All animals are somebody—someone with a life of their own. Behind those eyes is a story, the story of their life in their world as they experience it. In our culture, we have been encouraged to think of animals as things, as commodities. The great challenge lies in having a change of perception. The realization that they have a life of their own, independent of their utility to me or to anyone else: this is what I am trying to get at when I speak of them as being “subjects of a life.” In this sense, they are exactly like us, equal to us. — Tom Regan
There is nothing mysterious or natural about authority. It is formed, irradiated, disseminated; it is instrumental, it is persuasive; it has status, it establishes canons of taste and value; it is virtually indistinguishable from certain ideas it dignifies as true, and from traditions, perceptions, and judgements it forms, transmits, reproduces. Above all, authority can, indeed must, be analyzed.
For me, the most important spaces to be are the spaces in between…like in airports or lobbies of hotels—when you’re leaving one space and you arrive to another space. Before you start to make new habits you’re really open to destiny…you’re more perceptive…you see things.
The entire world is a mirror. The only thing you can ever experience is yourself. Everything you think, feel, do, and see is you. Your thoughts, feelings, ideas, values, philosophies, and opinions create your world. Everything you experience is as it is because that’s how you experience it. We experience the world the way we do because of who we are, not because of how it is.
Indeed, the line between perceiving and hallucinating is not as crisp as we like to think. In a sense, when we look at the world, we are hallucinating all the time. One could almost regard perception as the act of choosing the one hallucination that best fits the incoming data, which is often fragmentary and fleeting.
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.