The Allegory of the Cave by Plato 

Presented by the Greek philosopher Plato, it consists of a dialogue between Plato’s brother in addition to his mentor, Socrates. The Allegory of the Cave presents a scenario with which a collective group has spent their entire existence chained in a cave only able to observe the shadows being cast by objects passing in front of a fire positioned behind them. To those living in the cave, the shadows are perceived as absolute reality, and if one was to break free from the cave and enter the world outside one would observe an environment that is very different from the reality they have known through their entire existence, with the light being painful to perceive, as one has spent their existence in the dark observing shadows. In essence, there exist higher realms of reality that one may not be aware of, and oftentimes individuals are quite accepting of a life in the cave, as that has been their only known existence.

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes 

An intriguing perspective on theories surrounding the rise of human consciousness, as Jaynes proposes human consciousness as we know it today has only developed as recently as 3000 years ago. Jaynes proposes an early state of the human mind existing in bicameralism in which the cognitive states were split between a component of the brain which would speak to an individual and a secondary cognitive component which would obey or carry the actions of the received command. Jaynes proposes some mental disorders may be vestiges of such an early state of humanity, as in the case of schizophrenia, where individuals may hear voices giving commands the individual feels compelled to obey.  Why components have been rejected by the mainstream psychological community this does not however quite dismiss all the components presented, as some in the psychological community have considered Jaynes hypothesis worthy of additional research, it is nonetheless a quite intriguing perspective.

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space by Carl Sagan

Sequel to Cosmos, and inspired by the famous Pale Blue Dot photograph, Carl Sagan presents a philosophical approach to understanding the place of humanity in the universe. Following a linear progression highlighting the process through which humanity has discovered the fallacy in the belief of an earth-centered universe, in addition to the lack of humility associated with the non-uniqueness of humans, Sagan presents an urgency in pursuing space colonization and terraforming. Sagan seeks to utilize this context of Earths place in the universe to highlight the insignificance of the divisions across humanity which divide us, and if one is able to reflect on the insignificance of the Earth, this may assist in uniting us towards a common goal of self-preservation.