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

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

3 "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."

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 "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."

6 "Nature is an artist that works from within."

7 "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

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

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

10 "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."

11 "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."

12 "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."

13 "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."

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

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

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

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 "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."

19 "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."

20 "Scholars of Eastern mythology point out that the universe was conceived as a 'great mother' who bore many worlds - and in whose womb will form other worlds, in a continuous circle of novel creations.

21 "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."

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

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

24 "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.

25 "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."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite