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

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

Charity has no label, compassion no religion, wisdom no dogma, empathy no rules. Integrity needs no laws, enlightenment no temples. Living in total harmony with Tao is beyond culture, oneness with Tao beyond philosophy. Emptiness and silence cannot be defined. The Way has no name, for it is Tao.

Compassion | Empathy | Enlightenment | Harmony | Integrity | Oneness | Silence | Wisdom |

Ludwig Feuerbach, fully Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach

Religion is the dream of the human mind. But even in dreams we do not find ourselves in emptiness or in heaven, but on earth, in the realm of reality; we only see real things in the entrancing splendor of imagination and caprice, instead of in the simple daylight of reality and necessity.

Dreams | Imagination | Reality |

Merle Shain

Loving can cost a lot but not loving always costs more, and those who fear to love often find that want of love is an emptiness that robs the joy from life.

Cost | Fear | Joy | Love |

Milan Kundera

Anyone whose goal is 'something higher' must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.

Desire | Fear |

Nāgārjuna, fully Acharya Nāgārjuna NULL

The victorious ones say that emptiness undermines all dogmatic views, those who take a dogmatic view of emptiness are said to be incurable.

Nāgārjuna, fully Acharya Nāgārjuna NULL

The victorious ones have said that emptiness is the relinquishing of all views. For whomever emptiness is a view, that one has accomplished nothing.

Nāgārjuna, fully Acharya Nāgārjuna NULL

Just as the grammarian makes one study grammar, A Buddha teaches according to the tolerance of his students; Some he urges to refrain from sins, others to do good, some to rely on dualism, other on non-dualism; and to some he teaches the profound, the terrifying, the practice of enlightenment, whose essence is emptiness that is compassion.

Practice | Study |

Pema Chödrön, born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown

Buddhist words such as compassion and emptiness don't mean much until we start cultivating our innate ability simply to be there with pain with an open heart and the willingness not to instantly try to get ground under our feet. For instance, if what we're feeling is rage, we usually assume that there are only two ways to relate to it. One is to blame others. Lay it all on somebody else; drive all blames into everyone else. The other alternative is to feel guilty about our rage and blame ourselves.

Ability | Blame | Compassion | Heart | Pain | Rage | Words | Guilty |

Persius, fully Aulus Persius Flaccus NULL

Oh, the cares of men! how much emptiness there is in human concerns!

Philip Larkin, fully Philip Arthur Larkin

I work all day, and get half drunk at night. Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare. In time the curtain edges will grow light. Till then I see what's really always there: Unresting death, a whole day nearer now, Making all thought impossible but how And where and when I shall myself die. Arid interrogation: yet the dread Of dying, and being dead, Flashes afresh to hold and horrify. The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse – The good not used, the love not given, time Torn off unused – nor wretchedly because An only life can take so long to climb Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never: But at the total emptiness forever, The sure extinction that we travel to And shall be lost in always. Not to be here, Not to be anywhere, And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true. This is a special way of being afraid No trick dispels. Religion used to try, That vast moth-eaten musical brocade Created to pretend we never die, And specious stuff that says no rational being Can fear a thing it cannot feel, not seeing That this is what we fear – no sight, no sound, No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with, Nothing to love or link with, The anesthetic from which none come round. And so it stays just on the edge of vision, A small unfocused blur, a standing chill That slows each impulse down to indecision. Most things may never happen: this one will, And realization of it rages out In furnace fear when we are caught without People or drink. Courage is no good: It means not scaring others. Being brave Lets no-one off the grave. Death is no different whined at than withstood. Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape. It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know, Have always known, know that we can't escape Yet can't accept. One side will have to go. Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring Intricate rented world begins to rouse. The sky is white as clay, with no sun. Work has to be done. Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

Courage | Day | Death | Dread | Fear | Good | Impulse | Life | Life | Light | Love | Means | Mind | Nothing | People | Religion | Remorse | Taste | Thought | Time | Will | Work | World | Wrong | Afraid | Think | Thought |

Rachel Naomi Remen

So, what is the task of the medical system? Our modern view of disease is that disease is centered in the body. The older view of disease is that it is soul loss, a loss of connection, of meaning, of purpose, of essence. If this is so, the real task of the medical system is to heal soul loss, to aid in the retrieval of the soul. The entire culture is ill with soul loss. What is needed is not to bring spirit into our work, to develop more of a spiritual practice or to go to church more. Our task is to recognize that we are always on sacred ground, that there is no split between the sacred and secular. That the living god is dancing on our back. That there is no task that is not sacred in nature and no relationship that is not sacred in nature. Life is a spiritual practice. Health care, which serves life, is a spiritual practice. Disease is a spiritual path, too. Much illness is caused by the loss of the soul. Many, many people live lives that are empty. This emptiness is caused, in some part, by living without meaning, or with meaning that is much too small, too trivial, or too material for the needs of a human being.

Aid | Church | Culture | Disease | God | Health | Life | Life | Meaning | Nature | People | Practice | Relationship | Sacred | Soul | Spirit | System | Loss | God |

Gabriel Sénac de Meilhan

We believe being afflicted by the death of a person , when it is the dead one that makes printing on us.

Despise | Earth | Heaven | Mind | Nature | Nothing | Right | Speech | Time | Understanding | Universe | Wise | World | Worry | Wrong | Think | Understand |

Sen T’Sen, aka Seng T'San, Jianzhi Sengcan, Kanchi Sosan, Third Chinese Patriarch of Zen

Trusting In Mind - The Great Way is not difficult, Just don’t pick and choose. If you cut off all likes or dislikes Everything is clear like space. Make the slightest distinction And heaven and earth are set apart. If you wish to see the truth, Don’t think for or against. Likes and dislikes Are the mind’s disease. Without understanding the deep meaning You cannot still your thoughts. It is clear like space, Nothing missing, nothing extra. If you want something You cannot see things as they are. Outside, don’t get tangled in things. Inside, don’t get lost in emptiness. Be still and become One And all opposites disappear. If you stop moving to become still, This stillness always moves. If you hold on to opposites, How can you know One? If you don’t understand One, This and that cannot function. Denied, the world asserts itself. Pursued, emptiness is lost. The more you think and talk, The more you lose the Way. Cut off all thinking And pass freely anywhere. Return to the root and understand. Chase appearances and lose the source. One moment of enlightenment Illuminates the emptiness before you. Emptiness changing into things Is only our deluded view. Do not seek the truth. Only put down your opinions. Do not live in the world of opposites. Be careful! Never go that way. If you make right and wrong, Your mind is lost in confusion. Two comes from One, But do not cling even to this One. When your mind is undisturbed The ten thousand things are without fault. No fault, no ten thousand things, No disturbance, no mind. No world, no one to see it. No one to see it, no world. This becomes this because of that. That becomes that because of this. If you wish to understand both, See them as originally one emptiness. In emptiness the two are the same, And each holds the ten thousand things. If you no longer see them as different, How can you prefer one to another? The Way is calm and wide, Not easy, not difficult. But small minds get lost. Hurrying, they fall behind. Clinging, they go too far, Sure to take a wrong turn, Just let it be! In the end, Nothing goes, nothing stays. Follow nature and become one with the Way, Free and easy and undisturbed. Tied by your thoughts, you lose the truth, Become heavy, dull, and unwell. Not well, the mind is troubled. Then why hold or reject anything? If you want to get the One Vehicle Do not despise the world of the senses. When you do not despise the six senses, That is already enlightenment. The wise do not act. The ignorant bind themselves. In true Dharma there is no this or that, So why blindly chase your desires? Using mind to stir up the mind Is the original mistake. Peaceful and troubled are only thinking. Enlightenment has no likes or dislikes. All opposites arise From faulty views. Illusions, flowers in the air – Why try to grasp them? Win, lose, right, wrong – Put it all down! If the eye never sleeps, Dreams disappear by themselves. If the mind makes no distinctions, The ten thousand things are one essence. Understand this dark essence And be free from entanglements. See the ten thousand things as equal And you return to your original nature Enlightened beings everywhere All enter this source. This source is beyond time and space. One moment is ten thousand years. Even if you cannot see it, The whole universe is before your eyes. Infinitely small is infinitely large: No boundaries, no differences. Infinitely large is infinitely small: Measurements do not matter here. What is is the same as what is not. What is not is the same as what is. Where it is not like this, Don’t bother staying. One is all, All is one. When you see things like this, You do not worry about being incomplete. Trust and Mind are not two. Not-two is trusting the Mind. Words and speech don’t cut it, Can’t now, never could, won’t ever.

Assertion | Disease | Dreams | Earth | Hate | Heaven | Meaning | Mind | Mystery | Oneness | Present | Reality | Will | Words | World | Worry |

Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

Speak a new language so that the world will be a new world.

Knowledge | Soul |

Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

In truth everything and everyone Is a shadow of the Beloved, and our seeking is His seeking and our words are His words... We search for Him here and there, while looking right at Him. Sitting by His side, we ask: "O Beloved, where is the Beloved?"

Heart | World |

Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

Whoever gives reverence receives reverence.

Grief | Love |

Rupert Brooke

Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead! There's none of these so lonely and poor of old, But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold. These laid the world away: poured out the red Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be of work and joy, and that unhoped serene that men call age, and those who would have been Their sons, they gave their immortality.

Little |

Saint John of the Cross, born Juan de Yepes Álvarez NULL

As God sets the soul in this dark night… He allows it not to find attraction or sweetness in anything whatsoever. God transfers to the spirit the good things and the strength of the senses… if it is not immediately conscious of spiritual sweetness and delight, but only of aridity and lack of sweetness, the reason for this is the strangeness of the exchange. #6. If those souls to whom this comes to pass knew how to be quiet at this time… then they would delicately experience this inward refreshment in that ease and freedom from care… it is like the air which, if one would close one’s hand upon it, escapes. In this state of contemplation… it is God Who is now working in the soul. He binds its interior faculties, and allows it not to cling to the understanding, nor to have delight in the will, nor to reason with the memory. God communicates… by pure spirit. From this time forward imagination and fancy can find no support in any meditation.

Contemplation | Darkness | Faith | God | Grace | Heart | Love | Meditation | Noise | Order | Pleasure | Practice | Progress | Rest | Sense | Silence | Solitude | Soul | Thought | Understanding | Will | God | Contemplation | Obstacle | Thought |

Saint John of the Cross, born Juan de Yepes Álvarez NULL

God sustains every soul and dwells in it substantially, even though it be that of the greatest sinner in the world, and this union is natural. The supernatural union exists when God’s will and the soul’s will are in conformity. Therefore the soul rests transformed in God through love. The illumination of the soul and its union with God corresponds to its purity.

Attentiveness | Father | God | Light | Nothing | Solitude | Soul | Spirit | Will | God |