Jane Addams[T]he good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” 

Albert EinsteinOur task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”

Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

Dr. David Hawkins in “Power vs. Force” In this interconnected universe, every improvement we make in our private world improves the world at large for everyone. We all float on the collective level of consciousness of mankind, so that any increment we add comes back to us. We all add to our common buoyancy by our efforts to benefit life. It is a scientific fact that what is good for you is good for me.”

Deepak Chopra “Every problem that we face right now, whether it’s war, terrorism, social injustice,economic disparities, or global warming, would be creatively addressed by our collective consciousness moving to a new level.”

Professor Tom Regan “The other animals humans eat, use in science, hunt, trap, and exploit in a variety of ways, have a life of their own that is of importance to them apart from their utility to us. They are not only in the world, they are aware of it. What happens to them matters to them. Each has a life that fares better or worse for the one whose life it is.”

M. Buber  1878-1965 “I do not accept any absolute formulas for living. No preconceived code can see ahead to everything that can happen in a man’s life. As we live, we grow and our beliefs change. They must change. So I think we should live with this constant discovery. We should be open to this adventure in heightened awareness of living. We should stake our whole existence on our willingness to explore and experience.”

G. W. Leibniz (1646-1716) “….if this is true the world will at some time already have become paradise, the answer is not far to seek: even though many substances shall have attained to a great degree of perfection, there will always, on account of the infinite divisibility of the continuum, remain over in the abyss of things parts hitherto dormant, to be aroused and raised to a greater and higher condition…. And for this reason progress will never come to an end…. (I flatter myself that I have some ideas of these truths; but this age is not prepared to receive them.)” (De rerum originatione radicali, 1697)

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) “The matter which appears to be merely passive and without form and arrangement has even in its simplest state an urge to fashion itself by a natural evolution into a more perfect constitution.” (Allgemeine Naturgeschichte, 1755)

J. B. Robinet (1735-1820) “Does it not, once more, seem that the active power grows and perfects itself in being, in proportion as it raises itself above matter?… At first it would be but the smallest portion of being. By a multiplication of efforts and progressive developments, it would succeed in becoming the principal part. I am strongly inclined to believe that this force is the most essential and the most universal attribute of being and that matter is the organ whereby this force manifests its operations. If I am asked to define my conception of such a force, I shall answer, with a number of philosophers, that I represent it to myself as a tendency to change for the better.|” (Vue philosophie de la gradation naturelle des formes de l’etre, 1768)

Friedrich Schelling (1775-1854) “Has creation a final goal? And if so, why was it not reached at once? Why was the consummation not realized from the beginning?…. All life has a destiny, and is subject to suffering and to becoming…. Being is sensible only in becoming. In Being as such, it is true, there is no becoming…rather, it is itself posited as Eternity. But in the actualization (of Being) through opposition there is necessarily a becoming. Without the conception of a humanly suffering God…history remains wholly unintelligible.” (Philosophical Inquiries Into the Nature of Human Freedom, 1809)

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) “The law of causality, and the consideration and investigation of nature which follow on it, lead us necessarily to the certain assumption that each more highly organized state of matter succeeded in time a cruder state.Thus animals existed before men, fishes before land animals, plants before fishes, and the inorganic before that which is organic; consequently the original mass had to go through a long series of changes before the first eye could be opened. And yet the existence of this whole world remains for ever dependent on that first eye that opened, were it even that of an insect…. This world is the succession of the representations of consciousness, the form of its knowing, and apart from this loses all meaning, and is nothing at all.” (The World As Will and Representation, 1819-1844)

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) “There is a kind of latent omniscience not only in every man but in every particle…the same original power which works remotely in grandest and meanest structures by the same design, works in a lobster or a miteworm as a wise man would if imprisoned in that poor form…. ‘Tis a long scale from the gorilla to the gentleman from the gorilla to Plato, Newton, Shakespeare to the sanctities of religion, the refinements of legislation, the summits of science, art and poetry. The beginnings are slow and infirm, but it is an always accelerated march. The geologic world is chronicled by the growing ripeness of the strata from lower to higher, as it becomes the abode of more highly-organized plants and animals…. Once men thought Spirit divine, and Matter diabolic…. Now science and philosophy recognize the parallelism, the approximation, the unity of the two: how each reflects the other as face answers to face in a glass, nay, how the laws of both are one, or how one is the realization. We are learning not to fear truth.” (The Sovereignty of Ethics, 1878)

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) “This involution and evolution is going on throughout the whole of nature. The whole series of evolution, beginning with the lowest manifestation of life and reaching up to the highest, the most perfect man, must have been the involution of something else. The question is: The involution of what? What was involved? God…. At the beginning that intelligence becomes involved, and in the end that intelligence gets evolved. The sum total of the intelligence displayed in the universe must, therefore, be the involved universal intelligence unfolding itself. This universal intelligence is what we call God. Call it by any other name, it is absolutely certain that in the beginning there is that Infinite cosmic intelligence. This cosmic intelligence gets involved, and it manifests, evolves itself, until it becomes the perfect man, the ‘Christ-man,’ the ‘Buddha-man.’ Then it goes back to its own source.” (The Complete Works of Vivekananda)

Henri Bergson (1859-1941) “The whole history of life until man has been that of the effort of consciousness to raise matter, and of the more or less complete overwhelming of consciousness by the matter which has fallen back on it…. With man, consciousness breaks the chain. In man, and in man alone, it sets itself free…. From our point of view, life appears in its entirety as an immense wave which, starting from a center, spreads outwards, and which on almost the whole of its circumference is stopped and converted into oscillation: at one single point the obstacle has been forced, the impulsion has passed freely. It is this freedom that the human form registers. Everywhere but in man, consciousness has had to come to a stand; in man alone it has kept on its way…. [Thus], not only does consciousness appear as the motive principle of evolution, but also, among conscious beings themselves, man comes to occupy a privileged place. Between him and the animals the difference is no longer one of degree, but of kind.” (Creative Evolution, 1907)

Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925) “To live by [great] worldviews and philosophies means to work on perfecting ourselves spiritually. Only when we do this do we serve the cosmos as a whole. To perfect oneself in this way is by no means selfish. As long as we are imperfect human beings, we are also imperfect servants of humanity and the world. The more perfected we are, the better we can serve the whole. The saying, ‘If a rose is beautiful, it makes the garden beautiful,’ is also true of human beings. The founders of the greatest philosophies are therefore great initiates. Their teachings flow into human souls and by this means the whole world advances with humanity. Indeed, they worked consciously for the progress of human evolution. Thus we can understand the content of their teachings only when we bear in mind that it is drawn from knowledge of the inmost depths of human nature. The initiates were great gnostics, seekers after knowledge they knew and they shaped humanity’s ideals out of their knowledge. We, too, can approach these great leaders of humanity if, in our own development, we seek to raise ourselves to their heights.” (How to Know Higher Worlds, 1904)

Mirra Alfassa (1878-1973) “In the ordinary consciousness you advance slowly, by successive experiences, from ignorance to a very distant and often doubtful knowledge. In the transformed consciousness your starting-point is knowledge and you proceed from knowledge to knowledge. However, this is only a beginning; for the outer consciousness, the various planes and parts of the outer active being are transformed only slowly and gradually as a result of the inner transformation.” (Transformation, 1950)

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ (1881-1955) “For is not the very act by which the fine point of our mind penetrates the absolute a phenomenon of emergence? In short, recognized at first in a single point of things, then inevitably having spread to the whole of the inorganic and organic volume of matter, whether we like it or not evolution is now starting to invade the psychic zones of the world…. The human discovers that, in the striking words of Julian Huxley, we are nothing else than evolution become conscious of itself. It seems to me that until it is established in this perspective, the modern mind…will always be restless. For it is on this summit and this summit alone that a resting place and illumination await us…. All evolution becomes conscious of itself deep within us…. Not only do we read the secret of its movements in our slightest acts, but to a fundamental extent we hold it in our own hands: responsible for its past and its future.” (The Human Phenomenon, 1940)

Jean Gebser (1905-1973) “We are convinced that there are powers arising from within ourselves that are already at work overcoming the deficiency and dubious nature of our rational ego-consciousness via the new aperspectival awareness whose manifestations are surging forth everywhere. The perspective consciousness structure is a consciousness of the whole, an integral consciousness encompassing all time and embracing both man’s distant past and his approaching future as a living present. The new spiritual process can take root only through an insightful process of intensive awareness…. Our concern is to render transparent everything latent ‘behind’ and ‘before’ the world to render transparent our own origin, our entire human past, as well as the present, which already contains the future. We are shaped and determined not only by today and yesterday, but by tomorrow as well.” (The Ever-Present Origin, 1949)

Andrew Cohen (1955- ) At this particular time in history, it’s essential that those of us at the leading edge are willing to put everything on the table and dare to reevaluate who we are not just for our own sake but for the sake of the new culture we need to create. The evolution of culture means the evolution of these internal value structures. We need to understand that the new structures of the future are yet to be formed. They have not yet been created. So deconstructing the collective ego in the way I’ve been describing is the first step towards consciously creating the future, by reorienting the way you think about life. That is what can lead to actual transformation and to a dynamic and meaningful engagement with life that begins to express deeper and higher values. That’s when you become a conscious creator, who is actually forging new structures, not just for yourself but for everyone else. That is when you become a freely chosen self who has found a place and a profound sense of purpose in an evolving universe.” (Shining Light on Your Unconscious Values Excerpted from a retreat in Lenox, MA, March 8, 2008)