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The end of all intelligent analysis is to clear the way for synthesis.
In the currently accepted view, as long as you do the right thing, it makes little difference what your reason is. But this, says T.S. Eliot, is the greatest treason, a betrayal of our humanity, because the interior life counts. Without it we are indeed machines that can be manipulated genetically and given new mechanical parts.
Thomas Moore, ORIGINAL SELF
After quoting Emerson's adage that "Man is the dwarf of himself," Loren Eiseley wrote of the modern age in general: "For man has never lived before in so great an age of exterior accomplishment, so tremendous a projection of himself into his machines, nor yet so disheartening a period in all that stands for the nobler aspects of the human dream….His desire to fly away to Mars, still warring, still haunted by his own black shadow, is the adolescent escape mechanism of a creature who would prefer to infect the outer planets with his problems than to master them at home."
"An Evolutionist Looks At Modern Man," in ADVENTURES OF THE MIND (1960)
We should not be mistaken about our terms. It is not technology or materialism that is the problem. The love of materials and the physical world and the extraordinary craftsmanship in its use have made us human. By catastrophes of industrial greed I refer to the corporate organization of the economy, with its destruction of the human community, its blindness to place, its obscene disregard for scale, its garbage, its rapacity, and its excessive desire for 'products.'
Paul Shepard THE ONLY WORLD WE'VE GOT
To romance of the future may seem to be indulgence to ungoverned speculation for the sake of the marvelous. Yet controlled imagination in this sphere can be a very valuable exercise for minds bewildered about the present and its potentialities. Today we should welcome, and even study, every serious attempt to envisage the future of our race; not merely in order to grasp the very diverse and often tragic possibilities that confront us, but also that we may familiarize ourselves with the certainty that many of our most cherished ideals would seem puerile to more developed minds. To romance of the far future, then, is to attempt to see the human race in its cosmic setting, and to mould our hearts to entertain new values.
Olaf Stapledon. Preface to Last and First Men
So now we have all forms of cancers, leukemias, and immune system diseases and don’t yet understand through big science what is really happening to us; but we do intuitively sense our evolutionary crisis and are expressing the catastrophe bifurcation through art---primarily through science fiction.
William Irwin Thompson COMING INTO BEING
I am not a thing, a noun.
I seem to be a verb,
an evolutionary process —
an integral function of the universe.
R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER
Every generation from now on will face something like the same existential and immediate choice we face—the option of suicide or of freedom with effort, cooperation and abundance.It is this change from drift to choice, to collective responsibility and commitment, that dominates all the other changes today. It is the change from the adolescent to the man. It is the change from evolution by ignorance and fatal acceptance to evolution by intelligence, anticipation, and decision. It is the change from being run by aristocrats or capitalists or managers to participatory democracy. We have bitten into the apple of knowledge and our eyes are opened. We have been drive out of the Eden of irresponsibility into the world of decision. We now know that it is we who are responsible for shaping the future. Whether we live or die, we will never be able to go back to irresponsibility again.
John R. Platt in PERCEPTION AND CHANGE (1968)
It is the moment of evolutionary truth for the race, and what man does with that moment will be more important than the events of the previous millennium.
That is the exploration that awaits you—not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.
Q to Jean-Luc Picard