Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Disguise

"We walk, and our religion is shown (even in the dullest and most insensitive person) in how we walk. Or to put it more accurately, living in this world means choosing, choosing to walk, and the way we choose to walk is infallibly and perfectly expressed in the walk itself. Nothing can disguise it. The walk of an ordinary man and of an enlightened man are as different as that of a snake and a giraffe." - R. H. Blyth, fully Reginald Horace Blyth

"Praise undeserved is satire in disguise." - Henry Broadhurst

"Love is rarely a hypocrite; but hate - how detect and how guard against it! It lurks where you least expect it; it is created by causes that you can the least foresee; and civilization multiplies its varieties, whilst it favors its disguise." -

"Some souls are ennobled and elevated by seeming misfortunes, which then become blessings in disguise." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"Weaknesses, so called, are nothing more nor less than vice in disguise!" - Johann Kaspar Lavater

"Are afflictions aught but mercies in disguise? th' alternate cup. Medicinal though bitter, and prepar'd by love's own hand for salutary ends." - David Mallet, also David Malloch

"The Perfect Way knows no difficulties, except that it refuses to make preferences. Only when freed from hate and love does it reveal itself fully and without disguise. A tenth of an inch’s difference, and heaven and earth are set apart. If you wish to see it before your own eyes have no fixed thoughts either for or against it. To set up what you like against what you dislike - this is the disease of the mind. When the deep meaning of the Way is not understood. Peace of mind is disturbed to no purpose... Pursue not the outer entanglements, dwell not in the inner void; be serene in the oneness of things, and dualism vanishes of itself... Transformations going on in the empty world that confronts us appear to be real because of Ignorance. Do not strive to seek after the True, only cease to cherish opinions... One in all, All in One - if only this is realized, no more worry about not being perfect. When the mind and each believing mind and Mind, this is where words fail, for it is not of the past, present or future." - Jianzhi Sengcan, Third Patriarch of Zen, Third Patriarch of Ch'an

"Sectarianism is a perverse form of worldliness in the disguise of religion; it breeds a narrowness of heart in a greater measure than the cult of the world based upon material interest can ever do. For undisguised pursuit of self has its safety in openness, like filth exposed to the sun and air. But the self-magnification with its consequent lessening of God that goes on unchecked under the cover of sectarianism loses its chance of salvation because it defiles the very source of purity." -

"There is no means by which men so powerfully elude their ignorance, disguise it from themselves and from others as by words." - Gamaliel Bradford

"Exhaust the little moment. Soon it dies. And be it gash or gold it will not come again in this identical disguise." - Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks

"Mirth itself is too often but melancholy in disguise." - James Henry Leigh Hunt

"Praise undeserv'd is scandal in disguise." - Alexander Pope

"‘Tis great, ‘tis manly, to disdain disguise; it shows our spirit, or it proves our strength." - Edward Young

"Anger is really but fear in disguise. Love is always creative, and fear is always destructive." - Emmet Fox

"There is perhaps no one of the natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself." - Benjamin Franklin

"[The press] is seldom intelligent, save in the arts of the mob-master. It is never courageously honest. Held harshly to a rigid correctness of opinion by the plutocracy that controls it with less and less attempt to disguise, and menaced on all sides by censorships that dare not flout, it sinks rapidly into formalism and feebleness. Its yellow section is perhaps its most respectable section for there the only vestige of the old free journalism survives." -

"Mental illness is a myth, whose function is to disguise and thus render more palatable the bitter pill of moral conflicts in human relations." -

"In Nature we best see God under a disguise so heavy that it allows us to discern little more than that someone is there; within our own moral life we see Him with the mask, so to say, half fallen off." - Alfred Edward Taylor

"Human life is thus only a perpetual illusion; men deceive and flatter each other. No one speaks of us in our presence as he does of us in our absence. Human society is founded on mutual deceit; few friendships would endure if each knew what his friend said of him in his absence, although he then spoke in sincerity and without passion. Man is, then, only disguise, falsehood, and hypocrisy, both in himself and in regard to others. He does not wish any one to tell him the truth; he avoids telling it to others, and all these dispositions, so removed from justice and reason, have a natural root in his heart. I set it down as a fact that if all men know what each said to the other, there would not be four friends in the world." - Blaise Pascal

"We are so much accustomed to disguise ourselves to others, that at length we disguise ourselves to ourselves." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"Opportunity's favorite disguise is trouble." - Frank Tyger

"For every man’s nature is concealed with many folds of disguise, and covered as it were with various veils. His brows, his eyes, and very often his countenance, are deceitful, and his speech is most commonly a lie." - Cicero, fully Marcus Tullius Cicero, anglicized as Tully NULL

"What we count the ills of life are often blessings in disguise, resulting in good to us in the end. Though for the present not joyous but grievous, yet, it received in a right spirit, they work out fruits of righteousness for use at last." - Matthew Henry

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has earned anything rightly until he knows that every day is doomsday. Today is a king in disguise. Today always looks mean to the thoughtless, in the face of a uniform experience that all good and great and happy actions are made up precisely of these blank todays. Let us not be deceived, let us unmask the king as he passes." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"It is one of the illusions that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year. No man has earned anything rightly until he knows that every day is doomsday. Today is a king in disguise… Let us not be deceived, let us unmask the king as he passes." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The celebration of duty is an effective way to disguise the lust for power from oneself as much as from the outside world." - Richard Barnet, fully Richard Jackson Barnet

"The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions - the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss, a smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment in the disguise of a playful raillery, and the countless other infintesimals of pleasant thought and feeling." -

"If you understand your own age, read the works of fiction produced in it. People in disguise speak freely." - Arthur Helps, fully Sir Arthur Helps

"They only employ words to disguise their thoughts." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"Our deeds disguise us. People need endless time to try on their deeds, until each knows the proper deeds for him to do. But every day, every hour, rushes by. There is no time. " - John Locke

"When the modern corporation acquires power over markets, power in the community, power over the state and power over belief, it is a political instrument, different in degree but not in kind from the state itself. To hold otherwise — to deny the political character of the modern corporation — is not merely to avoid the reality. It is to disguise the reality. The victims of that disguise are those we instruct in error. The beneficiaries are the institutions whose power we so disguise. Let there be no question: economics, so long as it is thus taught, becomes, however unconsciously, a part of the arrangement by which the citizen or student is kept from seeing how he or she is, or will be, governed." - John Kenneth Galbraith, aka "Ken"

"Not many people are willing to give failure a second opportunity. They fail once and it's all over. The bitter pill of failure is often more than most people can handle. If you're willing to accept failure and learn from it, if you're willing to consider failure as a blessing in disguise and bounce back, you've got the potential of harnessing one of the most powerful success forces." - Joseph Sugarman

"It’s a sign of troubled times when the concept of “pressure” becomes an acceptable excuse for ethical shortcuts and moral shortcomings. Pressures are just temptations in disguise and it’s never been acceptable to give in to temptation. Ethics is about the way things ought to be, not about the way things are. When it comes to ethics, motive is very important. A person of character does the right thing for the right reason. Compliance is about what we must do; ethics is about what we should do. Ethical people often do more than the law requires and less than it allows. The area of discretion between the legal “must” and the moral “should” tests our character. Noble talk and framed ethics statements are no substitute for principled conduct. The test is doing the right thing." - Michael S. Josephson

"From childhood I was compelled to concentrate attention upon myself. This caused me much suffering, but to my present view, it was a blessing in disguise for it has taught me to appreciate the inestimable value of introspection in the preservation of life, as well as a means of achievement. The pressure of occupation and the incessant stream of impressions pouring into our consciousness through all the gateways of knowledge make modern existence hazardous in many ways. Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves. The premature death of millions is primarily traceable to this cause. Even among those who exercise care, it is a common mistake to avoid imaginary, and ignore the real dangers. And what is true of an individual also applies, more or less, to a people as a whole." - Nikola Tesla

"To-day we live so cowed under the bombardment of this intellectual artillery (the media) that hardly anyone can attain to the inward detachment that is required for a clear view of the monstrous drama. The will-to-power operating under a pure democratic disguise has finished off its masterpiece so well that the object's sense of freedom is actually flattered by the most thorough-going enslavement that has ever existed. " - Oswald Spengler, fully Oswald Manuel Arnold Gottfried Spengler

"The beauty of the internal nature cannot be so far concealed by its accidental vesture, but that the spirit of its form shall communicate itself to the very disguise and indicate the shape it hides from the manner in which it is worn. A majestic form and graceful motions will express themselves through the most barbarous and tasteless costume." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"In the same decade in which writers are discovering the emotional importance of childhood and are unmasking the devastating consequences of the way power is secretly exercised under the disguise of child-rearing, students of psychology are spending four years at the universities learning to regard human beings as machines in order to gain a better understanding of how they function. When we consider how much time and energy is devoted during these best years to wasting the last opportunities of adolescence and to suppressing, by means of the intellectual disciplines, the feelings that emerge with particular force at this age, then it is no wonder that the people who have made this sacrifice victimize their patients and clients in turn, treating them as mere objects of knowledge instead of as autonomous, creative beings. There are some authors of so-called objective, scientific publications in the field of psychology who remind me of the officer in Kafka's Penal Colony in their zeal and their consistent self-destructiveness. In the unsuspecting, trusting attitude of Kafka's convicted prisoner, on the other hand, we can see the students of today who are so eager to believe that the only thing that counts in their four years of study is their academic performance and that human commitment is not required." - Alice Miller, née Rostovski

"We discover that we do not know our role; we look for a mirror; we want to remove our make-up and take off what is false and real. But somewhere a piece of disguise that we forgot still sticks to us. A trace of exaggeration remains in our eyebrows; we do not notice that the corners of our mouth are bent. And so we walk around, a mockery and a mere half: neither having achieved being nor actors." - Rainer Maria Rilke, full name René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke

"The tendency of party spirit has ever been to disguise and propagate and support error." - Richard Whately

"I believe that we often disguise pain through ritual and it may be the only solace we have." - Rita Mae Brown

"Very often when I am introduced to women, I think, What is she really like behind the disguise which she wears? And very often I discover that she is pleasant enough, and probably would expand and glow if she received enough affection." - Robertson Davies

"The artist and the multitude are natural enemies. They always will be, both ways. The artist is an enemy of the multitude, and the multitude is the enemy of the artist. And when the disguise comes off and they're both standing facing one another, they're just there at odds end." - Robert Altman, fully Robert Bernard Altman

"There will be mistakes in divinity while men preach, and errors in governments while men govern." - Dudley Carleton, fully Sir Dudley Carleton, 1st Viscount Dorchester

"Any soul that drank the nectar of your passion was lifted. From that water of life he is in a state of elation. Death came, smelled me, and sensed your fragrance instead. From then on, death lost all hope of me." - Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

"Literature is the one place in any society where, within the secrecy of our own heads, we can hear voices talking about everything in every possible way." - Salman Rushdie, fully Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie

"Among those whom I never could persuade to rank themselves with idlers, and who speak with indignation of my morning sleeps and nocturnal rambles, one passes the day in catching spiders, that he may count their eyes with a microscope; another exhibits the dust of of a marigold separated from the flower with a dexterity worthy of Leuwenhoeck himself. Some turn the wheel of electricity; some suspend rings to a load­stone, and find that what they did yesterday, they can do again today. - Some register the changes of the wind, and die fully convinced that the wind is changeable. - There are men yet more profound, who have heard that two colorless liquors may produce a color by union, and that two cold bodies will grow hot if they are mingled: they mingle them, and produce the effect expected, say it is strange, and mingle them again." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"The covetous man is like a camel with a great hunch on his back; heaven's gate must be made higher and broader, or he will hardly get in." - Thomas Adam

"Infidelity is one of those coinages, — a mass of base money that won't pass current with any heart that loves truly, or any head that thinks correctly. And infidels are poor sad creatures; they carry about them a load of dejection and desolation, not the less heavy that it is invisible. It is the fearful blindness of the soul." - Thomas Chalmers