Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Mind

"Upon every hand we meet with those who have some secret resentment that is ever being nurtured within their hearts. They resent the success, or happiness of some one whom they think is less deserving than they are. They resent the just recognition that comes to others from work and long effort to excel. Or, they may resent being born poor - or resent the fact that they were even born!... Strive to excel, strive to achieve, where others have failed, and you will find no space within your mind to lodge resentment. Resentment is the child of selfishness, foolish envy, and inactivity... Our life upon this earth is too valuable for resentment of any kind. There is so much to do, so much to learn - so little time in which to live and work it all out." - George Matthew Adams

"The improvement of the mind improves the heart and corrects the understanding." - Agathon NULL

"Whoever sets out to persuade men to accept a new idea, or one which seems to be new, not just as an idea, but as a truth that is felt, should know beforehand that the human mind is not a blank sheet, on which one an write with ease, and should not therefore grieve or despair when he finds that people do not pay attention to him." - Ahad HaAm, pen name, born Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg

"A man is known by the company his mind keeps." - Thomas Bailey Aldrich

"Distinction is the consequence, never the object, of a great mind." -

"Reverence is an ennobling sentiment; it is felt to be degrading only by the vulgar mind, which would escape the sense of its own littleness by elevating itself into an antagonist of what is above it. He that has no pleasure in looking up is not fit so much as to look down." -

"Happiness is no other than soundness and perfection of mind." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"In the same degree in which a man’s mind is nearer to freedom from all passion, in the same degree also is it nearer to strength." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Such as are thy habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of thy mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts. Dye it then with a continuous series of such thoughts as these: that where a man can live, there he can also live well." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"The light of faith makes us see what we believe. For just as, by the habits of the other virtues, man sees what is fitting to him in respect of that habit, so, by the habit of faith, the human mind is directed to assent to such things as are fitting to a right faith, and not to assent to others." -

"Know then, whatever cheerful and serene supports the mind, supports the body too; hence, the most vital movement mortals feel is hope, the balm and lifeblood of the soul." - John Armstrong

"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

"Cheerfulness sharpens the edge and removes the rust from the mind. A joyous heart supplies oil to our inward machinery, and makes the whole of our powers work with ease and efficiency." - Arthur Aughey

"Faith without evidence is, properly, not faith, but prejudice or presumption; faith beyond evidence is superstition, and faith contrary to evidence is either insanity or willful perversity of mind." - Arthur Aughey

"The ability to find fault is believed, by some people, to be a sure sign of great wisdom, when, in most cases, it only indicates narrowness of mind and ill nature." - Arthur Aughey

"The first real mental illumination I remember to have experienced was when I saw that the universe exists in each of its individual atoms - that is, the universe is the result of a few simple processes infinitely repeated. When a drop of water has been mathematically measured, every principle will have been used which would be called form in the measurement of the heavens. All life on the globe is sustained by digestion and assimilation; when by voluntary and traumatic action these stop death follows. The history of an individual mind is the history of the race. Know one thing in its properties and relations and you will know all things." - H. B.

"Nothing is more unpleasant than a virtuous person with a mean mind." - Walter Bagehot

"Right thinking is a prerequisite to right living... In truth the destiny of any life is determined by what fills that mind." - Roy I. Bagley

"You cannot contribute anything to the ideal condition of mind and heart known as Brotherhood, however much you preach, posture, or agree, unless you live it." - Faith Baldwin

"Gentleness in the gait is what simplicity is in the dress. Violent gesture or quick movement inspires involuntary disrespect. One looks for a moment at a cascade; but one sits for hours, lost in thought, and gazing upon the still water of a lake. A deliberate gait, gentle manners, and a gracious tone of voice - all of which may be acquired - give a mediocre man an immense advantage over those vastly superior to him. To be bodily tranquil, to speak little, and to digest without effort are absolutely necessary to grandeur of mind or of presence, or to proper development of genius." - Honoré de Balzac

"Envy destroys peace of mind and happiness. An envious person’s life is full of suffering and resentment. He is never happy with what he himself has." - Michael Barenbaum

"Nothing of worth or weight can be achieved with half a mind, with a faint heart, and with a lame endeavor." - Isaac Barrow

"We must learn that competence is better than extravagance, that worth is better than wealth, that the golden calf we have worshipped has no more brains than that one of old which the Hebrews worshipped. So beware of money and money’s worth as the supreme passion of the mind. Beware of the craving for enormous acquisition." -

"Let us cherish sympathy. By attention and exercise it may be improved in every man. It prepares the mind for receiving the impressions of virtue; and without it there can be no true politeness. Nothing is more odious than that insensibility which wraps a man up in himself and his own concerns, and prevents his being moved with either the joys or the sorrows of another." - James Beattie

"To revenge a wrong is easy, usual, and natural, and, as the world thinks, savors of nobleness of mind; but religion teaches the contrary, and tells us it is better to neglect than to require it." - J. Beaumont

"Candor is the seal of a noble mind, the ornament and pride of man, the sweetest charm of woman, the scorn of a rascal and the rarest virtue of sociability." - Martin Bentzel von Sternau und Hohenau

"There is no state of mind, however simple, which does not change every moment." - Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

"Even the best of men get knocked down many times in a lifetime. Occasional knocks aren't anything to be afraid of. In fact, they make the game of life interesting; they are the hazards and the bunkers and sandtraps that force us to keep our mind on the game and play our best." -

"All the principles which religion teaches, and all the habits which it forms, are favorable to strength of mind. It will be found that whatever purifies fortifies also the heart." - Hugh Blair

"Between levity and cheerfulness there is a wide distinction; and the mind which is most open to levity is frequently a stranger to cheerfulness." - Hugh Blair

"Industry is not only the instrument of improvement, but the foundation of pleasure. He who is a stranger to it may possess, but cannot enjoy; for it is labor only which gives relish to pleasure. It is the appointed vehicle of every good to man. It is the indispensable condition of possessing a sound mind in a sound body." - Hugh Blair

"That discipline which corrects the eagerness of worldly passions, which fortifies the heart with virtuous principles, which enlightens the mind with useful knowledge, and furnishes to it matter of enjoyment from within itself, is of more consequence to real felicity than all the provisions which we can make of the goods of fortune." - Hugh Blair

"The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind." - William Blake

"The mind is the slayer of the Real." -

"Idleness is the canker of the mind." - John Bodenham

"As faintness is a disease of the body, so is vice a sickness of the mind. Wherefore, since we judge those that have corporal infirmities to be rather worthy of compassion than hatred, much more are they to be pitied, and not abhorred, whose minds are oppressed with wickedness, the greatest malady that may be." - Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius NULL

"It is one thing to be carried through an endless life, another thing to embrace the whole presence of an endless life together, which is manifestly proper to the divine Mind. The temporal world seems to emulate in part that which it cannot fully obtain or express, tying itself to whatever presence there is in this exiguous and fleeting moment - a presence which, since it carries a certain image of that abiding Presence, gives to whatever may partake of it the quality of seeming to have being. But because it could not stay, it undertook an infinite journey of time; and so it came to pass that, by going, it continued that life, whose plenitude it could not comprehend by staying." - Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius NULL

"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

"To guard the mind against the temptation of thinking that there are no good people, say to them: “Be such as you would like to see others, and you will find those who resemble you.”" -

"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

"There is scarcely a man who is not conscious of the benefits which his own mind has received from the performance of single acts of benevolence. How strange that so few of us try a course of the same medicine!" -

"Man's mind is his essence; he is where his thoughts are." -

"It is better to inspire the heart with a noble sentiment than to teach the mind a truth of science." - Phillips Brooks

"To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind." - Pearl S. Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu

"The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration." - Pearl S. Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu

"Anger will never disappear so long as there are thoughts of resentment in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"Be a lamp unto yourselves! Work out your liberation with diligence! Fill your mind with compassion!" - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"Mindfulness should be strong everywhere, for mindfulness keeps the mind away from distraction, into which it might fall, since faith, energy and understanding partake of the nature of distraction: and away from idleness, into which it might fall, since concentration partakes of the nature of idleness." - Bhadantācariya Buddhaghoṣa