Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Cultivation

"The sound and proper exercise of the imagination may be made to contribute to the cultivation of all that is virtuous and estimable in the human character." - John Abercrombie

"Pity is not natural to man. Children are always cruel. Savages are always cruel. Pity is acquired and improved by the cultivation of reason." - James Boswell

"Many men who spend an hour a day in physical exercises to keep fit refuse to spend an hour a week in the cultivation of their morals and their ethics. We have put so little emphasis on developing our souls that our children are beginning to doubt if we have any souls at all." - Allen E. Claxton

"The very nearest approach to domestic happiness on earth is in the cultivation on both sides of absolute unselfishness. Never both be angry at once. Never talk at one another, either alone or in company. Never speak loud to one another unless the house is on fire. Let each; one strive to yield oftenest to the wishes of the other. Let self-denial be the daily aim and practice of each. Never find fault unless it is perfectly certain that a fault has been committed, and always speak lovingly. Never taunt with a past mistake. Neglect the whole world besides rather than one another. Never allow a request to be repeated. Never make a remark at the expense of each other, it is a meanness. Never part for a day without loving words to think of during absence. Never meet without a loving welcome. Never let the sun go down upon any anger or grievance. Never let any fault you have committed go by until you have frankly confessed it and asked forgiveness. Never forget the happy hours of early love. Never sigh over what might have been, but make the best of what is. Never forget that marriage is ordained of God, and that His blessing alone can make it what it should ever be. Never be contented till you know you are both walking in the narrow way. Never let your hopes stop short of the eternal home." - Edward Watke, Jr.

"Pride is a deeply rooted ailment of the soul. The penalty is misery; the remedy lies in the sincere, life-long cultivation of humility, which means self-evaluation and a proper perspective toward past, present and future." - Robert Gordis

"The awakening of our best sympathies, the cultivation of our best and purest tastes, strengthening the desire to be useful and good, and directing youthful ambition to unselfish ends, such are the objects of true education." - J. T. Headley, fully Joel T. Headley

"Pity is not natural to man. Children and savages are always cruel. Pity is acquired and improved by the cultivation of reason. We may have uneasy sensations from seeing a creature in distress, without pity; but we have not pity unless we wish to relieve him." -

"The highest purpose of intellectual cultivation is, to give a man a perfect knowledge and mastery of his own inner self." -

"Freedom is not free. Shaping and preserving society necessarily involves personal commitment, costly risk and constant effort; the cultivation of civil liberty can be no more passive than the cultivation of a farm. A man can inherit the land on which he lives, he can even inherit the first crop of produce after he takes over from those who came before him. But then if he stops, everything stops, and begins to crumble. Nothing grows, nothing ripe and rewarding comes to him, unless he plows, plants and tends the soil and unless he keeps it fertile year after year with the chemistry of effort and forethought." - Edmond Cahn, fully Edmond Nathaniel Cahn

"The very nearest approach to domestic happiness on earth is in the cultivation on both sides of absolute unselfishness. Never both be angry at once. Never talk at one another, either alone or in company. Never speak loud to one another unless the house is on fire. Let each; one strive to yield oftenest to the wishes of the other. Let self-denial be the daily aim and practice of each. Never find fault unless it is perfectly certain that a fault has been committed, and always speak lovingly. Never taunt with a past mistake. Neglect the whole world besides rather than one another. Never allow a request to be repeated. Never make a remark at the expense of each other, it is a meanness. Never part for a day without loving words to think of during absence. Never meet without a loving welcome. Never let the sun go down upon any anger or grievance. Never let any fault you have committed go by until you have frankly confessed it and asked forgiveness. Never forget the happy hours of early love. Never sigh over what might have been, but make the best of what is. Never forget that marriage is ordained of God, and that His blessing alone can make it what it should ever be. Never be contented till you know you are both walking in the narrow way. Never let your hopes stop short of the eternal home." -

"Socrates taught that true felicity is not to be derived from external possessions, but from wisdom, which consists in the knowledge and practice of virtue; that the cultivation of virtuous manners is necessarily attended with pleasure as well as profit; that the honest man alone is happy; and that it is absurd to attempt to separate things which are in nature so closely united as virtue and interest." - William Enfield, aka "The Enquirer"

"How shall man obtain conception of the majesty of the Divine...? Through the expansion of his scientific faculties; through the liberation of his imagination...; through the disciplined study of the world and of life; through the cultivation of a rich, multifarious sensitivity to every phase of being. All these desiderata require obviously the study of all the branches of wisdom, all the philosophies of life, all the ways of the diverse civilizations and doctrines of ethics and religion in every nation and tongue." - Abraham Isaac Kook

"Music is God’s best gift to man, the only art of heaven given to earth, the only art of earth that we take to heaven. But music, like all our gifts, is given us in the germ. It is for us to unfold and develop it by instruction and cultivation." - Charles W. Landon

"An educated man is one who loves knowledge and will accept no substitutes and whose life is made meaningful through the never-ending process of the cultivation of his total intellectual resources." - Sterling M. McMurrin, fully Sterling Moss McMurrin

"Begin the education of the heart, not with the cultivation of noble propensities, but with the cutting away of those that are evil. When once the noxious herbs are withered and rooted out, then the more noble plants, strong in themselves, will shoot upwards. The virtuous heart, like the body, become strong and healthy more by labor than nourishment." -

"Taste is not stationary. It grows every day, and is improved by cultivation, as a good temper is refined by religion. In its most advanced state it takes the title of judgment. Hume quotes Fontenelle's ingenious distinction between the common watch that tells the hours, and the delicately constructed one that marks the seconds and smallest differences of time." - Robert Aris Willmott

"Everything proves the solidarity of individuals, and no one can think at all except by means of the general store of thought, accumulated and refined by centuries of cultivation and experience." - Henri Frédéric Amiel

"The true master understands that enlightenment is not the end but the means. Realizing that virtue is her goal, she accepts the long and often arduous cultivation that is necessary to attain it. She doesn’t scheme to become a leader, but quietly shoulders whatever responsibilities fall to her. Unattached to her accomplishments, taking credit for nothing at all, she guides the whole world by guiding the individuals who come to her. she share her divine energy with her students, encouraging them, creating trials to strengthen them, scolding them to awaken them, directing the streams of their lives toward the infinite ocean of the Tao." - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"From the Son of Heaven down to the common people, all must regard cultivation of the personal life as the root or foundation. There is never a case in which the root is in disorder and yet the branches are in order." - Ta hseuh “Great Learning” NULL

"Whenever education and refinement grow away from the common people, they are growing toward selfishness, which is the monster evil of the world. that is true cultivation which gives us sympathy with every form of human life, and enables us to work most successfully for its advancement. Refinement that carries us away from our fellow-men is not God's refinement." - Henry Ward Beecher

"Cultivation to the mind, is as necessary as food to the body." - Cicero, fully Marcus Tullius Cicero, anglicized as Tully NULL

"The cultivation of the mind is a kind of good supplied for the soul of man." - Cicero, fully Marcus Tullius Cicero, anglicized as Tully NULL

"Leisure and the cultivation of human capacities are inextricably interdependent." - Margaret Mead

"Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession... Do that which is assigned to you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous half-possession. That which each can do best none but his Maker can teach him." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"True conversation is an interpenetration of worlds, a genuine intercourse of souls, which doesn’t have to be self-consciously profound but does have to touch matters of concern to the soul... Conversation may also relive us from the pressures of everyday activity and decision-making, opening us up to undisclosed levels of our experience. Soul resides in the overtones and undertones, not in the flat body of literal events. Conversation performs a pleasurable and gentle alchemy on experience, sublimating it into forms that can be examined. Experience itself takes wing from conversation... Conversation is the sex act of the soul, and as such it is supremely conducive to the cultivation of intimacy." - Thomas Moore

"The witness is frequent and insistent that God is inherently relational and personal. So God cannot be either received or understood apart from our being personal and realtional as well. That most emphatically excludes the detached intellect as a way of knowing God. It excludes programmatic work as a way of knowing God. It excludes cultivation of the ecstatic and visionary as a way of knowing God. God is not an abstract idea that can be mastered, not an impersonal force that can be used, not a private experience that can be indulged." - Eugene Peterson

"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

"Education is the cultivation of the mind so that action is not self-centred; it is learning throughout life to break down the walls which the mind builds in order to be secure, and from which arises fear with all its complexities. To be rightly educated, you have to study hard and not be lazy. Be good at games, not to beat another, but to amuse yourself. Eat the right food, and keep physically fit. Let the mind be alert and capable of dealing with the problems of life, not as a Hindu, a Communist, or a Christian, but as a human being. To be rightly educated, you have to understand yourself; you have to keep on learning about yourself. When you stop learning, life becomes ugly and sorrowful. Without goodness and love, you are not rightly educated." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Begin the education of the heart, not with the cultivation of noble propensities, but with the cutting away of those that are evil. When once the noxious herbs are withered and rooted out, then the more noble plants, strong in themselves, will shoot upwards. The virtuous heart, like the body, becomes strong and healthy more by labor than nourishment." - Jean Paul, born Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, aka Jean Paul Richter

"You might be tempted to avoid the messiness of daily living for the tranquility of stillness and peacefulness. This of course would be an attachment to stillness, and like any strong attachment, it leads to delusion. It arrests development and short-circuits the cultivation of wisdom." - Jon Kabat-Zinn

"Our great mistake is to try to exact from each person virtues which he does not possess, and to neglect the cultivation of those which he has." - Marguerite Yourcenar, pseudonym for Marguerite Cleenewerck de Crayencour

"But the value of religion exceeds the individual. Not only every man has its own religion but the religion requires its validity for larger community, for nation, race ... Since god reigns equally over all countries of the world, the whole world with all its treasures and horrors is subdued to him ... Therefore the cultivation (Pflege) of religion leads its confessors to an extensive bond and puts them before the task to acquaint (verständigen) themselves mutually about their belief and to give it a common expression. This is, however, attainable only by giving certain outer form to the contents of religion which fits by its illustrative power for this mutual acquaintance. Under the conditions of great diversity of nations and their living conditions it is only natural that those forms are largely different in indiviudal parts of the world and that therefore during the times a very great number of religions has appeared. All the religions have, however, a common natural assumption (nächstliegende Annahme), that god can be imagined as a person (Persönlichkeit), or at least as similar to man ... Every religion has its own mythology and its specific rite ... For formation of religious cult follow from this certain symbols which are suitable to influence imagination of wide circles of people (weiter Kreise im Volke), so that they awaken in them interests in religious questions and enabled them certain understanding of god. " - Max Planck, fully Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck

"To be sure, this requires effort and love, a careful cultivation of the spiritual life, and a watchful, honest, active oversight of all one's mental attitudes towards things and people. It is not to be learned by world-flight, running away from things, turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, one must learn an inner solitude, where or with whomsoever he may be. He must learn to penetrate things and find God there, to get a strong impression of God firmly fixed on his mind. " - Meister Eckhart, formally Meister von Hochheim

"To be sure, this requires effort and love, a careful cultivation of the spiritual life, and a watchful, honest, active oversight of all one's mental attitudes towards things and people. It is not to be learned by world-flight, running away from things, turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, one must learn an inner solitude, where or with whomsoever he may be. He must learn to penetrate things and find God there, to get a strong impression of God firmly fixed on his mind." - Menander, aka Menander of Athens NULL

"The relationship that exists between friends is the grandest of human loves. Friendly love is pure, because it is without compulsion. One freely chooses to love his friends; he is not bound by instinct. The love that manifests in friendship can exist between man and woman, woman and woman, man and man. But in the love of friendship, there is no sexual attraction. One must practice celibacy and absolutely forget sex if one wants to know divine love through friendship; then friendship nurtures the cultivation of divine love." - Paramahansa Yogananda, born Mukunda Lal Ghosh

"Fame, power, and gold, are loved for their own sakes — are worshipped with a blind, habitual idolatry. The pageantry of empire, and the fame of irresistible might, are contemplated by the possessor with unmeaning complacency, without a retrospect to the properties which first made him consider them of value. It is from the cultivation of the most contemptible properties of human nature that discord and torpor and indifference, by which the moral universe is disordered, essentially depend. So long as these are the ties by which human society is connected, let it not be admitted that they are fragile." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Posidonius found the idea of personal immortality absurd. Since the evil daimon is innate to the individual soul and absent from the World-Soul, the soul cannot become immortal by freeing itself of wrongdoing, for the individual soul as a whole cannot join the World-Soul. But the individual can through right ethics place the superior daimon in charge of all aspects of soul, subordinate the passional tendencies by withdrawing from the lower daimon, and thus engage in a microcosmic version of ceaselessly reducing chaos to kosmos. By assimilating the action of the higher daimonic aspect of soul to the celestial motion of the World-Soul, the individual merges the immortal part of the soul with the governing principle of the universe. The wise man does not seek immortality, for he knows there is that in him which is immortal. Perhaps Posidonius found in this standpoint the possibility of self-conscious, though not personal, immortality through cultivation of the highest in the individual. [paraphrased]" - Posidonius, aka Posidonius of Rhodes or Posidonius of Apameia (meaning "of Poseidon") NULL

"It is not earthly riches which make us or our sons happy; for they must either be lost by us in our lifetime, or be possessed when we are dead, by whom we know not, or perhaps by whom we would not." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"In America, the labor movement stands behind the government, and behind President Wilson. We stand behind him not because he is president, but because he is right and because he is a spokesman for freedom and democracy for all the nations of the world." - Samuel Gompers

"Pleasure is in general, dangerous and pernicious to virtue. - To be able, therefore, to furnish pleasure that is harmless and pure and unalloyed, is as great a power as man can possess." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"The danger of investing your energy in seeking is that you’ll end up a perpetual seeker, without ever finding what you were looking for in the first place." - Stephan Bodian

"The tongue is the only instrument that gets sharper with use." - Washington Irving

"There rise authors now and then, who seem proof against the mutability of language, because they have rooted themselves in the unchanging principles of human nature." - Washington Irving

"The world had become pretty generally Ceceliafied." - Wendell Berry

"The only way to comprehend what mathematicians mean by Infinity is to contemplate the extent of human stupidity." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"Death is not the merciless that he is made out to be; he is the friend and companion, the teacher, the kindly kinsman, who takes you into his fold and clothes you with the halo of remembrance." - Atharva Veda, or Atharvaveda

"It takes time for a fruit to mature and acquire sweetness and become eatable; time is a prime factor for most good fortunes." - Atharva Veda, or Atharvaveda

"The primary, or earliest class of human pleasures, is the pleasures of the external senses." - William Godwin

"The North American government used the quota system on imports of Cuban sugar not only to protect her own sugar industry, as demanded by her own producers, but also to make possible the unrestricted introduction into our country of North American manufactured goods." - Che Guevara, fully Ernesto “Che” Guevara