Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

From the very beginning of a person’s life one learns that the purpose of life is not uninterrupted pleasure. Every infant suffers pains and illnesses. We should not perceive illness and pain as negative. Suffering teaches us humility. We learn that we do not have complete power over ourselves.

Beginning | Character | Humility | Life | Life | Pain | Pleasure | Power | Purpose | Purpose | Suffering | Learn |

Rabbi Akiva, fully Rebbe Akiva ben Yosef NULL

Rejoice in adversity even more than in prosperity, for suffering brings forgiveness of sin.

Adversity | Character | Forgiveness | Prosperity | Sin | Suffering | Wisdom | Forgiveness |

Abraham ben Moses ben Maimon, aka Rabbi Avraham Maimuni, aka Rabbeinu Avraham ben ha-Rambam NULL

Once you are used to something, you feel some suffering if you lack it. Be very careful before making something a habit.

Character | Habit | Suffering |

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 |

Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

Knowledge and action... are only two aspects of one and the same faculty... There are things that intelligence alone is able to seek, but which, by itself, it will never find. These things instinct alone could find; but it will never seek them.

Action | Character | Instinct | Intelligence | Knowledge | Will |

Lisa Alther

A person’s intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view he can entertain simultaneously on the same topic.

Character | Intelligence |

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

Our understanding are always liable to error. Nature and certainty is very hard to come at; and infallibility is mere vanity and pretense.

Character | Error | Nature | Understanding |

Henry Christopher "H.C." Bailey

Indecision and hesitation are the weakness of a careful nature always intent on the saving of face and losing it thereby.

Character | Indecision | Nature | Weakness |

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 |

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 |

Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

It is when we detect our own weaknesses that we come to pity or despise mankind. The human nature from which we then turn away is the human nature we have discovered in the depths of our own being. The evil is so well screened, the secret so universally kept, that in this case each individual is the dupe of all: however severely we may profess to judge other men, at bottom we think them better than ourselves. On this happy illusion much of our social life is grounded.

Better | Character | Despise | Evil | Happy | Human nature | Illusion | Individual | Life | Life | Mankind | Men | Nature | Pity | Think |

H. B.

I live in the world, but I seem to myself not of it!.. Natural phenomena are but the shadows of the spirit form which they spring, as the human face changes under the influence of love, hatred or fear... When, O when, shall I be able to reveal its poetry? I see everywhere and in ever object unceasing motion, and in that motion a creative force forever and forever repeating and re-repeating the same simple process as to infinity. Through all nature the grand rhythms roll and heaven and earth are filled with the melody. Men are but boys chasing shadows. The spiritual significance of the world none seem to see - the infinite simplicity of its process are none care to understand.

Boys | Care | Character | Earth | Fear | Force | Heaven | Influence | Love | Melody | Men | Nature | Object | Phenomena | Poetry | Simplicity | Spirit | World |

Katharine Anthony, fully Katharine Susan Anthony

Foremost among the barriers to equality is the system which ignores the mother’s service to Society in making a home and rearing children. The mother is still the uncharted servant of the future, who receives from her husband, at his discretion, a share in his wages.

Character | Children | Discretion | Equality | Future | Husband | Mother | Service | Society | System | Society |

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

A rational nature admits of nothing but what is serviceable to the rest of mankind.

Character | Mankind | Nature | Nothing | Rest |

Michael Barenbaum

Envy destroys peace of mind and happiness. An envious person’s life is full of suffering and resentment. He is never happy with what he himself has.

Character | Envy | Happy | Life | Life | Mind | Peace | Resentment | Suffering |

Bruce Bliven

Perhaps the most important lesson the world has learned in the past fifty years is that it is not true that "human nature is unchangeable."

Character | Human nature | Important | Lesson | Nature | Past | World |

Hugh Blair

Sentiment and principle are often mistaken for each other, though, in fact, they widely differ. Sentiment is the virtue of ideas; principle the virtue of action. Sentiment has its seat in the had; principle, in the heart. Sentiment suggest fine harangues and subtle distinctions; principle conceives just notions, and performs good actions in consequence of them. Sentiment refines away the simplicity of truth, and the plainness of piety; and "gives us virtue in words, and vice in deeds."

Action | Character | Deeds | Good | Heart | Ideas | Piety | Sentiment | Simplicity | Truth | Virtue | Virtue | Words | Vice |