Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

Adolfo Barcella

Unrequited love is the meaning of life. We’re here to love but not to be loved, to give but not receive. Our mission in this world is to improve humanity and leave a better history than we found. Only selfless love has such power. Only love without interest or expectation of reward can change human beings... To give love without receiving love is the truest love and brings the greatest happiness there is in life.

Better | Change | Character | Expectation | History | Humanity | Life | Life | Love | Meaning | Mission | Power | Receive | Reward | World | Expectation | Happiness |

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, born Ferdinand Lewis "Lew" Alcinder, Jr.

The reason we’re here is to exercise personal responsibility, to evolve the higher self and to influence that development in others.

Character | Influence | Reason | Responsibility | Self |

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 |

Nancy Astor, fully Lady Nancy Witcher Astor, Viscountess Astor

Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer - into selflessness which links us with all humanity.

Character | Education | Humanity | Self |

Rabbi Avraham of Sochotchov NULL

Life is something you measure not in years but in precious moments - and in how you value those moments. The responsibility for making such moments meaningful is yours alone. There are no definitions of failure or success except the ones you specify for yourself. You are the meaning of your own life.

Character | Failure | Life | Life | Meaning | Responsibility | Success | Failure | Value |

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 |

Honoré de Balzac

[Paraphrase] Self consciousness, while glorious for what is has done, is at the same time baneful, because it precludes man from entering the Cosmic Conscious life, which leads to the infinite - which alone can explain God.

Character | Consciousness | God | Life | Life | Man | Self | Time |

Phillip Adams

When people say to me: "How do you do so many things?" I often answer them, without meaning to be cruel: "How to you do so little?" It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever."

Character | Confidence | Little | Meaning | People |

S'rîmad Bhâgavatam, aka Bhâgavata Purâna or Bhāgavata

Learn to look with an equal eye upon all beings, seeing the one Self in all.

Character | Self |

Charles Francis Adams II

More than all, and above all Washington was master of himself. If there be one quality more than another in his character which may exercise a useful control over the men of the present hour, it is the total disregard of self when in the most elevated positions for influence and example.

Character | Control | Example | Influence | Men | Present | Self |

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

A man's true greatness lies in the consciousness of an honest purpose in life, founded on a just estimate of himself and everything else, on frequent self-examinations, and a steady obedience to the rule which he knows to be right, without troubling himself about what others may think or say, or whether they do or do not that which he thinks and says and does.

Character | Consciousness | Greatness | Life | Life | Man | Obedience | Purpose | Purpose | Right | Rule | Self | Think |

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 |

Barbara Brennan

The meaning of life is experienced when we are in touch with our unique essence, sometimes called the divine spark within... It is both individual and universal. When we are fully aware of this unique inner radiance, we feel what it is to be utterly alive. We experience unconditional love. We sense complete safety because that spark also connects us to the universal divinity within all things.

Character | Divinity | Experience | Individual | Life | Life | Love | Meaning | Sense | Unique |

Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

He who beholds in all beings in the self and the self in all beings, he never turns away from it. When to a man who understands, the self has become all things, what sorrow, what trouble can there be to him who once beheld that unity?

Character | Man | Self | Sorrow | Unity | Trouble |

James Boswell

All censure of a man’s self is oblique praise.

Censure | Character | Man | Praise | Self |

Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

When a person who was self conscious only, enters into cosmic consciousness - he knows without learning certain things... that the universe is not a dead machine but a living presence... that in its essence and tendency it is infinitely good... that individual existence is continuous beyond what is called death.

Character | Consciousness | Death | Existence | Good | Individual | Learning | Self | Universe |

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 |