Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Phenomena

"I live in the world, but I seem to myself not of it!.. Natural phenomena are but the shadows of the spirit form which they spring, as the human face changes under the influence of love, hatred or fear... When, O when, shall I be able to reveal its poetry? I see everywhere and in ever object unceasing motion, and in that motion a creative force forever and forever repeating and re-repeating the same simple process as to infinity. Through all nature the grand rhythms roll and heaven and earth are filled with the melody. Men are but boys chasing shadows. The spiritual significance of the world none seem to see - the infinite simplicity of its process are none care to understand." - H. B.

"I saw there was no boundary lines between vegetable and animal life, and hence no beginning nor end to either... All physical phenomena, at their best, are dull and murky till they come up into spiritual life. As an illustration that every law has its universality take the familiar law or principle that action and reaction are equal. What is this but reaping the whirlwind after one has sown the wind, or how does natural law differ from this teaching: ‘Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap?’ Are they aught but different strains in the great cosmic melody?" - H. B.

"The human mind feels restless and dissatisfied under the anxieties of ignorance. It longs for the repose of conviction; and to gain this repose it will often rather precipitate its conclusions than wait for the tardy lights of observation and experiment. There is such a thing, too, as the love of simplicity and system, a prejudice of the understanding which disposes it to include al the phenomena of nature under a few sweeping generalities, and indolence which loves to repose on the beauties of a theory rather than encounter the fatiguing detail of its evidences." - Thomas Chalmers

"We can learn to overcome temptations. The pleasure we derive from physical and material pleasures is to a great extent based on our own imagination. We subjectively build up our feeling of need for those phenomena by greatly exaggerating their inherent pleasure." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"At first glance, life appears meaningless, futile, full of contradictions and absurdities. But a deeper, meditating look uncovers beauty, order and harmony, revealing life as a supreme accomplishment of eternal wisdom... All of creation is an act of love and providence, a drama imbued with meaning... In simple words: Life is a mission of awareness and awakening and deep enlightenment. We are here to sense this divine presence beyond all phenomena. We are here to recognize a deep urge in our hearts to act in harmony, in conformity and in love with these divinities." - Mustapha Mahmoud

"There are no moral phenomena at all, but only a moral interpretation of phenomena." -

"Since there is really no duality, separation is unreal. Until duality is transcended and at-one-ment realized, enlightenment cannot be attained... All phenomena are your own ideas, self-conceived in the mind, like reflections in a mirror. To know whether or not this is true, look inside your own mind." - Padmasamabhava, "The Lotus-Born", aka Guru Rinpoche "Precious Guru" or Lopon Rinpoche or Padum in Tibet NULL

"Our obsession with test scores has produced distorted curriculum, teaching, and educational policy. As long as it continues, we will get the dual phenomena of rising test scores and too many illiterate and enumerate citizens." - Ernest Leroy Boyer

"If man can, with almost complete assurance, predict phenomena when he knows their laws, and if, even when he does not, he can still, with great expectation of success, forecast the future on the basis of his experience of the past, why, then, should it be regarded as a fantastic undertaking to sketch, with some pretense to truth, the future destiny of man on the basis of his history?" -

"One who has never been bewildered, who has never looked upon life and his own existence as phenomena which require answers and yet, paradoxically, for which the only answers are new questions, can hardly understand what religious experience is." -

"Do not, I beg you, look for anything behind phenomena. They are themselves their own lesson." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"The essence of music is revelation... There is something marvelous in music. I might almost say it is, in itself, a marvel. Its position is somewhere between the region of thought and that of a phenomena; a glimmering medium between mind and matter, related to both and yet differing from either. Spiritual, and yet requiring rhythm; material, and yet independent of space... It is spirit, yet in need of time, rhythm; it is matter, yet independent of space." - Heinrich Heine

"A divine power, mystery, delight, love - and a host of other unquantifiables - are personal realities proven only by themselves, by experience. Even scientific terms such as randomness hint at something ultimately unprovable by strictly scientific means. The phenomena encompass the discipline, not vice versa." - Stuart Litvak and A. Wayne Senzee

"It is the limitation of our awareness that would classify certain phenomena or abilities as metaphysical. Our awareness about what Nature is all about is grossly limited. Whatever is outside these limitations we tend to call metaphysical and then define as something beyond the scope of science and reason." - Kyriacos C. Markides

"We find the attribute of unchangingness always associated with the highest level of conscious experience. The experiences of truth are always similar. There is the changing mind, following time and change; and the unchanging mind behind it. There is the order of natural reasoning that goes with changing phenomena, and another above... The source of all truth lies in ‘unchangeable truth’ which is above the level of reason, and it is the internal perception of this unchangeable truth that endows man with the highest grade of being." - Maurice Nicoll

"What is the standpoint of materialism?... We look outwards (via the senses) for the explanation and cause of everything. We start from phenomena as absolute truth... Materialism gives sense and physical matter priority over mind or idea... The customary standpoint of scientific materialism is that primary matter is dead - and the universe is dead and nature is dead - and a dead nature can, of course, aim at nothing. It cannot be teleological." - Maurice Nicoll

"Maybe we’re just one experiment... Maybe we’re part of the creator’s great caldron, boiling with a wealth of phenomena that the most learned physicians and physicists are just beginning to figure out... I think it’s impossible to think our being here is the result of chance. I think we’re part of a master plan known only to the Creator." - Cory SerVaas

"There are three basic types of human transactions: (1) the threat system – “Give it to me or I’ll kill you” or today’s more sophisticated version: “How much will you pay me to stop harming or annoying you?”… (2) the exchange system, the narrow waveband of market transactions with which economics concerns itself, and (3) the integrative system, i.e., the transactions based on the love, sharing, and altruism of which human beings are capable in spite of the denial of these phenomena in economic theory." - Kenneth Boulding, fully Kenneth Ewart Boulding

"In this new world-conception all phenomena are related to one another. Each conditions and is in turn conditioned by the others, so that the world becomes an integrated whole – an integrated unity of interdependent parts." - L. Francis Edmunds

"Physically man can never arrive at more than a partial view, or better still, his partial view of the phenomena; to this extent all scientific conclusions would appear to be subjective. Morally considered, the matter goes further… the truth at which the experimenter arrives will depend on the character of his experience and on the power of his perception which he brings to bear upon the phenomenon. What we `see’ of the world depends on what we are capable of seeing." - L. Francis Edmunds

"With the perception and idea of wholeness, we stand within the phenomena." - L. Francis Edmunds

"Neurotic symptoms are not isolated phenomena which can be dealt with independently from moral problems." - Erich Fromm, fully Erich Seligmann Fromm

"The highest Wisdom would be to grasp that facts are the theory. Don’t look beyond the phenomena, they are the teaching." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"We cannot separate the phenomena of life from those of its environment." -

"Our whole universe is a universe of perceived phenomena in which all that is perceived embodies part of what is ourselves. A person and all his perceived world, thought, motives, and acts, are active manifestations of personality… personality represents a constant struggle to realize itself. This is why for personality there is always a now’ entering into the meaning of the past and the nature of the future." -

"Today scientists describe the universe in terms of two basic partial theories – the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. They are the great intellectual achievements of this century. The general theory of relativity describes the force of gravity and the large-scale structure of the universe (that is the structure on scales from only a few miles to as large as a million million million million miles – the size of the observable universe). Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, deals with phenomena on extremely small scales, such as a millionth of a millionth of an inch. Unfortunately, however, these two theories are known to be inconsistent with each other – they cannot both be correct." - Stephen Hawking

"`Time’ never changes because there is nothing to change. Change requires form; time has no form. Time is a concept of measurement, and concepts exist only as mental phenomena." - David R. Hawkins, fully David Ramon Hawkins

"Basic axiomatic positionalities of the ego: (1) Phenomena are either good or bad, right or wrong, just or unjust, fair or unfair. (2) The `bad’ deserve to be punished and the `good’ rewarded. (3) Things happen by accident or else they are the fault of somebody else. (4) the mind is capable of comprehending and recognizing truth from falsehood. (5) The word causes and determines one’s experiences. (6) Life is unfair because the innocent suffer while the wicked go unpunished. (7) People can be different than they are. (8) It is critical and necessary to be right. (9) It is critical and necessary to win. (10) Wrongs must be righted. (11) Righteousness must prevail. (12) Perceptions represent reality." - David R. Hawkins, fully David Ramon Hawkins

"The terms “synchronicity” or “simultaneity” seem to explain many phenomena of life far better than does “linear causality.”" - David R. Hawkins, fully David Ramon Hawkins

"`Mind’ and `matter’ appear as two aspects of our unitary mind-bodies. There is no separate supernatural realm: all phenomena are part of one natural process of evolution. There is no basic cleavage between science and religion; they are both organs of evolving humanity… This earth is one of the rare spots in the cosmos where mind has flowered. Man is a product of nearly three billion years of evolution, in whose person the evolutionary process has at last become conscious of itself and its possibilities. Whether he likes it or not, he is responsible for the whole further evolution of our planet." - Julian Huxley, fully Sir Julian Sorell Huxley

"All Faith consists essentially in the recognition of a world of spiritual values behind, yet not apart from, the world of natural phenomena." - William Ralph Inge

"The principle of causality, limited exclusively to explaining the interconnection of phenomena, and void of any metaphysical significance, has become incapable of making the mind pass from the world to God. Man’s mind, if not his heart, has become godless, and knowledge, or science, has dethroned wisdom." - Charles Journet

"The silence of the spheres is the music of a wedding feast. The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life, the more we analyze them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness. But it does not matter much because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there." - Thomas Merton

"Prayer is religion in act; that is, prayer is real religion. It is prayer that distinguishes the religious phenomenon from such similar or neighboring phenomena as purely moral or aesthetic sentiment." - Louis Auguste Sabatier

"Scientists look for four qualities in theory generally… parsimony: the fewer the units and process used to account for the phenomenon, the better… second, generality: the greater the range of phenomena covered by the model, the more likely it is to be true… Consilence: units and process of a discipline that conform with solidly verified knowledge in other disciplines have proven consistently superior in theory and practice to units and processes that do not conform… Predictiveness: those theories endure that are precise in the predictions they make across phenomena and whose predictions are easiest to test by observation and experiment." -

"Today scientists describe the universe in terms of two basic partial theories - the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics... The general theory of relativity describes the force of gravity and the large-scale structure of the universe, that is, the structure on scales from only a few miles to as large as a million million million million (1 with twenty-four zeros after it) miles, the size of the observable universe. Quantum mechanics, on the other hands, deals with phenomena on extremely small scales, such as a millionth of a millionth of an inch. Unfortunately, however, these two theories are known to be inconsistent with each other - they cannot both be correct." -

"Lack of experience diminishes our power of taking a comprehensive view of the admitted facts. Hence those who dwell in intimate association with nature and its phenomena grow more and more able to formulate, as the foundation of their theories, principles such as to admit of a wide and coherent development: while those whom devotion to abstract discussions has rendered unobservant of the facts are too ready to dogmatize on the basis of a few observations." - Aristotle NULL

"Religion is Man’s attempt to get into touch with an absolute spiritual Reality behind the phenomena of the Universe, and, having made contact with It, to live in harmony with It." - Arnold J. Toynbee, fully Arnold Joseph Toynbee

"Life is a process, a seamless garment, and there is a universal nexus connecting all phenomena so that every part pulsates sensitively to every other part. The truth is inexpressibly deeper than a harmony-between-parts relationship, but this can only be experienced mystically. Pragmatically, on the plane of our sensory experiencing, love is the witness of the unseen yet ever potent law of unity. The root of all sins is to be blind to this fundamental fact regarding the inner nature of the universe. If love rules us, no sins can be committed. En passant we may say that the doctrine of karma is a phenomenal expression of the organic unity of the universe. The individual cannot gain at the cost of the whole. Pain and suffering check us when harmony is disturbed. Love restores harmony and registers through us a deep compassion which dissolves our separative carapaces and releases our energies for impersonal service." - Arthur W Osborn

"Life is a process, a seamless garment, and there is a universal nexus connecting all phenomena so that every part pulsates sensitively to every other part. The truth is inexpressibly deeper than a harmony-between-parts relationship, but this can only be experienced mystically. Pragmatically, on the plane of our sensory experiencing, love is the witness of the unseen yet ever potent law of unity. The root of all sins is to be blind to this fundamental fact regarding the inner nature of the universe. IF love rules us, no sins can be committed. En passant we may say that the doctrine of karma is a phenomenal expression of the organic unity of the universe. The individual cannot gain at the cost of the whole. Pain and suffering check us when harmony is disturbed. Love restores harmony and registers through us a deep compassion which dissolves our separative carapaces and releases our energies for impersonal service." - Arthur W Osborn

"As the grand discordant harmony of the celestial bodies may be explained by the simple principles of gravity and impulse, so also in that more wonderful and complicated microcosm the heart of man, all the phenomena of morals are perhaps resolvable into one single principle, the pursuit of apparent good; for although customs universally vary, yet man in all climates and countries is essentially the same." - Charles Caleb Colton

"The nature or very essence of phenomena, whether vital or mineral, will always remain unknown... Absolute knowledge could, therefore, leave nothing outside itself; and only on condition of knowing everything could man be granted its attainment. Man behaves as if he were destined to reach this absolute knowledge; and the incessant why which he puts to nature proves it. Indeed, this hope, constantly disappointed, constantly reborn, sustains and always will sustain successive generation sin the passionate search for truth." - Claude Bernard

"We think of death are separate phenomena. We never think of life and death as the same; that would be illogical. Only one problem, one small problem: reality is not logical. Truth is not rational; only our minds are. We are so egotistical, so arrogant, that we want to make reality into a concept, reduce life to a logical idea. We spend all our time looking for some concept of Truth, but Truth is what is left when we drop all concepts. Then there is just scratching when it itches." - Dennis Genpo Merzel, aka Genpo Merzel Roshi

"In the overwhelming majority of phenomena whose regularity and invariability have led to the formulation of the postulate of causality, the common element underlying the consistency observed - is chance." -

"The mind-expanding discovery of quantum mechanics is that Newtonian physics does not apply to subatomic phenomena... We cannot know both the position and the momentum of a particle with absolute precision... This is Werner Heisenberg's uncertainty principle." - Gary Zukav

"Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, and only once in this way and never again." -

"Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and the always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way and never again." -

"Every beginning is in time, and all limits to extension are in space. But space and time are in the world of sense. Consequently phenomena in the world are conditionally limited, but the world itself is not limited, either conditionally or unconditionally." - Immanuel Kant

"The permanent in phenomena must be regarded as the substratum of all determination of time, and consequently also as the condition of the possibility of all synthetical unity of perceptions, that in time can only be regarded as a mode in the existence of that which abides unchangeably. Therefore, in all phenomena, the permanent is the object in itself." - Immanuel Kant

"Time is a necessary representation, lying at the foundation of all our intuitions. With regard to phenomena in general, we cannot think away time from them, and represent them to ourselves as out of and unconnected with time, but we can quite well represent to ourselves time void of phenomena. Time is therefore given a priori. In it alone is all reality of phenomena possible. These may all be annihilated in thought, but in itself, as the universal condition of their possibility, cannot be so annulled." - Immanuel Kant