Quote of The Day



“However expressive, symbols can never be the things they stand for.”

-Aldous Huxley, in A General Theory of Love


Archived Quotes

Click on a title below to jump to the quotes for that book.

A General Theory of Love, by Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini, and Richard Lannon
Full Body Presence
, by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana
The Feeling of What Happens, by Antonio Damasio
The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
Psychedelic Science Conference 2017

A General Theory of Love

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“However expressive, symbols can never be the things they stand for.”
-Aldous Huxley. 7/23/2017

A good deal of American culture is an extended experiment in the effects of depriving people of what they crave most.
-Lewis, Amini, and Lannon. 7/22/2017

“Love is and will always be the best insurance against the despair for which street drugs are the obvious antidote.”
-Lewis, Amini, and Lannon. 7/21/2017

“Some cultures encourage emotional health; others do not. Some, including modern America, promote activities and attitudes directly antithetical to fulfillment.”
-Lewis, Amini, and Lannon. 7/20/2017

“Consigning users to a penal system that combines a plentiful supply of drugs and the incentive to use them is not a convincing prescription for amelioration.”
-Lewis, Amini, and Lannon. 7/19/2017

“Reason’s last step is recognizing that an infinity of things surpass it”
-Blaise Pascal. 7/18/2017

“…our culture automatically equates a dedication to full-time parenting with the absence of ambition. But in what human activity could there possibly be more?”
-Lewis, Amini, and Lannon. 7/17/2017

“Evolution is a kaleidoscope, not a pyramid: the shapes and varieties of species are constantly shifting, but there is no basis for assigning supremacy, no pinnacle toward which the system is moving.”
-Lewis, Amini, and Lannon. 7/16/2017

“’What is hell?’ I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”
-Dostoyevsky. 7/15/2017

“…play is physical poetry: it provides the permissible way, as Robert Frost said poems do, of saying one thing and meaning another.”
-Lewis, Amini, and Lannon. 7/14/2017

“Dividing the mind into ‘biological’ and ‘psychological’ is as fallacious as classifying light as a particle or a wave. The natural world makes no promise to align itself with preconceptions that humans find parsimonious or convenient.”
-Lewis, Amini, and Lannon. 7/13/2017

“We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. It cannot lead; it can only serve.”
-Einstein. 7/12/2017

“To slip between the twin dangers of empty reductionism and baseless credulity, one must balance a respect for proof with a fondness for the unproven and the unprovable.”
-Lewis, Amini, and Lannon. 7/11/2017

“Those put off by the expense of education may find ignorance an even costlier indulgence.”
-Lewis, Amini, and Lannon. 7/10/17

“Human infants almost never survive such drastic conditions [of total social deprivation]… the mammalian nervous system cannot self-assemble… Love, and the lack of it, change the young brain forever.”
-Lewis, Amini, and Lannon. 7/9/2017

“An irony of the therapeutic process is that successful therapy cannot avoid triggering the same attractors it seeks to disarm; a patient cannot escape reliving the emotional experiences he most wishes to it himself of.”
-Lewis, Amini, and Lannon. 7/8/2017

“Self help books are like car repair manuals: you can read them all day, but doing so doesn’t fix a thing. Working on a car means rolling up your sleeves and getting under the hood … you have to be willing to get dirt on your hands and grease beneath your fingernails.”
-Lewis, Amini, and Lannon. 7/7/2017

Full Body Presence

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“Resistance is different from having a healthy boundary and saying ‘no’ when something is not right for us. Resistance is that part of us that is afraid to move forward; it says ‘never’, ‘I can’t,’ or ‘I shouldn’t’.”
-Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. 7/6/2017

“We are meant to have every part of ourselves in communication with every other part.”
-Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. 7/5/2017

“Sometimes healing is a matter of changing how we see ourselves and opening to the simple, yet profound, process of connecting to an unconditional healthy resource and allowing it to fill and nourish us.”
-Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. 7/4/2017

“Until you can say ‘no,’ it is difficult to convey a wholehearted ‘yes.’”
-Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. 7/3/2017

“Whenever we are consciously waking up and becoming more energized, there is a part of us that is afraid to take the next step, the step that brings us into more alive. The word for this feeling is ‘resistance.’”
-Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. 7/2/2017

“Professional caregivers — such as bodyworkwers, counselors, ministers, healthcare practitioners, life coaches, and teachers — are not the only ones who need to nurture themselves and maintain healthy boundaries. All of us are caregivers on some level. So, all of us can benefit from the skills that professional caregivers learn.”
-Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. 7/1/2017

“Listen to [your] body as a vital ally, not something to be controlled in order to meet other people’s expectations.”
-Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. 6/30/2017

“Whenever you start feeling doubtful, fearful, or empty, let those feelings be a signal to you. Let them remind you to feel your feet, to connect to the rich energy of the earth, to take a slow, deep breath, to say a prayer, to take a walk, or to do whatever nurtures and fills you up in a healthy way.”
-Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. 6/29/2017

“It’s important to understand that the experience of feeling separate, though it seems very real, is only a perception. Remember, we exist within this sea of energy all the time, whether we are conscious of it or not, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.”
-Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. 6/28/2017

“It’s not the norm in Western culture to listen to our insides […] Instead, we tend to be driven to move forward and accomplish everything that is expected of us, regardless of what we truly want (if we even know what that is) or how we are feeling deep within. We focus on doing rather than being.”
-Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. 6/27/2017

“Our innate cellular intelligence informs us constantly […] This deep wisdom emerges from all parts of us. Sometimes we will feel an ache in our heart or a tightening in our gut. The body’s inner compass of wisdom is always with us – though we don’t always listen or immediately know what it is saying.”
-Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. 6/26/2017

The Feeling of What Happens

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“There are curious parallels to the scientific neglect of emotion during the 20th century. One of those parallels is the lack of an evolutionary perspective in the study of brain and mind. It is perhaps an exaggeration to say that neuroscience and cognitive science  preceded is of Darwin never existed, but it certainly seemed so until the last decade.”
-Antonio Damasio. 6/25/2017

“Just like emotion, consciousness is rooted in the representation of the body. The part of the organism called the brain holds within it a sort of model of the whole thing. Consciousness begins when [we] acquire the power of telling a story without words.”
-Antonio Damasio. 6/24/2017

“Consciousness generates the knowledge that images exist within the individual who forms them, it places images in the organism’s perspective by referring those images to an integrated representation of the organism, and, in so doing, allows the manipulation of the images to the organisms advantage. By ‘image’ I mean a mental pattern in any of the sensory modalities, e.g., a sound image, a tactile image, the image of a state of well-being.”
-Antonio Damasio. 6/23/2017

“Our memory of the here and now also includes memories of the events that we constantly anticipate — what I like to call memories of the future. A key aspect of self evolution concerns the balance of two influences: the lived past and the anticipated future.”
-Antonio Damasio. 6/22/2017

“The left cerebral hemisphere of humans is prone to fabricating verbal narratives that do not necessarily accord with the truth.”
-Antonio Damasio. 6/21/2017

“You simply cannot escape the affectation of your organism, motor and emotional most of all, that is part and parcel of having a mind. The neglect of emotion by neuroscience has retarded the realization that all [brain] regions, from the brainstem to the somatosensory cortex, are critical for the processes of emotion.”
-Antonio Damasio. 6/20/2017

“Virtually every image, actually perceived or recalled, is accompanied by some reaction from the apparatus of emotion. The biological function of emotions is twofold. The first function is the production of a specific reaction to the inducing situation. The second function is the regulation of the internal state of the organism such that it can be prepared for the specific reaction. In short, for clearly dangerous or clearly valuable stimuli, evolution has assembled a matching answer in the form of emotion.”
-Antonio Damasio. 6/19/2017

“The entire biological edifice, from cells, tissues, and organs to systems and images, is held alive by the constant execution of construction plans, always on the brink of partial or complete collapse should the process of rebuilding and renewal break down.”
-Antonio Damasio. 6/16/2017

“The reason why you can anthropomorphize so effectively is simple: emotion, as the word indicates, is about movement, about externalized behavior, about certain orchestrations of reactions to a given cause, within a given environment.”
-Antonio Damasio. 6/15/2017

“Emotion is integral to the processes of reasoning and decision-making, for worse and for better. Selective reduction of emotion is at least as prejudicial for rationality as excessive emotion.”
-Antonio Damasio. 6/14/2017

“The sense of self is the first answer to a question the organism never posed: to whom do the ongoing mental patterns now unfolding belong?”
-Antonio Damasio. 6/13/2017

“What could be more difficult to know than how we know? What could be more dizzying than to realize that it is our having consciousness which makes possible and even inevitable our questions about consciousness?”
-Antonio Damasio. 6/12/2017

The Body Keeps the Score

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“Economists have calculated that every dollar invested in high quality home visitation, daycare, and preschool programs results in $7 of savings on welfare payments, healthcare cost, substance abuse treatment, and incarceration, plus higher tax revenue and better paying jobs.”
-Bessel van der Kolk. 6/9/2017

“The object of writing is to write to yourself, to let your self know what you have been trying to avoid. Discovering your Self in language is always an epiphany.”
-Bessel van der Kolk. 6/8/2017

“We all have parts. How well we get along with ourselves depends largely on our internal leadership skills — how well we listen to our different parts, make sure they feel taken care of, and keep them from sabotaging one another.”
-Bessel van der Kolk. 6/7/2017

“A man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him.”
-William James. 6/7/2017

“Since 2001 far more Americans have died at the hands of their partners or other family members than in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. American women are twice as likely to suffer domestic violence as breast cancer. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that Firearms kill twice as many children as cancer does. […] Trauma remains a much larger public health issue, arguably the greatest threat to our national well-being.”
-Bessel van der Kolk. 6/6/2017

“We have learned how, throughout life, experiences change the structure and function of the brain — and even affect the genes we pass on to our children. Trauma breeds further trauma: hurt people hurt other people.”
-Bessel van der Kolk. 6/5/2017

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves… Live the questions now. Perhaps you will gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
-Ranier Maria Rilke. 6/2/2017

“There can be no growth without curiosity and no adaptability without being able to explore, through trial and error, who you are and what matters to you.”
-Bessel van der Kolk. 6/1/2017

“The continued practice of applying multiple distinct comorbid diagnoses to traumatized children has grave consequences: it defies parsimony, obscures etiological clarity, and runs the danger of relegating treatment and intervention to a small aspect of the child’s psychopathology rather than promoting a comprehensive treatment approach.”
-Bessel van der Kolk. 5/31/2017

“You need a guide who is not afraid of your terror and who can contain your darkest rage, someone who can safeguard the wholeness of you while you explore the fragmented experiences that you had to keep secret from yourself for so long. Most traumatized individuals need an anchor and a great deal of coaching to do this work.”
-Bessel van der Kolk. 5/30/2017

“Some people simply go into denial. Even though the mind may learn to ignore the messages from the emotional brain, the alarm signals don’t stop. Medications, drugs, and alcohol can also temporarily dull or obliterate unbearable sensations and feelings. But the body continues to keep the score.”
-Bessel van der Kolk. 5/29/2017

“Over the years our research team has repeatedly found that chronic emotional abuse and neglect can be just as devastating as physical abuse and sexual molestation.”
-Bessel van der Kolk. 5/26/2017

“The fundamental issue in resolving traumatic stress is to restore the proper balance between the rational and emotional brains, so that you can feel in charge of how you respond and how you conduct your life”
-Bessel van der Kolk. 5/25/2017

“Our culture teaches us to focus on personal uniqueness, but at a deeper level we barely exist as individual organisms. Most of our energy is devoted to connecting with others. The standard medical focus on trying to discover the right drug to treat a particular “disorder” tends to distract us from grappling with how our problems interfere with our functioning as members of our tribe.”
-Bessel van der Kolk. 5/24/2017

Psychedelic Science Conference 2017

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“The beauty of ritual is that it has a way of not just bringing you into an experience, but bringing you out as well.”
-David Lukoff. 5/19/2017

“If all you have in mind is the image of a goal you are on a linear path. Either you fail and try again or you succeed. Either way the world is the same afterwards. It’s like getting to the top of the ladder and realizing it was against the wrong wall.”
-Stanislov Graf. 5/18/2017

“The ebb and flow of relationships creates space and awareness. Healing is balance, and balance is about self-reflection. You need space to spread your light on your self.”
-Kathleen Harrison. 5/17/2017

“The intoxication from psychedelics is not like alcohol – it is not a body that can’t be controlled, but a body that is beyond control.”
-Alexander Dawson. 5/16/2017

“The reasoning, sinister brain oppresses the intuitive, loving brain, which manifests as repression of the inner animal and the rise of patriarchy. Authoritarian virtue arose with civilization and laws, but these are systems of hiding barbarism by raising noble flags. True virtue, I claim, is mental health.”
-Claudio Naranjo. 5/15/2017

“50% of adults have chronic illness, and every person with chronic illness tells me the same thing: they had severe childhood trauma. Trauma is fundamentally a disconnect from the self, and we are biopsychosocial creatures, so we all feel this toxicity of our culture. How often have you felt completely at home in yourself, as opposed to a collection of evaluations about the world?”
-Gabor Maté. 5/12/2017

“Psychedelics have the opposite problem that most drugs do. In regular clinical studies placebos work so well that the experimental drugs look bad. In psychedelic studies we can’t find a placebo that won’t ruin the blinding. Everyone knows what the active treatment is, because [MDMA] is so effective at treating PTSD.”
-Katherine Hendy. 5/11/2017

“Extrapolating the progression of pong to current video games in order to say that technology will someday be capable of completely recreating reality is a mistake. I’m not convinced this is reality, but bit for bit recreating reality won’t happen. I’m not stating that reality isn’t a simulation, I’m just saying I can’t imagine a time when we will be able to create this powerful of a simulation.”
-Android Jones. 5/10/2017

“According to the Tibetan wheel of life, the saṃsāra, there are three poisons that trap us in the cycle of reincarnation: ignorance, our inability to understand reality; aversion, our avoidance of unprocessed trauma; and attachment, our drive to want more than we have. Psychedelics are the antidotes to these poisons.”
-Stanislov Graf. 5/9/2017

“We no longer take inspiration from the ordinary world we live in. We need to recover our ability to love the ‘all’ in the small.”
-Claudio Naranjo. 5/8/2017

“Authoritarian virtue is a collective neurosis. To decriminalize drugs is not enough – we need to criminalize morality.”
-Claudio Naranjo. 5/5/2017

“Don’t be a consumer of music; you must give your self to the music, you must disappear. Then the music can be its self.”
-Claudio Naranjo. 5/4/2017

“Our minds create the world, but first, the world creates our minds.”
-Gabor Maté. 5/3/2017

“You don’t have to be sick to get better.”
-James Fadiman. 5/1/2017

“The most powerful teacher is also the greatest liar. It tells us, not what is necessarily true, but what we need to hear.”
-Tehseen Noorani. 4/27/2017

“Marijuana has been diversified and tamed by humans over millenia. Asking if we should legalize marijuana is like asking: ‘should we legalize dogs?'”
-Sidarta Ribeiro. 4/26/2017

“Criminalizing animality is like telling the flowers not to turn to the sun.”
-Claudio Naranjo. 4/25/2017

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