Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art & Science
Michael S. Schneider
Explores the mathematical principles made visible in flowers, shells, crystals, plants, and the human body, and expressed in the symbolic language of myths and fairytales, in religion, art and architecture.

1 "Polar tension occurs in all natural and human affairs as any opposing relationship, contrast, difference. It is at the root of our pernicious notion of separateness from each other, from nature, and from our own inherent divinity. The paradox of the Dyad (polarity) is that while it appears to separate from unity, its opposite poles remember their source and attract each other in an attempt to merge and return to that state of unity."

2 "The simple beauty of a crystal is, in part, its strict mathematical order. Through the study of number and shape we begin to apprehend the cosmic order."

3 "The orderly process of geometric construction shows us the steps nature metaphorically uses to clothe the archetypal patterns. The geometer gradually learns to see the world of common experience as governed by laws of nature that can be understood as expressions of mathematical archetypes."

4 "The perfection of mathematical beauty is such that whatsoever is most beautiful and regular is also found to be most useful and excellent." Sir D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson

5 "The ancients were aware of nature's geometric language and purposefully employed it in their arts, crafts, architecture, philosophy, myth, natural science, religion, and structures of society from prehistoric times through the Renaissance. The world today needs scholars and researchers who give the ancients credit for their intelligence and understanding, to view their art and entire cultures in light of its mathematical symbolism."

6 "The ancient mathematical philosophers probed into the archetypal patterns and found them in nature."

7 "'Harmony' (from the Greek 'harmonia', signifying 'fitting together') in music, as elsewhere in the cosmos, comes from the reconciliation of opposites by a third element, bringing them all a new unity."

8 "That's why the world is called a UNIverse (Latin for 'one turn'). No other universes exist except within this One, which Plato refers to as the 'whole of wholes'."

9 "It is as if the universe is one single organism, motivated by a single power, developing in many ways to gradually become aware of itself through the awareness of the creatures and forces it produces."

10 "What nature creates has eternity in it." Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991), American author

11 "Consistent themes in these [mythic] stories emerge quickly: opposites are balanced by a third, mediating element that reconciles a conflict, healing the split of polarity and transforming separate parts into a complete and successful whole."

12 "In nature the One circle gives rise to the Many, in the shapes and orbits of the planets, in the roundness of berries, nests, eyeballs, and the cycles of time."

13 "The mathematical rules of the universe are visible to men in the form of beauty." John Mitchell (b. 1933), English geometer and philosopher

14 "Our deepest awareness, the power that motivates all awareness, which we can call the 'Power to Be Conscious,' of which we are not ordinarily cognizant, recognizes its own transcendental nature in the geometry of the circle. For this reason the circle has been a universal symbol of an ideal perfection and divine state that always exists around and within us whether we acknowledge it or not."

15 "Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were…. and so it is in everything where Power moves." Black Elk, Native American elder

16 "Each circle you see or create is a profound statement about the transcendental nature of the uni-verse."

17 "The world is single and it came into being from the center outwards." Joannes Stobaeus (5th century), Greek anthologist

18 "The central secret is to know that the various human passions and feelings and emotions in the human heart are not wrong in themselves; only they have to be carefully controlled and given a higher and higher direction, until they attain the very highest condition of excellence." Vivekananda (1863-1902), Indian spiritual teacher

19 "Through meditation and self-contemplation we can seek a more subtle center, our higher or deeper self, the power that motivates the actions, emotions, thoughts, and desires. This center of gravity is not in space but in pure awareness, the 'place' in you now aware of these very words."

20 "Only a self-imposed illusion of separateness keeps us from recognizing our own center of awareness and identity with the One"

21 "Archetypes are universal in that they are the same to everyone everywhere and in every era."

22 "Numbers, as archetypal structural constants of the collective unconscious, possess a dynamic, active aspect which is especially important to keep in mind. It is not what we can do with numbers but what they do to our consciousness that is essential." Marie-Louise vonFranz, Jungian psychologist and writer

23 "Intuition is the clear conception of the whole at once." Johann Lavater (1741-1801), Swiss poet, mystic and philosopher

24 "Studying, contemplating, and living in agreement with universal principles is a social responsibility and can be a spiritual path. It is becoming clear that when we cooperate with nature's ways we succeed; when we resist, we struggle. Implications for our environmental crises are obvious."

25 "I am One that transorms into Two…I am Two that transforms into Four…I am Four that transforms into Eight…After this I am One again." Egyptian (Hermopolitan) creation myth

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite