Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Nothing

"Illusion and self-deception stand in the way of an honest, penetrating and fearless self-appraisal. Though it would appear that we have access to the innermost core of our individual being, and that there is nothing in the world with which we are on more intimate terms than our own self, the self remains an elusive object of knowledge and understanding." - Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren

"There is nothing in the world better for the purification of the soul than the curbing of idle talk." - Agnon Schmuel Yoseph Agnon, pseudonym of Samuel Joseph Czaczkes

"Mysticism is nothing but an overwhelming concentration of religious feeling." - Agus Salim, or Agus Hadji

"Nothing destroys the potential for parents to have a close relationship with their children as disciplining through excessive fear. When children are still young, parents should be aware that one day their children will become independent. Parents who frequently use fear as a weapon create negative feelings in their children. When they grow up, those children are likely to rebel against their parents and go their own way." - Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

"He who asks of life nothing but the improvement of his own nature, and a continuous moral progress toward inward contentment and religious submission, is less liable than anyone else to miss and waste life." -

"In the conduct of life, habits count for more than maxims; because habit is a living maxim, becomes flesh and instinct. To reform one's maxims is nothing: it is but to change the title of the book. To learn new habits is everything, for it is to reach the substance of life. Life is but a tissue of habits." -

"Nothing is more characteristic of a man than the manner in which he behaves towards fools." -

"Without faith a man can do nothing. But faith can stifle all science." -

"There is nothing enduring in life for a woman except what she builds in a man's heart." - Judith Anderson, born Frances Margaret Anderson-Anderson, aka Dame Judith Anderson

"A great estate is a great disadvantage to those who do not know hot to use it, for nothing is more common than to see wealthy persons live scandalously and miserably; riches do them no service in order to virtue and happiness; it is precept and principle, not an estate, that makes a man good for something." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"A rational nature admits of nothing but what is serviceable to the rest of mankind." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Nothing is evil which is according to nature." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Self-control and understanding, righteousness and courage, there is nothing in life more profitable than these." - Apocrypha NULL

"Final and perfect happiness can consist in nothing else than the vision of the Divine Essence." -

"Honor is not that reward of virtue, for which the virtuous work, but they receive honor from men by way of reward, as from those who have nothing greater to offer. But virtue’s true reward is happiness itself, for which the virtuous work, whereas if they worked for honor, it would no longer be virtue, but ambition." -

"It is impossible for any created good to constitute man’s happiness. For happiness is the perfect good, which quiets the appetite altogether since it would not be the last end if something yet remained to be desired. Now the object of the will, that is, of man’s appetite, is the universal good, just as the object of the intellect is the universal true. Hence it is evident that nothing can quiet man’s will except the universal good. This is to be found not in any creature, but in God alone, because every creature has goodness by participation. Therefore God alone can satisfy the will of man." -

"There cannot be a supreme evil, because... although evil always lessens good, yet it never wholly consumes it; and thus, since good always remains, nothing can be wholly and perfectly bad." -

"Earth produces nothing worse than an ungrateful man." - Austonius, fully Decimus Magnus Ausonius

"Forgive many things in others; nothing in yourself." - Austonius, fully Decimus Magnus Ausonius

"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

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

"Nothing is irredeemably ugly but sin." - Honoré de Balzac

"To be nothing is the result of doing nothing." - Harry F. Banks, real name possibly Harry Band

"Nothing has wrought more prejudice to religion, or brought more disparagement upon truth, than boisterous and unseasonable zeal." - Isaac Barrow

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

"Courtesy is really nothing more than a form of friendliness." -

"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

"What is man? An angel, an animal, a void, a world, a nothing surrounded by God, indigent of God, capable of God, filled with God, if it so desires." - Pierre de Bérulle

"My reason teaches me that land cannot be sold. The Great Spirit gave it to his children to live upon and cultivate as far as necessary for their subsistence, and so long as they occupy and cultivate it they have the right to the soil, but if they voluntarily leave it then any other people have a right to settle on it. Nothing can be sold, except things that can be carried away." - Black Hawk, born Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak NULL

"Nothing leads more directly to the breach of charity, and to the injury and molestation of our fellow-creatures than the indulgence of an ill temper." - Hugh Blair

"Nothing, except what flows from the heart, can render even external manners truly pleasing." - Hugh Blair

"Those can most easily dispense with society who are the most calculated to adorn it; they only are dependent on it who possess no mental resources, for though they bring nothing to the general mart, like beggars, they are too poor to stay at home." - Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington, Lady Blessington, born Margaret Power

"We walk, and our religion is shown (even in the dullest and most insensitive person) in how we walk. Or to put it more accurately, living in this world means choosing, choosing to walk, and the way we choose to walk is infallibly and perfectly expressed in the walk itself. Nothing can disguise it. The walk of an ordinary man and of an enlightened man are as different as that of a snake and a giraffe." - R. H. Blyth, fully Reginald Horace Blyth

"Most people are dissatisfied, because too few know that the distance between one and nothing is greater than that between one and a thousand." - Ludwig Börne, fully Karl Ludwig Börne

"The trouble of the many and various aims of mortal men bring them much care, and herein they go forward by different paths but strive to reach one end, which is happiness. And that good is that, to which if any man attain, he can desire nothing further... Happiness is a state which is made perfect by the union of all good things. This end all men seek to reach, as I said, though by different paths. For there is implanted by nature in the minds of men a desire for the true good; but error leads them astray towards false goods by wrong paths." - Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius NULL

"Who is content with nothing possesses all things." -

"He who has lost confidence can lose nothing more." - Pierre Claude Boiste, fully Pierre Claude Victor Boiste

"Whatever study tends neither directly nor indirectly to make us better men and citizens is at best a specious an ingenious sort of idleness; and the knowledge we acquire by it only a credible kind of ignorance, nothing more." - Henry St John, Lord Bolingbroke, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke

"In the past few decades American institutions have struggled with the temptations of politics. Professions and academic disciplines that once possessed a life and structure of their own have steadily succumbed, in some cases almost entirely, to the belief that nothing matters beyond politically desirable results, however achieved." - Robert Bork, fully Robert Heron Bork

"Courage enlarges, cowardice diminishes resources. In desperate straits the fears of the timid aggravate the dangers that imperil the brave. For cowards the road of desertion should be left open. They will carry over to the enemy nothing but their fears. The poltroon, like the scabbard, is an encumbrance when once the sword is drawn." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"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

"[Fear] From a distance it is something; and nearby it is nothing." - Jean de La Bruyère

"It is a very rare thing to find ground which produces nothing. If it is not covered with flowers, fruit trees, and grains, it produces briars and pines. It is the same with man; if he is not virtuous, he becomes vicious." - Jean de La Bruyère

"It is very rare to find ground which produces nothing; if it is not covered with flowers, with fruit trees and grains, it produces briers and pines. It is the same with man; if he is not virtuous, he becomes vicious." - Jean de La Bruyère

"Nothing is as dangerous as an ignorant friend; a wise enemy is to be preferred." - Jean de La Bruyère

"Nothing is so oppressive as a secret." - Jean de La Bruyère

"Profound ignorance makes a man dogmatic. The man who knows nothing thinks he is teaching others what he has just learned himself; the man who knows a great deal can't imagine that what he is saying is not common knowledge, and speaks indifferently." - Jean de La Bruyère

"The simple truth is, that there has lived on the earth, “appearing at intervals,” for thousands of years among ordinary men, the first faint beginnings of another race; walking the earth and breathing the air with us, but at the same time walking another earth and breathing another air of which we know little or nothing, but which is, all the same, our spiritual life, as its absence would be our spiritual death. This new race is in act of being born from us, and in the near future it will occupy and possess the earth." - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life nothing can destroy him; if he has conquered greed nothing can limit his freedom." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"There is nothing that can not be accomplished by the spirit of gratitude and self-sacrifice." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL