Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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The Masks of God
Joseph Campbell

1 "The ever-living life in all lives appears to be many but is really one."

2 "Everything – absolutely everything – reveals the omnipresence of God as the ground of all being."

3 "God is the very spirit and nature of the universe, the image in which it is created, and knowable thus by sense, by reason, and by love, in gradual approximation. God is in all and in every part, and in him all opposites, including good and evil, coincide."

4 "Boundless Time holds everything in its tongs; shapes all things with its hammer; yet yields through its hard initiations knowledge of the adamantean reality, which is here and now, beyond the obscuring veil of duality, the true eternity of us all."

5 "Finally, all is found to be in some manner God – as in the words of the Gnostic Thomas Gospel, attributed to Jesus: 'I am the All, the All came forth from Me and the All attained to Me. Cleave the wood and I am there; lift up the stone, you will find me there.'"

6 "Platonic ideas are the structuring principles of all things, inherent in all, and to be recognized by the wakened mind."

7 "According to Posidonius of Alamea in Syria (ca. 135-50 bce), God is immanent throughout nature."

8 "Man is a cup, his soul the wine therein. Flesh is a pipe, spirit the voice within; O Khayyam, have you fathomed what man is? A magic lantern with a light therein." Omar Khayyam, Persian poet

9 "The [Egyptian] myths can no longer be taken simply in their literal sense. They have to be understood as a rendition of deeper thoughts, striving to comprehend the world spiritually, as a unit." Eduard Meyer

10 "Myths and rites constitute a mesocosm – a mediating, middle cosmos, through which the microcosm of the individual is brought into relation to the macrocosm of the all."

11 "Shakespeare's definition of the function of his art, 'to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature', is equally a definition of mythology. It is the revelation to waking consciousness of the powers of its own sustaining source."

12 "The rites of Demeter and Persephone of Eleusis, Isis of Alexandria, Mithra of the Persians, and the Great Mother, Cybele, of Asia Minor, mutually influenced and enriched each other in the course of centuries – all in terms of a common ability to sense and experience the miracle of life itself as divine, and wonderfully so."

13 "Like a flower potential in its seed, the blossom of the realization of love is potential in every heart...and requires only proper cultivation to be fostered to maturity."

14 "The illusion of duality is the trick of maya. 'Thou art that' (tat tvam asi) is the proper thought for the first step to wisdom."

15 "Divinity inheres in, as well as transcends, every particle of the universe and all its beings."

16 "Man in his native virtue is competent both to experience and to render blessedness."

17 "Within a world that is itself divine, where God is immanent throughout, in the impulse of the flight of birds, the lightning, the falling rain, the fire in the sun, there is an epiphany of divinity in all sight, all thought, and all deeds."

18 "Nothing can occur that is not – in the frame of the totality – absolutely good."

19 "Then I looked. And I saw that lover, beloved, and love are one; for in the world of unity all can be one." Abu Yazid (Bayazid) of Bistan (d. 874)

20 "The vocabulary of symbol is to such an extent constant through the world that it must be recognized to represent a single pictorial script, through which realizations of a tremendum experienced through life are given statement."

21 "The One that is all, forever remains: transcendent – beyond all; yet also immanent – within all."

22 "There is one God….He is all sight, all mind, all ear." Xenophanes of Colophon (fl. 536 bce)

23 "God is one not two. Who sees God sees nothing but one." Meister Eckhart (1260-1327)

24 "All is God. Every stick and stone, person or power, that has ever been revered as a god, is indeed God; for God is all."

25 "Mythological symbols touch and exhilarate centers of life beyond the reach of vocabularies of reason and coercion. The light-world modes of experience and thought were late, very late, developments in the biological prehistory of our species."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite