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 |

Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

Obedience to duty means resistance to self.

Character | Duty | Means | Obedience | Self | Wisdom |

Rabbi Akiva, fully Rebbe Akiva ben Yosef NULL

Rejoice in adversity even more than in prosperity, for suffering brings forgiveness of sin.

Adversity | Character | Forgiveness | Prosperity | Sin | Suffering | Wisdom | Forgiveness |

Francis Atterbury

A good character when established should not be rested in as an end, but only employed as a means of doing still further good.

Character | Good | Means |

Lord Acton, John Emerich Dalberg-Acton

Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.

Character | Liberty | Means | Wisdom |

Abraham ben Moses ben Maimon, aka Rabbi Avraham Maimuni, aka Rabbeinu Avraham ben ha-Rambam NULL

Once you are used to something, you feel some suffering if you lack it. Be very careful before making something a habit.

Character | Habit | Suffering |

Isaac Barrow

If we desire to live securely, comfortably, and quietly, that by all honest means we should endeavor to purchase the good will of all men, and provoke no man’s enmity needlessly; since any man’s love may be useful, and every man’s hatred is dangerous.

Character | Desire | Good | Love | Man | Means | Men | Will |

Max Beerbohm, fully Sir Henry Maximilian "Max" Beerbohm

To say that a man is vain simply means that he is pleased with the effect he produces on other people. A conceited man is satisfied with the effect he produces on himself.

Character | Man | Means | People |

Arthur Aughey

The chief secret of comfort lies in not suffering trifles to vex us, and in prudently cultivating an undergrowth of small pleasures, since very few great ones are let on long leases.

Character | Comfort | Suffering | Trifles |

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 |

Michael Barenbaum

Envy destroys peace of mind and happiness. An envious person’s life is full of suffering and resentment. He is never happy with what he himself has.

Character | Envy | Happy | Life | Life | Mind | Peace | Resentment | Suffering |

Harry Blackmun, fully Harold "Harry" Andrew Blackmun

With our finite minds we cannot presume to know if there is a Purpose. We sense, however, the presence of something greater than we can comprehend, a force as yet unknown to us - perhaps even to be unknown. So we accept our situation, learn from it, and do the best we can, resting on faith, despair, or cynicism, depending on the individual. Overriding all this must be an obligation - self-imposed or externally impressed - to do the best one can for others, to relieve suffering and to exercise compassion. We are all in this together, for life is a common, not an individual, endeavor.

Character | Compassion | Cynicism | Despair | Faith | Force | Individual | Life | Life | Obligation | Purpose | Purpose | Self | Sense | Suffering | Learn |

Andrei Bitov, fully Andrei Georgiyevich Bitov

Life has neither material nor idealistic secrecy or mystery about it. Life is equal to itself only, hence perceiving its meaning is out of the question... The exaggeration of our mental abilities has given rise to what we perceive as “the problem” of discerning life’s purpose... If it is beyond our powers to disembowel love and beauty - we can only ravish them - it means that they are given to us not for cognition but for reflection. Similarly, the freedom of choice granted to man, a freedom denied the rest of the living species, is man’s task, a duty to exercise and fulfill, not merely an opportune option.

Beauty | Character | Choice | Duty | Exaggeration | Freedom | Life | Life | Love | Man | Meaning | Means | Mystery | Purpose | Purpose | Question | Reflection | Rest | Secrecy | Beauty |

Murray Bookchin

Freedom often means little more than the effective coordination of humanity in the achievement of economic ends.

Achievement | Character | Ends | Freedom | Humanity | Little | Means |

R. H. Blyth, fully Reginald Horace Blyth

We walk, and our religion is shown (even in the dullest and most insensitive person) in how we walk. Or to put it more accurately, living in this world means choosing, choosing to walk, and the way we choose to walk is infallibly and perfectly expressed in the walk itself. Nothing can disguise it. The walk of an ordinary man and of an enlightened man are as different as that of a snake and a giraffe.

Character | Disguise | Man | Means | Nothing | Religion | World |

William Cullen Bryant

Self-interest is the most ingenious and persuasive of all the agents that deceive our consciences, while by means of it our unhappy and stubborn prejudices operate in their greatest force.

Character | Force | Means | Self | Self-interest |

Chayim of Volozhin, also Chaim ben Yuitzchok of Volozhin or Chaim Ickovits NULL

When you suffer yourself, it is easier to feel the suffering of others.

Character | Suffering |