„Ego is a social institution with no physical reality. The ego is simply your symbol of yourself.“

—  Alan Watts, Context: Ego is a social institution with no physical reality. The ego is simply your symbol of yourself. Just as the word "water" is a noise that symbolizes a certain liquid without being it, so too the idea of ego symbolizes the role you play, who you are, but it is not the same as your living organism. Buddhism : The Religion of No-Religion
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Alan Watts3
1915 - 1973
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Albert Hofmann foto

„Reality is inconceivable without an experiencing subject, without an ego.“

—  Albert Hofmann Swiss chemist 1906 - 2008
Context: Of greatest significance to me has been the insight that I attained as a fundamental understanding from all of my LSD experiments: what one commonly takes as "the reality," including the reality of one's own individual person, by no means signifies something fixed, but rather something that is ambiguous — that there is not only one, but that there are many realities, each comprising also a different consciousness of the ego. One can also arrive at this insight through scientific reflections. The problem of reality is and has been from time immemorial a central concern of philosophy. It is, however, a fundamental distinction, whether one approaches the problem of reality rationally, with the logical methods of philosophy, or if one obtrudes upon this problem emotionally, through an existential experience. The first planned LSD experiment was therefore so deeply moving and alarming, because everyday reality and the ego experiencing it, which I had until then considered to be the only reality, dissolved, and an unfamiliar ego experienced another, unfamiliar reality. The problem concerning the innermost self also appeared, which, itself unmoved, was able to record these external and internal transformations. Reality is inconceivable without an experiencing subject, without an ego. It is the product of the exterior world, of the sender and of a receiver, an ego in whose deepest self the emanations of the exterior world, registered by the antennae of the sense organs, become conscious. If one of the two is lacking, no reality happens, no radio music plays, the picture screen remains blank. Ch. 11 : LSD Experience and Reality http://www.psychedelic-library.org/child11.htm

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Mark Tobey foto

„Reality must be expressed by a physical symbol.“

—  Mark Tobey American abstract expressionist painter 1890 - 1976
Bahai lecture, New York, October 30, 1951; as quoted in Abstract Expressionist Painting in America, W.C, Seitz, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1983, p. 10

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Nikolai Berdyaev foto

„In objectification there are no primal realities, but only symbols. The objective spirit is merely a symbolism of spirit. Spirit is realistic while cultural and social life are symbolical.“

—  Nikolai Berdyaev Russian philosopher 1874 - 1948
Context: Spirit, like flame, like freedom, like creativeness, is opposed to any social stagnation or any lifeless tradition. In terms of Kantian philosophy — terms which I consider erroneous and confusing — spirit appears as a thing in itself and objectification as a phenomenon. Another and truer definition would be, spirit is freedom and objectification is nature (not in the romantic sense). Objectification has two aspects: on the one hand it denotes the fallen, divided and servile world, in which the existential subjects, the personalities, are materialized. On the other it comprehends the agency of the personal subject, of spirit tending to reinforce ties and communications in this fallen world. Hence objectification is related to the problem of culture, and in this consists the whole complexity of the problem. In objectification there are no primal realities, but only symbols. The objective spirit is merely a symbolism of spirit. Spirit is realistic while cultural and social life are symbolical. In the object there is never any reality, but only the symbol of reality. The subject alone always has reality. Therefore in objectification and in its product, the objective spirit, there can be no sacred reality, but only its symbolism. In the objective history of the world nothing transpires but a conventional symbolism; the idea of sacredness is peculiar to the existential world, to existential subjects. The real depths of spirit are apprehensible only existentially in the personal experience of destiny, in its suffering, nostalgia, love, creation, freedom and death. p. 52

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Arthur Stanley Eddington foto

„The exploration of the external world by the methods of physical science leads not to a concrete reality but to a shadow world of symbols, beneath which those methods are unadapted for penetrating.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington British astrophysicist 1882 - 1944
Context: The exploration of the external world by the methods of physical science leads not to a concrete reality but to a shadow world of symbols, beneath which those methods are unadapted for penetrating.<!--VII, p.73

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Aaron Sorkin foto

„Socializing on the internet is to socializing, what reality TV is to reality.“

—  Aaron Sorkin American screenwriter, producer, playwright 1961
The Colbert Report http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/360641/september-30-2010/aaron-sorkin at 7m35s. Aired 2010/09/30, retrieved 2010/10/16. said whilst promoting The Social Network in an interview with Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report in defense of not having a Facebook account.

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„A symbol is first of all a finite reality of this world.“

—  Roger Haight American theologian 1936
Chapter Seven, The Symbolic Structure of Religion, p. 133

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