Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Love

"Candor may be considered as a compound of justice and the love of truth." - John Abercrombie

"Love is a flame which burns in heaven and whose soft reflections radiate to us. Two worlds are opened, two lives given to it. It is by love that we double our being; it is by love that we approach God." - Louis-Aimé Martin

""Love thy neighbor" is the Torah's greatest principle." - Rabbi Akiva, fully Rebbe Akiva ben Yosef NULL

"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

"Romance cannot be put into quantity production - the moment love becomes casual, it becomes commonplace." - Eric Lewis, aka ELEW

"The love of gain never made a painter; but it has marred many." -

"Better is the praise and love of men than riches in the storehouse." - Amen-em-apt NULL

"Knowledge, love, power - there is the complete life." -

"Never to tire, never to grow cold; to be patient, sympathetic, tender; to look for the budding flower and the opening heart; to hope always; like God, to love always - this is duty." -

"Love is an egotism of two." - Antoine de la Salle (or Sale)

"Embellish the soul with simplicity, with prudence, and everything which is neither virtuous nor vicious. Love all men. Walk according to God; for, as a poet hath said, his laws govern all." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Good is the cause of love, as being its object. But good is not the object of the appetite, except as apprehended. And therefore love demands some apprehension of the good that is loved... Accordingly knowledge is the cause of love for the same reason as good is, which can be loved only if known." -

"The movement of love has a twofold tendency: towards the good which a man wishes to someone, whether for himself or for another; and towards that to which he wishes some good. Accordingly, man has love of concupiscence towards the good that he wishes to another, and love of friendship towards him to whom he wishes good." -

"When... the thing in which there is good is nobler than the soul itself, in which is the idea understood, by comparison with such a thing the will is higher than the intellect. But when the thing which is good is less noble than the soul, then even in comparison with the thing the intellect is higher than the will. Therefore the love of God is better than the knowledge of God; but, on the contrary, the knowledge of corporeal things is better than the love of them. Absolutely, however, the intellect is nobler than the will." -

"Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"All men are selfish, but the vain man is in love with himself. He admires, like the lover his adored one, everything which to others is indifferent." - Berthold Auerbach

"I live in the world, but I seem to myself not of it!.. Natural phenomena are but the shadows of the spirit form which they spring, as the human face changes under the influence of love, hatred or fear... When, O when, shall I be able to reveal its poetry? I see everywhere and in ever object unceasing motion, and in that motion a creative force forever and forever repeating and re-repeating the same simple process as to infinity. Through all nature the grand rhythms roll and heaven and earth are filled with the melody. Men are but boys chasing shadows. The spiritual significance of the world none seem to see - the infinite simplicity of its process are none care to understand." - H. B.

"Love has to spring spontaneously from within. It is no way amenable to any form of inner or outer force. Love and coercion can never go together; but though Love cannot be forced on anyone, It can be awakened in him through Love itself. Love is essentially self-communicative. Those who do not have It catch It from those who have It. True love is unconquerable and irresistible; and It goes on gathering power and spreading Itself, until eventually It transforms everyone whom It touches." - Meher Baba, born Merwan Sheriar Irani

"I cannot teach you the ten principles of service. But a little child and a thief can show you what they are. From the child you can learn three things: He is merry for no particular reason; never for a moment is he idle; when he needs something, he demands it vigorously. The thief can instruct you in seven things: He does his service by night; if he does not finish what he has set out to do, in one night, he devotes the next night to it; he and those who work with him love one another; he risks his life for small gains; what he takes has so little value for him that he gives it up for a very small coin; he endures blows and hardship, and it matters nothing to him; he likes his trade and would not exchange it for any other." - Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch, aka Maggid of Mezeritch

"The motto of chivalry is also the motto of wisdom; to serve all and love but one." - Honoré de Balzac

"Unrequited love is the meaning of life. We’re here to love but not to be loved, to give but not receive. Our mission in this world is to improve humanity and leave a better history than we found. Only selfless love has such power. Only love without interest or expectation of reward can change human beings... To give love without receiving love is the truest love and brings the greatest happiness there is in life." - Adolfo Barcella

"To love without criticism is to be betrayed." - Djuna Chappell Barnes

"The praise that comes of love does not make us vain, but humble rather." - J.M. Barrie, fully Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet

"If we desire to live securely, comfortably, and quietly, that by all honest means we should endeavor to purchase the good will of all men, and provoke no man’s enmity needlessly; since any man’s love may be useful, and every man’s hatred is dangerous." - Isaac Barrow

"Men love little and often, women much are rarely." -

"I must confess, as the experience of my own soul, that the expectation of loving my friends in heaven principally kindles my love to them while on earth." - Richard Baxter

"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

"Equality is no rule in Love’s grammar." -

"In every community there is a class of people profoundly dangerous to the rest. I don't mean the criminals. For them we have punitive sanctions. I mean the leaders. Invariably the most dangerous people seek the power. While in the parlors of indignation the right-thinking citizen brings his heart to a boil. In here, the human bosom -- mine, yours, everybody's -- there isn't just one soul. There's a lot of souls. But there are two main ones, the real soul and a pretender soul. Now! Every man realizes that he has to love something or somebody. He feels that he must go outward. 'If thou canst not love, what art thou?' Are you with me? " - Saul Bellow

"Man enters and departs his this life crying and weeping. He comes and he leaves in love and ignorance." -

"Life has neither material nor idealistic secrecy or mystery about it. Life is equal to itself only, hence perceiving its meaning is out of the question... The exaggeration of our mental abilities has given rise to what we perceive as “the problem” of discerning life’s purpose... If it is beyond our powers to disembowel love and beauty - we can only ravish them - it means that they are given to us not for cognition but for reflection. Similarly, the freedom of choice granted to man, a freedom denied the rest of the living species, is man’s task, a duty to exercise and fulfill, not merely an opportune option." - Andrei Bitov, fully Andrei Georgiyevich Bitov

"Such is the infatuation of self-love, that, though in general doctrine of the vanity world all men agree, yet almost everyone flatters himself that his own case is to be an exception from the common rule." - Hugh Blair

"Every part of our personality that we do not love will become hostile to us." - Robert Bly

"An hour spent in hate is an eternity withdrawn from love." - Ludwig Börne, fully Karl Ludwig Börne

"In love one has need of being believed, in friendship of being understood." - Abel Bonnard

"To resist the frigidity of old age one must combine the body, the mind, and the heart. And to keep these in parallel vigor one must exercise, study and love." - Charles Victor de Bonstetten

"The mind has a thousand eyes, and the heart but one; yet the light of a whole life dies when love is done." - Francis William Bourdillon

"The aim and end of prayer is to revere, to recognize and to adore the sovereign majesty of God, through what he is in Himself rather than what he is in regard to us, and rather to love his goodness by the love of that goodness itself than for what it sends us." - François Bourgoing

"Our first and last love is - self-love." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Successful love takes a load off our hearts, and puts it upon our shoulders." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Coquetry is the desire to inspire love without experiencing it yourself." -

"The appalling thing about war is that it kills all love of truth." - Georg Brandes, fully Georg Morris Cohen Brandes

"Love begins in individual hearts." - David A. Brandon

"The highest level of compassion is without any purpose or intent. It seeks neither the good of others nor its own good. It lies in being good not ‘doing good.’ There is simply living without design or conscious reflection. It embodies the fostering of love." - David A. Brandon

"The meaning of life is experienced when we are in touch with our unique essence, sometimes called the divine spark within... It is both individual and universal. When we are fully aware of this unique inner radiance, we feel what it is to be utterly alive. We experience unconditional love. We sense complete safety because that spark also connects us to the universal divinity within all things." - Barbara Brennan

"Nothing humbles and breaks the heart of a sinner like mercy and love. Souls that converse much with sin and wrath, may be much terrified; but souls that converse much with grace and mercy, will be much; humbled." - Thomas Brooks

"The ability to make love frivolously is the thing which distinguishes human beings from the beasts." - Heywood Broun, fully Matthew Heywood Campbell Broun

"The beginning and the end of love are both marked by embarrassment when the two find themselves alone." - Jean de La Bruyère

"The most amiable people are those who least wound the self-love of others." - Jean de La Bruyère

"We never love heartily but once, and that is the first time we love." - Jean de La Bruyère