— Huston Smith Religious studies scholar 1919 - 2016
Context: The religions begin by assuring us that if we could see the full picture we would find it more integrated than we would normally suppose. Life gives us no view of the whole. [... ] It is as if life were a great tapestry, which we face from its wrong side. This gives it the appearance of a maze of knots and threads, which for the most part appear chaotic.
From a purely human standpoint the wisdom traditions are the species' most prolonged and serious attempts to infer from the maze on this side of the tapestry the pattern which, on its right side, gives meaning to the whole. As the beauty and harmony of the design derive from the way its parts are related, the design confers on these parts a significance that we, seeing only scraps of the design, do not normally perceive.