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 |

Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

Obedience to duty means resistance to self.

Character | Duty | Means | Obedience | Self | Wisdom |

Francis Atterbury

A good character when established should not be rested in as an end, but only employed as a means of doing still further good.

Character | Good | Means |

Lord Acton, John Emerich Dalberg-Acton

Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.

Character | Liberty | Means | Wisdom |

Isaac Barrow

If we desire to live securely, comfortably, and quietly, that by all honest means we should endeavor to purchase the good will of all men, and provoke no man’s enmity needlessly; since any man’s love may be useful, and every man’s hatred is dangerous.

Character | Desire | Good | Love | Man | Means | Men | Will |

Max Beerbohm, fully Sir Henry Maximilian "Max" Beerbohm

To say that a man is vain simply means that he is pleased with the effect he produces on other people. A conceited man is satisfied with the effect he produces on himself.

Character | Man | Means | People |

Rona Barrett born Rhona Bernstein, Mrs. William Trowbridge

The healthy and strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it. Whether he's got an abscess on his knee or in his soul.

Character | Individual | Soul |

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 |

Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren

Illusion and self-deception stand in the way of an honest, penetrating and fearless self-appraisal. Though it would appear that we have access to the innermost core of our individual being, and that there is nothing in the world with which we are on more intimate terms than our own self, the self remains an elusive object of knowledge and understanding.

Character | Illusion | Individual | Knowledge | Nothing | Object | Self | Self-deception | Understanding | World |

Isaac Abravanel, fully Don Itshak ben Yehouda Abravanel

Success depends on faith and good deeds... not upon the knowledge of the proofs which lead to them.

Character | Deeds | Faith | Good | Knowledge | Success |

Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

Nothing destroys the potential for parents to have a close relationship with their children as disciplining through excessive fear. When children are still young, parents should be aware that one day their children will become independent. Parents who frequently use fear as a weapon create negative feelings in their children. When they grow up, those children are likely to rebel against their parents and go their own way.

Character | Children | Day | Fear | Feelings | Nothing | Parents | Relationship | Will |

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 |

Jacob Bohme, or Jacob Behmen or Jakob Böhme

Spiritual knowledge cannot be communicated from one intellect to another, but must be sought for in the spirit of God.

Character | God | Knowledge | Spirit | Intellect |

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

Desire for knowledge is the path of honor: desire for wealth is the path of dishonor. Wealth is the chain that slaves wear; knowledge the kingly crown.

Character | Desire | Dishonor | Honor | Knowledge | Wealth |