Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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Origins of the Sacred
Dudley Young
Called 'the Joseph Campbell of the nineties' by Kirkus Reviews, Young's purpose in writing this book is to seek to understand how the animal powers may be joined 'in all innocence', as Goethe says, 'with the divine life in man."

1 "Aristotle said that everything in Nature displays its purpose (entelechy) to the degree that it shines forth (epiphaino) with its very own specific virtue or excellence (arete); that the divine power intends the realization of such excellence."

2 "Primitive man was not disposed to separate his own soul from the world-soul. Soul is soul, invisible power that moves in the wind, so how can it be chopped up and compartmentalized?"

3 "Modern man must return to the mythic voice if he is to heal the divisions in his soul."

4 "There was a muddy centre before we breathed. There was a myth before the myth began….Venerable and articulate and complete." Wallace Stevens, American poet

5 "We must put ourselves back to school with our forebears, to recall the myths that legitimize our existence and tell us how to live with godly power."

6 "Our new mythology, like the scientific one it will emend and replace, must be positively planetary in its tolerance, and adamant in its insistence on respect for Mother Nature."

7 "Nature (capital N) gives us life and calls for our respect and reverence."

8 "Plato and Aristotle insist that within and beyond and behind the seemingly whimsical fatalities of Nature there is a divine power whose purposes, beauty, and urgency call upon us to assist, as best we can, the realization of its intentions (the famous 'entelechies' of Aristotle); and what Nature intends, as Aristotle so simple and eloquently argues, is excellence."

9 "The song of kinship sings throughout creation and binds us all, one to another."

10 "Any hand that is not sometimes folded in prayer will in the end turn into the predatory claw."

11 "Seek the sacred in accurate perceptions of Nature's excellences."

12 "What is essentially involved in both love and religion is the repairing of unities broken by experience and beyond that the retrieval of a Unity both all-encompassing and sempiternal."

13 "The world's soul is composed of all those powers that seem to move invisibly and immaterially, 'in the wind' as it were….what moves the visible world-body, indeed pushes it around, is the invisible world-soul, which is wind, which is pneuma, which is divinity, which is God."

14 "Modern physics has definitely decided for Plato. For the smallest units of matter are, in fact, not physical objects in the ordinary sense of the word; they are forms, structures, or – in Plato's sense – Ideas, which can be unambiguously spoken of only in the language of mathematics." Werner Heisenberg, cited in Sheldrake's 'The Presence of the Past'

15 "The constructions of culture, the moral and esthetic laws that we fashion and revere, though shot through with human frailty, ignorance, and local variation, are actually fashioned in response to a divine presence always imperfectly known, but THERE to witness and measure the justice in our answer to its call."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite