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 "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."

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

3 "The human group – all those races, those nations, those states whose entanglements defy the resourcefulness of anatomists and ethnologists alike – there are so many rays in that spectrum that we despair of analysing them. Let us try instead to perceive what this multiplicity represents when viewed as a whole. If we do this we will see that its disturbing aggregation is nothing but a multitude of sequins all sending back to each other by reflection the same light."

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

5 "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."

6 "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."

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

8 "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."

9 "To see life properly we must never lose sight of the unity of the biosphere that lies beyond the plurality and essential rivalry of individual beings."

10 "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."

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 "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."

13 "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."

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

15 "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

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

17 "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

18 "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."

19 "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."

20 "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."

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

22 "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."

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

24 "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."

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

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite