory BatesonThe source of the new is the random.

                Theodore ZeldinThe kind of conversation I like is one in which you are prepared to emerge a slightly different person. 

                Alan TuringMathematical reasoning may be regarded rather schematically as the exercise of a combination of two facilities, which we may call intuition and ingenuity. The activity of the intuition consists in making spontaneous judgements which are not the result of conscious trains of reasoning. The exercise of ingenuity in mathematics consists in aiding the intuition through suitable arrangements of propositions, and perhaps geometrical figures or drawings. 

                Brian EnoGiving something a name can be just the same as inventing it. 

                Antonio MachadoThere is no path, paths are made by walking. 

                Rabindrananth TagoreDeath is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come. 

                Brian EnoAn important aspect of design is the degree to which the object involves you in its own completion. 

                Albert EinsteinIf you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. 

                ThoreauWhat lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us. 

                Carl JungI could not say I believe. I know! I have had the experience of being gripped by something that is stronger than myself, something that people call God. 

                Henry David ThoreauWe must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success. 

                Bertrand RussellEverything is vague to a degree you do not realize until you have tried to make it precise. 

                Carlos CastanedaNo person is important enough to make me angry. 

                CalvinIt’s not denial. I’m just very particular about the reality I choose to accept. 

                Douglas AdamsImagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!” This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for. 

                NietzscheThere are no facts, only interpretations. 

                Boat Man, Waking Life The idea is to remain in a state of constant departure while always arriving. Saves on introductions and goodbyes. The ride does not require an explanation, just occupants. 

                Buckminster FullerWhen I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong. 

                Thomas MertonA society whose whole idea is to eliminate suffering and bring its members the greatest amount of comfort and pleasure is doomed to be destroyed. 

                Johnny von NeumannIf people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.

                Hofstadter’s LawIt always takes longer than you expect, even when you take Hofstadter’s Law into account.

                Robert Anton WilsonOf course I'm crazy, but that doesn't mean I’m wrong. 

                Arthur SchopenhauerTalent hits a target no one else can hit, while genius hits a target that no one else can see. 

                Marshall McLuhanWe’re driving faster and faster into the future, trying to steer by using only the rear-view mirror. 

                Frank HerbertSeek freedom and become captive of your desires, seek discipline and find your liberty. 

                Tom RobbinsThe world is a wonderfully weird place, consensual reality is significantly flawed, no institution can be trusted, certainty is a mirage, security a delusion, and the tyranny of the dull mind forever threatens — but our lives are not as limited as we think they are, all things are possible, laughter is holier than piety, freedom is sweeter than fame, and in the end it's love and love alone that really matters.

                Raymond TallisUniquely in us, nature opens her eyes and sees that she exists.

                Anais NinWe do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.

                NapoleonNever ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence. 

                Aldous Huxley, Brave New World The greater a man’s talents, the greater his power to lead astray. 

                Aldous HuxleyToo much consistency is as bad for the mind as it is for the body. Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead. 

                Aldous HuxleyI’m afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery. 

                Frank HerbertA process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it. 

                Anais NinLife shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. 

                EinsteinWe act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.

                Terence McKennaIf you haven’t taken enough that you think that you may have done too much, you did too little .

                Terence McKennaSince it is not easy for you to recognize other varieties of intelligence around you, your most advanced theories of politics and society have advanced only as far as the notion of collectivism. But beyond the cohesion of the members of a species into a single social organism there lie richer and even more baroque evolutionary possibilities. 

                SchopenhauerAll truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. 

                Terence McKennaPay attention. And keep breathing.

                WittgensteinWhereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. 

                PlatoTime is the moving image of eternity.

                Bill HicksToday, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration... that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There's no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we're the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather.

                ThoreauThe greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?

                Douglas AdamsThe Total Perspective Vortex derives its picture of the whole Universe on the principle of extrapolated matter analyses. Since every piece of matter in the Universe is in some way affected by every other piece of matter in the Universe, it is in theory possible to extrapolate the whole of creation — every sun, every planet, their orbits, their composition and their economic and social history from, say, one small piece of fairy cake. 

                Michael PollanEat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. 

                George WaldA physicist is the atom’s way of knowing about atoms.

                Seth LloydEvery time you click on an icon, he explained, the computer's operating system decides how to allocate memory space, based on some deterministic instructions. But, Dr. Lloyd said, “If I ask how long will it take to boot up five minutes from now, the operating system will say ‘I don’t know, wait and see, and I’ll make decisions and let you know.’”

                Dennis when an artist envisions a teapot and then sculpts it — a concept sometimes known as “downward causation.” 

                Terence McKennaThe most intense moments the universe has ever known are the next 15 seconds. 

                Winston ChurchillMen occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. 

                Mark TwainWhen I was 16, I thought my father was the most ignorant ass that there ever was. But by the time I was 21, I was surprised to discover just how much he had learned in only 5 years. 

                Joseph CampbellLife is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends. 

                OZ, post tripThere was nothing there...just me and...everything. 

                Malaclypse the YoungerCommon sense is what tells you that the world is flat.

                Douglas AdamsThe major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair. 

                EinsteinGreat spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds.

                Bucky FullerDon’t oppose forces, use them. 

                Marshall McLuhanA point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding. 

                GoetheNone are more hopelessly enslaved thanthose who falsely believe they are free. 

                Terence McKennaPeople are so alienated from their own soul that when they meet their soul they think it comes from another star system. 

                Terence McKennaSome kind of dialog is now going on between individual human beings and the sum total of human knowledge and nothing can stop it. 

                Kevin KellyThere is only one time in the history of each planet when its inhabitants first wire up its innumerable parts to make one large Machine...You and I are alive at this moment. 

                Timothy LearyAt one point consciousness-altering devices like the microscope and telescope were criminalized for exactly the same reasons that psychedelic plants were banned in later years. They allow us to peer into bits and zones of Chaos. 

                OA OeserThe child is expected to sit on a hard seat, not to move, scrape his feet, or gaze out the window, to listen, to answer questions by raising his hand, to draw neat lines in a book and write or script-print on a single blue line in exactly the same way as all his peers. He may be permitted to ask questions but, for the most part he is expected to conform. The teacher teaches, the child listens. He soon appreciates the advantages of conformity. 

                Nikola TeslaA single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times, may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes of nature. 

                John Gray, Straw Dogs 
                Cities are no more artificial than Bee-hives. The internet is as natural as a spider’s web. We ourselves are technological devices, invented by ancient bacterial communities as means of genetic survival — we are part of an intricate network that comes from the original takeover of the Earth. Our power and intelligence do not belong specifically to us, but to all life. 

                UnknownWe know we are more than just neurons firing. Or, we think we are, while the neurons are firing. 

                Hermann HesseNothing is harder, yet nothing is more necessary, than to speak of certain things whose existence is neither demonstrable nor probable. The very fact that serious and conscientious men and women treat them as existing things brings them a step closer to existence and to the possibility of being born. 

                Charles EamesEventually, everything connects. 

                Chris ArkenbergThe relentless quest for meaning distracts us from experience. We get caught up in the abstractions, lost in the maps. Strip away meaning and language and the heavenly kingdom begins to reveal itself to the phenomenal perceptual machine called the human brain. 

                Rene DaalderEmbrace the alien within. 

                Douglas AdamsThere is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened. 

                Douglas AdamsIn the beginning the Universe was created. This made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. 

                Frank ZappaWithout deviation from the norm, ‘progress’ is not possible. 

                ProustThe real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. 

                Francis BaconThe job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.

                Arthur Conan DoyleMediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius. 

                Bertrand RussellThe whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. 

                Fyodor DostoevskyThere are moments, and it is only a matter of five or six seconds, when you feel the presence of the eternal harmony...a terrible thing is the frightful clearness with which it manifests itself and the rapture with which it fills you. If this state were to last more than five seconds, the soul could not endure it and would have to disappear. During these five seconds I live a whole human existence, and for that I would give my whole life and not think that I was paying too dearly....

                William Gibson, NeuromancerCyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts...A graphical representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding... 

                William Gibson, NeuromancerCyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts...A graphical representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding...

                Timothy LearyFor most people it’s a life-changing shock to learn that their everyday reality circuit is one among dozens of circuits which, when turned on, are equally real, pulsing with strange forms and mysterious biological systems. Accelerated, amplified some of these alternate realities can be microscopic in exquisite detail, others telescopic. Since psychedelic drugs expose us to different levels of perception and experience, use of them is ultimately a philosophic enterprise, compelling us to confront the nature of reality and the nature of our fragile, subjective belief systems. The contrast is what triggers the laughter, the terror. We discover abruptly that we have been programmed all these years, that everything we accept as reality is just social fabrication. 

                Franklin D. RooseveltWe have nothing to fear but fear itself. 

                Franz KafkaThere are some things one can only achieve by a deliberate leap in the opposite direction. Oftentimes one has to go abroad to find the home one has lost. 

                Pablo PicassoIf you know exactly what you are going to do, what is the point of doing it? 

                Albert EinsteinA human being is a part of the whole called by us ‘universe’ ... a part limited in time and space. He experiences his thoughts and feelings as separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. 

                PlatoTo begin is the most important part of any quest and by far the most courageous. 

                W.H. MurrayUntil one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence move, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no one could have dreamed would have come their way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. 

                Terence McKennaShamanism is philosophy with a hands-on attitude. Philosophy not made around the campfire, but based on the acquisition of extreme experience. 

                Terence McKenna
                I sank to the floor, recalls McKenna, in a recording of the 1987 lecture. I experienced this hallucination of tumbling forward into these fractal geometric spaces made of light and then I found myself in the equivalent of the Pope's private chapel and there were insect elf machines proffering strange little tablets with strange writing on them, and I was aghast, completely appalled, because in a matter of seconds... my entire expectation of the nature of the world was just being shredded in front of me. I’ve never actually gotten over it. These self-transforming machine elf creatures were speaking in a colored language which condensed into rotating machines that were like Fabergé eggs but crafted out of luminescent superconducting ceramics and liquid crystal gels. All this stuff was just so weird and so alien and so un-English-able that it was a complete shock — I mean, the literal turning inside out of my intellectual universe!