Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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Historical Atlas of World Mythology, vol. 1, The Way of the Animal Powers
Joseph Campbell

1 "'I' and 'that other' ARE one. Our sense and experience of separateness is of a secondary order, a mere effect of the way in which lightworld consciousness experiences objects within a conditioning frame of space and time. More deeply, more truly, we are of one life."

2 "The unfolding through time of all things from one is the simple message, finally, of every one of the creation myths reproduced in the pages of these volumes ['Historical Atlas of World Mythology'] – including that of our contemporary biological view."

3 "The first function of a mythology is to waken and maintain in the individual a sense of wonder and participation in the mystery of this finally inscrutable universe, whether undestood in Michelangelo's way as an effect of the will of an anthropomorphic creator, or in the way of our modern physical scientists – and of many of the leading Oriental religious and philosophical systems – as the continuously created dynamic display of an absolutely transcendent, yet universally immanent, 'mysterium tremendum et fascinans', which is the ground at once of the whole spectacle and of oneself."

4 "Tirawa, the One Above…sent certain animals to tell men that he showed himself through the beasts, and that from them, and from the stars and the sun, and the moon, man should learn. Tirawa spoke to man through his works." Chief Letakots-Lesa, Pawnee tribe Native American, 1904

5 "That One Above, who 'in the beginning', as the Pawnee chieftain Letakots-Lesa told Natalie Curtis in the first years of the present [twentieth] century,…'sent certain animals to tell man that he showed himself through the beasts, and that from them, and from the stars and the sun and the moon, man should learn. For all things speak of Tirawa.'"

6 "As the infant unfolds according to the laws of growth of its nature, so too has this human race evolved in the way of a single unfolding life through its millions of apparently separate individuals in all quarters of the earth."

7 "The formulae of a science remain dead unless there is someone…to read them as tokens, not only of practical information, but also of life's mystery: our biological schedule of the evolution of all living things, for example, to be viewed (as the atom is now being viewed) as denoting some kind of dynamic web of inseparable energy patterns, in which all of us, whether knowingly or unknowingly, are included."

8 "Uniform ideas, born among peoples unknown to each other, must have a common ground of truth." Giambattista Vico, 'The New Science' (1740)

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite