Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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Ariadne's Clue, A Guide to the Symbols of Humankind
Anthony Stevens

1 "The mandala is a symbol which combines both the journey and its destination, the ideas of differentiation and the oneness of all things, the 'unus mundus'. Examples still persist from Paleolithic times as, for instance, in Rhodesian rock engravings. Such images, when they occur in modern dreams, are thus spontaneous re-creations of the most basic religious symbol known to humanity."

2 "It was Jung's empirical discovery that living the symbolic life – that is, being constantly alive to the symbolic meaning of events both in waking and dreaming reality – greatly enhances realization of the Self."

3 "Culture and psyche are not opposed entities but two aspects of the same psychobiological process – the actualization of innate archetypal propensities."

4 "The rationale behind alchemical theory was based on the notion of primary matter – the belief that the world originated from a single substance."

5 "Symbols are living entities with a life-cycle of their own; they are born, flourish for a while, then dwindle and die. New symbols come into existence all the time, but not in an arbitrary or unrelated way. They bear a family resemblance to each other and to their ancestors, in the sense that they are imaginal forms which possess a dynastic relationship to symbols that have preceded them."

6 "The extraordinary degree of similarity between symbolic manifestations and the agreement about what they signify across history and across the planet points to their archetypal roots in the phylogenetic psyche (the collective unconscious) of humanity."

7 "A symbol partakes of the reality which it renders intelligible." Samuel Taylor Coleridge

8 "The primal Self contains all the archetypal potential and all the dynamic oppositions necessary to achieve the goal of individuation."

9 "The centre is that microcosmic point in which the macrocosm is concentrated."

10 "Just as traditional symbols are necessary to ensure cultural coherence and the assimilation of successive generations, so it is our innate ability to think symbolically that enables us to reshape our universe."

11 "Symbolism is a language that transcends race, geography, and time. It is the natural Esperanto of humanity."

12 "Through the genome of our species we inherit the archetypal predispositions of our ancestors, and it is on these basic, universal, and persistently active themes that individual cultures work out their sets of variations and transmit them from generation to generation."

13 "During the night we all return to that original unconscious wholeness out of which we (and the ego) were born."

14 "The ten commandments not only describe the main features of the Judaeo-Christian superego but are, when broadly interpreted, a pretty good approximation of the archetypal moral sensibility of humankind."

15 "So long as man shall exist, perfection will continue to appear as the circle, sphere, and the round; and the Primal Deity who is sufficient unto himself, and the self who has gone beyond the opposites, will reappear in the image of the round, the mandala." Erich Neumann, 'The Origins and History of Consciousness'

16 "Understandably, the dream of regaining Paradise is one that has obsessed the imagination of humanity: it is the dream of healing all these divisions and being whole again."

17 "Behind our personal intelligence a deeper intelligence is at work which guides, nourishes, and informs our daily existence."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite