Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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Breaking the Mind Barrier
Todd Siler
A brilliantly original way to think about art, science, the mind, and the universe.

1 "A creative system can accommodate abrupt changes and catastrophes with its agility. All life forms are creative. The cosmos is a form of life – one that is as agile as the life forms it has created."

2 "A structure or system grows by means of itself."

3 "Out of all things there comes a unity, and out of a unity all things." Heraclitus

4 "Like the language of pure mathematics, which can describe abstract nth-dimensional processes and forms, the symbolic language of metaphorms is also multidimensional. It operates simultaneously on many planes of associations, nuances, and meanings."

5 "Subatomic particles are not 'things' that build one upon the other until they form large aggregates. Rather, they are part of a union of relations."

6 "In the thick of our views exists a common pattern of perception….the pattern is a weave of united processes. We now need to see this 'weave' in the human nervous system and the cosmos's system alike. The wider and sharper our vision becomes – and the more flexible our definitions of these systems become – the more the conceptual boundaries between the beholder (brain) and the beheld (universe) will overlap."

7 "The mandala emphasizes the process of spiritual growth, of the mind's evolution echoing the evolution of the universe."

8 "It is because of the interactions of all the parts of any society (of living cells or galaxies) that they work."

9 "The poles open two paths, which both lead to ONE goal at the end." Wassily Kandinsky, painter

10 "Although nature's forms are varied, the vast differences of form are contrasted by a simplicity of likeness in process. Our internal processes mirror nature's internal processes and vice versa."

11 "Through our joined perspectives, we have the ability to create a world in which one person's life experiences and beliefs may be respected, shared, and understood by others. I feel this is imperative for human development and survival - a cultural necessity, not an intellectual luxury. We want to build communication between all peoples, advancing the collective wisdom of our civilization."

12 "We cannot possibly see the whole of what we are, if we persist in seeing the parts of our nature and nature's parts as disassociated entities. Defining things without considering their relationships with other things is a fatal flaw in descriptive analysis."

13 "We must recognize that our development and survival ride on our ability to experience life as an integrated community of explorers…..We need to understand the creative potential of people, processes, and information living connected and exercising our gifts as wise, ethical creatures."

14 "If we are in fact the 'physical reflections' of the cosmos, then knowledge of the cosmos is applicable to our self-knowledge. This knowledge makes life meaningful."

15 "It is the combined insights from various views that determine the clearest picture of the brain-universe."

16 "We're born informed."

17 "The zero concept is not only a mathematical discovery, but was originally conceived as a symbol of Brahman. Zero is not a single cipher, positive or negative (growth and decay), but the unifying point of indifference and the matrix of the All and the None. Zero produces all figures, but it is itself not limited to certain value….Zero is the transition-point between opposites, it symbolizes the true balance within divergent tendencies." Betty Heimann, 'Facets of Indian Thought'

18 "Our minds ARE nature, in every detail and behavior. We are 'processmorphs' of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, wind storms, geological and atmospheric disturbances, etc. Even though we don't look like any of these things in our outward appearances, the processes of our thoughts, feelings, and actions resemble these and other phenomena....perhaps humankind is also a way for nature to know itself."

19 "Current studies in neuroscience that are used to determine cell sociology in groups, cell-neuron connectivity, and plasticity can be discussed in the context of the organization of the universe, which includes its rules of assemblage and behavior. As we read about stellar populations or the special features of a select cluster of galaxies, we can infer things about the populations of nerve cells and ganglia of which we are composed and which compose our worlds of mind. The implication is that knowledge of the brain is not merely supplementary information for studying the cosmos – it is key."

20 "Once you accept the world-view where everything is connected, no aspect of reality is seen as being separate and unrelated. Neither the universals nor the particulars of matter and nonmatter, brain and mind – nor the languages we use to describe these things, science and art – are seen to be in conflict with one another. There is only confluence."

21 "Explorations in metaphorical thinking no doubt pre-date Hesiod in the eighth century b.c. Three special masters of this medium of communication (out of thousands over the millenia) include the Greek writer Aesop, the Roman poet Phaedrus and Leonardo daVinci – each of whom used the suggestive imagery of fables, to convey insights into the world of human nature. In more recent times, writers, artists, poets, educators, and scientists have systematically explored the versatile art of comparison and association as a means of nurturing our impulse to connect and to discover."

22 "The philosopher and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard deChardin (1881-1955) theorized that humankind strives toward mental, social, and spiritual unity – perhaps like the smallest atomies, which exhibit the behavior of what might be called 'striving'. They strive to be fulfilled."

23 "In order to grow and survive we need to uncover some common ground to talk about what we're experiencing from our unique viewpoints. We need to develop a means of communicating with one another that is sensitive to - and even tolerant of - contrasting points of view. Our talking must 'take into account', rather than talk in defense.

24 "As we grow to understand our union with nature, we will discover that we are connected in process to all events and elements of nature we systematically study."

25 "The outcome is fairly clear – providing you regard certain traditional concepts of totality, unity, oneness, creation, and other concepts of integration as being clear."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite