Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Immortality

"It is integrity that invests man with immortality, and bestows upon him the privilege of direct communion with God." - Bahya ben Asher ibn Halawa, also known as Rabbeinu Behaye

"Life is the childhood of our immortality." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"The childhood of immortality." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Good will, solidarity and wretchedness, and the struggle for a better world have now thrown off their religious garb. The attitude of today’s martyrs is no longer patience but action; their goal is no longer their own immortality in the after-life but the happiness of men who come after them for whom they know how to die." - Max Horkheimer

"Immortality is participation in the eternal now of the divine Ground: survival is persistence in one of the forms of time. Immortality is the result of total deliverance." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"Happy is he who is engaged in controversy with his own passions, and comes off superior; who makes it his endeavor that his follies and weakenesses may die before himself, and who daily meditates on mortality and immortality." - John Jortin

"Had I no other proof of the immortality of the soul than the oppression of the just and the triumph of the wicked in this world, this alone would prevent my having the least doubt of it. So shocking a discord amidst a general harmony of things would make me naturally look for a cause; I should say to myself we do not cease to exist with this life; everything reassumes its order after life." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Immortality is the greatness of our being; the scene for attaining the fullness and perfection of our existence." - Charles Simmons

"Goodness and virtue make men know and love, believe and delight in their immortality. When the soul is purged and enlightened by true sanctity, it is more capable of those divine irradiations, whereby it feels itself in conjunction with God. It knows that almighty Love, by which it lives, is stronger than death." -

"It is not for man to rest in absolute contentment. He is born to hopes and aspirations as the sparks fly upward, unless he has brutified his nature and quenched the spirit of immortality which is his portion." - Robert Southey

"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." -

"When a noble life has prepared old age, it is not the decline that it reveals, but the first days of immortality." -

"What we think of ourselves makes a difference in our lives, and belief in immortality gives us the highest values of ourselves. When we so believe, we achieve proportions greater than mere matter." - Jesse William Stitt

"This deity who is manifesting himself in the activities of the universe always dwells in the heart of man as the supreme soul. Those who realise him through the immediate perception of the heart attain immortality." -

"Wisdom is of the soul, it is not susceptible of proof, it is its own proof, applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content, is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things; something there is in the flot of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"I have no particular taste for post-mortem immortality. I am immortal now, while I am gloriously alive." - Joel Blau

"Poets alone are sure of immortality; they are the truest diviners of nature." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"I feel my immortality o'ersweep all pains, all tears, all time, all fears, and like the eternal thunders of the deep, peal to my ears this truth - "Thou livest forever."" -

"Carry religious principles into common life, and common life will lose its transitoriness. The world passes away. The things are seen as temporal. Soon business, with all its cares and anxieties, the whole “unprofitable stir and fever of the world” will be to us a thing of the past. But religion does something better than sigh and moan over the perishableness of earthly things. It finds in them the seeds of immortality." - John Caird

"A book is the only immortality." - Rufus Choate

"A precious book is a foretaste of immortality." - Theodore Cuyler, fully Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

"When we abandon the thought of immortality we at least have cast out fear. We gain a certain dignity and self-respect. We regard our fellow travelers as companions in the pleasures and tribulations of life... We gain kinship with the world." - Clarence Darrow, fully Clarence Seward Darrow

"To possess, is past the instant we achieve the joy - immortality contented were anomaly." -

"Immortality! We bow before the very term. Immortality! Before its reason staggers, calculation reclines her tired head, and imagination folds her weary pinions. Immortality! It throws open the portals of the vast forever; it puts the crown of deathless destiny upon every human brow; it cries to every uncrowned king of men, “Live forever, crowned for the empire of a deathless destiny!”" - George Douglas Brown, pseud. Kennedy King

"There is only one way to get ready for immortality, and that is to love this life and live it as bravely and faithfully and cheerfully as we can." - Henry Van Dyke, fully Henry Jackson Van Dyke

"Without love, immortality would be frightful and horrible." - Theodor Haecker

"God makes the Aeon, the Aeon makes the Kosmos, the Kosmos makes Time, and Time makes Coming-to-be. The essence of God is the Good, the essence of the Aeon is sameness, the essence of the Kosmos is order, the essence of Time is change, and the essence of Coming-to-be is life. The workings of God are mind and soul, the workings of the Aeon are immortality and duration, the workings of the Aeon are immortality and duration, the workings of the kosmos are re-instatement in identity and re-instatement by substitution, the workings of Time are increase and decrease, and the workings of Coming-to-be are quality and quantity. The aeon then is in God, the Kosmos is in the Aeon, Time is in the Kosmos, and Coming-to-be takes place in Time." - Hermetica - Libellus XII NULL

"The true purpose of education is to cherish and unfold the seed of immortality already sown within us; to develop, to their fullest extent, the capacities of every kind with which the god who made us has endowed us." - Anna Jameson

"The first requisite for immortality is death." -

"Worship is the earthly act by which we most distinctly recognize our personal immortality; men who think that they will be extinct a few years hence do not pray. In worship we spread out our insignificant life, which yet is the work of the Creator’s hands... before the Eternal and All-Merciful, that we may learn the manners of a higher sphere, and fit ourselves for companionship with saints and angels, and for the everlasting sight of the face of God." - Henry Parry Liddon

"Belief in immortality gives dignity to life and enables us to endure cheerfully those trials which come to us all. As the thought of immortality occupies our minds, we gain a clearer conception of duty and are inspired to cultivate character. Living for the future is not coward's philosophy, but an inspiration to noble and unselfish activity." - Samuel M. Lindsay

"Death gives us sleep, eternal youth, and immortality." -

"There are fashions in immortality as there are trivial fashions. Books and pictures read differently to different generations." - William Rothenstein, fully Sir William Rothenstein

"In our desire for eternal life we pray for an eternity of our habit and comfort, forgetting that immortality is in repeatedly transcending the definite forms of life in order to pursue the infinite truth of life." -

"Let the dead have the immortality of fame, but the living the immortality of love." -

"Here is the test of wisdom, wisdom is not finally tested in schools, wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it, wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof, applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content, is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"Roaming in thought over the Universe, I saw the little that is Good steadily hastening towards immortality. And the vast all that is call'd Evil I saw hastening to merge itself and become lost and dead." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"Immortality, or a state without death, would be meaningless, I shall suggest; so, in a sense, death gives the meaning to life." - Bernard Williams

"Death is not an event of life. Death is not lived through. If by eternity is understood not endless temporal duration but timelessness, then he lives eternally who lives in the present. Our life is endless in the way that our visual field is without limit. The temporal immortality of the human soul, that is to say, its eternal survival after death, is not only in no way guaranteed, but this assumption in the first place will not do so for us what we always tried to make it do. Is a riddle solved by the fact that I survive for ever? Is this eternal life not as enigmatic as our present one? The solution of the riddle of life in space and time lies outside space and time." -

"Is there any doctrine of immortality that can say anything more simple yet definitive about man’s fate after death? He has come from God and returns to God. From the very beginning, man is bound up with God; and this bond continues to exist, unaffected by death which befalls the body only. God’s creation of man’s spirit, then, must be understood as a principle whose consequence is immortality." - Hermann Cohen

"If you were to destroy the belief in immortality in mankind, not only love but every living force on the continuation of all life in the world depended, would dry up at once. Moreover, there would be nothing immoral then, everything would be permitted." -

"The basis of all health, sinlessness, and immortality is the great fact that God is the only Mind; and this Mind must not merely believed, but it must be understood." - Mary Baker Eddy

"Our current obsession with creativity is the result of our continued striving for immortality in an era when most people no longer believe in an after-life." -

"The man who refuses firmly to entertain the hope of immortality… is no more brave and realistic than a man who refuses to open the door of his dark room and come out into the sunshine." - Denys Gabriel Maurice "D.G.M." Jackson

"Immortality is but a way of saying that the determination of expectancy is the essential factor of rationality." - William James

"I believe in immortality of the soul because I have within me immortal longings. I believe that the state we enter after death is wrought of our own motives, thoughts, and deeds... I carry a magic light in my heart. Faith, the spiritual strong searchlight, illumines the way, and although sinister doubts lurk in the shadow, I walk unafraid towards the Enchanted Wood where the foliage is always green, where joy abides, where nightingales nest and sing, and where life and death are one in the Presence of the Lord." - Helen Keller. aka Helen Adams Keller

"Socrates proved the immortality of the soul from the fact that sickness of the soul (sin) does not consume it as bodily sickness consumes the body." -

"Greed for enlightenment and immortality is no different than greed for material wealth." - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"Love is immortality struggling within a mortal frame, and all the mortal pains that flesh is heir to become golden with immortal life as they are touched by love." -

"The great lie about immortality destroys every kind of reason, every kind of naturalness in the instincts." - Friedrich Nietzsche, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche