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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The Phenomenon of Man
Pierre Teilhard deChardin

1 "Each cell divides (by mitotic or amitotic division) and gives birth to another cell similar to itself. First, a single centre; then two. Everything in the subsequent development of life stems from this potent primordial phenomenon."

2 "The conditions of advance are these: global unity of mankind's noetic organisation or system of awareness, but a high degree of variety within that unity; love, with goodwill and full cooperation; personal integration and internal harmony; and increasing knowledge….We, mankind, contain the possibilities of the earth's immense future, and can realise more and more of them on condition that we increase our knowledge and our love." Julian Huxley

3 "What is the work of works for man if not to establish, in and by each one of us, an absolutely original centre in which the universe reflects itself in a unique and inimitable way? And those centres are our very selves and personalities."

4 "Though the proliferations of living matter are vast and manifold, they never lose their solidarity. A continuous adjustment co-adapts them from without. A profound equilibrium gives them balance within. Taken in its totality, the living substance spread over the earth – from the very first stages of its evolution – traces the lineaments of one single and gigantic organism."

5 "At this cross-roads where we cannot stop and wait because we are pushed forward by life – and obliged to adopt an attitude if we want to go on doing anything whatsoever – what are we going freely to decide?"

6 "All conscious energy is, like love (and because it is love), founded on hope."

7 "The stuff of the universe, woven in a single piece according to one and the same system, but never repeating itself from one point to another, represents a single figure. Structurally, it forms a Whole."

8 "Races, peoples and nations consolidate one another and complete one another by mutual fecundation."

9 "However far science pushes its discovery of the 'essential fire' and however capable it becomes some day of remodelling and perfecting the human element, it will always find itself in the end facing the same problem – how to give to each and every element its final value by grouping them in the unity of an organised whole."

10 "Man is not the centre of the universe as once we thought in our simplicity, but something much more wonderful – the arrow pointing the way to the final unification of the world in terms of life….This is nothing else than the fundamental vision."

11 "A truth once seen, even by a single mind, always ends up by imposing itself on the totality of human consciousness."

12 "No evolutionary future awaits man except in association with all other men. The dreamers of yesterday glimpsed that. And in a sense we see the same thing."

13 "However narrowly the 'heart' of an atom may be circumscribed, its realm is co-extensive, at least potentially, with that of every other atom."

14 "Love in all its subtleties is nothing more, and nothing less, than the more or less direct trace marked on the heart of the element by the psychical convergence of the universe upon itself. This, if I am not mistaken, is the ray of light which will help us to see more clearly around us."

15 "The inner face of the world is manifest deep within our human consciousness, and there reflects upon itself."

16 "Consciousness is a dimension to which it is inconceivable and even contradictory to ascribe a ceiling or to suppose that it can double back upon itself. There are innumerable critical points on the way, but a halt or a reversion is impossible, and for the simple reason that every increase of internal vision is essentially the germ of a further vision which includes all the others and carries still farther on."

17 "To reach the sun nothing less is required than the combined growth of the entire foliage. The outcome of the world, the gates of the future, the entry into the super-human – these are not thrown open to a few of the privileged nor to one chosen people to the exclusion of all others. They will open only to an advance of ALL TOGETHER, in a direction which ALL TOGETHER can join and find completion in a spiritual renovation of the earth."

18 "Man progresses by slowly elaborating from age to age the essence and the totality of a universe deposited within him."

19 "Each element of the cosmos is positively woven from all the others."

20 "In any domain – whether it be the cells of a body, the members of a society or the elements of a spiritual synthesis – union differentiates. In every organised whole, the parts perfect themselves and fulfill themselves."

21 "However tenuous it was, the first veil of organised matter spread over the earth could neither have established nor maintained itself without some network of influences and exchanges which made it a biologically COHESIVE whole. From its origin, the cellular nebula necessarily represented, despite its internal multiplicity, a sort of diffuse super-organism."

22 "Man…carries the world's fortune in himself and a limitless future stretches before him in which he cannot founder."

23 "Resonance to the All – the keynote of pure poetry and pure religion."

24 "In last analysis, somehow or other, there must be a single energy operating in the world."

25 "All around us, as far as the eye can see, the universe holds together, and only one way of considering it is really possible, that is, to take it as a whole, in one piece."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite