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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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David Life:  Yes. I have had many teachers that I believe were enlightened beings. My teacher . . . My one living teacher now, __________, I believe is an enlightened being. I’ve had three principal gurus, all of which I felt were enlightened. What that means to me is that they had a certain detachment from the goings on in the world, and at the same time an involvement; so that at the same time they did meaningful actions in the lives, somehow they weren’t attached to those actions and their results. They did things because it was the right thing to do, and that to me is enlightenment. People do things for a lot of reasons, and usually for wrong reasons. And to me the enlightened souls are the ones that undertake actions because they are the perfect thing to do in that time. Of course the problem in that equation is when you meet an enlightened person, it tends to make you feel unenlightened. And the trick is so how do I get out of that unenlightenment and attain the same level of serenity and peace that these people are . . . have that I’ve met? And so there’s a wonderful saying in the tradition in respect to teacher and student – that the student’s first job is to find this enlightened being. Their second job is to love that enlightened being. And their third job is to leave them. That means that the student must, through their own effort, attain that enlightenment. Recorded on: 10/31/07



David Life: Do you know any...

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