survival

There is no death in a living universe, but only changes of form. The so-called problem of survival is whether or not the ensouling life persists after the dissolution of its form.

The art of survival is the art of lying to yourself heroically, continuously, creatively. The senses lie to the mind; the mind lies to the senses. The truth-seeker is a liar; he is hunting for happiness, not truth.

Man started out as a "weak thing of the world" and evolved "to confound the things that are mighty." And within the human species, too, the weak often develop aptitudes and devises which enable them not only to survive but to prevail over the strong. Indeed, the formidableness of the human species stems from the survival of its weak. Were it not for the compassion that moves us to care for the sick, the crippled, and the old there would probably would have been neither culture or civilization. The crippled warrior who had to stay behind while the manhood of the tribe went out to war was the storyteller, teacher, and artisan. The old and the sick had a hand in the development of the arts of healing and of cooking. One thinks of the venerable sage, the unhinged medicine man, the epileptic prophet, the blind bard, and the witty hunchback and dwarf.

All larger organisms, including ourselves, are living testimonies to the fact that destructive practices do not work in the long run. In the end, the aggressors always destroy themselves, making way for others who know how to cooperate and get along. Life is much less a competitive struggle for survival than a triumph of cooperation and creativity.

One of the paradoxical lessons of the nuclear age is that at the moment when we are acquiring an unparalleled command over nature, we are forced to realize as never before that the problems of survival will have to be solved above all in the minds of men. In this task the fate of the mammoth and the dinosaur may serve as a warning that brute strength does not always supply the mechanism in the struggle for survival.

The ability to delude yourself may be an important survival tool.

If peace and survival are to be achieved, the search must almost certainly go beyond the effort to find a balance in thermonuclear terror.

A positive emotional state entrains, or unites, our systems for thought, feeling, and action; shifts our concentration and energy toward support of our intellectual and creative forebrain (old mammalian and neocortex); and allows us to both learn and remember easily. In very young children, the primary caregiver’s emotional state determines the child’s state, and therefore the child’s development in general. Any kind of negative response, any form of fear or anger shifts our attention and energy from verbal-intellectual brain to our oldest survival brain. This shift shortchanges our intellect, cripples our learning and memory, and can lock our neocortex into service of our lower brain.

The worst is yet to come, however. Far more devastating that this pruning is that nature then brings about a corresponding increase of the connecting links of the emotional circuits in this cyngulate gyrus with the lower survival fight-or-flight structures of the amygdala, that neural module linked directly with our ancient defense and survival system in the reptilian brain. In this way, a sharp curtailment of connections with the higher, transcendent frequencies of mind and heart is brought about in order to shift growth toward the lower, protective survival systems.

Those for whom the belief in immortality is most vivid are the most likely to practice the virtues which have a survival value and the least likely to deviate into either those virtues or those vices which are exclusively human.

[Peter’s Survival Principle] Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

I no longer cared about survival - I merely loved.

The greatest threats to human survival will not be natural ones, but originate from inside ourselves.. For our ancestors, understanding themselves better was a pleasant luxury. But nowadays learning to control the mind may have become a greater priority for survival than seeking any further advantages the hard sciences could bring.

Simplicity deepens life. It magnifies the simple virtues on which man’s survival depends: humility, faith, courage, serenity, honesty, patience, justice, tolerance, thrift. Simplicity is the arrow of the spirit.

Selfishness can be a virtue. Selfishness is essential to survival, and without survival we cannot protect those whom we love more than ourselves.

Optimism is an alienated form of faith, pessimism an alienated form of despair. If one truly responds to man and his future, ie, concernedly and "responsibly." one can respond only by faith or by despair. Rational faith as well as rational despair are based on the most thorough, critical knowledge of all the factors that are relevant for the survival of man.

For the first time in history the physical survival of the human race depends on a radical change of the human heart.

Self-interest is but the survival of the animal in us. Humanity only begins for man with self-surrender.

No peace among the nations without peace among the religions; No peace among the religions without dialogue between the religions; No dialogue between the religions without global ethical standards; and no survival of our globe without a global ethic.

It cannot but happen that those individuals whose functions are most out of equilibrium with the modified aggregate of external forces, will be those to die; and that those will survive whose functions happen to be most nearly in equilibrium with the modified aggregate of external forces. But this survival of the fittest, implies multiplication of the fittest. Out of the fittest thus multiplied, there will, as before, be an overthrowing of the moving equilibrium wherever it presents the least opposing force to the new incident force.