Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Oblivion

"Of human life the time is a point, and the substance is in a flux, and the perception dull, and the composition of the whole body subject to putrefaction, and the soul a whirl, and fortune hard to divine, and fame a thing devoid of judgment. And, to say all in a word, everything which belongs to the body is a stream, and what belongs to the soul is a dream and a vapor, and life is a warfare and a stranger’s sojourn, and after-fame is oblivion." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"If men would wound you with injuries, meet them with patience: hasty words rankle the wound, soft language, dresses it, forgiveness cures it, and oblivion takes away the scar. It is more noble by silence to avoid an injury than by argument to overcome it." - Francis Beaumont

"If men wound you with injuries, meet them with patience; hasty words rankle the wound, soft language dresses it, forgiveness cures it, and oblivion takes away the scar. It is more noble by silence to avoid an injury; than by argument to overcome it." - J. Beaumont

"With endless patience you shall carry out your duty, and your firmness shall be tempered with tenderness for your people. Neither anger nor fury shall lodge in your mind, and all your words and actions shall be marked with calm deliberation. In all your deliberations in the Council, in your efforts at lawmaking, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not away the warnings of any others, if they should chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law, which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the earth - the unborn of the future Nation." - Constitution of the Five Nations NULL

"A man's virtue is his memorial: the evilly-reputed one suffers oblivion." - Mentuhotep, also known as Montuhotep NULL

"It is the calling of great men, not so much to preach new truths, as to rescue from oblivion those old truths which it is our wisdom to remember and our weakness to forget." - Sydney Smith

"Ignorance is not bliss - it is oblivion." -

"And all your dreams and other such like folly, to deep oblivion let them be consigned; for they arise but from your melancholy, by which your health is being undermined. A straw for all the meaning you can find in dreams! They aren’t worth a hill of beans, for no one knows what dreaming really means." - Geoffrey Chaucer

"Set happiness before you as an end, no matter in what guise of wealth, or fame, or oblivion even, and you will not attain it. But renounce it and seek the pleasure of God, and that instant is the birth of you own." - Arthur Sherburne Hardy

"Happiness is the legitimate fruitage of love and service. Set happiness before you as an end, no matter in what guise of wealth, or fame, or oblivion even, and you will not attain it. But renounce it and seek the pleasure of God, and that instant is the birth of your own." - Arthur Sherburne Hardy

"The years are going. Let the chaff and the evil part of this life pass with them. As men load the wagon with the sweepings of the street, and, carrying it far to the ocean, cast it into the deep abyss, so bring together all your hatreds, weaknesses, unkindnesses, jealousies, all passions, ingratitudes, and embittering memories, and, tying them into one bundle, let the old ;year sweep them out and drop them into the gulf of oblivion. Expel from your life all sins and sordid aims. Carry into the new year only the choicest thoughts and aspirations. As in the olden days when men approached the Parthenon they cleansed their persons and arrayed themselves in white robes before entering that glorious temple, so cleanse your garments from transgression, clothe yourself with aspirations. Farewell to the past! Welcome and all hail to the future." -

"Solitude is the worst of all companions when we seek comfort and oblivion." - Joseph Méry

"Ignorance is not bliss - it is oblivion." - Philip Wylie, fully Philip Gordon Wylie

"Apathy is a sort of living oblivion." - Horace Greeley

"Lay silently the injuries you receive upon the altar of oblivion." - Hosea Ballou

"The brevity of our life, the dullness of our senses, the torpor of our indifference, the futility of our occupation, suffer us to know but little: and that little is soon shaken and then torn from the mind by the traitor to learning, that hostile and faithless stepmother to memory, oblivion." - John of Salisbury NULL

"The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. This is the artist's way of scribbling Kilroy was here on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass." - William Faulkner, fully William Cuthbert Faulkner

"How frequently is the honesty and integrity of man disposed of by a smile or shrug! How many good and generous actions have been sunk into oblivion by a distrustful look, or stamped of proceeding from bad motives, by a mysterious and seasonable whisper!" - Lawrence Sterne, alternatively Laurence Sterne

"Death is the stone into which our oblivion hardens." - Pablo Neruda, pen name for Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto

"It is to me a peculiarly noble work rescuing from oblivion those who deserve immortality, and extending their renown at the same time that we advance our own." - Pliny the Younger, full name Casus Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo NULL

"This therefore is Mathematics: She reminds you of the invisible forms of the soul; She gives life to her own discoveries; She awakens the mind and purifies the intellect; She brings light to our intrinsic ideas; She abolishes oblivion and ignorance which are ours by birth." - Proclus, fully Proclus Lycaeus NULL

"Think of it. We are blessed with technology that would be indescribable to our forefathers. We have the wherewithal, the know-it-all to feed everybody, clothe everybody, and give every human on Earth a chance. We know now what we could never have known before -- that we now have the option for all humanity to make it successfully on this planet in this lifetime. Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment." - Buckminster Fuller, fully Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller

"We are blessed with technology that would be indescribable to our forefathers. We have the wherewithal, the know-it-all to feed everybody, clothe everybody, and give every human on Earth a chance. We know now what we could never have known before--that we now have the option for all humanity to make it successfully on this planet in this lifetime. Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment." - Buckminster Fuller, fully Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller

"Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment.... Humanity is in 'final exam' as to whether or not it qualifies for continuance in Universe" - Buckminster Fuller, fully Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller

"Ordinarily that which is of the greatest profit – namely, to be ever losing oneself and becoming as nothing – is considered the worst thing possible, and that which is of least worth, which is for the soul to find consolation and sweetness, is considered best. Secret contemplation is the science of love. It is an infused and loving knowledge of God, which enlightens the soul and at the same time enkindles it with love, until it is raised up step by step, even unto God its Creator. For it is love alone that unites and joins the soul with God." - Saint John of the Cross, born Juan de Yepes Álvarez NULL

"Let the slogan go forth that we will stand by our friends and administer a stinging rebuke to men or parties who are either indifferent, negligent, or hostile." - Samuel Gompers

"The Communists, following Hegel, speak of humanity and its future as of some monolithic individuality. I was attacking this illusion." - Simone de Beauvoir, fully Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir

"Bacteria represent the world's greatest success story. They are today and have always been the modal organisms on earth; they cannot be nuked to oblivion and will outlive us all. This time is their time, not the age of mammals as our textbooks chauvinistically proclaim. But their price for such success is permanent relegation to a microworld, and they cannot know the joy and pain of consciousness. We live in a universe of trade-offs; complexity and persistence do not work well as partners." - Stephan Jay Gould

"Before Kuhn, most scientists followed the place-a-stone-in-the-bright-temple-of-knowledge tradition, and would have told you that they hoped, above all, to lay many of the bricks, perhaps even the keystone, of truth's temple. Now most scientists of vision hope to foment revolution. We are, therefore, awash in revolutions, most self-proclaimed." - Stephan Jay Gould

"For the more a man limits himself, the nearer he is on the other hand to what is limitless; it is precisely those who are apparently aloof from the world who build for themselves a remarkable and thoroughly individual world in miniature, using their own special equipment, hermit-like." - Stefan Zweig

"I, who unfortunately for me I always had a passionate curiosity for the things of the mind ..." - Stefan Zweig

"I think Democrats made a mistake running away from liberalism. Liberalism, uh, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John and Robert Kennedy - that's what the Democratic party ought to reach for." - Ted Sorensen, fully Theodore Chalkin "Ted" Sorensen

"Woe to him that claims obedience when it is not due; woe to him that refuses it when it is." - Thomas Carlyle

"Could he with reason murmur at his case, himself sole author of his own disgrace?" - William Cowper

"To my ninth decade I have tottered on, and no soft arm bends now my steps to steady; she, who once led me where she would, is gone, so when he calls me, Death shall find me ready." - Walter Savage Landor

"To rise at six, to sleep at ten, to sup at ten, to dine at six, make a man live for ten times ten. [Inscription in Hugo's dining room]" - Victor Hugo

"But O how slick and weasel-like is self-pride! Our learnedness creeps into our sermons with a clever quotation which adds nothing to God's glory, but a bit to our own. Our cleverness in business competition earns as much self-flattery as does the possession of the money itself. Our desire to be known and approved by others, to have heads nod approvingly about us behind our backs, and flattering murmurs which we can occasionally overhear, confirm the discernment in Alfred Adler's elevation of the superiority motive. Our status as "weighty Friends" gives us secret pleasures which we scarcely own to ourselves, yet thrive upon. Yes, even pride in our own humility is one of the devil's own tricks. But humility rests upon a holy blindedness, like the blindedness of him who looks steadily into the sun. For wherever he turns his eyes on earth, there he sees only the sun. The God-blinded soul sees naught of self, naught of personal degradation or of personal eminence, but only the Holy Will working impersonally through him, through others, as one objective Life and Power. But what trinkets we have sought after in life, the pursuit of what petty trifles has wasted our years as we have ministered to the enhancement of our own little selves! And what needless anguishes we have suffered because our little selves were defeated, were not flattered, were not cozened and petted! But the blinding God blots out this self and gives humility and true self-hood as wholly full of Him. For as He gives obedience so He graciously gives to us what measure of humility we will accept. Even that is not our own, but His who also gives us obedience. But the humility of the God-blinded soul endures only so long as we look steadily at the Sun. Growth in humility is a measure of our growth in the habit of the Godward-directed mind. And he only is near to God who is exceedingly humble. The last depths of holy and voluntary poverty are not in financial poverty, important as that is; they are in poverty of spirit, in meekness and lowliness of soul." - Thomas R. Kelly, fully Thomas Raymond Kelly

"There's one uneasy borderline between what is external and what is internal, and this borderline is defined exactly by the sense organs and the skin and the introduction of external things within my own body. Consciousness is altered by physical events and physical objects, which impinge upon my sense organs, or which I introduce into my body." - Timothy Leary, fully Timothy Francis Leary

"Housework, if it is done properly, can cause brain damage." - Erma Bombeck, fully Erma Louise Bombeck, born Erma Fiste

"If the gods do evil then they are not gods." - Euripedes NULL