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Henry Adams

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He used to say, half in jest, that his great ambition was to complete St. Augustine's Confessions, but that St. Augustine, like a great artist, had worked from multiplicity to unity, while he, like a small one, had to reverse the method and work back from unity to multiplicity.
Henry Cabot Lodge, in the Editor's Preface to the 1918 editon of The Education of Henry Adams (September 1918)

Henry Adams

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By faithfulness we are collected and wound up into unity within ourselves, whereas we had been scattered abroad in multiplicity.

Augustine of Hippo

Canada has no cultural unity, no linguistic unity, no religious unity, no economic unity, no geographic unity. All it has is unity.

Kenneth Boulding

There would be no end to quotations that bring out the unequalled influence of Augustine’s thought and work on the Latin West. « No work by a Christian author in the Latin tongue was to stir such great admiration and inquietude and enjoy such glory » (Dominique de Courcelles, Augustin ou le génie de l’Europe). To the point that the author of this passage, while aware that he is speaking, as he says, « of a Christian Berber », nevertheless gives his book the title Augustine or the genius of Europe. And the genius was a Numidian of the Roman Empire. What a decanting of wisdom from the south to the north of the Mediterranean!

Augustine of Hippo

A man enters upon his life, hoping that all will go well for him and with good wishes for others. He steps out into the world’s multiplicity, like one that comes from the country into the great noisy city, into the multiplicity where men engrossed in affairs hurry past one another, where each looks out for what belongs to him in the vast "back and forth," where everything is in passing, where it is as though at each instant one saw what he had learned borne out in practice, and in the same instant saw it refuted, without any cessation in the unrest of work, in multiplicity -- that all too vast a school of experience. For here one can experience everything possible, or that everything is possible, even what the inexperienced man would least believe, that the Good sits highest at the dinner table and crime next highest, or crime highest and the Good next highest -- in good company with each other. So this man stands there. He has in himself a susceptibility for the disease of double-mindedness. His feeling is purely immediate, his knowledge only strengthened through contemplation, his will not mature. Swiftly, alas, swiftly he is infected -- one more victim. This is nothing new, but an old story. As it has happened to him, so it has happened with the double-minded ones who have gone before him -- this in passing he now gives as his own excuse, for he has received the consecration of excuses.

Soren Aabye Kierkegaard

Observing sea, sky and stars, I sought to indicate their plastic function through a multiplicity of crossing verticals and horizontals. Impressed by the vastness of Nature, I was trying to express its expansion, rest and unity.

Piet Mondrian
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