Many / One

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Modern Esoteric Spirituality
Antoine Faivre and Jacob Needleman, editors
Volume 21 of 'World Spirituality: An Encyclopedic History of the Religious Quest'. Topics discussed include: Renaissance Kabbalah, Paracelsus and his followers, Freemasonry, and C. G. Jung in the context of Christian esotericism and cultural history.

1 "It may well be that the meeting of spiritual paths – the assimilation not only of one's own spiritual heritage but of that of the human community as a whole – is the distinctive spiritual journey of our time." Ewert Cousins

2 "In human beings there is the sign of all things; the human being is like a particularly finely polished diamond, in which all the world is reflected." Heinrich Schipperges

3 "The history of nature has to do not just with individual, finite, imminently perishable being, but with an imperishable basis of all that can be seen, which unites it all and gives it soul. It teaches a love which loves in all things, a universal soul which sets everything, even that which is most remote and apart, in a living interplay that gives to all that can be seen, from the firmament of heaven to the ephemeral insect, one rhythm of time and law of life." G. H. Schubert, 'Allgemeine Naturegeschichte', 4

4 "Ideas are the original forms (formae principales), the stable and immutable ground of things….They are a part of divine intelligence."

5 "If we know the main sections, the basic actions, the central pillar of mathesis in number and quality, so we know for certain that the same number and quality of basic actions, main sections, must recur in nature." L. Oken, 'Abriss des Systems der Biologie'

6 "The Intellect (Intellectus) sees opposites unified."

7 "Imagination is a kind of 'organ of the soul' by means of which a person can establish cognitive and visionary rapport with an intermediary world, with a mesocosm – with the world which Henry Corbin proposed to call the 'mundus imaginalis'."

8 "In the structure of the world and in nature generally,…purpose and unconscious teleology can be recognized….The universe is a kind of organism." Dietrich vonEngelhardt, 'Natural Science in the Age of Romanticism'

9 "Christianity, Hinduism, Kabbalah, alchemy…all admitted the existence of a unique 'ubiquitous agent', flowing through everything and from which everything issued. In other words, they already knew that matter was one and living." Francoise Bonardel, 'Alchemical Esotericism and the Hermeneutics of Culture'

10 "The doctrine of the microcosm – the human as the universe in miniature – is a common theme among the esoteric teachings, and among its other qualities, this idea has the virtue of theoretically joining the inner life in all its possible levels to the world of nature and beyond, even up to the Creator." Antoine Faivre

11 "Imagination (imaginatio is related to 'magnet', magia, imago) is a tool for the knowledge of the self, of the world, of myth; it is the eye of fire penetrating the surface of appearances in order to make meanings, connections, burst forth, to render the invisible visible…and to forge a link with a treasure that contributes to the enlargement of our prosaic vision."

12 "According to Philo, it is the Logos or Word that is the mediator by which God sees the plan of the world and according to which he creates it." Antoine Favre

13 "The creation of our world contributes to the purpose of the divine economy, which is the visibility of God….Contemplation of our own nature shows the way." Pierre Deghaye, 'Jacob Boehme and His Followers'

14 "The human form is the symbol of all symbols." Pierre Deghaye, 'Jacob Boehme and His Followers'

15 "A potential immensity of love and wisdom is inherent in the structure of the human self." Antoine Faivre

16 "The universe seems to be pervaded by pairs of opposites, but…they are not independent realities but rather polar aspects of the one unity, in which they are synthesized." Emily B. Sellon and Renee Weber, 'Theosophy and The Theosophical Society'

17 "Each level of the universal hierarchy of beings contains all possible reality, in each case from a different aspect."

18 "Eternal nature is the kernel hidden within our apparent nature." Pierre Deghaey, 'Jacob Boehme and His Followers'

19 "St. Augustine taught that once the soul is noble, harmonious, and ordered, it is capable of seeing the source from which all truth flows." Antoine Faivre

20 "God is the hidden treasure who desires to be known and created the world to this end." Pierre Deghaye, 'Jacob Boehme and His Followers'

21 "Paracelsus…teaches that the perceptible universe looks toward a divine reality that it strives to imitate."

22 "Nemesius, bishop of Emese, in his treatise 'De natura hominis' (400?) is one of the first basic Christian writings to view the human being as a microcosm, that is, as a miniature universe, a link between the material and spiritual worlds." Antoine Faivre

23 "Do you want to investigate nature? Then cast a glance inwards and in the stages of spiritual formation it may be granted to you to see the stages of natural development. Do you want to know yourself? Investigate nature and your actions are those of the Spirit there." H. Steffens, 'Alt und Neu'

24 "The fundamental unity and coherence of the universe are displayed most impressively in the order that pervades all of nature, not only in the uniformity of physical laws but also in the musical and mathematical proportions of all natural forms, from crystals and plants to spiral galaxies. This Pythagorean/Platonic conception of an underlying harmonic order is revealed in the persistent geometry of dynamic form." Emily B. Sellon and Renee Weber, 'Theosophy and The Theosophical Society'

25 "Throughout nature the formal principle of thesis-antithesis or dualism and the overcoming of it is observed." Dietrich vonEngelhardt, 'Natural Science in the Age of Romanticism'

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite