Quotes on Consciousness

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No organism can afford to be conscious of matters with which it could deal at unconscious levels. Broadly, we can afford to sink those sorts of knowledge which continue to be true regardless of changes in the environment, but we must maintain in an accessible place all those controls of behavior which must be modified for every instance. The economics of the system, in fact, pushes organisms toward sinking into the unconscious those generalities of relationship which remain permanently true and toward keeping within the conscious the pragmatic of particular instances.
Consciousness surely does not depend on language. Babies, many animals, and patients robbed of speech by brain damage are not insensate robots; they have reactions like ours that indicate that someone's home.
Consciousness is much more than the thorn, it is the dagger in the flesh.
There is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball, and that is to have either a clear conscience, or none at all.
It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.
Up till now [the development of proto-consciousness], we can suppose, nervous systems solved the "Now what do I do?" problem by a relatively simple balancing act between a strictly limited repertoire of actions — if not the famous four F's (fight, flee, feed, or mate), then a modest elaboration of them.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
CONSCIENCE: The inner voice that warns us that someone may be looking.
There are many matters and many circumstances in which consciousness is undesirable and silence is golden, so that secrecy can be used as a marker to tell us that we are approaching the holy.
Wherever there is a conscious mind, there is a point of view.

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10 quotes