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

1 "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."

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

3 "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."

4 "He treated the microscopic scene as though it were alive and were inhabited by beings which felt and did and hoped and tried even as we do....A nerve-cell...'groped to find another'!....Listening to him I asked myself how far this capacity for anthro-pomorphizing might not contribute to his success as an investigator." Charles Sherrington, Nobel laureate, writing about Nobel laureate Santiago Ramon y Cajal

5 "As open systems, the brain and cosmos 'live' in the way we know all life-giving processes live - 'experiencing' their environments through flowing exchanges of information, matter, and energy."

6 "The pre-Socratic philosophers of the sixth century, b.c. intimated many of our current notions about consciousness, matter, and the fundamental principles of the world. The Greek astronomer Anaximander, for instance, conceived of reality as a whole whose parts are all interdependent."

7 "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."

8 "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'

9 "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."

10 "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."

11 "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."

12 "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."

13 "We are a manifestation of the universe - one of its many forms...as numerous ancient cultures remind us and as contemporary science observes. We share the properties and processes of the universe - in all its manifestations."

14 "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.

15 "From cell-assemblies to thought-assemblies the cosmos unfolds inside us – and we, inside it."

16 "The 'Wheel of the Law' sculpture in Buddhist art explores with astute realism the unproportioned, timeless space. Similarly, 'The Wheels of the Sun Chariot' of Surya Deul Temple at Konorak, in northeastern India, interprets time as a cyclical form – where beginnings and ends are arbitrary points. You will find similar interpretations in particle physics and cosmology which postulate a cyclical pattern to the creation/re-creation of the cosmos. The reason for this repetition of themes may rest on one straightforward fact: Our minds, like the universe, probably undergo similar cyclical transformations in their evolution. And so everything we theorize regarding this pattern of evolution takes place inside us. Since the human mind invented these notions, they probably reflect in form and in substance the nature of the mind itself."

17 "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."

18 "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."

19 "The mandals [is] a sacred, mystical symbol of the universe."

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

21 "We all work near and drink from the same reservoir of imagination that forms from our collective creativity."

22 "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."

23 "This ageless thought of a 'world without end' implies that the brain, like its celestial godmother, is a continuum - a timeless world in which matter and energy are the same throughout. The microtime, with which we measure the birth and death of our bodies, and the macrotime, which we use to determine the birthdays and the deathdates of celestial bodies, are conceptual illusions. Matter continually reorganizes itself in one form or another."

24 "Most opposites, when stretched far enough apart, paradoxically come full circle only to be rejoined at some point of confluence, some moment or area of tenseless harmony."

25 "We're born informed."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite