Quotations Over the Years from Richard Thieme

by rthieme on April 19, 2016

Selected Quotes Over the Years from Richard Thieme

Life, Today

Identity at a fundamental level is being transformed. Digital identities can be appropriated, yes, but more than that, we can invent them on the fly and determine at the moment of action or execution to which matrix we are related as a node in the network. Our identities exist as potentialities made actual by our intention at the moment of action. They are the equivalent of quantum states, fixed only when expressed.

Because “elements of the Natl Security State were committed to the production of strategic fictions, simulations, and deceptions” as Timothy Melley put it, the mind of society becomes confused about what is real and must rely on postmodern deconstruction in a futile attempt to discern what is happening in the Wilderness of Mirrors called life.

The weakest link in discussions of privacy is the definition of privacy, and the definition of privacy is not what we think.

Humans are open systems of information and energy. Current work in biotech, nanotech, genetic engineering, artificial organisms, electromagnetic fields applied to surveillance, intrusion, health and healing, and weapons to disarm, debilitate and kill, intersects with traditional “information security” models but is becoming a tail that wags the dog. IT caused identity shift by turning command-and-control “individuals” into nodes in a network. Now, what we used to call “individual selves” are dissolving into real-time physical modular networked systems that transform identity, possibilities for action, and therefore the future.

What do you want to be today? has replaced the Microsoft slogan, where do you want to go today?

Hey, wait! A fecal transplant may not be a bad idea.

Fiction is the only way to tell the truth.

Nothing is what it seems.


The convergence of enabling technologies of intrusion, interception, and

panoptic reach, combined with a sense of urgency about the counter terror

imperative and a clear mandate from our leaders to do everything possible to defeat an amorphous non-state entity defined by behaviors rather than boundaries, borders, or even a clear ideological allegiance, has created an ominous but invisible set of conditions that undermine the previous cornerstones of law, ethics, and even religious traditions.

The world is a computer animation projected through the multiple lenses of our brains, a holographic image of everything seen one slice at a time.

The digital world, with all its circus animals and mythical beasts, is simply a new way for the human brain to deceive itself into thinking it knows.

We think, therefore the cursor moves. The universe is a point-and-click multi-dimensional interface in which we are immersed, multi-dimensional point-and-click beings.

Neither hackers nor spies live inside consensus reality. They live at the terminator on the moon where everything is thrown into relief, where intentionality creates consensus. In a world of pure information, intentionality is everything.

There’s plenty of laughter among hackers, laughter at the paradox of the mind watching itself build worlds in which – in spite of seeing the marks of the tools on the raw material and the tools in our hands – we lack the freedom not to believe.

We are real birds in digital cages.

We speak of software “authors” but a group creates the software and the world owns the code.

A browser is a knowledge engine that organizes information in flux so it seems momentarily frozen. Portals are gravitational lens that boost distant clusters into the foreground.

The map of the energies of cyberspace is a map of our Mind.

Cyberspace is like a multi-dimensional cubist construction in which we become ten-dimensional portraits by Braque or Picasso, our digital selves both artifact and artist.

Information is neutral. The power of information that is linked and mined is magnified by orders of magnitude. What matters is the pattern.

Computers aren’t about technology, they’re about people. The power of the Net derives from the deepest intentions of the people who use it.

Footnotes are conspicuous by their absence on the Web. Information is self-referential. Symbols and images point to themselves like a ten-dimensional dog chasing its own tails.

Cyberspace is a symbolic representation of the human soul. Everything that shows up there is a projection of ourselves.

The content of the Net will be the content of our transformed selves rendered in symbolic form.

Computer hackers are feared because their powers have been magnified by the media. But their real knowledge is real power. Hacking skills – the creative exploration of complex systems of information – are essential in organizations that want to remain competitive.

The Net is an imaginary garden with real toads in it.

We create the Net out of nothing, then forget that we made it up so we can play in it.

A photo is no longer worth a thousand words. Or maybe it is, since digital words and images alike are subject to manipulation.

The Internet is “space” which organizes how we think, virtual bookshelves onto which we put books without even thinking about it.

Computer games are toys, but beyond the games, computers themselves are toys. When we play with them, it changes how we frame reality.

You can’t write a 32-bit application for an IBM XT. It just can’t handle the code.

Like speech, writing, and print, the computer is a tool that shapes our perceptions into forms the computer can use. If we are to bring our ideas to the computer, we must express them in language the computer understands.

The full evolution of the human/computer synthesis is likely to be a religious experience. It will happen as Hemingway said bankruptcy happens, gradually, then suddenly.

The first two weeks in a new culture are so impactful, Margaret Mead said, that you have to stay another year to learn more. Our first two weeks in the digital world are almost up.

We are tourists in our own territories, accessing life through simulations designed to be wrap-around immersive virtual worlds that feel so real we forget they’re invented.

Web sites work best that lead us by easy stages from accessible text or images into the complexity of information patterned beyond our comprehension.

The Internet does not REPLACE anything, it redefines how we use other media.

When we explore the Net, we are exploring ourselves. We learn to surf swells of meaning that surge back and forth like the sea. We learn to follow currents of information, feeling swells interact in complex ways. We become voyagers in a sea of information, we make tangled starmaps that remember for us how to find our way home.

Current technologies make speaking of interception obsolete. Our technologies constitute the physical framework, and software and informational contexts, of a pan-global society. Boundaries between elements of the network, between the networks that make up

the network, that is, are arbitrary and porous. We live in a world literally without walls. Every attribute of a process or structure that broadcasts or transmits information about itself by any physical or electromagnetic means can be detected, often at the source. Often enough, those who built the system in the first place engineer information to come to them. “Here” and “there” are distinctions without a difference.


We are like miners tunneling through an immense mountain, seeing only the earth in front of our faces. What we don’t know is so much bigger than ourselves.

When we lose ourselves in life in all its wonderfulness and flowing, we find ourselves, but when we try to hold on to what we find, we lose it again. Victory comes only in moments of surrender.

Our existence is a recursive call of the pattern of the pattern of the code.

The moment we see ourselves as we are perceived by another, we become someone else, neither who we were nor who they think we are.

Techno/spirituality” is the search for “human nature” transformed by interaction with information tehcnologies. We are like apes seeing their faces in the river for the first time – a digital river flowing through our collective mind.

Digital symbols link to other digital symbols which symbolize something beyond the power of symbols to say.

We live on the edge of a digital blade and the blade cuts both ways.

Once I had answers. Now all I have is questions.

What is the particular gift this day has given me? Who have I loved, and have I dared to love them as well as I could? Have I contributed to the well-being of another, have I enhanced their sense of dignity or expanded the possibilities of their lives? Have I flown as close to the fire at the heart of the mysteries of love and knowledge as I dare? And of everything I have received, have I given anything back?

When my life began to grow more mellow, I thought I was becoming disciplined, even virtuous. Now I know it was just lower testosterone levels.

Change causes fear, rigidity, and isolation. The antidotes are mutuality, feedback, and accountability.

The meta-rule — “do the right thing” — requires sometimes that we break the rules. Trusting people to learn from their mistakes drives rule-based people nuts.

There is only one rule: if you don’t know when to break the rules, don’t break the rules.

Believing is seeing. Believing is the precondition of a possibility.

An idea that ripens at the right time can not be stopped by all the NOs in the world.

We only feel a need to impose a rigid structure on the flow of life when we are afraid that our lives are chaotic.

The structures of energy and information in the universe are the universe.

Wisdom, like insanity, is contextual.

We’re like people wearing glasses running around frantically looking for our glasses.

Money is dye in the arteries of our souls.

Thinking about the unthinkable ripens the mind toward new possibilities.

The Internet — like the world — is best ruled by letting things take their course.

When chaos for breakfast and doubt for lunch make for indigestion at dinnertime, power looks more like wisdom than winning. The wise person steers a course by the torchlight of doubt and chaos.

Prophets are people who get wet before everybody else and start sneezing. We can quarantine them, but reality is a cold it is impossible not to catch.

The digital world is water, a rising tide, a tsunami impacting our consciousness with revolutionary force, levelling our villages, sweeping away our shrines and altars, sweeping everything, everything out to sea.

Between we humans and our souls there are no barriers but the ones we erect to protect ourselves from the terror of self-knowledge and self-transcendence. Between we human beings and those we love, there are no barriers but the ones we erect to protect ourselves from intimacy and self-surrender.

Genuine encounters with the Other breaks naturally into mystical and religious experience because our models of reality explode. We pass through a zone of annihilation in which everything we believed ourselves to be is called into question. Then we coalesce around a new center at a higher level of complexity that includes and transcends everything that came before.

There comes a point when we think at which the framework of the thinking itself begins to wrinkle and slide into the dark. We see the edge of our thinking mind, beyond which we see … something else … self-luminous “space” that constitutes the context of our thinking and our thinking selves.

When we see our thinking from a point outside our thinking, we see that ideas and beliefs are mental artifacts, as solid and as empty as all the things in the physical world – things that are patterns of energy and information that fingertips or eyes or brains are structured to perceive as if objects external to ourselves. That is, of course, an illusion.

People aren’t “resistant to change” when they try to keep patterns that feel “normal.” They’re acting out of lifelong behaviors almost as deep as life itself.

To understand the world, we must first understand ourselves. Then, like the Hubble telescope when it first went up, we can compensate for distortion.

The fancy name for diverse styles of living is “spirituality.” Our challenge is not to find the one that’s right. Our challenge is to find one that works.

Descriptions of reality are true at different degrees of precision

Memories are representations of experience that no longer exists…. so how can we know they’re “real?” Biography becomes history and history becomes myth. History is corporate myth. Biography is individual myth.

When prayer happens on the Network, luminous sacred space ignites and glows, transforming our monitors into altars and sacred groves.

The symbols with which we manipulate our constructions of reality point increasingly to other symbols. It is no longer a case of remembering that the finger pointing toward the moon is not the moon, but that the finger is pointing toward another finger that is pointing toward another finger … and we call that recursive experience … the moon.

The universe is gregarious and welcoming. We are built to live in space that is gateless, unbounded, free.

Emergent realities must wait until seers and prophets give them names before we can discuss them.

Now that we know that the uterus produces a marijuana-like compound called anadamide, we can understand why human beings hate to forsake the darkness for the bright light. Birth is a sobering experience.

Keep your seat belt buckled and your virtual lamp lit.

If we are lucky, there occurs a “moment of clarity” in which we see ourselves with our own eyes and how narrowly we have lived in contrast with how we might live if we dare to fulfill our possibilities.

Truth and lies are Siamese twins, joined at the lips.

Nothing is harder to see than what we believe so deeply we don’t know we believe it.

A landlubber will look at water and see a barrier. Islanders see an invitation, a world wanting to be explored, highway and home.

There is ultimately only ourselves to know.

Consciousness is the sea, and the sea is all around us.

Like Alice eating magic cookies, we grow smaller and larger as we nibble on the fruit of the tree of knowledge. The more we learn, the more we see how much we don’t know, how tentative our hypotheses.

How we intend to live our lives is how we wind up living them.

Faith is getting out of bed in the morning and just showing up.

Our island of awareness is bounded by a mist of forgetfulness and unknowing.

The Universe is a gesture, and our symbol-making minds interpret its shrugs or smiles through the narrow aperture of ourselves, opening like a lens to let in just a little light.

When we share a myth with others, it feels like reality. That’s why the challenge to our myths – from political myths to religious myths – feels like an assault on ourselves and we’re willing to kill those who don’t share them.

Religious extremists of all persuasions resemble one another more than they resemble the thinkers in their own traditions. They are terrified of the breakdown of the rigid structure that props up their fragile selves.

Every keystroke says who I am. The media with which we try to hide ourselves become a magnifying glass.


Something new is breaking out of the cracked egg of civilization.

Science fiction is how a left-brain technological society dreams of the future.

Thinking about the unthinkable ripens the mind toward new possibilities.

I am not a “futurist.” I describe the present to people who haven’t arrived at the present, so to them, it sounds like the future.

Intelligence officers, fighter pilots, and commercial air line pilots tell me that UFOs are real.

Powerful ideas are rare, and those who see them in the first light endure ridicule and rejection until everyone finally agrees that they always believed that all along.

Human beings are one path by which matter has become conscious. Our self-conception is a blurred snapshot of a hurried traveller; by the time we realize it is our face in the photograph, our “real” face has changed.

We may be the last human generation to be merely born.

Human beings are slow learners. Insights occur to us thousands of years before we act on them.

Where is the vision that will animate our outward expansion, our migration into the universe from the deep cave of the earth?

What we call “our species” will soon be a wistful memory in the molecular clusters of the progeny we design, an arbitrary distinction that served for a while before we morphed.

Our life stories are mythologies, stories of who we think we are, cushioned with designer memories that support our interpretations.

The ultimate intention of consciousness is to become coextensive with all the molecular structures it or we will or can create as apertures onto the outside/inside of our collective Life.


The center is constantly shifting. People who are comfortable at the center keep finding themselves on the edge and must partner with “outsiders” who can show them how to live on the edge.

The basis of capitalism is a handshake.

Competitive Business Intelligence 101 should be a required course at every business school.

Businesses have become centers of education, not because they wanted to, but because they must. McDonald’s teaches civility to clerks because traditional institutions don’t.

Traditional educational structures still get funding but we barter and trade for real educational goods in a growing black market.

Our interaction with structures of information technology transforms how we hold ourselves as possibilities for action.

When power people enter the Net for the first time, they learn they can not exercise power by dominating and controlling, but by contributing and participating. Networks and webs transform the dynamics of hierarchical structures.

Our paradigms determine the questions we can ask and therefore the answers we can hear.

In a knowledge economy, information is capital, but wisdom is gold. And gold is currently devalued.

The ideas that matter most are those we can make our own, insights the apprehension of which changes our lives.

The best ideas that like good coaches who put the reins of our lives back into our hands.

When entertainment is the fuel of a global digital economy, it is unpatriotic not to buy a ticket.

The requests that flow to digital sex workers are predictable. Like children who want to hear the same story again and again, clients want the comforting touch of a mother as much as a lover.

In a global free market economy, intelligence and counterintelligence, information and disinformation, are axiomatic to remaining viable.

The first lines of defense of consensus reality are laughter and ridicule. Only when the idea does not go away do we attack.

Early adopters and late adopters have different seats on the same bus.

We can only predict the predictable.

Out of the box thinking” is just a name for climbing out of one box into a little bit bigger box.


Space travel is utter bilge.”

The Royal Astronomer in the UK in 1956, the year before the launch of Sputnik

The first time my understanding of UFO phenomena shifted from interesting and spooky to physical and real was in 1978. I was a newly ordained Episcopal priest in my first parish, a small one in northern Utah on the edge of Hill Air Force Base. Our senior warden, or congregational lay leader, was a major, although he retired as a heavily decorated bird colonel. He was highly esteemed and honored by both those he saved in Viet Nam and the brass who gave him medals. If anyone had the “right stuff,” that cocky fighter pilot did.

We were sitting alone in the church basement talking about “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” a recent movie then, and I said, “Bob, you know, I read people like Hynek and others who have done their best (in the fifties, sixties and seventies) to find out what UFOs are about, and they claim that in the end, you guys in your fastest fighters chase these things and can’t catch them.”

I was referring to numerous accounts by multiple witnesses of physical vehicles clearly directed by intelligence that paced them, flew around them, landed near them, or played tag with them, and were clearly powered by something other than our primitive propulsion systems because they seemed to cancel out gravity or use magnetic fields to “fold” space-time and move so fast we couldn’t always catch them.

Bob shifted in his seat and the habitual cocky smile on his face became a perplexed frown. I’ll never forget what he said or how he said it.

“Well, that’s right. We chase the damned things and we can’t catch them.”

A friend who lectured on deception for one of the intelligence agencies said, “llusion, misdirection, and ridicule are the hallmarks of deception—but the greatest of these is ridicule.”

They fly, they evince technologies we don’t understand, and they have been around for years. And despite voluminous overwhelming evidence to support those assertions, to raise this subject as worthy of historical and scientific investigation is to invite ridicule, the shaking of pitying heads, derision and hostility, and embarrassed silence.

Francis Bacon said in 1620, if something deserves to exist, it deserves to be known,

Any other domain of inquiry with hundreds of well-documented events would be considered worthy of scientific and historical investigation. Well-executed policies carried out with secrecy do not constitute “a conspiracy” and those who illuminate them are not “conspiracy theorists,” a term used to denigrate investigators of unpopular subjects. Members of the military and intelligence community, from the early 1950s on, decided to learn as much as they could about UFOs – which they decided did not constitute a direct threat to national security – while at the same time playing down and dismissing reports from the public. The reports themselves were considered to be the primary threat by the CIA.

Lt. Gen. Nathan Twining that “The phenomena is something real and not visionary or fictitious.”

UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry” includes quotations from generals, senior intelligence personnel, and professionals like Hermann Oberth, the father of German rocketry, that affirm the exotic characteristics of the technology that no earthly power could then achieve. As Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell told me, “Richard, if we could do what they can do, they wouldn’t have sent me to the moon in a tin lizzie.”

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