Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

H. B.

I saw there was no boundary lines between vegetable and animal life, and hence no beginning nor end to either... All physical phenomena, at their best, are dull and murky till they come up into spiritual life. As an illustration that every law has its universality take the familiar law or principle that action and reaction are equal. What is this but reaping the whirlwind after one has sown the wind, or how does natural law differ from this teaching: ‘Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap?’ Are they aught but different strains in the great cosmic melody?

Action | Beginning | Character | Law | Life | Life | Man | Melody | Phenomena |

Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch, aka Maggid of Mezeritch

I cannot teach you the ten principles of service. But a little child and a thief can show you what they are. From the child you can learn three things: He is merry for no particular reason; never for a moment is he idle; when he needs something, he demands it vigorously. The thief can instruct you in seven things: He does his service by night; if he does not finish what he has set out to do, in one night, he devotes the next night to it; he and those who work with him love one another; he risks his life for small gains; what he takes has so little value for him that he gives it up for a very small coin; he endures blows and hardship, and it matters nothing to him; he likes his trade and would not exchange it for any other.

Character | Life | Life | Little | Love | Nothing | Principles | Reason | Service | Teach | Work | Child | Learn | Value |

W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.

Art | Character | Culture | Money | Talking | Writing | Art |

H. B.

The first real mental illumination I remember to have experienced was when I saw that the universe exists in each of its individual atoms - that is, the universe is the result of a few simple processes infinitely repeated. When a drop of water has been mathematically measured, every principle will have been used which would be called form in the measurement of the heavens. All life on the globe is sustained by digestion and assimilation; when by voluntary and traumatic action these stop death follows. The history of an individual mind is the history of the race. Know one thing in its properties and relations and you will know all things.

Action | Character | Death | History | Individual | Life | Life | Mind | Race | Universe | Will |

Stephen Vincent Benét

Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.

Character | Day | Life | Life | Wisdom |

Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

You would hardly appreciate the comic if you felt yourself isolated from others. Laughter appears to stand in need of an echo. Listen to it carefully: it is not an articulate, clear, well-defined sound; it is something which would fain be prolonged by reverberating from one to another, something beginning with a crash, to continue in successive rumblings, like thunder in a mountain. still, this reverberation cannot go on for ever. It can travel within as wide a circle as you please: the circle remains, none the less, a closed one.

Beginning | Character | Laughter | Need | Sound |

Honoré de Balzac

Glory is a poison, good to be taken in small doses.

Character | Glory | Good |

Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren

Illusion and self-deception stand in the way of an honest, penetrating and fearless self-appraisal. Though it would appear that we have access to the innermost core of our individual being, and that there is nothing in the world with which we are on more intimate terms than our own self, the self remains an elusive object of knowledge and understanding.

Character | Illusion | Individual | Knowledge | Nothing | Object | Self | Self-deception | Understanding | World |

Arthur Aughey

The chief secret of comfort lies in not suffering trifles to vex us, and in prudently cultivating an undergrowth of small pleasures, since very few great ones are let on long leases.

Character | Comfort | Suffering | Trifles |

Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

Do not measure yourself with anybody else’s yardstick. Your obligation is to accomplish with your own unique talents. you do not need anybody else’s approval to be a worthy person.

Character | Need | Obligation | Unique | Approval |

Isaac Abravanel, fully Don Itshak ben Yehouda Abravanel

Success depends on faith and good deeds... not upon the knowledge of the proofs which lead to them.

Character | Deeds | Faith | Good | Knowledge | Success |

Jacob Bohme, or Jacob Behmen or Jakob Böhme

Spiritual knowledge cannot be communicated from one intellect to another, but must be sought for in the spirit of God.

Character | God | Knowledge | Spirit | Intellect |

Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Abu Ismaïl Abdullah ibn Abi-Mansour Mohammad or Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat

Desire for knowledge is the path of honor: desire for wealth is the path of dishonor. Wealth is the chain that slaves wear; knowledge the kingly crown.

Character | Desire | Dishonor | Honor | Knowledge | Wealth |