Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Death

"Death is as near to the young as to the old; here is all the difference: death stands behind the young man’s back, before the old man’s face." - Thomas Adams

"The greatest manifestation of your love for the Almighty can be expressed on your day of death. Before your death, you might be thinking about how you have not fulfilled all of your wishes and plans. In the moments before your death you might have complaints against the Almighty, or you might fatalistically accept your death by saying, What can be done? My body is giving in to the laws of nature. The doctors have given up hope.” Both of these attitudes are wrong You now face the greatest challenge of your life. You have the potential to submit yourself to the will of the Almighty with love. This level takes preparation. If a person has not mastered control of his thoughts, he is likely to waste his last moments thinking of petty resentments and desires. Frequently confusion and fear of death swallow up every other thought unless one has prepared for that moment." - Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

"The most feared event in a person’s life is death. But we have the ability to transform our death into the greatest act we will perform in our entire life. We can perceive death as our total submission to the will of the Almighty and find tremendous spiritual elevation." - Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

"The first real mental illumination I remember to have experienced was when I saw that the universe exists in each of its individual atoms - that is, the universe is the result of a few simple processes infinitely repeated. When a drop of water has been mathematically measured, every principle will have been used which would be called form in the measurement of the heavens. All life on the globe is sustained by digestion and assimilation; when by voluntary and traumatic action these stop death follows. The history of an individual mind is the history of the race. Know one thing in its properties and relations and you will know all things." - H. B.

"Righteous men are greater after their death than during their lifetime." -

"Sensuality is the death of the soul." - Honoré de Balzac

"Falsehood and death are synonymous." - George Bancroft

"Use sin as it will use you; spare it not, for it will not spare you; it is your murderer, and the murderer of the whole world. Use it, therefore, as a murderer should be used; kill it before it kills you; and though it brings you to the grave, as it did your head, it shall not be able to keep you there. You love not death; love not the cause of death." - Richard Baxter

"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." - Ernest Becker

"Fear not death, it is your destiny." -

"The world of imagination is the world of eternity. It is the divine bosom into which we shall all go after the death of the vegetated body. This world of imagination is infinite and eternal, whereas the world of generation, of vegetation, is finite and temporal. There exist in that eternal world the permanent realities of everything which we see reflected in this vegetable glass of nature." - William Blake

"In the midst of life we are in death." -

"Readiness for death is that of character, rather than occupation. It is right living which prepares for safe or even joyous dying. O death! We thank thee for the light thou wilt shed upon our ignorance." -

"The simple truth is, that there has lived on the earth, “appearing at intervals,” for thousands of years among ordinary men, the first faint beginnings of another race; walking the earth and breathing the air with us, but at the same time walking another earth and breathing another air of which we know little or nothing, but which is, all the same, our spiritual life, as its absence would be our spiritual death. This new race is in act of being born from us, and in the near future it will occupy and possess the earth." - 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." - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"There is no peace except where I am, saith the Lord... As space spreads everywhere, and all things move and change within it, but it moves not nor changes, so I am the space within the soul, of which the space without is but the similitude and mental image; cometh thou to inhabit me, thou hast the entrance to all life - death shall no longer divide thee from whom thou lovest. I am the sun that shines upon all creatures from within - gazest thou upon me thou shalt be filled with joy eternal. Be not deceived. Soon this outer world shall drop off - thou shalt slough it away as a man sloughs his mortal body. Learn even now to spread thy wings in that other world - the world of equality - to swim in the ocean, my child, of me and my love. (Ah! have I not taught thee by the semblance of this outer world, but its alienations and deaths and mortal sufferings - all for this? For joy, ah! joy unutterable!)" -

"There is a time for some things, and a time for all things; a time for great things, and a time for small things." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"There is no remembrance which time does not obliterate, nor pain which death does not terminate." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"Whoever undertakes a long Journey, if he be wise, makes it his Business to find out an agreeable Companion. How cautious then should He be, who is to take a Journey for Life, whose Fellow-Traveler must not part with him but at the Grave; his Companion at Bed and Board and Sharer of all the Pleasures and Fatigues of his Journey; as the Wife must be to the Husband! She is no such Sort of Ware, that a Man can be rid of when he pleases: When once that’s purchas’d, no Exchange, no Sale, no Alienation can be made: She is an inseparable Accident to Man: Marriage is a Noose, which, fasten’d about the Neck, runs the closer, and fits more uneasy by our struggling to get loose: ‘Tis a Gordian Knot which none can unty, and being twisted with our Thread of Life, nothing but the Schyth of Death can cut it." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"Death levels all things." -

"Death is the tyrant of the imagination. His reign is in solitude and darkness, in tombs and prisons, over weak hearts and seething brains. He lives, without shape or sound, a phantasm, inaccessible to sight or touch - a ghastly and terrible apprehension." - Barry Cornwall, pseudonymn for Bryan Waller Procter

"Life in this world is a very important reality, but it is not the ultimate reality... True growth in this world always calls for a dying to my own sinfulness, individualism and selfishness so that I might come closer to my true self in relationship to all others and to God. Thus, in the end, life and death are not diametrically opposed. Life involves a dying and dying is a way of life." - Charles Curran

"Watch, for the idleness of the soul approaches death." - Demophilus NULL

"Some people study all their life, and at their death they have learned everything except to think." - Francois Urbain Domergue

"One thing alone I charge you. As you live, believe in life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader and fuller life. The only possible death is to lose belief in this truth simply because the great end comes slowly, because time is long." -

"It is the fixed law of the universe, that little things are but parts of the great. The grass does not spring up full grown, by eruptions: it rises by an increase so noiseless and gentle, as not to disturb an angel's ear - perhaps to be invisible to an angel's eye. The rain does not fall in masses, but in drops, or even in the breath-like moisture of the fine mist. The planets do not leap from end to end of their orbits, but inch by inch, and line by line, it is that they circle the heavens. Intellect, feeling, habit, character, all become what they are through the influence of little things. And in morals and religion, it is by little things - by little influences acting on us, or seemingly little decisions made by us, that everyone of us is going, not by leaps, yet surely by inches, either to life or death eternal." - Tyron Edwards

"There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge and wisdom. Shall we instead, choose death because we cannot forget quarrels? We appeal, as human beings, to human beings; remember your humanity and forget the rest. If you can do this, the way lies open to a new paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death." - Albert Einstein

"Death stamps the characters and conditions of men for eternity. As death finds them in this world, so will they be in the next." - Nathaniel Emmons

"A life shot through with the tragedy of death is better - more human, more heroic - than a life of meaninglessness, even though pleasurable and comfortable." - Emil Fackenheim, fully Emil Ludwig Fackenheim

"He that always waits upon God is ready whenever He calls. Neglect not to set your accounts even; he is a happy man who so lives as that death at all times may find him at leisure to die." - Owen Feltham

"Our piety must be weak and imperfect if it do not conquer our fear of death." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"Death destroys a man: the idea of Death saves him." - E. M. Forster, fully Edward Morgan Forster

"Good is all that serves life, evil is all that serves death. Good is reverence for life...and all that enhances life. Evil is all that stifles life, narrows it down, cuts it to pieces... Dostoevsky said, "If there is no God, then anything is possible." I would say that if there is no love, nothing is possible. Man absolutely cannot live by himself... Uniformity and freedom are incompatible. Uniformity and mental health are incompatible." -

"Of all the animals on earth, man has shown himself to be the most cruel and brutal. He is the only animal that will create instruments of death for his own destruction. Man is the only animal on all the earth that has ever been known to burn its young as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of some imaginary deity. He is the only one that will build homes, towns, and cities at such a cost in sacrifice and suffering and turn around and destroy them in war." - James William Fulbright

"[Suicide note] - Human life consists in mutual service. No grief, pain, misfortune, or 'broken heart' is excuse for cutting off one's life while any power of service remains. But when all usefulness is over, when one is assured of an unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one." - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a.k.a. Charlotte Anna (nee Perkins), Charlotte Perkins Stetson

"Infidelity, like death, admits of no degrees." - Madame Émile de Girardin, Delphine de Girardin, née Gay

"To love one who loves you, to admire one who admires you, in a word to be the idol of one’s idol - is exceeding the limit of human joy; it is stealing fire from heaven, and deserves death." - Madame Émile de Girardin, Delphine de Girardin, née Gay

"Death is a commingling of eternity with time; in the death of a good man, eternity is seen looking through time." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"He who serves the public is a poor animal; he worries himself to death and no one thanks him for it." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"True religion teaches us to reverence what is under us, to recognize humility, poverty, wretchedness, suffering, and death, as things divine." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Terrible as is war, it yet displays the spiritual grandeur of man daring to defy his mightiest hereditary enemy - death." - Heinrich Heine

"Creativity always dies a quick death in rooms that house conference tables." - Bruce Herschensohn

"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

"Envy is not to be conquered but by death." - Horace, full name Quintus Horatius Flaccus NULL

"I found death to be a simple shift in consciousness. It was painless, instantaneous and nothing to be feared. In fact, it felt more natural not to breath than to breathe. It was wonderful not to 'wear' a body. I had complete mobility, perfect memory and knowledge. I was free! I found no fear in dying. The fear came for me when I realized that I was still alive, and I didn't 'stay dead'.You don't lose your cravings or addictions in dying, but I found that you do lose your ability to satisfy them. The opportunities that existed before are no more. Whatever are your attitudes, beliefs, thoughts, ideas, feelings, expectations or apprehensions...that's what you'll wear and that's what you'll be. They become your body and your world. No more games. No more secrets. No more cover-up. You become what you really are! We are in a condition of our own creation. When we die we reap our own harvest." - Phyllis Huffman

"Death is the only master who takes his servants without a character." - F. E. Hulme, fully Frederick Edward Hulme

"The strong lean upon death as on a rock." -

"A man who protects and hoards his life may lose it anyhow. Perhaps to protect it is to lose it in the most real sense of the word, for cowardice means spiritual death." - Sherman E. Johnson

"This spectacle of old age would be unendurable if we did not know that our psyche reaches into a region held captive neither by change in time nor by limitation of place. In that form of being our birth is a death and our death is a birth. The scales of the whole hang balanced." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung