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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Breaking the Mind Barrier
Todd Siler
A brilliantly original way to think about art, science, the mind, and the universe.

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

2 "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."

3 "Art and metaphor can speak with the voice of truth as spoken from nature's mouth and as informed by nature's eyes."

4 "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."

5 "If we are in fact the 'physical reflections' of the cosmos, then knowledge of the cosmos is applicable to our self-knowledge. This knowledge makes life meaningful."

6 "Although nature's forms are varied, the vast differences of form are contrasted by a simplicity of likeness in process. Our internal processes mirror nature's internal processes and vice versa."

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

8 "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."

9 "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.

10 "For millenia, each picture or model of the microcosm and macrocosm has rendered a different aspect of our connection with particulate matter and celestial systems….They speak of our cosmic connection in poetic verse, as in the prophetic Indian Vedic scriptures….Theoretical studies in modern cosmology sing of this connection in verses of mathematical equations, interlacing insights from astrophysics and astronomical observations."

11 "We are a manifestation of the universe - one of its many forms...as numerous ancient cultures remind us and as contemporary science observes. We share the properties and processes of the universe - in all its manifestations."

12 "We're born informed."

13 "Explorations in metaphorical thinking no doubt pre-date Hesiod in the eighth century b.c. Three special masters of this medium of communication (out of thousands over the millenia) include the Greek writer Aesop, the Roman poet Phaedrus and Leonardo daVinci – each of whom used the suggestive imagery of fables, to convey insights into the world of human nature. In more recent times, writers, artists, poets, educators, and scientists have systematically explored the versatile art of comparison and association as a means of nurturing our impulse to connect and to discover."

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

15 "A structure or system grows by means of itself."

16 "As open systems, the brain and cosmos 'live' in the way we know all life-giving processes live - 'experiencing' their environments through flowing exchanges of information, matter, and energy."

17 "We must recognize that our development and survival ride on our ability to experience life as an integrated community of explorers…..We need to understand the creative potential of people, processes, and information living connected and exercising our gifts as wise, ethical creatures."

18 "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."

19 "Subatomic particles are not 'things' that build one upon the other until they form large aggregates. Rather, they are part of a union of relations."

20 "Although nature's forms are varied, the vast differences of form are contrasted by a simplicity of likeness in process. Our internal processes mirror nature's internal processes and vice versa."

21 "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'

22 "Our minds ARE nature, in every detail and behavior. We are 'processmorphs' of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, wind storms, geological and atmospheric disturbances, etc. Even though we don't look like any of these things in our outward appearances, the processes of our thoughts, feelings, and actions resemble these and other phenomena....perhaps humankind is also a way for nature to know itself."

23 "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."

24 "Each theory may have evolved from a unique angle of analysis, but ultimately our theories form from - and refer to - a sort of unified, collective mind."

25 "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."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite