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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Breaking the Mind Barrier
Todd Siler
A brilliantly original way to think about art, science, the mind, and the universe.

1 "This ageless thought of a 'world without end' implies that the brain, like its celestial godmother, is a continuum - a timeless world in which matter and energy are the same throughout. The microtime, with which we measure the birth and death of our bodies, and the macrotime, which we use to determine the birthdays and the deathdates of celestial bodies, are conceptual illusions. Matter continually reorganizes itself in one form or another."

2 "The pre-Socratic philosophers of the sixth century, b.c. intimated many of our current notions about consciousness, matter, and the fundamental principles of the world. The Greek astronomer Anaximander, for instance, conceived of reality as a whole whose parts are all interdependent."

3 "He treated the microscopic scene as though it were alive and were inhabited by beings which felt and did and hoped and tried even as we do....A nerve-cell...'groped to find another'!....Listening to him I asked myself how far this capacity for anthro-pomorphizing might not contribute to his success as an investigator." Charles Sherrington, Nobel laureate, writing about Nobel laureate Santiago Ramon y Cajal

4 "For millenia, each picture or model of the microcosm and macrocosm has rendered a different aspect of our connection with particulate matter and celestial systems….They speak of our cosmic connection in poetic verse, as in the prophetic Indian Vedic scriptures….Theoretical studies in modern cosmology sing of this connection in verses of mathematical equations, interlacing insights from astrophysics and astronomical observations."

5 "It is because of the interactions of all the parts of any society (of living cells or galaxies) that they work."

6 "A creative system can accommodate abrupt changes and catastrophes with its agility. All life forms are creative. The cosmos is a form of life – one that is as agile as the life forms it has created."

7 "The 'Wheel of the Law' sculpture in Buddhist art explores with astute realism the unproportioned, timeless space. Similarly, 'The Wheels of the Sun Chariot' of Surya Deul Temple at Konorak, in northeastern India, interprets time as a cyclical form – where beginnings and ends are arbitrary points. You will find similar interpretations in particle physics and cosmology which postulate a cyclical pattern to the creation/re-creation of the cosmos. The reason for this repetition of themes may rest on one straightforward fact: Our minds, like the universe, probably undergo similar cyclical transformations in their evolution. And so everything we theorize regarding this pattern of evolution takes place inside us. Since the human mind invented these notions, they probably reflect in form and in substance the nature of the mind itself."

8 "We must recognize that our development and survival ride on our ability to experience life as an integrated community of explorers…..We need to understand the creative potential of people, processes, and information living connected and exercising our gifts as wise, ethical creatures."

9 "If we are in fact the 'physical reflections' of the cosmos, then knowledge of the cosmos is applicable to our self-knowledge. This knowledge makes life meaningful."

10 "In order to grow and survive we need to uncover some common ground to talk about what we're experiencing from our unique viewpoints. We need to develop a means of communicating with one another that is sensitive to - and even tolerant of - contrasting points of view. Our talking must 'take into account', rather than talk in defense.

11 "Although nature's forms are varied, the vast differences of form are contrasted by a simplicity of likeness in process. Our internal processes mirror nature's internal processes and vice versa."

12 "The zero concept is not only a mathematical discovery, but was originally conceived as a symbol of Brahman. Zero is not a single cipher, positive or negative (growth and decay), but the unifying point of indifference and the matrix of the All and the None. Zero produces all figures, but it is itself not limited to certain value….Zero is the transition-point between opposites, it symbolizes the true balance within divergent tendencies." Betty Heimann, 'Facets of Indian Thought'

13 "Once you accept the world-view where everything is connected, no aspect of reality is seen as being separate and unrelated. Neither the universals nor the particulars of matter and nonmatter, brain and mind – nor the languages we use to describe these things, science and art – are seen to be in conflict with one another. There is only confluence."

14 "The mandala emphasizes the process of spiritual growth, of the mind's evolution echoing the evolution of the universe."

15 "Although nature's forms are varied, the vast differences of form are contrasted by a simplicity of likeness in process. Our internal processes mirror nature's internal processes and vice versa."

16 "Our minds ARE nature, in every detail and behavior. We are 'processmorphs' of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, wind storms, geological and atmospheric disturbances, etc. Even though we don't look like any of these things in our outward appearances, the processes of our thoughts, feelings, and actions resemble these and other phenomena....perhaps humankind is also a way for nature to know itself."

17 "It is the combined insights from various views that determine the clearest picture of the brain-universe."

18 "Current studies in neuroscience that are used to determine cell sociology in groups, cell-neuron connectivity, and plasticity can be discussed in the context of the organization of the universe, which includes its rules of assemblage and behavior. As we read about stellar populations or the special features of a select cluster of galaxies, we can infer things about the populations of nerve cells and ganglia of which we are composed and which compose our worlds of mind. The implication is that knowledge of the brain is not merely supplementary information for studying the cosmos – it is key."

19 "Subatomic particles are not 'things' that build one upon the other until they form large aggregates. Rather, they are part of a union of relations."

20 "Like the language of pure mathematics, which can describe abstract nth-dimensional processes and forms, the symbolic language of metaphorms is also multidimensional. It operates simultaneously on many planes of associations, nuances, and meanings."

21 "Each theory may have evolved from a unique angle of analysis, but ultimately our theories form from - and refer to - a sort of unified, collective mind."

22 "The poles open two paths, which both lead to ONE goal at the end." Wassily Kandinsky, painter

23 "We're born informed."

24 "Out of all things there comes a unity, and out of a unity all things." Heraclitus

25 "We are a manifestation of the universe - one of its many forms...as numerous ancient cultures remind us and as contemporary science observes. We share the properties and processes of the universe - in all its manifestations."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite