Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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

1 "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),

2 "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.'"

3 "Spirit is immortal; with it there is no past, no future, but an essential now. This necessarily implies that the present form of Spirit comprehends within it all earlier steps….The grades which Spirit seems to have left behind it, it still possesses in the depths of its present." Georg Hegel (1770-1831),

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

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

6 "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)

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

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

9 "In the realm of Being, the trace of The One establishes reality: existence is a trace of The One." Plotinus

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

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

12 "Whatever exists...has some share in the effulgent beauty of the One."

13 "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."

14 "In the view of Nicolas of Cusa, the mystery of God's infinity is best expressed by affirming that in God all contradictions are somehow reconciled."

15 "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'

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

17 "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."

18 "As God is the supernatural efficient cause of all created things, so God is also the supernatural final cause – the end or ultimate good toward which all creatures tend." Baruch Spinoza

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

20 "Love is everywhere in the universe – in all things which have their being from the bounty and generosity of God's creative love and which in return obey the law of love in seeking God or in whatever they do to magnify God's glory."

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

22 "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."

23 "The ancient philosophers, constrained as it were by the truth, when they asserted an infinite principle, asserted likewise that there was only one such principle." Thomas Aquinas

24 "Human kingdoms are established by divine providence." St. Augustine

25 "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,"

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite