Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

Obedience to duty means resistance to self.

Character | Duty | Means | Obedience | Self | Wisdom |

Isaac Barrow

If we desire to live securely, comfortably, and quietly, that by all honest means we should endeavor to purchase the good will of all men, and provoke no man’s enmity needlessly; since any man’s love may be useful, and every man’s hatred is dangerous.

Character | Desire | Good | Love | Man | Means | Men | Will |

Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

The essence of envy is a deep desire to be someone else. In its extreme form it is a complete nullification of oneself.

Character | Desire | Envy | Extreme |

Arthur Aughey

There are many seasons in a man’s life - and the more exalted and responsible his position, the more frequently do these seasons recur - when the voice of duty and the dictates of feeling are opposed to each other; and it is only the weak and the wicked who yield that obedience to the selfish impulses of the heart which is due to reason and honor.

Character | Duty | Heart | Honor | Life | Life | Man | Obedience | Position | Reason |

Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren

True friendship... always involves the dominance of benevolent impulses, tending toward the benefit of the beloved, whereas the counterfeits of friendship spring primarily or purely from acquisitive desire - seeking something for one’s self.

Character | Desire | Self | Friendship |

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 |

Simeon ben Azai, sometimes Ben Azai

The reward of doing one duty is the power to do another.

Character | Duty | Power | Reward |

Francis Beaumont

The true way to gain much, is never to desire to gain too much. He is not rich that possesses much, but he that covets no more; and he is not poor that enjoys little, but he that wants too much.

Character | Desire | Little | Wants |

Ernest Becker

Man transcends death by finding meaning in his life... It is the burning desire for the creature to count... What man really fears is not so much extinction, but extinction with insignificance.

Character | Death | Desire | Insignificance | Life | Life | Man | Meaning |

Hugh Blair

Pride makes us esteem ourselves; vanity makes us desire the esteem of others.

Character | Desire | Esteem | Pride |

Andrei Bitov, fully Andrei Georgiyevich Bitov

Life has neither material nor idealistic secrecy or mystery about it. Life is equal to itself only, hence perceiving its meaning is out of the question... The exaggeration of our mental abilities has given rise to what we perceive as “the problem” of discerning life’s purpose... If it is beyond our powers to disembowel love and beauty - we can only ravish them - it means that they are given to us not for cognition but for reflection. Similarly, the freedom of choice granted to man, a freedom denied the rest of the living species, is man’s task, a duty to exercise and fulfill, not merely an opportune option.

Beauty | Character | Choice | Duty | Exaggeration | Freedom | Life | Life | Love | Man | Meaning | Means | Mystery | Purpose | Purpose | Question | Reflection | Rest | Secrecy | Beauty |

Jean Shinoda Bolen

I had the opportunity to deliver babies... In each of these numinous moments, I knew that life had meaning; each experience was accompanied by an upwelling of gratitude and humility. These moments, which can be called an experience of the self, or archetype of meaning, are akin to the act of finally seeing the Holy Grail after a long quest... It is through these moments of grace and gratitude that we acquire a sense of meaning and a desire to live a meaningful life. The personal challenge is now.

Challenge | Character | Desire | Experience | Grace | Gratitude | Humility | Life | Life | Meaning | Opportunity | Self | Sense |

Paul Bocuse

It is our duty to give meaning to the life of future generations by sharing our knowledge and experience; by teaching an appreciation of work well done and a respect for nature, the source of all life; by encouraging the young to venture off the beaten path and avoid complacency by challenging their emotions.

Appreciation | Character | Complacency | Duty | Emotions | Experience | Future | Knowledge | Life | Life | Meaning | Nature | Respect | Work | Appreciation | Respect |

Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius NULL

The trouble of the many and various aims of mortal men bring them much care, and herein they go forward by different paths but strive to reach one end, which is happiness. And that good is that, to which if any man attain, he can desire nothing further... Happiness is a state which is made perfect by the union of all good things. This end all men seek to reach, as I said, though by different paths. For there is implanted by nature in the minds of men a desire for the true good; but error leads them astray towards false goods by wrong paths.

Aims | Care | Character | Desire | Error | Good | Man | Men | Mortal | Nature | Nothing | Wrong | Trouble | Happiness |

Abel Bonnard

Not only is there a right to be happy, there is a duty to be happy. So much sadness exists in the world that we are all under obligation to contribute as much joy as lies within our powers.

Character | Duty | Happy | Joy | Obligation | Right | Sadness | World |

Jean de La Bruyère

When it is our duty to do an act of justice it should be done promptly. To delay is injustice.

Character | Delay | Duty | Injustice | Injustice | Justice |

Thomas Chalmers

Benevolence is not in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth. It is a business with men as they are, and with human life as drawn by the rough hand of experience. It is a duty which you must perform at the call of principle; though there be no voice of eloquence to give splendor to your exertions, and no music of poetry to lead your willing footsteps through the bowers of enchantment. It is not the impulse of high and ecstatic emotion. It is an exertion of principle. :You must go to the poor man’s cottage, though no verdure flourish around it, the gentleness of its murmurs. If you look for the romantic simplicity of fiction you will be disappointed; but it is your duty to persevere in spite of every discouragement. Benevolence is not merely a feeling but a principle; not a dream of rapture for the fancy to indulge in, but a business for the hand to execute.

Benevolence | Business | Character | Duty | Experience | Gentleness | Impulse | Life | Life | Man | Men | Music | Poetry | Simplicity | Truth | Will | Business |