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Every other rights struggle that we have seen—disability rights, gay rights, women’s rights—all come from the efforts of the black civil rights struggles. […] It is black people who have been the perfectors of democracy.

you have this young brain that has a lot of what neuroscientists call “plasticity”. It can change really easily, essentially. But it’s not very good at putting on its jacket and getting to preschool

We have brains in order to get along with each other […] Trauma destroys the capacity to imagine

in order to understand the truth of any situation, you have to start from the position that every person is equally valuable, and that what they have to say must be heard. And whether that is in a clique where somebody is being shunned and blamed for everything, or whether that’s an entire class of people whose experiences are not taken into account, it’s the same formula from the bottom to the top: let everyone speak and let everyone be heard.

even consciousness is shared, to a large degree, with a lot of other creatures, so death stops seeming like the enemy and starts seeming like one of the most ingenious kinds of design for keeping evolution circulating and keeping the experiment running and recombining. And to go from the terror [of death] into that sense that the experiment is sacred, not this one outcome of the experiment, is to immediately transform the way that you think even about very fundamental social, economic, and cultural things.

[Hunter-gatherers] considered themselves affluent and enjoyed a degree of affluence as a result of that. Yet we seem to be trapped in this cycle of ever pursuing more and greater growth, greater wealth, greater anything. It seems that our aspirations now grow endlessly.

in this state of not knowing, curiosity and engagement with the world arises. And that engagement, that curiosity is intimate and very, very alive.

In that structure of feeling well, we had started taking acid…