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 "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."

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

3 "Man…was born a direct lineal descendant from a total effort of life, so that the species has an axial value and a pre-eminent dignity."

4 "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?"

5 "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

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

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

8 "The universe in its entirety must be regarded as one gigantic process, a process of becoming, of attaining new levels of existence and organisation." Julian Huxley

9 "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."

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 "Evolution, by becoming conscious of itself in the depths of ourselves, only needs to look at itself in the mirror to perceive itself in all its depths and to decipher itself."

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

13 "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."

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

15 "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."

16 "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."

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

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

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

20 "First the molecules of carbon compounds with their thousands of atoms symmetrically grouped; next the cell which, within a very small volume, contains thousands of molecules linked in a complicated system; then the metazoa in which the cell is no more than an almost infinitesimal element; and later the manifold attempts made sporadically by the metazoa to enter into symbiosis and raise themselves to a higher biological condition. And now, as a germination of planetary dimensions, comes the thinking layer which over its full extent develops and intertwines its fibres, not to confuse and neutralise them but to reinforce them in the living unity of a single tissue."

21 "Considered in its physical, concrete reality, the stuff of the universe cannot divide itself but, as a kind of gigantic 'atom', it forms in its totality…the only real indivisible."

22 "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."

23 "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."

24 "No element could move and grow except with and by all the others with itself."

25 "If there were no real internal propensity to unite, even at a prodigiously rudimentary level – indeed in the molecule itself – it would be physically impossible for love to appear higher up, with us, in 'hominised' form."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite