80 Aphorisms from the Quadrune Mind Perspective

I love aphorisms. Below are aphorisms I have written to help express the values of the quadrune mind model of spiritual consciousness. Aphorisms that originally appeared in blog posts are hyperlinked to their respective post. I have also used aphorisms with the “30 Habits of the Human Mind” to describe characteristics of human consciousness in the “What Is It Like to be a Human Being?” post. See the Value Statements on pages 10 and 11 of the Study Guide for notable people’s aphorisms that I believe relate to the quadrune mind. And now, some pithy statements of relatively few words:

Adults who function at a childish level of consciousness see the universe as a “good vs. evil” drama, a duality that emerges from the innate biological drives of attraction and withdrawal.

Afflicters always believe that the suffering they cause other people is justified.

Although we are often told how uplifting it is to be part of something “bigger” than ourselves, we are rarely advised to make sure that we are part of something that is also better than ourselves.

Americans live in a NASCAR® universe where everything in our competitive world must be sponsored, as we speed around in circles as fast as we can in the race course of life—to whose finish line?

Antihumanization occurs when someone takes some action “against” another person’s opportunity to become more Human.

Any relationship becomes more humanizing when we use a healthy adult voice.

Billionaires, like dinosaurs in their heyday, have an almost completely unencumbered life of privilege.

Consciousness is the perception of the purpose of life. Intelligence is the ability to successfully fulfill that purpose.

Dehumanization of others may be based on the desires of our God, country, corporation, family, or best friends. Human beings, on the other hand, do not dehumanize anyone.

Dehumanization should never be the price of a paycheck.

Desperate times call for courageous acts. And what could be more courageous than to be nonviolent in a violent world, loving in a hateful world, and decent in a corrupted world?

Don’t have an animal mind; have a Human consciousness.

Expanding spiritual consciousness on earth is humanity’s responsibility. 

Fear makes me feel vulnerable, or even worse, helpless. Anger feels like strength, or even better, power.

God is the force that brought the human brain into existence.

Great intelligence at a lower level of consciousness does not entail great intelligence at a higher level of consciousness.

The great tragedies of humanity are almost always driven, directly or indirectly, by the most petty people of us all; that is, people whose sole purpose in life is self-perpetuation.

How conscious is “artificial” intelligence? The answer, if we ever think we know it, may have some significance on how conscious we believe “natural” intelligence to be.1

The Human mind is the only mind that has the capacity to have a sense of responsibility to, and communion with, people never met, all living beings, and the earth.2

The idea of a “soul” represents our mental solution to the body’s instinctual need for an eternal homeostasis.3

If a young liberal becomes an old conservative, it is not because of the growth of wisdom. Rather, it is the growth of wealth and privilege. Having more becomes the fear of losing more.

If mercy is to be part of this world, it must happen through us. 

If we are stuck in an animal-like mind, then we will live life with an animal-like purpose. 

Immature minds worship immature Gods.

In order to humanize the mind, it must have lifelong “educational” exposure to the humanities, arts, literature, physical and emotional play, a nurturing “village,” labor in the real world, and service to the lives of other people.

In stark contrast to the appropriate natures of other creatures on earth, survival is not the prime directive of the Human being.

In the spiritual Human being, identity and self-gain have been left behind. Non-proprietary service in all things is the only purpose of life for the Human being.

Indifference is devastatingly cruel. It is always at the root of our dehumanization of people. The destructive effects of indifference may even subtly exceed those of demonizing others. After all, it requires much less mental energy to ignore people than to demonize them and comes with very little accountability of our own inhumanity.

The insatiable greed of the power elites is funded by the insatiable addictions of the masses.

It is as though the pre-Human minds are saying to look but don’t see, listen but don’t hear, touch but don’t feel, move but don’t be the composer of your own actions.

It is difficult to understand what other people need if we don’t need it. It is worse if we think we know what other people need, but are wrong.

It seems inescapable that for humanity to survive, more of us, elites and masses alike, must burst our bubbles and expose our skin directly to all of the elements of life.

It turns out that if you ask yourself, “What is it like to have a mind?,” the answer depends on which mind you have.

It’s a small world if you live a large life.

Life isn’t fair or unfair; it just happens. However, people can be fair or unfair intentionally. 

Life without change is automaticity; change without life is decomposition.4

Many species are going extinct because they are not evolutionarily prepared for the world we have created—and neither are we. The difference is, we know it. And, we can do something about it. It’s our responsibility.

Marketers are driving us to distraction with their incessant, ever more aggressive, demands on our attention. They demand that we be more responsive to their brand than to our God, country, or family, although they often sell us their brand as representing our God, country, or family.

Marketing sells us on the idea that we “deserve” better products and services without telling us why.

A mind indifferent to the suffering of others is good for business. It is also good for despots and demagogues. It is not thinkable for a Human being.

Mindlessness prevents humanity from being humane.

Moralists tend to expect the universe to conform to their moral code. For example, if worthy people do not get what is due them, or unworthy people get more than they deserve, then the righteous moralizer feels responsible to correct the universe’s error.

An opinion should be expressed only if you are willing to change it.

Our leaders tell us, sometimes for centuries, that we must remember certain events of our history, but for what purpose—to make amends or take revenge? The answer would seem important for our sense of “identity.”

Our proper course of action is to reduce suffering and increase healing, not to inflict further suffering in order to stop suffering.

Our religious, nationalist, political, and sports fanatics are of the same mind (level of consciousness) as their religious, nationalist, political, and sports fanatics.

Over the years, our habits of acting, feeling, and thinking can become so deeply entrenched and powerful to us that our “rational” mind must reasonably conclude that our lives are directed by an external power much greater than ourselves.5

People have been criticized for underestimating the level of consciousness of animals, but the related, more common, and much more serious error is the vast overvaluation of our own everyday consciousness.6

People who lived in ancient times did not know they were living in ancient times—and neither do we.

The person who does not have a moment to regret may not have had a moment to reflect.

A person with a PhD—doctor of philosophy degree—should, before anything else, be a person who teaches the love of wisdom.

The pre-Human-minded person has been socialized to see people as predators, competitors, prey, or one’s own. Only “one’s own” are seen as “human.”7

The pre-Human-minded person uses disagreements about facts to justify truths that divide humanity; the Human-minded person rises above the clutter and noise of individual facts to clearly see a holistic Truth that unites all of humanity.

Propaganda is enjoyed as entertainment by many people because it makes them feel good. 

Propaganda, like pornography and professional wrestling, is designed to destroy a person’s aesthetic distance. Consequently, there is not enough mental space to separate internal visceral reactions from external reality.8

Quadrune mind is a secular model of spiritual consciousness for a post-Enlightenment world.

The quadrune mind model of spiritual consciousness is for thoughtful people, who reject both moral relativism and the certainty of self-righteous tyranny, but still want a spiritually meaningful purpose in this lifetime.9

The real spiritual issue for all of us lies in our level of consciousness, not the contents of our mind.

Religion has been used to comfort the suffering masses. But it is the power elites who must awaken spiritually if the current world is to be healed.

Religion is our evolutionarily new psychological need to attribute to nature a designed intentionality.

Religiosity keeps score; spirituality does not.

The responsibility of a spiritually conscious adult at the end of the world is the same as it always is: to reduce suffering and increase healing as much as possible.

The result of the power elites’ control of our mass media is the same for us as Siddhartha’s father’s control of information was meant to be for Siddhartha: to keep us materially focused and ignorant of our spiritual potential.

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning is not enough to make an educated Human being. There is no letter in the acronym STEM to indicate the presence of wisdom.

Sharing the love to be alive is the point of everything Human.

The shift to a “level of consciousness” problem changes an “us versus them” conflict to be “won or lost” into a shared task of everyone becoming more spiritually mature. 

Spiritual consciousness does not reject religion, but it does reject any spiritual merit for a militarized religion or a religious military.

Spiritually conscious adult Human beings are bad for Big Business. Apparently, marketers know this as demonstrated by their advertising campaigns.

Technology is the attempt to make our lives better without being better people.10

Unconstrained stampede greed always has been, and always will be, associated with chronic, wide-spread desperate need.11

We can live like other animals, but that is not who we are.

We cannot dehumanize anyone else unless we are already functioning at a pre-Human mentality ourselves.

We must have each other’s help and encouragement to be more able, willing, and effective healers in the world. There is no such thing as a self-sufficient Human being.

We would rather kill a thousand enemies than make one our friend.

What is a person but part crocodile, part horse, part computer, part angel and therein lie all the conflicts of humanity.  

What we believe is insignificant compared to how we live because of what we believe. 

Wisdom is not dogmatic, hateful, bigoted, defensive, sectarian, or utopian. Wisdom does not crave absolute knowledge. Wisdom does not demand that the heart never be wounded. Wisdom does not fear uncertainty.

Wisdom is the awareness of humanity’s purpose in life. 

You can live to rule the earth, or you can live to serve the earth. You just can’t do both.

You never know what you slept through until you wake up!

Last amended June 24, 2024

  1. For related thoughts on this issue, see QM and the Future of Spiritual Consciousness.
  2. Also see page 6 of the Study Guide.
  3. See Absolute Certainty: Doing, Knowing, and ThinkingQM, Phylogenetic Regression, and Extreme Aggression; and the “Reptilian” column on page 9 of the Study Guide.
  4. Compare Oscar Wilde’s comment, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” See page 11 of the Study Guide.
  5. Compare Jaynes, J. (1976). The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. “Consciousness is a much smaller part of our mental life than we are conscious of, because we cannot be conscious of what we are not conscious of…. And so, consciousness can seem to pervade all mentality when actually it does not” (page 23). [This is the book that first sparked my interest in the relationship between brain structures and mind functions. Nearly 50 years later, Julian Jaynes’ very personal work continues to offer rich insights into humanity’s paradoxically long struggle to understand human nature. The quadrune mind model distinguishes four qualitatively different kinds of human consciousness with varying degrees of self-awareness. The model specifies why only the spiritually conscious mind represents true Human nature].
  6. Compare Fleury, B. E. (2018). The scientific wonder of birds. Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company. From the course overview: “The Remarkable Brainpower of Birds—Contrast avian brain structure with our own and track the intelligence of birds in numerous surprising and revelatory examples. Note how diverse species can distinguish shapes, colors, and numbers; remember 2,000 seed cache locations; start fires to flush out prey; make hooks to catch food; tie slip knots; and, believe it or not, differentiate between artistic styles such as Cubism and Impressionism.” 

    [My comment refers especially to Lecture 5, “Bird Brains: Tool Wielders and Snack Stealers.”: Bruce E. Fleury is an immensely pleasurable, witty, and humane advocate of respect for avian intelligence. He describes how their intellectual feats are comparable to those of primates and young human children. Although Fleury recognizes the instinctual basis underlying some very complex behaviors, there are also avian innovations that make it difficult to decide whether we underestimate their intelligence, or overvalue our own. And his love of birds, often told with charming personal stories, is irresistibly contagious. Nevertheless, he does not romanticize the harsh realities of a bird’s life. I have also cited this course in the Dinosaurs, Billionaires, and Mass Extinctions blog post. For additional context for this significant issue, see the post, QM and the Vital Difference between Consciousness and Intelligence].

  7. See page 6 of the Study Guide.
  8. See How Entertainment and Art become Propaganda through the Loss of Aesthetic Distance.
  9. See the Study Guide for details of the quadrune mind model.
  10. Compare Helmore, E. (2023, May 28). “They’re afraid their AIs will come for them”: Doug Rushkoff on why tech billionaires are in escape mode. The Guardian. “The only way to rebel is to be human and aware, Rushkoff says. ‘Be social, get your feet on the ground, make eye contact, have sex, meet people, breathe the air. The more real-life ballast you have, the less this brittle, ideological, abstracted, social media-mediated universe bears upon your daily existence.’” [If we stay technologically isolated from one another we may all end up as solipsists; i.e., more specifically, we can become stuck in the “extreme egocentrism” of infancy—a major characteristic of the reptilian mind].
  11. See Stampede Greed and Desperate Need for related material.