1. On the edge of conflict we sharpen the blade of consciousness . This is the primary stage of consciousness, the 'alert' version. The more abstract form of consciousness wakes up at the edge of something and nothing (Zen's clap of one hand).
  2. There is no such thing as a global consciousness -- there is a global subconscious. Consciousness is not one big light but a multitude of small lights that light and extinguish.
  3. 'Self awareness' is potentially limited because when we perceive we cannot perceive the perceiver. We cannot be simultaneously actor and audience.
  4. At the level of stimulation there is no distinction between reality and illusion. Both equally can galvanize or paralyse.
  5. There is no consciousness without memory. The newborn baby, full of perceptions but no memory, cannot be conscious. In order to operate in consciousness, everything that invades our brain and senses must be compared to what we already know.
  6. Sensation is when the message comes from the body to the brain. Emotion results when the message comes from the brain to the body.
  7. We don't receive the impression -- we receive an impression of the impression. Our tools -- senses, nerves, brain -- colour our perception just as any conductor influences what it conducts. Perception can be weaker or stronger than reality just as the photocopy may differ from the original.
  8. Paraphrasing Lennon ("Life is what happens when we are busy with something else"): personality is what we project when we are busy with something else.
  9. To dwell in your interior world is like walking in circles on a desert island.
  10. Looking into our childhood for the cause of our troubles is like looking to the Big Bang for the cause of the world's problems (and both may be right).
  11. The last thing the madman loses is reason.
  12. Simultaneous forces rule everything from the planets to ourselves. Any motion changing its initial direction shows that the initial force is no longer in absolute control. Complexity must always be measured in terms of distance from the initial impulse. Practically all ball games are based on simultaneous forces. This principle can be applied to the psychological realm as well: when we cannot decide between two contradictory choices, we choose the third 'diagonal' or 'ellipsoid' solution. Sometimes the problem cannot be reduced to two opposite choices, as when multiple problems with multiple possible choices confront us simultaneously. The final decision will always be a product of the strongest impulse ("Sophie's Choice"). So, what we call 'freedom of choice,' 'consciousness,' may really be predetermined by a net of infinite simultaneous forces, too numerous and, in general, too subtle to be perceived and to make us realise that we're only pushed and pulled by the pool that rules the rest of the universe.


  13. Non-intelligence is a total and immediate reaction. Intelligence is more 'built up,' slower and composed of parts.
  14. When we cannot trace the pathway which leads us toward knowledge, it is non-intelligence. When we are fascinated only with the pathway, not knowing where it leads, and marvel at what we discover at the end -- this also is non-intelligence.
  15. In discovery, humans are not made to perceive pathway and goal simultaneously. For this reason, intelligence is a recapitulative rather than a creative (discovering) process. The nose leads us forward and the eyes (looking backwards) acknowledge the pathway. This point of the transition from pathway to goal will, like a rainbow, forever escape our unquiet mind. It is situated in a logically non-existing dimension, where things simultaneously happen and don't happen. In the turning wheel, there is a theoretical frontier between the axis and the circumference where the wheel turns and doesn't at the same time. Movement is perhaps an infinite number of immobilities. There is no connection, only a quantum leap, from one condition into another.

[Back to beginning of the chapter]