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 |

Lord Acton, John Emerich Dalberg-Acton

Good and evil lie close together. Seek no artistic unity in character.

Character | Evil | Good | Unity |

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 |

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

Nothing is evil which is according to nature.

Character | Evil | Nature | Nothing |

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 |

Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Abu Ismaïl Abdullah ibn Abi-Mansour Mohammad or Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat

The company of a good man is the light of the soul, of an evil man the poison of life.

Character | Evil | Good | Life | Life | Light | Man | Soul |

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 |

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 |

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 |

Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

There is no state of mind, however simple, which does not change every moment.

Change | Character | Mind | Wisdom |

Christian Nestell Bovee

Repose without stagnation is the state most favorable to happiness. "The great felicity of life," says Seneca, "is to be without perturbations."

Character | Life | Life | Repose |

Stephan Bodian

Give up the notion that there is a final state to attain. Spiritual life consists of ongoing practice undertaken as a lifetime work. This realization breeds humility, especially when we realize that in our initial infatuation with enlightenment, we underestimate the amount of inner work necessary to free us from our addictive patterns of thought and behavior.

Behavior | Character | Enlightenment | Humility | Life | Life | Practice | Thought | Work | Thought |

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 |

Pearl S. Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu

Race prejudice is not only a shadow over the colored - it is a shadow over all of us, and the shadow is darkest over those who feel it least and allow its evil effects to go on.

Character | Evil | Prejudice | Race |

Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius NULL

The trouble of the many and various aims of mortal men bring them much care, and herein they go forward by different paths but strive to reach one end, which is happiness. And that good is that, to which if any man attain, he can desire nothing further... Happiness is a state which is made perfect by the union of all good things. This end all men seek to reach, as I said, though by different paths. For there is implanted by nature in the minds of men a desire for the true good; but error leads them astray towards false goods by wrong paths.

Aims | Care | Character | Desire | Error | Good | Man | Men | Mortal | Nature | Nothing | Wrong | Trouble | Happiness |

Brahma-Vaivarta Purana NULL

Piety and selfless deeds elevate the inhabitants of this earth to exalted spiritual estates... self-serving acts reduce them to the realms beneath, of sorrow and pain, rebirths among birds and vermin, or out of the wombs of pigs and beasts of the wild, or among trees. Action is a function of character, which in turn is controlled by custom. This is the whole substance of the secret. This knowledge is the ferry across the ocean of hell to beatitude. For all the animate and inanimate objects in this world... are transitory, like dream. The gods on high, the mute trees and stones, are but apparitions in the fantasy. Good and evil attaching to a person are perishable as bubbles. In the cycles of time they alternate. The wise are attached to neither.

Action | Character | Custom | Deeds | Earth | Evil | Good | Hell | Knowledge | Pain | Piety | Self | Sorrow | Time | Wise | World | Deeds |

Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

All that we are is the result of what we have thought; it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of he who draws the carriage.

Character | Evil | Man | Pain | Thought |