Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Related Quotes

Dhammapada Sutra NULL

To establish ourselves amid perfect emptiness in a single flash is the essence of wisdom.

Character | Wisdom |

Fulton Sheen, fully Archbishop Fulton John Sheen

The principal reason for sex deification is loss of belief in God. Once men lose God, they lose the purpose of life; and when the purpose of living is forgotten, the universe becomes meaningless. Man then tries to forget his emptiness in the intensity of a momentary experience.

Belief | Character | Experience | God | Life | Life | Man | Men | Purpose | Purpose | Reason | Universe | Loss |

Heart Sutra

Form is no different from emptiness. Emptiness is no different from form. Form is precisely emptiness, emptiness is precisely form.

Character |

Fazang, also Fa-Tsang or Fāzàng NULL

The universal of an atom containing emptiness and existence. This means that the atom has no intrinsic nature, so it is empty; yet its illusory characteristics are evident, so it is existent. Indeed, because illusory form has no essence, it must be no different from emptiness, and real emptiness contains qualities permeating to the surface of existence. Seeing that form is empty produces great wisdom and not dwelling in birth-and-death; seeing that emptiness is form produces great compassion and not dwelling in nirvana. When form and emptiness are nondual, compassion and wisdom are not different; only this is true seeing.

Birth | Compassion | Death | Existence | Means | Nature | Qualities | Wisdom |

Stephen Mitchell

When we consider absolute reality, there is no end, no beginning; emptiness is the same as fulfillness, just seen from a different perspective. We say that this coffee cup is empty; but empty means filled with space, filled with possibilities, ready for anything: milk, water, tea wine. Every moment of time, every point in space, is completely empty, completely open for what wants to come. That is why it can be filled.

Absolute | Beginning | Means | Reality | Space | Time | Wants | Wisdom |

Leo Stein

Boredom is an emptiness filled with insistence.

Wisdom |

Patti Smith, fully Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith

As all before me, I have questioned, grateful for the privilege of being able to ask: What is my task? Why do we exist? All answers produce the pain of recognition, emptiness and joy.

Joy | Pain | Wisdom | Privilege |

Franz Werfel, fully Franz Viktor Werfel

Just as bad music is nothing else than organized emptiness of time, so materialistic thinking is nothing else than organized emptiness of spirit.

Music | Nothing | Spirit | Thinking | Time | Wisdom |

Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann

One ought to love society, if he wishes to enjoy solitude. It is a social nature that solitude works upon with the most various power. If one is misanthropic, and betakes himself to loneliness that he may get away from hateful things, solitude is a silent emptiness to him.

Loneliness | Love | Nature | Power | Society | Solitude | Wisdom | Wishes |

Robert E. Carter, fully Robert Edgar Carter

What is between one person and another is emptiness, nothingness, a space or field in which we can meet, talk, love, hate, hurt, nurture, encourage, and otherwise engage in ethically significant activity with one another. The between is the place wherein we are able to interact with one another, and it is a field of possibility, an opportunity as much as an emptiness to fill. Leaving the notion of emptiness to one side for the present, the betweenness of men and women works itself out in the way called “ethics,” which occasions and is the description of the consensual rules and structures of social existence.

Ethics | Existence | Hate | Love | Men | Opportunity | Present | Space |

William Johnston

If one waits in emptiness one comes to realize that the void is God: it is not a preparatory stage but the experience of God Himself.

Experience | God | God |

Abraham Joshua Heschel

The problem is the spirit of our age: denial of transcendence, the vapidity of values, emptiness in the heart, the decreased sensitivity to the imponderable quality of the spirit, the collapse of communication between the realm of tradition and the inner world of the individual.

Age | Heart | Individual | Spirit | Tradition | World |

Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

We join spokes together in a wheel, but it is the center hold that makes the wagon move. We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want. We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable. We work with being, but non-being is what we use.

Space | Work |

Dag Hammarskjöld

The present moment is significant, not as the bridge between past and future, but by reason of its contents, contents which can fill our emptiness and become ours, if we are capable of receiving them.

Future | Past | Present | Reason |

Jean-Paul Sartre

Consciousness... is total emptiness (since the entire world is outside it).

Consciousness | World |