Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Ego and Truth

"... we have not perceived the whole truth unless we have also perceived that the truth must operate.  If we think it is the "Ego" or the "I" that operates, we are confused.  (For example, that we follow truth because we are "honest," so that the Ego makes a "choice" ---as if the Ego could with meaning and sense choose to be "dishonest" and thus follow a falsehood.)  In reality, it is the truth that operates, outside of the preferences of the Ego.  And indeed, the truth can even operate on the Ego, by perceiving and understanding its motivations deeply.  So what happens is that the basic principle of the individual ceases to be the Ego and is truth instead.

Now, at present, this happens in a restricted domain, such as science or art.  But to see the basic principle of truth itself, it would be necessary for the individual to allow truth to operate unhindered in every field.  A basic part of the whole truth is to perceive the falsity of every operative idea that is really false.  This is extraordinarily difficult, as our motivations are confused and twisted in a very complicated way.  Many of our false ideas operate subliminally, or even subconsciously.  The problem is far more difficult to understand, than for example the theory of relativity, so that it requires a sustained and serious effort. "

(1917 - 1992)

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Independent Existence

"The misconception which has haunted philosophic literature throughout the centuries is the notion of 'independent existence.' There is no such mode of existence; every entity is to be understood in terms of the way it is interwoven with the rest of the universe.

...Connectedness is of the essence of all things of all types. It is of the essence of types, that they be connected. Abstraction from connectedness involves the omission of an essential factor in the fact considered. No fact is merely itself. 

...'Change’ is the description of the adventures of eternal objects in the evolving universe of actual things."

(1861 - 1947)

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Making Fun of Gravity

"...we live in a beautiful and orderly world, not in a chaos without norms, even though that is how it sometimes appears. My subjects are also often playful: I cannot refrain from demonstrating the nonsensicalness of some of what we take to be irrefutable certainties. It is, for example, a pleasure to deliberately mix together objects of two and three dimensions, surface and spatial relationships, and to make fun of gravity."
- M. C. Escher (1898 - 1972)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Matrix of all Matter

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter."

(1858 - 1947)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Mechanism of Thought

"(A) The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be “voluntarily” reproduced and combined.

There is, of course, a certain connection between those elements and relevant logical concepts. It is also clear that the desire to arrive finally at logically connected concepts is the emotional basis of this rather vague play with the above-mentioned elements. But taken from a psychological viewpoint, this combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought — before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others.

(B) The above-mentioned elements are, in my case, of visual and some of muscular type. Conventional words or other signs have to be sought for laboriously only in a secondary stage, when the mentioned associative play is sufficiently established and can be reproduced at will.

(C) According to what has been said, the play with the mentioned elements is aimed to be analogous to certain logical connections one is searching for.

(D) Visual and motor. In a stage when words intervene at all, they are, in my case, purely auditive, but they interfere only in a secondary stage, as already mentioned.

(E) It seems to me that what you call full consciousness is a limit case which can never be fully accomplished. This seems to me connected with the fact called the narrowness of consciousness (Enge des Bewusstseins)."

- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Symbolic Images

"To us ... the only acceptable point of view appears to be the one that recognizes both sides of reality-the quantitative and the qualitative, the physical and the psychical-as compatible with each other, and can embrace them simultaneously... It would be most satisfactory of all if physis and psyche (i.e., matter and mind) could be seen as complementary aspects of the same reality...

...When one analyzes the pre-conscious step to concepts, one always finds ideas which consist of 'symbolic images.' The first step to thinking is a painted vision of these inner pictures whose origin cannot be reduced only and firstly to the sensual perception but which are produced by an 'instinct to imagining' and which are re-produced by different individuals independently, i.e. collectively... But the archaic image is also the necessary predisposition and the source of a scientific attitude. To a total recognition belong also those images out of which have grown the rational concepts."

(1900 - 1958)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tat Tvam Asi

"Hence this life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of the entire existence, but is in a certain sense the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear: Tat tvam asi, this is you. Or, again, in such words as 'I am in the east and in the west, I am below and above, I am this whole world'.

Thus you can throw yourself flat on the ground, stretched out upon Mother Earth, with the certain conviction that you are one with her and she with you. You are as firmly established, as invulnerable as she, indeed a thousand times firmer and more invulnerable. As surely she will engulf you tomorrow, so surely will she bring you forth anew to new striving and suffering. And not merely 'some day': now, today, every day she is bringing you forth, not once but thousands upon thousands of times, just as every day she engulfs you a thousand times over. For eternally and always there is only now, one and the same now; the present is the only thing that has no end."

- Erwin Schrödinger (1887 - 1961)