Many / One

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The Great Ideas, A Syntopicon, vol. 1
Mortimer J. Adler, editor

1 "The divine being is all being simultaneously." Thomas Aquinas

2 "In the realm of Being, the trace of The One establishes reality: existence is a trace of The One." Plotinus

3 "In the view of Nicolas of Cusa, the mystery of God's infinity is best expressed by affirming that in God all contradictions are somehow reconciled."

4 "Whatever the soul possesses, to that she comes bearing life." Socrates, quoted in Plato's 'Phaedo'

5 "All things partake of The One in absolute dependence."

6 "If we attentively consider the constant regularity, order, and concatenation of natural things, the surprising magnificence, beauty, and perfection of the larger, and the exquisite contrivance of the smaller parts of the creation, together with the exact harmony and correspondence of the whole,….I say if we consider all these things, and at the same time attend to the meaning and import of the attributes, one, eternal, infinitely wise, good, and perfect, we shall clearly perceive that they belong to the Spirit who 'works all in all', and 'by whom all things consist.'" George Berkeley (1685-1745), 'The Principles of Human Knowledge'

7 "Love is everywhere in the universe – in all things which have their being from the bounty and generosity of God's creative love and which in return obey the law of love in seeking God or in whatever they do to magnify God's glory."

8 "Immortality is, in a way, enjoyed in this life, for it is a present participation in eternity through the mind's knowledge of God."

9 "The ancients did not doubt that men could choose and, through choice, exercise some control over the disposition of their lives. Tacitus, for example…claims that 'the wisest of the ancients leave us the capacity of choosing our life."

10 "Spinoza defines God as 'Being absolutely infinite, that is to say, substance consisting of infinite attributes, each one of which expresses eternal and infinite essence."

11 "The moral law is universally and equally binding on all persons….the moral law commands us to respect the dignity of the human person, ourselves and others alike,"

12 "Providence connects each one with its proper order." Boethius, quoted by Thomas Aquinas

13 "Every act of understanding or thought involves imagination."

14 "God is sovranly [sovereignly] present through all. We cannot think of something of God here and something else there,…there is an instantaneous presence everywhere….everything therefore [is] fully held by the divine." Plotinus

15 "Human kingdoms are established by divine providence." St. Augustine

16 "God is the infinite and eternal substance of all finite existences, an absolute and unchanging ONE underlying the finite modes in which it variably manifests itself."

17 "From self-evident propositions, by necessary consequences, as incontestible as those in mathematics, the measures of right and wrong might be made out, to any one that will apply himself with the same indifferency and attention to the one as he does to the other of these sciences." John Locke (1629-1695)

18 "The tendency of each nature is somehow proportionate to its capacity. If man's restless search for knowledge and happiness can be quieted only by the possession of the infinite truth and goodness which is God, then man's intellect and will must somehow be as infinite in nature as they are in tendency."

19 "The absolute good is, as in the 'Divine Comedy', the final cause or ultimate end of the motions of the universe. It is 'the Alpha and Omega', Dante says, 'of every scripture that Love reads to me.'"

20 "The ultimate measure of justice in all human institutions and acts, as well as in the characters of men, is not itself a man-made standard, but rather a natural principle of justice, holding for all men at all times everywhere."

21 "Although the essences or forms of things are many, yet the truth of the divine intellect is one." Thomas Aquinas

22 "Spirit is immortal; with it there is no past, no future, but an essential now. This necessarily implies that the present form of Spirit comprehends within it all earlier steps….The grades which Spirit seems to have left behind it, it still possesses in the depths of its present." Georg Hegel (1770-1831),

23 "The good of nothing less than the whole collectively or of all distributively can be taken as the common or general good."

24 "The ancient philosophers, constrained as it were by the truth, when they asserted an infinite principle, asserted likewise that there was only one such principle." Thomas Aquinas

25 "Man's nature as a social being tends to make him feel it one of his natural wants that there should be harmony between his feelings and aims and those of his fellow-creatures."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite