David Bohm Quotes

Listed in no particular order.

“And since the future of mankind depends on the psyche it seems then that the future of mankind is not going to be determined through actions in time.” — From ‘Conversation with Krishnamurti at Brockwood Park June 20, 1983′


“When you are thinking something, you have the feeling that the thoughts do nothing except inform you the way things are and then you choose to do something and you do it. That’s what people generally assume. But actually, the way you think determines the way you’re going to do things. Then you don’t notice a result comes back, or you don’t see it as a result of what you’ve done, or even less do you see it as a result of how you were thinking.” — From ‘Thought as a System’


In the enfolded [or implicate] order, space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Rather, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possible, from which our ordinary notions of space and time, along with those of separately existent material particles, are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order. These ordinary notions in fact appear in what is called the “explicate” or “unfolded” order, which is a special and distinguished form contained within the general totality of all the implicate orders.” — From ‘Wholeness and the Implicate Order’


“Nevertheless, this sort of ability of man to separate himself from his environment and to divide and apportion things ultimately led to a wide range of negative and destructive results, because man lost awareness of what he was doing and thus extended the process of division beyond the limits within which it works properly. In essence, the process of division is a way of thinking about things that is convenient and useful mainly in the domain of practical, technical and functional activities (e.g., to divide up an area of land into different fields where various crops are to be grown). However, when this mode of thought is applied more broadly to man’s notion of himself and the whole world in which he lives (i.e. to his self-world view), then man ceases to regard the resulting divisions as merely useful or convenient and begins to see and experience himself and his world as actually constituted of separately existent fragments. Being guided by a fragmentary self-world view, man then acts in such a way as to try to break himself and the world up, so that all seems to correspond to his way of thinking. Man thus obtains an apparent proof of the correctness of his fragmentary self-world view though, of course, he overlooks the fact that it is he himself, acting according to his mode of thought, who has brought about the fragmentation that now seems to have an autonomous existence, independent of his will and of his desire.” — From ‘Wholeness and the Implicate Order’


“Thus, the question of the future of humanity seems, at first sight, to imply that a solution must involve time in a fundamental way. Yet, as Krishnamurti points out, psychological time, or “becoming,” is the very source of the destructive current that is putting the future of humanity at risk. To question time in this way, however, is to question the adequacy of knowledge and thought, as a means of dealing with this problem. But if knowledge and thought are not adequate, what is it that is actually required? This led in turn to the question of whether mind is limited by the brain of mankind, with all the knowledge that it has accumulated over the ages. This knowledge, which now conditions us deeply, has produced what is, in effect, an irrational and self-destructive programme in which the brain seems to be helplessly caught up.

If mind is limited by such a state of the brain, then the future of humanity must be very grim indeed. Krishnamurti does not, however, regard these limitations as inevitable. Rather, he emphasizes that mind is essentially free of the distorting bias that is inherent in the conditioning of the brain, and that, through insight arising in proper undirected attention without a centre, it can change the cells of the brain and remove the destructive conditioning. If this is so, then it is crucially important that there be this kind of attention, and that we give to this question the same intensity of energy that we generally give to other activities of life that are really of vital interest to us.” — From the Foreword of ‘The Future of Humanity’


“Now, I say that this system [of thought] has a fault in it — a ‘systematic fault’. It is not a fault here or there but it is a fault that is all throughout the system. Can you picture that? It is everywhere and nowhere. You may say “I see a problem here, so I will bring my thoughts to bear on this problem”. But “my” thought is part of the system. It has the same fault as the fault I’m trying to look at, or a similar fault. We have this systemic fault; and you can see that this is what has been going on in all these problems of the world – such as the problems that the fragmentation of nations has produced. We say: ‘Here is a fault. Something has gone wrong.’ But in dealing with it, we use the same kind of fragmentary thought that produced the problem, just a somewhat different version of it; therefore it’s not going to help, and it may make things worse.” — From ‘Thought as a System’