Quotes about reality

A collection of quotes on the topic of reality.

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„Reality is inconceivable without an experiencing subject, without an ego.“

—  Albert Hofmann Swiss chemist 1906 - 2008

Ch. 11 : LSD Experience and Reality http://www.psychedelic-library.org/child11.htm
LSD : My Problem Child (1980)
Context: Of greatest significance to me has been the insight that I attained as a fundamental understanding from all of my LSD experiments: what one commonly takes as "the reality," including the reality of one's own individual person, by no means signifies something fixed, but rather something that is ambiguous — that there is not only one, but that there are many realities, each comprising also a different consciousness of the ego.
One can also arrive at this insight through scientific reflections. The problem of reality is and has been from time immemorial a central concern of philosophy. It is, however, a fundamental distinction, whether one approaches the problem of reality rationally, with the logical methods of philosophy, or if one obtrudes upon this problem emotionally, through an existential experience. The first planned LSD experiment was therefore so deeply moving and alarming, because everyday reality and the ego experiencing it, which I had until then considered to be the only reality, dissolved, and an unfamiliar ego experienced another, unfamiliar reality. The problem concerning the innermost self also appeared, which, itself unmoved, was able to record these external and internal transformations.
Reality is inconceivable without an experiencing subject, without an ego. It is the product of the exterior world, of the sender and of a receiver, an ego in whose deepest self the emanations of the exterior world, registered by the antennae of the sense organs, become conscious. If one of the two is lacking, no reality happens, no radio music plays, the picture screen remains blank.

Sören Kierkegaard photo

„Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.“

—  Sören Kierkegaard Danish philosopher and theologian, founder of Existentialism 1813 - 1855

Attributed to Kierkegaard in a number of books, the earliest located on Google Books being the 1976 book Jack Kerouac: Prophet of the New Romanticism by Robert A. Hipkiss, p. 83 http://books.google.com/books?id=g_JaAAAAMAAJ&q=%22problem+to+be+solved%22#search_anchor. In the 1948 The Hibbert Journal: Volumes 46-47 the quote is referred to as "the famous Kierkegaardian slogan" on p. 237 http://books.google.com/books?id=UuDRAAAAMAAJ&q=%22the+famous+Kierkegaardian+slogan+life+is+not+a+problem+to+be+solved%22#search_anchor, which may be intended to suggest the phrase is Kierkegaard-esque rather than being something written by Kierkegaard. In reality this seems to be a slightly altered version of the quote "The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved; it is a reality to be experienced" which appeared in the 1928 book The Conquest of Illusion by Jacobus Johannes Leeuw, p. 9 http://books.google.com/books?id=OFdVAAAAMAAJ&q=%22not+a+problem+to+be+solved%22#search_anchor.

Tom Hiddleston photo
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Anthony de Mello photo

„As soon as you look at the world through an ideology you are finished. No reality fits an ideology. Life is beyond that.“

—  Anthony de Mello Indian writer 1931 - 1987

"Assorted Landmines", p. 148
Awareness (1992)
Context: As soon as you look at the world through an ideology you are finished. No reality fits an ideology. Life is beyond that. That is why people are always searching for a meaning to life. But life has no meaning; it cannot have meaning because meaning is a formula; meaning is something that makes sense to the mind. Every time you make sense out of reality, you bump into something that destroys the sense you made. Meaning is only found when you go beyond meaning. Life only makes sense when you perceive it as mystery and it makes no sense to the conceptualizing mind.

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Paul Dirac photo

„If we are honest — and scientists have to be — we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination.“

—  Paul Dirac theoretical physicist 1902 - 1984

Remarks made during the Fifth Solvay International Conference (October 1927), as quoted in Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conversations (1971) by Werner Heisenberg, pp. 85-86; these comments prompted the famous remark later in the day by Wolfgang Pauli: "Well, our friend Dirac, too, has a religion, and its guiding principle is "God does not exist and Dirac is His prophet." Variant translations and paraphrases of that comment are listed in the "Quotes about Dirac" section below.
Context: If we are honest — and scientists have to be — we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards — in heaven if not on earth — all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.

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Daniel Barenboim photo

„Music has the capacity to create a greater reality.“

—  Daniel Barenboim Israeli Argentine-born pianist and conductor 1942

Daniel Barenboim: 'Spaces of dialogue' http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/frostinterview/2013/07/20137239147831924.html, 04 Aug 2013.

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„Mary is the great mother. She is the mother. That's what Mary is. Whether she existed or not, is not the point. She exists at least as a hyper-reality. She exists as the mother. What's the sacrifice of the mother? That's easy: if you're a mother who's worth her salt, you offer your son to be destroyed by the world. That's what you do. And that's what's going to happen. He's going to be born, he's going to suffer, he's going to have his trouble in life, he's going to have his illnesses, he's going to face his failures and catastrophes, and he's going to die. That's what's going to happen, and if you're awake you know that, and then you say, 'well, perhaps he will live in a way that will justify that.' And then you try to have that happen. And that's what makes you worthy of a statue like [The Pieta]. 'Is it right to bring a baby into this terrible world?' Well, every woman asks herself that question. Some say no, and they have their reasons. Mary answers 'yes' voluntarily. Mary is the archetype of the woman who answers yes to life voluntarily. Not because she is blind. She knows what's going to happen. So, she's the archetypal representation of the woman who says yes to life knowing full well what life is. She's not naive. She's not someone who got pregnant in the backseat of a 1957 Chevy during one night of half-drunk idiocy. Not that. She does so consciously. Consciously, knowing what's to come. And then she allows it to happen, which is a testament to mothers.“

—  Jordan Peterson Canadian clinical psychologist, cultural critic, and professor of psychology 1962

Bible Series V: Cain and Abel: The Hostile Brothers

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“