Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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The Global Brain, Speculations on the Evolutionary Leap to Planetary Consciousness
Peter Russell
In a convincing tapestry of physics and philosophy, mathematics and mysticism, this book leads us to understand how genuine, worldwide transformation is not only possible, but probable.

1 "What we need is a spiritual renewal, a widespread shift in consciousness along the lines experienced by the great mystics and proponents of the perennial philosophy. Such a shift has now become supremely important, not only for the well-being of individuals and society as a whole, but also for Gaia herself; it is the path to a spontaneous global remission. In this respect the person whose goal is self-realization, whether he be a yogi in a Himalayan cave or an office worker in Los Angeles, is helping to change the world at the most fundamental level."

2 "Meister Eckhart, the thirteenth-century Christian mystic, noted his experience that: 'All that man has here externally in multiplicity is intrinsically One. Here all blades of grass, wood and stone, all things are One. This is the deepest depth…'. And Henry Suso, a German Dominican, wrote: 'All creatures…are the same life, the same essence, the same power, the same one and nothing less.' What these mystics seem to be saying is that 'at the deepest level of my being I am of the same essence as you and the same as the rest of the universe. We are all of this same essence, and I experience my Self as such. This is what we are…this is our deepest level of identity.'"

3 "The urge that many people feel to grow and develop inwardly may well be the force of evolution manifesting within our own consciousness. It is the universe evolving through us."

4 "Spiritual teachers, mystics, and visionaries have repeatedly affirmed, whatever their culture or time, that we are more than just biological organisms bounded by skin. We are also unbounded, part of a greater wholeness, united with the rest of the universe."

5 "Separate and unique as each religion might appear to be, it is possible to see a common theme underlying them all. Walter Stace, who was professor of philosophy at Princeton, studied at length the writings and teachings of the great religious teachers and came to the conclusion that the central core of all the major religions was the experience of oneness with creation – what Huxley called the perennial philosophy."

6 "The perennial philosophy repeatedly declares that the realization of our essential oneness is not reserved for a select few. Because the Self is common to everyone, we all have the potential to be aware of our real inner natures."

7 "The enlightened person begins to experience a spontaneous love for every creature and every thing, whatever their qualities or attributes. The growth of such a love is a recurrent theme in most religions."

8 "We need to realize our essential oneness with nature, not just with our intellect and reason but with our feelings and with our souls. It must become an undeniable part of our reality."

9 "It is not a 'tete-a-tete' or a 'corps-a-corps' that we need; it is a heart-to-heart….If the synthesis of the Spirit is to be brought about in its entirety (and this is the only possible definition of progress), it can only be done, in the last resort, through the meeting, center to center, of human units, such as can only be realized in the universal, mutual love….There is but one possible way in which human elements, innumerably diverse by nature, can love one another: it is by knowing themselves all to be centered on a single 'supercenter' common to all." Pierre Teilhard deChardin, 'The Future of Man'

10 "A genuine, unconditional, and universal love stems from the personal experience of being at one with the rest of humanity and the rest of creation. It is this experience that is needed before the vision of an ideal society can be fulfilled."

11 "Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things." Tao Te Ching

12 "An important point to note about the perennial philosophy is that it is not a philosophy in the Western sense, for it is not an ideology or belief system. Rather, it is based on the experiences of those who have tasted such states. It is not so much a set of ideas to be thought about or debated as an invitation to turn within and discover these truths for oneself."

13 "The image a society has of itself can play a crucial role in the shaping of its future. If we fill our minds with images of gloom and destruction, then that is likely to be the way we are headed. Conversely, more optimistic attitudes can actually help promote a better world. A positive vision is like the light at the end of a tunnel, which, even though dimly glimpsed, encourages us to step on in that direction."

14 "At the level of the implicate order, every part of the universe contains the whole universe enfolded within it."

15 "When we look at organisms….we find that there is one particular quality that they all share: the many components naturally and spontaneously function together, in harmony with the whole. This characteristic can be seen operating in organisms as different as a slime mold, an oak tree, or the human body. This harmonious interaction can be described by the word 'synergy', derived from the Greek 'syn-ergos', meaning 'to work together'. Synergy does not imply any coercion or restraint, nor is it brought about by deliberate effort. Each individual element of the system works toward its own goals, and the goals themselves may be quite varied. Yet the elements function in ways that are spontaneously mutually supportive."

16 "An excellent example of a system with high synergy is your own body. You are an assortment of several trillion individual cells, each acting for its own interest, yet each simultaneously supporting the good of the whole."

17 "Our individual consciousnesses are like drops of water taken from an ocean: each drop is unique, with its own particular qualities and identity; yet each drop is also of the same essence as the ocean."

18 "We all have potentials beyond those we are now using and perhaps others of which we are even unaware; humanity and the environment are a single system; we can improve how we treat ourselves and our surroundings; humanity CAN change for the better."

19 "On the surface, the various religions might appear to offer very different teachings about the nature of reality and the means toward achieving salvation or liberation. But once one begins to pare away cultural trappings and the additions and corrections imposed by later commentators and translators, a basic teaching begins to emerge which is common to them: we are, at our cores, united."

20 "The pure Self is an unchanging entity. It is at the center of all consciousness throughout society, just as the genes are the same throughout a particular individual."

21 "A genuine love for the rest of creation comes from the personal experience of oneness with the rest of creation, the awareness that, at the deepest level, the Self and the world are one."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite