Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

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 |

Bias NULL

The majority is wicked.

Character | Majority |

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 |

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

Exaggerated respect for athletics, an excess of coarse impressions brought about by the technical discoveries of recent years, the increased severity of the struggle for existence due to the economic crisis, the brutalization of political life: all these factors are hostile to the ripening of the character and the desire for real culture, and stamp our age as barbarous, materialistic and superficial.

Age | Athletics | Character | Culture | Desire | Excess | Existence | Life | Life | Respect | Struggle | Respect |

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Few are open to conviction, but the majority of men are open to persuasion.

Character | Majority | Men | Persuasion |

Harry Emerson Fosdick

We settle things by a majority vote, and the psychological effect of doing that is to create the impression that the majority is probably right. Of course, on any fine issue the majority is sure to be wrong. Think of taking a majority vote on the best music. Jazz would win over Chopin. Or on the best novel. Many cheap scribblers would win over Tolstoy. And any day a prizefight will get a bigger crowd, larger gate receipts and wider newspaper publicity than any new revelation of goodness, truth or beauty could hope to achieve in a century.

Beauty | Character | Day | Hope | Impression | Majority | Music | Revelation | Right | Truth | Will | Wrong | Beauty | Think |

Lynn Hill, aka Lynn Hill-Raffa

The purpose of my existence as I climb is to adapt my personal dimensions to the environment around me at each moment. I become an active player sharing some of the responsibility for my own destiny, achieving a heightened sense of awareness and seeing the direct result of my efforts; either I fall or I reach the top. But the meaning does not come from conquering the rock. Purpose comes from moving in harmony with nature, rather than destroying it or altering it for my immediate satisfaction. What gives life meaning is the fulfillment of directing energy in a way that brings a higher order to, and harmony with, the environment I live in... The ultimate meaning of our lives is relative to how much we have given to others. The ultimate meaning of our lives is connected with death... I would like to know that I have inspired people to go beyond self-limiting stereotypes to experience and nurture the true richness of their passions.

Awareness | Character | Death | Destiny | Energy | Existence | Experience | Fulfillment | Harmony | Life | Life | Meaning | Nature | Order | People | Purpose | Purpose | Responsibility | Self | Sense | Awareness |

Thomas Hopko

We are here for communion with God who is Love, the One in whose image and likeness each one of us is made. We find this communion by loving as God loves us... The miracle of all miracles is the ability to transform through love the smallest, seemingly insignificant detail of the routine drudgery of everyday existence into paradise; the ability to become ourselves, at each moment, a fresh paradise to those around us, thereby becoming “gods by grace” for those who are “gods” to us. Each person accepts or rejects communion with God in his or her own unique manner... The act of communion comes always as grace. For those who know it, it is not life’s meaning, purpose or goal. It is life itself: God with us making us what God is.

Ability | Character | Existence | God | Grace | Life | Life | Love | Meaning | Miracles | Paradise | Purpose | Purpose | Unique | God |

Aldous Leonard Huxley

Deliverance is out of time into eternity, and is achieved by obedience and docility to the eternal Nature of Things. We have been given free will, in order that we may will our self-will out of existence and so come to live continuously in a “state of grace.” All our actions must be directed, in the last analysis, to making ourselves passive in relation to the activity and the being of divine Reality. We are, as it were, aeolian harps, endowed with the power either to expose themselves to the wind of the Spirit or to shut themselves away from it.

Character | Docility | Eternal | Eternity | Existence | Free will | Grace | Nature | Obedience | Order | Power | Reality | Self | Spirit | Time | Will |

Aldous Leonard Huxley

Whenever, for any reason, we wish to think of the world, not as it appears to common sense, but as a continuum, we find that our traditional syntax and vocabulary are quite inadequate. Mathematicians have therefore been compelled to invent radically new symbol-systems for this express purpose. But the divine Ground of all existence is not merely a continuum, it is also out of time, and different, not merely in degree, but in kind from the worlds to which traditional language and the languages of mathematics are adequate.

Character | Common Sense | Existence | Language | Mathematics | Purpose | Purpose | Reason | Sense | Time | World | Think |

Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra, also known as Ben Ezra or Abenezra

The vast majority of people are slavers to their desires. The true king who deserves a royal crown is only a person who is free from the pressures of his desires.

Character | Majority | People |

David Hume

Reason is the discovery of truth or falsehood. Truth or falsehood consists in an agreement or disagreement either to the real relations of ideas, or to real existence and matter of fact. Whatever, therefore, is not susceptible of this agreement or disagreement, is incapable of being true or false, and can never be an object of our reason. Now ‘tis evident our passions, volitions, and actions, are not susceptible of any such agreement or disagreement; being original facts and realities, complete in themselves, and implying no reference to other passions, volitions, and actions. ‘Tis impossible, therefore, they can be pronounced either true or false, and be either contrary or conformable to reason.

Character | Disagreement | Discovery | Existence | Falsehood | Ideas | Object | Reason | Truth | Discovery |

William James

I [have] often said that the best argument I knew for an immortal life was the existence of a man who deserved one.

Argument | Character | Existence | Life | Life | Man |

Garrison Keillor, fully Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor

Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged.

Character | Majority | Men |

Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

Character | Darkness | Existence | Light | Purpose | Purpose |

Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

Personality is the supreme realization of the innate individuality of a particular living being. Personality is an act of the greatest courage in the face of life, the absolute affirmation of all that constitutes the individual, and the most successful adaptation to the universal conditions of existence coupled with the greatest possible freedom of personal decision.

Absolute | Character | Courage | Decision | Existence | Freedom | Individual | Individuality | Life | Life | Personality |

Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

To stand on one leg and prove God's existence is a very different thing from going down on one's knees and thanking him.

Character | Existence | God |