Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

William James

What may be called “club-opinion” is one of the very strongest forces in life. The thief must not steal from other thieves; the gambler must pay his gambling-debts, though he pay no other debts in the world. The code of honor of fashionable society has throughout history been full of permissions as well as of vetoes, the only reason for following either of which is that so we best serve one of our social selves.

Character | History | Honor | Life | Life | Opinion | Reason | Society | World | Society | Following |

Aldous Leonard Huxley

What we do depends in large measure upon what we think, and if what we do it evil, there is good empirical reason for supposing that our thought patterns are inadequate to material, mental or spiritual reality.

Character | Evil | Good | Reality | Reason | Thought | Thought |

Max Horkheimer

The contradiction between what is requested of man and what can be offered to him has become so striking, the ideology so thin, the discontents in civilization so great that they must be compensated through annihilation of those who do not conform, political enemies, Jews, asocial persons, the insane. The new order of fascism is reason revealing itself as unreason.

Character | Civilization | Contradiction | Man | Order | Reason |

William James

The ultimate test for us of what a truth means is the conduct it dictates or inspires.

Character | Conduct | Means | Truth |

Huang Po, also Huángbò Xīyùn

Your true nature is not lost in moments of delusion, nor is it gained at the moment of enlightenment. It was never born and can never die. It shines through the whole universe, filling emptiness, one with emptiness. It is without time or space, and has no passions, actions, ignorance, or knowledge. In it there are no things, no people, and no Buddhas; it contains not the smallest hairbreadth of anything that exists objectively; it depends on nothing and is attached to nothing. It is all-pervading, radiant beauty: absolute reality, self-existent and uncreated. How then can you doubt that the Buddha has no mouth to speak with and nothing to teach, or that the truth is learned without learning, for who is there to learn? It is a jewel beyond all price.

Absolute | Beauty | Character | Delusion | Doubt | Enlightenment | Ignorance | Knowledge | Learning | Nature | Nothing | People | Price | Reality | Self | Space | Teach | Time | Truth | Universe |

David Hume

Morals excite passions, and produce or prevent actions. Reason of itself is utterly impotent in this particular. The rules of morality, therefore, are not conclusions of our reason.

Character | Morality | Reason |

Aldous Leonard Huxley

Rites and vain repetitions have a legitimate place in religion as aids to recollectedness, reminders of truth momentarily forgotten in the turmoil of worldly distractions. When spoken or performed as a kind of magic, their use is either completely useless or else (and this is worse) it may have ego-enhancing results, which do not in any way contribute to the attainment of man’s final end.

Attainment | Character | Ego | Magic | Man | Religion | Rites | Truth | Turmoil |

William James

Our belief in truth itself.. that there is a truth, and that our minds and it are made for each other, what is it but a passionate affirmation of desire, in which our social system backs us up? We want to have a truth; we want to believe that our experiments and studies and discussions must put us in a continually better and better position towards it; and on this line we agree to fight out our thinking lives.

Belief | Better | Character | Desire | Position | System | Thinking | Truth |

David Hume

Nothing can oppose or retard the impulse of passion... Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.

Character | Impulse | Nothing | Office | Passion | Reason |

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 |

Aldous Leonard Huxley

Our perceptions and our understanding are directed, in large measure, by our will. We are aware of, and we think about, the things which, for one reason or another, we want to see and understand. Where there’s a will there is always an intellectual way. The capacities of the human mind are almost indefinitely great.

Character | Mind | Reason | Understanding | Will | Think |

Aldous Leonard Huxley

The end cannot justify the means, for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced.

Character | Ends | Justify | Means | Nature | Reason |

Saint Isaac of Nineveh, also Isaac the Syrian, Isaac of Qatar and Isaac Syrus NULL

If you love knowledge, you will be a master of knowledge. What you have come to know, pursue by exercise; what you have not learned, seek to add to your knowledge, for it is as reprehensible to hear a profitable saying and not grasp it as to be offered a good gift by one's friends and not accept it. Believe that many precepts are better than much wealth , for wealth quickly fails us, but precepts abide through all time.

Better | Character | Good | Knowledge | Love | Time | Wealth | Will | Friends |

Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

We all have a gift. Each of us is born with something unique to express, to do, to become. It is your responsibility to discover your unique gift... Once having been discovered, the gift is developed and nurtured and then it is given back... Real joy comes from giving back, from being authentically you and sharing that authenticity with those around you.

Authenticity | Character | Giving | Joy | Responsibility | Unique |

Maria Jane Jewsbury

Love is the purification of the heart from self; it strengthens and ennobles the character; gives higher motive and nobler aim to every action of life, and makes both man and woman strong, noble, and courageous. The power to love truly and devotedly is the nobles gift with which a human being can be endowed; but it is a sacred fire that must not be burned to idols.

Action | Character | Heart | Life | Life | Love | Man | Power | Sacred | Self | Woman |

William James

In ethical, psychological and aesthetic matters, to give a clear reason for one’s judgment is universally recognized as a mark of rare genius. The helplessness of uneducated people account for their likes and dislikes is often ludicrous.

Aesthetic | Character | Genius | Judgment | People | Reason |

David Hume

Disbelief in futurity loosens in a great measure the ties of morality, and may be for that reason pernicious to the peace of civil society.

Character | Disbelief | Morality | Peace | Reason | Society |

Aldous Leonard Huxley

Our current neglect of Law is yet another of the many indications that twentieth-century educators have ceased to be concerned with questions of ultimate truth or meaning and (apart from mere vocational training) are interested solely in the dissemination of a rootless and irrelevant culture, and the fostering of the solemn foolery of scholarship for scholarship’s sake.

Character | Culture | Law | Meaning | Neglect | Training | Truth |

Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

Knowing the truth carries with it an extraordinary responsibility. Meeting that responsibility can be your most rewarding experience.

Character | Experience | Knowing | Responsibility | Truth |