Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

From the very beginning of a person’s life one learns that the purpose of life is not uninterrupted pleasure. Every infant suffers pains and illnesses. We should not perceive illness and pain as negative. Suffering teaches us humility. We learn that we do not have complete power over ourselves.

Beginning | Character | Humility | Life | Life | Pain | Pleasure | Power | Purpose | Purpose | Suffering | Learn |

George Matthew Adams

One of the great arts in living is to learn the art of accurately appraising values. Everything that we think, that we earn, that we have given to us, that in any way touches our consciousness, has its own value. These values are apt to change with the mood, with time, or because of circumstances. We cannot safely tie to any material value. The values of all material possessions change continually, sometimes over night. The real values are those that stay by you, give you happiness and enrich you. They are the human values.

Art | Change | Character | Circumstances | Consciousness | Possessions | Time | Art | Happiness | Learn |

Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

It is when we detect our own weaknesses that we come to pity or despise mankind. The human nature from which we then turn away is the human nature we have discovered in the depths of our own being. The evil is so well screened, the secret so universally kept, that in this case each individual is the dupe of all: however severely we may profess to judge other men, at bottom we think them better than ourselves. On this happy illusion much of our social life is grounded.

Better | Character | Despise | Evil | Happy | Human nature | Illusion | Individual | Life | Life | Mankind | Men | Nature | Pity | Think |

Aśvaghoṣa NULL

The purpose of this discipline is to bring man into the habit of applying the insight that has come to him as the result of the preceding disciplines. When one is rising, standing, walking, doing something, stopping, one should constantly concentrate one’s mind on the act and the doing of it, not on one’s relation to the act, or its character or value. One should think: there is walking, there is stopping, there is realizing; not, I am walking, I am doing this, it is a good thing, it is disagreeable, I am gaining merit, it is I who am realizing how wonderful it is. Thence come vagrant thoughts, feelings of elation or of failure and unhappiness. Instead of all this, one should simply practice concentration of the mind on the act itself, understanding it to be an expedient means for attaining tranquillity of mind, realization, insight and Wisdom; and one should follow the practice in faith, willingness and gladness. After long practice the bondage of old habits become weakened and disappears, and in its place appear confidence, satisfaction, awareness and tranquillity. What is the Way of Wisdom designed to accomplish? There are three classes of conditions that hinder one from advancing along the path to Enlightenment. First, there are the allurements arising from the senses, from external conditions and from the discriminating mind. Second, there are the internal conditions of the mind, its thoughts, desires and mood. All these the earlier practices (ethical and mortificatory) are designed to eliminate. In the third class of impediments are placed the individual’s instinctive and fundamental (and therefore most insidious and persistent) urges - the will to live and to enjoy, the will to cherish one’s personality, the will to propagate, which give rise to greed and lust, fear and anger, infatuation, pride and egotism. The practice of the Wisdom Paramita is designed to control and eliminate these fundamental and instinctive hindrances.

Anger | Awareness | Character | Confidence | Control | Discipline | Enlightenment | Failure | Faith | Fear | Feelings | Good | Greed | Habit | Individual | Insight | Lust | Man | Means | Merit | Mind | Personality | Practice | Pride | Purpose | Purpose | Tranquility | Understanding | Unhappiness | Will | Wisdom | Failure | Awareness | Old |

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

A man's true greatness lies in the consciousness of an honest purpose in life, founded on a just estimate of himself and everything else, on frequent self-examinations, and a steady obedience to the rule which he knows to be right, without troubling himself about what others may think or say, or whether they do or do not that which he thinks and says and does.

Character | Consciousness | Greatness | Life | Life | Man | Obedience | Purpose | Purpose | Right | Rule | Self | Think |

David A. Brandon

The highest level of compassion is without any purpose or intent. It seeks neither the good of others nor its own good. It lies in being good not ‘doing good.’ There is simply living without design or conscious reflection. It embodies the fostering of love.

Character | Compassion | Design | Good | Love | Purpose | Purpose | Reflection |

Max Brod

The greatness of a nation does not depend on the character of its blood or race... [but] consists of the values it produces.

Character | Greatness | Race |

Fred Pierce Corson

If we think of life as a journey and consider it to be the opportunity for getting from where we are to where we want to be, we will have a working rule that provides us with both a purpose and expanding possibilities for our lives.

Character | Journey | Life | Life | Opportunity | Purpose | Purpose | Rule | Will | Think |

Charles I NULL

Public reformers had need first practice on their own hearts that which they purpose to try on others.

Character | Need | Practice | Public | Purpose | Purpose |

Sholom B. Dubov

The purpose of life is to do the right thing at the right time... Everything that comes your way is your purpose in life... put it into an order, a perspective.

Character | Life | Life | Order | Purpose | Purpose | Right | Time |

George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

Only those who know the supremacy of the intellectual life - the life which has a seed of ennobling thought and purpose within it - can understand the grief of one who falls from the serene activity into the absorbing soul wasting struggle.

Character | Grief | Life | Life | Purpose | Purpose | Soul | Struggle | Thought | Thought | Understand |

François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

There is no more dangerous illusion than the fancies by which people try to avoid illusion. It is imagination which leads us astray; and the certainty which we seek through imagination, feeling, and taste, is one of the most dangerous sources from which fanaticism springs.

Character | Fanaticism | Illusion | Imagination | People | Taste |

Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

What we give out as scientific truth is only the product of our own needs and desires, as they are formulated under varying external conditions; that is to say, it is illusion once more. Ultimately we find only what we need to find, and see only what we desire to see. We can do nothing else. And since the criterion of truth, correspondence with an external world, disappears, it is absolutely immaterial what views we accept. All of them are equally true and false. And no one has a right to accuse any one else of error.

Character | Desire | Error | Illusion | Need | Nothing | Right | Truth | World |

Philip Glass

Maybe the purpose of life is not as important as the process of growth that’s integral with being alive... In answering the question “What’s the meaning of life?” maybe the people who have taken the challenges of life as meaningful are the best ones to ask... These are the people who have appreciated and taken advantage of the possibilities life has to offer. They find life precious.

Character | Growth | Important | Life | Life | Meaning | People | Purpose | Purpose | Question |

Avraham Grodzinski

The purpose of suffering is to arouse a person to improve his ways and this is the greatest good for a person. This love of the Almighty manifest in suffering is not merely to save a person from retribution in the afterlife, but also to elevate a person and assist him in attaining more virtues.

Afterlife | Character | Good | Love | Purpose | Purpose | Suffering |

Richard Guggenheimer, fully Richard Henry Guggenheimer

Unless a life is activated by sustained purpose it can become a depressingly haphazard affair.

Character | Life | Life | Purpose | Purpose |

W. T. Grant, fully William Thomas Grant

It must be obvious to those who take the time to look at human life that its greatest values lie not in getting things, but in doing them, in doing them together, in all working toward a common aim, in the experience of comradeship, of warmhearted 100% human life.

Character | Experience | Life | Life | Time |

Henry J. Golding

What our deepest self craves is not mere enjoyment, but some supreme purpose that will enlist all our powers and will give unity and direction to our life. We can never know the profoundest joy without a conviction that our life is significant - not a meaningless episode. The loftiest aim of human life is the ethical perfecting of mankind - the transfiguration of humanity.

Character | Enjoyment | Humanity | Joy | Life | Life | Mankind | Purpose | Purpose | Self | Unity | Will |