Posts Tagged ‘Economic’

Posted: October 17, 2011 in Quotes

Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes her laws.

– Mayer Amschel Rothschild


Posted: October 17, 2011 in Quotes

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong it’s reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.

– Abraham Lincoln

Posted: October 13, 2011 in Quotes

Posted: October 4, 2011 in Quotes

The unrestricted competition so commonly advocated does not leave us the survival of the fittest. The unscrupulous succeed best in accumulating wealth.

– Rutherford B. Hayes

Posted: May 29, 2011 in Quotes
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Progress is not defined by what we consume.

Posted: February 28, 2011 in Quotes
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Humans have something akin to brain damage. To neurophysiologists, who research cognitive functions, the emotionally driven appear to suffer from cognitive deficits that mimic certain types of brain injuries. … Anyone with an intense emotional interest in a subject loses the ability to observe it objectively: You selectively perceive events. You ignore data and facts that disagree with your main philosophy. Even your memory works to fool you, as you selectively retain what you believe in, and subtly mask any memories that might conflict.

– Barry Ritholtz

Questioner: The problem of earning a decent living is predominant with most of us. Since economic currents of the world are hopelessly interdependent I find that almost anything I do either exploits others or contributes to the cause of war. How is one who honestly wishes to achieve right means of livelihood to withdraw from the wheels of exploitation and war?

Krishnamurti: For him who truly wishes to find a right means of livelihood economic life, as at present organized, is certainly difficult. As the questioner says, economic currents are interrelated and so it is a complex problem, and as with all complex human problems it must be approached with simplicity. As society is becoming more and more complex and organized, regimentation of thought and action is being enforced for the sake of efficiency. Efficiency becomes ruthlessness when sensory values predominate, when eternal value is set aside. Obviously there are wrong means of livelihood. He who helps in manufacturing arms and other methods to kill his fellowman is surely occupied with furthering violence which never brings about peace in the world; the politician who, either for the benefit of his nation or of himself or of an ideology, is occupied in ruling and exploiting others, is surely employing wrong means of livelihood which lead to war, to the misery and sorrow of man; the priest who holds to a specialized prejudice, dogma or belief, to a particular form of worship and prayer is also using wrong means of livelihood, for he is only spreading ignorance and intolerance which set man against man. Any profession that leads to and maintains the divisions and conflict between man and man is obviously a wrong means of livelihood. Such occupations lead to exploitation and strife. Our means of livelihood are dictated, are they not, through tradition or through greed and ambition? Generally we do not deliberately set about choosing the right means of livelihood. We are only too thankful to get what we can and blindly follow the economic system that is about us. But the questioner wants to know how to withdraw from exploitation and war. To withdraw from them he must not allow himself to be influenced, nor follow traditional occupation, nor must he be envious and ambitious. Many of us choose some profession because of tradition or because we are of a family of lawyers or soldiers or politicians or traders; or our greed for power and position dictates our occupation; ambition drives us to compete and be ruthless in our desire to succeed. So he who would not exploit or contribute to the cause of war must cease to follow tradition, cease to be greedy, ambitious, selfseeking. If he abstains from these he will naturally find right occupation. But though it is important and beneficial, right occupation is not an end in itself. You may have a right means of livelihood but if you are inwardly insufficient and poor you will be a source of misery to yourself and so to others; you will be thoughtless, violent, selfassertive. Without that inward freedom of Reality you will have no joy, no peace. In the search and discovery of that inward Reality alone can we be not only content with little, but aware of something that is beyond all measure. It is this which must be first sought out; then other things will come into being in its wake.

J. Krishnamurti The Collected Works Volume IV

Posted: November 21, 2010 in Quotes

“Man’s inhumanity to man” is not the last word. The truth lies deeper. It is economic slavery, the savage struggle for a crumb, that has converted mankind into wolves and sheep.

– Alexander Berkman

  • How and why do we numb ourselves to our own experiences? How and why do we deafen ourselves to the voices of others?
  • We are too afraid to explore the potential for life and love and happiness we each carry inside.

You may not destroy someone’s world unless you are prepared to offer a better one. – Franz Kafka

Our behavior is a function of our experience. We act according to the way we see things. If our experience is destroyed, our behavior will be destructive. If our experience is destroyed, we have lost our own selves. – R.D. Laing

  • When we do allow self-evident truths to percolate past our defenses and into our consciousness, they are treated like so many hand grenades rolling across the dance floor of an improbably macabre party. We try to stay out of harm’s way, afraid they will go off, shatter our delusions, and leave us exposed to what we have done to the world and to ourselves, exposed as the hollow people we have become. And so we avoid these truths, these self-evident truths, and continue the dance of world destruction.
  • Silencing is central to the workings of our culture. The staunch refusal to hear the voices of those we exploit is crucial to our domination of them.

The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. – Judith Herman

  • We live in a world of make-believe.
    • …he created the reality that he required in order to continue his behavior.
    • In attempting to describe the world in make-believe terms, we have forgotten what is real what isn’t. We pretend the world is silent, whereas in reality it is filled with conversations.
    • We pretend death is an enemy, although it is an integral part of life.
    • We pretend that anything we do not understand – anything that cannot be measured, quantified, and controlled – does not exist.
    • We pretend the animals are resources to be conserved or consumed, when, in reality, they have purposes entirely independent of us.
  • By substituting the illusion of disembodied thought from experience, by substituting mathematical equations for living relations, and most importantly by substituting control, or the attempt to control, for the full participation in the wild and unpredictable process of living, Descartes became the prototypical modern man.
    • Single most important rule of Western philosophy: if it doesn’t fit the model, it doesn’t exist.
  • We live our lives, grateful that things aren’t worse than they are. But there has to be a threshold beyond which we can no longer ignore the destructiveness of our way of living.

The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one’s mind, is the condition of the normal man. Society highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years. – R.D. Laing

The rite of passage into the scientific (modern) way of being centers on the ability to apply the knife to the vocal cords, not just of the dog on the table, but of life itself. Inwardly, he [the modern human] must be able to sever the cords of his own consciousness. Outwardly, the effect must be the destruction of the larynx of the biosphere, an action essential to the transformation of the world into a material object. – Neil Evernden

We are the land…That is the fundamental idea of Native American life: the land and the people are the same. – Paula Gunn Allen

  • Whether we are electrifying a kitten or petting a cat, if the purpose is specifically to collect data we’re still objectifying the cat…But the point is pursuing a relationship, not gathering data.

Today we took a little snake. I had to apologize to her for cutting her life off so suddenly and so definitely; I did what I did knowing that my own life will also be cut off someday in very much the same fashion, suddenly and definitely. – Jack Forbes

  • We have come to believe that violence equals aggression, and we have come to base our model of sexuality on our model of violence. This goes a long way toward explaining the prevalence of rape scenes in horror movies, art films, and blockbusters alike, the woman pushing at her attacker’s chest, until, by the end of the scene she has her arms wrapped around him, pulling him close to her. By enacting this transition, the filmmakers convert an act of aggression into an act of consensual sexuality. The ubiquity of rape in real life attests to the desire of many members of our culture to attempt this same transition.
  • To kill without emotion and without respect, or to ignore the intimacy inherent in the act, is to rob it of its dignity, and to rob the life you are ending of its significance.

All through school and University I had been given maps of life and knowledge on which there was hardly a trace of many of the things that I most cared about and that seemed to me to be of the greatest possible importance to the conduct of my life. I remembered that for many years my perplexity had been complete; and no interpreter had come along to help me. It remained complete until I ceased to suspect the sanity of my perceptions and began, instead, to suspect the soundness of the maps. – E.F. Schumacher

Sufficiently severe and enduring social isolation reduces these animals to a social-emotional level in which the primary social responsiveness is fear. – Harry Harlow

  • What is real? It is always possible to consciously or unconsciously “see” almost anything we want.
    • Perception is of course intimately tied to preconception.
  • It is up to us to determine for ourselves how closely the patterns we’ve been handed by our culture fit our experience of the world.
  • When my teacher told me how, I wanted to know why, and when they gave me abstractions, I asked them to make the lessons real.
    • To ask how without asking why might be dangerous.
  • The God of our culture has always been jealous, and whether going by the name of God the Father, Yahweh, Jesus Christ, Civilization, Capitalism, Science, Technology, Profit, or Progress, He has never been less than eager to destroy all those He cannot control.
  • Every morning when I wake up I ask myself whether I should write or blow up a dam…Anyone who lives in this region and who knows anything about salmon knows the dams must go. And anyone who knows anything about politics knows the dams will probably stay. Scientists study, politicians and businesspeople lie and delay, bureaucrats hold sham public hearings, activists write letters and press releases, I write books and articles, and still the salmon die. It’s a cozy relationship for all of us but the salmon.

God does not send us despair in order to kill us; he sends it in order to awaken us to new life. – Hermann Hesse

Don’t look at my finger, look at the moon. – Buddhist saying

  • I will no longer forget. I have learned that whether I choose to feel or not, pain exists, and whether we choose to acknowledge them or not, atrocities continue. I have grown to understand that in the shadow of the unspeakable I can and must speak and act against our culture’s tangled web of destructiveness, and stop the destruction at its roots.

The most striking difference between ancient and modern sophists is that the ancients were satisfied with a passing victory of argument at the expense of truth, whereas the moderns want a more lasting victory at the expense of reality. – Hannah Arendt

  • Scientific verification is impossible [for interspecies communication], because science is by definition the study of objects, and a conversation is an interaction between two or more subjects.
  • The nature of physical reality is not determined by popular vote. Many people sharing the same delusion does not make the delusion true, whether we are talking about interspecies communication, modern science, Christianity, or capitalism.

The press is the hired agent of a monied system, and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where the interests are involved. – Henry Adams

Art is whatever you can get away with. – John Cage

  • The price of admission to public discourse is an optimistic denial pushed to absurd lengths.
  • When dams were erected on the Columbia, salmon battered themselves against the concrete, trying to return home. I expect no less from us. We too must hurl ourselves against and through the literal and metaphorical concrete that contains and constrains us, that keeps us from talking about what is most important to us, that keeps us from living the way our bones know we can, that bars us from our home. It only takes one person to bring down a dam.
  • …it is no longer possible to be lonely…and it is only our own fear that sets us apart.
  • Take responsibility for one’s own action, and to fight for egalitarianism. It is easier to listen to the voice of God than it is to listen to the voice of one’s conscience, suffering and outrage.
  • A claim to virtue” – It is not possible to commit deforestation, or any other mass atrocity – mass murder, genocide, mass rape, the pervasive abuse of women or children, institutionalized animal abuse, imprisonment, wage slavery, systematic impoverishment, ecocide – without first convincing yourself and others that what you’re doing is beneficial
    • First, the pattern itself is horrifying, too terrible to think about. Second, if we allow ourselves to recognize the pattern and fully internalize its implications, we would have to change it.
    • Rational discussion presupposes rational motivations, yet claims to virtue are always attempts to place rational masks over nonrational urges.
    • The way out of from these destructive frames of mind is to step in – experience, not thought or rationalization.
      • Thought divorced from experience is nonsense.
  • Fearing death, fearing life, fearing love, and fearing most of all the loss of control, we create social rules and institutions that mirror our fears and reinforce our destructive behaviors.
  • Perhaps in taking the world into our bodies we also need to dive into the body of the world, to dive down deep and let it pull us deeper still, until at last we not only consume but are consumed, until at last we are no longer separate – standing alone and lonely on the darksome heights to which only men aspire – but instead, simply living in commune with the rest of the world.
  • The primary function of grades is to offer an external reinforcement to coerce people to perform tasks they’d rather not do.
    • Grades, as is true once again for wages in later life, are an implicit acknowledgement that the process of schooling is insufficiently rewarding on its own grounds for people to participate of their own volition.
  • [School] Systematically – inherent in the process – direct personal experience is subsumed to external authority, and at every turn creativity, critical thought, and the questioning of fundamental assumptions are discouraged.
    • A primary purpose of school – and this is true for our culture’s science and religion as well – is to lead us away from our own experience.
    • The process of schooling does not give birth to human beings – as education should but never will so long as it springs from the collective consciousness of our culture – but instead it teaches us to value abstract rewards at the expense of our autonomy, curiosity, interior lives, and time.
    • Through the process of schooling, each fresh child is attenuated, muted, molded, made – like aluminum – malleable yet durable, and so prepared to compete in society, and ultimately to lead this society where it so obviously headed. Schooling as it presently exists, like science before it and religion before that, is necessary to the continuation of our culture and to the spawning of a new species of human, ever more submissive to authority, ever more pliant, prepared, by thirteen years of sitting and receiving, sitting and regurgitating, sitting and waiting for the end, prepared for the rest of their lives to toil, to propagate, to never make waves, and to live each day with never an original thought nor even a shred of hope.
  • We should not be surprised that our culture as a whole must destroy all life and that we as individuals must not dwell upon the horrors we visit not only upon others but upon ourselves, that we dwell instead upon the daily earning of our bread, and beyond that pile upon ourselves project after project to keep ourselves always occupied, always unconscious of the fact that we do not have to live this way, always blinded to alternatives. For if we looked we might see, if we saw we might act, and if we acted we might take responsibility for our own lives. If we did that, what then?

When the oppressors give me two choices, I always take the third. – Meir Berliner

  • One method Nazis used to control Jews was to present them a series of meaningless choices…In making these choices victims felt the illusion of control over their destinies, and often failed to reject the entire system. Resistance to exploitation was diminished.
  • I sometimes called in sick when it was a nice day, rationalizing the lie by telling myself I was sick of work, which was true enough.
  • Selling the hours of my life was no different from selling my fingers one by one. We’ve only so many hours, so many fingers; when they’re gone, they’re gone for good.
  • It should not be terribly surprising that people would ignore the world to rationalize exploitation. In order to exploit, we must deafen ourselves to the voices of those we are victimizing. The justification of this exploitation would demand that we continue with our selective deafness, selective blindness, and selective stupidity.
  • We all – humans and nonhuman alike – are refugees from the war zone that is civilization – that we cannot longer survive unless we cooperate with those around us.

The world of the concentration camps…was not an exceptionally monstrous society. What we saw there was the image, and in a sense the quintessence, of the infernal society into which we are plunged every day. – Eugene Lonesco

  • In a concentration camp, it is better to be the killer than the killed, better to be a collaborator than a resister, a guard than a collaborator, a supervisor than a guard, and better still to be the boss. But of course it would be better to not be in the camp at all.
  • In order to make equations manageable (thus allowing the pretension that life is manageable) economists must disregard or fudge variables that may be difficult or impossible to quantify.
  • Not much that we do in our personal lives makes much economic sense, just as most things we do for money make no sense in personal terms.
  • Our economics, as is true for our science, represents the triumph of product over process, and form over content. It is the triumph of selective deafness and blindness over conscience and relationship.
    • One of the problems with our economic system is that money is valued over all else.
    • So long as money is valued – and in fact necessary – a great percentage of people will end up spending a great deal of time doing things they don’t want to do.
  • Because our cash economy is predicated on the idea of a society composted of atomistic individuals pulling in selfish directions, it can do no other than reward selfish behaviors.
  • Our economics promises a life of increasing ease…For those of us rich enough to reap its benefits, our economic system offers a life devoid of experience; as though life, and experience, were a hassle.
  • Negative experiences can lead to joy and understanding. Life is untidy. When we reject this messiness – and in doing so reject life – we risk perceiving the world through the lens of our economics or our science. But if we celebrate life with all its contradictions, embrace it, experience it, and ultimately live with it, there is the chance for a spiritual life filled not only with pain and untidiness, but also with joy, community, and creativity.
  • To believe any one thing is “the problem” would be to believe that if we simply reform our economic system, everything will be okay, or if we reform science, or Christianity, then everything will suddenly be fine.
    • We need to look beyond, to the urges that inform, to the hidden wounds and presumptions that lead first to the conceptualization and late implementation of our economics, our science, our religion, our misogyny and child abuse.
    • An economics like ours can emerge only from a consciousness like ours, and only a consciousness like ours can give rise to an economics like ours.
    • We must fundamentally change our consciousness, and in so doing fundamentally change the way we perceive the world.
  • It is unavoidable: so long as we value money more highly than living beings and more highly than relationships, we will continue to see living beings as resources, and convert them to cash; objectifying, killing, extirpating.
    • If monetary value is attached to something it will be exploited until it’s gone.
    • Money perfectly manifests the desires of our culture. It is safe. It neither lives, dies, nor rots. It is exempt from experience. It is meaningless and abstract. By valuing abstraction over living beings, we seal not only our own fate, but the fates of all those we encounter.

It’s life that matters, nothing but life – the process of discovering, the everlasting and perpetual process, not the discovery itself, at all. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  • Your faith must be strong enough that you can walk the path blindfolded.
    • Wherever you put your foot, there is the path. You become the path.
  • Develop – to cause to become gradually fuller, larger, better.
  • I’m more of a practical man, so rather than write papers about being kaitiaki, I just do it. I don’t trust words. I’m frightened of the intellectualism that can insulate us from action and turn the problems and solutions into puzzles or fantasies…The work has got to be done.
  • We rescue a piece of beautiful wood out of an old building, and as we restore it and put it in place, we rescue and restore ourselves.
  • We are suffering from a great illness, and the way to get better is serve others. We should all be in service. It makes us well. I serve the birds and trees, the earth, the water.
  • As with everything else, our lawns manifest our cultural desire: they are static, they are artificial, and they are kept sexually immature.
  • How much richness do we deprive ourselves of by accepting the default decisions handed to us by our elders?
  • The tree had made it clear to me that the price of diversity is death.
    • Transitions by definition involve pain, loss, sorrow, and even death.
  • Part of their personal identities includes their habitat – their human and nonhuman surroundings. Thus they are not working to save something out there, but responding in defense of their own lives.
  • Activation energy – the amount of energy that must be present before a certain reaction can proceed.
    • How much – and what – will it take for you to  begin to act?
  • Violations come not only in paroxysms of rage, spasms of violence and violent orgasms. They come more often with constant erosion, with an incessant imparting of the full knowledge that there is nothing, no one, nowhere, no thought, no action, that the violator will not seek out and attempt to control.
  • The central question of our time: What are sane and appropriate responses to insanely destructive behavior?
    • Gandhi wrote a letter to Hitler asking him to stop committing atrocities, and was mystified that it didn’t work.
  • It is desperately true that we each need to look inside, to make ourselves right.
    • The Old One says you must put your house in order before you can have guests.

You didn’t set up the system. Do what you can, but don’t identify with the problem. If you internalize what is not yours, you fight not only them but yourself as well. Take responsibility only for that which you’re responsible – your own thoughts and actions.Jeannette Armstrong

  • We’re responsible not only for what we do, but also for what is in our power to stop.

We kill when we close our eyes to poverty, affliction, or infamy. We kill when, because it is easier, we countenance, or pretend to approve of atrophied social, political, educational, and religious institutions, instead of resolutely combating them. – Hermann Hesse

  • Because life feeds off life, and because every action causes a killing, the purpose of existence cannot be to simply avoid taking lives. That isn’t possible. What is possible, however, is to treat others, and thus ourselves, with respect, and to not unnecessarily cause death or suffering.
  • The finitude of the planet guarantees that running away is no longer a sufficient response. Those who destroy must be stopped.
  • …but their democracy is our dictatorship…
  • I asked what the MRTA wants for Peru. He replied, “I am not sure what you mean. We are Peru. We want nothing from Peru. There are others who want plenty from Peru: our oil, wood, fish, gold. Our lives. Capitalism is taking away what is elemental to our lives: our land, rivers, forests are being violated by institutions and individuals who have deafened themselves to the meanings they have for us.”
  • The children of Peru continued to starve, the forests continued to fall, and the fisheries continued to be depleted. In other words, Fujimori continued his policy of committing genocide and ecocide to benefit transnational corporations. In other words, it was business as usual in the civilized, industrialized world.
  • Time and again we show ourselves willing to die or to live to support ecological and economical justice and sanity, and time and again our enemies – the indecent ones, the destroyers – show themselves willing to lie and to kill to maintain control.

When those in power lie, the only way to conduct a meaningful dialogue with them is to have in your hands a way to force them to be accountable. Even then you can only be sure they will remain true so long as you continue to hold them tightly in your hands. – Isaac Velazco

  • Readers may more closely recognize our own culture in Fromm’s description of the Dobus, Kwaikutl, Aztecs, and others he put into the category of “destructive.” These cultures, he said, are “characterized by much interpersonal violence, destructiveness, aggression, and cruelty, both within the tribe and against others, a pleasure in war, maliciousness, and treachery. The whole atmosphere of life is one of hostility, tension, and fear. Usually there is a great deal of competition, great emphasis on private property, strict hierarchies, and a considerable amount of war-making.”
  • The social forms and institutions of nonaggressive cultures positively reinforces acts that benefit the group as a whole while negatively reinforcing acts (and eliminating goals) that harm some members of the group.
    • The social forms of aggressive cultures, on the other hand, reward actions that emphasize individual gain, even or especially when that gain harms others in the community.
  • One of the primary problems with our system of social rewards is its tautological nature. We grant communal responsibility and esteem to those who have accumulated and maintained power; but the primary motivation for those who are responsible for decisions affecting the larger community lies in the accumulation and maintenance of power.
  • Although I cannot predict the future, I do know that any culture that consumes its natural environmental base will eventually collapse under the weight of its own strengths.
  • Cultural convention is merely cultural invention. It does not have to be this way, that not all cultures have as their trajectory centralized control and ultimate annihilation.

What I fear is being in the presence of evil and doing nothing. I fear that more than death. – Otilia deKoster

I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others. – Thomas Jefferson, Owner of Slaves

  • I’m not certain the language is raw enough. My language is too fine, the sentences too lyrical, to describe things neither child nor adult should have to describe at all.
    • It is not the writing that must change, but the reality.
  • I understand now that somewhere inside of each of us – some more than others – still survives that person who would not and will not rape, who would not and will not coerce, that person who understands what it means to be alive and to be a part of a relationship, a family, a community of both human and nonhuman.

Happiness is love, nothing else. A man who is capable of love is happy. – Herman Hesse

  • It was the bees who provided me my first real somatic understanding of cooperation and compliance: work against bees and they sting; work with them as they work with themselves and they reward you with honey, joy, and sore muscles.

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it. – Abraham Lincoln

  • We’re so good at getting along that we do so at the expense of actions that would in a meaningful sense bring a change in those original circumstances that cause our suffering.
  • What you value is what you create.
    • We do what we reward, and we reward what we value.
  • Underlying the different forms of coercion is a unifying factor: Silence. The necessity of silencing victims before, during, and after exploitation or annihilation, and the necessity at these same times of silencing one’s own conscience and one’s conscious awareness of relationship is undeniable.
    • The perpetrators of these atrocities share a deeply unifying belief in their own separateness and superiority, and a tightly rationalized belief in the rightness of their actions.
    • Fearful of life, the perpetrators forget that one can affect another with love, by allowing another’s life to unfold according to its own nature and desires and fate, and by giving to the other what it needs to unfold. One can affect another by merely being present and listening intently to that other.
  • Our religion, philosophy, science, economics, politics, and so on are manifestations of cultural desire, that means these fields have as their purpose the rationalization of exploitation, what makes you think we could expect anything different from a revolution that comes from this same culture?

The greatest virtue between heaven and earth is to live. – ‘The Great Treatise’ of the I Ching

  • Economic production requires that resources be funneled toward producers, while ecosystemic production requires that resources be returned to all members of the natural community, including, especially, the ground.

Our goal should be not the emulation of the ancients and their ways, but to experience for ourselves the aspects of human existence out of which arose those ancient forms which we we see them elicit such a feeling of longing. Otherwise the modern will remain forever superficial while the real will remain ancient, far away, and therefore, outside of ourselves. – Mr. Aoki

On the terms imposed by technocratic society, there is no hope for mankind except by ‘going with’ its plans for accelerated technological progress, even though man’s vital organs will all be cannibalized in order to prolong the megamachine’s meaningless existence…But for those of us who have thrown off the myth of the machine, the next move is ours: for the gates of the technocratic prison will open automatically, despite their rusty hinges, as soon as we choose to walk out. – Lewis Mumford

  • For an entire community to disentangle itself from that web may be well-nigh impossible, given the modern economy’s interconnected nature as well as overpopulation, resource depletion, and environment degradation that comes with civilization.

The advantage of one individual becomes a victory over another, and the majority who are not victorious must shift as they can. – Ruth Benedict

  • An emphasis on production requires an emphasis on private ownership requires a means to protect this ownership requires, in the end, murder.
  • When a slave rebels without challenging the entire notion of slavery, he merely encounters a new boss. But if all the blood is painfully squeezed away, what emerges is a free man, and not even death can stop those who are free.
  • Like an iceberg, or the entrance to a cave, or like the ocean itself, there is so much more beneath only hinted at by the surface.

The body’s carbon is simply carbon. Hence, ‘at bottom’ the psyche is simply ‘world.’ – Carl Jung

  • For scientists to give up predictability means they have to give up control, which means they have to give up Western culture, which means it’s not going to happen until civilization collapses under the weight of its own ecological excesses.
  • There is a language older by far and deeper than words. It is the language of the earth, and it is the language of our bodies. It is the language of dreams, and of action. It is the language of meaning, and of metaphor.
    • This language of symbol is the umbilical cord that binds us to the beginning, to whatever is the source of who we are, where we come from, and where we return.
    • We suffer from misperceiving the world. We believe ourselves separated from each other and from all other by words and by thoughts. We believe – rationally, we think – that we are separated by rationality, and that to perceive the world “rationally” is to perceive the world as it is. But perceiving the world “as it is” is also to misperceive it entirely, to blind ourselves to an even greater body of truth.

A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to die he must first awake. – George Gurdjieff

  • Everyone understands that for there to be growth, there must always be a dying away.
    • To let part of your life die so another may emerge.

The part of the mind that is dark to us in this culture, that is sleeping in us, that we name ‘unconsciousness,’ is the knowledge that we are inseparable from all other beings in the universe. – Susan Griffin

  • It is no more possible to cheat fate than it is to resolve the nonrational through the purely rational.

The significant problems of the world cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness at which they were created. – Albert Einstein

All the greatest and most important problems of life are fundamentally insoluble…They can never be solved, but only outgrown. This ‘outgrowing’ proved on further investigation to require a new level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest appeared on the patient’s horizon, and through this broadening of his or her outlook the insoluble problem lost its urgency. It was not solved logically in its own terms but faded when confronted with a new and stronger life urge. – Carl Jung

  • We do not easily give up our acquired ways of being, even when they’re killing us.
    • Only when that mindset had, like a plant in a too-small pot, exhausted its own possibilities did I begin casting about for another way to be; only when I no longer had any real choice, far past the time when what little choice there was – death or change – had become all-too-painfully obvious, did I begin to reject the earlier mindset. This is why I don’t think our culture will stop before the world has been impoverished beyond our most horrifying imaginations.

It seems to me that anything that can be taught to another is relatively inconsequential, and has little or no significant influence on behavior…I have come to feel that the only learning which significantly influences behavior is self-discovered, self-appropriated learning. Such self-discovered learning, truth that has been personally appropriated and assimilated in experience, cannot be directly communicated to another. As soon as the individual tries to communicate such experience directly, often with a quite natural enthusiasm, it becomes teaching, and its results are inconsequential… When I try to teach, as I do sometimes, I am appalled by the results, which seem a little more than consequential, because sometimes the teaching seems to succeed. When this happens I find that the result is damaging. It seems to cause the individual to distrust his [or her] own experience, and to stifle significant learning. Hence I have come to feel that the outcomes of teaching are either unimportant or hurtful. When I look back at the results of my past teaching, the real results seem the same – either damage was done, or nothing significant occurred… As a consequence, I realize that I am only interested in being a learner, preferable learning things that matter, that have some significant influence on my own behavior… I find that one of the best, but most difficult ways for me to learn is to drop my own defensiveness, at least temporarily, and to try to understand the way in which experience seems and feels to the other person. I find that another way of leaning is for me to state my own uncertainties, to try to clarify my puzzlements, and thus get closer to the meaning that my experience actually seems to have…It seems to mean letting my experience carry me on, in a direction which appears to be forward, toward goals that I can but dimly define, as I try to understand at least the current meaning of that experience. – Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person

  • The people in my class, including me, did not need to be controlled, managed, nor even taught. What we needed was to be encouraged, accepted, and loved just for who we are…to be given time in a supportive space to explore who we were and what we wanted, with the assistance of others who had our best interests at heart.
    • All we want, whether we are honeybees, salmon, trash-collecting ants, ponderosa pines, coyotes, human beings, or stars, is to love and be loved, to be accepted, cherished, and celebrated simply for being who we are. Is that so very difficult?

The great way has no gate; there are a thousand paths to it. If you pass through the barrier, you walk the universe alone. – Wu-Men

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. – Milan Kundera

  • Isolated from the rest of nature, isolated from each other by walls of fear, isolated from our own bodies, and isolated most of all from our own horrifying experience, is it any wonder that we are all crazy?

Atrocities are actions so horrifying they go beyond words. For people who witness or experience atrocities, there is a kind of silencing that comes from not knowing how to put these experience into speech. At the same time, atrocities are the crimes perpetrators most want to hide. This creates a powerful convergence of interest: no one wants to speak about them. No one wants to remember them. Everyone wants to pretend they didn’t happen. – Dr. Judith Herman

  • In order to escape accountability the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting.
    • The more extreme the crimes, the more determined the efforts to deny the crimes happened.
  • Once you’ve forced a person to violate his or her moral codes, to break faith with him or herself – the fact that it’s done under duress does not remove the shame or guilt of the experience – you may never again even need to use threats. At that point the victim’s self-hatred, self-loathing, and shame will be so great that you don’t have to beat her up, because she’s going to do it herself.
    • A man who had knowingly compromised himself did not revolt against his masters, no matter what idea had driven him to collaboration: too many mutual skeletons in the closet.

The universe is composed of subjects to be communed with, not objects to be exploited. Everything has its own voice. Thunder and lightning and stars and planets, flowers, birds, animals, trees – all these have voices, and they constitute a community of existence that is profoundly related. – Thomas Berry

The future of mankind lies waiting for those who will come to understand their lives and take up their responsibility to all living things. – Vine Deloria, Jr.

  • All of us who participate in a system that “makes” money at the expense of our ecological base – upon which not only our economics but our lives depend – are signing our own death warrants. Allowing our crazy system to destroy our land base is not merely unethical and unwise but suicidal.

Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself? – Tao Te Ching

  • Perhaps we will awaken in an exterior landscape that is barren and lonely enough to match the landscape of our hearts and minds.
  • It is not possible to recover from atrocity in isolation. It is, in fact, precisely this isolation that induces the atrocities. If we wish to stop the atrocities, we need merely step away from the isolation. There is a whole world waiting for us, ready to welcome us home. It has missed us sorely as we have missed it. And it is time to return. Godspeed.

Posted: October 15, 2010 in Quotes
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When the modern corporation acquires power over markets, power in the community, power over the state and power over belief, it is a political instrument, different in degree but not in kind from the state itself. To hold otherwise — to deny the political character of the modern corporation — is not merely to avoid the reality. It is to disguise the reality. The victims of that disguise are the students who instruct in error. Let there be no question: economics, so long as it is thus taught, becomes, however unconsciously, a part of the arrangement by which the citizen or student is kept from seeing how he or she is, or will be, governed.

I believe the greatest error in economics is in seeing the economy as a stable, immutable structure.

A nuclear war does not defend a country and it does not defend a system. I’ve put it the same way many times; not even the most accomplished ideologue will be able to tell the difference between the ashes of capitalism and the ashes of communism.

– John Kenneth Galbraith