Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Agitation

"The true religion commands us to put away all disquietude of heart, and agitation of mind, and also all commotions and tempests of the soul." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"Every affection of the mind that is attended with either pain or pleasure, hope or fear, is the cause of an agitation whose influence extends to the heart, and there induces change from the natural constitution, in the temperature, the pulse and the rest, which impairing all nutrition in its source and abating the powers at large, it is no wonder that various forms of incurable disease in the extremities and in the trunk are the consequence, inasmuch as in such circumstances the whole body labors under the effects of vitiated nutrition and want of native heat." - William Harvey

"Is it not astonishing that the love of repose keeps us in continual agitation?" -

"Providence has given human wisdom the choice between two fates: either hope and agitation, or hopelessness and calm." - Yevgeny Abromovich Baratynsky

"When there is nothing in the world that can trigger agitation, then one is free from the pain of longing." - Buddhist Discourses NULL

"Fullness is always quiet: agitation will answer for empty vessels only." - Amos Bronson Alcott

"The constancy of sages is nothing but the art of locking up their agitation in their hearts." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"The tranquillity or agitation of our temper does not depend so much on the big things which happen to us in life, as on the pleasant or unpleasant arrangements of the little things which happen daily." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning… Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get." - Frederick Douglass, born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey

"The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle... If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters." - Frederick Douglass, born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey

"Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will." - Frederick Douglass, born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey

"The passion of desire is an agitation of the soul caused by the spirits which dispose it to wish for the future the things which it represents to itself as agreeable. Thus we do not only desire the presence of the absent good, but also the conservation of the present, and further, the absence of evil, both of that which we already have, and of that which we believe we might experience in time to come." - René Descartes

"Anger is rooted in our lack of understanding of ourselves and of the causes, deep-seated as well as immediate, that brought about this unpleasant state of affairs. Anger is also rooted in desire, pride, agitation and suspicion. The primary roots of our anger are in ourselves. Our environment and other people are only secondary. It is not difficult for us to accept the enormous damage brought abut by a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or a flood. But when damage is caused by another person, we don’t have much patience. We know that earthquakes and floods have causes, and we should see that the person who has precipitated our anger also has reasons, deep-seated and immediate, for what he has done." - Thich Nhất Hanh

"Political agitation, by the passions it arouses or the convictions it engenders, may in fact stimulate men to the violation of the law. Detestation of existing policies is easily transformed into forcible resistance of the authority which puts them in execution, and it would be folly to disregard the causal relation between the two. Yet to assimilate agitation, legitimate as such, with direct incitement to violent resistance, is to disregard the tolerance of all methods of political agitation which in normal times is a safeguard of free government." - Learned Hand, fully Billings Learned Hand

"Revolutionary Social-Democracy has always included the struggle for reforms as part of its activities. But it utilises “economic” agitation for the purpose of presenting to the government, not only demands for all sorts of measures, but also (and primarily) the demand that it cease to be an autocratic government." - Vladimir Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"A status not freely chosen or entered into by an individual or a group is necessarily one of oppression and the oppressed are by their nature (i.e., oppressed) forever in ferment and agitation against their condition and what they understand to be their oppressors. If not by overt rebellion or revolution, then in the thousand and one ways they will devise with and without consciousness to alter their condition." - Lorraine Hansberry

"Were it not for the salutary agitation of the passions, the waters of life would become dull, stagnant, and as unfit for all vital purposes as those of the Dead Sea." - Paul Chatfield, pseudonym for Horace Smith

"There is always another country and always another place. There is always another name and another face. And the name and the face are you, and you The name and the face, and the stream you gaze into Will show the adoring face, show the lips that lift to you As you lean with the implacable thirst of self, As you lean to the image which is yourself, To set the lip to lip, fix eye on bulging eye, To drink not of the stream but of your deep identity, But water is water and it flows, Under the image on the water the water coils and goes And its own beginning and its end only the water knows. There are many countries and the rivers in them -Cumberland, Tennessee, Ohio, Colorado, Pecos, Little Big Horn, And Roll, Missouri, roll. But there is only water in them. And in the new country and in the new, place The eyes of the new friend will reflect the new face And his mouth will speak to frame The syllables of the new name And the name is you and is the agitation of the air And is the wind and the wind runs and the wind is everywhere. The name and the face are you. And they are you. Are new. For they have been dipped in the healing flood. For they have been dipped in the redeeming blood. For they have been dipped in Time And Time is only beginnings Time is only and always beginnings And is the redemption of our crime And is our Saviour's priceless blood. For Time is always the new place, And no-place. For Time is always the new name and the new face, And no-name and no-face. For Time is motion For Time is innocence For Time is West. " - Robert Penn Warren

"Take provisions for your long way, O wise man! Remove the heaviness of sleep from your heart, O invited guest! Set your baggage in order for departure, O sojourner! The morning tide is night at hand, O wayfarer; why do you sleep? Arise and prepare yourself, O mariner who is to voyage on the sea! Arise and make ready the tackle of your ship, for you do not know at what hour the wind will carry you out! Honor flees away from before the man that runs after it; but he who flees from it, the same will it hunt down, and to all men become a herald of his humility." - Saint Isaac of Nineveh, also Isaac the Syrian, Isaac of Qatar and Isaac Syrus NULL

"Such is the state of life, that none are happy but by the anticipation of change: the change itself is nothing; when we have made it, the next wish is to change again." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"we seem to have developed the misconception that awakening involves assassinating the ego and dropping its body in the ocean of the Self. But the ego isn’t your archenemy, it’s merely a function, a diligent worker that goes about its self-appointed task of monitoring your survival and holding on to control. When you wake up, you see the ego for what it is—a collection of thoughts, feelings, memories, and beliefs held together by a sense of identity—and no longer mistakenly take it to be the truth of who you are or feel compelled to follow its directives." - Stephan Bodian

"It is of little use for us to pay lip-loyalty to the mighty men of the past unless we sincerely endeavor to apply to the problems of the present precisely the qualities which in other crises enabled the men of that day to meet those crises." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"The law is more easily understood by few than many words. For all words are subject to ambiguity, and therefore multiplication of words in the body of the law is multiplication of ambiguity. Besides, it seems to imply (by too much diligence) that whosoever can evade the words is without the compass of the law." - Thomas Hobbes

"The foundation on which all [our State constitutions] are built is the natural equality of man, the denial of every pre-eminence but that annexed to legal office and particularly the denial of apre-eminence by birth." - Thomas Jefferson

"Businesses, are, in reality, quasi-religious sects. When you go to work in one, you embrace A New Faith. And if they are really big businesses, you progress from faith to a kind of mystique. Belief in the product, preaching the product, in the end the product becomes the focus of a transcendental experience. Through “the product” one communes with the vast forces of life, nature, and history that are expressed in business." - Thomas Merton

"And I am not so sure this last one is true:" - Wendell Phillips

"Every man meets his Waterloo at last." - Wendell Phillips

"The old Hindoo saw, in his dream, the human race led out to its various fortunes. - First, men were in chains that went back to an iron hand - then he saw them led by threads from the brain, which went upward to an unseen hand. The first was despotism, iron, and ruling by force. - The last was civilization, ruling by ideas." - Wendell Phillips

"The period of Catholic ascendancy was on the whole one of the most deplorable in the history of the human mind.... The spirit that shrinks from enquiry as sinful and deems a state of doubt a state of guilt, is the most enduring disease that can afflict the mind of man. Not till the education of Europe passed from the monasteries to the universities, not till Mohammedan science, and clasical free thought, and industrial independence broke the sceptre of the Church, did the intellectual revival of Europe begin." - W. E. H. Lecky, fully William Edward Hartpole Lecky

"A bourgeois revolution is a revolution which does not go beyond the limits of the bourgeois, i.e., capitalist, social and economic system. A bourgeois revolution expresses the need for the development of capitalism, and far from destroying the foundations of capitalism, it does the opposite, it broadens and deepens them." - Vladimir Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class shall represent and repress them in parliament." - Vladimir Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"There is no need to suppose that human beings differ very much one from another; but it is true that the ones who come out on top are the ones who have been trained in the hardest school." - Thucydides NULL

"When I tried this morning, after an hour or so of unhappy thinking, to dip back into my meditation, I took a new idea with me: compassion. I asked my heart if it could please infuse my soul with a more generous perspective on my mind's workings. Instead of thinking that I was a failure, could I perhaps accept that I am only a human being--and a normal one, at that?" - Elizabeth Gilbert

"It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it." - Eugene V. Debs, fully Eugene Victor Debs

"Riches are the savings of many in the hands of one." - Eugene V. Debs, fully Eugene Victor Debs

"Why should a Socialist be discouraged on the eve of the greatest triumph in all the history of the Socialist movement? It is true that these are anxious, trying days for us all — testing days for the women and men who are upholding the banner of labor in the struggle of the working class of all the world against the exploiters of all the world; a time in which the weak and cowardly will falter and fail and desert. They lack the fiber to endure the revolutionary test; they fall away; they disappear as if they had never been. On the other hand, they who are animated by the unconquerable spirit of the social revolution; they who have the moral courage to stand erect and assert their convictions; stand by them; fight for them; go to jail or to hell for them, if need be — they are writing their names, in this crucial hour — they are writing their names in faceless letters in the history of mankind." - Eugene V. Debs, fully Eugene Victor Debs