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

William James

The mind is at every stage a theater of simultaneous possibilities. Consciousness consists in the comparison of these with each other, the selection of some, and the suppression of the rest by the reinforcing and inhibiting agency of attention. The highest and most elaborated mental products are filtered from the data chosen by the faculty next beneath, out of the mass offered by the faculty below that, which mass in turn was sifted from a still larger amount of yet simpler material, and so on.

Attention | Character | Consciousness | Mind | Rest | Suppression |

Thomas Malthus, fully Thomas Robert Malthus

Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will show the immensity of the first power in comparison to the second. By that law of our nature which makes food necessary to the life of man, the effects of these two unequal powers must be kept equal. This implies a strong and constantly operating check on population from the difficulty of subsistence. This difficulty must fall somewhere and must necessarily be severely felt by a large portion of mankind.

Acquaintance | Character | Difficulty | Law | Life | Life | Man | Mankind | Nature | Power | Will |

Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Time presupposes a view of time. It is, therefore, not like a river, not a flowing substance. The fact that the metaphor based on this comparison has persisted from the time of Heraclitus to our own day is explained by our surreptitiously putting into the river a witness of its course.

Character | Day | Time | Wisdom | Witness |

Bachya Ibn Pekudah

The earth we live on is so small that even if someone was honored by everyone on our planet it is still insignificant. Also, a person’s lifetime is so short that even if he received honor and approval his entire life, it is so short in comparison with eternity. This is the ultimate success an approval-seeker can hope for, but the reality is that even if you spend you entire life trying to win the approval of others, only a small number of people will know and approve of you. The approval you do gain lasts a very short time and is soon forgotten as if it never was.

Character | Earth | Eternity | Honor | Hope | Life | Life | People | Reality | Success | Time | Will | Approval |

Moshe Rosenstein, fully Moshe ben Chaim Rosenstein

A person who appreciates that the Almighty created everything in the world for his benefit is aware of the multitude of good things he has in the world. With this appreciation, no one considers himself poor in comparison to anyone else just because the other person has a little more than him. Even the poorest person in the world has many things for which to be thankful. Everyone has the ability to be in a state of happiness. Do not allow another person’s having more than you rob you of your happiness.

Ability | Appreciation | Character | Good | Little | World |

E. W. Howe, fully Edgar Watson Howe

No man is smart except by comparison with other who know less; the smartest man who ever lived has reason to be ashamed of himself.

Man | Reason | Wisdom |

Ze'ev Jabotinsky, born Vladimir Jabotinsky

In propaganda the appeal of love is slow and lumbering in comparison with the appeal of hatred. hatred is the piquant sauce which accelerates both the swallowing and digestion of ideas and policies.

Ideas | Love | Wisdom | Propaganda |

George Horne

The external part of religion is doubtless of little value in comparison with the internal, and so is the cask in comparison with the wine contained in it: but if the cask be staved in, the wine must perish.

Little | Religion | Wisdom | Value |

J. Z. Knight, fully Judy Zebra Knight, born Judity Darlene Hampton

Mere survival has always been the surface, bottom-line surface for our existence... Survival alone does not ennoble us... True meaning... can be found in what we’ve yet to accomplish, in the realm of the unknown. We must resolve to look deep within, at the unrealized potential of our unevolved selves. Materially, the unknown is one vast nothingness; potentially, it is all things. The unknown within us is where all dreams, thoughts and genius are frozen. The act of searching to make known the unknown triggers the brain. It allows us to incorporate, in ourselves, a greater consciousness, lighting the way for our dreams to enact themselves. Although we seem small in comparison with the whole universe, we are equipped with the greatest cosmic hookup ever created: the human brain. The brain - linked unconsciously to the infinite mind where the unknown resides - only facilitates thoughts, it does not create it. In struggling to find the answer to why we exist, we awaken the infinite mind to the unknown, making known the unknown, bringing meaning to our existence and commonness to all.

Consciousness | Dreams | Existence | Genius | Meaning | Mind | Survival | Universe | Wisdom |

Richard Steele, fully Sir Richard Steele

Fire and sword are but slow engines of destruction in comparison with the babbler.

Wisdom |

John Dewey

Philosophy has the task and the opportunity of helping banish the concept that human destiny here and now is of slight importance in comparison with some supernatural destiny.

Destiny | Opportunity | Philosophy |

Thomas Malthus, fully Thomas Robert Malthus

The power of population is infinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man. Population, when unchecked, increases at a geometrical ratio. Subsistence only increases in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will show the immensity of the first power in comparison of the second.

Acquaintance | Earth | Man | Power | Will |

Jonathan Schell, fully Jonathan Edward Schell

One thing is certain, that the poet is the only true an, and the best of philosophers is a mere caricature in comparison to him.

Charles Baudelaire

Laughter is satanic, and, therefore, profoundly human. It is born of Man’s conception of his own superiority… It is at once a sign of infinite grandeur and of infinite wretchedness; of infinite wretchedness by comparison with the absolute Being who exists as an idea in Man’s mind; of an infinite grandeur by comparison with animals.

Absolute | Laughter | Man | Mind | Superiority |

Francis Bacon

There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.

Gustave Le Bon

The conscious life of the mind is of small importance in comparison with its unconscious life.

Life | Life | Mind |