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

Martin Seligman, Martin E. P. "Marty" Seligman

Optimism is just a useful adjunct to wisdom. By itself it cannot provide meaning. Optimism is a tool to help the individual achieve the goals he has set for himself. It is in the choice of the goals themselves that meaning - or emptiness - resides. When learned optimism is coupled with a renewed commitment to the commons [common good], our epidemic of depression and meaninglessness may end.

Choice | Commitment | Depression | Goals | Good | Individual | Meaning | Optimism | Wisdom |

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Once a man has fallen in love with the divine milieu, he cannot bear the darkness, tepidity, and emptiness he sees on every side in what ought to be filled with God and pulsating in him.

Darkness | God | Love | Man | God |

Shunryu Suzuki, also Daisetsu Teitaro or D.T. Suzuki or Suzuki-Roshi

In Buddhist Emptiness there is no time, no space, no becoming, no-thing-ness; it is what makes all these things possible; it is a zero full of infinite possibilities, it is a void of inexhaustible contents.

Space | Time |

Sosan Zenji, aka Chien-chih Seng-Tsan or Ch'an Seng-ts'an

Emptiness here, Emptiness thee, but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes. Infinitely large and infinitely small; no difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen. So too with Being and Non-Being. Don’t waste time in doubts and arguments that have nothing to do with this.

Nothing | Time | Universe | Waste |

Sosan Zenji, aka Chien-chih Seng-Tsan or Ch'an Seng-ts'an

Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and in passivity, assertion and denial. To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking and there is nothing you will not be able to know. To return to the root is to find the meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the source. At the moment of inner enlightenment, there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness. The changes that appear to occur in the empty world we call real only because of our ignorance. Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.

Appearance | Assertion | Enlightenment | Ignorance | Meaning | Nothing | Reality | Search | Talking | Thinking | Truth | Will | World | Think |

Sosan Zenji, aka Chien-chih Seng-Tsan or Ch'an Seng-ts'an

When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist. When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes, as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish. Things are objects because there is a subject or mind; and the mind is a subject because there are objects. Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality; the unity of emptiness. In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable and each contains in itself the whole world. If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.

Mind | Opinion | Prejudice | Reality | Thinking | Thought | Unity | Will | World | Old | Thought | Understand |

Tom Brown, Jr.

Nothing is good or bad, right or wrong; it all depends on how we judge with our prejudice. Listening in purity and emptiness judges not, only learns.

Good | Listening | Nothing | Prejudice | Purity | Right | Wrong |

Émile Durkheim, fully David Émile Durkheim

One cannot long remain so absorbed in contemplation of emptiness without being increasingly attracted to it. In vain one bestows on it the name of infinity; this does not change its nature. When one feels such pleasure in non-existence, one's inclination can be completely satisfied only by completely ceasing to exist.

Change | Contemplation | Existence | Inclination | Nature | Non-existence | Pleasure | Contemplation |

Émile Durkheim, fully David Émile Durkheim

A mind that questions everything, unless strong enough to bear the weight of its ignorance, risks questioning itself and being engulfed in doubt. If it cannot discover the claims to existence of the objects of its questioning -- and it would be miraculous if it so soon succeeded in solving so many mysteries -- it will deny them all reality, the mere formulation of the problem already implying an inclination to negative solutions. But in so doing it will become void of all positive content and, finding nothing which offers it resistance, will launch itself perforce into the emptiness of inner revere.

Doubt | Enough | Existence | Ignorance | Inclination | Mind | Nothing | Reality | Will |

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

To go beyond samsara and nirvana, we will need the two wings of emptiness and compassion. From now on, let us use these two wings to fly fearlessly into the sky of the life to come

Compassion | Life | Life | Need | Will |

Jiddu Krishnamurti

When one uses another for psychological purposes, then exploitation begins. All exploitation is based on psychological poverty of being. There will be no exploitation of man by man when this poverty of being is understood. Exploitation will not cease through mere legislation. There will be exploitation in different forms - at home, in public - as long as this psychological emptiness exists. You will be content with little, with the necessities of life, when you are inwardly rich.

Man | Poverty | Public | Will |

John Frederick Boyes

Where we find echoes, we generally find emptiness and hollowness; it is the contrary with the echoes of the heart.

Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh NULL

If you expect anything out of love, or meditation, you will get only frustration, and negative emptiness will happen. If you love for the sheer joy of it, if you meditate for the sheer delight of it and you don't have any result in mind -- you are not goal-oriented -- then there comes an emptiness which is positive. You start feeling full. You start feeling, for the first time, that you ARE. Being is felt, and that being is tremendously beautiful, blissful. It is SATCHITANANDA: it is existence, it is consciousness, it is bliss.

Joy | Love | Mind | Will |

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

If there is a state where the soul can find a resting-place secure enough to establish itself and concentrate its entire being there, with no need to remember the past or reach into the future, where time is nothing to it, where the present runs on indefinitely but this duration goes unnoticed, with no sign of the passing of time, and no other feeling of deprivation or enjoyment, pleasure or pain, desire or fear than the simple feeling of existence, a feeling that fills our soul entirely, as long as this state lasts, we can call ourselves happy, not with a poor, incomplete and relative happiness such as we find in the pleasures of life, but with a sufficient, complete and perfect happiness which leaves no emptiness to be filled in the soul.

Desire | Enough | Fear | Need | Nothing | Past | Pleasure | Present | Soul | Time | Happiness |

John Fowles, fully John Robert Fowles

Nobody wants to be a nobody. All our acts are partly devised to fill or to mask the emptiness we feel at the core.

Wants |

Abraham Joshua Heschel

The problem of our youth is not youth. 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. The central problem is that we do not know how to think, how to pray, how to cry, how to resist the deceptions of too many persuaders.

Spirit | Tradition | World | Youth | Youth |

Ken Wilber, fully Kenneth Earl Wilber II

The Realization of the Nondual traditions is uncompromising: There is only Spirit, there is only God, there is only Emptiness in all its radiant wonder. All the good and all the evil, the very best and the very worst, the upright and the degenerate — each and all are radically perfect manifestations of Spirit precisely as they are. There is nothing but God, nothing but the Goddess, nothing but Spirit in all directions, and not a grain of sand, not a speck of dust, is more or less Spirit than any other.

Good | Nothing | Spirit |

Ken Wilber, fully Kenneth Earl Wilber II

So the call of all Nondual traditions is: Abide as Emptiness, embrace all Form. The liberation is in the Emptiness, never in the Form, but Emptiness embraces all forms as a mirror all its objects...You and the universe are One Taste.

Universe |