Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Lust

"The purpose of this discipline is to bring man into the habit of applying the insight that has come to him as the result of the preceding disciplines. When one is rising, standing, walking, doing something, stopping, one should constantly concentrate one’s mind on the act and the doing of it, not on one’s relation to the act, or its character or value. One should think: there is walking, there is stopping, there is realizing; not, I am walking, I am doing this, it is a good thing, it is disagreeable, I am gaining merit, it is I who am realizing how wonderful it is. Thence come vagrant thoughts, feelings of elation or of failure and unhappiness. Instead of all this, one should simply practice concentration of the mind on the act itself, understanding it to be an expedient means for attaining tranquillity of mind, realization, insight and Wisdom; and one should follow the practice in faith, willingness and gladness. After long practice the bondage of old habits become weakened and disappears, and in its place appear confidence, satisfaction, awareness and tranquillity. What is the Way of Wisdom designed to accomplish? There are three classes of conditions that hinder one from advancing along the path to Enlightenment. First, there are the allurements arising from the senses, from external conditions and from the discriminating mind. Second, there are the internal conditions of the mind, its thoughts, desires and mood. All these the earlier practices (ethical and mortificatory) are designed to eliminate. In the third class of impediments are placed the individual’s instinctive and fundamental (and therefore most insidious and persistent) urges - the will to live and to enjoy, the will to cherish one’s personality, the will to propagate, which give rise to greed and lust, fear and anger, infatuation, pride and egotism. The practice of the Wisdom Paramita is designed to control and eliminate these fundamental and instinctive hindrances." - Aśvaghoṣa NULL

"The failure of our modern world, with its moral and ethical collapse, may be traced directly to our spiritual ignorance and moral disobedience. The ethical conditions under which we live are disgracefully unsanitary. It is futile to expect peace and goodwill on earth while our homes are infested with the germs of selfishness, irreverence and lust. The world-wide epidemic of hatred, cruelty, murder and war is the inevitable result of our moral and spiritual disobedience. We cannot break the laws of the universe with impunity." - Allen E. Claxton

"Jealousy and lust, and ambition drive a man out of the world." - Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah NULL

"The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness." -

"Desire is the major cause of every transgression. When a person does something improper, it is because he has a specific desire that was aroused by some trait such as envy, lust, or honor-seeking." - Avraham Grodzinski

"Genuine self-government is possible only in very small groups, societies on a national or super-national scale will always be ruled by oligarchical minorities, whose members come to power because they have a lust for power." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"Lust is a vice sooner condemned than banished." - William Mason

"Idleness is the mistress of wanton appetites, and fortress of lust's gate." - John Northbrooke

"Lust is an enemy to the purse, a foe to the person, a canker to the mind, a corrosive to the conscience, a weakness of the wit, a besotter of the senses, and finally a mortal bane to all the body." - Pliny the Elder, full name Casus Plinius Secundus NULL

"The lust of avarice has so totally seized upon mankind that their wealth seems rather to possess them than they possess their wealth." - Pliny the Elder, full name Casus Plinius Secundus NULL

"Freedom means mastery of your world. Fear and greed are common sources of bondage. We are afraid, beset by anxiety. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. We seem so helpless over against the forces that move now without apparent thought for men. And our inner freedom is destroyed by greed. We think that if we only had enough goods we should be free, happy, without care. And so there comes the lust for money, and slavery to the world of things. The world can enslave; it can never make us free." - H. F. Rall, fully Harris Franklin

"Envy, lust, and honor-seeking take a person out of the world." - Yisroel Salanter Lipkin

"Show me a man who is not a slave. One is a slave to lust, another to greed, another to ambition, and all men are slaves to fear...no servitude is more disgraceful than that which is self-imposed." -

"When he has the power to see things detached from self-interest and from the insistent claims of the lust of the senses, then alone can he have the true vision of the beauty that is everywhere. Then only can he see that what is unpleasant to us is not necessarily unbeautiful, but has its beauty in truth." -

"Lust... is a short pleasure, bought with long pains, a honeyed poison, a gulf of shame... the body's bane and the soul's perdition." - John Taylor, aka 'Water Poet'

"Certain sins manifests themselves as their mirror opposites which the sinner is able to persuade himself are virtues. Thus Gluttony can manifest itself as Daintiness, Lust as Prudery, Sloth and Senseless Industry, Envy as Hero Worship." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"The lie of fear is the refuge of cowardice, and the lie of fraud, the device of the cheat. The inequalities of men and the lust of acquisition are a constant premium of lying." - Edward Bellamy

"The chief evil of war is more evil. War is the concentration of all human crimes. Here is its distinguishing, accursed brand. Under its standard gather violence, malignity, rage, fraud, perfidy, rapacity, and lust. If it only slew man, it would do little. It turns man into a beast of prey." - William Ellery Channing

"Pride, arrogance and lust of conquest are the natural and bitter fruits of military preparation." - John Jay

"Lust is a captivity of the reason and an enraging of the passions. It hinders business and distracts counsel. It sins against the body and weakens the soul." - Jeremy Taylor

"As rain breaks through an ill-thatched roof, so lust breaks through an ill-trained mind." - Dhammapada NULL

"What no human soul desires there is no need to prohibit; it is automatically excluded. The very emphasis of the commandment, Thou shalt not kill, makes it certain that we spring from an endless ancestry of murderers, with whom the lust for killing was in the blood, as possibly it is to this day with ourselves." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness." - Erich Fromm, fully Erich Seligmann Fromm

"We are at ease with a moral judgment made against someone’s private sin - lust or greed. We are much less comfortable judging someone’s public ethic - those decisions that can lead to such outcomes as aggression, the abuse of the environment, the neglect of the needy." - Ellen Goodman

"Lust for fame and fortune is like an intoxication. While a man is intoxicated, he doesn’t realize it. It’s only after it is all over that he realizes that everything is like an illusion. If men could realize this all the time, there would be much less trouble on earth, and there would be much happier people too." - Li Ju-chen

"In all enjoyment there is a choice between enjoying the other and enjoying yourself through the instrumentality of the other. The first is the enjoyment of love, the second is the enjoyment of lust. When people enjoy themselves through each other, that is merely mutual lust." - John Macmurray

"Love grows, lust wastes by enjoyment, and the reason is, that one springs from a union of souls, and the other from an union of sense." - William Penn

"The whole earth cannot satisfy the lust of the flesh; who can do its will? To him who longs for the impossible come guilt and bafflement of desire; but he who is utterly without desire has a happiness that ages not." - Shantideva NULL

"All the seven deadly sins are self destroying, morbid appetites, but in their early stages at least, lust and gluttony, avarice and sloth know some gratification, while anger and pride have power, even though that power eventually destroys itself. Envy is impotent, numbed with fear, never ceasing in its appetite, and it knows no gratification, but endless self torment. It has the ugliness of a trapped rat, which gnaws its own foot in an effort to escape." - Angus Wilson, fully Sir Angus Frank Johnstone Wilson

"[Plato's ideal society] guarantees to all people the right to an education that diagnoses and perfects their unique talents, plus a work role that conveys a sense of self-esteem, saving them from the neuroses of megalomania and the lust for power. It forbids privilege and sexism and all other criteria irrelevant to merit. It eliminates conflict of interest from those who hold office and gives the masses a potent checklist they can use to hold their rulers to account. Best of all, it eliminates all traces of "might makes right" and serves as a pattern laid up in heaven to rank actual societies in terms of what corrupts them. Society becomes more corrupt as the struggle for power becomes more brutal." - James R. Flynn, aka Jim Flynn

"The seduction of war is insidious because so much of what we are told about it is true; It does create a sense of comradeship, which obliterates our alienation and makes us, for perhaps the only time of our life, feel we belong. War allows us to rise above our small stations in life. We find nobility in a cause and feelings of selflessness and even bliss. And at a time of soaring deficits and financial scandals and the very deterioration of our domestic fabric, war is a fine diversion. War, for those who enter into combat, has a dark beauty, filled with the monstrous and the grotesque. The Bible calls it the "lust of the eye" and warns believers against it. War gives us a distorted sense of self; it gives us meaning." - Chris Hedges

"Sins become more subtle as you grow older; you commit sins of despair rather than lust." - Piers Paul Read

"The uncontrolled mind cannot concentrate. Who cannot concentrate has no peace, without peace, where is happiness?" - Bhagavad Gītā, simply known as Gita NULL

"Knowledge is indeed better than blind practice; meditation excels knowledge; surrender of the fruits of action is more esteemed than meditation. Peace immediately follows surrender... Lust, anger, and greed, these three are the soul-destroying gates of hell" - Bhagavad Gītā, simply known as Gita NULL

"Hell has three doors: lust, rage, and greed." - Bhagavad Gītā, simply known as Gita NULL

"Hell has three gates: lust, anger, and greed." - Bhagavad Gītā, simply known as Gita NULL

"When he has no lust, no hatred, a man walks safely among the things of lust and hatred." - Bhagavad Gītā, simply known as Gita NULL

"All men naturally hate one another. They employ lust as far as possible in the service of the public weal. But this is only a [pretense] and a false image of love; for at bottom it is only hate." - Blaise Pascal

"Avarice has ruined more men than prodigality, and the blindest thoughtlessness of expenditure has not destroyed so many fortunes as the calculating but insatiable lust of accumulation." - Charles Caleb Colton

"Lust of power is the most flagrant of all passions." - Tacitus, fully Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus NULL

"In play, the body can learn the model for actions in real life. Its lust can prepare a man to endure tribulation." - Dag Hammarskjöld

"Anyone who repudiates the lust for life because he is caught in the lust for ideals has not advanced in the most fundamental sense." - Eugen Herrigel

"The moral law is written on the tablets of eternity. For every false word or unrighteous deed, for cruelty and oppression, for lust or vanity, the price has to be paid at last." - James Froude, fully James Anthony Froude

"What is essentially wrong with lust is not that the body is used carnally, but that the situation is such, the human relations are such, that this particular use of the body is the implementation of a wrong spirit." - James A. Pike, fully Bishop James Albert Pike

"Even lust and envy sleep." - John Dryden

"Education does not mean teaching people what they do not know. It means teaching them to behave as they do not behave. It is not teaching the youth the shapes of letters and the tricks of numbers, and then leaving them to turn their arithmetic to roguery, and their literature to lust. It means, on the contrary, training them into the perfect exercise and kingly continence of their bodies and souls. It is a painful, continual and difficult work, to be done by kindness, by watching, by warning, by precept and by praise, but above all - by example." - John Ruskin

"The lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the housed as a guest, and then becomes a host, and then a master." - Kahlil Gibran

"The lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house as a guest, and then becomes a host, and then a master." - Kahlil Gibran

"Lust wants whatever it can have." - Latin Proverbs

"Prosperity, obtained through truth and righteousness, is built on a sure rock. Happiness derived from falsehood, injustice and lust, is built on sand." - Maimonides, given name Moses ben Maimon or Moshe ben Maimon, known as "Rambam" NULL