The Echo Chamber
Perform a Perceptual Self-Diagnostic

Test for Echo

A note to the reader:
Although many of the sentiments
within these echoes contain male pronouns
the ultimate message is not intended to be patriarchal.
It is my sincere desire that each of you will be able to discover
that the theme of these thought-clips has more to do
with an all-inclusive frame of reference
than a gender-specific one.

And try to remember:
If the sound of the following upsets your equilibrium
ask yourself: “Why?”

If you can’t answer that question
Try it again from the top


Part of the communication problem, as we shall see,
is the strangeness of what is being found…
Very few people are synthesizing information
being gathered in far-flung places.
— Marilyn Ferguson

common sense.  1. Native good judgment; sound ordinary sense.
2. The set of general unexamined assumptions as distinguished
from specially acquired concepts:  Common sense holds that
heavier bodies fall faster than lighter ones.
— The American Heritage Dictionary

New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed
without any other reason but because they are not already common.
— John Locke

Common sense is judgment without reflection which is shared
by an entire class, a people, a nation, or the whole human race.
— Giovanni Battista Vico

Judging by common sense
is merely another phrase for judging by first appearance…
The men who place implicit faith in their own common sense
are, without any exception,
the most wrong-headed and impracticable persons.
— John Stewart Mill

Sound English common sense — the inherited stupidity of the race.
— Oscar Wilde

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18.
— Albert Einstein

For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances,
as though they were realities, and are more often influenced
by things that seem than by things that are.
— Niccolo Machiavelli

If you do not specify and confront real isues,
what you say will surely obscure them.
If you do not alarm anyone morally,
you yourself remain morally asleep.
If you do not embody controversy,
what you say will be an acceptance
of the drift of the coming human hell.
— C. Wright Mills

The trouble with people is not that they don’t know,
but that they know so much that ain’t so.
— Josh Billings

The man who never alters his opinion
is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.
— William Blake

In all cases of perception,
from the most basic to the most sophisticated,
the meaning of the experience is recognized by the observer
according to a horizon of expectation within which
the experience will be expected to fall.
— James Burke

Perception is based, to a very large extent,
on conceptual models, which are always inadequate,
often incomplete, and sometimes profoundly wrong.
— Lyall Watson

Every creative act…
involves a new innocence of perception
liberated from the cataract of accepted belief.
— Arthur Koestler

To raise new questions, new possibilities,
to regard old questions from a new angle,
requires creative imagination
and marks real advances in science.
— Albert Einstein

One day posterity will remember,
this strange era, these strange times,
when ordinary common honesty was called courage.
— Yevgeny Yevtushenko

We are always getting ready to live
but never living.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history
is the most important of all the lessons of history.
— Aldous Huxley

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
is for good men to do nothing.
— Edmund Burke

The whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain
make a mockery of what human life should be.
— Bertrand Russell

The future of a civilization
depends on our overcoming the meaninglessness and hopelessness
which characterizes the thought of men today.
— Albert Schweitzer

…illusions multiply,
and among them there is, I suppose none more ubiquitous
than the idea that “you can’t change human nature.”
This ancient platitude might long ago have been relegated
to a home for superannuated ideas, were it not so constantly useful.
— Barrows Dunham

Our past is not our potential.
— Marilyn Ferguson

There’s no need for them to be so unhappy…
Pain and sickness and hunger and fighting —
there’s no need for any of it.
— Robert Heinlein

A doctor says (to a patient whose unorthodox remedy led to recovery):
Sir, it would be better to die according to the rules
than to live in contradiction to the faculty of medicine.
— Molière

“What will people say?”
In these words lies the tyranny of the world,
the whole destruction of our natural disposition,
the oblique vision of our minds.
These four words hold sway everywhere.
— Berthold Auerbach

For our race to reach the next true satori,
for us to move to that next level of consciousness and evolution
that so many of our philosophers proclaim,
all facets of human endeavor must become concious strivings for art.
— Dan Simmons

If the nature of the work
is properly appreciated and applied,
it will stand in the same relation to the higher faculties
as food is to the physical body.
— J.C. Kumarappa

Is not the real business of the artist
to seek for man’s salvation,
and by understanding his ingredients
to make himself less an outlaw to himself?
— Loren Eisley

“Learn what is true in order to do what is right”
is the summing up of the whole duty of man.
— T.H. Huxley

The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life
is to unlearn what is untrue.
— Antisthenes

To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble.
But how much nobler it would be
if men died for ideas that were true.
— H.L. Menkin

Every start upon an untrodden path
is a venture which only in unusual circumstances
looks sensible and likely to be successful.
— Albert Schweitzer

The invisible tensive straws that can save us
are those of individual human integrities —
in daring to steer the individual’s course only by truth,
strange as the realized truth may often seem —
wherever and whenever the truths are evidenced to the individual —
wherever they may lead, unfamiliar as the way may be.
— R. Buckminster Fuller

Think you of the fact that a deaf person cannot hear.
What deafness may we all not possess?
What senses do we lack that we cannot see
and cannot hear another world all around us?
— Frank Herbert

Just as an explorer penetrates into new and unknown lands,
one makes discoveries in the everyday life,
and the erstwhile mute surroundings begin to speak a language
which becomes increasingly clear.
— Wassily Kandinsky

To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand.
— José Ortega y Gasset

In every child who is born,
under no matter what circumstances,
and of no matter what parents,
the potentiality of the human race is born again.
— James Agee

All the grown-ups were once children
although few of them remember it.
— Antoine de Saint Exupery

All inquirers had the naïveté
and some had the boldness of amateurs.
— Daniel J. Boorstin

They can because they think they can.
— Virgil

…a childlike playfulness which is one of the hallmarks of creativity.
Consensus is rare in psychology, but most workers in the field agree that
creative thinkers can be recognized by their ability to entertain wild ideas
without feeling the usual need to pass judgment on them.
— Lyall Watson

Nobody makes a greater mistake
than he who did nothing
because he could only do a little.
— Edmond Burke

Much of our failure to understand human nature
arises from neglect of the need to have our faculties excited
and our lives thereby enhanced.
The human animal cannot be itself without this exciting enhancement.
Excitement is not merely good, it is indispensable to a proper human life.
— Lancelot Law White

At some stage in the process of creation,
the creative product — whether painting, poem, or scientific theory —
takes on a life of its own and transmits its own needs to its creator.
It stands apart from him and summons material from his subconscious.
The creator, then, must know when to cease directing his work
and when to allow it to direct him.
He must know, in short, when his work is likely to be wiser than he.
— George Kneller

It is impossible to undertake any kind of research
without being perpetually made aware
that the truth is plying us with suggestions,
the past prodding us with hints,
and if no benefits result from such assistance,
it is not the fault of our heavenly helpers
but of our all too human obtuseness.
— Cyril Connolly

It [the right hemisphere] needs exposure to rich and associative patterns,
which it tends to grasp as wholes.
Programmed instruction is certainly not for the right hemisphere,
but I am not sure what is the right method of instruction for our silent half.
It is part of the elusiveness of the right hemisphere
that we find it easier to say what it is not than what it is.
— Eran Zaidel

It seems, then, to be one of the paradoxes of creativity
that in order to think originally,
we must familiarize ourselves with the ideas of others.
— George Kneller

The unconscious, though one cannot force it, will not produce new ideas
unless it has been painstakingly stuffed full of facts, impressions, concepts,
and an endless series of conscious ruminations and attempted solutions.
On this we have the testimony of many creative people.
— Morton Hunt

Words bend our thinking to infinite paths of self-delusion,
and the fact that we spend most of our mental lives
in brain mansions built of words
means that we lack the objectivity necessary
to see the terrible distortions of reality which language brings.
— Dan Simmons

[He] felt the words wash over him.
They were like swarming creatures.
He had a strange fantasy
the things were seeking places within him to lay their young.
— David Brin

Human speech is like a cracked kettle
on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to,
while we long to make music that will melt the stars.
— Guasteve Flaubert

Words cover secrets like trapdoors over underground passages.
To find out their true import, you have to be willing to explore.
— Deepak Chopra

Semanticists like Alfred Korzybski and Benjamin Whorf warned
that Indo-European languages trap us in a fragmented model of life.
They disregard relationship.
By their subject-predicate structure, they mold our thought,
forcing us to think of everything in terms of cause and effect.
For this reason it is hard for us to talk about —
or even think about —
quantum physics, a fourth dimension, or any other notion
without clear-cut beginnings and endings, up and down, then and now…

Korzybski warned that we will not grasp the nature of reality
until we realize the limitation of words.
Language forms our thought, thereby setting up barriers.
The map is not the territory.
— Marilyn Ferguson

The paradox has been apparent for some time,
but it seems to be one of those things that looms so large
and are so blatantly obvious that they are difficult to see.
— Lyall Watson

After all the philosophy and speculations are finished,
we’re still left with just words, metaphors.
They are our tools for understanding the world,
but it’s always well to remember
they have only a nodding acquaintance with reality.
— David Brin

Every symbol has a hidden premise behind it.
Every word carries unspoken assumptions
buried in the history of the language
and the conditioning experiences of the speakers.
If you snatch those buried meanings out of your words,
you spill a whole stream of new understanding into your awareness.
— Frank Herbert

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself.
— Walt Whitman

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1 comment so far

  1. dynamicdeux on

    Some great quotes…

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