Many / One

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The Great Ideas, A Syntopicon, vol. 1
Mortimer J. Adler, editor

1 "Every act of understanding or thought involves imagination."

2 "The divine being is all being simultaneously." Thomas Aquinas

3 "From self-evident propositions, by necessary consequences, as incontestible as those in mathematics, the measures of right and wrong might be made out, to any one that will apply himself with the same indifferency and attention to the one as he does to the other of these sciences." John Locke (1629-1695)

4 "All things partake of The One in absolute dependence."

5 "Although the essences or forms of things are many, yet the truth of the divine intellect is one." Thomas Aquinas

6 "Immortality is, in a way, enjoyed in this life, for it is a present participation in eternity through the mind's knowledge of God."

7 "Justice is esential to the very life and health of the soul."

8 "The ultimate measure of justice in all human institutions and acts, as well as in the characters of men, is not itself a man-made standard, but rather a natural principle of justice, holding for all men at all times everywhere."

9 "Man dies in the flesh to be reborn in the spirit. Man, composite of soul and body, perishes as do all things which are subject to dissolution; but the soul itself, a simple spiritual substance, is immortal, living on after its union with the body is dissolved."

10 "The good of nothing less than the whole collectively or of all distributively can be taken as the common or general good."

11 "If we attentively consider the constant regularity, order, and concatenation of natural things, the surprising magnificence, beauty, and perfection of the larger, and the exquisite contrivance of the smaller parts of the creation, together with the exact harmony and correspondence of the whole,….I say if we consider all these things, and at the same time attend to the meaning and import of the attributes, one, eternal, infinitely wise, good, and perfect, we shall clearly perceive that they belong to the Spirit who 'works all in all', and 'by whom all things consist.'" George Berkeley (1685-1745), 'The Principles of Human Knowledge'

12 "Whatever the soul possesses, to that she comes bearing life." Socrates, quoted in Plato's 'Phaedo'

13 "The tendency of each nature is somehow proportionate to its capacity. If man's restless search for knowledge and happiness can be quieted only by the possession of the infinite truth and goodness which is God, then man's intellect and will must somehow be as infinite in nature as they are in tendency."

14 "God is the infinite and eternal substance of all finite existences, an absolute and unchanging ONE underlying the finite modes in which it variably manifests itself."

15 "The successive phases of Spirit that animate the Nations…are themselves only steps in the development of the one Universal Spirit, which through them elevates and completes itself to a self-comprehending totality." Georg Hegel (1770-1831),

16 "God…is intimately present to our minds, producing in them all that variety of ideas or sensations which continually affect us." George Berkeley (1685-1753), 'The Principles of Human Knowledge'

17 "Charity, according to its very nature, causes peace; for love is a unitive force." Thomas Aquinas

18 "The ancients did not doubt that men could choose and, through choice, exercise some control over the disposition of their lives. Tacitus, for example…claims that 'the wisest of the ancients leave us the capacity of choosing our life."

19 "Nothing is future to God. Everything that has ever happened or ever will is simultaneously together in the eternal present of the divine vision."

20 "Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions." John Locke (1629-1695)

21 "Only God, only an infinite being, can satisfy man's infinite craving for all the good there is."

22 "Providence connects each one with its proper order." Boethius, quoted by Thomas Aquinas

23 "The moral law is universally and equally binding on all persons….the moral law commands us to respect the dignity of the human person, ourselves and others alike,"

24 "The absolute good is, as in the 'Divine Comedy', the final cause or ultimate end of the motions of the universe. It is 'the Alpha and Omega', Dante says, 'of every scripture that Love reads to me.'"

25 "In Aristotle's cosmology, the circular motions of the celestial spheres, and through them all other cycles of natural change, are sustained eternally by the prime mover, which moves all things by the attraction of its perfect being."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite