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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One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from World Faiths
Matthew Fox
In this book I try to go to the core of human religious traditions as we know them to find the spirituality that is there. It is clear that once we return to the depth or core of religion we find much more than dogmas, concepts, institutions, commands. We find a striving for experience of the Divine, however that be spoken of, we find both form and formlessness, male and female, experience and practice. We also find that in their core and depth we do not encounter many different religions so much as one experience that is expressed variously and with great diversity and color flowing in the name of different traditions and cultures.

1 "The Spirit is the supreme abode wherein dwells all that moves and breathes and sees….His radiance illumines all Creation." Mundaka Upanishad

2 "For primal peoples, because the landscape itself is sacred it therefore embodies a divinity that it shares with everything that is part of nature, including human beings, animals, plants, rocks….everything." Jamake Highwater

3 "Human life is one and all men are members one of another." Martin Luther King

4 "The African universe is conceived as a unified spiritual totality….all being within it is organically interrelated and interdependent." Dona Richards, African-American philosopher

5 "Your own Mind shines forth, unobscured, for all living beings. Your own Mind is originally pure and clear as the sky. Your original wisdom is as continuous and unstoppable as the current of a mighty river. To know whether or not this is true, look inside your own Mind." Pahmasambhava, Buddhist writer

6 "God is one, his glory multiplying in many forms." Raimundo Panikkar, 'The Vedic Experience'

7 "All men of wisdom have one religion; they all have one caste; they all behold the face of the One!" Dadu, 16th century Indian saint-poet

8 "The Hindu Scriptures say: 'The Self is self-luminous, vibrant energy and vigor, vitality, power, tranquility, wisdom and love. This is who you really are.'"

9 "God is breath. All that breathes resides in the Only Being." New Testament, John 4:24, Aramaic translation

10 "The seven principles that form the basis of Kwanza celebration all center around community. They include the following: self-determination for the community; collective work and responsibility; cooperative economics; the collective vocation of building the community; and creativity whose purpose is 'to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.'"

11 "Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg delivered an address in 1970 on 'The Meaning of Beauty in the Exact Sciences." In that talk he called mathematics 'the archetype of the beauty of the world', and he invoked the philosopher Plotinus, who said 'Beauty is the translucence, through the material phenomena, of the eternal splendor of the 'One'.'"

12 "The Shahadah is the Islamic prayer of unity: 'La illaha illa Ilah hu' (Nothing exists save God). It is like the Jewish prayer: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God, the Lord is One.'"

13 "The truth is that interdependence exists at the microcosmic and macrocosmic and psychic levels of existence."

14 "The earth is sacred. Therefore the actions of the earth are sacred. All things are interconnected."

15 "The Divinity we image is a light-filled, light-making, enlightening, warm, radiant, glorious face."

16 "In their core and depth we do not encounter many different religions so much as one experience that is expressed variously and with great diversity and color flowing in the name of different traditions and cultures."

17 "Everything teems with richness, everything aspires to ascend and be purified. Everything sings, celebrates, serves, develops, evolves, uplifts, aspires to be arranged in oneness." The Kabbalah

18 "The glory of humanity is to be a brilliant mirror or image of Divinity."

19 "Mechtild of Magdeburg said: 'God is not only fatherly. God is also mother who lifts her loved child from the ground to her knee.'"

20 "Beautiful you rise, O eternal living god! You are radiant, lovely, powerful. Your love is great, all-encompassing." Egyptian hymn, ca. 1550 bce

21 "There is something in the spirit of man that knows that the dualism, however apparently binding, runs out, exhausts itself, and leaves a core of assurance that the ultimate destiny of man is good." Howard Thurman

22 "Isness is God." Meister Eckhart

23 "Our imaginations are holy, the Holy Spirit works through us when we create and participate in the ongoing Creation of self, society, universe, and mind."

24 "The Goddess in all her manifestations was a symbol of the unity of all life in Nature." Marija Gimbutas, 'The Language of the Goddess'

25 "Each beautiful thing, a flower, the song of a bird, awakens in our soul the memory of our origin. Learn how to listen to the voice of beautiful things, to make us understand the voice of the soul." The Mevlevi Dervishes

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite