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

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 "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

4 "Scientists confirm with formulas what ancient seers knew through revelation: that the world's patterns and cycles are harmonious when seen as mathematical relationships…Where we see 'things', nouns and discrete objects, the ancient mathematical philosophers saw PROCESSES, verbs, transforming patterns meshed harmoniously."

5 "A common theme in worldwide mythology is the human as microcosm, a miniature model of the whole universe…this view was long considered a key to the understanding of the Self. The ancient philosophers saw their inner lives arranged according to nature's own harmonies, for in nature, geometry, and their spiritual lives they discovered the same principles."

6 "This knowledge of ourselves as part of a harmonious whole is now dimmed to everyday awareness, but it can be part of a great vision to be reclaimed."

7 "Our mind divides the world into heaven and earth, day and night, light and darkness, right and left, man and woman, I and you – and the more strongly we sense the separation between these poles, whatever they may be, the more powerfully do we also sense their unity." Karl Menninger (1892-1990), American psychiatrist

8 "We're not separate from the rest of the universe but are literally braided into it; we are a complete whole living in a greater complete whole."

9 "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

10 "There is no man alone, because every man is a microcosm, and carries the whole world about him." Sir Thomas Browne

11 "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."

12 "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."

13 "In what way can a mathematical ratio permeate our souls? Through beauty. A deep part of ourselves recognizes in flowers and dancers the beauty of the mathematical infinite and sees in it the endlessness of our own depths. Natural beauty resonates with the archetypal nature within us."

14 "Everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the power of the world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round." Black Elk (1863-1950), Native American elder

15 "Only by acknowledging both poles in the pair as inseparable can we overcome relative duality and get to their common source in the Monad. In our deepest Self we are beyond all polarity."

16 "The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal." William James (1842-1910), American psychologist and philosopher

17 "The eye is the first circle, the horizon which it forms is the second: and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American essayist and poet

18 "Geometric construction can be used as a form of meditation. Ponder the point as a seed enfolding a sacred mystery."

19 "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'."

20 "At the center of our Self, deep within our consciousness, is a calm 'I.' Like the calm 'eye' within a storm, our center is untouched by psychological turbulence. Peaceful, it observes all from the vantage of wisdom. Placid, it is unmoved by the turbulent weather of the surrounding psyche. When you're feeling connected with your center it seems very familiar. It feels like the Self you know best, like who and what you know your Self to be, calm in knowing without thinking. To be centered is not the same as being 'self-centered' or selfish. Instead, it is identity with the deep, divine power that motivates us."

21 "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

22 "Looking at a circle is like looking into a mirror. We create and respond irresistibly to circles, cylinders, and spheres because we recognize ourselves in them. The message of the shape bypasses our conscious mental circuitry and speaks directly to the quiet intelligence of our deepest being. The circle is a reflection of the world's – and our own – deep perfection, unity, design excellence, wholenes, and divine nature."

23 "The One underlies the Many."

24 "Islamic tradition holds that there are one hundred names of God but only ninety-nine are knowable and speakable, and they are called the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah. The highest pronounceable name is 'The Compassionate.'"

25 "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."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite