Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

H. B.

I saw there was no boundary lines between vegetable and animal life, and hence no beginning nor end to either... All physical phenomena, at their best, are dull and murky till they come up into spiritual life. As an illustration that every law has its universality take the familiar law or principle that action and reaction are equal. What is this but reaping the whirlwind after one has sown the wind, or how does natural law differ from this teaching: ‘Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap?’ Are they aught but different strains in the great cosmic melody?

Action | Beginning | Character | Law | Life | Life | Man | Melody | Phenomena |

H. B.

The first real mental illumination I remember to have experienced was when I saw that the universe exists in each of its individual atoms - that is, the universe is the result of a few simple processes infinitely repeated. When a drop of water has been mathematically measured, every principle will have been used which would be called form in the measurement of the heavens. All life on the globe is sustained by digestion and assimilation; when by voluntary and traumatic action these stop death follows. The history of an individual mind is the history of the race. Know one thing in its properties and relations and you will know all things.

Action | Character | Death | History | Individual | Life | Life | Mind | Race | Universe | Will |

Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

The greatest manifestation of your love for the Almighty can be expressed on your day of death. Before your death, you might be thinking about how you have not fulfilled all of your wishes and plans. In the moments before your death you might have complaints against the Almighty, or you might fatalistically accept your death by saying, What can be done? My body is giving in to the laws of nature. The doctors have given up hope.” Both of these attitudes are wrong You now face the greatest challenge of your life. You have the potential to submit yourself to the will of the Almighty with love. This level takes preparation. If a person has not mastered control of his thoughts, he is likely to waste his last moments thinking of petty resentments and desires. Frequently confusion and fear of death swallow up every other thought unless one has prepared for that moment.

Body | Challenge | Character | Control | Day | Death | Fear | Giving | Hope | Life | Life | Love | Nature | Thinking | Thought | Waste | Will | Wishes | Wrong | Thought |

Augustine Baker

Prayer is the most perfect and most divine action that a rational soul is capable of. It is of all actions and duties the most indispensably necessary.

Action | Character | Prayer | Soul |

Ahad HaAm, pen name, born Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg

Wise men weigh the advantages of any course of action against its drawbacks, and move not an inch until they can see what the result of their action will be; but while they are deep in thought, the men with self-confidence ‘come and see and conquer.’

Action | Character | Confidence | Men | Self | Self-confidence | Thought | Will | Wise |

J. Beaumont

To revenge a wrong is easy, usual, and natural, and, as the world thinks, savors of nobleness of mind; but religion teaches the contrary, and tells us it is better to neglect than to require it.

Better | Character | Mind | Neglect | Religion | Revenge | World | Wrong |

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 |

Margaret Bourke-White

Only by his action can a man make (himself/his life) whole... You are responsible for what you have done and the people whom you have influenced. In the end it is only the work that counts.

Action | Character | Life | Life | Man | People | Work |

Hugh Blair

The fatal fondness of indulging in a spirit of ridicule, and the injurious and irreparable consequences which sometimes attend the too severe reply, can never be condemned with more asperity than it deserves. Not to offend is the first step towards pleasing. To give pain is as much an offence against humanity as against good-breeding, and surely it is as well to abstain from an action because it is sinful, as because it is unpolite.

Action | Character | Consequences | Good | Humanity | Pain | Ridicule | Spirit |

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 |

Christian Nestell Bovee

Example has more followers than reason. We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and approximate to the characters we most admire. A generous habit of thought and action carries with it an incalculable influence.

Action | Character | Example | Habit | Influence | Reason | Thought | Thought |

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 |

Edwin Hubbell Chapin

The essence of justice is mercy. Making a child suffer for wrong-doing is merciful to the child. There is no mercy in letting a child have its own will, plunging headlong to destruction wit the bits in its mouth. There is no mercy to society nor to the criminal if the wrong is not repressed and the right vindicated. We injure the culprit who comes up to take his proper doom at the bar of justice, if we do not make him feel that he has done a wrong thing. We may deliver his body from the prison, but not at the expense of justice nor to his own injury.

Body | Character | Justice | Mercy | Prison | Right | Society | Will | Wit | Wrong | Society | Child |

Edwin Hubbell Chapin

Consider and act with reference to the true ends of existence. This world is but the vestibule of an immortal life. Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.

Action | Character | Ends | Eternity | Existence | Life | Life | Will | World |

Edwin Hubbell Chapin

This world is but the vestibule of an immortal life. Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.

Action | Character | Eternity | Life | Life | Will | World |

Elizabeth Carew, Lady Carew, formerly Lady Elizabeth Bryan

The fairest action of our human life is scorning to revenge an injury; for who forgives without a further strife, his adversary’s heart to him doth tie: and ‘tis a firmer conquest, truly said, to win the heart than overthrow the head.

Action | Character | Conquest | Heart | Life | Life | Revenge |

Constitution of the Five Nations NULL

With endless patience you shall carry out your duty, and your firmness shall be tempered with tenderness for your people. Neither anger nor fury shall lodge in your mind, and all your words and actions shall be marked with calm deliberation. In all your deliberations in the Council, in your efforts at lawmaking, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not away the warnings of any others, if they should chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law, which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the earth - the unborn of the future Nation.

Anger | Character | Deliberation | Duty | Earth | Error | Firmness | Fury | Future | Law | Mind | Oblivion | Patience | People | Present | Right | Self | Self-interest | Tenderness | Words | Wrong |

Parks Cousins

How things look on the outside of us depends on how things are on the inside of us. Stay close to the heart of nature and forget his troubled world. Remember, there is nothing wrong with nature, the trouble is in ourselves.

Character | Heart | Nature | Nothing | Wisdom | World | Wrong | Trouble |