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 "When White Buffalo Calf Woman came among us bringing the Sacred Pipe which represents wholeness and holiness – the respectful honoring of our unity with all things – she reminded us of its importance for the continuance of Life itself. Ken Carey in 'Return of the Bird Tribes' brings us her words: 'Creation does not take place where there is a scattering and dissipation of energies,' she explained, 'Creation requires a gathering together and focusing of your power within a circle of commitment – like a seed, an egg, a womb or a marriage. If you would create and not destroy, you must remember always the Sacred Hoop. Consider wisely the ways in which you would use your power and then around those ways draw the sacred circle of commitment. In the warm atmosphere of that circle, the power of love builds and builds like a storm above the wet summer prairie until the circle can hold no more and explodes in the conception of the new." Brooke Medicine Eagle, Native American healer, 'Creating a Path of Beauty' The Fabric of the Future (M. J. Ryan, editor)

3 "The unconscious can be reached and expressed only by symbols, and art, myth, dream, and fantasy, with their symbolic propensities, are effective psychopomps, leading the mind to an anamnesis of the origins of psychic life. The result of this anamnesis (an 'unforgetting' or rediscovery) is, on the one hand, an accession to power and vitality resultant from this integration. On the other hand, the mind experiences a perception of something akin to essential form and divinity at the heart of the creation and begins to sense an underlying acausal pattern of continuous creation. The two aspects coalesce in spontaneous images, often taking the form of a mandala and emphasizing a unifying centrality surrounded by a symmetrical quaternary or circular structure suggesting a microcosmic-macrocosmic identity between creature and the cosmic creation." The Strong Eye of Shamanism, A Journey Into the Caves of Consciousness (Robert E. Ryan, Ph.D.)

4 "A circle [is] the traditional symbol of heaven, wholeness, and unity." A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art & Science (Michael S. Schneider)

5 "Circular is the matrix of the perfect form." Collected Works (Carl Jung)

6 "Everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the power of the world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round." Black Elk (1863-1950), Native American elder A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art & Science (Michael S. Schneider)

7 "The mandala symbolizes the cosmos, and the center of the mandala represents the axis of the universe." Seeing With the Mind's Eye (Mike Samuels, M.D. and Nancy Samuels)

8 "The Universe is boundless and unlimited, a circle whose circumference is everywhere." Encyclopedia of Ancient and Forbidden Knowledge (Zolar)

9 "Even a pebble or a tiny insect is gathered up in the sacred hoop." Leonard Crow Dog (Sioux Native American), American Indian Myths and Legends (Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz, editors)

10 “The circle is a symbol of the psyche (even Plato described the psyche as a sphere).” Aniela Jaffe, ‘Symbolism in the Visual Arts’ Man and His Symbols (Carl Jung)

11 "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." Breaking the Mind Barrier (Todd Siler)

12 "The circle is a symbol of completeness; as indicated by the words, 'The Lord thy God is One.' (Mark 12:29)." Edgar Cayce Symbols, Guiding Lights Along the Journey of Life (Kathleen R. Prata)

13 "In order for this world to fulfill itself, we must interact together, forming a full circle of reality, a great ballet of spirit and experience, choreographed perfectly to afford each of us a starring role in the game of Life." Spirit Guides (Iris Belhayes)

14 "The mandala form is universal and deeply fixed in our psyche." Jeanne Miles, American artist Parabola, the Magazine of Myth and Tradition (various)

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 "In its most elevated form, the sacred circle mirrors an illumined state of consciousness through a symbolic pattern – making the invisible visible. It is meant to draw both creator and viewer into an encounter with animating sources of numinous energy." Mandala, Luminous Symbols for Healing (Judith Cornell, Ph.D.)

17 "Sacred consciousness, of which the Mandala is a structural model, conforms to the Hermetic statement, 'God is an intelligent sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.'" Mandala (Jose and Miriam Arguelles)

18 “O great, greatest, incomprehensible fabric of the world, formed in a circle!” ‘Secret Inscription’ in the Great Magic Papyrus of Paris Collected Works (Carl Jung)

19 "Among the Chinese, the infinite being is frequently symbolized as a point of light with concentric circles spreading outwards from it." A Dictionary of Symbols (J. E. Cirlot)

20 "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." A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art & Science (Michael S. Schneider)

21 "The soul has movement – First it moves in a circle, that is, it turns within itself and away from what is outside and there is an inner concentration of its intellectual powers. A sort of fixed revolution causes it to return from the multiplicity of externals, to gather in upon itself and then, in this undispersed condition, to join those who are themselves in a powerful union. From there the revolution brings the soul to the Beautiful and the Good, which is beyond all things, is one and the same, and has neither beginning nor end." Pseudo-Dionysius, The Complete Works (John Farina, Editor-in-Chief)

22 "The Mandala is a module exhibiting principles of organicity: interrelationship of parts, interdependence of systems, resonance and synchronicity." Mandala (Jose and Miriam Arguelles)

23 "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.)

24 “The circle has had enduring psychological significance from the earliest expressions of human consciousness to the most sophisticated forms of 20th-century art.” Aniela Jaffe, ‘Symbolism in the Visual Arts’ Man and His Symbols (Carl Jung)

25 "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)

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite