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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A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art & Science
Michael S. Schneider
Explores the mathematical principles made visible in flowers, shells, crystals, plants, and the human body, and expressed in the symbolic language of myths and fairytales, in religion, art and architecture.

1 "The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal." William James (1842-1910), American psychologist and philosopher

2 "Nature itself rests on an internal foundation of archetypal principles symbolized by numbers, shapes, and their arithmetic and geometric relationships."

3 "The manifest cosmos is an approximation of its mathematical ideal."

4 "Each circle you see or create is a profound statement about the transcendental nature of the uni-verse."

5 "In nature the One circle gives rise to the Many, in the shapes and orbits of the planets, in the roundness of berries, nests, eyeballs, and the cycles of time."

6 "This knowledge of ourselves as part of a harmonious whole is now dimmed to everyday awareness, but it can be part of a great vision to be reclaimed."

7 "In what way can a mathematical ratio permeate our souls? Through beauty. A deep part of ourselves recognizes in flowers and dancers the beauty of the mathematical infinite and sees in it the endlessness of our own depths. Natural beauty resonates with the archetypal nature within us."

8 "To know the order of nature, and regard the universe as orderly is the highest function of the mind." Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), Dutch philosopher

9 "The harmony of the world is made manifest in Form and Number, and the heart and soul and all the poetry of Natural Philosophy are embodied in the concept of mathematical beauty." Sir D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson (1860-1948), Scottish zoologist, classical scholar

10 "It is stirring to realize that each of the physical structures of the universe is a repackaging of the others. We hold the proportions of the solar system in our hands, face, and whole body."

11 "Our mind divides the world into heaven and earth, day and night, light and darkness, right and left, man and woman, I and you – and the more strongly we sense the separation between these poles, whatever they may be, the more powerfully do we also sense their unity." Karl Menninger (1892-1990), American psychiatrist

12 "Only a self-imposed illusion of separateness keeps us from recognizing our own center of awareness and identity with the One"

13 "A circle [is] the traditional symbol of heaven, wholeness, and unity."

14 "Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy laws my services are bound." William Shakespeare

15 "What nature creates has eternity in it." Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991), American author

16 "Cognizance of harmony in nature and mathematics attunes us to harmony at our own core."

17 "Men must be aware of the wisdom and the strength that is in them if their understanding is to be expanded." Vauvenargues (1715-1747), French soldier, moralist

18 "The simple beauty of a crystal is, in part, its strict mathematical order. Through the study of number and shape we begin to apprehend the cosmic order."

19 "I am One that transorms into Two…I am Two that transforms into Four…I am Four that transforms into Eight…After this I am One again." Egyptian (Hermopolitan) creation myth

20 "That's why the world is called a UNIverse (Latin for 'one turn'). No other universes exist except within this One, which Plato refers to as the 'whole of wholes'."

21 "Archetypes are universal in that they are the same to everyone everywhere and in every era."

22 "Sacred space is within us…Wherever we go we bring the sacred within us to the sacred around us."

23 "The orderly process of geometric construction shows us the steps nature metaphorically uses to clothe the archetypal patterns. The geometer gradually learns to see the world of common experience as governed by laws of nature that can be understood as expressions of mathematical archetypes."

24 "Our deepest awareness, the power that motivates all awareness, which we can call the 'Power to Be Conscious,' of which we are not ordinarily cognizant, recognizes its own transcendental nature in the geometry of the circle. For this reason the circle has been a universal symbol of an ideal perfection and divine state that always exists around and within us whether we acknowledge it or not."

25 "Human nature mirrors outer nature."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite