Religious Metaphors


Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.


― Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor


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Different Types Of Machine


“Quite right,” said G., “people are very unlike one another, but the real difference between people you do not know and cannot see. The difference of which you speak simply does not exist. This must be understood. All the people you see, all the people you know, all the people you may get to know, are machines, actual machines working solely under the power of external influences, as you yourself said. Machines they were born and machines they will die. How do savages and intellectuals come into that? Even now, at this very moment, while we are talking, several millions of machines are trying to annihilate one another. What is the difference between them? Where are the savages and where are the intellectuals? They are all alike…”


“But there is a possibility of ceasing to be a machine. It is of this we must think and not about the different kinds of machine that exist. Of course there are different machines; a motorcar is a machine, a gramophone is a machine, and a gun is a machine. But what of it? It is the same thing – they are all machines.”


– P.D. Ouspensky. In Search of the Miraculous. (P 17-19)



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Discontinuous Forms of Consciousness


…our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. We may go through life without suspecting their existence; but apply the requisite stimulus, and at a touch they are there in all their completeness, definite types of mentality which probably somewhere have their field of application and adaptation. No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite discarded. How to regard them is the question,–for they are so discontinuous with ordinary consciousness.


– William James





The Art Of Philosophizing


If you wish to become a philosopher, the first thing to realise is that most people go through life with a whole world of beliefs that have no sort of rational justification, and that one man’s world of beliefs is apt to be incompatible with another man’s, so that they cannot both be right. People’s opinions are mainly designed to make them feel comfortable; truth, for most people is a secondary consideration.


– Bertrand Russell, The Art of Philosophizing: And Other Essays.




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Subtle Allegories


Suddenly I began to find a strange meaning in old fairy-tales; woods, rivers, mountains, became living beings; mysterious life filled the night; with new interests and new expectations I began to dream again of distant travels; and I remembered many extraordinary things that I had heard about old monasteries. Ideas and feelings which had long since ceased to interest me suddenly began to assume significance and interest. A deep meaning and many subtle allegories appeared in what only yesterday had seemed to be naive popular fantasy or crude superstition. And the greatest mystery and the greatest miracle was that the thought became possible that death may not exist, that those who have gone may not have vanished altogether, but exist somewhere and somehow, and that perhaps I may see them again. I have become so accustomed to think “scientifically” that I am afraid even to imagine that there may be something else beyond the outer covering of life. I feel like a man condemned to death, whose companions have been hanged and who has already become reconciled to the thought that the same fate awaits him; and suddenly he hears that his companions are alive, that they have escaped and that there is hope also for him. And he fears to believe this, because it would be so terrible if it proved to be false, and nothing would remain but prison and the expectation of execution.


― P.D. Ouspensky, A New Model of the Universe


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I Is A Great Prison


I is a great prison. It is your slavery and bondage to the mind. The moment you enter beyond the mind, you are – but you don`t have any notion of being an ego, of being an I. In other words: the more you think you are, the less you are; the more you experience that you are not… the more you are.


– Rajneesh




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Protecting People From Art


The deepest and most consequent struggle of each society is therefore not with other societies, but with the culture that exists within itself – the culture that is itself. Conflict with other societies is, in fact, and effective way for society to restrain its own culture. Powerful societies do not silence their poietai in order that they might go to war, they go to war as a way of silencing their poietai. Original thinkers can be suppressed through execution and exile, or they can be encouraged through subsidy and flattery to praise society’s heroes.


…Another successful defence of society against the culture within itself is to give artists a place by regarding them as the producers of property, thus elevating the value of consuming art, or owning it. It is notable that very large collections of art, and all the world’s major museums, are the works of the very rich, or of societies during strongly nationalistic periods. All the principle museums in New York, for example, are associated with the names of the famously rich; Carnegie, Frick, Rockefeller, Guggenheim, Whitney, Morgan, Lehman. Such Museums are not designed to protect art from people, but to protect the people from art.


– James Carse (1986. P 53). Finite and Infinite Games. Penguin.