Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Magic

"Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men's blood. Make big plans, aim high in hope and work and let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty." -

"Music has charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak. I’ve read that things inanimate have moved, and, as with living souls, have been informed by magic numbers and persuasive sound." - William Congreve

"Rites and vain repetitions have a legitimate place in religion as aids to recollectedness, reminders of truth momentarily forgotten in the turmoil of worldly distractions. When spoken or performed as a kind of magic, their use is either completely useless or else (and this is worse) it may have ego-enhancing results, which do not in any way contribute to the attainment of man’s final end." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." - W. H. Murray, fully William Hutchinson Murray

"The pious sectarian is proud because he is confident of his right of possession in God. The man of devotion is meek because he is conscious of God’s right of love over his life and soul. The object of our possession becomes smaller than ourselves, and without acknowledging it in so many words the bigoted sectarian has an implicit belief that God can be kept secured for certain individuals in a cage which is of their own make. In a similar manner the primitive races of men believe that their ceremonials have a magic influence upon their deities." -

"Magic is the total delight in chance." -

"It is only in the stillness and simplicity of presence - when we are aware of what we are experiencing, when we are here with it as it unfolds - that we can really appreciate our life and reconnect with the ordinary magic of being alive on this earth... Our life is unsatisfactory only because we are not living it fully, because instead we are pursuing a happiness that is always somewhere else, other than where we are right now." - John Welwood

"Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute! Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Only engage, and then the mind grows heated. Begin, and then the work will be completed." - John Anster, fully John Martin Anster

"Reading and what it can contribute to one's life is not something that pertains only to the ego and its conscious mind; it is also deeply rooted in the unconsciousness. Those who retain all through life a deep commitment to the literary harbor in their consciousness some residue of their earlier conviction that reading is an art permitting access to magic worlds, although very few of them are aware that they subconsciously believe this to be so." - Bruno Bettelheim

"The power of Thought - the magic of the Mind." -

"The magic of marriage is that it creates meaningful goals to work for, struggle for, sacrifice for. It is the joint struggle that gives the relationship its meaning, and keeps people alive." - Henry Gregor Felsen

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"I will reveal to you a love potion, without medicine, without herbs, without any witches magic: if you want to be loved, then love." - Hacaton of Rhodes, also Hecato of Rhodes NULL

"Dark as my path may seem to others, I carry a magic light in my heart. Faith, the spiritual strong searchlight, illumines the way. Although sinister doubts lurk in the shadow, I walk unafraid toward the Enchanted Wood where the foliage is always green, where life and death are one in the presence of the Lord." -

"The magic of listening brings us closer to the central core of the universe. To begin to comprehend... life it is not sufficient to touch and see." - Yehudi Menuhin, fully Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin

"Modern technology has lost its magic. No longer do people stand in awe, thrilled by the onward rush of science, the promise of a new day. Instead, the new is suspect. It arouses our hostility as much as it used to excite our fancy. With each breakthrough there are recurrent fears and suspicion. How will the advance further pollute our lives; modern technology is not merely what it first appears to be. Behind the whitecoats, the disarming jargon, the elaborate instrumentation, and a the core of what has often seemed an automatic process, one finds what Dorothy found in Oz: modern technology is human after all." - David Franklin Noble

"Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace." - Eugene O'Neill, fully Eugene Gladstone O'Neill

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative [or creation] there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too... Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"There is a magic power in your own hands. Take your vital decisions – they may be grave and momentous and far-reaching in their consequences. Think a hundred times before you take any decision, but once a decision is taken, stand by it as one man." - Fatima Jinna, also known as Madr-e-Millat, mother of the nation

"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

"The great leaders are like the best conductors-they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players." - Blaine Lee Pardoe

"The most striking [way in which children respond to external influences] and one that is almost like a magic wand for opening the gate to the normal expression of a child’s natural gifts is activity concentrated on some task that requires movement of the hands guided by the intellect." - Maria Montessori

"Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice." - Nora Roberts, born Eleanor Marie Robertson, also writes under pseudonym Jill March, some works in UK published as Sarah Hardesty

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C Clarke, formally Sir Arthur Charles Clark

"The magic of first love is the ignorance that it can ever end." - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

"The magic of first love is the ignorance that it can never end." - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

"If we were all given by magic the power to read each other's thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be to dissolve all friendships." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"Make no little plans: they have no magic to stir men’s blood… make big plans, aim high in hope and work." - Daniel Hudson Burnham

"It is a paradox of the post-industrial age that, despite its technical omnipotence, it is as dominated by words and magic as any primitive tribe. A haze of empty words, coming from the word factories of the universities, is corrupting the air of our ailing cities. The young lurch not so much from one illusion to another as from one cliché to another." - Eric Hoffer

"Man masters nature not by force but by understanding. This is why science has succeeded where magic failed: because it has looked for no spell to cast on nature." - Jacob Bronowski

"Some of mankind’s most errible misdeeds have been committed under the spell of certain magic words or phrases." - James Bryant Conant

"Slogans are both exciting and comforting, but some of mankind's most terrible misdeeds have been committed under the spell of certain magic words and phrases." - James Bryant Conant

"The appearance of things changes according to the emotions, and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves." - Kahlil Gibran

"One of the commonest mistakes and one of the costliest thinking that success is due to some genius, some magic - something or other which we do not possess. Success is generally due to holding one, and failure to letting go. You decide to learn a language, study music, take a course of reading, train yourself physically. Will it be success or failure? It depends upon how much pluck and perseverance that word “decide” contains. The decision that nothing can overrule, the grip that nothing can detach will bring success." - Maltbie Babcock, fully Maltbie Davenport Babcock

"Poetry interprets in two ways: it interprets by expressing, with magical felicity, the physiognomy and movements of the outward world; and it interprets by expressing, with inspired conviction, the ideas and laws of the inward world of man’s moral and spiritual nature. In other words, poetry is interpretive both by having natural magic in it, and by having moral profundity." - Matthew Arnold

"Education tends to be diagrammatic and categorical, opening up no sluices in the human imagination of the wonder or beauty of their unique estate in the cosmos. Little wonder that it become so easy for our young to regard human hurt casually or to be uninspired by the magic of sensitivity." - Norman Cousins

"A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life." - Norman Cousins

"Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic." - Thomas Szasz, fully Thomas Stephen Szasz

"Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity." - W. Clement Stone, fully William Clement Stone

"Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others. " -

"There is but one quality necessary for the perfect understanding of character, one quality that, if man have it, he may dare to judge—that is, omniscience. Most people study character as a proofreader pores over a great poem: his ears are dulled to the majesty and music of the lines, his eyes are darkened to the magic imagination of the genius of the author; that proofreader is busy watching for an inverted comma, a misspacing, or a wrong font letter. He has an eye trained for the imperfections, the weaknesses." - William George Jordan

"As a poet I hold the most archaic values on earth . . . the fertility of the soil, the magic of animals, the power-vision in solitude, the terrifying initiation and rebirth, the love and ecstasy of the dance, the common work of the tribe. I try to hold both history and the wilderness in mind, that my poems may approach the true measure of things and stand against the unbalance and ignorance of our times." - Gary Snyder

"Dark as my path may seem to others, I carry a magic light in my heart. Faith, the spiritual strong searchlight, illumines the way. Although sinister doubts lurk in the shadow, I walk unafraid toward the Enchanted Wood where the foliage is always green, where life and death are one in the presence of the Lord." - Helen Keller. aka Helen Adams Keller

"The magic of listening brings us closer to the central core of the universe. To begin to comprehend the mystery of life it is not sufficient to touch and to see – we need to hear, to listen, and thus to unite heart and mind and soul. The softer the sound the more important it is that we perceive it. We have, I fear, become a deaf people, and the cries of pain of the flora and fauna around us, the very air we breathe, the suffering of our fellow human beings in our urban deserts, in parts of the globe we have subjected to war, to famine and flood through greed and selfishness, have become inaudible. The media encourages us to read, to view, to hear, but that does not mean we listen. Until we can create a still center within ourselves we will be unable to attune the “third ear” to the messages that are broadcast to us, loud and clear for the most part, but rendered futile due to our incapacity to listen." - Joachim-Ernst Berendt

"I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning." - Joseph Priestley

"It is the integrative power of vision-logic, I believe, and not the indissociation of tribal magic or the imperialism of mythic involvement that is deperately needed on a global scale. " - Ken Wilber, fully Kenneth Earl Wilber II

"Put bluntly, there is an archaic God, a magic God, a mythic God, a mental God, and an integral God. Which God do you believe in? An archaic God sees divinity in any strong instinctual force. A magic God locates divine power in the human ego and its magical capacity to change the animistic world with rituals and spells. A mythic God is located not on this earth but in a heavenly paradise not of this world, entrance to which is gained by living according to the covenants and rules given by this God to his peoples. A mental God is a rational God, a demythologized Ground of Being that underlies all forms of existence. And an integral God is one that embraces all of the above. Which of those Gods is the most important? According to an integral view, all of them, because each "higher" stage actually builds upon and includes the lower, so the lower stages are more fundamental and the higher stages are more significant, but leave out any one of them and you're in trouble. You are, that is, less than integral, less than comprehensive, less than inclusive in your understanding of God." - Ken Wilber, fully Kenneth Earl Wilber II

"Child development: Most damaging course of action is attempting to keep children from experience or protect them from pain, for it is this time that children learn that life is a magic thing, if "not a rose garden." The parent's role is primarily to stand by with a good supply of band-aids." - Leo Busacaglia

"The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire." - Malcolm Gladwell