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P. D. Ouspensky Quote – “Man is a machine controlled by accidental shocks…”

If he carries out all these rules while he observes himself, a man will record a whole series of very important aspects of his being. To begin with, he will record with unmistakable clearness the fact that his actions, thoughts, feelings, and words are the result of external influences and that nothing comes from himself. He will understand and see that he is in fact an automaton acting under the influences of external stimuli. He will feel his complete mechanicalness. Everything “happens,” he cannot “do” anything. He is a machine controlled by accidental shocks from outside. Each shock calls to the surface one of his “I’s.” A new shock and that ‘I’ disappears and a different one takes its place. Another small change in the environment and again there is a new ‘I.’

P. D. Ouspensky (1878 – 1947)

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