Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Attainment

"Sloth never arrived at the attainment of a good wish." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"Life, whether in this world or any other, is the sum of our attainment, our experience, our character. The conditions are secondary. In what other world shall we be more surely than we are here?" - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"It is only the attainment of the higher level of inner religious life which justifies an abandonment of our religious forms, that on a lower level are both a duty and a necessity." - Samuel Holdheim

"Rites and vain repetitions have a legitimate place in religion as aids to recollectedness, reminders of truth momentarily forgotten in the turmoil of worldly distractions. When spoken or performed as a kind of magic, their use is either completely useless or else (and this is worse) it may have ego-enhancing results, which do not in any way contribute to the attainment of man’s final end." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"Every man is rich or poor, according to the proportion between his desires and enjoyments. Of riches as of everything else, the hope is more than the enjoyment. While we consider them as the means to be used at some future time for the attainment of felicity, ardor after them secures us from weariness of ourselves; but no sooner do we sit down to enjoy our acquisitions than we find them insufficient to fill up the vacuities of life." -

"The attainment of wholeness requires one to stake one’s whole being. Nothing less will do; there can be no easier conditions, no substitutes, no compromises." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"There is not a vice which more effectually contracts and deadens the feelings, which more completely makes a man’s affections center in himself, and excludes all others from partaking in them, than the desire of accumulating possessions. When the desire has once gotten hold of the heart, it shuts out all other considerations, but such as may promote its views. In its zeal for the attainment of its end, it is not delicate in the choice of means. As it closes the heart, so also it clouds the understanding. It cannot discern between right and wrong; it takes evil for good, and good for evil; it calls darkness light, and light darkness. Beware, then, of the beginning of covetousness, for you know not where it will end." - Richard Mant

"Life is given for wisdom, and yet we are not wise; for goodness, and we are not good; for overcoming evil, and evil remains; for patience and sympathy and love, and yet we are fretful and hard and weak and selfish. We are keyed not to attainment, but to struggle toward it." - Theodore T. Munger

"There is no road to success but through a clear strong purpose. Nothing can take its place. A purpose underlies character, culture, position, attainment of every sort." - Theodore T. Munger

"No one can change himself beyond his life, hereafter, beyond his Time, but only within his life. His attainment of unity is something that must belong to his life, this life, that is himself; and if we can equate unity and ‘eternal life’, it is something that cannot life in some ‘tomorrow’ or ‘hereafter’ beyond a man’s life. Its possibilities belong to us now, to something we have to do now. It is this life that must be worked upon, be made more real, by separating the false by insight." - Maurice Nicoll

"To think we are able is almost to be so; to determine upon attainment is frequently attainment itself; earnest resolution has often seemed to have about it almost a savor of omnipotence." - Samuel Smiles

"The Universe is governed by divine laws, which, unlike those of man’s making, are immutable, inviolable and an end to themselves, not instruments for the attainment of particular objects. The love of God is man’s only true good. From other passions we can free ourselves, but not from love, because for the weakness of our nature we could not subsist without the enjoyment of something that may strength us by our union with it. Only the knowledge of God will enable us to subdue the hurtful passions, This, as the source of all knowledge, is the most perfect of all; and inasmuch as all knowledge is derived from the knowledge of God, we may know god better than we know ourselves. This knowledge in time leads to the love of God, which is the soul’s union with Him. The union of the soul with God is its second birth, and therein consists man’s immortality and freedom." -

"Be not content with the commonplace in character anymore than with the commonplace in ambition or intellectual attainment. Do not expect that you will make any lasting or very strong impression on the world through intellectual power without the use of an equal amount of conscience and heart." - William Jewett Tucker

"The reward of the souls in the world beyond is their ability to attain the true concept of God which is a source of the most wonderful felicity, an attainment impossible for man in this early life because of the disturbances on the part of matter." - Isaac Abravanel, fully Don Itshak ben Yehouda Abravanel

"Buddhist Sutra from Sanskrit “The Heart of the Prajnaparamita” - All dharmas are marked with emptiness; they are neither produced nor destroyed, neither defiled nor immaculate, neither increasing nor decreasing. Therefore, in emptiness there is neither form, nor feeling, nor perception, nor mental functioning, nor consciousness; no eye, or ear, or nose, or tongue, or body, or mind; no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touchable, no object of mind, no realm of elements (from sight to mind-consciousness), no interdependent origins (from ignorance to death and decay), no extinction of death and decay, no suffering, no origination, no extinction, no path, no wisdom, no attainment." -

"Each generation of Americans has outstripped its parents in education, in literacy, and in economic attainment. For the first time in the history of our country, the educational skills of one generation will not surpass, will not equal, will not even approach those of their parents." - Paul Copperman

"The highest attainment, as well as enjoyment of the spiritual life, is to be able at all times and in all things to say "Thy will be done."" - Tyron Edwards

"In philosophy, it is not the attainment of the goal that matters, it is the things that are met with by the way." - Henry Havelock Ellis

"The great end of all human industry is the attainment of happiness." - David Hume

"Attainment is followed by neglect, possession by disgust." -

"The best practice entices us with its endless possibilities. It's like a journey in which as we advance one mile toward the destination, it recedes two miles toward the horizon. We're not discouraged by this, but in fact exhilarated, because a practice having infinite possibilities opens us to a life of constant learning. Every attainment serves as a platform for new and unceasing explorations in consciousness." -

"Society's preservation and man's happiness depend on illusion. Nature itself, which certainly represents the will of God, deludes us in many respects, as when it leads us by the cords of love to reproduce the race. If a youth would consider the trouble in rearing a family, not one in a thousand would marry, but nature closes our eyes to the future (and indeed, wherever popular knowledge rises, the birth rate declines). The same is true of the other passions, which nature utilizes to deceive man and goad them toward the attainment of ends which, when attained, turn out to be but vanity." - Samuel David Luzzatto, aka by acronym of SHaDaL or SHeDaL

"Man can be defined as a being born to transcend himself. And the meaning of human life resides in man’s seeking to become what he was, is and will be eternally in God... Man is the eye through which God knows Himself in His creation, through which God sees and reflects upon His own Splendor. The supreme goal of life is the attainment of this state of awareness of being the eye of which God is the light." - Seyyed Hossein Nasr

"We need to get rid of some false meanings that we give to the words eternal and eternity. The psychological idea connected with eternal life cannot be limited to the view that man is changed into another state at death, merely by the act of dying. It would be far more correct to say that it refers, first of all, to some change that man is capable of undergoing now, in this life, and one that is connected with the attainment of unity. The modern term psychology means literally the science of the soul. But in former times there actually existed a science of the soul based upon the idea that man is an imperfect state but capable of reaching a further state... No totality-act is possible; the will is separate from knowledge, the feeling from intellect." - Maurice Nicoll

"We can look upon a road from two different points of view. One regards it as dividing us from the object of desire; in that case we count every step of our journey over it as something attained by force in the face of obstruction. The other sees it as the road which leads us to our destination; and as such is part of our goal. It is already the beginning of our attainment, and by journeying over it we can only gain that which in itself it offers to us." -

"All true educators since the time of Socrates and Plato have agreed that the primary objective of education is the attainment of inner harmony, or, to put it into more up-to-date language, the integration of the personality. Without such an integration learning is no more than a collection of scraps, and the accumulation of knowledge becomes a danger to mental health." - Alfred Zimmern, fully Sir Alfred Eckhard Zimmern

"Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"We do not know whether it is good to live or to die. Therefore, we should not take delight in living, nor should we tremble at the thought of death. We should be equiminded towards death. This is the ideal. It may be long before we reach it, and only a few of us can attain it. Even then, we must keep it constantly in view, and the more difficult it seems of attainment, the greater should be the effort we put forth." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"A necessary quality for the attainment of individuality is the ability to tolerate some degree of loneliness in the sense of independent adherence to values that those around you will not support." - D. W. Harding, fully Denys Clement Wyatt Harding

"It is as if a divine cunning operated in human history, using our instincts as pretexts for the attainment of goals which are universally valid, a scheme to harness man’s lower forces in the service of higher ends." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"If you do not see clearly, but are still arrogant about your attainment, then you will totally lose whatever power you have gained. The relationship between your arrogance and your abilities is quite exact." - Hsuan Hua, aka An Tzu and Tu Lun

"He that feels himself alarmed by his conscience, anxious for the attainment of a better state and afflicted by the memory of his past faults, may justly conclude that the great work of repentance has begun." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"Society is joint action and cooperation in which each participant sees the other partner's success as a means for the attainment of his own." -

"The riddle of the universe is not so simple. There is the aspect of permanence in which a given type of attainment is endlessly repeated for its own sake; and there is the aspect of transition to other things - it may be of higher worth and it may be of lower worth. Also there are aspects of struggle and of friendly help. But romantic ruthlessness is no nearer to real politics, than is romantic self-abnegation." - Alfred North Whitehead

"The nature or very essence of phenomena, whether vital or mineral, will always remain unknown... Absolute knowledge could, therefore, leave nothing outside itself; and only on condition of knowing everything could man be granted its attainment. Man behaves as if he were destined to reach this absolute knowledge; and the incessant why which he puts to nature proves it. Indeed, this hope, constantly disappointed, constantly reborn, sustains and always will sustain successive generation sin the passionate search for truth." - Claude Bernard

"To find the central clue to our moral being which unites us to the universal order, that indeed is the highest human attainment." - Confucius, aka Kong Qiu, Zhongni, K'ung Fu-tzu or Kong Fuzi NULL

"In view of the complete systematic unity of reason, there can only be one ultimate end of all the operations of the mind. To this all other aims are subordinate, and nothing more than means for its attainment. This ultimate end is the destination of man, and the philosophy which relates to it is termed moral philosophy." - Immanuel Kant

"To begin to think with purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment." -

"What are the American ideals? They are the development of the individual through liberty and the attainment of the common good through democracy and social justice." - Louis D. Brandeis, fully Louis Dembitz Brandeis

"The very best and utmost of attainment in this life is to remain still and let God act and speak in thee." - Meister Eckhart, formally Meister von Hochheim

"Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot succeed. A sense of inferiority and inadequacy interferes with the attainment of your hopes, but self-confidence leads to self-realization and successful achievement." - Norman Vincent Peale

"To experience the satisfaction and enjoyment of success in life, a definitive goal is essential... Strong and organized purposefulness toward a definitive objective will focus your powers into a strong motivation in attainment of your goal." - Norman Vincent Peale

"Happiness consists in the attainment of our desires, and in our having only right desires." -

"The pursuit of the will of God is an ardent desire for blessedness; its attainment is blessedness itself. We pursue Him when, illumined and captivated in the depts. Of our being by His truth and holiness, we grasp Him in a wondrous and rational fashion." -

"It is no great thing to be humble when you are brought low; but to be humble when you are praised is a great and rare attainment." - Saint Bernard of Clairvaux NULL

"What is hell? To live in slavery to others. How is heaven attained? The attainment of heaven is the freedom from cravings. What is a person’s duty? To do good to all beings. What are worthless as soon as they are won? Honor and fame. What brings happiness? The friendship of the holy. What destroys craving? Realization of one’s true self. Who are our enemies? Our sense-organs, when they are uncontrolled. Who are our friends? Our sense-organs, when they are controlled. Who has overcome the world? He who has conquered his own mind." - Adi Shankara, aka Śaṅkara Bhagavatpādācārya and Ādi Śaṅkarācārya

"Only when his heart becomes purified through the practice of spiritual disciplines does man attain to wisdom. He then becomes convinced of the existence of God through realizing Him in his own soul. There is, however, something greater than this attainment. To become convinced that fire hides hidden in the wood is one thing, but greater is it to light the fire, cook food, and satisfy one’s hunger." -

"The word reason itself is far from being precise in its meaning. In common and popular discourse it denotes the power by which we distinguish truth from falsehood, and right from wrong, and by which we are enabled to combine means for the attainment of particular ends…. Reason is sometimes used to express the whole of those powers which elevate man above the brutes, and constitute his rational nature, more especially, perhaps, his intellectual powers; sometimes to express the power of deduction or argumentation." - Dugald Stewart

"Akon said to Elizabeth: “Mind forces, spiritual strength, soul attainment and thoughts are all made up of different speeds in the wave-length of light, or microatoms. Electricity is microatoms of light while sound and colour occur when the microatoms have different speeds, and when micro-atoms are stopped, they create heat. Light is an intelligent energy which can be thought into existence and substance. The pattern of the microatoms of light changes with changing thoughts, when one achieves the formula for the harmonic vibration of light. The key to all life and the Universe lies in the harmonic interaction of light. A mathematical formula for all transportation lies in the vibratory frequencies of light harmonic, with anti-gravity waves and time waves, which are simply the frequency rate between each pulse of the spiral of light." - Elizabeth Klarer

"In its broad sense, civilization means not only comfort in daily necessities but also the refining of knowledge and the cultivation of virtue so as to elevate human life to a higher plane… It refers to the attainment of both material well-being and the elevation of the human spirit, [but] since what produces man’s well-being and refinement is knowledge and virtue, civilization ultimately means the progress of man’s knowledge and virtue." - Fukuzawa Yukichi