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

James Ramsay MacDonald

Character is the product of daily, hourly actions, and words and thoughts; daily forgiveness, unselfishness, kindnesses, sympathies, charities, sacrifices for the good of others, struggles against temptation, submissiveness under trial. Oh, it is these, like the blending colors in a picture or the blending notes of music which constitute the man.

Character | Forgiveness | Good | Man | Music | Temptation | Words |

Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

When I want to judge someone, I ask him how satisfied he is with himself, to what extent he is pleased with his words or his work.

Character | Words | Work |

John Von Newmann

All experience shows that even smaller technological changes than those now in the cards profoundly transform political and social relationships. Experience also shows that those transformations are not a priori predictable and that most contemporary “first guesses” concerning them are wrong. For all these reasons, one should take neither present difficulties nor presently proposed reforms too seriously... To ask in advance for a complete recipe would be unreasonable. We can specify only the human qualities required: patience, flexibility, intelligence.

Character | Experience | Flexibility | Intelligence | Patience | Present | Qualities | Wrong |

Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

The spirit of politeness is a desire to bring about by our words and manners, that others may be pleased with us and with themselves.

Character | Desire | Manners | Spirit | Words | Politeness |

Anne Monroe, fully Anne Shannon Monroe

Loneliness is only an opportunity to cut adrift and find yourself.

Character | Loneliness | Opportunity |

Thomas Merton

The contemplative life has nothing to tell you except to reassure you and say that if you dare to penetrate your own silence and dare to advance without fear into the solitude of your own heart... you will truly recover the light and capacity to understand what is beyond words and beyond explanation because it is too close to be explained.

Capacity | Character | Fear | Heart | Life | Life | Light | Nothing | Silence | Solitude | Will | Words | Understand |

Austin Phelps

A great idea is usually original to more than one discoverer. Great ideas come when the world needs them. They surround the world's ignorance and press for admission.

Character | Ideas | Ignorance | World |

Robert M. Pirsig

Programmes of a political nature are important and products of social quality that can be effective only if the underlying structure of social values is right. The social values are right only if the individual values are right. The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outside from there.

Character | Heart | Important | Individual | Nature | Right | Work | World |

Alexander Pope

A noble part of every true life is to learn to undo what has been wrongly done. A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser to-day that he was yesterday.

Character | Day | Life | Life | Man | Words | Wrong | Learn |

Plautus, full name Titus Maccius Plautus NULL

If you lend a person any money, it becomes lost for any purpose as one’s own. When you ask for it back again, you may find a friend made an enemy by your kindness. If you begin to press still further, either you must part with that which you have intrusted, or else you must lose that friend.

Character | Enemy | Friend | Kindness | Money | Purpose | Purpose |

Jianzhi Sengcan, Third Patriarch of Zen, Third Patriarch of Ch'an

The Perfect Way knows no difficulties, except that it refuses to make preferences. Only when freed from hate and love does it reveal itself fully and without disguise. A tenth of an inch’s difference, and heaven and earth are set apart. If you wish to see it before your own eyes have no fixed thoughts either for or against it. To set up what you like against what you dislike - this is the disease of the mind. When the deep meaning of the Way is not understood. Peace of mind is disturbed to no purpose... Pursue not the outer entanglements, dwell not in the inner void; be serene in the oneness of things, and dualism vanishes of itself... Transformations going on in the empty world that confronts us appear to be real because of Ignorance. Do not strive to seek after the True, only cease to cherish opinions... One in all, All in One - if only this is realized, no more worry about not being perfect. When the mind and each believing mind and Mind, this is where words fail, for it is not of the past, present or future.

Character | Disease | Disguise | Earth | Future | Hate | Heaven | Ignorance | Love | Meaning | Mind | Oneness | Past | Peace | Present | Purpose | Purpose | Words | World | Worry |

Austin Phelps

Vigilance in watching opportunity; tact and daring in seizing upon opportunity; force and persistence in crowding opportunity to its utmost possible achievement - these are the martial virtues which must command success.

Achievement | Character | Daring | Force | Opportunity | Persistence | Success | Tact | Vigilance |

François de La Noüe

It would truly be a fine thing if men suffered themselves to be guided by reason, that they should acquiesce in the true remonstrances addressed to them by the writings of the learned and the advice of friends. But the greater part are so disposed that the words which enter by one ear do incontinently go out of the other, and begin again by following the custom. The best teacher one can have is necessity.

Advice | Character | Men | Necessity | Words | Following | Teacher |

Philo, aka Philo of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew NULL

A teacher should give his pupil opportunity for independent practice without suggestions from himself, and thus set upon him the stamp of indelible memory in its purest form.

Character | Memory | Opportunity | Practice | Teacher |

Plautus, full name Titus Maccius Plautus NULL

It does not good to offer consoling words to a man in distress; his real friend in a pinch is a friend in deed, when deeds are needed.

Character | Deeds | Distress | Friend | Good | Man | Words | Deeds |

Publius Syrus

When you call a man ungrateful you have no words of abuse left.

Abuse | Character | Man | Words |

Tom Robbins, fully Thomas Eugene "Tom" Robbins

Our purpose is to consciously, deliberately evolve toward a wise, more liberated and luminous state of being. Deep down, all of us are probably aware that some kind of mystical evolution is our true task. Yet we suppress the notion with considerable force because to admit to it is to admit that most of our political gyrations, religious dogmas, social ambitions and financial ploys are not merely counterproductive but trivial. Our mission is to jettison those pointless preoccupations and take on once again the primordial cargo of inexhaustible ecstasy.

Character | Ecstasy | Evolution | Force | Mission | Mystical | Purpose | Purpose | Wise |