Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Panic

"Ignoring the possibility of personal involvement is the first step to panic and tragedy." -

"I have often seen individuals who simply outgrow a problem which had destroyed others. This ‘outgrowing’, revealed itself on further experience to be the raising of the level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest arose on the person’s horizon, and through the widening of his view, the insoluble problem, lost its urgency. It was not solved logically in its own terms, but faded out in contrast to a new and strong life-tendency. It was not repressed and made unconscious, but merely appeared in a different light, and so became different itself. What, on a lower level, had led the wildest conflicts and emotions full of panic, viewed from the higher level of the personality, now seemed like a storm in the valley seen from a high mountain top. This does not mean that the thunderstorm is robbed of its reality; it means that instead of being in it, one is now above it." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"Doubt and mistrust are the mere panic of timid imagination, which the steadfast heart will conquer, and the large mind transcend." - Garrison Keillor, fully Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor

"A panic is a sudden desertion of us, and a gong over to the enemy, of our imagination." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the function of the imagination." - Ernest Hemingway, fully Ernest Miller Hemingway

"Anti-Semitism is a social disease. Anti-Semitism is an excellent diagnostic device to use in studying the health and well-being of society. For it is a harbinger of war, the fear of inadequacy that, in moments of crisis, breeds havoc and social panic." - Carey McWilliams

"A panic is the stampede of our self-possession." - Antoine de Rivarol, also known as Comte de Rivarol

"Whatever it is that we value in life – relationships, creativity, learning, aesthetic experience, food, sex, travel – the call to seize the day is the call to appreciate these things while we can and not to put them off indefinitely. Some things require work and time, and often the best choice is not to do today everything you want to do before you die. The true spirit of carpe diem is not to panic and try to do everything now, but to make sure every day counts. The wisdom of carpe diem is that time is short, this is the only life we have and we should not squander it." - Julian Baggini

"For Goebbels, anxiety was a double-edged sword: too much anxiety could produce panic and demoralization, too little could lead to complacency and inactivity. An attempt was constantly made, therefore, to achieve a balance between the two extremes." - Leonard W. Doob, fully Leonard William Doob

"I think that taking life seriously means something such as this: that whatever man does on this planet has to be done in the lived truth of the terror of creation, of the grotesque, of the rumble of panic underneath everything. Otherwise it is false. Whatever is achieved must be achieved with the full exercise of passion, of vision, of pain, of fear, and of sorrow. How do we know ... that our part of the meaning of the universe might not be a rhythm in sorrow?" -

"To be a member of a crowd is an experience closely akin to alcoholic intoxication. Most human beings feel a craving to escape from the cramping limitations of their ego, to take periodical holidays from their all too familiar, all to squalid little selves. As they do not know how to travel upwards from personality into a region of super-personality and as they are unwilling, even if they do know, to fulfill the ethical, psychological and physiological conditions of self-transcendence, they turn naturally to the descending road, the road that leads down from personality to the darkness of subhuman emotionalism and panic animality." -

"To be a member of a crowd is an experience closely akin to alcoholic intoxication. Most human beings feel a craving to escape from the cramping limitations of their ego, to take periodical holidays from their all too familiar, all to squalid little selves. As they do not know how to travel upwards from personality into a region of super-personality and as they are unwilling, even if they do know, to fulfill the ethical, psychological and physiological conditions of self-transcendence, they turn naturally to the descending road, the road that leads down from personality to the darkness of subhuman emotionalism and panic animality." -

"To be a member of a crowd is an experience closely akin to alcoholic intoxication. Most human beings feel a craving to escape from the cramping limitations of their ego, to take periodical holidays from their all too familiar, all to squalid little selves. As they do not know how to travel upwards from personality into a region of super-personality and as they are unwilling, even if they do know, to fulfill the ethical, psychological and physiological conditions of self-transcendence, they turn naturally to the descending road, the road that leads down from personality to the darkness of subhuman emotionalism and panic animality." -

"The [advertiser’s] formula is: to make people ashamed of last year’s model; to hook up self-esteem itself with the purchasing of this year’s; to create a panic for status, and hence a panic of self-evaluation, and to connect its relief with the consumption of specified commodities." -

"The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater, and causing a panic… The question in every case is whether the words used are in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

"To be a member of a crowd is an experience closely akin to alcoholic intoxication. Most human beings feel a craving to escape from the cramping limitations of their ego, to take periodical holidays from their all too familiar, all to squalid little selves. As they do not know how to travel upwards from personality into a region of super-personality and as they are unwilling, even if they do know, to fulfill the ethical, psychological and physiological conditions of self-transcendence, they turn naturally to the descending road, the road that leads down from personality to the darkness of subhuman emotionalism and panic animality." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"The [advertiser’s] formula is: to make people ashamed of last year’s model; to hook up self-esteem itself with the purchasing of this year’s; to create a panic for status, and hence a panic of self-evaluation, and to connect its relief with the consumption of specified commodities." - C. Wright Mills, fully Charles Wright Mills

"The only hope I can see for the future depends on a wiser and braver use of the reason, not a panic flight from it. " - F. L. Lucas, fully Frank Laurence "F. L." Lucas

"When a child first catches adults out -- when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just -- his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. And the child's world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing." - John Steinbeck, fully John Ernst Steinbeck

"Ignoring the possibility of personal involvement is the first step to panic and tragedy." - Marie Curie, fully Marie Skłodowska-Curie, originally Manya Sklodowska

"We are saddled with a culture that hasn't advanced as far as science. Scientific man is already on the moon, and yet we are still living with the moral concepts of Homer. Hence this upset, this disequilibrium that makes weaker people anxious and apprehensive, that makes it so difficult for them to adapt to the mechanism of modern life. ... We live in a society that compels us to go on using these concepts, and we no longer know what they mean. In the future — not soon, perhaps by the twenty-fifth century — these concepts will have lost their relevance. I can never understand how we have been able to follow these worn-out tracks, which have been laid down by panic in the face of nature. When man becomes reconciled to nature, when space becomes his true background, these words and concepts will have lost their meaning, and we will no longer have to use them." - Michelangelo Antonioni, Cavaliere di Gran Croce

"Today's comics use four-letter words as a shortcut to thinking. They're shooting for that big laugh and it becomes a panic thing, using four-letter words to shock people." - Red Skelton, fully Richard Bernard "Red" Skelton

"We're entering a whole new era now. America has suffered a terrorist attack of historic proportions, and now we're going to go after the perpetrators. Cyber-attacks may be inevitable... Physical and cyber-attacks in conjunction could cause panic across a whole economic sector." - Richard Powers

"If you say that a good reputation serves to benefit the neighbor more, I admit that. However, since it should be based on a good life, it is, therefore, preserved by the practice of virtue and not by human intrigue." - Saint Vincent de Paul

"A woman's dream of taking it away, like a tiger cub to take away." - Arthur Conan Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

"It takes heroic humility to be yourself." - Thomas Merton

"When we are alone on a starlit night, when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children, when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet, Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash - at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the newness, the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, all these provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance." - Thomas Merton

"The day, a compunctious Sunday after a week of blizzards, had been part jewel, part mud. In the midst of my usual afternoon stroll through the small hilly town attached to the girls' college where I taught French literature, I had stopped to watch a family of brilliant icicles drip-dripping from the eaves of a frame house. So clear-cut were their pointed shadows on the white boards behind them that I was sure the shadows of the falling drops should be visible too. But they were not. (The Vane Sisters)" - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"Turning one's novel into a movie script is rather like making a series of sketches for a painting that has long ago been finished and framed." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"While the scientist sees everything that happens in one point of space, the poet feels everything that happens in one point of time." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"Give these people money, let them play, and they'll come up with something." - Vannevar Bush

"You take one bomber and deploy him in Baghdad, and another is manufactured in Riyadh the next day. It’s exactly like when you take the toy off the shelf at Wal-Mart and another is made in Shen Zhen the next day." - Thomas L. Friedman, fully Thomas Lauren Friedman

"I became one of those annoying people who always say Ciao! Only I was extra annoying, since I would always explain where the word ciao comes from. (If you must know, it's an abbreviation of a phrase used by medieval Venetians as an intimate salutation: Sono il suo schiavo! Meaning: I am your slave!) Just speaking these words made me feel sexy and happy. My divorce lawyer told me not to worry; she said she had one client (Korean by heritage) who, after a yucky divorce, legally changed her name to something Italian, just to feel sexy and happy again." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"If we put this whole progression in terms of our discussion of the possibilities of heroism, it goes like this: Man breaks through the bounds of merely cultural heroism; he destroys the character lie that had him perform as a hero in the everyday social scheme of things; and by doing so he opens himself up to infinity, to the pos­sibility of cosmic heroism, to the very service of God. His life thereby acquires ultimate value in place of merely social and cul­tural, historical value. He links his secret inner self, his authentic talent, his deepest feelings of uniqueness, his inner yearning for absolute significance, to the very ground of creation. Out of the ruins of the broken cultural self there remains the mystery of the private, invisible, inner self which yearned for ultimate significance, for cosmic heroism. This invisible mystery at the heart of every creature now attains cosmic significance by affirming its connection with the invisible mystery at the heart of creation. This is the meaning of faith. At the same time it is the meaning of the merger of psychology and religion in Kierkegaard's thought. The truly open person, the one who has shed his character armor, the vital lie of his cultural conditioning, is beyond the help of any mere "science," of any merely social standard of health. He is absolutely alone and trembling on the brink of oblivion—which is at the same time the brink of infinity. To give him the new support that he needs, the "courage to renounce dread without any dread . . . only faith is capable of," says Kierkegaard. Not that this is an easy out for man, or a cure-all for the human condition—Kierkegaard is never facile. He gives a strikingly beautiful idea:" - Ernest Becker

"Any form of betrayal can be final. Dishonesty can be final. Selling out is final. But you are just talking now. Death is what is really final." - Ernest Hemingway, fully Ernest Miller Hemingway

"Then he was sorry for the great fish... How many people will he feed?.. But are they worthy to eat him? No, of course, not. There is no one worthy of eating him from the manner of his behavior and his great dignity." - Ernest Hemingway, fully Ernest Miller Hemingway