Many / One

A database of 11,000+ illuminated guiding quotations in 40 categories from 600+ inspired books by our most brilliant and influential authors.
Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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The Cosmic Game, Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness
Stanislav Grof
Ken Wilber says of this book: "What moves this book into the status of a classic is that it is in substantial agreement with the world's great wisdom and spiritual traditions."

1 "This deep connection between the individual human organism and the cosmos suggested by various esoteric traditions has been expressed in the famous statements 'As above, so below' or 'As without, so within'. The observations from modern consciousness research have shed new light on this ancient mystical concept….Transpersonal psychology has discovered that in holotropic ['tending toward wholeness'] states it is possible to identify experientially with just about any aspect of physical reality, past and present, as well as various aspects of other dimensions of existence. It has confirmed that the entire cosmos is in a mysterious way encoded in the psyche of each of us and becomes accessible in deep systematic self-exploration."

2 "When we view reality from the perspective of the Universal Mind, all the usually experienced polarities are transcended. This applies to such categories as spirit-matter, stability-motion, good-evil, male-female, beauty-ugliness, or agony-ecstasy. In the last analysis, there is no absolute difference between subject and object, observer and the observed, experiencer and the experienced, creator and creation. All the roles in the cosmic drama have ultimately only one protagonist, Absolute Consciousness."

3 "In its farthest reaches, the psyche of each of us is essentially commensurate with all of existence and ultimately identical with the cosmic creative principle itself. This conclusion, while seriously challenging the worldview of modern technological societies, is in far-reaching agreement with the image of reality found in the great spiritual and mystical traditions of the world."

4 "All boundaries that we ordinarily perceive in the universe are arbitrary and ultimately illusory. The entire cosmos is in its deepest nature a single entity of unimaginable dimensions, Absolute Consciousness."

5 "One of the important tasks on the spiritual journey is to be able to see the divine not only in the extraordinary and ordinary, but also in the lowly and ugly."

6 "In the creative process the various units of consciousness are autonomous individuals in their own right, as well as parts of larger wholes and ultimately of the entire cosmic fabric."

7 "In the farthest reaches of our experiential self-exploration, we can encounter the creative principle itself and recognize our fundamental identity with it."

8 "Now I am moving back….back to the Whole, where I belong….what joy to return….Yes, now I know what I am, what I have been from the beginning, what I always will be….a part of the Whole, the restless part that desires to return, yet lives to seek expression in doing, creating, building, giving, growing, leaving more than it takes, and above all desires to bring back gifts of love to the Whole….the paradox of total unity and the continuity of the part. I know the Whole….I am the Whole….even as a part I am the totality." Robert Monroe, 'The Ultimate Journey'

9 "The human body develops from a single undifferentiated source, the fertilized egg, by a complex sequence of divisions resulting in a large number and variety of highly specialized and diversified cells. In its final form, it has a hierarchical arrangement, where each part is also an integrated whole. …..The information about the entire body is contained in each of its parts in a way that makes the comparison with the cosmic creative process very appropriate."

10 "People, who have during their lifetime experientially confronted birth and death and connected with the transpersonal dimension, have good reasons to believe that their physical demise will not mean the end of their existence. They have personally experienced in a very convincing way that their consciousness trnscends the boundaries of their physical body and is capable of functioning independently of it. As a result, they tend to see death as a transition into a different state of existence and an awe-inspiring adventure in consciousness rather than final defeat and annihilation."

11 "All boundaries in the material world are illusory and the entire universe as we know it, in both its spatial and temporal aspects, is a unified web of events in consciousness."

12 "There is a Secret One inside us; the planets in all the galaxies pass through his hands like beads." Kabir

13 "Each life form constitutes a part in larger groups and systems. Animals form colonies, schools, flocks, and herds, and belong to families and species. Individual humans are parts of a family, clan, tribe, culture, nation, gender, race, and so on. Living organisms – plants, animals, and humans – belong to various ecosystems that have developed within the biosphere of our planet. In the complex dynamic structure of the universe, each constituent part is a separate entity, as well as a member of a larger whole. Individuality and participation in a broader context are dialectically combined and integrated."

14 "By accepting impermanence and our own mortality on a deep experiential level, we also discover the part of us that is transcendent and immortal."

15 "Hwa Yen is a holistic view of the universe that embodies one of the most profound insights the human mind has ever attained. The essence of this philosophy can be succinctly expressed in a few words: 'One in One, One in Many, Many in One, Many in Many.'"

16 "Optical holograms demonstrate very clearly the paradoxical relations that can exist between the parts and the whole, including the possibility of retrieving the information about the whole from each of its parts."

17 "Modern consciousness research has generated important data that support the basic tenets of the perennial philosophy. It has revealed a grand purposeful design underlying all of creation and has shown that all of existence is permeated by superior intelligence."

18 "Here is how Rumi describes the Divine and its works: 'That is the Ocean of Oneness, wherein is no mate or consort. Its pearls and its fish are none other than its waves….Spirit is truly and always one; but its manifestations on different planes of creation are different. Just as ice, water, and vapor are not three things but only three forms of the same thing, similarly Spirit is one, but its forms are many.'"

19 "When we reach experiential identification with Absolute Consciousness, we realize that our own being is ultimately commensurate with the entire cosmic network, with all of existence."

20 "In systematic spiritual practice involving holotropic states of consciousness, we can repeatedly transcend the ordinary boundaries of the body-ego and identify with other people, animals, plants, or inorganic aspects of nature and also with various archetypal beings. We discover in this process that any boundaries in the material universe and in other realities are ultimately arbitrary and negotiable."

21 "What we encounter in everyday life are not discrete individuals and solid objects, but integral aspects of a unified energetic field."

22 "Our universe that appears to contain countless myriads of separate entities and elements, is in its deepest nature just one being of immense proportions and unimaginable complexity."

23 "This revelation concerning the identity of the individual with the divine is the ultimate secret that lies at the core of all great spiritual traditions, although it might be expressed in somewhat different ways….In Hinduism Atman, the individual consciousness, and Brahman, the universal consciousness, are one. The followers of Siddha Yoga hear in many variations the basic tenet of their school: 'God dwells within you as you.' In Buddhist scriptures, we can read: 'Look within, you are the Buddha.' In the Confucian tradition, we are told that 'Heaven, earth, and human are one body.' The same message can be found in the words of Jesus Christ: 'Father, you and I are one.' And St. Gregory Palamas, one of the greatest theologians of the Christian Orthodox Church, declared: 'For the kingdom of heaven, nay rather, the King of Heaven…is within us.' Similarly, the great Jewish sage and Cabalist Avraham ben Shemu'el Abulafia taught that 'He and we are one.' According to Mohammed, 'whoso knoweth himself knoweth his lord.' Mansur al-Hallaj, the Sufi ecstatic and poet known as 'the martyr of mystical love,' described it in this way: 'I saw my Lord with the Eye of the Heart. I said: 'Who art thou?' He answered: 'Thou.'"

24 "We all have a deep sense that our true identity is the totality of cosmic creation and the creative principle itself."

25 "The archetypal realm is not a figment of human fantasy and imagination; it has an independent existence of its own and a high degree of autonomy. At the same time, its dynamics seem to be intimately connected with material reality and with human life."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite