Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

James Beattie

Let us cherish sympathy. By attention and exercise it may be improved in every man. It prepares the mind for receiving the impressions of virtue; and without it there can be no true politeness. Nothing is more odious than that insensibility which wraps a man up in himself and his own concerns, and prevents his being moved with either the joys or the sorrows of another.

Attention | Character | Man | Mind | Nothing | Sympathy | Virtue | Virtue |

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

Our understanding are always liable to error. Nature and certainty is very hard to come at; and infallibility is mere vanity and pretense.

Character | Error | Nature | Understanding |

Ahad HaAm, pen name, born Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg

Whoever sets out to persuade men to accept a new idea, or one which seems to be new, not just as an idea, but as a truth that is felt, should know beforehand that the human mind is not a blank sheet, on which one an write with ease, and should not therefore grieve or despair when he finds that people do not pay attention to him.

Attention | Character | Despair | Men | Mind | People | Truth |

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 |

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 |

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 |

Bhadantācariya Buddhaghoṣa

Mindfulness should be strong everywhere, for mindfulness keeps the mind away from distraction, into which it might fall, since faith, energy and understanding partake of the nature of distraction: and away from idleness, into which it might fall, since concentration partakes of the nature of idleness.

Character | Energy | Faith | Idleness | Mind | Mindfulness | Nature | Understanding |

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 |

Carl Victor de Bonstetten

To speak well supposes a habit of attention which shows itself in the thought; by language we learn to think and above all to develop thought.

Attention | Character | Habit | Language | Thought | Wisdom | Learn | Think |

Thomas Chalmers

The human mind feels restless and dissatisfied under the anxieties of ignorance. It longs for the repose of conviction; and to gain this repose it will often rather precipitate its conclusions than wait for the tardy lights of observation and experiment. There is such a thing, too, as the love of simplicity and system, a prejudice of the understanding which disposes it to include al the phenomena of nature under a few sweeping generalities, and indolence which loves to repose on the beauties of a theory rather than encounter the fatiguing detail of its evidences.

Character | Experiment | Ignorance | Indolence | Love | Mind | Nature | Observation | Phenomena | Prejudice | Repose | Simplicity | System | Understanding | Will |

Samuel Butler

People care more about being thought to have taste than about being thought either good, clever, or amiable.

Care | Character | Good | People | Taste | Thought | Thought |

Joseph Conrad, born Teodor Josef Konrad Korzeniowski

Action is consolatory. It is the enemy; of thought and the friend of flattering illusions.

Action | Character | Enemy | Friend | Thought | Thought |

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 |

Albert Einstein

It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Otherwise he - with his specialized knowledge - more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person.

Character | Good | Knowledge | Sense | Understanding |

Melvin James Evans

The great scientific discoveries of the past hundred years have been as child's play compared with the titanic forces that will be released when man applies himself to the understanding and mastery of his own nature.

Character | Man | Nature | Past | Play | Understanding | Will |

George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

Only those who know the supremacy of the intellectual life - the life which has a seed of ennobling thought and purpose within it - can understand the grief of one who falls from the serene activity into the absorbing soul wasting struggle.

Character | Grief | Life | Life | Purpose | Purpose | Soul | Struggle | Thought | Thought | Understand |