Fire in the lake: The image of revolution.
- I Ching
THE ASCENDANT REVOLUTION
Toward the Ascendancy of Justice and Wisdom over Injustice and Ignorance
Unto a Conscious Transformation
Compiled, Edited & Written
I think we are largely in desperate need of revolutionary change in the way our
mindset is. Our priority is fame; and people's wellness is way low. I say this
knowing full well that I'm part of the problem. I'm playing the game, though
I am trying to reroute.
- a woman pop singer
As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever renewing fight for
ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need
is, to do battle for the one against the other.
- John Stuart Mill
To dare: that is the whole secret of revolution.
- Antoine Saint-Just
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
The Ascendant Revolution [desktop published,101 81/2 x 11 pages]
This book is a compilation of inspiring and motivational passages by
notable individuals, and the author, on the mind-set necessary for the
advancement of our conscious transformation.
"revolution" (from the Latin revolutio, 'a turn around')
PART I: THE AUTHOR
Notes on Revolution toward Our Conscious transformation
Notes Regarding Our Conscious Transformation
PART II: EMINENT AND PERCEPTIVE PERSONS
Precepts on Revolution toward Our Conscious Transformation
Precepts regarding the Revolutionist
Precepts regarding Notable Revolutionists
Precepts regarding Our Conscious Transformation
This book is concerned primarily with The character of revolution in our sense of the word rather than the character of the person or country leading or commenting on revolution throughout history, up to our times.
Our revolution is in no way an insurrection—no violence from us, no intimidation from us, no cohersion from us, no slick talk from us, no deception whatever—except perhaps to induce you to get to the better of yourself and to others.
I: NOTES FOR AN ASCENDANT REVOLUTION
The quest: an ascendant revolution toward a conscious transformation.
As a revolution, the goal is set in action toward this conscious transformation.
The goal: that justice and wisdom take the ascendancy over injustice and ignorance.
Justice aims for the public benefit; and wisdom guides us toward that justice.
The public benefit stands for the benefit of the individual which benefits the public, and vice versa. In either case, "benefit" is the key word.
That which benefits the individual is that he/she be treated fairly by others and that he/she attains an overall understanding of himself in relation to others, accompanied by the wisdom to act upon that self-understanding.
That which benefits the public is that it be treated justly in relation to others with an understanding of justice accompanied by the wisdom of how to administer that understanding.
If a person is treated unfairly overall, then most likely the consequences of such treatment preclude self-understanding because of so many psychological after-effects, such as, repressed or active re-resentment which leads to anger or rage, insecurity, and the list goes on and on. Depending upon the severity of the unfairness, that person is normally unqualified in matters of justice and wisdom to contribute to the public benefit; if, in fact, he is so motivated, other than from self-interest—which is a far cry from an effective, genuine concern for the public benefit.
II: THE ASCENDANT REVOLUTION IN RELATION TO THE CONSCIOUS TRANSFORMATION
HISTORICAL PARADIGMS REVOLUTIONARY PARADIGMS
Might is right.
Right is might.
a fact-based / lecture classroom education
a critical-creative thinking individualized education
a government controlled society
an independent-beneficial society within a government controlled society
Conflict between our humanness and our transcendence
Balance between our humanness and our and our transcendence
selfless love preferably
The God [Love] without us
God [Love] within us
For these revolutionary paradigms to happen, wisdom, above all, must prevail; and for wisdom to prevail justice must prevail as well. In which case, wisdom leads to justice and justice leads to the public benefit. In order to act justly consistently, toward others and ourselves, we must be guided by a wisdom that guides us to act aright in our judgments. That wisdom is to be known as a human-transcendent wisdom.
Revolution Notes Toward A Conscious Transformation
Our Saving Maxim: We must neither despond nor despair
Otherwise we'll surely get nowhere.
Our Inspiring Motto: "The Revolution of Rising Expectations"
Revolution Notes Toward A Conscious Transformation
1. This ascendant revolution is the thrust toward a gradual, evolutionary, conscious transforma-
tion; In brief: a revolution toward a conscious transformation.
2. We are at the foothill of a conscious transformation and we need a revolution to start the
climb. To push through the natural barriers of our human inertia, fear, and resistance.
3. We call this revolution an ascendant revolution in the sense that one's inward sense of justice
determines his-her outward acts of justice. In which case this ascendant revolution is not fore-
most a movement, a passion, for social or political justice as it is a movement stemming from a moral, psychological compassion for justice.
4. To repeat, our revolution is not a political nor social revolution as such; though it certainly has political and social undertones, implications.
5. The revolution aspect of this conscious transformation quest is in reality an intangible mental
concept. It is simply the name for the driving impetus behind the conscious transformation quest.
It is an heroic word that motivates, inspires, action for the cause; but it is nothing that goes on in
the mind as does a transformative process.
6. The concept "revolution" only exists inasmuch as the ongoing conscious transformation pro-
7. I speak of revolution not of insurrection; I speak of ascendists not of militants.
8. As revolutionists of this revolution, we are, first, personal activists, and secondarily social
activists; the former will naturally lead to the latter.
9. Various "movements" stem from their parent, often underlying, revolution; which in our case,
is this mind revolution.
10. Each of us of this magnificent revolution is a revolutionary in his-her own right. Each person
leads in his-her own unique way, without which a brushstroke for the revolutionary mosaic would
11. A revolutionary act, however seemingly insignificant, is each single individual's act toward
the goals and ideals of this revolution.
12. It is mainly through revolution that men-women can be roused, if not impelled, to trans-
cend their own minimal, though respectable, self-interests to struggle in the interests of
others, for a worthy cause that they genuinely believe in.
13. Those we think lowly, coming from our own self-centredness, somehow rise in our esti-
mation once we are inspired by the revolution that equalizes us all to our common humanity.
14. The oppressed of which we are concerned are not only those of others, but of our own
personal, psychological oppressions that oppress others.
15. When you tend to look down on, or away from, the maladjusted, the malformed, the mal-
treated, think of your revolutionary self that these are the victims of nature's and human na-
ture's harm. And is it not the victims you are concerned about?
16. Empower yourself so that you radiate your revolutionary self all about.
17. It our task, as these revolutionists to see to it that justice prevails over injustice here and
there so long as it cannot prevail everywhere. Perhaps one day in the far future it will predom-
inate over injustice as a way of human nature. Then it will be that our humanity pays its debt to
all the injustices our history committed against the innocents.
18. When the concept of nonviolence enters the corridor of our revolution, it is meant as peace:
peace in the family, in the workplace, in the mind.
19. We revolutionists make it our task to undo injustice though justice both in the individual and
in society. Such a task requires a wisdom of human nature and human psychology.
20. The two main freedoms we are seeking predominantly are personal freedom and self-free-
dom. Whatever other freedoms issue from these two, will happen of their own accord.
21. Live your life as an ascendant revolutionist—revolutionist inasmuch as you continuously
revolt against injustice and ignorance: your own as well as others; transformists, inasmuch as
you continuously transform your consciousness toward wisdom and justice.
22. Consider yourself first and foremost a ascendant-revolutionist whatever else you are.
23. In a nutshell, as ascendant-revolutionaries , we ultimately aim to reverse the maxim
"Might is right" to right is might.
24. Our way is to motivate, inspire, not to force, change in others; and then to maintain this
change, not to enforce it. Whatever force that may be enforced is used metaphorically in the
sense that through justice and wisdom we intend to peacefully force receptive people out of
their apathy, their inertia, their disinterest.
25. Though our way is through peaceful means, such approach may indirectly result in vio-
lent displays from our protestors, whether by family, friends, associates who resent your jus-
26. Power is our way; not force.
27. Though our revolution is not political in the formal sense of the word, it is political in its
principles in that order must rule over disorder, intelligence must rule over ignorance, love
must rule over hate, peace must rule over violence, right must rule over might—so that in the
interior of the revolution, there exists a ruling order informally political yet formally personal.
28. We must consider that our revolution is a form of government—not a political government,
but a ascendant government, which governs us so that we act as rightly as we can for ourselves
and toward others.
29. "Movement," "turning point," "transformation," are each a time indicator (past, present, fu-
ture) of an on-going revolution for change.
30. To balance our own self-interests with those interests of others is a realistic enough revolu-
31. Let us say that our revolution is as much overall war against our own ignorance and injus-
tices as those of others; in which case, together we can reconcile our differences with our basic
32. We're striving through justice and wisdom to revolutionize thinking: critically, creatively, in-
33. To "change the world," more specifically, means to change our own world: personally and so-
34. The task of this revolution is to propel the main ideas and ideals, beliefs and values, of its
underlying concept. The task of this transformation is to have in hand the plan to turn this con-
cept, this ideal, into a reality. The revolutionary aspect is the dynamic, rallying process; the trans-
formational aspect is the intellectual and practical foundation. Underlying both this process and foundation are the principles and enactment of both justice and wisdom.
35. There'll be days of uplift and triumph, and just as surely, days (usually the day after the one of
uplift and triumph) of downsink and defeat.
36. Continuous daring and audacity, are what are needed are what define the attitude of our
revolutionists—the "audacity of hope," to quote President Obama.
37. Intellectuals-who-love and perceptive persons-who-love — these are the two main types of
persons needed to steer this revolution. The former mainly with ideas; the latter mainly with
ideals. Both are instilled with passion for the cause.
38. This revolution I believe is the only one I know of that begins with—or is coincident with— justice and wisdom in oneself then extends to justice and wisdom toward others.
39. Don't think so much yourself as a revolutionist as being one. Reinforce yourself with the thought now and then when needed to bolster your drive and enthusiasm; but just as soon, dis-solve it so you can be it effectively.
40. No hesitation when it comes to this revolution.
41. Courage of conviction, of assurance, of determination—keep these ever in the pocket of your mind.
42. Patience is the one virtue we're going to need daily for us not to falter or err too far from the
43. We will always have our opposers waiting for the opportunity to undermine you however
enthusiastic they may seem for your cause. Be wary!
44. Yes, you will be defeated, will feel defeated, through the course of your trials and errors,
but of course nothing will stop you—Right? Up and at it again. No letting down, no letting up.
45. Apathy:— the one enemy of our revolution that must be crushed so that purpose may rise.
46. The Mood of Defeat—: The enemy at our gates; it awaits our submission. Our resolution: to
defeat the mood again and again—especially after a good night's sleep.
47. Our revolution: the phoenix that continues ever to rise anew again and again however many
times it may perish in its own flames.
48. Futility:— the rock of poor S who keeps pushing it up to the top of the hill only to have it
roll back down again. Our task is to keep that rock up there once and for all.
A: I have a question for you.
B: Go ahead, ask it.
A: What are you talking about?! An ascendant revolution? A conscious transformation? It all sounds so utopian to me—which is to say, of course, cloudland, cukooland. For all your so-called wisdom - and justice, I suppose, and years, haven't you learned yet that human nature doesn't change however much civilization and culture may. Yes, we've advanced enough technologically, electronically, socially, politically, personally, interpersonally, and all the rest; but we're still, human animals, and always will be, so long we consider ourselves human beings. As far as I see it, our emotions mostly rule over our reason, our ego over egolessness, our passions over compassion,
our instinct, or urge, to copulate over judgment. And further, aren't you the one who made the distinction between the moral-minded, the amoral-minded, and immoral-minded; that, generally speaking, 1/6 of the people are moral-minded, 1/6 of the people are immoral-minded, and 1/3 of the people are amoral-minded—which doesn't say much for justice and wisdom advancing our species, does it. I mean, according to your approximation, 2/3 of the people are mostly more concerned more with self-interest than justice and wisdom—which includes a lot of harm being done to humanity; and referring to the 1/3 moral-minded individuals they don't have a chance against the other 2/3 of the world population. Money, power, titillation; what will ever take the ascendancy over these "pillars of society."
So, I can't see, or even envision, wisdom and justice taking the ascendancy over injustice and
ignorance as you phrase it. Perhaps, from a biological, chemical, perspective, if you chemicalize
people to be caring and just and prone to wisdom, your "brave new world" might come into being;
though far, far into the future; and that only insofar as political and economical factors favor such
a regulatory system over the unpredictable years.
I'm sorry to railroad you like this, but reality is reality; and we do our best to survive as securely
as we can given whatever circumstances face us. As to where it's all going, I suppose nowhere
until some catastrophe destroys life and our planet. Who knows.
B: Well all that you say is certainly disconcerting, to say the least; but will it stop me, and those
like me—we dreamers, we idealists, we fools? No, of course not. As you just said, "Who knows?"
Maybe there will be a brave new world. Men dreamed for centuries of flying, and now we are. Who
would have thought not long ago that the internet, would pervade the whole world with its limit-
less information, knowledge, and communications available to almost everybody. Likewise, with
the possibility, probability, that justice and wisdom will one day take the ascendancy over injust-
ice and ignorance, that a conscious transformation will one day mutate us psychologically and
A: If so, then certainly a new human reality will be the order of that day; but I'm sure I won't be
around to witness it.
B: Maybe the beginnings of it.
A: Maybe. Nonetheless, I still think you're a dreamer, and I don't know whether to admire you for it
or pity you.
B: Please no pity.
50. A revolution succeeds; its aftermath fails. Why? Mainly because of a failure to understand
human nature adequately enough. We do not intend to fall into that morass, that pitfall.
51. There are those in every nook and cranny of society and relationships who make it their busi-
ness to pry and expose; and unless you are free of all taint—and who is not—they will surely find
you out and go after you. So be prepared one way or another.
52. Henry Miller: "Civilization is drugs, alcohol, engines of war, prostitution, machines and ma-
chine slaves, low wages, bad food, bad taste, prisons, reformatories, lunatic asylums, divorce,
perversion, brutal sports, suicides, infanticide, cinema, quackery, demagogy, strikes, lockouts,
revolutions, putsches, colonization, electric chairs, guillotines, sabotage, floods, famine, disease,
gangsters, money barons, horse racing, fashion shows, poodle dogs, chow dogs, Siamese cats,
condoms, peccaries, syphilis, gonorrhea, insanity, neuroses, etc., etc."
So what are we going to do about it, I ask?—or can do about it? Think about it, then decide
if you still want to go ahead and revolutionalize. Is there any hope? and if so, for whom—and
this is the crucial question: 'for whom?'.
53. Those participating in this magnificent undertaking can be either participants in this justice
revolution or participants in the conscious transformation quest, or both—actually "one or the
other, or both" are of one and the same value; since, the very act of participating in one's own
way is itself a contribution to both the revolution and the conscious transformation; it's just a
matter of more or less of a contribution. What matters essentially is one's contribution itself.
54. For those interested in participating in this quiet ascendant revolution, you might ask: "What
do I do?" My answer simply is: Read, Reflect, Discuss, Act, Network. Or more extensively, read the
material studiously and inspiringly, reflect on the material psychologically and contemplatively,
discuss the material enquiringly and meaningfully, act on the material personally and socially,
and network the material diligently and untiringly.
55. The basic "material" referred to is found on this website and includes whatever other related material that each person prefers on his own.
56. The question arises as to whether a participant in this revolution can start at any topic on
the website and benefit from it accordingly without recourse to any or all of the other material.
Of course, whatever appeals to an individual, is what [s]he should turn to. But for a studious,
deeper, understanding of the material, and so to be effectively part of this revolution-transforma-
tion movement, it is advisable to follow the "plan". And even though one or more topics
might not appeal to a particular person, still, [s]he should be familiar with it, since each topic in
interrelated to every other topic of the total scheme; and the more familiar one is with the total
schemata, the more understanding of the total Think of it as a mosaic with each part contributing
to the whole visual perceptive apprehension; each part is necessary for that total perceptive ap-
prehension, yet it in itself does not reveal that totality.
57. A little parable, as I call it, might help to picture how a person might set forth on this revo-
lution. Imagine that you're at the foothill of a steep mountain that you're determined, and feel
that you are fairly prepared for the climb. You know it's going to be the challenge of your life.
You start scaling the mountain. It's hard, but you manage to make your way upwards. Then un-
expectedly you meet an obstacle that you're not able to surmount. So you retreat back down to
the bottom, frustrated, yet exhilarated that you've actually made headway. you ponder over the
obstacle, but are not able to sole it; so you appeal to the advice of a professional mountaineer;
then proceed the ascent again. After much effort, the obstacle is overcome, and you're on you're
way up again. After a distance you meet another unsolvable obstacle that hinders your way; and
back down you're forced to go to seek advice from another mountaineer. Then you're on your way
up again. Obstacle overcome. This pattern occurs a number of times, each time having to seek
advice form one mountaineer and another. Finally, your reach the peak, relieved—it was gruel-
ing and frightening at times - and immensely gratified at your feat. You didn't expect all of those
troublesome obstacles, which sort of depleted your pride of achievement, having to rely on others
to assist your lone climb. Nonetheless, there you were: a self-victory! ...so you first thought. As it
was, you had to retract your glory in having to admit it was not so much a self-victory, as it was a collaborative victory. Of course you did all the work, but you could not have done so without the
So, down you descend, knowing—if not convinced—that you are now a mountaineer, at least
of that one mountain. You do not intend to climb any other mountain; that one was enough for
your purposes. You will practice scaling that same mountain until you become experienced
enough to train others to climb it. and from there you would have your fraternity, your community,
of nonprofessional mountaineers. so, you go seeking potential mountaineer—you know they are
out there; all you have to do is canvases for them, bring out the potential mountain-climbing tendencies in them, convince them they can do it. And you are on your way.
SIGNIFICANCE: Individually, we go our own way, do "our own thing," so to speak; yet need the collaboration of others to succeed. "Independence is middle-class blasphemy," as George Ber-
nard Shaw put it.
58. Here is another parable originating from a dream in which I'm walking along a construction
site consisting of a railway system. The city is constructing an above ground subway system
through the city. I'm convinced that, in order to cut corners financially, the subway cars are go-
ing to be slower than it could, and should, be. The person I'm with, attempts to convince me
otherwise, that though the city seems to cut these corners, in the end, they will do the right
thing by providing the public with the most efficient rapid subway system no matter the cost.
I'm not convinced. So, as we're discussing the matter, I decide to initiate a movement to pro-
test against this injustice. Next, before I know it, I'm discussing this possibility with a few
people standing about. It so happens that these few people happen to be dark-skinned—more
of the Mexican type than Black—and of the lower working class, as I can tell by their drab
clothes. They are enthusiastic about the project. One of the Mexican individuals happens to
be very vocal and experienced about this type of movement, and assures me that he can gath-
er enough people to make the movement effective enough. On listening to him, I realize that
I'm not to be the leader of the movement, that it requires a Mexican leader in order to appeal
to his people. I see my role as providing the intellectual support it will need, while he will be
the one who rallies his people to the movement. ... I awaken.
SIGNIFICANCE: (1) the beginning stage of this revolution is to focus into an important, urgent, movement, which is the rise of the Mexican and Black population into the American mainstream through education—a critical-creative education in particular (2) One of the essential stamps of this revolution is to diverge into various other progressing movements.
59. This ascendant revolution can be considered as a series of movements with its projects, or
simply individual projects. To spread a critical-creative education curriculum among the unedu-
cated or ill-educated, one person at a time would be a simple project. However, to spread this
education in order to raise the collective understanding and social mobility of a people would
be a particular movement of this justice revolution. In either case, each contributes to the grad-
ual in-depth educated collectivity. It's the frame of mind that counts: one person is concerned
with educating an individual for his own sake, while another person is concerned with not only
the individual's educational benefit, but of how that individual is going to add to the collective
pool of humanity's quest toward the ascendancy of justice and wisdom. The former is a teacher
of an individual the latter of a people.
60. The revolution is on!—an ascendant revolution aimed toward a conscious transformation—a
transformation that has been happening and will continue to happen here, there, and everywhere, and always. We're here to clarify it, consolidate it, and speed it up.
61. The ascendant revolution! The ascendancy! Up we go!
Notes Regarding The Conscious Transformation
We are in the midst of a conscious transformation – a transformation of consciousness that goes
beyond knowing to understanding, beyond reason to intuition, beyond self-love to selfless-love;
transformation in which justice and wisdom will gradually take the ascendancy over injustice
and ignorance through Love in its all-inclusive meaning.
The momentum of this conscious transformation has been accelerating for the past forty, or so,
years now in books, magazines, the arts, the sciences, the professions, social services, in everyday
life. It is what is called in intellectual circles a paradigm shift – a shift in values, beliefs, and atti-
tudes, from the old to the new, in all walks of life; as for examples, from certainty to uncertainty,
from reason to intuition, from knowledge to wisdom, from religion to spirituality.
It is not just a shift for intellectuals, but for everyone, as the human spirit overall is languishing
from stagnate, out-dated patterns of beliefs and values, is reeling from the continuous onslaught
of techno-electronic innovations, is bewildered by the vast array of human diversity turned loose
so that we can no longer look the other way, nor only to traditional ways. The predictable has be-
come unpredictable, the permanent impermanent, the certain uncertain.
Somehow it is the evolution, the progression, of our consciousness through the proliferation of
knowledge that has brought us to this state of affairs, and it is incumbent upon us to adapt to
this movement personally, interpersonally, and socially.
Accordingly, we need an integrated wisdom – human-transcendence – so that we act wisely
amidst these complexities, an in-depth education – critical-creative thinking – so that we think
clearly amidst them, a complementary society – the public benefit – so that we secure this wis-
dom and education, and a unifying spirituality – Love-Meaning – so that we keep in touch with
the source of this conscious transformation.
This integrated wisdom has to take into account the full spectrum of human nature and relation-
ships, pertaining to both good (goodness) and evil (malice), weaknesses and strengths, love and
lust, passion and compassion, hard and soft natured persons, ego and self, emotion and senti-
ment, religion and spirituality, morality, immorality, amorality, knowledge and understanding – in
a nutshell: our humanness and our transcendence. Somehow we have to integrate, balance, these
two familiar opposites of our nature. This is done through a training that gets to the truth of our
human and transcendent nature, and to our relationships therefrom.
This training is achieved through reading of, and enquiries into, pertinent passages from three
sources : from eminent persons, such as,Thoreau, Camus, Hesse, Aristotle, Plato, Schopenhauer,
Nietzsche, D.H. Lawrence, Shakespeare, Jesus, Buddha, Krishnamurti, Vivekananda, Einstein, Lord
Byron, Shelley, Walt Whitman, Freud, Jung, to name a few; and from perceptive persons, such
as, actors, directors, writers, musicians, professionals, carpenters, truck drivers, and all other or-
dinary persons; and from a contemplative person: myself.
Without this training toward an integrated wisdom – or wisdom of the species, so to speak – there
can be no transformation of consciousness in the true, full, sense of the word. For instance, anyone
can give away money – that is easy – but to do all this to the right person, to the right extent, at
the right time, for the right reason, and in the right way is no longer something easy that anyone can do. This takes a practical wisdom derived from much psychological knowledge of human nature.
This training is not basically prescriptive – do this, do not do that – but rather exploratory, enquir- ing.
It is an enquiry that takes one into the depths of his self and up to the heights of his being, such
that he cannot help but grow beyond the limiting confines of his ego-sensual self. This self-trans-
cending process is not meant in an absolute sense so that one becomes godlike or monklike; but
rather is meant as relative to one's individual capacity and circumstances.
This in-depth education is a training in critical and creative thinking for children and youths, in
particular. This training teaches students to understand their reading material by exercising them
at the same time as, or concurrently with what, they read. With this training students develop an
awareness sensitive to the fine nuances of contextual meaning that include analysis, synthesis,
interpretation, inferences, relationships, projections, creativity. This fine-tuned training prepares
students not only to understand their textbook materials, but to extend that understanding to
self-understanding as it affects their everyday encounters and relationships. Hence wisdom.
As regards the public benefit culture, we continue to function as citizens of our mainstream society: politically, socially, economically, obeying its laws and partaking in its institutions. But underlying and complementing this society is a participation of people taking care of its own benefits and interests and needs without having recourse to, nor conflicting with, the main society. This public benefit culture centralizes and consolidates the benefits derived from the wisdom and education necessary to the movement toward the ascendancy of justice and wisdom.
And finally, this unifying spirituality has its source, Love, as the bond of all unity. The meaning
of Love as it relates to humanity is somehow to evolve.
As wisdom is the psychological and spiritual mainstay of this conscious transformation, we have
to take a long look at its meaning and practicality; but for now an outline will suffice.
The wisdom in point is a life in balance between our humanness (our all-too-human
side) and our transcendence (our more-than-human side). This balance is what I term
a human-transcendent wisdom.
The underlying basis, or principle, of this human-transcendent wisdom is Transcendent
Love (or simply Love capitalized): that which binds all things in unity from protozoa to
humans, from sand to canyons, from atoms to stars – from here to eternity.
This human-transcendent wisdom is attained through an understanding of our human-
ness and our transcendence, and their relationship to, and balance between, each other;
and through a lifelong endeavor charged with challenge and purpose.
Through this integrated, balanced, wisdom we are gradually able to transform, that is, to
broaden, our consciousness from the limiting confines of our self-love to a more selfless
love that encompasses and embraces a far broader understanding of our self, of others, of
human relationships, of the meaning of our life and of life itself – in a word: self-under-
It is this self-transcending process that is meant by the phrase "the transformation of
human consciousness," not only of our self but of others as well in ever increasing
numbers; and it is this marvel that lies behind Pierre Teilhard DeChardin's prophecy
expressed in the following words:
"Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and
gravity, we shall harness...the energies of love. Then for the second time
in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."
As justice is wisdom applied socially, we have to take just as long a look at its social implications;
but for now, the following brief comments will suffice.
What does this conscious transformation imply regarding justice? A utopia of world peace and
love and brotherhood? Hardly. Not so long as our human nature necessitates conflict in its wide
range of intellect and emotions, wants and needs, self and other selves. What then? Well, ask
yourself this: Who usually does best in a situation of conflict? The aggressors, right! – those who
live for, whose comfort zone is, conflict; either physically or mentally, for good or for ill, devi-
ously or straightforwardly. Remember the old maxim, or doctrine: "Might is right." – right or
wrong. Now, this conscious transformation takes this maxim and revolves it – revolution! – so
that the reality becomes "Right is might" – transformation! In which case, justice and wisdom
predominate over injustice and ignorance; they do not eradicate injustice and ignorance.
And so, the transformed maxim "Right is might." is to be the catchword and the catalyst for the
justice revolution toward this conscious transformation.
PART I: EMINENT & PERCEPTIVE PERSONS
Revolutionary Precepts Toward A Conscious Transformation
[from Eminent & Perceptive Persons]
[The following quotes on revolution and revolutionists, from whatever source—political, social, personal—all represent, directly and indirectly, the basic ideas and ideals of this justice revolution]
1. The most heroic word in all languages is revolution.
- Eugene V. Debs
2. (i) During my eighty-seven years I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revo-
lutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the abil-
ity to think.
(ii) Whatever failures I have known, whatever errors I have committed, whatever follies I have
witnessed in private and public life have been the consequence of action without thought.
- Bernard M Baruch
3. A revolution is coming—a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough;
compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough—but a revo-
lution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character, we can-
not alter its inevitability.
- John F. Kennedy
4. Revolution, in order to be creative, cannot do without either a moral or metaphysical
rule to balance the insanity of history.
5. There is little doubt that we are in the midst of a revolution of a much more profound
and fundamental nature than the social and political revolutions of the last half century.
6. A great revolution in just one single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny
of a society and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of humankind.
7. The crises of our time, it becomes increasingly clear, are the necessary impetus for the
revolution now under way. And once we understand nature's transformative powers, we
see that it is our powerful ally, not a force to be feared or subdued.
8. (i) The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.
(ii) At the risk of sounding ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by feel-
ings of love.
9. The most important of all revolutions [is] a revolution in sentiments, manners and moral
10. Listen, the next revolution is going to be a revolution of ideas.
11. The revolution has always been in the hands of the young. The young always inherit the
12. We used to think that revolutions are the cause of change. Actually it is the other way
around: change prepares the ground for revolution.
13. Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a partic-
ular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit.
14. The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane, and devoted natures; the unselfish
and the intelligent may begin a movement—but it passes away from them. They are not
the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims.
15. Promise yourself to live your life as a revolution and not just a process of evolution.
-Anthony J. D'Angelo
16. To achieve the mood of a warrior is not a simple matter. It is a revolution. To regard
the lion and the water rats and our fellow men as equals is a magnificentact of a warrior's
spirit. It takes power to do that.
17. Like all revolutions, the surrealist revolution was a reversion, a restitution, an expres-
sion of vital and indispensable spiritual needs.
18. Injustice, poverty, slavery, ignorance - these may be cured by reform or revolution. But
men do not live only by fighting evils. They live by positive goals, individual and collective,
a vast variety of them, seldom predictable, at times
19. Suppose we were able to share meanings freely without a compulsive urge to impose
our view or conform to those of others and without distortion and self-deception. Would
this not constitute a real revolution in culture.
20. It may be impossible to have a revolution without crimes but that does not make revolu-
tion a crime.
21. The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality
for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange,
put on a mask. There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution,
on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first.
22. People who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring explicitly to ev-
eryday life, without understanding what is subversive about love and what is positive in the
refusal of constraints, such people have a corpse in their mouth.
23. Revolution as an ideal concept always preserves the essential content of the original
thought: sudden and lasting betterment.
24. We live in an era of revolution, the revolution of rising expectations.
25. It is a revolution, and it can no more be checked by human effort... than a prairie fire
by a gardener's watering pot.
-Judah Philip Benjamin
26. This is a revolution, damnit! We're going to have to offend somebody!
27. Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him,
that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused
and put into action.
-Orison Swett Marden
28. We are sorry for the inconvenience, but this is a revolution.
29. Revolutions are brought about by men, by men who think as men of action and act as
men of thought.
30. The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, chang-
ing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
31. Any revolution has to start with the transformation of the individual, otherwise individ-
uals are corrupted by the power they get if their revolution succeeds.
32. In this Revolution no plans have been written for retreat.
-Martin Luther King Jr.
33. For a successful revolution it is not enough that there is discontent. What is required
is a profound and thorough conviction of the justice, necessity and importance of political
-B. R. Ambedkar
34. Revolution is not the uprising against preexisting order, but the setting up of a new
order contradictory to the traditional one.
-Jose Ortega y Gasset
35. In a time of universal deceit—telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
36. The only thing that one really knows about human nature is that it changes. Change
is the one quality we can predicate of it. The systems that fail are those that rely on the
permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development. The error of Louis
XIV was that he thought human nature would always be the same. The result of his error
was the French Revolution. It was an admirable result.
37. You said, ''They're harmless dreamers and they're loved by the people.''—"What,'' I
asked you, ''is harmless about a dreamer, and what,'' I asked you, ''is harmless about the
love of the people? Revolution only needs good dreamers who remember their dreams.
38. If there is any period one would desire to be born in, is it not the age of Revolution;
when the old and the new stand side by side, and admit of being compared; action, power
and all that the world has to offer.
39. Revolutions are notorious for allowing even non-participants—even women!—new
scope for telling the truth since they are themselves such massive moments of truth, mo-
ments of such massive participation.
40. The dead have been awakened—shall I sleep? The world's at war with tyrants—
shall I crouch? the harvest's ripe—and shall I pause to reap? I slumber not; the thorn
is in my couch; Each day a trumpet soundeth in mine ear, its echo in my heart.
41. There are seasons, in human affairs, of inward and outward revolution, when new
depths seem to be broken up in the soul, when new wants are unfolded in multitudes,
and a new and undefined good is thirsted for. There are periods when…to dare, is the
42. We have it in our power to begin the world over again.
43. A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice
of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the
Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must
come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women
will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway.
True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edi-
fice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
44. There is a kind of revolution of so general a character that it changes the tastes as
well as the fortunes of the world.
45. To dare: that is the whole secret of revolutions.
46. Those who are inclined to compromise can never make a revolution.
47. The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction
of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of
a nation's development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and
institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of gen-
uine success. Without a revolution in spirit, the forces which had produced inequities of
the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of
reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and hu-
man rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make
sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill
will, ignorance, and fear.
-Aung San Suu Kyi
48. Men are made uneasy; they flinch; they cannot bear the sudden light; a general rest-
lesness supervenes; the face of society is disturbed, or perhaps convulsed; old interests
and old beliefs have been destroyed before new ones have been created. These symptoms
are the precursors of revolution; they have preceded all the great changes through which
the world has passed.
-Henry Thomas Buckle
49. In a revolution, as in a novel. the most difficult part to invent is the end.
-Alexis de Tocqueville
50. Revolution in the modern case is no longer an uncouth business.
51. The objector and the rebel who raises his voice against what he believes to be the in-
justice of the present and the wrongs of the past is the one who hunches the world along.
52. Revolutionary moments attract those who are not good enough for established institu-
tions as well as those who are too good for them.
-George Bernard Shaw
53. We must enter and take possession of the consciences of the children, of the con-
sciences of the young, because they do belong and should belong to the revolution.
54. There's nothing wrong in suffering, if you suffer for a purpose. Our revolution didn't
abolish danger or death. It simply made danger and death worthwhile.
-H. G. Wells
55. In the final analysis, the whole cause of world revolution hinges on the revolutionary
struggles of the Asian, African and Latin American people who make up the overwhelming
majority of the world's population.
56. The revolution you dream of is not ours. You don't want to change the world, you want
to blow it up.
57. Eager souls, mystics and revolutionaries, may propose to refashion the world in accord-
ance with their dreams; but evil remains, and so long as it lurks in the secret places of the
heart, utopia is only the shadow of a dream.
58. In every revolution there intrude, at the side of its true agents, men of a different stamp;
some of them survivors of and devotees to past revolutions, without insight into the present
movement, but preserving popular influence by their known honesty and courage, or by the
sheer force of tradition; others mere brawlers, who, by dint of repeating year after year the
same set of stereotyped declamations against the government of the day, have sneaked in-
to the reputation of revolutionists of the first water. They are an unavoidable evil: with time
they are shaken off.
(i) Without a revolutionary theory there cannot be a revolutionary movement.
(ii) I don't care what becomes of Russia. To hell with it. All this is only the road to a
(iii) Despair is typical of those who do not understand the causes of evil, see no way out,
and are incapable of struggle.
60. In revolutionary times the rich are always the people who are most afraid.
61. Not actual suffering but the hope of better things incites people to revolt.
62. History teaches us that the great revolutions aren't started by people who are utterly
down and out, without hope and vision. They take place when people begin to live a little
better—and when they see how much yet remains to be achieved. To be realistic today is
to be visionary. To be realistic is to be starry-eyed.
63. The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the
minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and
obligations. This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of
the people, was the real American Revolution.
64. Obviously, there must be a radical revolution. The world crisis demands it. Our lives
demand it. Our everyday incidents, pursuits, anxieties, demand it. Our problems demand
it. There must be a fundamental, radical revolution, because everything about us has col-
lapsed. Though seemingly there is order, in fact there is slow decay, destruction: the wave
of destruction is constantly overtaking the wave of life. So there must be a revolution; but
not a revolution based on an idea. Such a revolution is merely the continuation of the idea,
not a radical transformation. A revolution based on an idea brings bloodshed, disruption,
chaos. Out of chaos you cannot create order; you cannot deliberately bring about chaos and
hope to create order out of that chaos. You are not the God-chosen who are to create order
out of confusion That is such a false way of thinking on the part of those people who wish
to createmore and more confusion in order to bring about order. Because for the moment
they have power, they assume they know all the ways of producing order. Seeing the whole
of this catastrophe — the constant repetition of wars, the ceaseless conflict between classes,
between peoples, the awful economic and social inequality, the inequality of capacity and
gifts, the gulf between those who are extraordinarily happy, unruffled, and those who are
caught in hate, conflict, and misery—seeing all this, there must be a revolution, there must
be complete transformation, must there not?
65. Jean-Francois Revel / from Without Marx or Jesus
i. Revolution, anthropologically speaking, is a "total social fact." That is, it affects every
facet of a culture. By definition, therefore, a "revolutionary situation" exists when, in every
cultural area of a society, old values are in the process of being rejected, and new values
have been prepared, or are being prepared, to replace them.
ii. Every preparation for revolution must create tools for the popularization of culture—that
is, it must make it possible for the greatest number of people to be able to reach the stage
of independent critical reflection.
iii. Real revolutionary activity consists in transforming reality, in making reality conform
more closely to one's ideal, to one's point of view. That transformation can be achieved only
through revolutionary means. Sometimes that means is violence, sometimes it is not.
iv. Revolutionaries should always choose strategy over tragedy.
v. By definition, revolution signifies an event such as never taken place before; and event
that comes to fruition by ways that were hitherto unknown in history. When we use the word
"revolution," we must necessarily speak of something that cannot be conceived or understood
within the context of old ideas. The stuff of revolution, andits first success, must be the abili-
ty to innovate. It must be mobility with respect to the past, and speed with respect to crea-
vi. To make a revolution is not to destroy everything that went before. It is to destroy what
must be destroyed; and what must be destroyed is never the same thing at any given mo-
ment or in every given place.
vii. The moral revolution, the cultural revolution, and the political revolution are but a single
viii. No revolution can result from the pretension that one embodies absolute Good and op-
poses absolute Evil.
66. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri / from Multitude
i. People today seem unable to understand love as a political concept, but a concept of love
is just what we need to grasp the constituent power of the multitude. The modern concept of
love is almost exclusively limited to the bourgeois couple and the claustrophobic confines of
the nuclear family. Love has become a strictly private affair. We need a more generous and
unrestrained conception of love. We need to recuperate the public and political conception of
love common to premodern traditions. Christianity and Judaism, both conceive love as a poli-
tical act that constructs the multitude. Love means precisely that our expansive encounters
and continuous collaborations bring us joy. There is really nothing necessarily metaphysical
about the Christian and Judaic love of God; both God's love of humanity and humanity's love
of God are expressed and incarnated in the common material political sense of love, a love as
strong as death. This does not mean you cannot love your spouse, your mother, and your child.
It only means that your love does not end there; that love serves as the basis for our political
projects in common and the construction of a new society. Without love we are nothing.
This political project of the multitude, however, must find a way to confront the conditions
of our contemporary reality. Its project of love might seem out of place in a world like ours in
which the global order bases and legitimizes its power in war, degrading and suspending all
ii. When love is conceived politically, then this creation of a new humanity is the ultimate act
iii. We can already recognize that today time is split between a present that is already dead
and a future that is already living—and the yawning abyss between them is becoming enor-
mous. In time, an event will thrust us like an arrow into that living future. This will be the real
political act of love. [my italics]
67. The greatest revolution in our generation is that of human beings, who by changing the
inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
68. Revolution begins with the self, in the self.
-Toni Cade Bambara
69. A great revolution in just one single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny
of a society and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of humankind.
70. Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world,
for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.
71. No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution ... revolution is
but thought carried into action.
72. The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolu-
tion which has to start with each one of us?
73. To love without role, without power plays, is revolution.
-Rita Mae Brown
74. The sadness of the women's movement is that they don't allow the necessity of love.
See, I don't personally trust any revolution where love is not allowed.
75. The greatest and most powerful revolutions often start very quietly, hidden in the shadows.
76. Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criti-
77. It still would be years before I understood the seriousness of my change of view. Much later,
I recognized it in "Revolution," the essay of Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski, who describes
the moment when a man on the edge of a crowd looks back defiantly at a police- man—and
when that policeman senses a sudden refusal to accept his defining gaze—as the imperceptible
moment in which rebellion is born. "All books about all revolutions begin with a chapter that de-
scribes the decay of tottering authority or the misery and sufferings of the people," Kapuscinski
They should begin with a psychological chapter—one that shows how a harassed, terrified man
suddenly breaks his terror, stops being afraid. This unusual process—sometimes accomplished
in an instant, like a shock—demands to be illustrated. Mangets rid of fear and feel free. Without
that, there would be no revolution.
78. To be a revolutionary you have to be human being. You have to care about people who have
79. True revolutionaries are like God—they create the world in their own image. Our awesome
responsibility to ourselves, to our children, and to the future is to create ourselves in the image
of goodness, because the future depends on the nobility of our imaginings.
-Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
80. The problem... is emblematic of what hasn't changed during the equal opportunity revoluolu-
tion of the last 20 years. Doors opened; opportunities evolved. Law, institutions, corporations
moved forward. But many minds did not.
81. The masses are the decisive element, they are the rock on which the final victory of the
revolution will be built.
82. This is an inevitable and easily recognizable stage in every revolutionary movement: reform-
ers must expect to be disowned by those who are only too happy to enjoy what has been won for
83. Revolution is a serious thing, the most serious thing about a revolutionary's life. When one
commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime.
84. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed,
it is the only thing that ever has.
85. Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for
the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.
My concern has always been for the people who are victimized, unable to speak for them-
selves and who need outside help.
Action is the antidote to despair.
All serious daring starts from within.
As long as one keeps searching, the answers come.
The easiest kind of relationship is with ten thousand people, the hardest is with one.
When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it be-
comes less and less important whether I am afraid.
Revolution is not a one time event.
Without community, there is no liberation.
Even the smallest victory is never to be taken for granted. Each victory must be applauded.
I realize that if I wait until I am no longer afraid to act, write, speak, be, I'll be sending mes-
sages on a Ouija board, cryptic complaints from the other side.
Some Negative, Precautionary, Aspects of Revolution
1. There's one hole in every revolution, large or small. And it's one word long—people. No mat-
ter how big the idea is they all stand under, people are small and weak and cheap and frightened.
It's people that kill every revolution.
2. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to
being governed at all.
3. The situation is like this: they hired our parents to destroy this world, and now they'd like to put
us to work rebuilding it, and—to add insult to injury—at a profit.
-The Invisible Committee (The Coming Insurrection)
4. Revolution is a spectator's sport. The majority will sit in the stands and watch the factions fight.
At the end they will choose side with the team that is winning.
-George Lincoln Rockwell
5. The more I make love, the more I want to make revolution. The more I make revolution, the more
I want to make love.
6. Youth is in revolt, but this is only the eternal revolt of youth; every generation espouses "good
causes," only to forget them when "the young man begins the serious business of production and
is given concrete and real social aims," After the social scientists come the journalists with their
verbal inflation. The revolt is contained by overexposure: we are given it to contemplate so that we
shall forget to participate.
PRECEPTS REGARDING THE REVOLUTIONIST
1. The serious revolutionary, like the serious artist, can't afford to lead a sentimental or self-
2. I began revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I do it with 10 or 15 and absolute
faith. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and plan of action.
3. The job of the writer is to make revolution irresistible.
-Toni Cade Bambara
4. The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.
5. Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that
he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it,
and loves it.
6. True revolutionaries are like God - they create the world in their own image. Our awesome
responsibility to ourselves, to our children, and to the future is to create ourselves in the im-
age of goodness, because the future depends on the nobility of our imaginings.
-Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
7. We are all revolutionaries now, addicts of change.
8. We must dare, and dare again, and go on daring.
-Georges Jacques Danton
9. Never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth.
10. If not us, who? If not now, when?
11. For if I live
and if I fight
I contribute to the dawn.
-Otto Rene Castillo
12. With your whole body with your whole heart, with your whole conscience, listen to the Rev-
olution…This is the music everyone who has ears should hear.
13. Promise yourself to live your life as a revolution and not just a process of evolution.
-Anthony J. D'Angelo
14. (i) The rebel can never find peace. He knows what is good and, despite himself, does evil.
The value which supports him is never given to him once and for all—he must fight to uphold it,
(ii) every great reformer tries to create in history what Shakespeare, Cervantes, Moliere, and
Tolstoy knew how to create: a world always ready to satisfy the hunger for freedom and dignity
which every man carries inhis heart. Beauty, no doubt does not make revolutions. but a day will
come when revolutions will have nedd of beauty. The procedure of beauty, which is to contest
reality while endowing it with unity, is also the procedure of rebellion. Is it possible eternally
to reject injustice without ceasing to acclaim the nature of man and the beauty of the world?
Our answer is yes. this ethic, at once unsubmissive and loyal, is in any event the only one that
lights the way to a truly realistic revolution. In upholding beauty, we prepare the way for the
day of regeneration when civilization will give first place-far ahead of the formal principles and
degraded values of history-to this living virtue on which is founded the common dignity of man
and the world he lives in, and which we must now define in the face of a world that insults it.
PRECEPTS REGARDING NOTABLE REVOLUTIONISTS
1. A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or
worse, to avoid trouble.
2. In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
3. Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
4. Be the change you want to see in the world.
5 As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world—that
is the myth of the atomic age—as in being able to remake ourselves.
6 I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with
7. To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.
8. To believe what has not occurred in history will not occur at all, is to argue disbelief in the
dignity of man.
9. Consciously or unconsciously, every one of us does render some service or other. If we cul-
tivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow strong-
er, and will make, not only our own happiness, but that of the world at large.
10. Indolence is a delightful but distressing state; we must be doing something to be happy.
Action is no less necessary than thought to the instinctive tendencies of the human frame.
11. You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never im-
prison my mind.
12. It is wrong to call me an ascetic. The ideals that regulate my life are presented for accept-
ance by mankind in general. I have arrived at them by gradual evolution. Every step was thought
out, well-considered, and taken with the greatest deliberation. Both my continence and nonvio-
lence were derived from personal experience and became necessary in response to the calls
of public duty. The isolated life I had to lead in South Africa whether as a householder, legal
practitioner, social reformer or politician, required, for the due fulfillment of these duties, the
strictest regulation of sexual life and a rigid practice of nonviolence and truth in human rela-
tions, whether with my own countrymen or with the Europeans. I claim to be no more than an
average man with less than average ability. Nor can I claim any special merit for such nonvio-
lence or continence as I have been able to reach with laborious research.
13. Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart.
14. Unity to be real must stand the severest strain without breaking.
15. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
16. Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.
17. If you don't ask, you don't get.
18. Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.
19. A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.
20. When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has al-
21. Hate the sin and not the sinner is a precept which though easy enough to understand
is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world.
22. It may be long before the law of love will be recognized in international affairs. The
machinery's of government stand between and hide the hearts of one people from those
23. It is the law of love that rules mankind. Had violence, i.e. hate, ruled us we should have
become extinct long ago. And yet, the tragedy of it is that the so-called civilized men and
nations conduct themselves as if the basis of society was violence.
24. Hatred ever kills, love never dies; such is the vast difference between the two. What is
obtained by love is retained for all time. What is obtained by hatred proves a burden in re-
ality for it increases hatred. Noncooperation with evil is a sacred duty.
25. Hatred can be overcome only by love.
26. The pathway of love is the ordeal of the fire, the shrinkers turn away from it. The path-
way of ahimsa, that is, of love, one has often to tread alone.
27. I then found that the nearest approach to truth was through love.
28. Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messen-
gerwill be rejected.
29. I may be a despicable person, but when Truth speaks through me I am invincible.
30. Love is the strongest force the world possesses and yet it is the humblest imaginable.
31. Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts
of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the
one derived from fear of punishment.
32. "To forgive is not to forget. The merit lies in loving in spite of the vivid knowledge that
the one that must be loved is not a friend. What kind of victory is it when someone is left
33. I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your
need. I feel your feelings My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in
you. Let us work together for unity and love.
34. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the
end, they always fall—think of it, ALWAYS.
35. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
36. Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. It passes my compre-
hension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving
other human beings of that precious right.
37. Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
38. Whether humanity will consciously follow the law of love, I do not know. But that need
not disturb me. The law will work just as the law of gravitation works, whether we accept it
or not. The person who discovered the law of love was a far greater scientist than any of our
modern scientists. Only our explorations have not gone far enough and so it is not possible
for everyone to see all its workings.
39. It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of
non-violence to cover impotence.
40. However much I may sympathize with and admire worthy motives, I am an uncompro-
mising opponent of violent methods even to serve the noblest of causes.
41. I first learned the concepts of non-violence in my marriage.
42. Violent means will give violent freedom.
43. An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
44. Anger and intolerance are the twin enemies of correct understanding.
45. I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger,
and as heat conserved is transmitted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be trans-
mitted into a power that can move the world.
46. Man and his deed are two distinct things. Whereas a good deed should call forth ap-
probation, and a wicked deed disapprobation, the doer of the deed, whether good or wicked
always deserves respect or pity as the case may be.
47. It is good to see ourselves as others see us. Try as we may, we are never able to know
ourselves fully as we are, especially the evil side of us. This we can do only if we are not
angry with our critics but will take in good heart whatever they might have to say.
48. Monotony is the law of nature. Look at the monotonous manner in which the sun rises.
The monotony of necessary occupations is exhilarating and life-giving.
49. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
50. Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul.
51. Prayer is not an old woman's idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is
the most potent instrument of action.
52. Prayer is a confession of one's own unworthiness and weakness
53. Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening
54. It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards
himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.
55. As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world—
that is the myth of the atomic age—as in being able to remake ourselves.
56. Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause.
57. It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the
strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
58. Must I do all the evil I can before I learn to shun it? Is it not enough to know the evil to
shun it? If not, we should be sincere enough to admit that we love evil too well to give it up.
59. My life is an indivisible whole, and all my attitudes run into one another; and they all
have their rise in my insatiable love for mankind.
60. Not to have control over the senses is like sailing in a rudderless ship, bound to break to
pieces on coming in contact with the very first rock.
61. Patience means self-suffering.
62. If I had no sense of humor, I should long ago have committed suicide.
63. The control of the palate is a valuable aid for the control of the mind. The weak can never
forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
64. There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should
be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.
65. They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.
66. You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are
dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
67. I have learnt through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and
as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted
into a power which can move the world.
68. It is not that I do not get angry. I don't give vent to my anger. I cultivate the quality of pa-
tience as angerlessness, and generally speaking I succeed. But I only control my anger when
it comes. How I find it possible to control it would be a useless question, for it is a habit that
everyone must cultivate and must succeed in forming by constant practice.
69. It is not for us to find fault with anyone else and sit in judgement over him. We should be
exhausted judging ourselves only, and so long as we notice a single fault in ourselves and wish
our relations and friends not to forsake us in spite of such fault, we have no right to poke our
nose into other people's conduct. If in spite of ourselves we notice another's fault, we should
ask him himself if we have the power and think it proper to do so, but we have no right to ask
70. Experience has taught me that silence is a part of the spiritual discipline of a votary of
truth. Proneness to exaggerate, to suppress or modify the truth, wittingly or unwittingly, is a
natural weakness of man, and silence is necessary in order to surmount it. A man of few
words will rarely be thoughtless in his speech; he will measure every word.
71. There is no limit to extending our services to our neighbours across State-made frontiers.
God never made those frontiers.
72. My goal is friendship with the whole world and I can combine the greatest love with the
greatest opposition to wrong.
73. Real education consists in drawing the best out of yourself. What better book can there
be than the book of humanity?
74. Nothing can be farther from my thought than that we should become exclusive or erect
barriers. But I do respectfully contend that an appreciation of other cultures can fitly follow,
never precede, an appreciation and assimilation of our own…An academic grasp without
practice behind it is like an embalmed corpse, perhaps lovely to look at but nothing to in-
spire or ennoble. My religion forbids me to belittle or disregard other cultures, as it insists
under pain of civil suicide upon imbibing and living my own.
75. I value education in the different sciences. Our children cannot have too much of chem-
istry and physics.
76. If I were born a woman, I would rise in rebellion against any pretension on the part of
man that woman is borne to be his plaything. I have mentally become a woman in order to
steal into her heart. I could not steal into my wife's heart until I decided to treat her differ-
ently than I used to do, and so I restored to her all her rights by dispossessing myself of all
my so-called rights as her husband.
77. I have been known as a crank, faddist, madman. Evidently the reputation is well de-
served. For wherever I go, I draw to myself cranks, faddists and madme
MARTIN LUTHER KING
1. All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another
2. An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individu-
alistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
3. Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.
4. An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts
the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injus-
tice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
5. Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.
And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your
back is bent.
6. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only
love can do that.
7. Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the dark-
ness of destructive selfishness.
8. Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.
9. Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
10. He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He
who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
11. Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies—
or else? The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be
broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
12. Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice
requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of de-
13. Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.
14. I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
15. I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content
of their character.
16. If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a
permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.
17. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
18. Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this pur-
pose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.
19. Life's most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?
20. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression
and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
21. Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.
22. Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.
23. Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal vio-
lence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.
24. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
25. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and mis-
26. Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that
27. Pity may represent little more than the impersonal concern which prompts the mailing
of a check, but true sympathy is the personal concern which demands the giving of one's
28. Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute mis-
understanding from people of ill will.
29. The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man,
what will happen to me?" But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop
to help this man, what will happen to him?"
30. The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. In-
telligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.
31. The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are
dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
32. The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will
be... The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.
33. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and con-
venience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
34. The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence
over that by the good people.
35. There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life,
devoid of breadth.
36. We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.
37. We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to
forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil
in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
38. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of
the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.
39. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.
40. Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred
darkens life; love illuminates it.
41. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.
That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.
42. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vitalunity. Hate
destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful
as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the
43. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and
retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
44. The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedi-
cated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
45. All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with
46. If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo
painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets
so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweep-
er who did his job well.
47. Without love, benevolence becomes egotism.
48. Agape is disinterested love. . . . Agape does not begin by discriminating between worthy and
unworthy people, or any qualities people possess. It begins by loving others for their sakes. . . .
Therefore, agape makes no distinction between friend and enemy; it is directed toward both.
1. The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.
2. Usually when people are sad, they don't do anything. They just cry over their condition.
But when they get angry, they bring about a change.
3. Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for
4. If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything.
5. I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regard-
less of their color.
6. Nonviolence is fine as long as it works.
7. I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against.
8. If you're not ready to die for it, put the word ''freedom'' out of your vocabulary.
9. When a person places the proper value on freedom, there is nothing under the sun that
he will not do to acquire that freedom. Whenever you hear a man saying he wants freedom,
but in the next breath he is going to tell you what he won't do to get it, or what he doesn't
believe in doing in order to get it, he doesn't believe in freedom. A man who believes in
freedom will do anything under the sun to acquire...or preserve his freedom.
10. You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has
11. Without education, you are not going anywhere in this world.
12. You don't have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to do is to be an intelligent
13. You can't legislate good will—that comes through education
14. Don't be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn't do what you do or think as you think or
as fast. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today.
1. A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
2. After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
3. For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects
and enhances the freedom of others.
4. If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to
him in his language, that goes to his heart.
5. It always seems impossible until its done.
6. Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.
7. There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats
8. We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.
9. I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave
man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
10. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are power-
ful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing
small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not
just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our
presence automatically liberates others.
11. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission
to do the same.
12. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
13. Freedom would be meaningless without security in the home and in the streets.
14. The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
15. Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water
and salt for all. Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been
freed to fulfil themselves.
16. Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.
17. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
18. Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that
the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of a mineworker can become
the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great
nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates
one person from another.
18. That was one of the things that worried m—to be raised to the position of a semi-god
—because then you are no longer a human being. I wanted to be known as Mandela, a man
with weaknesses, some of which are fundamental, and a man who is committed, but never
the less, sometimes he fails to live up to expectations.
19. It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate
victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people
will appreciate your leadership.
20. As a leader... I have always endeavored to listen to what each and every person in a dis-
cussion had to say before venturing my own opinion. Oftentimes, my own opinion will simply
represent a consensus of what I heard in the discussion. I always remember the axiom: a
leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead,
whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.
21. No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background,
or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to
love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
22. We need to exert ourselves that much more, and break out of the vicious cycle of depend-
ence imposed on us by the financially powerful: those in command of immense market power
and those who dare to fashion the world in their own image.
23. When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.
24. As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on
society if you have not changed yourself... Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of hon-
esty, but humility.
25. For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and en-
hances the freedom of others.
26. There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one
you are capable of living.
1. Sometimes history needs a push.
2. Despair is typical of those who do not understand the causes of evil, see no way out, and
are incapable of struggle.
3. It is impossible to predict the time and progress of revolution. It is governed by its own more
or less mysterious laws.
4. It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
5. Without a revolutionary theory there cannot be a revolutionary movement.
6. But every little difference may become a big one if it is insisted on.
7. It is, of course, much easier to shout, abuse, and howl than to attempt to relate, to explain.
8. Down with this contemptible fraud! There cannot be, nor is there nor will there ever be
"equality" between the oppressed and the oppressors, between the exploited and the ex-
ploiters. There cannot be, nor is there nor will there ever be real "freedom" as long as there is
no freedom for women from the privileges which the law grants to men, as long as there is no
freedom for the workers from the yoke of [exploitive]capital, and no freedom for the toiling
peasants from the yoke of the [exploitive] capitalists, landlords and merchants.
9. Bourgeois democracy is democracy of pompous phrases, solemn words, exuberant prom-
ises and the high-sounding slogans of freedom and equality. But, in fact, it screens the non-
freedom and inferiority of women, the non-freedom and inferiority of the toilers and exploited.
10. Without such thorough, circumspect and long preparations [since 1903], we could not have
achieved victory in October 1917, or have consolidated that victory.
11. It is not difficult to be a revolutionary when revolution has already broken out and is in spate,
when all people are joining the revolution just because they are carried away, because it is the
vogue, and sometimes even from careerist motives. It is far more difficult—and far more precious
—to be a revolutionary when the conditions for direct, open, really mass and really revolutionary
struggle do not yet exist.
12. The most important thing is to know how to awaken in the still undeveloped masses an
intelligent attitude towards religious questions and an intelligent criticism of religions.
1. Ideas that enter the mind under fire remain there securely and forever.
2. Learning carries within itself certain dangers because out of necessity one has to learn
from one's enemies.
3. Life is not an easy matter. ... You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cyn-
icism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above
weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.
4. Not believing in force is the same as not believing in gravity.
5. The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People
reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions
of their life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves.
6. The historic ascent of humanity, taken as a whole, may be summarized as a succession
of victories of consciousness over blind forces—in nature, in society, in man himself.
7. Here force is necessary, there it must be applied boldly, decisively and completely. But one
must know the limitations of force; one must know when to blend force with a maneuver, a blow
with an agreement.
1. Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of human-
ity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the
voice of justice.
2. It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes... we make mistakes
because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with
our emotions—especially selfish ones.
3. Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence. Any
man who has once proclaimed violence as his method is inevitably forced to take the lie as his
4. The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all.
5. It is time in the West to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.
6. Our envy of others devours us most of all.
7. The one and only substitute for experience which we have not ourselves had is art, literature.
8. The task must be to banish from mankind's thought the idea that anybody has the right
to use force against righteousness, against justice, against mutual agreements.
9. One should never direct people towards happiness, because happiness too is an idol of the
market-place. One should direct them towards mutual affection. A beast gnawing at its prey can
be happy too, but only human beings can feel affection for each other, and this is the highest
achievement they can aspire to.
10. Blow the dust off the clock. Your watches are behind the times. Throw open the heavy cur-
tains which are so dear to you—you do not even suspect that the day has already dawned out-
11. I am of course confident that I will fulfill my tasks as a writer in all circumstances— from
my grave even more successfully and more irrefutably than in my lifetime. No one can bar the
road to truth, and to advance its cause I am prepared to accept even death. But may it be that
repeated lessons will finally teach us not to stop the writer's pen during his lifetime? At no time
has this ennobled our history.
12. If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were
necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing
good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a
piece of his own heart?
13. If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were
necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing
good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a
piece of his own heart?
14. Human beings yield in many situations, even important and spiritual and central ones, as
long as it prolongs one's well-being.
15. The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth.
outweighs the world.
1. From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to
solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength.
2. In some cases non-violence requires more militancy than violence.
3. Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.
4. Real education should consist of drawing the goodness and the best out of our own students.
What better books can there be than the book of humanity?
5. The end of all knowledge must be the building up of character.
6. Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and
act for themselves—and be free.
7. There is no substitute for hard work, 23 or 24 hours a day. And there is no substitute for pa-
tience and acceptance.
8. There is no such thing as defeat in non-violence.
9. We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for
our community. ... Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of
others, for their sakes and for our own.
10. We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall
11. We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity
that nourishes and strengthens this community—and this nation.
12. You are never strong enough that you don't need help.
13. Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has
learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people
who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future…
14. Non-violence is not inaction. It is not discussion. It is not for the timid or weak. ... Non-
violence is hard work. It is the willingness to sacrifice. It is the patience to win.
15. When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to
us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of men we are.
16. Years of misguided teaching have resulted in the destruction of the best in our society, in our
cultures and the environment.
17. It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God
did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life
and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome op-
18. The name of the game is to talk to people. If you don't talk to people, you can't get
started. ... You're not going to organize everything; you're just going to get it started.
19. We must understand that the highest form of freedom carries with it the greatest
measure of discipline.
20. In this world it is possible to achieve great material wealth, to live an opulent life. But
a life built upon those things alone leaves a shallow legacy. In the end, we will be judged
by other standards.
21. A word as to the education of the heart. We don't believe that this can be imparted
through books; it can only be imparted through the loving touch of the teacher."
22. I have met many, many farm workers and friends who love justice and who are will-
ing to sacrifice for what is right. … They are determined, patient people who believe in life
and who give strength to others. They have given me more love and hope and strength
than they will ever know.
23. Our very lives are dependent, for sustenance, on the sweat and sacrifice of the camp-
esinos. Children of farm workers should be as proud of their parents' professions as other
children are of theirs.
24. It is not enough to teach our young people to be successful...so they can realize their
ambi- tions, so they can earn good livings, so they can accumulate the material things that
this society bestows … it is not enough to progress as individuals while our friends and neigh-
bors are left behind.
25. Perhaps we can bring the day when children will learn from their earliest days that be-
ing fully man and fully woman means to give one's life to the liberation of the brother who
suffers. It is up to each one of us. It won't happen unless we decide to use our lives to
show the way.
26. Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to
think and act for themselves—and be free.
27. Through non-violence, [one confirms] the humanity of others.
28. When the man who feeds the world by toiling in the fields is himself deprived of the
basic rights of feeding, sheltering and caring for his own family, the whole community is
29. I am an organizer, not a union leader. A good organizer has to work hard and long. There
are no shortcuts. You just keep talking to people, working with them, sharing, exchanging and
they come along.
30. There are many reasons for why a [person] does what [he or she] does. To be [oneself]
one must be able to give it all. If a leader cannot give it all [he or she] cannot expect [their]
people to give anything.
31. If you're not frightened that you might fail, you'll never do the job. If you're frightened,
you'll work like crazy.
32. It is not good enough to know why we are oppressed and by whom. We must join the strug-
gle for what is right and just.
33. The first principle of non-violent action is that of non-cooperation with everything humili-
34. [P]eople think non-violence is really weak and non-militant. These are misconceptions that
people have because they don't understand what non-violence means. Non-vio-lence takes more
guts, if I can put it bluntly, than violence. Most violent acts are accomplished by getting the op-
ponent off-guard, and it doesn't take that much character, I think, if one wants to do it.
35. Non-violence is not inaction. It is not discussion. It is not for the timid or weak...Non-violence
is hard work. It is the willingness to sacrifice. It is the patience to win.
36. When workers fall back on violence, they are lost. Oh, they might win some of their demands
and might end a strike a little earlier, but they give up their imagination, their creativity, their will
to work hard and to suffer for what they believe is right.
37. Talk is cheap. ... It is the way we organize and use our lives everyday that tells what we believe
38. Those who are willing to sacrifice and be of service have very little difficulty with people. They
know what they are all about. People can't help but want to be near them. They help them; they
work with them. That's what love is all about. It starts with your heart and radiates out.
39. We want to be recognized, yes, but not with a glowing epitaph on our tombstone.
40. Respect for faith of others stands on the same footing as culture.
41. It takes a lot of punishment to be able to do anything to change the social order.
42. We can choose to use our lives for others to bring about a better and more just world for our
children. People who make that choice will know hardship and sacrifice. But if you give yourself
totally to the non-violence struggle for peace and justice you also find that people give you their
hearts and you will never go hungry and never be alone. And in giving of yourself you will dis-
cover a whole new life full of meaning and love.
1. We live in a culture that discourages empathy. A culture that too often tells us our prin-
cipal goal in life is to be rich, thin, young, famous, safe, and entertained.
2. We have proved that the true strength of our nation comes not from the scale of our
wealth but from the power of our ideals—opportunity, democracy, liberty and hope.
3. If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll
4. Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference.
5. Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks
too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than
yourself that you realize your true potential.
6. We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying
to be excellent.
7. If we aren't willing to pay a price for our values, then we should ask ourselves whether
we truly believe in them at all.
8. A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece
of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, "Huh. It works. It makes sense."
9. Faith doesn't mean that you don't have doubts.
10. For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation
of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus—and non-believers. We are shaped by every
language and culture, drawn from every end of this earth; and because we have tasted th bit-
ter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more
united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of
tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal
itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
11. We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend. And
we honor those ideals by upholding them not when it's easy, but when it is hard.
12. I have seen, the desperation and disorder of the powerless: how it twists the lives of
children on the streets of Jakarta or Nairobi in much the same way as it does the lives of
children on Chicago's South Side, how narrow the path is for them between humiliation and
untrammeled fury, how easily they slip into violence and despair. I know that the response
of the powerful to this disorder—alternating as it does between a dull complacency and,
when the disorder spills out of its proscribed confines, a steady, unthinking application of
force, of longer prison sentences and more sophisticated military hardware—is inadequate
to the task. I know that the hardening of lines, the embrace of fundamentalism and tribe,
dooms us all.
13. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the
ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
14. Campaign slogan, 2008: YES WE CAN!
15. In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a
good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity—it is a pre-requisite.
16. We do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the
human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still
reach for those ideals that will make it a better place. The non-violence practiced by
men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance,
but the love that they preached—their fundamental faith in human progress—that must
always be the North Star that guides us on our journey. For if we lose that faith—if we
dismiss it as silly or naïve; if we divorce it from the decisions that we make on issues of
war and peace—then we lose what's best about humanity. We lose our sense of possi-
bility. We lose our moral compass.
17. I will never forget that the only reason I'm standing here today is because somebody,
somewhere stood up for me when it was risky. Stood up when it was hard. Stood up when
it wasn't popular. And because that somebody stood up, a few more stood up. And then a
few thousand stood up. And then a few million stood up. And standing up, with courage
and clear purpose, they somehow managed to change the world.
18. One of the most durable and destructive legacies of discrimination is the way we've
internalized a sense of limitation; how so many in our community have come to expect so
little from the world and from themselves.
19. For all the cruelty and hardship of our world, we are not mere prisoners of fate. Our ac-
tions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice.
20. That is why we fight—in hopes of a day when we no longer need to.
21. You can't let your failures define you - you have to let your failures teach you. You have
to let them show you what to do differently the next time.
22. When people are judged by merit, not connections, then the best and brightest can
lead the country, people will work hard, and the entire economy will grow—everyone will
benefit and more resources will be available for all, not just select groups
23. It's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will
realize your true potential.
24. Hope—Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of
hope! In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in
things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.
25. Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is
the most important. And we are called to recognize and honor how critical every father is
to that foundation. They are teachers and coaches. They are mentors and role models.
They are examples of success and the men who constantly push us toward it. But if we are
honest with ourselves, we'll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing—missing
from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, act-
ing like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.
26. Life doesn't count for much unless you're willing to do your small part to leave our chil-
dren—all of our children—a better world. Even if it's difficult. Even if the work seems great.
Even if we don't get very far in our lifetime.
27. Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.
28. I am the eternal optimist. I think that, over time, people respond to civility and—and
29. Hostility and hatred are no match for justice; they offer no pathway to peace.
30. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.
31. Part of my job I think is to bridge that gap between the status quo and what we know
we have to do for our future.
32. So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who
sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that
can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. This cycle of suspicion and dis-
cord must end.
33. The interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that
drive us apart.
34. Violence is a dead end. It is a sign neither of courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleep-
ing children or to blow up old women on a bus. That's not how moral authority is claimed, that's
how it is surrendered.
35. We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it.
36. Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength because it shows you
have the courage to admit when you don't know something, and that then allows you to
learn something new.
37. None of us wants to be defined by just one part of what makes us whole.
38. Tonight, somewhere in America, a young person, let's say a young man, will struggle
to fall to sleep, wrestling alone with a secret he's held as long as he can remember. Soon,
perhaps, he will decide it's time to let that secret out. What happens next depends on
him, his family, as well as his friends and his teachers and his community. But it also de-
pends on us—on the kind of society we engender, the kind of future we build.
39. The absence of hope can rot a society from within.
40. Peace is not merely the absence of visible conflict. Only a just peace based on the in-
herent rights and dignity of every individual can truly be lasting.
41. The belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it. Peace requires respon-
sibility. Peace entails sacrifice.
42. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism—it is a recogni-
tion of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.
REVOLUTION / Lennon and the Beatles
White Album Version
1. I never claimed to be a revolutionary [in the political sense of the word].
2. I am a revolutionary artist.
3. There is a case for us all to put society right; and that is basically why there is unrest all over
the world; because a revolution must come.
4. We are society....We are all responsible for each other! We have to be.
5. I want to do something political [as an artist] and radicalize people, and all that jazz.
6. I don't fancy a violent revolution happening all over. I don't want to die, you know. I began
to think what else can happen; I mean, it seems inevitable.
7. Your way of life is a political statement.
8. The people must be made aware that it's up to them.
9. You can change people. You can change their heads. I've changed a lot of people's heads. A
lot of people have changed my head just with their records, apart from anything else they do. I
believe in change. That's what Yoko and my scene is: to change it like that.
10. Well, I always take care of the underground, whatever I'm doing. And if they get in trouble,
I lend them money or invest in them or whatever, because I think they're important. I get asked
every two days for at least five thousand pounds, and I usually give it because it's usually some-
body I want to help. So I'm going to try to set up a foundation that can be small, a John and Yoko
one, and we might take a dollars head or anything that's donated at concerts. That would go to
this. And then I can pay all these Oz undergrounds, and Lydeside workers, and Timothy Learys,
that all want money out of me. And I might be able to fix it up taxwise.
11. The biggest mistake Yoko and I made in that period [as social activist] was allowing our-
selves to become influenced by the male-macho 'serious revolutionaries', and their insane ideas
about killing people to save them from capitalism and/or communism (depending on your point
of view). We should have stuck to our own way of working for peace: bed-ins, billboards, etc.
12. My role in society is to try and express what we all feel; not to tell people how to feel, not
as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.
13. I won't be a leader. Everybody is a leader. People thought that the Beatles were leaders, but
they weren't, and now people are finding that out. I refuse to lead, and I'll always show my gen-
itals or something which prevents me from being Martin Luther King or Gandhi, and getting killed.
14. I always had the plan, but I never had the power. I thought I did. Big star, big deal. No one
listens when they don't have to. It's too much work.
15. The youth of today are really looking for some answers, for proper answers the established
church can't give them, their parents can't give them, material things can't give them.
16. The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had.
It wasn't the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.
17. I think the Sixties was a great decade. I think the great gatherings of youth in America and in
the Isle of Wight might have just been a pop concert to some people but they were a lot more than
that. They were the youth getting together and forming a new church, as it were, and saying, "We
believe in God, we believe in hope and truth and here we are, 20,000 or 200,000 of us, all together
18. The statement in "Revolution" is mine. The lyrics stand today. They're still my feeling about pol-
itics: I want to see the plan. That is what I used to say to Jerry Rubin and Abby Hoffman. Count me
out if it's for violence. Don't expect me on the barricades unless it is with flowers. As far as over-
throwing something in the name of Marxism or Christianity, I want to know what you're going to do
after you've knocked it all down. I mean can't we use some of it? What's the point of bombing Wall
Street? If you want to change the system, change the system. It's no good shooting people.
19. There were two versions of that song ["Revolution"] but the underground left only picked up on
the one that said 'count me out'. The original version which ends up on the LP ["The Beatles'] l
said 'count me in' too; I put in both because I wasn't sure. ... On the version released as a single I
said "when you talk about destruction you can count me out". I didn't want to get killed.
20. The thing I regret [in the song "Revolution"] was making a reference to Chairman Mao—which
might spoil any chance of going to visit China like those ping pong people; and I'd like to go and
see what's happening there. I wrote the Chairman Mao line in the studio because I didn't have
any words. What I was trying to say to the Maoists, and to anyone who wanted to change the world,
is why go and stand in front of a policeman with a red communist flag in your hand, and then get
hit; I thought it was unsubtle. So, in the song, I wasn't putting down revolution. If you really want
to change the thing, do it subtly in a way that the establishment can't attack: I think, theater in
court, and or bed-ins, Two Virgins, things like that; things that the establishment don't understand;
therefore they can't kill us.
21. Evil, the same thing that's caused it for millions of years. Evil is a way of life we've got to get
through; we've got to get past that. We want to live. I think that's what Christ and Mohammed
were saying, in their way, in their time, in their society, OK, the Russians had their revolution and
it was for the same reasons: oppression, poverty, and all that—and look at Russia now. Every time
you have a violent revolution, the guns reign, you shoot the others—that's if they don't get you—
and you get power. But you'll have to build the structures that have been wrecked, and once you
build things up again, you build a new establishment and you're back in the same bag. Don't think
that because the Black cause is different from the Jewish cause, or the communist cause is differ-
ent from the capitalist cause, that it's going to be any different. It's going to be the same game.
You smash it down, you build it up, then you have to hold on to it. And the people who hold on to
it are the ones who usually carry the gun. We think all of this is wrong. Violence begets violence;
it's a universal law. All right, some will say situations will vary from place to place and the situa-
tion will sometimes justify the use of violence; but that's a compromise, and I say peace cannot
be compromised. If you're sitting on the beach and the water's there, there are always people
who will say it's too deep, there's too much current, and too many sharks. Well, it might be silly,
but we're for diving in the water to learn how to swim; it's the only way. The establishment likes
to infiltrate war games. They like to make you think the only way is violence. Show me a violent
revolution that brought about peace and freedom, then I'd say OK you're right. For two million
years we've had violence...so what's wrong with trying out peace for a change.
22. I'll tell you what's wrong with the world: people—so do you want to destroy them? Until
you/we change our heads, there's no chance. Tell me of one successful revolution. Who fucked
up communism, Christianity, capitalism, Buddhism, etc.? Sick heads and nothing else. ...Look
at the world we're living in, and ask yourself: Why?
23. What goes with love is peace.
24. Let's call God peace and do it that way, you know.
25. Love and Peace are eternal.
26. What can you do? What can you do? [regarding violence] You can't take power without
a struggle. Because when it comes to the nitty gritty they won't let the people have any power;
they'll give all the rights to perform and dance for them, but no real power. I don't know what the
27. War is, I think, the most - the thing we should really be talking about is the violence, you
know, that goes on in this society. Not in Vietnam, but just right in England or Northern Ireland,
which is part of Britain. That's a far more important subject to talk about than how - where's
your hem line and did you sleep with somebody when you were 15 or 16. I think that humans
always tend to talk about rubbish and—because they don't really want to face the reality.
28. One tends to sound so naive projecting anything but death and destruction, you know.
There seems to be only two choices; and I [prefer] the peaceful one. It's so intangible. What is
it we're talking about? Are we talking about some kind of social order where everybody's hap-
py. We're never all going to be happy; so, what are we looking for? I just think the best thing to
look for is less pain.
29. 'Time Magazine' came out and said, look, the Beatles say 'no' to destruction. There's no
point in dropping out because it's the same there and it's got to change. But I think it all
comes down to changing your head and, sure, I know that's a cliché.
30. The only hope for any of us is peace. Violence begets violence.
31. If you want to get peace, you can get it as soon as you like if we all pulled together. You're
all geniuses and you're all beautiful. You don't need anybody to tell you who you are or what you
are. Get out there and get peace. Think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you'll get it as
soon as you like.
32. We all have Hitler in us, but we also have love and peace. So why not give peace a chance
33. You either get tired fighting for peace or you die.
34. If you don't pass on your own awareness, then it closes down again.
35. Peace, peace, peace ? Peace in your mind peace on earth peace at work, peace at home, peace
in the world.
36. Peace on earth! that implies: no violence, no starving children, non violent minds, no violent
households, no frustrations, no fears.
37. I think that only way to do it is by Gandhi's way; and that's nonviolent, passive, positive … or
whatever they called it [Satyraga: or Soul force].
38. Less words and more peace.
39. I think if there's any hope in the world, America is it; however much of a bad side it has; it's
run by human beings, we're not saints. And if there's anything cooking, or any hope in the world,
America has it. It has the energy and everything else. And that's why I want to be here. I feel com-
fortable here. Luckily I speak the same language, almost. So really feel at home here.
40. Reach out. Reach out. Reach out. Reach out with love. Love communicates whereas hatred, in
the end, doesn't. Extend your hand to middle America with love. There cannot be a true world revo-
lution without the support of the silent majority.
41. I am not in the group of people who think that because all of our dreams didn't come true in
the Sixties everything we said or did was invalid. No, there isn't any peace in the world despite our
efforts, but I still believe the hippie peace-and-love thing was worthwhile. If somebody stands up
and smiles and then gets smacked in the face, that smack doesn't invalidate the smile. It existed.
42. I'm full of optimism, because of the contacts I've made personally throughout the world: know-
ing there are other people around who I can get on with; I'm not insane. I'm not alone. That's just
on a personal level. And of course the [Moratorium, and vast gathering of people in Woodstock],
Isle of Wight, all the mass meetings of the youth, are completely positive for me; and the fact that
we're always showing our flags. And when you show your flag, you're not alone. It's like we don't
need to be a few Christian martyrs, because there's lots of us; and don't be afraid, because they
do look after you, whoever's up there, if you get on with it. And I'm completely positive; and when
I'm negative, I've got Yoko, who's just as strong as me; and it helps, you know. This is only the be-
ginning: this Sixties bit; it was just a sniff. The Sixties was just waking up in the morning, and we
haven't even got to dinner time yet. And I can't wait. I just can't wait; I'm so glad to be around. It's
just going to be great, and there's going to be more and more of us. (with charming humor) And
whatever you're thinking about there, Mrs. Grundy of Suffolk, Birmingham-on-toast, you know you
don't stand a chance; a) you're not going to be there when we're running it, and b) you're going to
like it when you get less frightened of it. And it's going to be wonderful, and I believe it. And of
course we all get depressed and down about it. But when I'm down, or when John and Yoko are
down about it, Desmond [the interviewer] will be up, or somebody else will be up there; always
somebody carrying the flag and beating the drum. So they, whoever they are, don't stand a chance,
because they can't beat love; because all those old bits from religion about love being all-power-
ful is true, you know; and that's the bit they can't do, they can't handle it.
43. People are saying that you're naive, you're dumb, you're stupid. Okay it might have hurt us on
a personal level to be called names. But what we [are] doing: you can call it magic, meditation, pro-
jection of goals which business people do, they have courses on it, the footballers do it, they pray,
they meditate before the game, they visualize themselves winning. What we are doing is to pro-
ject a future in which we have goals in which we can reach. Right? People project their own fu-
ture; so what we want to do [is] say let's imagine a nice future.
SUSAN B. ANTHONY
1. Organize, agitate, educate, must be our war cry.
2. The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball—the further I am rolled the more I gain.
3. The rank and file are not philosophers, they are not educated to think for themselves, but simply
to accept, unquestioned, whatever comes.
4. Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing,
never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or
nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sym-
pathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.
5. If all the rich and all of the church people should send their children to the public schools they
would feel bound to concentrate their money on improving these schools until they met the
1. Justice and judgment lie often a world apart.
2. We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-
makers. You have to make more noise than anybody else, you have to make yourself more obtru-
sive than anybody else, you have to fill all the papers more than anybody else, in fact you have
to be there all the time and see that they do not snow you under, if you are really going to get
your reform realized.
3. Deeds not words
4. What is the use of fighting for a vote if we have not got a country to vote in?
5. We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the
1. Our task, of course, is to transmute the anger that is affliction into the anger that is determ-
ination to bring about change. I think, in fact, that one could givethat as a definition of revolu-
2. I think the only choice that will enable us to hold to our vision... is one that abandons
the concept of naming enemies and adopts a concept familiar to the nonviolent tradition:
naming behavior that is oppressive.
3. The longer we listen to one another—with real attention—the more commonality we will
find in all our lives. That is, if we are careful to exchange with one another life stories and
not simply opinions.
4. This is the heart of my argument: We can put more pressure on the antagonist for whom
we show human concern.
5. The injunction that we should love our neighbors as ourselves means to us equally that
we should love ourselves as we love our neighbors.
6. Think first of the action that is right to take, think later about coping with one's fears.
7. The point is to change one's life. The point is not to give some vent to the emotions that
have been destroying one; the point is so to act that one can master them now.
8. Punishment cannot heal spirits, can only break them.
9. People who attack others need rationalizations for doing so. We undermine those rationali-
10. To resort to power one need not be violent, and to speak to conscience one need not be meek.
The most effective action both resorts to power and engages conscience.
11. Vengeance is not the point; change is. But the trouble is that in most people's minds
the thought of victory and the thought of punishing the enemy coincide.
12. We learn best to listen to our own voices if we are listening at the same time to other wo-
men—whose stories, for all our differences, turn out, if we listen well, to be our stories also.
13. I learned always to trust my own deep sense of what I should do, and not just obedient-
ly trust the judgment of others—even others better than I am.
14. Vengeance is not the point; change is. But the trouble is that in most people's minds
the thought of victory and the thought of punishing the enemy coincide.
15. A great many of us must move from words to acts.
16. It is my stubborn faith that if, as revolutionaries, we will wage battle without violence,
we can remain very much more in control—of our selves, of the responses to us which our ad-
ersaries make, of the battle as it proceeds, and of the future we hope will issue from it.
17. What is the revolution that we need? We need to dissolve the lie that some people
have a right to think of other people as their property. And we need at last to form a circle
that inincludes us all, in which all of us are seen as equal... we do not belong to the other,
but our lives are linked; we belong in a circle of others.
18. Nonviolent action does not have to get others to be nice. It can in effect force them
to consult their consciences.
1. Afghan women are like sleeping lions, when they awoken, can play a wonderful role in any social revolution.
2. I'll Never Return
I'm the woman who has awoken
I've arisen and become a tempest among the ashes of my burnt children
I've arisen from the rivulets of my brother's blood
My nation's wrath has empowered me
My ruined and burnt villages fill me with hatred against the enemy.
I'm the woman who has awoken,
I've found my path and will never return.
I've opened closed doors of ignorance
I've said farewell to all golden bracelets
Oh Compatriot, I'm not what I was
I'm the woman who has awoken
I've found my path and will never return.
I've seen barefoot, wandering and homeless children
I've seen henna-handed brides with mourning clothes
Ive seen giant walls of the prisons swallow freedom in their ravenous stomach.
I've been reborn amidst epics of resistance and courage
I've learned the song of freedom in the last breaths, in the waves of blood and in victory
Oh Compatriot, Oh brother, no longer regard me as weak and incapable
With all my strength I'm with you on the path of my land's liberation.
My voice has mingled with thousands of arisen women
My fists are clenched with the fists of thousands of compatriots
Along with you I've stepped up to the path of my nation,
To break all these sufferings all these fetters of slavery,
Oh compatriot , Oh brother, I'm not what I was
I'm the woman who has awoken
I've found my path and will never return.
Precepts Regarding The Conscious Transformation
i) [T]here is an evident relevance to the universally recognized need in our time for a gener-
al transformation of consciousness [a consciousness beyond] the five thousand years of what
James Joyce has termed the 'nightmare' (of contending tribal and national interests) from which
it is now certainly time for this planet to wake.
ii) When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a
truly heroic transformation of consciousness.
2. A radical inner transformation and rise to a new level of consciousness might be the only
real hope we have in the current global crisis brought on by the dominance of the Western mech-
3. It is absolutely essential that the oppressed participate in the revolutionary process with an
increasingly critical awareness of their role as subjects of the transformation.
4. For the first time in human evolution, the individual life is long enough, and the cultural trans-
formation swift enough, that the individual mind is now a constituent player in the global trans-
formation of human culture.
-William Irwin Thompson
5. According to the concept of transformational evolution, first clearly articulated by Lamarck,
evolution consists of the gradual transformation of organisms from one condition of existence to
6. Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for
the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.
7. The message of transformation and how we all can live from our heart, not just from our
head, was a very important message for me to learn in my own life.
8. The universe is transformation; our life is what our thoughts make it.
9. Transformation in the world happens when people are healed and start investing in other
-Michael W. Smith
10. Transformation literally means going beyond your form.
11. We live in a pretty bleak time. I feel that in the air. Everything is uncertain. Everything
feels like its on the precipice of some major transformation, whether we like it or not.
12. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each guest has been sent as a guide from be-
13. Transformation does not start with some one else changing you; transformation is an
inner self reworking of what you are now to what you will be.
14. Transformation is only valid if it is carried out with the people, not for them. Liberation is
like a childbirth, and a painful one. The person who emerges is a new person: no longer either
oppressor or oppressed, [of others and of oneself] but a person in the process of achieving
freedom [self-freedom included]. It is only the oppressed who, by freeing themselves, can free
The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.
The future is not something you predict, but something you create.
The best way to predict your future is to create it. there is a need for a future culture. There is
a need for individual action. There is a need for thinking globally. There is a need for us to be
Everyone could benefit, I think, from spending at least some time working on some vast, vision-
ary project that might only see completion far in the future. Too many people in our world seem
to suffer from an utter lack of sense of purpose in their lives. They would be healthier people,
and society as a whole would be healthier, for the satisfaction derived from knowing they con-
tributed to such a great projectProterraforming, cathedrals, space colonies, planting forests,
No man knows enough to be a pessimist.
We are being integrated into one interactive, inter-feeling body by the same force of evolution
that drew atom to atom and cell to cell. Every tendency in us toward greater wholeness, unity,
and connectedness is reinforced by nature’s tendency toward holism. Integration is inherent in
the process of evolution.
-Barbara Marx Hubbard
The mystics, and now the quantum physicists, are stating that there is no other-ness in the uni-
verse, only unity, and unity is simply any pair of opposites. In other words to walk the middle
path of unity and avoid otherness we need to carefully define the extreme black and white
ideas and beliefs of any issue. If we embrace the ideas or beliefs on only one side of the is-
sue, and ignore the ideas and beliefs on other side, the mystics warn us that we will create
pain, suffering and violence. They remind us that since all things are created by God, there is
truth in all things. Thus to have Truth on any issue requires that we embrace the ideas and be-
liefs found on both sides of any issue. This is called, learning to walk the middle path. It is im-
portant to note that compassion, peace, happiness, and love are found only on the middle path.
We must come to grips with the fact that we have no absolute or privileged frame of reference
in this universe and that is one of the common threads that ties all of the human race together.
The more this realization enlightens the population, the better the chances that we will start
treating all our brothers and sisters peacefully, and as equals to be valued and appreciated for
their diversity. None of us knows all the unimaginable symbiotic, serendipitous, synchronistic
energies and ingredients which were necessary to evoke this miraculous blossoming of dust
into the unique beauty of being. Nor whether, if ever, in some unknown eon to come, it will a-
waken again to the same unanswerable questions.
Still, we must not be shy about giving ourselves a little credit for developing as far as we
have. We have discovered, and with a mix of fear, courage, hope and wisdom, embraced our
independence and loneliness. We have made many mistakes. We are fragile and possess the
capacity for self destruction. But there is also much that is virtuous about us. We can look as
far as our faults, or we can look beyond them so that our vision is almost as encompassing as
the universe itself. We can decide that there is a future for ourselves and move toward it with
whatever strength we have, perhaps as far as the distant stars. In this beginning is the future.
May the day soon dawn when all the people of Earth come to know it is morning in the uni-
This [his comments on quantum physics] leads naturally to wonder, "Do people—are people af-
fecting the world of reality that they see? You betcha they are! Every single one of us affects
the reality that we see, even if we try to hide from that and play victim. We all are doing it!
Notice the implication here. Dr Wolf and Dr Goswami (among many others) are telling us that
we are not just passive observers in a universe of things moving in some deterministic fashion
independent of the observer. We are instead creators in a participatory universe.This leads me
naturally to wonder, 'Do people—are people affecting the world of reality that they see? You
betcha they are! Every single one of us affects the reality that we see, even if we try to hide
from that and play victim. We all are doing it!
I think we need a new vision of ourselves, a vision that is consistent with the physical na-
ture of the universe and all of the "things" that compose the universe. And I am convinced that
the road signs pointing toward that vision are found in quantum physics, chaos theory, and
neurophysiology. These disciplines, these ways of asking questions came to me at a time when
I was deep in the midst of a profound spiritual crisis, a crisis where the way to God and to the
words of God, words like morality and love, just weren't cutting it anymore. The language of
Love wasn't enough … and never has been. Not for me, anyway, and with the exception of some
few, if history is any judge, Love is not all you need.
Well, Love might be all you need, but the words that tell us about it just aren't enough. It
gives me nothing; and if history is a good barometer, the language of Love apparently has done
very little to affect man, to put him on a course correction toward justice, love, morality, trans-
cendence. In a word, Wisdom.
For me, the way to Wisdom is in silence. But not the enforced silence of the monks. Love
and meaning are in mystery. Hence the word, Mystic. And it's vital that we create or make room
to allow the emergence of a mystical mind, a mystic consciousness. And I think one of the ways
to make room for that emergent consciousness is in the exploration of reality the way it's done
in quantum mechanical labs round the world. I am convinced of that and I am equally convinced
that a good teacher of those disciplines can evoke and provoke that kind of questioning in even
young minds. A teacher that can't do that has no right to call himself an educator. I think of it
as a sacred duty.
People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it. Better yet, build it. Pre-
dicting the future is much too easy, anyway. You look at the people around you, the street you
stand on, the visible air you breathe, and predict more of the same. To hell with more. I want
The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in
councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal
union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race.
-Susan B. Anthony
Selections from Eminent Persons
1. You ask me about the message of Rainbow. I don't know myself what it is: except that the old-
er world is done for, toppling on top of us: and that's it's no use the men looking to the women for
salvation, nor the women looking to sensuous satisfaction for their fulfillment. There must be a
2. One's got to put a new ripple in the ether. And one can do it only by not caring about any of
the old things, by going beyond them all with amusement and a bit of jolliness, and having a bit
of stark trust inside oneself. Stark trust in a Lord we have no name for, and also stark trust in one
another. Instead of a recklessness of defiance and mistrust, a recklessness of trust, like a naked
3. I would say to my Cornishmen, "Don't let your house and home be a symbol of your manhood."
Because it has been the symbol for so long, it has exhausted us, become a prison. So we fight,
desperate and hopeless. "Don't let your nation be a symbol of your manhood"—because a sym-
bol is something static, petrified, turning towards what has been, and crystallized against that
which shall be. Don't look to the past for justification. The Peloponnesian war was the death ag-
ony of Greece, really, not her life struggle. I am just reading Thucydides—when I can bear to—it
is too horrible to see a people, adhering to traditions, fling itself down the abyss of the past, and
We must have the courage to cast off the old symbols, the old traditions: at least, put them
aside, like a plant in growing surpasses its crowning leaves with higher leaves and buds. There is
something beyond the past. The past is no justification. Unless from us the future takes place, we
are death only. That is why I am not a conscientious objector. The great Christian tenet must be
surpassed, there must be something new: neither the war, nor the turning the other cheek.
1. Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.
2. In order for a civilization to remain standing at a high level, it must succeed in attaining a harm-
ony of mind and soul. This synthesis must be set as the supreme aim of our contemporary human
struggle. A difficult feat, but we shall achieve it. It suffices that we know clealy what we want and
where we are going. But until we do achieve this, it is natural that anarchy and chaos intervene for
some time. Moral and spiritual chaos. The genuine, the only certain, reconstruction is the internal
reconstruction of man. ... Only one way exists: to rally all the powers of light that exist within every
man and every people. ...
At the present critical moment, there is no other salvation. We must mobilize all our resources
and fight against deceit, hatred, poverty, injustice. We must bring Virtue back to this world.
Who are the human beings who will advance the moral resources of the universe? We cannot
hope that this rallying cry—the most vital one of all—will come from temporal leaders—politicians,
technical experts, economists. Only the spiritual chieftains of the world can and must accomplish
this noble mission that is beyond all personal passions. In our own day, the responsibility of the man
of the spirit is enormous, because passions are blind. Desires clash. The material forces placed in
man's hands by the mind are tremendous. And the way they are used will determine the salvation
or destruction of the human race. Let all of us who believe in the spirit unite. Let us clearly face
the dangerous moment we are passing. And let us see what is the duty of the man of the spirit to-
day. Beauty is no longer enough. Theoretical truth is not enough: nor is passive kindness. Nowa-
days, the duty of the man of the spirit is greater and more difficult. ... He must find the simple word
that will once again reveal to human beings this simplest of facts: that we are all brothers. ... the forces of good must be organized and the people who serve the spirit must acknowledge each other without egoism.
3. Fire and soil. How could I harmonize these two militant ancestors inside me?
I felt this was my duty, my sole duty: to reconcile the irreconcilables, to draw the thick ancestral
darkness out of my loins and transform it, to the best of my ability, into light.
Is not God's method the same? Do not we have the duty to apply this method, following in His footsteps? Our lifetime is a brief flash, but sufficient. Without knowing it, the entire universe
follows this method. Every living thing is a workshop where God, in hiding, processes and transub-
stantiates clay. This is why trees flower and fruit, why animals multiply, why the monkey managed
to exceed its destiny and stand upright on its two feet. Now, for the first time since the world was
made, man has been enabled to enter God's workshop and labor with Him. The more flesh he tran-
substantiates into love, valor, and freedom, the more truly he becomes Son of God.
It is an oppressive, insatiable duty. I fought throughout my life and am fighting still, but a sedi-
ment of darkness continues to remain in my heart, and the struggle continually recommences. The
age-old paternal ancestors are thrust deep within me; they keep fluctuating, and it is very difficult
for me to discern their faces in the fathomless darkness. The more I proceed in my search for the
first terrifying ancestor inside me, piercing through the heaped up layers of my soul—individual, na-
tionality, human species—the more I am overcome by sacred horror. At first the faces seem like a
brother's or father's; then, as I proceed to the roots, out of my loins bounds a hairy, heavy-jawed ancestor who hungers, thirsts, bellows, and whose eyes are filled with blood. The ancestor is the bulky, unwrought beast given me to transubstantiate into man—and to raise even higher than man if I can manage in the time allotted me. What a fearful ascent from monkey to man, from man to God!
1. Man is not a permanent, unchanging creation (this was the ideal of antiquity despite the contradictory intimations of its philosophers); he is rather an experiment and transition a narrow, dangerous bridge between nature and spirit. His innermost destiny drives him toward the spirit, toward God; his innermost yearning drives him to nature, back to the mother: his life is a fearful wavering between these two.
2. The dignity of man stands and falls with his ability to set himself goals in the realm of the unat-
tainable, and his tragedy lies in the fact that he has the ways and practices of the world against him
3. I don't know whether this world has ever been bettered; perhaps it has always been as good and as bad as it is. But this I do know: if ever the world has been bettered, if it has ever been made richer, more alive, happier, more dangerous, more amusing, this has not been the work of reform- ers, or betterers, but of true self-seekers who have no goal and no purposes, who are content to live and to be themselves.
4. Chaos demands to be recognized and experienced before letting itself be converted into a new
5. Only by understanding can we get the better of destiny.
6. True education, like true physical culture, is at once a fulfillment and a spur; always at the goal
and never stopping to rest, it is a journey in the infinite, a participation in the movement of the uni-
verse, a living in timelessness.
In the old days the human race was always making war, its entire existence was taken up with cam-
paigns, advances, retreats, victories. But now all that's out of date, and in its place there's a huge
vacuum, clamoring to be filled. Humanity is passionately seeking something to fill it with and, of
course, it will find something someday. OH! If only it would happen soon! If only we could educate
the industrious people and make the educated people industrious.
There's nothing like a dream to create the future. Utopia today, flesh and blood tomorrow.
Man alone is the architect of his destiny. The greatest revolution in our generation is that
human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects
of their lives.
1. Man belongs to a different integrate level from the beast, he is forever ascending the
ladder of being—and if there is an ape in us there is also an angel seeking release from
our brutehood and our humanhood. The overman is not my private phantasy: he is a reality
of our biologic and spiritual nature, and if I have led people to believe otherwise I cry aloud,
mia culpa! [ my fault] Humanity is bogged deep in bestiality: must I see my philosophy
used to drive the Roman spirit deeper into the swamp? But I shall go stark mad and die be-
fore this tragedy takes place! If man is trapped in the static state of his beasthood then all
culture is a fraud, and I will shoot down the first man who mentions Goethe or Shakespeare.
2. We are now entering a new era of gigantic conflicts [witness only the two world wars,
since Nietzsche's time] which shall usher in a new kind of reality, a spiritual reality based
on the needs of people, not crackpot philosophers like Hegel who rationalize their Prussian
bias into a world-system of emerging truth.
3. Behold, I teach you the overman. The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will
say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth! I beseech you, my brothers, remain
faithful to the earth; and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes!
Poison-mixers are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying
and poisoned themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so let them go.
4. Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman—a rope over an abyss. A dangerous
across, a dangerous on-the-way, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous shuddering and stop-
ping. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end: what can be loved in man is
that he is an overture and a going under.
5. O my brothers, I dedicate and direct you to a new nobility: you shall become procrea-
tors and cultivators and sowers of the future—verily, not to a nobility that you might buy
like shopkeepers and with shopkeepers' gold: for whatever has a price has little value. Not
whence you come shall henceforth constitute your honor, but whither you are going! Your
will and your foot which has a will to go over and beyond yourselves—that shall constitute
your new honor.
6. Life wants to build itself up into the heights with pillars and steps; it wants to look in-
to vast distances and out toward stirring beauties: therefore it requires height. And be-
cause it requires height, it requires steps and contradictions among the steps and climb-
ers. Life wants to climb and to overcome itself climbing.
7. In the horizon of the infinite.—We have left the land and have embarked. We have burned
our bridges behind us—indeed, we have gone further and destroyed the land behind us. Now,
little ship, look out! Beside you is the ocean: to be sure, it does not always roar, and at times
it lies spread out like silk and gold and reveries of graciousness. But hours will come when
you will realize that it is infinite and that there is nothing more awesome than infinity. Oh, the
poor bird that felt free and now strikes the wall of his cage! Woe, when you feel homesick for
the land as if it had offered more freedom—and there is no longer any "land."
8. One must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star.
9. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal.
10. I taught them to compose and collect into unity what is fragment in man, and riddle and
fearful chance;-As composer, riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance, did I teach them to cre-
ate the future, and all that hath been—to redeem by creating.
11. But the worst enemy can meet, will you thyself always be.
12. To many a one may you not give your hand, but only your paw; and I wish your paw also
to have claws.
13. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!
14. It is true we love life; not because we are wont to live, but because we are wont to love.
15. But let this be your honor: always to love more than you are loved, and never to be se-
16. What destroys a man more quickly than to work, think and feel without inner necessity,
without any deep personal desire, without pleasure—as a mere automaton of duty?
17. But some day,... the redeeming man of great love and contempt, the creative spirit
whose compelling strength will not let him rest. . . he may bring home the redemption of
this reality. . . this anti-nihilist,... —he must come one day!
18. This world is the will to power, and nothing besides!...And you, yourselves, are also
this will to power, and nothing besides!
19. And do you know what "the world" is to me? A monster of energy, without beginning,
without end, that does not expend itself but only transforms itself, as a becoming that
knows no satiety, no weariness.
20. It is not enough for me that lightning no longer does any harm. I do not wish to con-
duct it away: it shall learn to work for me. My wisdom has long gathered like a cloud; it is
becoming stiller and darker. Thus does every wisdom that is yet to give birth to lightning
bolts. For these men of today I do not wish to be light, or to be called light. These I wish
to blind. Lightning of my wisdom! put out their eyes!
21. Whoever must be a creator always annihilates.
22. We can destroy only as creators.
23. I know of no better life purpose than to perish in attempting the great and the impos-
24. My humanity is a constant self-overcoming.
25. My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati [love of fate]: that one wants noth-
ing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is nec-
essary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary—
but love it.
26. Such a spirit who has become free stands amid the cosmos with a joyous and trusting
fatalism, in the faith that only the particular is loathsome, and that all is redeemed and af-
firmed in the whole—he does not negate anymore. Such a faith, however, is the highest of
all possible faiths: I have baptized it with the name of Dionysus.
27. Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a mon-
ster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.
28. Whatever is done from love always occurs beyond good and evil.
29. I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you
done to overcome him...The overman is the meaning of the earth.
30. Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because
they had no claws.
31. Not necessity, not desire—no, the love of power is the demon of men. Let them have
everything— health, food, a place to live, entertainment - they are and remain unhappy and
low-spirited: for the demon waits and waits and will be satisfied.
32. There are horrible people who, instead of solving a problem, tangle it up and make it
harder to solve for anyone who wants to deal with it. Whoever does not know how to hit the
tnail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
33. Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called 'Ego'.
34. You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way,
it does not exist.
35. You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.
36. Moral fashion of a commercial society. — Behind the basic principle of the current moral
fashion: 'moral actions are actions performed out of sympathy for others', l see the social ef-
fect of timidity hiding behind an intellectual mask: it desires, first and foremost, that all the
dangers which life once held should be removed from it, and that everyone should assist in
this with all his might: hence only those actions which tend towards the common security and
society's sense of security are to be accorded the predicate 'good'.—How little pleasure men
must nowadays take in themselves when such a tyranny of timidity prescribes to them their
supreme moral law, when they so uncontradictingly allow themselves to be ordered to look
away from themselves but to have lynx-eyes for all the distress and suffering that exists else-
where! Are we not, with this tremendous objective of obliterating all the sharp edges of life,
well on the way to turning mankind into sand? sand! Small, soft, round, unending sand! Is that
your ideal, you heralds of the sympathetic affections?—In the meantime, the question itself
remains unanswered whether one is of more use to another by immediately leaping to his side
and helping him—which help can in any case be only superficial where it does not become a
tyrannical seizing and transforming—or by creating something out of oneself that the other
can behold with pleasure: a beautiful, restful, self-enclosed garden perhaps, with high wails
against storms and the dust of the roadway but also a hospitable gate.
37. Fundamental idea of a commercial culture.—Today one can see coming into existence the
culture of a society of which commerce is as much the soul as personal contest was with the
ancient Greeks and as war, victory and justice were for the Romans. The man engaged in com-
merce understands how to appraise everything without having made it, and to appraise it ac-
cording to the needs of the consumer, not according to his own needs;'who and how many will
consume this?' is his question of questions. This type of appraisal he then applies instinctively
and all the time: he applies it to everything, and thus also to the productions of the arts and
sciences, of thinkers, scholars, artists, statesmen, peoples and parties, of the entire age: in re-
gard to everything that is made he inquires after supply and demanded in order to determine
38. The thought of Power, not power of thought, is the key to the enigma of Western culture.
My failure to think in terms of political, economic and military power, in terms of institutions,
as well as men and ideas, placed my whole system of thought in the Cloud-Cuckooland of Wag-
nerian aesthetics and Lutheran ethics. For despite my immoralism I was forever the moralist,
forever pounding on the drums of moral value, of spiritual excellence when what matters is tech-
nology—the Machine that is grinding all men to the same level and makes democracy inevitable!
It is likely that the new way of seeing things will involve an imaginative leap that will astound
1. We have no right to assume that any physical laws exist, or if they have existed up until now,
that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future.
2. Science means unresting endeavor and continually progressing development toward an aim
which the poetic intuition may apprehend, but which the intellect can never fully grasp.
Werner Karl Heisenberg
Even for the physicist the description in plain language will be a criterion of the degree of under-
standing that has been reached.
What an extraordinary situation is that of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what
purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he feels it. But from the point of view of daily
life, without going deeper, we exist for our fellow men—in the first place for those on whose smiles
and welfare all our happiness depends, and next for all those unknown to us personally with whose
destinies we are bound up by the tie of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that
my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert
myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving. I am strongly
drawn to the simple life and am often oppressed by the feeling that I am engrossing as contrary to
justice and, in the last resort, based on force. I also consider that plain living is good for everybody,
physically and mentally.
1. We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple
with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do
what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.
2. No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it. The worthwhile problems are the ones you can really solve or help solve, the ones you can really contribute some- thing to. It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, perman- ently blocked, as it has so many times before in various periods in the history of man.
How wonderful that we have met with a paradox [regarding quantum physics]. Now we have some
hope of making progress.
Your consciousness influences others around you. It influences material properties. It influ-
ences your future. You are co-creating your future. I am much more than I think I am. I can be
much more even than that. I can influence my environment, the people, I can influence space it-
self. I can influence the future. I am responsible for all those things. I and the surround are not
separate. They're part of One. I'm connected to it all. I'm not alone.
Knowing that there's this interconnectedness of the universe, that we are all interconnected, and
that we are connected to the universe at a fundamental level is, I think, as good an explanation
for spirituality as there is.
We are approaching the end of science. "The end of science" does not mean the end of "unrest-
ing endeavor and continually progressing development" of more and more comprehensive and
useful physical theories. (enlightened physicists remember their zip codes too) The "end of sci-
ence" means the coming of western civilization, in its own time and in its own way, into the
higher dimension of human experience.
Our current struggle [with certain advanced physics] may thus be only a foretaste of a com-
pletely new form of human intellectual endeavor, one that will not only lie outside physics but
will not even be describable as "scientific".
1. Quantum physics, very succinctly speaking, is the physics of possibility. It opens fundamen-
tally the question of whose possibilities and who chooses from among these possibilities to give
us the actual event of experience. And the only answer that is satisfactory both logically and
meaningfully is the answer that consciousness is the ground of all being.
2. When we think of things then we make the reality more concrete than it is. And that's where we
become stuck; we become stuck in the sameness of reality. Because if reality is concrete obvious-
ly I am insignificant, I cannot really change it.
But if reality is my possibility, the possibility of consciousness itself, then, immediately comes
the question of, 'How can I change it?' How can I make it better? How can I make it happier?'
You see how we are extending the image of ourselves! In the old thinking, I cannot change any-
thing because I don't have any role at all in reality—reality is already there; it's material objects
moving in their own way according to deterministic laws, and mathematics determines what they
will do in a given situation. I, the Experiencer, have no role at all.
In the new view, yes, mathematics can give us something—it gives us the possibilities that
all these movements can assume. But it cannot give us the actual experience that I'll be having
in my consciousness. I choose that experience. And therefore, literally, I create my own reality.
It may sound like a tremendous, bombastic claim made by some New Agey without any under-
standing of physics whatsoever, but really, quantum physics is telling us that.
3. Instead of thinking of things as things, we all have a habit of thinking that everything around us
is already a thing existing without my input, my choice. We have to banish that kind of thinking,
Instead, we really have to recognize that even the material world around us, the chairs, the tables,
the rooms, the carpet…all of these are nothing but possible movements of consciousness. And I
am choosing moment to moment out of those movements to bring my actual experience into man-
This is the only radical thinking that we need to do, but it is so radical, it's so difficult, be-
cause our tendency is that the world is already out there independent of my experience. It is not!
Quantum physics has been so clear about it. Heisenberg himself, co-discoverer of quantum phys-
ics said atoms are not things, they are only tendencies.
So instead of thinking of things you have to think of possibilities; they're all possibilities of
4. Quantum physics calculates only possibilities. But if we accept this, then the question immedi-
ately comes, 'Who/what chooses among these possibilities to bring the actual event of experi-
ence?' So we directly, immediately see that consciousness must be involved. The observer can-
not be ignored.
5. We can truly see that consciousness is operating creatively even in biology, even in the evolu-
tion of species.
6. Quantum physics has given us indications that the world view might change.
Quantum mechanics allows for the intangible phenomenon -the freedom, to be woven into hu-
There's a great mystery called the mystery of the direction of Time. There's a certain sense in
which the fundamental laws of physics that we have don't make any interesting distinctions, say,
between the past and future. For example, it's a puzzle from the standpoint of the fundamental
laws of physics, why we should be able to remember the past and not have the same kind of e-
pistemic access to the future. It's a puzzle from the standpoint of these laws why we should
think something like, 'By acting now we can affect the future but not the past.'
"These things—that we have a different kind of epistemic access to the past and the future, that
we have a different kind of control by acting now over the future than we do over the past—these
things are so fundamental to the way we experience the world that it seems to me not to be cur-
ious about them is to be three-quarters of the way to being dead.
I don't think that physics will ever have an end. I think that the novelty of nature is such that its
variety will be infinite—not just in changing forms but in the profundity of insight and the newness
Human inquiry can continue indefinitely to yield important new truths.
As we fix our sight on the future and anticipate all the wonders yet in store for us, we should also
reflect back and marvel at the journey we have taken so far. The search for the fundamental laws of
the universe is a distinctly human drama, one that has stretched the mind and enriched the spirit.
Einstein's vivid description of his own quest to understand gravity-"the years of anxious searching
in the dark with their intense longing, their alternations of confidence and exhaustion and final emergence into the light''— encompasses, surely, the whole human struggle. We are all, each in our own way, seekers of the truth and we each long for an answer to why we are here. As we colletively scale the mountain of explanation, each generation stands firmly on the shoulders of the previous, bravely reaching for the peak. Whether any of our descendants will ever take in the view from the summit and gaze out on the vast and elegant universe with a perspective of infinite clarity, we cannot predict. But as each generation climbs a little higher, we realize Jacob Bronow- ski's pronouncement that ''in every age there is a turning point, a new way of seeing and asserting the coherence of the world." And as our generation marvels at our new view of the universe—our new way of asserting the world's coherence - we are fulfilling our part, contributing our rung to the human ladder reaching for the stars.
Biologists / Biology
1. I now close the topic of the new replicators, and end the book on a note of qualified hope. One
unique feature of man, which may or may not have evolved memically, is his capacity for conscious
foresight. Selfish genes (and, if you allow the speculation of this chapter, memes too) have no fore-
sight. They are unconscious, blind, replicators. The fact that they replicate, together with certain
further conditions means, willy nilly, that they will tend towards the evolution of qualities which, in
the special sense of this book, can be called selfish. A simple replicator, whether gene or meme,
cannot be expected to forgo short-term selfish advantage even if it would really pay it, in the long
term to do so. We saw this in the chapter on aggression. Even though a 'conspiracy of doves' would
be better for every single individual than the evolutionarily stable strategy natural selection is
bound to favour the ESS.
It is possible that yet another unique quality of man is a capacity for genuine, disinterested, true
altruism. I hope so, but I am not going to argue the case one way or the other, nor to speculate over
its possible memic evolution. the point I am making now is that, even if we look on the dark side and assume that individual man is fundamentally selfish, our conscious foresight--our capacity to simulate the future in imagination--could save us from the worst selfish excesses of the blind replicators.
We have at least the mental equipment to foster our long-term selfish interests rather than merely our short-term selfish interests. We can see the long-term benefits of participating in a 'conspiracy of doves', and we can sit down together to discuss ways of making the conspiracy work. We have the power to defy the selfish genes of our birth and, if necessary, the selfish memes of our indoctrination. We can even discuss ways of deliberately cultivating and nurturing pure, disinterested altruism --something that has no place in nature, something that has never existed before in the whole history of the world. We are built as gene machines and culture as meme machines, but we have the power to turn against our creators. We, alone on earth, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators.
2. from The Lives of a Cell / Lewis Thomas / physician, poet, etymologist, essayist, administrator, educator, policy advisor, and researcher
The human brain is the most public organ on the face of the earth, open to everything, sending
out messages to everything. To be sure, it is hidden away in bone and conducts internal affairs
in secrecy, but virtually all the business is the direct result of thinking that has already occurred
in other minds. We pass thoughts around, from mind to mind, so compulsively and with such
speed that the brains of mankind often appear functionally, to be undergoing fusion.
That is, when you think about it, it's really amazing. The whole dear notion of one's own Self
—marvelous old free-willed, free-enterprising, autonomous, independent, isolated island of Self
—is a myth.
We do not ytet have a science strong enough to displace the myth [as of 1974]. If you could
label , by some equivalent of radioactive isotopes, all the bits of human thought that are con-
stantly adrift, like plankdom, all around us, it might be possible to discern some sort of sys-
ematic order in the process, but , as it is, it seems almost antirely random. There has to be
something wrong with this view. It is hard to see how we could be in possession of an organ
so complex and intricate and, as it occasionally reveals itself, so powerful, and be using it on
such a scale just for the production of a kind of background noise. Somewhere, obscured by
the snatches of conversation, pages of old letters, bits of books and magazines, memories of
old movies, and the disorder of radio and television, there ought to be more intelligible sig-
Or perhaps we only at the beginning of learning to use the system with almost all our evo-
lution as a species still ahead of us. Maybe the thoughts we generate today and flick around
from mind to mind, like the jokes that turn up simultaneously at dinner parties in Hong Kong
and Boston, or the sudden changes in the way we wear our hair, or all the popular love songs,
are the primitive precursors of mor complicated, polymerized structures that will come later,
analogous to the prokaryotic cells that drifted through shallow pools in the early days of bio-
logical evolution. Later, when the time is right, there be be fusion and symbiosis among the
bits, and then we will see eukaryotic thought metazoans of thought, huge interliving coral
shoals of thought.
The mechanism is there, and there is no doubt that it is already capable of functioning,
even though the total yield thus far seems to consist largely of bits. After all, it has to be said
that we've been at it for only the briefest time in evolutionary terms, a few thousand years
out of billions, and during most of this time the scattered aggregates of human thought have
been located patchily around the earth. There may be some laws about this kind of communi-
cation, madating a critical density and mass before it can function with efficiency. Only in
this century have we been brought close enough to each other, in great numbers, to begin
the fusion around the earth, and from now on the process may move very rapidly.
There is, if it goes well, quite a lot to look forward to. Already, by luck, we have seen the
assembly of particles of exchanged thought into today's structures of art and science. It is
done by simply passing the bits around from mind to mind, untill something like natural se-
lection makes the final selection, all on grounds of fitness.
The real surprises, which set us back on our heels when they occur, will always be the mu-
tants [geniuses, avatars, savants, etc.). We have already had a few of these, sweeping across
the field of human thought periodically, like comets. They have slightly different receptors for
the information cascading in fromother minds, and slightly different machinery for processing
it so that what comes out to rejoin the flow is novel, and filled with new sorts of meaning.
Bach was able to do this, and what emerged in the current were primordia in music. In this
sense, the Art of Fugue and the St. Matthew Passion were, for the evolving organism of hu-
man thought, feathered wings, apposing thumbs, new layers of frontal cortx.
But we may not be so dependent on mutants from here on, or perhaps there are more of
them around than we recognize. What we need is more crowding, more unrestrained and ob-
sessive communication, more open channels, even more noise, and a bit more luck. We are
simultaneously participants and bystanders, which is a puzzling role to play. As participants,
we have no choice in the matter. This is what we do as a species. As bystanders, stand back
and give it room is my advice.
Jean Rostand from Can Man Be Modified?
Part of my idea of man is my feeling of his boldness, of his determination to rise higher and
For this reason I shall not say, as many do, that man is good enough as he is. I shall not say:
'What is the use of our making a superman, when man is already big enough to endanger his ex-
istence?' I shall not say : 'What is the good of giving man more intelligence? It will not make him
any happier. I shall not say that a society of geniuses would be incapable of going on existing -
for genius is a relative thing, and, compared to Neanderthal man, our species was already, at its
start, a collection of geniuses. Nor shall I say that the creation of a superman would amount to
the suicide of our own humanity,—for there are perhaps, in man, values he ought to prefer even
to his own existence. I shall take it as a postulate that man must aim at surpassing himself, at
drawing from himself something better than himself .
But, however legitimate and magnificent such a dream may seem to us, one is none the less
fully conscious of the formidable difficulties that are raised by it the idea of an evolution con-
trolled and directed by man [by artificial hormones, drugs, eugenics].
It [psychoanalysis] teaches us how this emotional equipment evolves during the course of
the individual life, and by what subtle alchemy primitive egoism is transmuted into love of one's
neighbour or attachment to an ideal. It makes us conscious of the rich humus of the soul, into
which what Kant calls the 'noble stem of duty' plunges for its enrichment.
Now that we have learnt from psychoanalysis what is contained in the human heart - which,
as Simone Well said, is 'just as much a natural reality as is the trajectory of a star'—we no long-
er have the right to think of morality as simply as 'predisposition to the good'. We know that the
man who is egotistical, greedy and selfish, far from representing a superior type of human be-
ing, is merely a case of arrested development, a man who has failed to attain spiritual maturity,
an emotionally backward person, instinctively Infantile—'a kind if subman.' The lack of the ca-
pacity to love one's neighbour—or at any rate to love something other than oneself—is a defic-
iency, a weakness If not a sickness.
There is only one way for a human being to rise, to row, to become 'more of a man' in
Vercors' phrase, and that is through generosity, devotion, the giving of oneself. And so, by
the round-about way of psychoanalysis, we come back to that lofty 'scientific morality' which
was outlined at the beginning of the century by the philosopher Guyau when he showed how
duty was bound up with the organic instincts of vitality, fertility and love. We have moved a
long way since the time — the time of my childhood — when that beloved and honest man Le
Dantee preached, in red covered books which the worst bands of hooligans exploited as their
justification, that egoism is the 'one and only basis of all society' and refused to see in the
social tendencies of mankind any more than 'the traces left by deformations caused by li-
ing m common'. Nowadays we should be more inclined to say that love is the one and only
basis of all society . . .
And let us not forget that this human love, which science recognizes as an essential attr-
bute of the, and indicates to us as the basis of a natural morality, this love on whose ac-
count we ought never to despair of mankind however alarming its future may look, was con-
stantly necessary, and still is, to the advance of science itself. For if there had been nothing
but cold logic and insensitive reason, science would never have come into existence. One
might even, with a slight flamboyance, go so far as to say that there is no science entirely
devoid of conscience, for there is no science without love. By what would the scientist be
carried forward , and upheld, if not by the strange 'passion for knowledge'? 'In spite of their
defects and their vices,' said Charles Richet, 'scientists have all of them the same soul; for
all have the worship of truth for its own sake; they are all moved by one thought in common:
the love of the truth hidden in things.'
They serve truth with an unscrupulous devotion, convinced that it is impossible ever to go too
far in zeal for it, and content to devote to its service the passion, the worship, the fury which,
everywhere else, is its enemy. They know that truth is arduous and fragile - that, like Chekhov's
God, we are in danger of losing it the moment we believe we have hold of it. They know that
no one can get near it without having overcome themselves.
The greatest scientist of all, Einstein, bowed down with religious fervour before the supremely
rational harmony of the laws of nature. Others, it is true, prefer to ascribe no characteristics to
'that which is', since any qualification appears to them a limitation and almost a blasphemy.
For they consider that that which is' goes beyond all human language, and that there is more
meaning, more grandeur and poetry in that small verb than in the most majestic epithets. In
this, indeed, they are at one with a poet, for was it not the enchanting Katherine Mansfield
who said : 'At the end, truth is the only thing worth having, it is more thrilling than love, more
joyful and more passionate.'
A BIOLOGICAL DNA-BASIS SUPPORTING THE CONSCIOUS TRANSFORMATIO
3. To question Darwinism is dangerous for all professional scholars but especially biologists.
- W.A. Dembski, from The Myths of Darwinism, in Uncommon Dissent
4. [Scientific] truth is quite unlike the verdict of a court of law, because it does not depend on
- John Cairns / Professor of Microbiology at the Radcliffe Infirmary, one of the medical teaching hospitals of Oxford University / Cairns, John (1922-) is a British scientist whose distinguished career has included research in molecular biology, cancer, and public health.
5. If this turns out to be widespread [directed mutation, or, adaptive evolution], we will have to
revise most of what we think about the way evolution works," says Hall [Biology Professor
Barry G. Hall] , whose work opens up the possibility that adaptive evolution may be consider-
ably faster than biologists have thought up to now. The assumption that mutations are purely
random forms a key part of all mathematical and theoretical studies of evolutionary processes.
"The problem we face is that theory is simply not equipped to deal with these findings."
-Barry G. Hall
Bacterial Proof of Directed Evolution / 17 June 2009
Bacteria can mutate in ways that specifically enhance their survival, according to a paper pub-
lished in Nature 335, 142. This discovery, by John Cairns, Julie Overbaugh and Stephan Miller
at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, challenges one of the cherished tenets of
Darwinian natural selection—that mutation is spontaneous and random.
Two years ago, John Cairns and his colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health, report-
ed that the bacterium Escherichia coli appeared to generate mutations that were beneficial to it,
and were not simply random (Nature, vol 335, p 142). This violated one of the few fundamental
laws in biology: that mutations in a population arise by chance, and are not influenced by the
demands of the environment.
Now, after evolutionary biologists have produced scores of reasons why Cairns must be mistak-
en, that his experimental design must somehow be at fault, Barry Hall of the University of Ro-
chester is claiming that Cairns may be closer to the truth than his critics would like to believe.
Stirrings in the Gene Pool: New Views in Genetics / By Nola Lewis
Evidence suggests another side to the mechanism of natural selection—a side in which mechan-
ics of chance are replaced by elements of intention. Biology is the study of life, and progress in
understanding its nature and the mechanisms which drive evolutionary change have relied heav-
ily on the science of genetics. The basic means used to explore genetic processes has been the
study of mutation—whereby invisible inner events give rise to measurable changes which can
be analyzed mathematically.
For generations, biologists have accepted Darwin's views regarding the origin of change in bio-
logical populations. According to this well-known theory, evolutionary change arises through
spontaneous, random mutations/and persists in subsequent populations through the mechan-
ism of natural selection.
Now three recent lines of evidence surest there may be another side to this mechanistic pic-
ture—a side in which the mechanics of chance are replaced by elements of intention, however
primitive. This evidence suggests that even some quite simple organisms can sense and in-
teract at a genetic level with their environment. Finding a home for these anomalous results
may lead to new ways of thinking about the role of DNA and its environment generating evo-
The Cairnsian Revolution / Dustin Brisson
In 1988, John Cairns and his collaborators published the controversial paper: The Origin of
Mutants, 6 arguing that bacteria may be able to sense environmental pressures and subse-
quently mutate specific genes to relievethe selective disadvantage. The predicted mecha-
nism involves an environmentalcue to cause the gene under pressure to produce a highly
variable set of mRNA, the most advantageous of which is reverse transcribed and recom-
bined into the genome. Cairns believed that the mutations he observed were not replication
dependent because the cells they occurred in were in stationary phase. Cairns' refutations
of the three previously described neo-Darwinian postulates, (1) nondirected mutations, (2)
replication- dependent errors, and (3) constant mutationrate, hereafter will be referred to as
Cairnsian for simplicity in contrasting with neo-Darwinism.
Basically Cairns (in Nature) and B. H. Hall (in Genetics) say that organisms can respond to
environmental stresses by reorganizing their genes in a purposeful way. Such "directed muta-
tion" shifts the course of evolution in a nonrandom way. Such a conclusion was like waving
a red flag in front of the evolutionists. R. May, at the University of Oxford, complained, "The
work is so flawed, I am reluctant to comment." On the other side, a University of Maryland
geneticust, S. Benson, comments, "Many people have had such observations, but they have
problems getting them published."
What sort of experiment did Cairns do to cause such a ruckus? In particular, he studied E.
Coli bacteria. Normally, these bacteria cannot metabolize the sugar lactose. Cairns exposed
the E. Coli to a sudden dose of lactose, demonstrating that if the bacteria must have lactose
to survive, they quickly cast off the two genes that inhibit their metabolizing of lactose. Of
course, the experiments were more complicated than this, but the fundamental finding was
that the bacteria mutated so that they could use lactose much, much faster than chance mu-
tation would permit, stastically speaking.
The battle lines are forming. A supporter of directed mutation, J. Shapiro, of the University
of Chicago, is quoted as follows in Moffat's article: "The genome is smart. It can respond to
selective conditions. The significance of the Cairns paper is not in the presentation of new data
but in the framing of the questions and in changing the psychology of the situation. He has
taken the question 'Are mutations directed?' which was taboo, and made it an issue that people
will now do experiments on."
John Cairns has proposed that "[w]hen populations of single cells are subject to certain forms of strong selection pressure, variants emerge bearing changes in DNA sequence that bring about an appropriate change in phenotype." This suggests that there exists a particular physiological path-way that responds to a specific selective pressure to produce a mutation conferring the correct phenotype that will alleviate this pressure.
Survival of the Mutable / by Sarah Richardson
In which the ghost of that oft-reviled ancestor, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck [Lamarck, for example, pub-
lished his "Zoological Philosophy" in 1809 and is today popularly associated with "the inheritance
of acquired characteristics" whereby organisms somehow direct their own evolution.], returns to
trouble the sleep of neo-Darwinian evolutionists.
To most evolutionary biologists, directed mutation is an oxymoron. Mutations, according to evolu-
tionary theory, are random events—changes in an organism’s genetic makeup that have no partic-
ular direction, and that may be harmful or beneficial. Whatever direction is to be found in evolu-
tion is put there by natural selection. When a mutation happens to be beneficial—when it im-
proves the organism’s chances of producing offspring—it survives, whereas harmful mutations
die out. That is the essence of neo-Darwinism, a theory in which there is no room for directed
Historically, though, there was an alternative theory: Lamarckism, named for Jean-Baptiste La-
marck, the nineteenth-century Frenchman who was the first person to articulate the idea that or-
ganisms evolve. Although Lamarck knew nothing of genes or mutations, he did believe that orga-
nisms direct their own evolution--that they actively acquire the traits that help them survive and
then pass those traits on to their offspring. His most famous example was giraffes. He thought
they had acquired long necks after generations of straining to reach the leaves on trees.
No biologist believes that these days, so it came as quite a surprise when six years ago the em-
inent British biologist John Cairns made an analogous claim: that bacteria, when faced with star-
vation, can sometimes produce—in a directed and nonrandom way—the mutation they need to
survive. Cairns’s claim was so radical that many of his colleagues questioned his data. But in the
years since, a few tenacious researchers have pursued Cairns’s results and have managed to re-
produce them. And just recently a group led by molecular geneticist Susan Rosenberg of the Uni-
versity of Alberta has given the whole line of research a large credibility boost. Rosenberg and
her colleagues have found evidence for a mechanism—a set of enzymes responsible for recom-
bining bacterial DNA--that could produce Cairns’s Lamarckian results in a neo-Darwinian way.
Cairns’s original experiment was simple. He took a strain of E. coli cells that were unable to di-
gest lactosem—because of a mutation in the gene for a crucial enzyme--and put them in a dish in
which lactose was the only nutrient available. Then he waited to see how many bacteria would
develop corrective mutations that permitted them to grow rather than slowly starve.
Standard evolutionary theory would predict that as the cells divided and replicated themselves,
mutations would creep into their genes, and in a few cases these errors would happen to convey
the ability to digest lactose. What Cairns saw, however, was radically different. To begin with,
his cells couldn’t self-replicate because they were starving. Yet in spite of that fact, the E. coli
colony managed to produce far more lactose- digesting mutants than evolutionary theory would
predict--as many mutants as one would expect if the cells had divided 100 times. Moreover, the
cells seemed to produce the mutation only when they needed it--that is, only after Cairns intro-
duced lactose into the medium (he kept the bacteria starving on no food at all for a few days).
That suggested that the cells were not mutating randomly but were responding to the presence
of lactose in a directed way, like giraffes straining to reach leaves.
Cairns’s E. coli weren’t exactly like Lamarck’s giraffes, of course. Lamarck’s giraffes acquired long
necks by using their necks a lot, whereas Cairns’s bacteria acquired the ability to digest lactose
through a genetic mutation. The mutation didn’t even have to correct the original flaw in the
lactose-enzyme gene; sometimes, Cairns and Pat Foster of Boston University found, it simply af-
fected the way in which the gene was read by the cell’s protein-synthesis machinery so that the
gene chanced to be read correctly in spite of the flaw. Nonetheless, Cairns’s E. coli appeared to
be behaving in a Lamarckian way insofar as they were acquiring a characteristic and passing it
on to their offspring. And by doing that, they were achieving better results than would seem pos-
sible in a purely neo-Darwinian world.
Barry Hall, a molecular evolutionist at the University of Rochester who had confirmed Cairns’s
puzzling results, suggested an explanation. Little is really known about what goes on in cells that
are starving, and perhaps, Hall speculated, a small group of cells in the colony might become hyp-
ermutable. They would continue to undergo mutations in an undirected and random way, as neo-
Darwinism requires—but at a much faster rate. That would dramatically increase the odds that a
few cells would get just the mutation they needed to survive. Those cells would then pass their
success on to their offspring.
Hall had a modest bit of experimental evidence to back up his idea that the bacterial survivors
were hypermutable: he found that in addition to the beneficial mutation, they also had a slightly
higher incidence of useless ones. But he could not say what molecular mechanism might cause
the cells to become hypermutable when they were not even dividing. The absence of a mechanism
limited the impact of Hall’s theory. Unless scientists have a mechanism to explain a phenomenon,
says Rosenberg, they won’t believe it exists.
Building on work done earlier by Cairns and Foster, Rosenberg and her colleagues have now identi-
fied a possible mechanism. Cairns and Foster had discovered that an enzyme called Rec A was cru-
cial to forming these puzzling mutations. Rosenberg has found that another enzyme, Rec BCD, is
also essential. Together the Rec enzymes make it possible for one bacterium to swap genes with
another in what passes for bacterial sex. The same enzymes also enable an individual bacterium
to repair serious damage to its DNA—such as breaks in both strands of the double helix.
That is one way, Rosenberg proposes, that a cell could become hypermutable. A normal bacterial
chromosome is circular, she explains. We know that the biochemistry of Rec BCD is such that it
can’t do anything to a circular DNA molecule, she says, because it loads onto DNA at double-strand
breaks. So we’re suggesting that double-strand breakage could be the molecular basis of this hypermutable state.
Double-strand breaks might form, for example, when a starving cell stops replicating in midopera-
tion, leaving its DNA unzipped--with the two strands pulled apart for copying--in various places.
Those places would be more susceptible to breaking. The Rec enzymes would patch up the breaks
by bringing in pieces of DNA from elsewhere in the cell. But in repairing the bacterial DNA they
could make mistakes and mutate it. And in a few cases these mutations might change the DNA
in such a way that the bacterium could digest lactose. At that point the bacterium would start eat-
ing and replicating again, and stop being hypermutable.
Rosenberg’s scenario is neat, but it is already clear that it cannot explain all the observed instan-
ces of directed mutation. Barry Hall has found that under a different set of experimental conditions
—in which E. coli cells must mutate to be able to make an amino acid they need to grow—the organisms do not rely on the Rec enzymes to get them out of their fix. Thus it seems that bacteria may have more than one way of making directed mutations.
One way would be enough, though, to fundamentally alter our understanding of how single-celled
organisms evolve. In standard evolutionary theory, individual organisms do not adapt to changes in
their environment; it is the population that adapts. When a change occurs--for instance, when sud-
denly the only food around is lactose—those cells that happen to be already equipped to deal with
the change are the only cells that survive, and from then on the population consists of their off-
spring. If bacteria can become hypermutable, however, it means that an individual cell has a
chance to adapt to a change after it occurs and thus to save itself. And it means that the popula-
tion as a whole becomes more adaptable, too—which, according to Hall, may help explain how
single-celled microbes were able to survive and prosper in the harsh environment of the early Earth, when they were the only life around.
Directed mutations aren’t likely to occur in the same way in higher organisms. Lamarck’s notion
that acquired characteristics can be inherited may work in bacteria, but it cannot work in humans
or giraffes. Even if it were possible (which it isn’t) for the cells in a giraffe’s neck to mutate in such
a way as to allow the animal to reach higher for leaves, the change would not be passed on to its
offspring. The only genetic mutations that survive into the next generation are those that occur in
sperm or egg cells, and they don’t change the characteristics of the parents.
Yet that does not mean directed mutation cannot occur at all in higher organisms. Cancer research-
ers have long puzzled over how a noncancerous cell might undergo the numerous mutations it takes
to become cancerous. Cairns and others now think that hypermutability--induced not by starvation
but by the benefits that can accrue to a cell if it becomes cancerous—might help explain the trans-
formation. To see why, you have to think of a human cell as an entity with independent interests
that don’t necessarily coincide with those of the whole human. Normal cells behave in a very dis-
ciplined way, Cairns explains. They are allowed to multiply under certain conditions and not under
others. You can say, if you like, that all the time they’re under selection pressures to evade those
rules. Because if they could evade them, they would be able to multiply, and from their point of
view, that might seem a great idea.
Rosenberg thinks the phenomenon of directed mutation may shed light on human biology in
ways that can’t be foreseen. What happens in starving, nondividing E. coli might be a model for
understanding how mutations occur in cells that don’t divide—such as brain cells. E. coli is just a
bacterium, says Rosenberg, but it’s a system in which you can really learn how things work. So far,
the DNA of E. coli has behaved like the DNA of every other creature that people have looked at. It
will change people’s ideas about what can happen in big, multicellular creatures like us.
Pierre Teilhard deChardin / paleontologist and geologist
1. The future lies in the hands of those who are able to give the coming generation good reasons
to live and hope.
2. What is the work of works for man if not to establish, in and by each one of us, an absolutely
original centre in which the universe reflects itself in a unique and inimitable way? And those
centres are our very selves and personalities.
3. From the first beginnings of History, let me repeat, this principle of the compressive genera-
tion of consciousness has been ceaselessly at work in the human mass. But from the moment—
we have just reached it !—when the compression of populations in the teeming continents gains a decided ascendancy over their movement of expansion upon the earth's surface, the process is naturally speeded up to a staggering extent. We are today witnessing a truly explosive growth of technology and research, bringing an increasing mastery, both theoretical and practical, of the secrets and sources of cosmic energy at every level and in every form; and, correlative with this, the rapid heightening of what 1 have called the psychic temperature of the earth. A single glance at the over-all picture of surface chaos is enough to assure us that this is so.We see a human tide bearing us upward with all the force of a contracting star; it is not slack water, as we might have thought, but the very crisis of the rising tide in full flood : the ineluctable growth on our horizon of a true 'Ultra-Human'.
Andrew Newberg / professor of radiology and psychiatry
The brain is capable of millions of different things that people just really should learn how in-
credible they actually are and how incredible their minds actually are; and that not only do they
have this unbelievable thing within their head that can do so many things for them and can help
us learn and can actually change and adapt, and it can make us something better than what we
actually are and it can actually help us to transcend ourselves—that there may be some way that
it can actually take us to a higher level of our existence where we can actually understand the
world in a deeper way, where we can understand our relationship to things and people in a deep-
er way, and we can ultimately make more meaning for ourselves in our world. We can show that
there's a spiritual part of our brain but it's a part that we all can have access to and it's some-
thing that we can all do.
Marco Iacoboni / neurologist/ neuroscientist
I believe we are at a point at which findings from neuroscience can significantly influence and
change our society and our understanding of ourselves. It is high time we consider this option
seriously. Our knowledge of the powerful neurobiological mechanisms underlying human so-
ciality provides an invaluable resource for helping up determine how to reduce violent behavior,
increase empathy. And open ourselves to other culture without forgetting our own. We have
evolved to connect deeply with other human beings. Our awareness of this fact can and should bring us even closer to one another.
Peter J. Wilson / anthropologist
The general theory of evolution insists upon the continuity of all species, and nothing in modern
knowledge gainsays this (in fact everything supports) DNA is DNA, whether it is in a human or in
a jellyfish. At the same time our life experiences and our deepest thoughts convince us of a start-
ling and definitive difference between the two. Between the extremes must lie the ground of
transition, which consists not in absolute fact but of how we have come to conceive of this contin-
uity and this gap simultaneously. I have tried to show how the totality of circumstances involving
the human and the nonhuman primate is such as to bring forth gradually differences of thought
and action to such an extent that they make our privileged awareness of human uniqueness con-
comitant with the stark perception of animal continuity and unity.
Missing links, when found. tie together things that otherwise remain separate but not without
their own integrity and validity. To the partisans of sociobiological theory of human evolution, a
cultural materialistic theory of human evolution. an empiricist theory, a dialectical theory, a be-
haviorist theory, or a rational critical theory, I do not cry a plague on all your houses. I offer the
grounds for an alliance.