Where do some of history’s greatest thinkers hang out in Venice?  At the intersection of S. Venice Blvd. and Oceanfront Walk!

For this article we need to understand that “pantheism” is doctrine that equates God with the forces and laws of the Universe.

Why am I telling you this? 

Well, do you know that mural that is between the boardwalk and Speedway on S. Venice Blvd?  That huge 2 story one with all the giant faces that takes up the entire block. It is darn good looking and has a great story.  The Luminaries of Pantheism, as it is called,  pays tribute to sixteen of the world’s great thinkers, spanning thousands of years.  So, for your enjoyment, I have identified, and picked a quote or three from each of the thinkers painted in the mural.


A big fist bump to the Paradise Project for commissioning this mural, which was painted by Levi Ponce, designed by Peter Moriarty, and conceptualized by Perry Rod.

You can read more about these folks in the April 2015 Venice Paparazzi article on the unveiling here. 

As well, there is a group connected to the mural, and their website is The Paradise Project.

So let’s get on to the fun stuff!  These are the folks whose faces are on the wall and some of my favorites quotes from them!


Carl Gustav Jung, Swiss psycho analyst, B.1875, D. 1961

  • Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
  • Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

Emily Dickinson, American Poet, B. 1830, D. 1886

  • Behavior is what a man does, not what he thinks, feels, or believes
  • Truth is so rare that it is delightful to tell it.

Friedrich Nietzsche,  German Philosopher B. 1844, D. 1900

  • He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.
  • Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.
  • We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us.

Henry David Thoreau, American Philosopher, Author, Poet B. 1817, D. 1862

  • Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.
  • There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who striking at the root.

Carl Sagan, American Astronomer,  B. 1934, D. 1996

  • Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.
  • We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.
  • Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception
Luminaries of Pantheism

Luminaries of Pantheism

W.E.B Dubois,  American Author, B. 1868, D. 1963

  • A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills.

Alan Watts, British Philosopher B. 1915, D. 1973

  • But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.

Baruch Spinoza, Dutch Philosopher B. 1632, D. 1677

  • Whatsoever is contrary to nature is contrary to reason, and whatsoever is contrary to reason is absurd.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Author, B. 1803, D. 1882

  • Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail
  • Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.

Albert Einstein, German Theoretical Physicist, B. 1879, D. 1955

  • The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.
  • Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.
Luminaries of Pantheism

Luminaries of Pantheism

Terence McKenna, American Author, B. 1946,  D. 2000

  • Without sounding too cliche, the Internet really is the birth of global mind

Nikola Tesla, American Inventor, B. 1856, D. 1943

  • The year 2100 will see eugenics universally established. In past ages, the law governing the survival of the fittest roughly weeded out the less desirable strains. Then man’s new sense of pity began to interfere with the ruthless workings of nature. As a result, we continue to keep alive and to breed the unfit.
  • It is paradoxical, yet true, to say, that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American Suffragist,  B. 1815, D. 1902

  • We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal.
  • I am always busy, which is perhaps the chief reason why I am always well.

Rumi, B. 1207, D. 1273.  Persian Poet

  • Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in garden to know it.

Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher B. 5th/6th cent. BC, D. 531 BC

  • He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.
  • Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish – too much handling will spoil it.

Adi Shankara, Indian Philosopher B. 788 CE, D. 820 CE

  • Knowing that I am different from the body, I need not neglect the body.  It is a vehicle that I use to to transact with the world.  It is the temple which houses the Pure Self within.


Visit  www.theparadiseproject.org for more info!

Artist Levi Ponce. 2015 photo taken by Venice Paparazzi

Venice Paparazzi was on the scene with artist Levis Ponce on January 5, 2015.  View the article here!