Too Much Brain for Our Own Good

“With our super-plastic neocortices and well-organized senses, Homo sapiens are the gluttons of the informavore world. We are uniquely skilled at acquiring, processing, and ordering information, and uniquely versatile when it comes to letting that information shape who we are. And when we are deprived of sensory information, like a prisoner in solitary confinement, we conjure sometimes fantastical information-rich worlds from the darkness to feed our inner informavore.”

James Suzman

“These minds of ours – these outrageously powerful tools that creation has given us – I’m not sure we know how to use them wisely. They are all over the place… reaching for meaning, narratives, making stuff up, tearing things down – it’s a wild place. When the abstraction death becomes obvious – when our body shuts down – that can be very painful, but then, very peaceful. Eventually you come to acceptance – and there is a really sweet valley on the other side of that mountain.”

BJ Miller

“Only humans have enough brain-power to lose touch with effortlessness and get tied into knots by thinking about everything. Zen practice is often described as learning how to be “in the zone” or “in the Now” not just occasionally during an athletic event or on a meditation retreat, but in our whole life. Of course, all experiences, including any experience of “being in the zone” or “being in the now,” are by nature impermanent. They come and go. But it’s not really “the Now” or “the Zone” that comes and goes. What comes and goes are the thoughts and stories, the misconceptions that seem to obscure the ever-present, all-inclusive ground of being.”

Joan Tollifson

“No longer do any of us wake up and think about hunting for food, or searching for wild plants from a provident land. The majority of us, or approximately 98% of humanity in the United States today, for instance, are free from foraging and farming. Free to have jobs, be artists, play games, and invent all sorts of ways to occupy ourselves, or, simply be amused by the imaginations of others on a streaming service or app of choice. We are pampered apes, who, in the aggregate, have lost sight of our origin story and are now simultaneously wowed and bewildered by the reality of the modern wilderness.”

The Great Divorce

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