Sunday, January 3, 2010

PD Ouspensky - The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution

Below are some of my paraphrasing and quotes from the text:

'Man is a machine - this means that he has no independent movements, inside or outside of himself.  He is a machine brought into motion by external influences and external impacts.'

"We must understand that man can do nothing.  But he does not realize this and ascribes to himself the capacity to do so.  This is the first wrong that man ascribes to himself."

"Everything that man thinks he does, really happens.  It happens exactly as "it rains" or "it thaws"."

"But from the psychological side lying has a different meaning.  It means speaking about things one does not know, and even cannot know, as though one knows and can know."

"Imagination is almost as bad as lying, it is, in fact lying to oneself.  Man starts to imagine something to please himself, and very soon he begins to believe what he imagines, or at least some of it."

"If knowledge outgrows being or being outgrows knowledge, the result is always a one-sided development, and a one-sided development cannot go far.  It is bound to come to some inner contradiction of a serious nature and stop there.
Some time later we may speak about the different kinds and the different results of one-sided development, ordinarily, in life we meet with only one kind, that is, when knowledge has outgrown being.  The result takes the form of a dogmatization of certain ideas and the consequent impossibility of a further development of knowledge because of the loss of understanding."

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