Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

Adolfo Barcella

Unrequited love is the meaning of life. We’re here to love but not to be loved, to give but not receive. Our mission in this world is to improve humanity and leave a better history than we found. Only selfless love has such power. Only love without interest or expectation of reward can change human beings... To give love without receiving love is the truest love and brings the greatest happiness there is in life.

Better | Change | Character | Expectation | History | Humanity | Life | Life | Love | Meaning | Mission | Power | Receive | Reward | World | Expectation | Happiness |

Rabbi Avraham of Sochotchov NULL

Life is something you measure not in years but in precious moments - and in how you value those moments. The responsibility for making such moments meaningful is yours alone. There are no definitions of failure or success except the ones you specify for yourself. You are the meaning of your own life.

Character | Failure | Life | Life | Meaning | Responsibility | Success | Failure | Value |

Phillip Adams

When people say to me: "How do you do so many things?" I often answer them, without meaning to be cruel: "How to you do so little?" It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever."

Character | Confidence | Little | Meaning | People |

Ernest Becker

Man transcends death by finding meaning in his life... It is the burning desire for the creature to count... What man really fears is not so much extinction, but extinction with insignificance.

Character | Death | Desire | Insignificance | Life | Life | Man | Meaning |

François Bourgoing

The aim and end of prayer is to revere, to recognize and to adore the sovereign majesty of God, through what he is in Himself rather than what he is in regard to us, and rather to love his goodness by the love of that goodness itself than for what it sends us.

Character | God | Love | Prayer | Regard |

Barbara Brennan

The meaning of life is experienced when we are in touch with our unique essence, sometimes called the divine spark within... It is both individual and universal. When we are fully aware of this unique inner radiance, we feel what it is to be utterly alive. We experience unconditional love. We sense complete safety because that spark also connects us to the universal divinity within all things.

Character | Divinity | Experience | Individual | Life | Life | Love | Meaning | Sense | Unique |

Phillips Brooks

No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle, pure and good, without the world being the better for it, without somebody being helped an comforted by the very existence of that goodness.

Better | Character | Existence | Good | Man | Woman | World |

Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

When a person who was self conscious only, enters into cosmic consciousness - he knows without learning certain things... that the universe is not a dead machine but a living presence... that in its essence and tendency it is infinitely good... that individual existence is continuous beyond what is called death.

Character | Consciousness | Death | Existence | Good | Individual | Learning | Self | Universe |

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 |

Jean Shinoda Bolen

I had the opportunity to deliver babies... In each of these numinous moments, I knew that life had meaning; each experience was accompanied by an upwelling of gratitude and humility. These moments, which can be called an experience of the self, or archetype of meaning, are akin to the act of finally seeing the Holy Grail after a long quest... It is through these moments of grace and gratitude that we acquire a sense of meaning and a desire to live a meaningful life. The personal challenge is now.

Challenge | Character | Desire | Experience | Grace | Gratitude | Humility | Life | Life | Meaning | Opportunity | Self | Sense |

Paul Bocuse

It is our duty to give meaning to the life of future generations by sharing our knowledge and experience; by teaching an appreciation of work well done and a respect for nature, the source of all life; by encouraging the young to venture off the beaten path and avoid complacency by challenging their emotions.

Appreciation | Character | Complacency | Duty | Emotions | Experience | Future | Knowledge | Life | Life | Meaning | Nature | Respect | Work | Appreciation | Respect |

Sri Chinmoy, born Chinmoy Kumar Ghose

The meaning of life is to become inseparably one with God the transcendental Bliss and God the universal Peace. The meaning of life is to achieve unconditional self-giving and a self-giving will... complete faith in oneself and a birthless and deathless faith in God. Life is love... Life needs a dream and a goal... Transcendence is the glorious beginning of human perfection... Who am I? I am my life’s unfinished God-manifestation.

Beginning | Character | Faith | Giving | God | Life | Life | Love | Meaning | Peace | Perfection | Self | Will | God |

Jeremy Collier

Envy is an ill-natured vice, and is made up of meanness and malice. It wishes the force of goodness to be strained, and the measure of happiness abated. It laments over prosperity, and sickens at the sight of health. It oftentimes wants spirit as well as good nature.

Character | Envy | Force | Good nature | Good | Health | Malice | Meanness | Nature | Prosperity | Spirit | Wants | Wishes | Happiness |

William Ellery Channing

The domestic relations precede, and in our present existence are worth more than all our other social ties. They give the first throb to the heart, and unseal the deep fountains of its love. Home is the chief school of human virtue. Its responsibilities, joys, sorrows, smiles, tears, hopes, and solicitudes form the chief interest of human life.

Character | Existence | Heart | Life | Life | Love | Present | Tears | Virtue | Virtue | Worth |

Friedrich Engels

Freedom does not consist in the dream of independence from natural laws, but in the knowledge of these laws, and in the possibility this gives or systematically making them work towards definite ends. This holds good in relation both to the laws of external nature and to those which govern the bodily and mental existence of men themselves - two classes of laws which we can separate from each other at most only in thought but not in reality. Freedom of the will therefore means nothing but the capacity to make decisions with knowledge of the subject.

Capacity | Character | Ends | Existence | Freedom | Good | Knowledge | Means | Men | Nature | Nothing | Reality | Thought | Will | Work | Govern | Thought |

John Dewey

We always live at the time we live and not at some other time, and only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same thing in the future. This is the only preparation which in the long run amounts to anything.

Character | Experience | Future | Meaning | Present | Time |

Charles Alexander Eastman, first named Ohiyesa

The first American mingled with her pride a singular humility. Spiritual arrogance was foreign to his nature and teaching. He never claimed that his power of articulate speech was proof of superiority over “dumb creation”; on the other hand, speech to him is a perilous gift. He believes profoundly in silence - the sign of perfect equilibrium. silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit. The an who preserves his selfhood ever calm and unshaken by the storms of existence - not a leaf, as it were, astir on the tree, not a ripple upon the surface of the shining pool - his, in the mind of the unlettered sage, is the ideal attitude and conduct of life.

Absolute | Arrogance | Balance | Body | Character | Conduct | Existence | Humility | Life | Life | Mind | Nature | Power | Pride | Silence | Speech | Spirit | Superiority |

Albert Einstein

What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it? I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life.

Character | Life | Life | Man | Meaning | Organic | Question | Religion | Sense |

Euripedes NULL

Goodness can be taught, and any man who knows what goodness is knows evil too, because he judges from the good.

Character | Evil | Good | Man |