Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Personality

"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

"We are free when our acts spring from our whole personality... Our character is still ourselves." - Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

"Every part of our personality that we do not love will become hostile to us." - Robert Bly

"No man or woman has achieved an effective personality who is not self-disciplined. Such discipline must not be an end in itself, but must be directed to the development of resolute Christian character." - Abel Bonnard

"The more discussion the better, if passion and personality be eschewed; and discussion, even if stormy, often winnows truth from error - a good never to be expected in an uninquiring age." - William Ellery Channing

"The more we sympathize with excellence, the more we go out of self, the more we love, the broader and deeper is our personality." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality." - Albert Einstein

"Without creative personalities able to think and judge independently, the upward development of society is as unthinkable as the development of the individual personality without the nourishing soil of the community." - Albert Einstein

"Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality." -

"Whatever may be true of men’s creed, nothing is clearer than the fact that the personality and the sovereignty of God are not a large factor in the practical life and thought of our age." - Charles W. Garman

"To renounce your individuality, to see with another's eyes, to hear with another's ears, to be two and yet but one, to so melt and mingle that you no longer know you are you or another, to constantly absorb and constantly radiate, to reduce earth, sea and sky and all that in them is to a single being so wholly that nothing whatever is withheld, to be prepared at any moment for sacrifice, to double your personality in bestowing it - that is love." - Théophile Gautier, fully Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier, aka Le Bon Theo

"Personal relationships are a major cause of unhappiness... Trying to find successful ways of dealing with people according to their personality traits is futile and time-consuming, and it puts the emphasis on outer characteristics rather than where it belongs, which is on the inner... There is an underlying sameness to us all... Operating from the space-time continuum, it is too easy to see others as different from us, to see boundaries, to be exclusive. Operating from our spiritual center, however, is to see others as part of ourselves, to see no boundaries, to be inclusive." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"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

"In every adult there lurks a child - an eternal child, something that is always becoming, is never completed, and calls for unceasing care, attention, and education. That is the part of the human personality which wants to develop and become whole." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"Personality is the supreme realization of the innate individuality of a particular living being. Personality is an act of the greatest courage in the face of life, the absolute affirmation of all that constitutes the individual, and the most successful adaptation to the universal conditions of existence coupled with the greatest possible freedom of personal decision." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"In surrender we can both give and receive. Relationships take on a different meaning. We learn to be in someone’s life without being in their dance. A relationship becomes important not because it satisfies personality needs but because it’s the pathway to wholeness." - Gloria D. Karpinski

"We are constantly repeating messages in our minds. If they are negative: “I’m a failure,” “The world is an awful place,” “Nothing ever goes right,” we make our lives miserable. We have the ability to consciously make an effort to repeat to our selves positive messages: “I have the ability to keep improving,” “The world contains many wonderful opportunities,” “Everything that happens to me can be used for growth”... Little by little they will have a positive effect on your personality and emotions." - Ya’akov Dov "Katzele" Katz

"Every desire for power, ability, wisdom, harmony, life, greatness will impress itself upon the subconscious and will cause the thing desired to be produced in the great within. What is produced in the within will come forth into expression in the personality; therefore, by knowing how to impress the subconscious, man may give his personal self any quality desired, in any quantity desired. What man may desire to become, that he can become, and the art of directing and impressing the subconscious is the secret. The perpetual awakening of the great within will produce a greatness, because to the powers and the possibilities of the great within there is no limit, neither is there any end." - Christian D. Larson

"Everything was possessed of personality, only different from us in form. Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks, and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of earth. We learned to do what only the student of nature ever learns, and that was to feel beauty... Observation was certain to have its rewards. Interest, wonder, admiration grew, and the fact was appreciated that life was more than mere human manifestation; it was expressed in a multitude of forms. This appreciation enriched Lakota existence. Life was vivid and pulsating; nothing was casual and commonplace. The Indian lived - lived in every sense of the word - from his first to his last breath." - Chief Luther Standing Bear

"If I were asked to sum up in a single phrase the main purpose of individual life I would express it as the enlargement of personality. Unless an individual can transcend the limits of class, sex, race, age and creed, his personality remains of necessity to that extent incomplete." - Frederick William Pethick-Lawrence, born Frederick Lawrence

"Each person is a one time phenomenon, an occurrence that has never been before and will never be again. You have a unique blend of character traits and personality. You are unique in your particular family constellation, born in a specific time of history and in a specific environment. This uniqueness gives you great importance. Only you can accomplish your unique life tasks." - Rashi, born Shlomo ben Yitzchok, aka Salomon Isaacides, Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki NULL

"Jung said the truth of the matter is that the shadow is ninety percent gold. Whatever has been repressed holds a tremendous amount of energy, with a great positive potential. So the shadow, no matter how troublesome it may be, is not intrinsically evil. The ego, in its refusal of insight and its refusal to accept the entire personality, contributes much more to evil than the shadow." - John A. Sanford, aka Jack

"Maturity is a quality of personality made up of a number of elements. It is stick-to-itiveness, the ability to stick to a job, to work on it and to struggle through it until it is finished, or until one has given all one has in the endeavor. It is the quality or capacity of giving more than is asked or required in a given situation. It is this characteristic that enables others to count on one; thus it is reliability. Persistence is an aspect of maturity; persistence to carry out a a goal in the face of difficulties. Endurance enters into the concept of maturity; the endurance of difficulties, unpleasantness, discomfort, frustration, hardship. The ability to size things up, make one's own decisions, is a characteristic of maturity. This implies a considerable amount of independence. A mature person is not dependent unless ill. Maturity includes a determination, a will to succeed and achieve, a will to live. Of course, maturity represents the capacity to cooperate; to work with others; to work in an organization and under authority. The mature person is flexible, can defer to time, persons, circumstances. He can show tolerance. He can be patient, and, above all, he has qualities of adaptability and compromise. Basically, maturity represents a wholesome amalgamation of two things: 1) Dissatisfaction with the status quo, which calls forth aggressive, constructive effort, and 2) Social concern and devotion. Emotional maturity is the morale of the individual." - Edward A. Strecker

"In everyday life, when we are mostly moved by our habits, we are economical in our expression, for then our soul-consciousness is at its low level - it has just volume enough to guide on in accustomed grooves. But when our heart is fully awakened in love, or in other great emotions, our personality is in its flood-tide." -

"Children who have been taught, or conditioned, to listen passively most of the day to the warm verbal communication coming from the TV screen, to the deep emotional appeal of the so-called TV personality, are often unable to respond to real persons because they arouse so much less feeling than the skilled actor. Worse, they lose the ability to learn from reality because life experiences are more complicated than the ones they see on the screen, and there is no one who comes in at the end to explain it all. The “TV child”... gets discouraged when he cannot grasp the meaning of what happens to him.... If, later in life, this block of solid inertia is not removed, the emotional isolation from others that starts in front of TV may continue... This being seduced into passivity and discouraged about facing life actively on one’ sown is the real danger of TV." - Bruno Bettelheim

"For the mass public, it is easier to understand problems if they are reduced to black/white dichotomies. It is easier to understand policies if they are attached to individuals who are simplistically labeled as hawks or doves. Yet in today’s world any attempt to reduce its complexities to a single set of ideological propositions, to a single personality, or to a single issue is in itself a distortion. Such a distortion also raises the danger that public emotions could become so strong as to make the management of a genuinely complex foreign policy well-nigh impossible." -

"The more discussion the better, if passion and personality be eschewed. Discussion, even if stormy, often winnows truth from error - a good never to be expected in an uninquiring age." - William Ellery Channing

"An artist is a man of action, whether he creates a personality, invents an expedient, or finds the issue of a complicated situation." - Joseph Conrad, born Teodor Josef Konrad Korzeniowski

"No matter how much work a man can do, no matter how engaging his personality may be, he will not advance far in business if he cannot work through others." -

"Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those we have personality and emotion know what it means to want to escape from these things." -

"If a man harbors any sort of fear, it percolates through all his thinking, damages his personality, makes him landlord to a ghost." - Lloyd C. Douglas, fully Lloyd Cassel Douglas, born Doya C. Douglas

"Enthusiasm is the dynamics of your personality. Without it whatever you may possess lies dormant: and it is safe to say that nearly every man has more latent power than he ever learns to use. You may have knowledge, sound judgment, good reasoning faculties; but no one - not even yourself - will know it until you discover how to put your heart into thought and action. When a man dies, if he can pass enthusiasm along to his children he has left them an estate of incalculable value." -

"The school should always have as its aim that the young man leave it as a harmonious personality, not as a specialist. This in my opinion is true in a certain sense even in technical schools.... The development of general ability for independent thinking and judgment should always be placed foremost, not the acquisition of special knowledge." - Albert Einstein

"It has always seemed to me that ruthlessness and arrogant self-confidence constitute the indispensable condition for what, when it succeeds, strike us as greatness. And I also believe that one ought to differentiate between greatness of achievement and greatest of personality." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"Positive freedom consists in the spontaneous activity of the total, integrated personality." -

"In all human activities, it is not ideas or machines that dominate; it is people. I have heard people speak of “the effect of personality on science.” But this is a backward thought. Rather, we should talk about he effect of science on personalities. Science is not the dispassionate analysis of impartial data. It is the human, and thus passionate, exercise of skill and sense on such date. Science is not an exercise in objectivity, but, more accurately, an exercise in which objectivity is prized." - Philip J. Hilts, fully Philip James Hilts

"Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in." - Amy Lowell, born Amy Lawrence Lowell

"Security means inner harmony of the personality with the environment. Man must learn how to balance emotional stress against his own emotional supports. And he must be mature." - William C. Menninger, fully William Claire Menninger

"Every person in the world may not become a personage. But every person may become a personality. The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Interesting thoughts can live only in cultivated minds. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good plays at the theater, good company, good conversation - what are they? They are the happiest people in the world; and they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of happiness in others." - William Lyon Phelps

"Religion should be the motor of life, the central heating plant of personality, the faith that gives joy to activity, hope to struggle, dignity to humility, zest to living." - William Lyon Phelps

"If parapsychology deals with all the personality manifestations that are beyond explanation by physics, then by definition it should claim the entire spiritual order of reality." - J. B. Rhine, fully Joseph Banks Rhine

"Every society to which you remain bound robs you of a part of your essence, and replaces it with a speck of the gigantic personality which is its own." - José Enrique Rodó, fully José Enrique Rodó Piñeyro

"Science urges us to occupy by our mind the immensity of the knowable world; our spiritual teacher enjoins us to comprehend by our soul the infinite spirit which is in the depth of the moving and changing facts of the world; the urging of our artistic nature is to realize the manifestation of personality in the world of appearance, the reality of existence which is in harmony with the real within us. Where this harmony is not deeply felt, there we are aliens and perpetually homesick. For man by nature is an artist; he never receives passively and accurately in his mind a physical representation of things around him." -

"The object of education is to give man the unity of truth... I believe in a spiritual world - not as anything separate from this world - but as its innermost truth. With the breath we draw we must always feel this truth, that we are living in God. Born in this great world, full of the mystery of the infinite, we cannot accept our existence as a momentary outburst of chance drifting on the current of matter toward an eternal nowhere. We cannot look upon our lives as dreams of a dreamer who has no awakening in all time. We have a personality to which matter and force are unmeaning unless related to something infinitely personal, whose nature we have discovered, in some measure, in human love, in the greatness of the good, in the martyrdom of heroic souls, in the ineffable beauty of nature which can never be a mere physical fact nor anything but an expression of personality." -

"The picture of a flower in a botanical book is information; its mission ends with our knowledge. But in pure art it is a personal communication. And therefore until it finds its harmony in the depth of our personality it misses the mark. We can treat existence solely as a textbook furnishing us lessons, and we shall not be disappointed, but we know that there its mission does not end. For in our joy in it, which is an end in itself, we feel that it is a communication, the final response of our knowing but the response of our being." -

"I believe that love produces a certain flowering of the whole personality which nothing else can achieve" -

"Every enthusiast contains a false enthusiast, every lover a false lover, every man of genius a false man of genius, and, as a rule, every fault its counterfeit: this is necessary in order to assure the continuity of one's personality, not only in the eyes of others but in one's own - in order to understand oneself, count upon oneself, think of oneself; in order, in short, to be oneself." - Paul Valéry, fully Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry

"All true educators since the time of Socrates and Plato have agreed that the primary objective of education is the attainment of inner harmony, or, to put it into more up-to-date language, the integration of the personality. Without such an integration learning is no more than a collection of scraps, and the accumulation of knowledge becomes a danger to mental health." - Alfred Zimmern, fully Sir Alfred Eckhard Zimmern

"Intolerance of ambiguity is the mark of an authoritarian personality." - Theodor W. Adorno, born Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund

"Pain in the human world is the birth of personality, its fight for its own nature." - Nikolai Berdyaev, fully Nikolai Alexandrovich Berdyaev, also spelled Nichlas Berdiaev