How to Spend (a life) Time, YouTube
"If I didn’t exaggerate, nobody would listen."
"In mathematics, the common denominator is cancelled out, so this is problematic when applied to human life, where all of our most cherished experiences are commonly shared."
"The narrow gauge, specialized male” of Marshall McLuhan (“Look” magazine).
- compare managerial diseases (P Shepard), and aggressive subgroup (Berman)
"The people who made the law that makes it illegal to burn the flag are the same people who are actively burning up the thing that it’s supposed to represent…They’re confusing the symbol with the real thing."
- or, they hold the single, symbolic, abstract thing to be the more real, sacred thing, while the physical plurality that it represents can be plundered with (almost) impunity.
Coincidence of Opposites (Tao of Philosophy, The Essential Lectures [app])
(:30) "Everybody, by virtue of being a human being, is willy nilly a metaphysician. That is to say, everybody starts with certain fundamental assumptions, as to what is the good life, what he wants, what are his axioms for living."
(5:50) "We as a species have specialized in a certain kind of awareness, which we call conscious attention…We can restrict our gaze, and it corresponds somewhat to the central field of vision in the eyes. We have central vision and we have peripheral vision. Central vision is what we use for reading, for all sorts of close work, and it’s like using a spotlight, whereas peripheral vision is more like using a floodlight. Now civilization and civilized human beings for maybe five thousand years , maybe much longer, have learned to special in concentrated attention…The price we pay for specializing in this concentrated attention is ignorance of everything outside its field. I would rather say ignore-ance than ignorance, because if you concentrate on a figure, you tend to ignore the background. You tend therefore to see the world in a disintegrated aspect."
(7:00) "Our world is a system of inseparable differences. Everything exists with everything else. But we contrive not to notice that, because what we notice is what is noteworthy, and we notice it in terms of notations - numbers, words, images. What is notable, noteworthy, notated, noticed, is what appears to us to be significant, and the rest is ignored as insignificant. And as a result of that, we select from the total input that goes to our senses only a very small fraction, and this causes us to believe that we are separate beings, isolated by the boundary of the epidermis from the rest of the world."
(8:00) "What goes on inside your skin is inseparable from what goes on outside your skin. For example, in the science of ecology, one learns that a human being is not an organism in an environment, but is an organism-environment. That is to say, a unified field of behavior. If you describe carefully the behavior of any organism, you cannot do so without at the same time describing the behavior of the environment…you must be very careful to not to fall into old Newtonian assumptions about the billiard ball nature of the universe. The organism is not the puppet of the environment, being pushed around by it. Nor on the other hand, is the environment the puppet of the organism, being pushed around by the organism. The relationship between them is, to use John Dewey’s word, transactional. A transaction being a situation like buying and selling, in which there is no buying unless somebody sells, and no selling unless somebody buys. So that fundamental relationship between ourselves and the world…if we use old fashioned newtonian mechanics, we interpret the organism as something determined by the total environment, and so we don’t see that in a more modern way of talking about it, we’re simply describing a unified field of behavior, which is nothing more than what any mystic ever said."
(10:30) "When I’m academic circles, I don’t talk about mystical experience; I talk about ecological awareness…same thing."
Images of God (Tao of Philosophy, The Essential Lectures [app])
(4:30) “The biblical god, contrary to his own commandments, is fashioned in the graven image of a paternal, authoritarian, beneficent tyrant of the Ancient Near East.”
(5:50) “Nowadays, we are in rebellion against the image of the authoritarian father. Especially this should happen in the United States, where we are a Republic, and not a Monarchy. And if you are a loyal citizen of this country and think that a republic is the best form of government, then you can hardly believe that the universe is a Monarchy.”
(7:30) “Ethical Monotheism [the historical foundation of biblical religions] means that the governing power of this universe has some extremely definite opinions and rules to which our minds and acts must be conformed, and if you don’t watch out, you’ll go against the fundamental grain of the universe and be punished. In some way, old-fashionedly, you will burn in the fires of hell forever; more modern-fashionedly, you will fail to be an authentic person.”
(8:20) “There is this feeling that there is authority behind the world and it’s not you. It’s something else…This Jewish-Christian-Muslim approach makes a lot of people feel rather strange - estranged from the root and ground of being. There are a lot of people who never grow up, and are always in awe of this image of grandfather. Now, I’m a grandfather. I have five grandchildren. And so I’m no longer in awe of grandfathers. I’m just as stupid as my grandfathers were…I’m not about to bow down to an image of a god with a long white beard.”
(25:10) “When we form images of god, they’re really all exhibitions of our lack of faith; something to hold on to, something to grasp…but when we don’t grasp, we have the attitude of faith.”
(26:15) “…the chronic sense of muscular strain which we call ‘I’..”