Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Awareness

"The purpose of this discipline is to bring man into the habit of applying the insight that has come to him as the result of the preceding disciplines. When one is rising, standing, walking, doing something, stopping, one should constantly concentrate one’s mind on the act and the doing of it, not on one’s relation to the act, or its character or value. One should think: there is walking, there is stopping, there is realizing; not, I am walking, I am doing this, it is a good thing, it is disagreeable, I am gaining merit, it is I who am realizing how wonderful it is. Thence come vagrant thoughts, feelings of elation or of failure and unhappiness. Instead of all this, one should simply practice concentration of the mind on the act itself, understanding it to be an expedient means for attaining tranquillity of mind, realization, insight and Wisdom; and one should follow the practice in faith, willingness and gladness. After long practice the bondage of old habits become weakened and disappears, and in its place appear confidence, satisfaction, awareness and tranquillity. What is the Way of Wisdom designed to accomplish? There are three classes of conditions that hinder one from advancing along the path to Enlightenment. First, there are the allurements arising from the senses, from external conditions and from the discriminating mind. Second, there are the internal conditions of the mind, its thoughts, desires and mood. All these the earlier practices (ethical and mortificatory) are designed to eliminate. In the third class of impediments are placed the individual’s instinctive and fundamental (and therefore most insidious and persistent) urges - the will to live and to enjoy, the will to cherish one’s personality, the will to propagate, which give rise to greed and lust, fear and anger, infatuation, pride and egotism. The practice of the Wisdom Paramita is designed to control and eliminate these fundamental and instinctive hindrances." - Aśvaghoṣa NULL

"What education does is to put a series of filters over your awareness so that year by year... you experience less and less." - Norman O. Brown, fully Norman Oliver Brown

"Your awareness of your self-worth is not a contradiction to the obligation to be humble. Humility is not a lack of awareness of your positive accomplishments and abilities. Only a fool is not aware of what he really is an this is not humility. Humility is the internalized awareness with every fiber of your body that everything, yes everything, you have is not your own. Rather it is a gift from the Almighty who bestowed His kindness on you. The more a person actually feels that what he has is a gift the greater is his humility." - Yehuda Leib Chasman

"A person who lives with a constant awareness of the Almighty will live a life of constant happiness." - Chazon Ish, named Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz

"Habit has great power. We can become used to almost everything. We can become so used to a life of suffering that we are no longer aware that our suffering is not the way life should be lived. This tendency to lack a feeling of suffering is the biggest obstacle to becoming elevated through suffering. Since we do not feel the suffering, we do not pay attention to it and do not hear its message.. To overcome this, we must obtain an awareness that whenever things are not as they should be it is a message that we should improve ourselves in some area." - Avraham Grodzinski

"The purpose of my existence as I climb is to adapt my personal dimensions to the environment around me at each moment. I become an active player sharing some of the responsibility for my own destiny, achieving a heightened sense of awareness and seeing the direct result of my efforts; either I fall or I reach the top. But the meaning does not come from conquering the rock. Purpose comes from moving in harmony with nature, rather than destroying it or altering it for my immediate satisfaction. What gives life meaning is the fulfillment of directing energy in a way that brings a higher order to, and harmony with, the environment I live in... The ultimate meaning of our lives is relative to how much we have given to others. The ultimate meaning of our lives is connected with death... I would like to know that I have inspired people to go beyond self-limiting stereotypes to experience and nurture the true richness of their passions." - Lynn Hill, aka Lynn Hill-Raffa

"Charity... unlike the lower forms of love, is not an emotion. It begins as an act of the will and is consummated as a purely spiritual awareness, a unitive love-knowledge of the essence of its object." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"If there is freedom... there is a spiritual Reality, which it is the final end and purpose of consciousness to know; then all life is in the nature of an intelligence test, and the higher the level of awareness and the greater the potentialities of the creature, the more searchingly difficult will be the questions asked." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"We cannot presume to know what’s best for another soul. We have no way of knowing where that soul has been, what road it has traveled, what its secrets are, and what lessons it needs in order to attain spiritual awareness." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"The practice of a totally unreserved awareness is the road to absolute inner acceptance. This acceptance unblocks the space where selfless love and fearlessness are revealed. And the inner peace from which they arise is the way to effective outer peacemaking." - Karl Jones

"There is an aliveness in people who are living life and not merely observing or intellectualizing it... During the time of catastrophic change, each individual has the opportunity to feel fully alive and resource-filled-awake far beyond the daily soporific states of consciousness in which most of us reside. Living on an edge heightens the human awareness. It does not dull it." - W. Brugh Joy, fully William Brugh Joy

"What is important is to free ourselves from ideas, from nationalism, from all religious beliefs and dogmas, so that we can act, not according to a pattern or an ideology, but as needs demand... It is only when the mind is free of idea and belief that it can act rightly... and freedom from ideas can take place only through self-awareness and self-knowledge." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Without the appreciation of beauty and without the sensitive awareness of it, there is no love." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Life is based on limitation and compromise. The fact that we forget the meaning of life is the meaning of life. Being in a state of partial awareness allows experience and life to progress. God, as an omniscient being, is not an “experiencing being” because his or her experience is not new. If You were going to start a universe, what would Your options be? You could choose to remain totally stagnant, but that wouldn’t amount to a true universe. You’d need entities that experience it, entities that are fragile and temporary and not omniscient. That’s who we are and why we’re here." - Jaron Lanier, fully Jaron Zepel Lanier

"At first glance, life appears meaningless, futile, full of contradictions and absurdities. But a deeper, meditating look uncovers beauty, order and harmony, revealing life as a supreme accomplishment of eternal wisdom... All of creation is an act of love and providence, a drama imbued with meaning... In simple words: Life is a mission of awareness and awakening and deep enlightenment. We are here to sense this divine presence beyond all phenomena. We are here to recognize a deep urge in our hearts to act in harmony, in conformity and in love with these divinities." - Mustapha Mahmoud

"Some people ask why the righteous suffer in this world. To a great extent the question is based on a misconception. Often, the criteria people use to judge whether another person is living a good life or not is by his financial standard of living... A truly righteous person by definition lives a happy life. Such a person has internalized the awareness that all the occurrences in his life are for the good, and he has satisfaction from his life. His life has meaning and purpose. His whole being is focused on spiritual elevation. He deeply feels that the good life is to fulfill the will of the Almighty and hence he feels great pleasure in the good deeds that he performs." - Yaakov Neiman

"By watching yourself in your daily life with alert interest, with the intention to understand rather than to judge, in full acceptance of whatever may emerge, because it is there, you encourage the deep to come to the surface and enrich your life and consciousness with its captive energies. This is the great work of awareness; it removes obstacles and releases energies by understanding the nature of life and mind. Intelligence is the door to freedom and alert attention is the mother of intelligence." - Nisargadatta Maharaj, fully Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, born Maruti Shivrampant Kambli

"Awareness of the inevitability of death need not cause sadness. Rather we can use it to destroy the common worries about inconsequential aspects of life. Many worries are over matters that have no lasting value. When you overcome worry, your mind will be free to think of your ultimate goals in life." - Yechiel Michel Tukatinsky

"The lack of awareness of sense and purpose has led culture to become increasingly shallow." - Victor Weisskopf, fully Victor "Viki" Frederick Weisskopf

"When performing a good deed and other people are present, imagine you are standing in a forest surrounded only by trees and flowers. In the long run there is no difference between the two situations. Just as the trees have no awareness of what you are doing, so too in the long run it does not make a difference what those people thought about you for the few seconds they saw you." - Alexander Ziskind Maimon

"The pleasure we feel with what we have does not come only from the thing itself, but also from whom we received it. That is the lessons of the blessings we make. They help us appreciate that the Almighty is the One who has bestowed us with the pleasures of this world - this awareness greatly enhances the value of these pleasures." -

"Religion is a hunger for beauty and love and glory. It is wonder and the mystery and majesty, passion and ecstasy. It is emotion as well as mind, feeling as well as knowing, the subjective as well as the objective. It is the heart soaring to heights the head alone will never know; the apprehension of meanings science alone will never find; the awareness of values ethics alone will never reveal. It is the human spirit yearning for, and finding, something infinitely greater than itself which it calls God." - Waldemar Argow, fully Wendelin Waldemar Wieland Argow

"No one can get inner peace by pouncing on it, by vigorously willing to have it. Peace is a margin of power around our daily need. Peace is a consciousness of springs too deep for earthly droughts to dry up. Peace is an awareness of reserves from beyond ourselves, so that our power is not so much in us as through us." - Harry Emerson Fosdick

"Old disease patterns keep replicating themselves when the old thought patterns stay the same. All healing techniques serve to bring about a change in consciousness, which means a new expectancy of wholeness. What you expect at the deepest level is what you get. Your body loves to hear the truth about itself. Your body cannot help but respond to an awareness of and an expectancy of wholeness." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"The man who attains true awareness of his freedom gains certainty of God. Freedom and God are inseparable. Why? This I know: in my freedom I am not through myself but am given to myself; for I can miss being myself and I cannot force my being free." - Karl Jaspers, fully Karl Theodor Jaspers

"Although the exact number may vary, the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people. But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!" - Ken Kesey

"It is the limitation of our awareness that would classify certain phenomena or abilities as metaphysical. Our awareness about what Nature is all about is grossly limited. Whatever is outside these limitations we tend to call metaphysical and then define as something beyond the scope of science and reason." - Kyriacos C. Markides

"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

"All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence, in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song - but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny." - Pablo Neruda, pen name for Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto

"The media are far more powerful than the President in creating public awareness and shaping public opinion, for the simple reason that the media always have the last word." - Richard Nixon, fully Richard Milhous Nixon

"Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." -

"Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness." -

"Making conscious choices about the food we eat we eat leads to an awareness of our relationship to the environment... Our practice of kashrut teaches us much about our ties to the living world and the sanctity of all life." - Rabbi Nahum Ward and Shelley Mann

"The biological origins of awareness... Contact, communication and recognition all take place at a very simple level - occurring even amongst social bacteria that seem to be able to recognise self from non-self." - Lyall Watson

"We do not have to hold on to our identity to survive... We see that no states of mind are solid; they only become solid when we weave them into a story. We discover that opening to the vast open space of awareness does not destroy us. We learn to trust in the unknown as a guide to what is most fresh and alive in the moment." - John Welwood

"Only awareness can free us from our thoughts. In the moment we become aware that our thoughts are just thoughts, rather than reality itself, we wake up from their spell and can return to presence. It is empowering to dispel and can return to presence. It is empowering to discover that we are not enslaved by our thoughts, by how our mind interprets reality." - John Welwood

"The greatest lever for change is awareness." - Michael E. Angier

"In this world within, your world, you are the most important figure. There is a place that no one else can fill There is an influence that no one else can impart. There is a life that no one else can live quite as well as you can live it. What you do with your life within, in terms of self-realization, self-awareness, self-denial and self-expression, is the greatest challenge that can come to you." - Marcus Bach, fully James Marcus Bach

"When with deep and even-minded awareness one sees only the incessant arising and fading of body- and mind-states, one knows utter bliss. the discerning thus apprehend the Deathless." -

"The clarity of expectation produces Whitmore’s twin performance pillars of greater responsibility and awareness." - Tom Butler-Bowdon

"To free yourself is to know that all views are foundationless in that they can never remove all doubt, can never show conclusively that they are the justifiably favored views. Nor can any view separate itself from the flux of change, from alterations of perspective or of information, from the awareness of alternative possibilities." - Robert E. Carter, fully Robert Edgar Carter

"We are capable of finding unending meaning in a world of constant, shimmering, sometimes threatening change. The task is to keep the question of life in question, and to find in it an unending source of joy and possibility, even in the darkest of times. It is within the constant overcoming of our own limitations and habits, and of the established views of our age, that passive happiness and unreflective contentment are lost, then to be replaced by joyful activity and a glimpse of a broader, more enriching, and more responsible awareness than we have been capable of before." - Robert E. Carter, fully Robert Edgar Carter

"The problems we face today – violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger, and so on – are mainly problems created by humans. They can be resolved – but only through human effort, understanding and the development of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. To do this, we need to cultivate a universal responsibility for one another and for the planet we share, based on a good heart and awareness." -

"Prayer is the turning of the mind and heart to God. To pray is to stand in awareness before God, to see him constantly and to talk with him in hope and fear." - Saint Demetrius of Rostov, aka Dimitry, Dmitri Rostovsky NULL

"Religion is a private matter. Religious thought, to have any kind of integrity at all, must be the most private, tremblingly sacred kind of awareness we have. When religious terminology is bandied about, it loses its religious character and becomes entirely political and coercive." - E. L. Doctorow, fully Edgar Lawrence Doctorow

"An organism lives by growth, by processes of change, by powers of generation, but its interfusion with other organisms and with its environment, also by its `mental state’ in which is vested the unifying principles pervading all its parts and subdivisions, rising in man to the conscious mental state, to self-awareness, and with this self-awareness to advance further by directed effort." - L. Francis Edmunds

"I believe that our choice between two models of psychiatry is really a choice between two competing sets of moral values that will ultimately determine the kind of society we live in. One is the Psychotherapeutic Model’s ideal of healing the soul with its values of self-awareness, autonomy, personal growth, an I-Thou spirit of love, respect, and compassion for others, and an acceptance of moral responsibility for our own egoistic impulses and emotions. The other is the Medical Model’s ideal of quick fix, with its swimming-pool values of stability and conformity, and an I-It orientation toward material success and other superficial addictive pleasures" - Elio Frattaroli

"Even while we mourn the death of a loved one, there is room in our hearts for thankfulness for that life… Sober reflection can also lead us to a more sympathetic appreciation of the vital role death plays in the economy of life. Life’s significant and zest issue from our awareness of its transiency, its “fragile contingency.” The urge to create, the passion to perfect, the will to heal and cure – all the noblest of human enterprises grow in the soil of human mortality." - Sidney Greenberg

"Responsibility . . . requires that a person think, speak and act as if personally accountable to all who may be affected by his or her thoughts, words and deeds… Awareness is important… Am I moving in the right direction? Is my sense of responsibility growing, deepening, becoming sharper and more insistent?.. A sense of responsibility is an attitude, a feeling." - Robert K. Greenleaf

"There is an experience of being in pure consciousness which gives lasting peace to the soul. It is an experience of the Ground or Depth of being in the Centre of the soul, an awareness of the mystery of being beyond sense and thought, which gives a sense of fulfillment, of finality, of absolute truth." - Bede Griffiths, born Alan Richard Griffiths and also known as Swami Dayananda (Bliss of Compassion