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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1 "The mandala is a symbol which combines both the journey and its destination, the ideas of differentiation and the oneness of all things, the 'unus mundus'. Examples still persist from Paleolithic times as, for instance, in Rhodesian rock engravings. Such images, when they occur in modern dreams, are thus spontaneous re-creations of the most basic religious symbol known to humanity." Ariadne's Clue, A Guide to the Symbols of Humankind (Anthony Stevens)

2 "Mandalas have been used by many cultures to represent the creation of the universe. Carl Jung has theorized that mandalas represent centering, the unification of parts of the psyche." Seeing With the Mind's Eye (Mike Samuels, M.D. and Nancy Samuels)

3 "Although 'wholeness' seems at first sight to be nothing but an abstract idea, it is nevertheless empirical in so far as it is anticipated by the psyche in the form of spontaneous or autonomous symbols. These are the quaternity or mandala symbols, which occur not only in the dreams of modern people who have never heard of them, but are widely disseminated in the historical records of many peoples and many epochs. Their significance as symbols of unity and totality is amply confirmed by history as well as by empirical psychology. What at first looks like an abstract idea stands in reality for something that exists and can be experienced, that demonstrates its a priori presence spontaneously." Collected Works (Carl Jung)

4 "Mandalas are also formed with the hands, danced, and represented in music (for instance Bach's 'Art of Fugue')….When a mandala is being formed, everything round and square known to man works on it too. But the impetus for its formation comes from the unconscious archetype." C. G. Jung: Letters, 1951-1961 (Gerhard Adler and Aniela Jaffe, editors)

5 “The most famous image of the Self is the mandala. Mandala means ‘circle’ in Sanskrit, and usually refers to a sacred circle.” Hidden Wisdom (Richard Smoley and Jay Kinney)

6 "At one with the physical world around them, they (Native Americans) perceived the interconnectedness of all things, the circular nature of the universe, and the rightness of both birth and death in the overall scheme of creation." Seven Paths to God, The Ways of the Mystic (Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.)

7 "The Mandala was developed as a reminder of the direct perception of reality." Mandala (Jose and Miriam Arguelles)

8 "There are times when doubts over me steal, but I know Thou are there and awake. Thou art – and art – and I feel no surging of aeons can shake Thee – Life is a ring, I have found – I am child, boy, man, more – I learn the circle is rich, the full round complete in its perfect return." Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), German poet The Choice Is Always Ours (Dorothy B. Phillips, Chief Editor)

9 "In one sense, all sacred religious structures partake of the Mandala principle: the Egyptian and Mexican pyramids; the temples of India, Buddhist stupas; Islamic mosques; the pagodas of China and Japan; and the tipis and kivas of North America; in the churches and cathedrals of Christianity." Mandala (Jose and Miriam Arguelles)

10 "Represent Unity by a circle; at the Present Moment, outside Time, a scission occurs and forms two streams: one goes to the left, away from the other, which goes to the right; each runs on a half of the circle, the Chinese Yin and Yang. On the opposite side, the antagonists rediscover each other and unite. The circle, or cycle, has never ceased to be, the scission has broken nothing…..This absurdity is the Truth." R. A. Schwaller deLubicz, 'Nature Word', Lindisfarne Nature Word (R. A. Schwaller deLubicz)

11 "The natural image to depict the Infinite's inclusiveness is a circle, an all-including circle that encompasses our finite universe and out of which it is impossible to fall. 'In Him we live and move and have our being', Paul tells us, and Augustine added, 'God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.'" The Soul of Christianity: Restoring the Great Tradition (Huston Smith)

12 "As a cosmogenic model, the Mandala is a synchronous, self-renewing whole." Mandala (Jose and Miriam Arguelles)

13 "All over the world one can find temples constructed as three-dimensional mandalas. One can also find labyrinths, which are circular walkways created from sacred geometry. Walking in them allows you to become part of an integrating mandala reflecting universal wholeness." Mandala, Luminous Symbols for Healing (Judith Cornell, Ph.D.)

14 "Jung, in his studies of the mandala geometric designs which arise from the depths of the unconscious, came to the conclusion that in these mandalas one can find the expression of the Anthropos, or 'complete man.'" The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead (Stephan A. Hoeller)

15 "The native people of North America have a practice known as council. Sitting in a council circle is fundamentally about listening and paying attention in a profound way." Stone Age Wisdom, The Healing Principles of Shamanism (Tom Crockett)

16 "The mandala embraces both directions, which is why it is the consummate archetype of East and West alike. As the 'alpha and omega', the center is a union of opposites – a reflection of the true higher Self." ." Michael Flanagin, Ph.D., 'The Mandala in Jungian Psychotherapy' Mandala, Luminous Symbols for Healing (Judith Cornell, Ph.D.)

17 "The mandala as a symbol of the self is the psyche's expression of its fundamental orientation to wholeness. Not only is it an expression of the goal, but it also indicates that the psyche has a built-in dynamism moving it toward its objective." Spiritual Pilgrims, Carl Jung & Teresa of Avila (John Welch, O. Carm.)

18 "The circle is a symbol of wholeness, totality and individuation." Shadows of the Sacred: Seeing Through Spiritual Illusions (Frances Vaughan, Ph.D.)

19 "In 1918-1919 Jung sketched a circular drawing in his notebook every morning. These mandalas gave him insight into the development of his personality, a sense of the meanings growing in him. 'My mandalas', he wrote, 'were cryptograms concerning the state of the self which were presented to me anew each day. In them I saw the self – that is, my whole being – actively at work.' ('Memories, Dreams, Reflections')" Spiritual Pilgrims, Carl Jung & Teresa of Avila (John Welch, O. Carm.)

20 "We know from experience that the protective circle, the mandala, is the traditional antidote for chaotic states of mind." Collected Works (Carl Jung)

21 "It is the Mandala that can burst the fetters of man's internal bondage and conflict by leading him to a viewpoint from which the various polarities may be harmonized." Mandala (Jose and Miriam Arguelles)

22 "The great wheels turn in cyclic motion, bearing all things toward one consummation." Regents of the Seven Spheres (H. K. Challoner)

23 “’The circle is the emblem of our religion’, says Rolling Thunder. ‘It’s in all things that have life.’” Hidden Wisdom (Richard Smoley and Jay Kinney)

24 "The idea of rotation is the keystone of most transcendent symbols: of the mediaeval 'Rota'; of the Wheel of Buddhist transformations; of the zodiacal cycle; of the myth of the Gemini; and of the 'opus' [work] of the alchemists. The idea of the world as a labyrinth or of life as a pilgrimage leads to the idea of the 'centre' as a symbol of the absolute goal of Man – Paradise regained….Pictorially, this central point is sometimes identified with the geometric centre of the symbolic circle." A Dictionary of Symbols (J. E. Cirlot)

25 "Universally inherent in man's consciousness, the Mandala has continually appeared in his constructions, rituals and art forms." Mandala (Jose and Miriam Arguelles)

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite