Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation

“Life is ejected from the energy-blank and smeared as a crust upon chaotic zero, a mould upon death. This crust is also a maze – a real complex exit back to the energy base-line – and the complexity of the maze is life trying to escape from out of itself, being nothing but the escape from itself, from which it tries to escape: maze-wanderer. That is to say, life is itself the maze of its route to death; a tangle of mazings which trace a unilateral deviation from blank.”

Antonio Damasio – Self Comes to Mind

“We hypothesized that compassion for physical pain, being an evolutionarily older brain response, it’s clearly present in several nonhuman species – should be processed faster by the brain than compassion for the mental pain, something that requires the more complicated processing of a less immediately obvious predicament and that is likely to involve a wide compass of knowledge.”

“All the above strategies, I submit, began to evolve long before there was consciousness, just as soon as enough images were being made, perhaps as soon as real minds first bloomed. The vast unconscious probably has been part of the business of organizing life for a long, long time, and the curious thing is that it is still with us, as the great subterranean under our limited conscious existence.”

“The spiritual is a particular state of the organism, a delicate combination of certain body configurations and certain mental configurations. Sustaining such states depends on a wealth of thoughts about the condition of the self and the condition of other selves, about past and future, about both concrete and abstract conceptions of nature.” Looking for Spinoza

“Engaging in introspection turns out to be a translation, within the mind, of a process that complex brains have been engaged in for a long time in evolution: talking to themselves, both literally and in the language of neuron activity.”

“Needless to say, they do not really know what they are doing, let alone why. But they do what they do because of their exceedingly simple brains, without any mind to speak of and even less proper consciousness, use signals from the environment to engage one kin of behavior or the other.”

“Knowing as opposed to being and doing, was a critical break. The diference between life regulation before consciousness and after consciousness simply has to do with automation versus deliberation.”

“The ongoing of the digital revolution, the globalization of cultural information, and the coming of the age of empathy are pressures likely to lead to structural modifications of mind and self, by which I mean modifications of the very brain processes that shape the mind and self. Revolutionary arguments of the world.”

“How remarkably hybrid and flexible our mental lives are.”

End-of-life dreams and visions: a longitudinal study of hospice patients’ experiences.

The most common dreams/visions included deceased friends/relatives and living friends/relatives. Dreams/visions featuring the deceased (friends, relatives, and animals/pets) were significantly more comforting than those of the living, living and deceased combined, and other people and experiences. As participants approached death, comforting dreams/visions of the deceased became more prevalent.

source

Simon Leys

“In his last work, Kafka described the search for salvation; Flaubert, the quest for meaning. But these pursuits take us into mysteries no mortal can fathom. It seems strangely appropriate that death should have intervened, ensuring these heroic explorations remain open – forever.” (The Hall of Uselessness)

Goethe

Previously in a letter to Schiller of 9th August 1797, he had pointed out at least one of the causes of the decline: in the larger cities men lived in a constant frenzy of acquisition and consumption and had therefore become incapable of the very mood from which spiritual life arises. Hans F. K. Günther on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe