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

2 "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'.'"

3 "In the Gospel of John, the Christ says: 'I am the true vine. I am the resurrection. I am the gate. I am the good shepherd. I am the light of the world….I am the bread of life."

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

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

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

7 "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."

8 "God is a pure, clear One who is separate from all twoness." Meister Eckhart

9 "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

10 "God is a great underground river that no one can dam up and no one can stop." Meister Eckhart

11 "Creation is the extension of God. Creation is God encountered in time and space. Creation is the infinite in the garb of the finite. To attend to Creation is to attend to God." Ancient Rabbinic teaching

12 "Today we are told that atoms are not impenetrable – they are more like bubbles than like billiard balls and their linking up is what forms molecules, whose linking up forms cells, whose linking up forms organisms, whose linking up forms communities. Behold! Now we have a basis in physics once again to honor community."

13 "From the lowliest insect to the most perfect sage, there breathes the same Universal Spirit, which assumes innumerable forms." B. K. S. Iyengar, 'Light on Yoga'

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

15 "Ramakrishna teaches about the Divine Mother when he says: 'Whatever we see or think about is the manifestation of the Mother, of the Primordial Energy, the Primal Consciousness.'"

16 "There is a fundamental structure of interrelatedness and interdependability inherent in all living things, at microscopic levels of existence and in human society….The origin and goal of community, therefore, is the Mind of God, which is coming to Itself in time." Walter E. Fluker

17 "The Spirit who is in the body does not grow old and does not die, and no one can ever kill the Spirit who is everlasting. This is the real castle of Brahman wherein dwells all the love of the universe. It is Atman, pure Spirit, beyond sorrow, old age, and death." The Upanishads

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

19 "Muhammad said: 'All people are equal, as equal as the teeth of a comb.'"

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

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

22 "Self-sacrificing and forgiving compassion are the ultimate fulfillment of person-in-community and the ultimate revelation of the character of God." Martin Luther King

23 "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.'"

24 "Humanity is made, as the Hebrew Scriptures put it, in the image and likeness of God the Creator."

25 "We all possess a little fragment of the first bit of life on earth. Consequently, everything that's alive is related." David Brower

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite